Lyme Regis Sailing Club is hosting a week -long Gul European and National Sailing Championships which began Sunday 20th August with the first two races.
With an entry of 85 boats, including 34 from overseas, this class has attracted top sailors since the 60’s and Lyme’s sailing waters are ideally suited to the two-man, three-sail Fireballs.
Courses have to be set well out to sea to ensure clear winds for fair competition. Saturday presented good winds and testing waves for the practice races, but Sunday began with light breezes and ended with reduced visibility and stronger winds changing direction as the seas picked up again necessitating adjustment to the course.
Principal race officer Peter Baldwin had to recall the fleet 6 times for race one, too many boats being over the line at the start, jostling for position with a tidal influence difficult to assess. 17 were disqualified. The wind was light south westerly with light drizzle. The visibility closed in, the wind backed to the south, with veteran Fireball helm David Sayce winning.
For the second race, the chastened fleet got away first time, the wind having swung back to the SW and strengthened to over 12 knots, visibility was further reduced. The winner of the practice race, Ian Dobson took line honours.