Please select your home edition
Edition
Henri Lloyd 50 Years

Irish Fireball National Championships at Howth YC

by Gareth Craig on 3 Jul 2012
Irish Fireball Nationals 2012 at Howth YC Gareth Craig (Fotosail)
The Irish Fireball National Championships 2012, held at Howth Yacht Club over the weekend of 29th June to 1st July, were certainly not short-changed in terms of available wind. Friday saw heavy conditions for the three races of the day with the fleet being taken off the water between races one and two. Saturday saw a tired fleet come ashore after four races in challenging conditions but by Sunday the breeze had eased to produce what were described as 'champagne conditions' for the last day.

Friday' results were a key element to the overall situation and being able to finish all three races was a significant building block in getting to a podium finish. Simon McGrotty and Darragh Dineen produced the best performance of the day to take two race wins, either side of a race win by Noel Butler and Stephen Oram. This left the Skerries combination with a 1pt lead on the Friday evening over Butler/Oram. Third place overall saw Ed Butler (Jnr) teamed up with recently selected Irish 470 Olympian crew, Scott Flannagan, three points adrift of second place.

Saturday saw four races sailed and Butler/Oram put together a solid performance relative to their close rivals to effectively tie up the regatta with a day to spare. Counting a 2, 1, 3, 1 suite of finishes they opened up a huge gap on their rivals, most of whom carried at least one bad result on the day. The next best result for the day was that of Kenneth Rumball and David Moran who put together a 4, 3, 1 5 followed by Neil Spain and Francis Rowan who scored a 3, 4, 4, 10. However, in terms of total points this left them 20 points adrift of the leaders.

With the first discard coming into play on Saturday evening, the actual situation was as follows;

Irish Fireball Nationals (Sat evening)

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

Tot

1

Noel Butler and Stephen Oram

3

1

2

2

1

3

1

10pts

2

Kenneth Rumball and David Moran

21

5

3

4

3

1

5

21pts

3

Neil Spain and Francis Rowan

4

4

4

3

4

4

10

23pts


Wind conditions eased for Sunday's proceedings and the final three races of the series were completed. Butler and Oram sailed the last day even though they effectively had the regatta sewn up.

McGrotty/Dineen came back from a dreadful Saturday (2 x 21pts) to post a 1, 4. Rumball/Moran scored a 4, 2 while Spain/Rowan's regatta came unstuck with a 21 in the last race, which undid all the good work of a 3rd in Race 8. Butler/Oram had a 9 and another first to close out the event with some authority. The nine was to become one of their discards, the other being a third.

The Silver fleet was won by Dave Coleman and Glen Fisher in 17th, followed by Mary Chambers and Brenda McGuire. The ladies applied discretion rather than valour to Friday's racing but finished all the remaining races of the weekend. Dave and Glen had a difficult day on Saturday but had other results just off the top tem. The Classic Trophy was not awarded.


Noel Butler offered the following additional oversight of the regatta;

Quite a few combinations flirted with the front end of the fleet and led races at different times. Frank Miller and Grattan Donnelly sailed a very consistent Friday to lie in 5th overall and their 'counted' results showed a consistency that saw them finish in eighth overall. Michael Ennis and Marie Barry also led a race, lost the lead and regained it. Niall McGrotty and Neil Creamer, scored a second to Butler/Oram in Race seven and Noel admitted they only just caught the former combination in time. In some of the heavier conditions Michael Murphy and Alex Voye got their chance at the front and they secured two second places in their set of results. In race eight an OCS was signalled and Butler/Oram and Butler/Flannagan went back. It afforded the former combination an opportunity to see how an Olympic-qualified crew works the boat around the course. Butler/Flannagan eventually got back to fifth in this particular race. From a rare trip through the fleet, as a consequence of going back at the start, Noel also confirmed that there was competition all around the course with individual battles going on right through the fleet.

The testing conditions over the three days put a premium on keeping boats together and among the casualties of the regatta were Luke Malcolm who suffered an exploding rudder stock and Louis Smyth who broke a jib halyard. Butler/Oram suffered no such trauma and were lending equipment to other competitors to keep them on the water. Meticulous maintenance does have its place in Fireball racing!

Race management by Harry Gallagher and Scorie Walls was of a very high standard, as their reputation dictates! Races were started promptly after the last finisher of the previous race and while the fleet was brought ashore on Friday for a period, when the wind eased they were sent back out again to race. All starts were under Blue Peter conditions and the start lines were set up with a laser-spotter for accuracy of length and at the request of the Class, a variable weather mark was used. This is a set up that was encountered at the European Championships in the Czech Republic in 2010. A second weather mark is available to the RO if the wind changes so that a true beat can be set for each windward leg. The RO has the independence to reset the weather mark without having to wait for the last boat to go around the old weather mark before it can be lifted. The irony of this weekend is that the breeze was reasonably steady so the benefit of this mechanism was not as significant as might be the case.

While the turnout of only 20 boats is of concern, there were some mitigating circumstances. Barry Hurley, who has been crewing with Andy Boyle, was racing double-handed around Rockall as part of Galway's festivities for the Volvo Ocean race. Andy Boyle himself was racing in the Round Ireland Race which had started the previous weekend and Brian Flahive was also in double-handed mode, finishing second in the Round Ireland.

Howth have been very anxious to host another Fireball event after the very successful hosting of our Leinsters in 2010. They have excellent facilities and easy access to a very clean racing area, free of any significant commercial traffic.

Irish Fireball Nationals; Final Overall

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

R9

Tot

1

Noel Butler and Stephen Oram

3

1

2

2

1

3

1

9

1

11pts

2

Simon McGrotty and Darragh Dineen

1

3

1

21

21

5

4

1

4

19pts

3

Kenneth Rumball and David Moran

21

5

3

4

3

1

5

4

2

22pts

4

Neil Spain and Francis Rowan

4

4

4

3

4

4

10

3

21

26pts

5

Ed Butler (Jnr) and Scott Flannagan

2

2

5

1

21

6

21

5

6

27pts



Irish Fireball Nationals 2012 at Howth YC  © Gareth Craig (Fotosail)
Irish Fireball Nationals 2012 at Howth YC © Gareth Craig (Fotosail)
Irish Fireball Class Association website
Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportBarz Optics - Kids rangeHelm Events 660x82

Related Articles

Severne Starboard Aloha Classic officially open
Last night all the American Windsurfing Tour riders, and some of the top PWA sailors, enjoyed a fantastic opening party. Last night all the American Windsurfing Tour riders, and some of the top PWA sailors, enjoyed a fantastic opening party and registration for the Aloha Classic at Adventure Sports Maui. Food, drinks, photos and lots of chat was the order of the evening, and this morning all with gather again at 9am for the official opening blessing.
Posted on 30 Oct 2014
AWT - PWA Finale 2014- Severne Starboard Aloha Classic - One day to go
The Severne Starboard Aloha Classic kicks off today, October 28th, with registration for the AWT and the opening party. The Severne Starboard Aloha Classic kicks off today, October 28th, with registration for the AWT and the opening party sponsored by Maui Ultra Fins from 6 until 8pm. The next morning will be the official blessing at Ho'okipa beach at 9am, followed straight away by an autograph signing with some of the biggest names from the world of windsurfing.
Posted on 28 Oct 2014
The 2014 Severne Starboard Aloha Classic is coming...
Over 100 riders have already registered and will compete against each other to become Aloha Classic Champions. Over 100 riders from more than 20 different countries have already registered and over the two weeks will compete against each other in the pro, amateur, master, grand master, youth and women's fleets for the honor of becoming the Aloha Classic Champions.
Posted on 23 Oct 2014
OK Dinghy World Rankings for December 2013
OK Dinghy World Ranking - Greg Wilcox (NZL) returns to the top of the final release for 2013 after another solid season. OK Dinghy World Ranking - Greg Wilcox (NZL) returns to the top of the final release for 2013 after another solid season. He climbs two places to retake the world number one position he last held in 2011. Nick Craig (GBR) remains in second while previous world No 1, Jørgen Svendsen (DEN), drops to third.
Posted on 9 Dec 2013
Jorgen Svendsen retains OK Dinghy World 2013 number one ranking
Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) has retained the World number one spot in the OK Dinghy World Rankings 2013 in Pattaya, Thailand. Jorgen Svendsen (DEN) retains the World number one spot in the OK Dinghy World Rankings Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. Svendsen was the best sailor over the last three races in Pattaya to move up to seventh overall, which was just enough to hold a scant three point lead over multiple world champion Nick Craig (GBR) in the World Ranking.
Posted on 25 Apr 2013
Finn Class partners Dinghy Academy to train next Olympians
Finn class work with the Dinghy Academy in Valencia to fund and train aspiring Olympians from developing Finn nations. The Finn class is very excited to announce a co-operation agreement with the Dinghy Academy in Valencia to fund and train aspiring Olympians from developing Finn nations. The class has committed to part fund the training of four sailors at the Dinghy Academy in 2013, with the intention this will continue through to 2016.
Posted on 7 Mar 2013
Boat Shows - Provide touch and feel and Internet takes worldwide
Later this week the world’s largest dinghy boat show, the RYA Dinghy Show will open at London’s Alexandra Palace Later this week the world’s largest dinghy boat show, the RYA Dinghy Show will open at London’s Alexandra Palace. On Saturday and Sunday March 2nd and 3rd some 200 exhibitors will be showing their wares to the walk in audience. But many will consider there is an Elephant in the Room – the Internet.
Posted on 26 Feb 2013
Boat Shows - Provide touch and feel and world-wide exposure
In less than two weeks the world’s largest dinghy boat show, the RYA Dinghy Show will open at London’s Alexandra Palace In less than two weeks the world’s largest dinghy boat show, the RYA Dinghy Show will open at London’s Alexandra Palace. On Saturday and Sunday March 2nd and 3rd some 200 exhibitors will be showing their wares to the walk in audience. But many will consider there is an Elephant in the Room – the Internet.
Posted on 18 Feb 2013
International Optimist Australian Championships Day 2 overall
Optimist Australian championships - It was a good day for Sandy Bay Sailing Club race officers The International Optimist dinghy is the world’s largest sailing dinghy for kids to learn and enjoy sailing and, in particular, start racing at an early age. Anyone looking out or on Hobart’s River Derwent yesterday could see why, with a massive fleet of these tiny sailboats contesting the Optimist Australian championships.
Posted on 11 Jan 2013
Eight additional RS100's set to arrive in Australia before Christmas
Eight more RS100’s boats scheduled to arrive in Australia before Christmas, Tournaments set for RS100's class Eight more RS100’s boats are scheduled to arrive in Australia before Christmas day, further boosting the class growing popularity in the country.
Posted on 8 Nov 2012