Firefly Open – Chipstead Sailing Club

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Home boats outnumbered visitors three to one at the Chipstead Firefly Open on Sunday 7 September. The previous day’s gales had abated to a friendly 10 knot westerly, which is the perfect direction for the lake as it gives a long shifty beat from the big end through the narrow bit, up to the clubhouse end.

Fireflies and Chipstead are good partners A well-set course produced three races which were tactically close and big holes in the breeze at the windward mark meant no lead was secure enough -- the windward mark rounding felt like an ocean race through the doldrums.

On some of the downwind legs, it seemed that the whole fleet were line-abreast again, and the best tactics sometimes meant gybing off like an asymmetric boat to find better wind. Upwind the Firefly felt like a Firefly again and the name of the game on the last lap was to cross the transit finish line in the right place.

In the third race, 50% of the fleet of 12 crossed the line within a minute. Well done Bob in the finish hut!

The next event on the Firefly Open calendar is the legendary ‘cream tea’ event at Upper Thames on September 13th and 14th.

The 2009 National Championship, the 63rd ‘Firefly Week’, will be held at Hamble River Sailing Club from August 15 to 21 next year.

Firefly - Leading overall positions

1st Verity Birch and Chris Guy, Castaways.
2nd Lucy Smith and Will Mason Tamesis.
3rd Rachel Crebbin and Lucy Boreham, Hamble River.
4th Alister Barker and Natalie Crolla (Chipstead SC)