HYC's Neil Spain wins Fireball Munsters in tight finish
Author: Joseph O'Reilly Posted on: 21/10/04 Print Version

Neil Spain and Phil Lawton won the Fireball Munster Championships in a 37 boat fleet on Lough Derg hosted by UL Activity Centre. The event the final in the Fireball calendar went down to the wire with 3 boats on equal points going into the final race. Noel & Hugh Butler finished second overall ahead of Will Moody and Stephen Gill.

14713 is Neil Spain & Phil Lawton. Francis Rowan has just dropped out of his boat, but is still attached to the trapeze.

Locals Richard Fox and Ed Lowe seemed to have "out foxed" the fleet in race 1 when they popped out in front of the early leaders as the light winds swung right on the second beat but their glory was short lived as Mike Creighton and Peter Levins pulled through to take the first bullet ahead of Butler and Spain. Race 2 provided more mixed fortunes as Butler threw away the lead by heading to the wrong mark on the trapizod course and a number of the top finishers finding themselves OCSed. In the end it was Justin Maguire and Francis Rowan who took first ahead of David Field and Emmet Deveraux with Neil Colin and Margaret Casey third. Race 3 saw Michael Murphy & Cormac Bradley showing well as in race two but this time without the assistance of an early start taking first ahead of Creighton and Butler.

As the fleet retired to the luxurious surrounding of the Killaloe Holiday village for the Class AGM, Creighton held the overnight lead on count back ahead of Butler and Spain with all three boats on 13 points.
In medium breezes Race 4 got off with most boats incorrectly opting for the right of the course following the previous days pattern. This gave Moody who opted for the left a significant lead which he held to the end followed home by Damien Bracken & Brian O'Hara ahead of Maguire. Moody was unable to repeat the performance in Race 5 as Spain got in to take the bullet. Meanwhile Creighton moved back into contention taking third leaving Spain, Moody and Creighton co incidentally again on 13 points after discard going into the final race with Maguire and Butler 1 and 2 points behind.

The final race saw Moody & Maguire trailing after a pin end tussle allowing Butler to lead at the windward mark. But with so many boats to cover Spain was able to slip through on the second beat, which he held to take the title. Butlers' second ahead of Alistair Court & John Dunne gave them second overall with Moody's sixth enough for third overall as Maguire and Creighton trailed home.

In the Gold 2 Fleet Colm Breen and Sarah Donaghy held a comfortable lead with 3 top ten results to take first. New comer Seamus Moore teamed up with Leo Bishops for the event took second one point ahead of retiring class captain Ian O'Gorman and re-elected class Chairman Stephen Oram.

Clontarf based Donal Gallagher & Hugh Johnson sailing Liquid Assets took first in the Silver Fleet ahead of Cariosa Power & Fiona Ryder in second with locals Susie Coote & Mick Campion third. To encourage older wooden boats the local club donated a new Perpetual Classic Boat trophy to the fleet which was presented to the second oldest boat sailed by Kate Griffith & M Dillon.

Overall - Gold Fleet
1.N Spain & P LawtonHYC
2.N Butler & H ButlerDMYC
3.W Moody & S Gill DMYC
Gold 2 Fleet
1.C Breen & S DonaghyRIYC
2.S Moore & L BishopSSC/DMYC
3.I O'Gorman & S OramDMYC
Silver Fleet
1.D Gallagher H JohnsonCYBC
2.C Power F RyderDMYC/ULSSC
3.S Coote M CampionULSSC

Full results on