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Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Fireball Spring Championship at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Georgia Booth 14 May 07:30 PDT 11-12 May 2024
Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Fireball Spring Championship at Hayling Island © Rob O'Neill

The inaugural Spring championship took place over the weekend of the 11/12 April from Hayling Island Sailing Club. A trophy has been presented by Ian Castle who is the class treasure and farther of Tom Castle - a well known and liked Fireball sailor who tragically died in a plane crash a few years back.

As the travelling Fireball sailors arrived they were greeted with what looked like perfect conditions of 23 degrees and a optimistically building breeze.

Race 1 started in 10 knots and saw a strong start for returning duo of Dave Wade and Rich Pepperdine leading around the top mark followed by a tightly packed fleet, on the downwind it was the boats that took the early gybe that saw the big gains. With the tide and pressure making the left hand side of the beat so strong it made for hard passing lanes and at the finish it was Graham and Will Cook 1st, Pete Gray and Shandy 2nd, Dave Hall and Paul Constable 3rd.

Race 2 looked like it was going to be similar to race 1 with tide building and wind holding steady in direction but pressure was down. But it was the local boats of Nick Rees and Evelyne Schotte and Nathan and Jo Rushin who set themselves up slightly further right of the fleet and got in a nice bit of pressure and right hand shift that combined with their light wind boat speed saw them both have healthy leads at the top mark.

The rest of the fleet were headed by Georgia Booth and Olly Davenport. The top three held their positions for the rest of the race with the race course making it hard to find passing lanes.

Race 3: Started in around 8 knots again with most of the fleet again favouring the left had side of the course which saw Booth and Davenport 1st around the windward mark followed by the Cooks and Wadey and Pepperdine.

Overnight with all three races to count saw Farther and Son duo of Graham and William Cook leading with a strong 1,5,2.

The fleet enjoyed a typical summer late afternoon on the terrace followed by a group curry in the clubhouse - which in turn carried on into the bar.

Day 2 came with the wind direction the same as yesterday blowing through from the E/SE. We saw (very) slightly stronger winds of between 10-12 knots.

Race 4: After a few postponements and a general recall the first race set off with a heavy pin end bias and strong tide pushing teams onto the pin making timing the run to the line tricky. Home boat of Simon and Jono made the best of the conditions to round first a head of a tight pack, by the leeward mark Wadey had snook into the lead. Lots of places changed up the next beat meaning it was Wadey and Pepperdine in 1st, Nick and Evelyne 2nd and Booth/Davenport 3rd.

At the finish Booth had managed to get past Nick and Evelyne.

Race 5: Started with Jono and Simon having another great start taking the lead round the majority of the race course with Dave and Rich close behind. However, on the last beat to the finish Jono and Simon picked up some weed rounding the reach mark, slowing them down towards the finish. This gave Booth and Davenport a chance to sneak through to take the win. Wadey and Pepperdine finished 2nd, and Sayce and Rayner 3rd.

Points were close going into the final race with Wadey needing to win and have Booth finish 4th or finish he could come in 2nd and have Booth finish worst then 5th. But there was also had the pressure of if the Cooks won he needed to finish 2nd to keep hold on to second overall.

Race 6: The wind had dropped by the start of race 6. Wadey nailed the pin end looking to dominate the race and put pressure on the other 2 boats. The Cooks had also made a good start just up from the pin and showed some great boat speed leading by the top mark with Booth in second and Wadey third. The leading three pulled away for the rest of the racing and Wadey slipping past Booth on the run. The Cooks took the gun with Wadey and Rich second, Booth and Davenport third.

Once ashore and the results counted it was Georgia and Olly who became the first Fireball Spring champions.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st14940Georgia BoothOlly DavenportHISC‑63121310
2nd15102Dave WadeRich PepperdineDraycote‑84312212
3rd15091Graham CookWilliam CookLyme Regis Sailing Club152‑74113
4th14798Nicholas ReesEvelyne SchotteHayling Island Sailing Club51835‑922
5th15112David SayceBen RaynerHISC‑109643426
6th15155David HallPaul ConstableBlackwater SC3107‑116632
7th15166Simon KingsJono LoeHisc47(DNC)6RET541
8th15122Pete GreyAndy ThompsonStaunton Harold/east Antrim boat club2648(DNC)DNC42
9th15147Paul CullenSimon ForbesWeirwood7851211(DNC)43
10th15103Nathan RushinJo RushinHayling island sailing club14210‑1691045
11th14785Simon Lomas‑ClarkeRob DanielsFrensham Pond SC11‑1814571148
12th14742Finlay Lomas‑ClarkeWilliam BaileyFrensham Pond / Yorkshire Dales1211910‑14749
13th15145Tom GoacherSteve GoacherLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)1411910852
14thIRL15156Daniel ThompsonHenry ThompsonWexford‑1313131381360
15th14883Bill ChardJosh PreaterChew Valley915121412(DNC)62
16th15149Frank WarnerEmma WarnerHISC‑17161615151274
17th14391Jemima LineJo LineThornbury SC‑18121517161575
18th15161Chris TurnerColin ParkeHISC1617(DNC)18131478
19th15013Tony GodwinCharlie PlowsRutland Water Sailing Club15‑201720171786
20th14614Tom ThirkettleJames CuxsonHISC(DNC)211919181693
21st14889Barry SmithRick SpringThornbury Sailing Club191918(DNC)DNCDNC100

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