Lyme Regis Sailing Club is the host for the 2017 Fireball Europeans and National Championships. Taking place from the 18th – 25th August with over 60 entrants registered including Team Allen sailors, its set to be an exciting event. The UK sailing hardware manufacture, Allen Brothers, is supporting the event as well as several Team Allen athletes attending.
10 races are scheduled to take place, spread out from Sunday to Friday with a Lay day on the Wednesday. Plenty of time to recover from the booze fuelled fun that will be had during the live band or disco on Tuesday night and of course the 3 days of sailing beforehand. The Club has hosted both events before, first in 1980 when the Fireball Europeans took place and then again in 1990 for the UK Nationals.
Liz Adams managing director of event sponsor, Allen Brothers, said “The Fireball Fleet is known for its close, tactical and fun racing and we are pleased to be able to offer our support for this event and we will continue to deliver high performance sailing hardware to the class by working with our Team Allen sailors. Developing and progressing sailing hardware will only continue to push the sport forward and help keep the class at the foremost of exciting racing.”
Team Allen’s, Tom Gillard is looking like the favourite to take home the title after winning 6 of the 9 Fireball events in 2016 including the World and National Championships, he has won the Worlds 4 times now, although he will be sailing with a different crew to last year as Richard Anderton is suffering from a knee injury. When asked about the event Tom had this to say “2017 has been a great year so far. I’ve recently won the Streaker Nationals and I’m hoping to get the Fireball Europeans under my belt as well. Having the championships in the UK is great for the class and it’s awesome to know that I’m not the only one that will have the support of Allen Brothers.”
Chris Birrell, Team Allen’s other sponsored Fireball helmsman, Placed 2nd in the 2016 National Champs at Hayling Island and 3rd at the 2015 Worlds. He is quietly hoping to take the top spot this time around “The nationals always offers great racing and combining it with the Euro’s will make this event even more exciting and give even closer racing for the fireball fleet”.
The Fireball was designed in 1961 by Peter Mine, with the help of the Norris Brothers, in a cold Sussex Barn. The Fireball was originally sailed without a trapeze or spinnaker. The trapeze was first introduced in 1965 followed a few years later in 1969 with the spinnaker.
British sailing hardware manufacturer, Allen Brothers, is continuing to supply high performance sailing gear to this internationally renowned class and will carry on its quest for development and improvement by working with some of the best sailors the class has to offer.