UK Fireball Survey - Part 2

UK Fireball Survey Results (2) - Open Meeting Circuit and Overseas Events

Open meeting Circuit

Unfortunately, we didn’t ask specific questions about Open meetings in the survey so that’s a lesson learned for the next one! However, Opens are a topic that is talked about widely in by the Committee and the Fleet as a whole. Getting the elephant in the room out there straight away, the Fireball Fleet doesn’t currently have anyone who is focused on Opens. Many hands make light work, so if a few of you reading this would like to share the task of liaising with a few clubs and putting a schedule together, please email us and we can incorporate your work into the schedule for 2019 and 2020.

It’s worth talking about how the Fireball Open circuit works and ideas that are being considered.

Venues are usually driven by clubs where the home fleet of Fireballs underpins the entry numbers. When setting up the Open Meeting timetable, we tend to approach clubs we have visited before, but also are happy to hear from other clubs who would like to have us visit their club. 

The trend over the last few years has been to share an Open weekend with other fleets. Fleets that have worked well include the Scorpions, Merlins, Flying Fifteens and 505s. We appreciate the effort clubs put into running an event and that the costs need to work for them, so sharing makes sense. It also enables us to meet new people.

Along the same lines as sharing Opens, there’s been interest in encouraging Fireballs to attend club weekend regattas such as Weymouth Dinghy and Lyme Regis Regattas. Historically we’ve had great fun at these weekend events; it gives us an opportunity to try a different format of racing and, weather permitting, to show off what the Fireball can do! For the hardy sailors, there’s also the SailJuce winter series.

An idea that’s been tried off-and-on is for a one day open which could be preceded by a training day. This is something we’ll look into again. 
This year we’re holding our Nationals at the end of May to avoid a clash with the World Championships this summer in Montreal. The timing has left those not travelling to the Worlds with an itch to scratch about what to do in the summer. There are some on-going, lively discussions about joining in summer club weeks and very soon we’ll be updating the Events page of our website with the outcome.

Overseas events

There was quite a lot of feedback about the timing Overseas events. Most Fireball sailors are aware that we’ve had an unfortunate clash between our Nationals and the Europeans this year. We’ve been talking with Fireball International (FI) to work out a way to prevent this happening again. FI is going to instated a calendar that a representative from each country will add to when dates for events are being proposed. This should prevent future clashes occurring.

We also had comments about the frequency of international events. Increasing pulls on personal time and the costs associated with attending an international event has resulted in quite a few people suggesting that we talk to Fireball International about possibly reducing the number of events. This would make the events more attractive and should encourage more competitors to participate. The UKFA has passed this feedback on to FI.

Photo copyright Lee Whitehead

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