2018 Worlds France

GUL Fireball Worlds 2018, Carnac FRA, 25th to 31st August


Worlds Results |  Week Results

Photos and videos @ YC carnac


Photo gallery by Urs Haerdi

Thanks to Urs Haerdi for photographing the 2018 Fireball Worlds. We hope you enjoy the content and we trust it will serve as a reminder of the wonderful regatta held in Carnac FRA.
If you require larger images for printing please contact the photographer and he will gladly provide you with high resolution images for printing: 
Urs Haerdi
Website: http://www.vet-sailing.ch
Email: urs.kueblis@bluewin.ch
Please respect copy rigths.



The Gul sponsored Fireball Championship is being held in the bay of Quiberon sailing out of Yacht Club de Carnac. The 101 teams competing are making the boat park very busy...


Fireball World Champions 2018: Matt Burge and Dan Schieber (GBR)

Burge-Schieber GBR


Day 1 (Sunday)

by Dave Hall (GBR)

With 20+ knots for the first day it was spectacular sailing and racing for the fleet and certainly started the event with a bang. Some loved it and there were some who at the end of the day looked a little tired.

Racing started with an unfamiliar start line, the committee boat in the middle with a line either side.

In race one most boats decided that the starboard line was favoured making it very crowded and the inevitable recall. It was followed by a black flag which got the fleet away. Ian Dobson & Richard Wagstaff had a narrow lead at the start but after a bit of pole trouble allowed Tom Gillard & Geoff Edwards to snatch the lead having steadily moving through the fleet. They were followed in by Matt Burge & Dan Schieber.

Race two took some time to get away, the start line once again proved a challenge and it took several black flag starts to get the 101 boats started. There were many casualties -some names that you would expect to see in the top results. Penny & Russ Clarke stormed out to the right with Ian & Richard following along with Dave Hall & Paul Constable.

Penny & Russ lead all the way round opening up quite a gap. Ian & Richard followed in second with Matt & Dan once again third. Tom & Geoff after a medico start had worked their way through the fleet but a hasty last gybe while trying to take Dave Wade & Richard Pepperdine put them in the drink.

Racing ended just as the real storm filled in along with the rain.

Overnight leaders are Ian & Richard with Penny & Russ in second. Two more races are planned for Monday with much lighter winds forecast and hopefully some sun.

The day was followed by the opening ceremony and prize draw for Gul vouchers.

see full report@ Yachts&Yachting


Day 2 (Monday)

by Nick Rees GBR

The forecast for Day 2 of the Fireball Worlds wasn't promising, with some predicting a 5 knot drifting day. However, the weather gods were far more accommodating with 10-15 knot westerlies and cloudless skies during the racing making for a glorious day of champagne sailing with virtually all the 101 boat fleet completing both races.

Overnight the race committee had discussed with competitors the two-line start they had used on the first day and decided, on reflection, to revert to a more conventional start with one line and boats at both ends of the line. However, despite the line being quite fair it wouldn't be a Fireball World Championship without a number of general recalls, and these duly occurred and once the black flag was out the fleet settled down and got a clean start at the second attempt, with the Irish team of Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella, and Pete Badham and Steven Digby from Dracote Water falling victim to the black flag.

The first beat featured a right shift which left some names stranded on the left, but the leaders at the first mark were second race winners Penny and Russ Clarke showing that they had good speed at the lighter end of the wind range as well. They held the lead throughout, with ever consistent Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff second and Matt Burge and Daniel Schieber filling out the podium.

By the time of the second race the wind had built to a steady 15 knots with limited movement. The fleet got away at the second start without any black flag victims, and the beat was fairly even except the extreme right didn't seem to work. Ian and Waggers finally got their bow around the first mark in the lead and went on to hold the top spot from then on. Penny and Russ were second until the end of the final run when Matt and Daniel just managed to pass them for a close second. Tom Gillard and Geoff Edwards finished fourth for the second time in the day.

 So, after two days the championship seems to have settled down with the top four boats, all from the UK, sharing the top four places in every race, except for race two when Tom and Geoff tried to take fourth on the last gybe and ended up inspecting their centreboard instead. The reaches have been set at an ideal angle for Fireballs, with the first being slightly broader than the second. Another consistent feature is that going high and trapezing on the run is faster to in the short swells of Baie de Quiberon - heading straight down in traditional symmetric fashion leads to occasional bow burying and it is difficult to go faster than the waves.

see full report @ Yachts&Yachting


Day 3 (Tuesday)

by Chris Payne AUS 

After brilliant sailing on the first two days, finally the wind machine was turned off. The PRO showed excellent judgement to keep the fleet on shore for an extra hour, but the hint of a breeze appeared and the fleet was sent out.

On arrival at the start line the wind stopped to keep the fleet under postponement. After another short delay a 5 knot wind appeared and put the race management into gear. With a slight tide against the fleet, the race got away with no general recalls. In the difficult conditions the fleet split across the whole course causing a wide separation throughout the 100+ boats. The current top four boats were also spread across the course with Ian Dobson & Richard Wagstaff (GBR) and current world champion Tom Gillard & Geoff Edwards (GBR) going right while Penny Clark & Russell Clark(GBR) and Matt Burge & Daniel Schieber(GBR) went left. The left just paid with Matt/ Daniel just scraping around in front.

Johana Napravnikova Koranova Johanka & Jakub Napravnik(CZE) rounded second wth Fireball International Commodore Christina Haerdi & Cedric Landerer (SUI) and Alois Verkest & Jean Robillard (FRA) hot on their heels. Penny & Russell were also in the top bunch with Ian & Richard and Tom & Geoff a little further back. Two difficult reaches saw little mixing, but allowed ex European Champion Claude Mermot & Reudi Moser (SUI) move into the top few followed by Heather Macfarlane & Chris Payne (AUS).

The race was shortened at the next top mark with Matt & Daniel still maintaining their lead from Johanka & Jakub and Alois & Jean third. Interesting to note that four female skippers from four different countries finished in the top seven, showing the diversity of the class at the top level.

The PRO again showed good judgement to not try for a second race and the fleet headed for the club for an excellent social night with fantastic local crepes. The social event also included presentations for the upcoming worlds in Montreal (CAN) 2019 and Howth (IRE) 2020, and Europeans in Czech Republic in 2019. With the look of these events, followed by Worlds in Geelong, Australia in 2022, show that the future is very bright for the Fireball class.

At the half way mark the leaderboard is still very close with the top three boats within two points after one drop and all still to play for.

see full report @ Yachts&Yachting


Wednesday was lay day. No racing.


Day 4 (Thursday)

by Dan Vincent GBR

The International Fireball fleet got down to the boat park after their lay day cearly this morning in preparation for a 3 race day. However, they were greeted by a fickle offshore breeze and a pessimistic forecast that caused many a Gallic shrug. But the sun shone and the temperature rose so much that even Geoff Edwards took off his puffa jacket. The breeze flicked to the west, strengthened and the fleet were released. The first race started after the obligatory 3 attempts and six boats (including your author) in the black flag sin bin, although all the big names escaped censure. It did at least give us a chance to spectate an interesting race, dominated by Tom Gillard and Geoff Edwards, but with most of the contenders relegated to mid-fleet by an almighty shift on the first beat. That did give a few unfamiliar faces the chance to shine and Frederic Le Bas and Ludovic Collin (FRA 15053) wore the biggest smiles after hanging on to well 2nd place. Race 2, and by now the wind was blowing F4 and Fireballs were raking their rigs and stretching their legs. Gillard and Edwards won again closely pursued Dobson and Wagstaff and Penny and Russ Clark. Dave Sayce and Nick Rees had their best race so far with a 4th. The final race and whitecaps were present and correct across the bay. Penny and Russ shot out of the start and into the lead, harried by Dobson and Wagstaff, but their bid for the lead was halted by a kite-up capsize and subsequent tangle at the gybe mark. Burge and Schieber chipped away (probably, I was far too far back to see) and wrested the lead from the pacey Clark’s, to go on to win. These results puts the Burge and Schieber boat into pole position leading into the last day, but assuming we sail tomorrow (and the forecast isn’t good) and get a second discard then it all tightens up with Burge, Clark and Gillard all within a few points of each other. Bring it on.


Day 5 - final day (Friday)

by Russ Clark GBR.

Mathematically, any one of the top 4 boats could have won the overall title on the final day of the 2018 Gul Fireball World Championships in Carnac.

A weak forecast with clear skies and a glass calm sea meant there was a tense wait ashore before the fleet was finally released into a light southerly breeze. On arrival at the race area it was obvious they were going to wait some more as the unstable breeze hovered around 3-5kts.  As time ticked there was only going to be time for one race, bringing in the crucial second discard for many and leaving a podium shootout for only the top 3.

Patiently the race officer waited and as soon as the reliable westerly sea breeze arrived at a steady 8kts a course was set and the sequence was underway.

Remarkably the fleet started at the first attempt under the U flag for the first time this week, however there was one major casualty in the battle for the podium positions with Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff classified UFD.  Sadly they found out as they crossed the finish line in first place.

Behind them the title fight was well underway. Tom Gillard and Geoff Edwards, lying third overall, were buried off the start line leaving Matt Burge and Dan Schieber free to match race class newcomers Penny and Russ Clark for the title.  Neither boat had a second discard worse than 6th so provided Matt and Dan kept Penny and Russ behind them the title was theirs.  As the two boats crossed for the first time up the beat, Matt and Dan were ahead by 3 lengths. A tacking duel ensued all the way to the top mark with Matt and Dan staying far enough ahead of Penny and Russ so that the latter pair were left fighting to stay in the top 10.

The lighter winds brought some familiar faces into the top ten and Race 9 was won by the experienced Australian duo of Heather Macfarlane and Chris Payne to round off their summer in Europe in style.  David Sayce and Nick Rees finished second with Martyn Lewis 3rd.

Overall, from a truly international fleet of 101 boats, Matt Burge and Dan Schieber are the deserving winners of the 2018 Gul Fireball World Championships, winning by 3 points from Penny and Russ with Tom and Geoff finishing off the podium in 3rd. 4 nations completed the top 10.

During the prize giving thanks were given to the 45 volunteers from YC de Carnac, the international jury and the Race Officer for making the Gul 2018 Fireball World Championships a superb event.  The bay of Quiberon proved to be a great venue with some fantastic racing in a range of conditions from 5 to 25kts. What more could you ask for? 



      2nd: Russ Clark/Penny Clark      1st: Dan Schieber/Mat Burge and son        3rd: Geoff Edwards/Tom Gillard


Overall results:

 1st 17pts GBR15123 Matt Burge & Dan Schieber

 2nd 20pts GBR15096 Penny & Russ Clark

 3rd 30pts GBR15127 Tom Gillard & Geoff Edwards


  4th 41pts GBR15141 Ian Dobson & Richard Wagstaff

  5th 61pts GBR15122 Dave Hall & Paul Constable

  6th 63pts GBR15112 David Sayce & Nick Rees

  7th 65pts CZE15131 Milan Cap & Filip Prochazka 

  8th 70pts SUI14799 Claude Mermod & Ruedi Moser

  9th 71pts GBR15143 David Wade & Richard Pepperdine

10th 83pts IRL15114 Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella

full results