Fireballs to sail their World Champs in Mossel Bay

Mossel Bay will be the venue for one of sailing’s most exciting world championships when the international Fireball Class holds its most prestigious annual regatta here in December 2016.
The event is expected to draw between 60 and 80 boats from around the world. The Fireball is a 16-foot mono-hull sailing dinghy that’s sailed by a crew of two.

Mossel Bay will be the site of yet another World Championships when sailors from around the globe race for the title at the Fireball Worlds in 2016. IMAGE: Fireballs sailing at South Africa’s 2013 national championships. Pic courtesy Angela Caroline Gray.

Organiser Anthony Parker, of the George Lakes Yacht Club, said that the event can be expected to bring between 200 and 220 people into the town for the first two weeks of the month.

Competitors will be expected to bring their own boats, and Mr. Parker, said that the overseas sailors will club together to ship their dinghies into the country in containers, each of which is able to hold a number of the craft.

“We’re probably looking at one or two containers from Europe, two from the UK and Ireland, one from the USA and Canada, and one from Australia,” he said.

Mr. Parker said that the organisers have begun negotiating with local accommodation providers for rooms and rates, and for the use of conference and dining facilities for daily meetings, and for protests (the process whereby competitors lodge objections, if any, after each day’s racing).

The regatta is expected to run from the 4th to the 16th of the month. The racing will be based at the Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club (MBYBC).

Presentation in Wales
Mr. Parker said that the South African class association – Fireball South Africa – will host an evening during this year’s world championships, which will take place in Wales in August. “It’s anticipated that there will be an entry of around 160 boats at this year’s Worlds, so it’ll be a great opportunity to market the country to a large number of people who could be coming herein 2016,” he said.

According to the Fireball International web site, the Worlds are “open to all Fireball Sailors who want to attend… This allow sailors with all levels of experience to participate, enjoying both the tough racing on the water and the great social atmosphere on shore… Fireball [International] prides itself on taking the fleet to new and exciting destinations. We get to see and experience some very special places.”

“The Fireballs have a huge following, and this is going to be an excellent chance for us to showcase South Africa and Mossel Bay as a top sailing destination. We hope that our presentation will convince large numbers of the competitors to come here in 2016,” said Mr. Parker.

Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm called on members of the organisation to register their interest as service providers for the Fireball Worlds.

“The organisers would like as many competitors as possible to stay within walking distance of the Yacht Club, but they’ll also need to ferry people to various social events – including the gala dinner on the final evening,” she said.

She requested suppliers to mail their proposed rates and rooms availability for the first two weeks of December, 2016, to info@visitmosselbay.co.za.

More information:
Fireball International: www.fireball-international.com
Mossel Bay: www.visitmosselbay.co.za

All pics on this post courtesy Angela Gra