The Fireball championships attracted 84 entries from 8 countries to Lyme, most arriving for the practice races on Saturday 19th August. A week of mixed weather provided a variety of conditions at sea, one day was lost to a strong south easterly combined with spring tides, and on the final day the sea breeze failed to build. Sailors had to contend with shifts, significant tidal flows and both light airs and strong winds, big waves, swells and choppy cross currents. Close contenders swopped places each day, and a winner’s shirt was worn by each of the three fleet leaders.
An International Jury of 5 monitored observance of the Racing Rules of Sailing on the water and dealt with enquiries and protests ashore.
A team of 45 club volunteers and guests took charge of race management on the water, under the leadership of Race Officers Paul Withers and Peter Baldwin, with 13 crewed course and safety boats. The shore team, part of the race committee, organised berthing, launching and retrieval of the fleets swished by Harbour master Grahame Forshaw and staff without whose help an event of this size could not have been brought to Lyme.
Daily racing was followed by refreshments, locally sourced food by local providers, the hog roast and formal dinner proving particularly popular. Bar managers Trish Williams and Sharyn Walker were kept busy and Dan Alsop’s social programme kept everyone amused.
The main sponsors were Gul sailing clothing, Allen dinghy fittings and Otter Brewery, with CoastWaterSports and Mark Hix. An address by Chair David Beer followed presentation of prizes by Jerry Rook.
The competitors appreciated their welcome, the town and sailing waters. Commodore Jerry Rook has already received personal thanks and congratulated all volunteers for their input demonstrating pride in their club. Jerry also thanked the Harbour master and staff who put in many hours of preparation, training, clearing up and supported with planning.
The club thanks all harbour users and visitors who may have been inconvenienced by heavy use of the slipway and pontoons at certain times during the week.
1.Matt Burge and Dan Schiener,,Poole YC, 29 Pts
2. Christian Birrell and Vyv Townend, Bough Beech, 35 pt
3. Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff, Burwain SC, 39 pts
Allan Tyler and Tim Parsons , Lyme SC 15086 lead downwind
Winners of Fireball European and Nationals GBR 15123, Matt Burge and Dan Scheiber establish a good lead in race 7 which they won
Overall European and National champions Matt Burge, right, and Dan Scheiner, centre, receive winner’s trophies from LRSC Commodore Jerry Rook, left.