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Firefly Inland Championship 2021 at Rutland Sailing Club

by Paul Kameen & Fi Edwards 12 Oct 21:48 PDT 2-3 October 2021

With no Nationals for two years, anticipation was high for the 2021 Firefly Inland Championships. Unfortunately a clash with the "Not-the-Wilson" at West Kirby, a few Covid scares and the fuel crisis left the fleet lacking more than a few of its usual suspects but there were a couple of new faces in Ted and Ella Ashworth, making their Firefly debut in their wedding present boat F3556 'Hush'.

Autumn had definitely arrived but the strong wind forecasted had not yet materialised in Edith Weston. There were a few early under-achievements to mention from the Kameen brothers. Outgoing Class Chairman Chris had forgotten his boom and Paul managed to forget his jib. Luckily for them there were spares and friendly people around to sort out these minor brain freezes.

The fleet had a warm welcome at the briefing at 10.45 and Race Officer Rebecca made the sensible decision to aim for four of the six race series on the Saturday with the storm forecast looming.

With the wind from the South East this made for a shifty top end of the beat near the church which tested the tactical thinking of the sailors. Paul Kameen and Evie Snedker in F2018 'Biscuit Buffalo' managed to pull out a reasonable lead in the first race and with Stuart and Robbie Hudson in F3850 'Fursty Ferret' in second and Guy Davidson and Ben Burge in F2539 'Dillon' in third. The drizzle that had started as the Fleet prepared to go afloat had turned into a near monsoon! With tell-tales sticking to the jibs in the wet it was particularly challenging to make sure you were sailing efficiently upwind. We all like a challenge though and you wouldn't rather be in any other boat in these sorts of conditions.

The second race had a familiar battle but this time it was the Hudsons who pulled out the big lead leaving the rest to battle it out with Paul and Evie ending up second and Angus Cook and Lucie Hopkins in F3695 'Officer Dibble' in third. In the third race there was a bit of extra drama as the puffs coming down the course started to build a bit more. Alex Ogilvie and Josh Speakman in F2560 'Fuzzy Duck' attempted a bold port hand flier and Paul and Evie rolled into windward on the second run straight into a turtle. The Hudsons won, Angus and Lucie were second and Chris Kameen and crew in F2937 'Smutty' got a third.

In race four Paul and Evie made amends and got the win from Stuart and Robbie to take the overnight lead being equal on points after discard and who-beat-who in the last race. The fleet headed in to dry off.

The committee and competitors sat down for the AGM where a few long-awaited rule clarifications were finally passed and Chris handed over the reigns to new Chairman Ben Green. The AGM was followed by a double carb lasagne and chips dinner and plenty of beers in the club. The Squib contingent were also holding an event which made for a good atmosphere for the evening.

The eleven Firefly crews made a valiant attempt to make up for our depleted numbers by drinking for fifty. Special mention to Lucy Boreham who led the charge and Paul Kameen and Josh Speakman who managed to be last men standing - an improvement on Josh's 2019 performance where he was discovered slumped in a doorway by some Squib sailors.

Sunday was bright and breezy. Rebecca sent us up to the west of the club as fresh the wind was from the southwest. The Hudson's were out early tracking the shifts up the practise beat showing a clear statement of intent. The seven Ps (proper preparation & planning prevents p**s poor performance) were yet again correct as they took the first win of the day with Paul and Evie second and Guy and Ben third.

Paul and Evie were not beaten yet though as they stormed off the line in pole position in the freshening breeze. The lead extended and compressed through the race but by the final rounding there was a boat length in it. Paul and Evie took the gun and the event on equal points but were victors by virtue of winning the last race. This meant they retained the Inland Championships by the closest of margins. Stuart and Robbie Hudson from were second and Angus Cook and Lucie Hopkins were third.

A very exciting finish and a great testament to the class which continues to deliver great experiences on and off the water for the sailors.

Bad things come in threes and so, it seems, does underachievement. This time the culprit was Publicity Sec Fi who'd forgotten to pick up the prizes! At this rate we're going to have to start doing Inlands Duckhams too!

The next event will be the West Oxfordshire SC Open on Saturday 16th October 2021 - hope to see you there!

Overall Results:

PosSail numberHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st2018Paul KameenEvie SnedkerBosham SC12(8)1217
2nd3850Stuart HudsonRobbie HudsonRoyal Lym YC / Spinnaker(2)112127
3rd3695 Lucie HopkinsCastaways4323(UFD)315
4th3318Guy DavisonBen BurgeLlangorse S C34(5)43519
5th3556Ted AshworthElla AshworthNetley Sailing Club6(7)475628
6th69Chris KameenUnknownLLyn Brenig Sailing Club5535(DNC)DNC30
7th3739Lucy BorehamRachel CrebbinChichester Yacht Club76764(DNC)30
8thF3040Alastair VinesKatie RobinsonRedditch Sailing Club986(DNC)6DNC41
9th2560Alex OgilvieJosh SpeakmanHISC89(UFD)98741
10th1522Ben GreenFi EdwardsLymington Town SC1010(DNC)DNC7443
11thSTA ‑ 1EllieIzzy LeetchRutland(11)11989845

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