Change of Course for Fireball?

Post date: Jan 03, 2015 10:7:2 AM

The Fireball Worlds returns to its spiritual home of the United Kingdom in 2015 with an August regatta in Pwllheli, Wales. A two week event will see an International Week precede the Worlds and at this early stage there are expectations of visitors from South Africa, Australia, America, Ireland, continental Europe and of course a substantial home attendance.International regattas are inclined to be a focal point for speculation as to where the fleet is going and there will be lots of discussion simply by way of a concentration of Fireballers being at the venue.

Course configurations are an ever present aspect of competitive sailing and we have come a long way from the marathon Olympic courses that used to be the staple fare of these regattas.

At the UK Nationals in 2014, the Class initiated a Survey Monkey poll of participants on a number of issues to do with course types, configurations and the number of races to be sailed in a day. With the permission of Jez White, UKFA Class Chairman and Messrs Richard Anderton and Tim Saunders who developed the survey questions, the results of the poll are represented here in a slightly different format. Given that the Worlds are coming back to the UK in 2015, a wider publication of the results of the survey might have merit as people contemplate 2 weeks in Wales in August.

At the UK Nationals two course types were sailed – triangle-sausage triangle, and sausage-triangle- sausage. My recall is that the fleet size was 43 boats and the survey statistics were as follows;

Boat responses 41

Helm responses 33

Crew responses 20

% based on 53 responses and rounded up or down to nearest whole percentage.

As to be expected, the feedback on the eight questions was varied.

The survey is not meant to be an official pointer of any sort, but does mean to take advantage of a pertinent survey of Fireballers. While the UK fleet would expect to be the largest domestic Fireball fleets across the globe, the questions they have posed in their survey are pertinent to the entire Fireball community, if not even further afield.

A World Championship is a significant step-up from a Nationals, but the idea of mixing course types or varying the declared number of races to be sailed in any one day might introduce more flexibility and therefore attraction into a regatta that requires leave to be taken, travel to be planned, family time to be organised and budgets to be set.