Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Gul Fireball Irish Nationals and Pre-Worlds at Lough Derg Yacht Club - Day 1

by Cormac Bradley 18 Aug 11:29 PDT 18-26 August 2022
Chris Bateman and Thomas Chaix win race 3 on day 1 of the Gul Fireball Irish Nationals and Pre-Worlds at Lough Derg © Con Murphy

If Mother Nature was considered stingy with her allocation of wind to the 5o5 Worlds recently sailed in Cork, and the start of the GP14 Worlds currently being hosted by Skerries, she lavished her bounty on the Gul Fireball Pre-Worlds and Irish Nationals which are the curtain raisers to the World which start on Sunday next.

We woke to grey and slightly overcast conditions and in his briefing to the competitors, International Race Officer, Con Murphy (Dun Laoghaire), indicated that a) we could also expect drizzle and b) the forecast was for the wind to go westwards.

Forty-six boats completed the first race which was sailed in winds in the high teens and got away reasonably cleanly. The fleet had a three-race agenda for the day so races were restricted to a triangle and a sausage with an offset finish mark, administered from the committee boat which didn't (voluntarily) move during the first race.

The P&B liveried boat, sail number GBR 15162 led the race for its entirety I think as they flew a red spinnaker and there were three of those at the head of the fleet for the off-wind legs of the triangle. As has become the custom, the fleet spilt downwind high-wiring it on both sides of the course. It made for exciting racing as the fleet converged on the leeward mark from opposite sides of the course.

If they weren't always in the lead, they were at the most critical part of the race - on the finish line. Thus, Isaac Marsh & Ollie Davenport opened the regatta with a race win.

Second place went to David Hall & Paul Constable sailing GBR 15155, an experienced duo who relish the stronger winds. The first Irish boat also occupied third place at the finish. Chris Bateman & Thomas Chaix IRL 14750 were at the head of the fleet for the majority of the trace. Bateman has just sailed the 5o5 Worlds in Cork and rumour has it that he thinks the Fireball is a nicer boat to sail in these conditions.

Fourth went to the father/son combination of Martyn and Daniel Lewis (GBR 15151) while the Swiss combination of Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser (SUI 14799) took fifth and first of the continental visitors.

For Race 2 the breeze ramped up and became more variable in direction and that signalled problems for the pin end boat which was having difficulty staying on station and eventually had to be replaced with a rib flying the pin end flag. It was a wet station in life! The rising wind took its toll on the fleet with only 24 boats finishing the race and that in part may have been due to the difficulties in getting the second start away.

A swinging breeze, a pin end that was moving, multiple attempts at a start under P, U and eventually black flag resulted in three boats being sent home for an early shower.

For those who persevered, they were rewarded with another exciting race. We could see the boats scudding across the top reach but negotiating the gybe mark seemed to a bit more challenging. By now the wind speed was routinely going above the 20knot mark on the anemometer on the committee boat. Many chose to two-sail the reach having seen the difficulties the leaders had.

Race 2 went to the Czech combination, Jiri Paruzek & Jakub Kosvica (CZE 15141), with Davis Hall & Paul Constable second and Bateman & Chaix 3rd and the first Irish boat again. Fourth went to another Irish combination Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (IRL 15093) while another Czech combination, Marin Kubovy & Roman Rocek (CZE15019) rounded out the top five. Special mention must be made of Ben Graff & Alexander Farrell (IRL 14378) who were the only boat to fly spinnaker between the leeward mark and the finish line.

By Race 3 the RIB on the pin end had been replaced by a Dory and the start that got away was the most conservative of the day. The fleet had almost halved again! Bateman and Chaix arrived at the leeward mark with a considerable lead, that was obvious across the top reach except, we in the committee boat didn't know that it was them - it was simply another red spinnaker.

The P&B boys, Marsh & Davenport were chasing hard and by the time they reached the leeward mark for the second time the Irish lead had been shortened considerably. However, a home win was secured by Bateman & Chaix to end the day on a high for the hosts. Behind Team P&B were the Czechs, Paruzek & Kosvica, ahead of their compatriots Kubovy & Rocek with another Czech boat Milan Snajdr & Matej Snajdr (CZE 15163) fifth.

Another three races are scheduled for tomorrow.

Top 10 after day 1:

1. Chris Bateman & Thomas Chaix, IRL 14750: 3, 3, 1, 7pts
2. Isaac Marsh & Ollie Davenport, GBR 15162: 1, 7, 2, 10pts
3. Martin & Daniel Lewis, GBR 15151: 4, 6, 7, 17pts
4. Martin Kubovy & Roman Rocek, CZE 15019: 13, 5, 4, 22pts
5. Milan & Matej Snajdr, CZE 15163: 6, 11, 5, 22pts
6. Steve & Tom Goacher, GBR 15145: 12, 8, 6, 26pts
7. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, IRL15061: 10, 9, 8, 27pts
8. Michael & Adam Whitehouse, GBR 15096: 16, 13, 9, 38pts
9. Niall McGrotty & Neil Cramer, IRL 14938: 20, 20, 11, 51pts
10. Frank Miller & Conor Flynn, IRL 14915: 24, 15, 13, 52pts

Related Articles

Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite Series update
Hot competition for Fireballs in Dun Laoghaire Fireballs are having a hot time of it at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite series in Dun Laoghaire. Posted on 29 Nov
Tom Gillard's (almost) perfect 2022
25 events, 23 wins, one World title, four National titles, and one that got away! It's hard to win a major championship, fine tuning your boat, your sailing skills, knowing the venue, and putting in that vital time on the water, but sometimes you get a sailor who puts together a season which on paper looks nearly impossible. Posted on 9 Nov
Gul Fireball Inlands at Draycote Water
Good to see over 30 boats on the water after a busy season Draycote Water Sailing Club held the 2022 Gul Inlands, the last Fireball event of the year. After a busy season it was good to see over 30 boats arrive including many new teams from far away along with some young teams coming from the 420 class. Posted on 11 Oct
Fireball Munsters in Killaloe
First class to use the new clubhouse, with much improved facilities Noel Butler and Stephen Oram were crowned Fireball Munster Champions after six hard-fought races at Killaloe Sailing Club at the weekend. Fifteen Fireballs competed in the two-day event at the completely re-modelled club on the shores of Lough Derg. Posted on 3 Oct
Q&A with the top ten at the Gul Fireball Worlds
What were the winning priorities at the Lough Derg event? What were the actual experiences of sailors at the event and in particular what were the winning techniques and priorities which saw the top teams make it to the podium? Posted on 27 Sep
Gul Fireball Inlands preview
Forms the final Golden Dolphin event of the year, at Draycote Water With the Fireball fleet celebrating 60 years this year, there have been some excellent events over the course of the year and some very competitive and close racing. Its been wonderful to see so many boats travelling around to clubs. Posted on 27 Sep
Gul Fireball Worlds at Lough Derg overall
Solitary race confirms the title for Tom Gillard & Andy Thompson Lough Derg Yacht Club in County Tipperary, Ireland is quiet this morning! The yacht club which played host to the 2022 GUL Fireball World Championships over the past seven days is a scene of tents being dismantled and trailers being prepped. Posted on 27 Aug
Gul Fireball Worlds at Lough Derg day 4
Gillard and Shandy dominate the racing Tom Gillard of Sheffield Vikings and Shandy from East Antrim Boat Club in N. Ireland dominated Thursday's racing at the GUL Fireball Worlds in Lough Derg Ireland. Posted on 26 Aug
Gul Fireball Worlds at Lough Derg day 3
Three more races completed in a building breeze The dinghy park at Lough Derg Yacht Club, hosts to the GUL Fireball World Championship, is quiet this morning! Is that down to Irish hospitality on Crews' Night? Posted on 24 Aug
Gul Fireball Worlds at Lough Derg day 2
Back on track! After the loss of two races on Sunday due to insufficient wind, IRO Con Murphy advised the fleet at the GUL Fireball Worlds that three races would be on the agenda for Monday with an earlier start time of 11:00. Posted on 23 Aug
SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomHella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 1 jpg BottomUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER