Fireballs in the 2015 Bloody Mary at Queen Mary

Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton win the 2015 Bloody Mary Pursuit Race
Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton win the 2015 Bloody Mary Pursuit Race
Photo © Alex Irwin /

Six Fireballs braved the forecast to attend the 42nd Bloody Mary at Queen Mary. With the Fireball worlds expecting 150 boats, and hosted in the UK this year, many of the top sailors are keen to get some hours under their belts.

Though it is highly likely there will be a decent breeze for the worlds, it is improbable that racing would take place if a repeat of Saturday's weather came along!

After a brief postponement to allow what was believed to be the worst of the wind to pass, the race got under way 15 minutes late. The Fireballs had the privilege of watching the slower classes struggle with the conditions, before being unleashed to try and chase them down.

Tom and Richard did not hang around, and took the lead a massive 55 minutes before the end of the race. Managing not to capsize ensured that they were never challenged. Spanner and Adam were first to the windward mark, but were unable to hold off Tom and Richard nor DJ and Vyv, who have paired up for the 2015 Worlds.

Christian and Sam thought to give the others a sporting start, but the race was mainly survival, and they failed to survive - tearing a mainsail and having to return to the shore. Being young, enthusiastic, and clearly a little daft, they put on a second mainsail, and went off to antagonise the rescue boats.

Angus and Steve represented the strong Hayling fleet (approaching 20 boats soon), and managed to finish in 9th.

Dave Wade made the mistake of employing a 49er sailor for a crew, and while trying to explain exactly what a spinnaker pole was for at the windward mark, disappeared off to have a chat with Davy Jones.

The Fireballs reconvene for the Steve Nicks.

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