Firefly Open Meeting – Report on the event by Chris Kameen.

5-7 knots at Costa del West Kirby for the Firefly Open

As the tide moved up the river, the Firefly fleet basked in the sun ashore on the slip waiting for the seabreeze to fill in. Race Officer Paul Jenkins kept the young fleet (more than half the sailors were under 16) ashore and timed our release down the river to the start line to perfection. Starting just before high tide, we got two great races in with place changes throughout. Chris Kameen and Olivia Nixon winning both races pipping Marian Armstrong and James Bromilow in the first and Any McKee and Oliver McKee in the second. Place changes were regular as the tide created great bunching on the downwind legs.

The fleet came ashore for a leisurely lunch and liquid refreshments before heading out on to the marine Lake for two more back to back races. With a competitive fleet of 12 boats the short startline off the lake wall made for a tricky first beat in both races, but there were enough little shifts to allow Chris and Olivia to edge their way to the front by the first mark in each race which they held on to to seal the overall victory. The fight for all the other places was very tight with the McKees, Marian, Jon Hayley and David Bromilow and James Colquitt and Hollie Marston changing places regularly. Thrown into the mix was the emergence of Mike Hartley in a Firefly – an outing he thoroughly enjoyed despite being a bit bigger than the last time he sailed one! It was also great to see friends from Budworth and Platinum Pam which was won in the NFA raffle last year by Nick Whelan. It was Nick’s first sail on the sea in a Firefly for a good few years – I think he said mid 80’s!. It is the Budworth open meeting next weekend so let’s hope they have as good weather and entries.

A massive congratulations also to James Colquitt – a well deserved winner of the U21’s Mal Jone Rudder

The event was capped off with a barbeque to finish .. a great weekend was had by all.

As a final footnote, even for a small event like this – the event was well supported by volunteers and staff at the club for which we are hugely grateful, but for me particular effort was shown by the incoming class captain. Jon Hayley, single handedly has more than doubled the local fleet by ringing round and sorting crews from the Optimist and Cadet fleets. His enthusiasm is infectious and I love that the firefly is a class actively making the link between adult classes and juniors and their parents. As a fleet we’ve got a few spare boats that we are keen to get sailing on a Tuesday night.. If you want to sail – let us know with enough warning and we’ll make it happen!

Final results: