Wade and McGraine win Fireball Open

by media 
Thirtyfive boats including 13 from the home club and two from Ireland lined up for the annual domestic season opener for the Fireball class at Staunton Harold Sailing Club. A little later in the year than normal due to the Thailand worlds. Having boats still in the container was no excuse though, as boats, sails and crews were begged and borrowed from a variety of sources.

On the race track the fleet were greeted by a strong damp north easterly breeze gusting over 20 knots. It was Dave Wade and Ben McGrane, still showing their good form from Thailand, who managed to get in front at the finish following a four way tustle. Regular changes in the lead took place throughout the day in tricky, gusty and shifting conditions.

In the day's second race Sam Mettam, back in a Fireball after time abroad charged round with crew Richard Anderton to take line honours, ahead of Adam Whitehouse and Mike Pratt in their new boat. The new pairing of DJ Edwards and Andy Thompson were 3rd.

The last race of the day saw local youngsters Tom Foskett and Tim Needham take the gun from Edwards and Thompson with current European Champions Andy Smith and Jonny Mildred 3rd. It was Whitehouse and Pratt who finished the day in the lead with a consistent 2,2,4. Some competitors were not so lucky and the days damage included one mast, a spinnaker pole and several sails written off!

Saturday evening saw a 4 course curry feast in the clubhouse. Some competitors unwisely took on the yellow and green pickle, and lost!

Sunday brought lighter conditions. It was Kevin Hope, twice a previous winner, crewed for this event by John Rowell, who played the shifts best to lead all the way round. Local pairing Ian Kelly and Pete Elver chased hard for 2nd with Wade and McGrane 3rd. Wade and McGrane won race 5 after a 3 way tussle with Edwards and Thompson and Becky Priest and Tim Saunders.

The event was still wide open at lunch. Whitehouse and Pratt did their best to recover from a poor morning by winning the last race, but it was Wade and McGrane who took the event posting a third. Smith and Mildreds second place gave them 2nd overall with Whitehouse and Pratt third.

Fireball - Final overall positions
1st 14929 Dave Wade Ben McGraine Pitsford / CVLSC 1.0 7.0 (8.0) 3.0 1.0 3.0 23.0 15.0
2nd 14895 Andy Smith Jonny Mildred Notts County 3.0 (13.0) 3.0 6.0 3.0 2.0 30.0 17.0
3rd 14991 Adam Whitehouse Pratt DWSC 2.0 2.0 4.0 (20.0) 12.0 1.0 41.0 21.0
4th White Shark 14780 Kevin Hope John Rowell Notts County SC 6.0 8.0 6.0 1.0 (10.0) 6.0 37.0 27.0
5th 14899 Sam Mettam Richard Anderton 5.0 1.0 (10.0) 8.0 7.0 7.0 38.0 28.0
6th Fly by Wire 14966 Grahame Newton Mark Stevens SHSC (11.0) 4.0 5.0 10.0 5.0 5.0 40.0 29.0
7th 14924 DJ Edwards Andy Thompson Corus SC / Chase SC 19.0 3.0 2.0 4.0 4.0 (36.0 DNS) 68.0 32.0
8th 14954 Becky Priest Tim Saunders SHSC 10.0 6.0 11.0 (12.0) 2.0 10.0 51.0 39.0
9th Murphy Enviromental 14894 Noel Butler Seamus Moore DMYC / Skerries SC 9.0 9.0 (33.0 DNF) 5.0 9.0 14.0 79.0 46.0
10th On The Edge 1480 Peter Gray Sinmon Forbes SHSC 13.0 5.0 12.0 (16.0) 14.0 4.0 64.0 48.0
11th 14805 Mark Maskell Jon Watkins Brightlingsea (17.0) 14.0 15.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 70.0 53.0
12th 14935 Tom Foskett Tim Needham SHSC 4.0 (28.0 DNF) 1.0 19.0 21.0 16.0 89.0 61.0
13th Donk! 14723 Phil Popple Gavin Tillson Shoreham / Tipplers Cruising Club (25.0) 12.0 7.0 15.0 19.0 8.0 86.0 61.0
14th Three 14864 Ian Kelly Pete Elver SHSC 7.0 10.0 (33.0 DNF) 2.0 23.0 21.0 96.0 63.0
15th 14870 Peter Wood James Wood DWSC 14.0 16.0 (33.0 DNF) 11.0 6.0 17.0 97.0 64.0
16th Chuffy Shunter 14370 Daren Fasey Colin Davis SHSC 15.0 15.0 (16.0) 14.0 13.0 13.0 86.0 70.0
17th Dogs Bo**ocks 14876 Chris Walker Oli Needham SHSC 12.0 11.0 19.0 22.0 (27.0) 11.0 102.0 75.0
18th 14941 Derian Scott Andy Scott (21.0) 17.0 18.0 13.0 15.0 15.0 99.0 78.0
19th 14822 / 1489 Richard Mason Simon Hextall Notts County SC 8.0 28.0 OCS 9.0 17.0 18.0 (37.0 DNC) 117.0 80.0
20th Mashed Potato 14909 Ian Priest Richard Peperdine South Cerney / SHSC 16.0 (22.0) 13.0 21.0 17.0 20.0 109.0 87.0
21st Bumpy 14955 Ian Weston Bumpy DWSC 20.0 (37.0 DNC) 17.0 9.0 37.0 DNC 12.0 132.0 95.0
22nd 14837 Russ Cormack Ali Cormack Budworth SC (24.0) 19.0 22.0 24.0 16.0 18.0 123.0 99.0
23rd 14831 Simon Kelsall Tom Williamson SHSC 18.0 20.0 20.0 23.0 20.0 (24.0) 125.0 101.0
24th Orchitis 14882 Rob Burton Rob Watson SHSC 22.0 21.0 14.0 25.0 25.0 (27.0) 134.0 107.0
25th Let's Get Messy!! 14934 Andy Boyle Brian Flahive Royal Irish YC/Wicklow SC 27.0 18.0 21.0 27.0 (28.0) 22.0 143.0 115.0
26th 14820 Andy Pearce Gary Henwood Fox Portishead / TSC (37.0 DNC) 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 18.0 11.0 19.0 159.0 122.0
27th 14564 Jonathan Cooper Cheryl Jessop Ardleigh 26.0 (37.0 DNC) 36.0 DNS 28.0 24.0 26.0 177.0 140.0
28th 14621 Jeremy Hurst A Hurst Parkestone YC 29.0 25.0 33.0 DNF (37.0 DNC) 29.0 25.0 178.0 141.0
29th 14391 Pete Slack Hania Ograzinski SHSC (37.0 DNC) 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 26.0 22.0 23.0 182.0 145.0
30th 14674 Duncan Roberts Kayleigh Roberts (38.0 DSQ) 23.0 36.0 DNS 30.0 30.0 29.0 186.0 148.0
31st Second wind 14266 Bob Tuckwood Debbie Tuckwood Notts County SC (37.0 DNC) 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 29.0 26.0 28.0 194.0 157.0
32nd Antidote 13847 Joe Mathews Kate Pell WRSC (37.0 DNC) 24.0 36.0 DNS 37.0 DNC 32.0 DNF 37.0 DNC 203.0 166.0
33rd 14807 Andrew Wilde Heidi Mellors SHSC 23.0 (37.0 DNC) 36.0 DNS 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 207.0 170.0
34th SCREAM-IN-GENIE 14625 Steve Greenhalgh Heidi Cokayne SHSC 28.0 (37.0 DNC) 33.0 DNF 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 209.0 172.0
35th Storm 14314 Terry Forbes Nick Cawthorne SHSC 32.0 DNF (37.0 DNC) 33.0 DNF 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 213.0 176.0
36th (37.0 DNC) 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 37.0 DNC 222.0 185.0
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