Fireball International Week 2011 saw the race team take the fleet outside the famous Sligo lighthouse and into the Atlantic and as a result, the lumpy seas made the upwind legs quite tricky.
Both the crews and helms alike had plenty of hard work placed before them. Records will reflect that the wind strength varied during the day from nine to fourteen knots but it felt much stronger than that.
The Canadians, Jospe and Egli rounded the first weather mark of the day in first place and seemed to enjoy a growing lead as the race wore on, however, at the end the rampant Aussies stole the show again with another win. It seems that on the third beat the Canadian went right, the Aussies went left and left paid. GBR’s Alex Taylor and Richard Anderton (15031) joined the fleet this morning and were rewarded with a third place in this race.
Derian and Andy Scott were to sail their discard in this race - a fourth – while behind them, another addition to the fleet Ireland’s Kenny Rumball and Seamus Moore took fifth, ahead of McCartin/Kinsella and Butler/Oram, the latter combination having spinnaker problems on the downwind leg of the sausage.
Elsewhere in the fleet the rivalry between the Ryders, David and Michelle, and Frank Miller/Susie Mulligan went the way of the British couple who scored a 10th to Miller’s 18th.Tipton and King (CAN 14907) also had a better race scoring a ninth.
Fortunately the rain showers that had battered the fleet on the way out to the race area at the start of the day were not repeated and the sun decided to shine a bit of the fleet which now boasted 21 boats.
Team Scott led the fleet round the first weather mark in the company of the Aussies, Taylor and Anderton and team Canada. However, on the second reach of the first triangle, Taylor/Anderton took over the lead and proceeded to build a big distance between themselves and the rest of the fleet. Schulz/Bowley took second place, followed by Derian/Andy, Jospe/Egli, Butler/Oram and McCartin/Kinsella. Miller/Mulligan beat the Ryders by a place to leave the pair tied on 45 points each after discard which kicked in on completion of the second race.
The consensus of the fleet was that it had been a very hard day at the office – hardly surprising as we were taking on the Atlantic proper. Today we had rain out on the course a first for this regatta and as per usual the wind had the final throw of the dice as it came ashore. Today there was the additional attraction of sailing with dolphins and a member of the international jury delayed his return to shore in order to watch them frolic in the water.
Team P&B have now arrived in Sligo as have others who are racing next week – the dinghy park is growing that bit more crowded!