McLeod and Thompson take it

Nick Thompson reports from the Fireball Midland Area Championship

Wednesday October 2nd 2002, Author: Nick Thompson, Location: United Kingdom
A fleet of twenty three Fireballs arrived at Staunton Harold on Sunday 22nd September for the Fireball Midland Area Championships.

The highly competitive fleet left the start line at the second attempt after an over eager first start. The conditions, clear blue skies and a fresh northerly force 3 enabled the fleet to enjoy close racing. Race 1 was won by Kevin Hope and Rob Gardner, followed by Grahame Newton and Mark Stevens who fought off Mark and Simon Maskell to take second and third respectively.

Race 2 saw the wind build to a gusty force 4. Jenny Mcleod and Nick Thompson rounded the windward mark in first place after a short, hectic first beat. After an hours racing Jenny Mcleod still held a sizeable lead over Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff who were followed in third by Kevin and Rob.

The fleet took to the water after a well earned lunch break in squally conditions for race 3. Grahame Newton and Mark Stevens took the early lead, followed by a number of boats all vying for contention. The downwind legs consisted of tight reaches and a number of gybe marks, which at times were rounded by boats six abreast. Jenny and Nick managed to sneak past Grahame and Mark on the last beat to take their second win. Dave and Richard took third.

With both the wind and the tension building race 4 finally started under the black flag at the fourth attempt. Kevin and Rob rounded first and pulled out a sizable lead, which they held to take their second win. Andy Foskett and Howard Jones followed in their wake until the gusty force 5 finally forced them to polish their centre board half way down a reach. Dave and Richard also sampled the water at a gybe mark, which allowed Jenny and Nick to take second place and therefore win the event. Simon Bird and Peter Robertson from Blithfield came home in third.

Overall Results.

1st 14738 Jenny Mcleod & Nick Thompson - Ogston - 4 Pts
2nd 14780 Kevin Hope & Rob Gardner - Notts County - 5 Pts
3rd 14771 Grahame Newton & Mark Stevens - Staunton Harold - 8 Pts
4th 14809 Dave Wade & Richard Wagstaff - Northampton - 10Pts
5th - 14801 - Andy Smith & Mike Smith - Notts County - 13Pts

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