Shorham UK Open Meeting

1 August 2017

Firstly, NEVER, EVER, believe the weather forecast. I can't recall what it said - apart from rain, but the breeze we got wasn't predicted.

A select fleet of Fireballs joined the Merlins for the traditional pre-championship sea venue event over the weekend of 29/30 July. Saturday was light with marginal trapezeing conditions and so much murk we couldn't see the wind farm! Messrs Kyne showed significant speed in the conditions to post two bullets on day one, with Wally / Rob posting a pair of deuces.

Positions elsewhere were more variable. Yours truly posted 3,4 to lie 3rd overnight. More by luck than judgement, it must be said, 'cos the wisdom said head for the beach, get out of the tide and maybe find a lift. Nonsense. Rick went that way in race 1 and rounded the top mark last.

After race 2 the wind switched off, wandered around the compass for a bit, tried to come back, and generally gave our race officer - Alan Chaplin - a hard time. He very sensibly gave up and hoisted code N, to many cheers. Next task, try to sail home. Easier said than done...

Sunday dawned a completely different day. Sunshine and BREEZE! Much more than the forecast and great Fireball conditions. Rick and James found the go button to take the gun in race 3, with Wally again the bridesmaid. Peter and Tom took third.

Race 4 and the breeze was rising to a solid 5+. Peter and Tom took up their customary position at the head of the fleet, with Wally second - again. Yours truly rounded the top mark third, and watched gleefully as Wally went swimming. Rob suffered an injury so that was the end of their day. We're second – don't fall over! That's until a monster wave swept Jake off the side and I was at risk of strangulation by some random string. Fortunately, there was much carnage behind us and we recovered to keep our place. Isaac and Olly from Dovestone took third in this one, after which almost the entire fleet voted with their feet and ran for home.

So, at the end of two very different days, Peter and Tom Kyne won it with three bullets; Vince and Rob 2nd, and Rick and James 3rd. Special mention to Team Sidewinder for persevering in those conditions – well done guys. Excellent race management, as always, from Shoreham, and the galley and bar were also up to their usual standard. Those who chose not to go missed a great weekend.

Overall Results:


PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st   15124 Peter Kyne Tom Kyne Brightlingsea SC 1 1 ‑3 1 3
2nd Allen ‑ Gul 15120 Vince Horey Robert Gardner King George SC 2 2 2 (DNF) 6
3rd   15107 Richard Cornes James Goodfellow Hayling Island ‑5 3 1 4 8
4th Sijambo 14821 Nick Hurst Jake Elsbury Hayling Island 3 ‑4 4 2 9
5th   15143 Isaac Marsh Olly Davenport Dovestone SC 4 ‑5 5 3 12
6th Sidewinder 13656 Tony Goodwin Charlie Plows Rutland SC 6 6 (DNF) DNF 20
7th   14579 Martin Walker Tyler Harmsworth Shoreham (DNS) DNS 6 DNS 22