HISC Fireball Sailing - Review
HISC was one of the first clubs to adopt the Fireball after its launch in 1962 and has the distinction of hosting the first-ever Fireball race when four boats competed in the club’s 1962 regatta. Club members, notably Bill Kempner, were a driving force behind development of the class and a startling growth in sail numbers seen during the 1960s and 1970s. Many members have won national and international Fireball titles.
Current boats look little different outwardly to those built in 1962 (compare one to HISC-based Fireball 2 owned by Chris Mantal) but are vastly different in terms of construction materials and performance. Modern Fireballs are invariably built in FRP, carry close to maximum correctors and, importantly, are ‘wide bowed’ and have flatter rocker to promote early planing. Rig options mean that the Fireball can be sailed by men and women irrespective of size and weight.
Further information may be found on the UK Fireball Association web site http://www.fireballsailing.org.uk and the Fireball International site http://www.fireball-international.com
The present day HISC fleet is smaller than that of yesteryear but is enjoying a resurgence and growing strongly. Fleet members tend to prioritise Pennant Weekends, Sunday racing and one-off events such as pursuit races. Several boats will attend the Nationals and many are planning to sail in the 2015 Worlds which are returning to the UK for the first time since 2005.
If you are interested in joining the fleet either as a boat owner or as a crew looking to ‘hook up’ occasionally please get in touch. The fleet has its own Facebook Page ‘Hayling Island Fireballs’ or alternatively contact Chris Turner (Fireball 15111) via contact details that may be found in the club handbook.