Update for the Fireball Nationals

Vyv Townend outlines what is in store for all competitors this August.

Wednesday April 9th 2003, Author: Vyv Townend, Location: United Kingdom
Typhoon Fireball Nationals 2003, Paignton Sailing Club – 2nd to 9th August 2003

Last years Typhoon Fireball National Championships were an unqualified success with 68 entries making them the most highly attended Nationals amongst the high performance trapeze dinghies, beating even the Laser 4000s and the RS800s.

The popularity of the Class, particularly after the successful Worlds in Kenya, continues to grow and it is anticipated that this year’s championships, to be hosted by Paignton Sailing Club over the week of 2nd to 9th August, should attract in excess of 70 boats.

Although the event will reveal the 2003 National Champion, many people who attend do so in the knowledge that they stand little chance of winning the event – they are just there to have fun. The Class Association therefore makes sure that the championships are as inclusive as possible by ensuring that the focus is just as much on those further down the fleet as it is on the hotshots fighting it out at the front.

Overall results will be split into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets so that even those further down the fleet have something to race for. Once again the class will be running the buddy system which has proved so successful at last two nationals under which each boat at the front of the fleet is “buddied up” with a boat at the back. The cumulative scores of each buddy pairing go towards the overall buddy prize, but the most popular aspect of the system has been the way that helps newcomers feel welcome and make friends in the class. It is also an excellent way to learn from the guys as the top. It is not everyday that you get the opportunity to learn from a World, European or National Champion. This year sees a new initiative - the Classic Boat fleet – to give those with older boats more to race for.

Typhoon have also presented a new perpetual trophy – the Typhoon Perseverance Trophy - which is to be awarded to the lowest placed boat to complete all races. For the trophy, they have commissioned the National Glass Centre to create a unique cut glass representation of a Fireball. In addition, Typhoon are once again donating some great prizes including the latest Typhoon Ultra one-piece wetsuits and Typhoon Alpha drytops. These are to be distributed throughout the fleet, so there is a chance of winning a Typhoon goodie even towards the back of the fleet.

Paignton itself is one of the premier sailing venues in the UK. The dinghy park is located on the grassy esplanade and there is safe easy launching off the beach under the protection of the harbour wall. The racing is no longer of the one race a day three hour hard slog variety. The schedule is for two short races a day which provides closer and more exciting sailing.

Torbay styles itself as the English Riviera and as a prime holiday destination close to some of the best beaches in the country, this is a venue which is just as popular with the non-sailor. There is a lay day midweek to allow the sailor time off to explore the local area or spend some time on the beach with the family.

Add the usual range of social events and you have a recipe for an event that caters for everybody both on and off the water.

For more details of the event or the Class, including the Classic Fireball, visit the Class website ( www.fireball-dinghy.org.uk) or contact the Class Secretary, Bob Southworth, on 02380 456977.

Details of the plentiful accommodation can be obtained from Paignton Tourist Information Centre 0906 680 1268 (25p/min) or www.TheEnglishRiviera.co.uk.

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