Firefly Inland Championships 2016

Spinnaker Club Firefly Open Meeting 2016

36 Fireflies converged on Spinnaker Club at Blashford Lake, over the weekend of the 29th-30th October for the Spinnaker Firefly Open as part of the Firefly Inland Championships.

Hudson & Bowden dominant in a light winds regatta

The fleet was made up of sailors from clubs across the country stretching from North Wales to Falmouth. Light winds prevailed throughout the regatta which curtailed the schedule, allowing only 4 races of the scheduled 7 to be completed.

The fleet and race committee were ready for an 11 o’clock start on Saturday, but unfortunately the wind was not. Despite everyone’s eagerness to go sailing the wind failed to materialise and by 1415 race officer, Peter May, cancelled sailing for the day. This gave everyone chance to get ready for the evening social, which was a 70th Anniversary Dinner held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, which included the raffle for F4270 Platinum Pam; a brand new Rondar Firefly. In the end the Firefly was won by Nick Whelan of Budworth Sailing Club. Sunday dawned with light, fickle north easterly breezes and a few sore heads from the competitors who had thoroughly enjoyed the Anniversary Dinner, thankfully the 1130 start coupled with the extra hour from the clocks rolling back, meant that the full fleet were on the start line for the start of Race 1.

Race 1 eventually got away under U-Flag after two general recalls with the boats at the Committee Boat end getting the best starts. Rob & Mel Sherrington (Spinnaker) lead at Mark 1 closely followed by Fred Mainwaring & Jenn Bennett (Red Wharf) and Maria & Hermione Stanley (Itchenor) sailing their father’s newly and beautifully restored Mark 1 boat. The downwind leg from saw Ed Morris & Eleanor Assinder (Spinnaker) and Stuart Hudson & Amy Bowden (Spinnaker) use their local knowledge to gybe out early and avoid the wind shadows, thus sailing around the fleet and into first and second respectively. After 3 laps Stuart & Amy had reeled in Ed & Ellie to take the bullet. Ed & Ellie finished within 10 seconds of the leader and 5 seconds in front of Rob & Mel. Fred & Jenn had a comfortable 4th place with hot shot youth sailors Miles Jones and TX Finney, who train regularly at Spinnaker as part of the Winchester College Sailing Team, leading the chasing pack home in 5th place.

Race 2 saw the race committee quickly rearrange the course to reflect the shifting winds, and racing was quickly underway with the start away first time, under U Flag. Unfortunately, Ben Ainsworth & Isobel Walker (Itchenor) fell victim to the U Flag and had to sit out the race. Rob & Mel had the best start of the fleet by starting in the middle of line, away from the congestion at the committee boat, they were able to get into the pressure first and led the fleet around lap one. They were followed closely by Stuart & Amy and Ben Vines & his young daughter Annabelle (Imperial Poona YC). By the end of the third lap Stuart & Amy had done what seems to come so easily, and had taken the lead, and were rapidly running way with the title. Further behind them Rob & Mel held onto second with Ben & Annabelle taking third. Nigel Wakefield & Emily Saunderson (St Denys Sailing & Rowing) had now found their form and sailed a consistent race to finish 4th ahead of Angus Cook & Jane Hudson (North Devon YC) in 5th.

By Race 3 the wind had stabilised considerably which had allowed the race committee to set a much squarer line. The battle was now at the starboard end and predictably there was a hotly contested battle between many of the highly skilled team racers in the fleet. A starboard lay line tussle between Rob & Mel Sherrington and Hamish Walker & Toby Lewis (Royal Navy Sailing Association) lead to Hamish & Toby being called over under a U Flag start, and yet again Rob & Mel showed the fleet a master class in starting and powered away from the pack to lead at mark one. In the final lap Mel & Rob allowed the chasing pack of Stuart & Amy and Angus Cook & Jane Hudson to split from them up the final beat. This proved decisive, and by the finish Stuart & Amy had again regained the lead to take their third race win closely followed by Angus & Jane, with Rob & Mel holding off a late charge by Nigel Wakefield & Emily Saunderson. Will Henderson & Liz Teaque (Hayling Island) led home the pursuing fleet in 5th.With the Sailing Instructions prohibiting a start after the 1500, the race committee turned around the final race in double quick time. With no time for a recall, race officer Mike Greenland started under U Flag which unfortunately saw Angus Cook & Jane Hudson caught On Course Side, which meant their late surge up the leader board was cut short. Again, the battle at the start was for the pin end, which was won expertly by Roger Morris & son Finian (Papercourt) with a superbly judged the approach just below the Starboard lay line. Roger & Finian consolidated their start to lead the fleet around lap 1. They were closely followed by Stuart & Amy who again showed their utter dominance by comfortably taking the lead in lap 2 and accelerating away from the fleet to win the championship with a clean sweep of bullets! Roger & Finian finished the race in second ahead of the ever-consistent Nigel & Emily. Ben Ainsworth & Isobel Walker were 4th ahead of John Greenland & Katie Restall (Imperial Poona YC) sailing the beautifully restored Falken. A special mention should go to John who travelled from New York to compete in this championship!

Despite being unable to sail the final race Rob & Mel Sherrington had done enough to take second overall ahead of Nigel & Emily, whose consistency in the final three races had ensured a podium finish. Ben & Annabelle Vines were fourth overall; with Annabelle taking the Young Crew Title ahead of Finian Morris (9th Overall) and Sophie Smith (Papercourt) who was 14th overall sailing with her Dad and Class Chairman Ed Smith. The Ladies Trophy went to Maria & Hermione Stanley, who finished 15th Overall, and the Youth Trophy to Miles Jones & TX Finney representing Royal Dart, Spinnaker & Winchester College.

A prize giving was held after racing in the clubhouse and included a regatta tea, thanks should go to the event sponsors; Rooster Sailing & Balfour Beatty. Stuart Hudson thanked the club for an excellent and well run event.

Although this event marks the end of the Firefly fleet racing season, it signals the start of the team racing season, with spinnaker having a busy schedule which starts off with the random pairs Twisted Tube event on the 12th November. Competitors at the Firefly Inlands can enter the Twisted Tube at no extra cost.

Hosting large events for class associations is difficult and requires a great deal of help and effort Thanks should go to all the club members who gave up their time to make this event happen. They are Peter May, Charlie Stimpson, Anna McElwaine, Mike Robinson, Graham & Eleanor Assinder, Hywel Morris, Rosie & Tom Clay, Paul Havill, Mike Greenland, Dick Meredith, Hilary Wade, Nick Rogers, Jane Moxham, Fiona & Roger Walker, Paul Harris and Richard Page. Finally considerable thanks should go to the clubs staff, Tim, Jackie and Chloe, who worked hard before and during the event to ensure everything happen as it should!

Ed Morris

Team Racing Coordinator & Firefly Class Captain


Place Sail No Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Discard Points Remarks
1 3850 Stuart Hudson Amy Bowden Spinnaker Club & Royal Harwich Yacht Club 1 1 1 1 1 3
2 3617 Rob Sherrington Mel Sherrington Spinnaker Club 3 2 3 37 37 8
3 3674 Nigel Wakefield Emily Saunderson St Deny’s Sailing and Rowing Club 11 4 4 3 11 11
4 2144 Ben Vines Annabelle Vines Imperial Poona YC 6 3 9 7 9 16 First Youth Crew
5 784 Ed Morris Eleanor Assinder Spinnaker Club 2 9 7 8 9 17
6 2594 Ben Ainsworth Isobel Walker Itchenor Sailing Club 7 37 8 4 37 19
7 3695 Angus Cook Jane Hudson North Devon Yacht Club / Spinnaker Club 14 5 2 37 37 21 Tie Broken in Accordance with RRS A8
8 69 John Greenland Katie Restall Imperial Poona YC 15 6 10 5 15 21
9 3119 Roger Morris Finian Morris Papercourt Sailing Club 16 15 6 2 16 23 Second Youth Crew
10 2319 Will Henderson Mandy Henderson Itchenor Sailing Club 9 11 5 18 18 25
11 3095 Chris Guy Al Ewing Castaways Sailing Club 8 14 23 10 23 32
12 3671 Fred Mainwaring Jenn Bennett Red Wharf Bay Sailing & Watersports Club 4 13 16 17 17 33
13 333 Miles Jones TX Finney Royal Dart Yacht Club 5 21 20 9 21 34 Youth Champion
14 2803 Ed Smith Sophie Smith Papercourt Sailing Club 13 12 11 37 37 36 Third Youth Crew
15 8 Maria Stanley Hermione Stanley Itchenor Sailing Club 10 18 12 15 18 37 Ladies Champion
16 3892 Rob Henderson Liz Teaque Hayling Island Sailing Club 12 22 14 12 22 38
17 3318 Guy Davison Jonquil Hachenburg Llangorse Sailing Club 17 10 15 15 17 40
18 6 Albert Wigmore Jeremie Joannes Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club 4 8 32 37 37 44
19 2282 Hamish Walker Toby Lewis Royal Naval Sailing Association 37 7 37 6 37 50
20 3784 Tom Clay Mathew Mason Spinnaker Club 27 20 21 11 27 52
21 4000 Will Mason Polly Mason Papercourt 29 27 13 13 29 53
22 4125 James Nicoll Joe Scarborough West Oxfordshire Sailing Club 25 17 18 20 25 55
23 3023 Barney Smith Alannah Witherby Hamble River Sailing Club 20 30 19 19 30 58
24 3920 Mike Steele Debs Steele St Edmondsbury Sailing & Canoeing 37 24 22 14 37 60
25 BU3 Anthony Parke Matt Green Bournemouth University Sailing Club 28 28 17 16 28 61
26 3739 Lucy Boreham Rachel Brebbin Chichester Yacht Club 19 23 24 37 37 66
27 3550 David Sincock Hayley Goacher Restronguet Sailing Club 23 19 26 37 37 68
28 3009 Ben Nicoll Hannah Jennings West Oxfordshire Sailing Club 26 25 25 21 26 71
29 3072 Damian Boreham Alice Gardner Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club 21 16 37 37 37 74
30 3893 Anna Kennedy James Kennedy Keyhaven Yacht Club 24 24 28 37 37 76
31 1943 Stephen Fry Charlotte Fry Netley Sailing Club 32 31 30 22 32 83
32 1522 Ben Green Fi Edwards Lymington Town Sailing Club 31 26 27 37 37 84
33 3120 Jonathon Howe Mark Jennings West Oxfordshire Sailing Club 37 32 31 23 37 86
34 3005 Joe Llewllyn Daniel Llewellyn Spinnaker Club 18 37 37 37 37 92
35 3615 Jamie McEwen Angus McEwen Papercourt Sailing Club 22 37 37 37 37 96
36 1 Matthew Jones Amy Parkes University of Birmingham Sailing Club 37 33 29 37 37 99



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