Irish Fireball Class celebrates!

Post date: Nov 29, 2013 1:15:47 PM

The Irish Fireball Class gathered in the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire last Friday, 22nd November, to celebrate the season just past and recognize those people who had excelled on the water or made significant contributions to the Class during the past season.Forty to fifty people were in attendance with a mix of the younger members of the fleet, some who are not so young and some who are no longer active but are still part of the Irish Fireball family. The hospitality of the National Yacht Club was of its usual high standard with a function room to ourselves and our own bar. An excellent buffet meal was served with desserts and tea/coffee served individually.

Five Fireball organized regattas are sailed during the Irish summer season and these five events are used to provide a season long competition for the entire fleet with points for overall places at each of the individual regattas counting towards the overall season long competition – The Travellers Trophy. The fleet is split into Gold and Silver sub-fleets. Additionally, the prize-giving is the occasion when five other awards are made – the India Trophy for the Most Improved, the Asterix Trophy for making a Significant Contribution, the Lady Helm’s Trophy, the Captain’s Prize and the Liam Bradley Memorial Trophy.

Travellers’ Trophy.

Newly elected Class Chairman, Ms. Marie Barry presented an overview of the season, recounting tales of tents being erected in howling winds and driving rain (Friday night at CLYC), of attempts to put up tents being abandoned in favour of sleeping in the bar (LRYC), of 40-knot gusts flattening the fleet and leaving a regatta with just one race (Killaloe), of an exceptionally enjoyable Nationals in Skerries, of the very enjoyable Europeans and Worlds regatta in Slovenia and having the biggest turnout for the last regatta of the season, the Leinsters, hosted in mid-October by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club.

Marie also acknowledged that we had new National Champions in the form of Kenny Rumball and David Moran who had won the title on countback from Noel Butler and Stephen Oram in Skerries. It was also acknowledged that while the fleet was smaller than in previous years, the level of competition was still very high, particularly at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regattas (9 boats) and the Nationals (15 boats).

ISA medals in the Gold and Silver fleets were awarded to the first, second and third placed helms and crews in accordance with the results table above.

Class Awards.

The India Trophy.

Awarded by the committee, this trophy recognizes the individual who has made the most progress in the season just completed. This year’s winner upgraded his boat during the close season and teamed up with a new crew for the 2013 season. As a combination, Gavin Doyle and Dave Sweeney sailed all five events of the Travellers’ Trophy, finishing second in Killaloe where there were only three finishers and discarding an 11th at the Munster Championships in Lough Ree Yacht Club (Athlone). This allowed them to finish 4th overall in the Travellers’ and earned Gavin Doyle the India Trophy.

The Asterix Trophy.

Again awarded at the discretion and discussion of the committee, the Asterix Trophy is awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Class. This year’s recipient has just stood down as Class Chairman after a two-year stint but during his two years in office he has also been very involved in his own club, DMYC, provided training to the Fireball Silver Fleet and gave of his time and effort to the ISAF Youth Worlds hosted in Dublin Bay and other international events that came this way.

This year the Asterix Trophy was awarded to Neil Colin.

Lady Helm’s Trophy.

This trophy is awarded to the leading lady helm in the Travellers’ Trophy competition at the end of the season. Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe also sailed all five regattas of the summer season and while they weren’t a finisher in Killaloe, they did start the single race that constituted that regatta. They finished seventh in the Travellers’ Trophy. Additionally, Louise & Hermine were very competitive in the Tuesday night racing under the auspices of Dublin Bay Sailing Club and showed a very clean transom to the rest of the Fireball fleet on more than one occasion.

This year’s Lady Helm’s Trophy goes to Louise McKenna.

Captain’s Prize.

The “Captain” in the title of this trophy is the Dun Laoghaire Class Captain and this award may be made at the sole discretion of the person who occupies this office. He or she may, of course, consult with the committee. The 2013 Dun Laoghaire Class Captain was Louise McKenna and in that capacity she awarded the trophy to Cormac Bradley for his reporting of all things Fireball (from an Irish perspective) to the websites Afloat.ie, Yachts & Yachting, our own Fireball Ireland website (courtesy of Stephen Oram) and the Fireball International website.

Liam Bradley Memorial Trophy.

Donated by Cormac Bradley, in memory of his father, this trophy is awarded at Cormac’s discretion. This year the trophy went to Kenneth Rumball and in awarding the trophy reference was made to Kenny’s contribution to the fleet by way of affording opportunities to the fleet to contest international regattas with his multi-stacker trailer which brought six boats to Bracciano (Italy) and back for the 2012 Europeans and repeated the feat with delivery and return of six boats to Slovenia for the 2013 Europeans and Worlds Regatta. This in a year when Kenny also won the 2013 Nationals after a number of years of trying and getting very close. It as noted that while many people race Fireballs in discretionary time, Kenny gave up time from his business to trek across Europe and back so that the rest of us could contest international regattas.