Draycote Water Open Meeting

The fireball fleet enjoyed excellent racing at Draycote Water S.C. on the 1st & 2nd of November with 38 Fireball teams taking part including visitors from Ireland and Switzerland. 3 back to back races were held on Saturday and Sunday in a strong northerly breeze. Current World Champion Matt Mee sailing with fellow Hollingworth Lake S.C. club mate; Stuart Bithell dominated the proceedings with 5 straight 1st places.

Racing on Saturday was held in building northerly breeze. Mee/Bithell took the first race followed by Tom Foskett/Tim Needham 2nd and Kevin Hope/Russell Thorne. 3rd. Mee/Bithell led from start to finish in the second race, although Foskett/Needham also broke away from the fleet and pushed the leaders all the way round. Phillip Popple/Gavin Tilson sailed well to take 3rd.

By Race 3 the breeze had increased to 20knots + with some vicious gust and squalls pushing up to the 30knot margin. This resulted in a depleted fleet for the final race of the day which was convincingly won by Mee/Bithell with Foskett/Tim (the lever) Needham taking their 3rd 2nd place of the day. This young pairing proved consistently fast in the breezy and shifty conditions. As always on Saturday evening the food was excellent and plentiful, which was excellent as their were some very hungry crews!

Sundays racing was sailed in marginally lighter conditions but again big gusts frequently moving down the racecourse. Mee/Bithell took race 4 with Foskett/Needham picking up where they left off to take another 2nd, followed again by Hope/Thorne. Race 5 saw Mee/Bithell take the win, and the meeting with a race to spare, however they didn’t have this race all their own way. After establishing a comfortable early lead, Hope/Thorne picked up a couple of good shifts on the penultimate beat to pass Mee/Bithell and lead round the final windward mark. Mee/Bithell put the hammer down on the final run to regain the lead by the leeward mark which they maintained to the finish. Hope/Thorne came in 2nd with Foskett/Needham finishing in 3rd securing them 2nd place overall.

With the top two boats absent for the final race, Hope/Thorne took a well deserved win and 3rd overall after an early battle with Andy Pearce/Gary Henwood-Fox who took 2nd. Vince Horey/Rob Gardner came 3rd despite Rob’s complaints about ‘frozen’ feet.

Many thanks to Draycote Water SC for holding an excellent weekends racing with efficient race management and the usual warm hospitality. The Draycote Water Fireball Super Series kicks off on the 16th November running ever other week until mid March visitors are welcome.

Overall Results

1st 14944 Matt Mee & Stuart Bithell Hollingworth Lake SC 5pts
2nd 14980 Tom Foskett & Tim Needham Staunton Harold SC 11pts
3rd 14950 Kevin Hope & Russell Thorne Notts County SC 12pts
4th 14920 Vince Horey & Robert Gardiner King George SC 26pts
5th 14977 Philip Popple & Gavin Tillson Shoreham SC 26pts
6th 14226 Martyn Lewis & Richard Byne Draycote Water SC 30pts

Developed by YorkSoft Ltd