With the Fireball class returning to Howth this Summer for the first time in many years for their Leinster Championships a few of the Irish fleet are preparing for the World Championships at the end of April.
The class has a reputation for visiting fairly exotic locations for it's championships and this year is no exception with about 75 boats representing 15 countries expected to travel to Bridgetown in Barbados for two weeks of competition between April 26th and May 7th.
As always the Irish fleet is well represented with 6 boats being loaded into the container for the trip to the Caribbean including that of Francis Rowan, 2009 European Bronze medallist, this year being helmed by HYC member Neil Spain who is usually seen at the helm of ICRA Boat of the Year, John Murphy and Richard Colwell's Corby 25 Kinetic.
Although numbers will be down slightly compared to the 100+ boats at last year's event in La Rochelle all the top names will be attending including Chips Howarth and Vyv Townsend of Great Britain, who get an all expenses paid trip to the event as defending champions.
Perfect sailing conditions are expected, with the Easterly trade winds providing an almost constant 12-16 knots of breeze every day. Two weeks of competition will include an eight race warm up series followed by the World Championship regatta itself, which comprises of ten races.
Check out the regatta website at www.fireball-worlds.com or for those interested in learning more about the class in general and the 2011 Worlds which are being held in Sligo check out the Irish Class website at www.fireball-international.com/ireland