This year the annual South Staffs Firefly Open was following on from last years success in having a maximum entry of 12 boats, utilising the club team racing fleet.
The structure was multiple quick fire races no more than 10 minutes long, 6 boats in two fleets, gold and silver. Once each fleet had raced one race the bottom 2 from gold were relegated to the silver fleet and top 2 from silver promoted to the gold.
The fast paced high volume race series means there is no way I can recall each race, there was numerous turns, bumps, a little shouting and plenty of laughs highlighting the laid back good spirited racing everyone enjoyed. A special mention to James Croxford for running such quick and tight races allowing for a 9 races to be held in a one day open, pretty impressive.
Most importantly the fleet had a blend of youth, experience and expertise with particular praise coming in to our junior section which had a number of crews and helms competing and giving those experts a run for their money.
Overall Jamie Webb and Chloe Macaulay showed the fleet how to do it, never looking like they would finish outside the top couple in each race, an excellent performance which certainly sets the bar higher for next year. Mike Senior and Ollie Hateley were also very consistent showing their limited Firefly experience was not too much of a problem, especially after Ollie had words with Mike on his starting. (So called World champion)!
Third place overall went to Ross Kearney and Laura Burch on countback from Keith Macaulay and Claire Waymont, a special mention for Laura for reminding Ross to wear his imaginary glasses in the last couple of races which seemed to help him avoid the previously common bumps and subsequent penalties turns.
All in all a very enjoyable fun day was had by all, the quick tight races really kept everyone on their toes and is certainly something we have discussed at the club we will be doing more of to help sharpen our skills. A big thank you to Keith for driving the class within the club and making a big effort to get everyone involved, also to safety crews, Galley team and Race Officer James.
Here’s to next year.