Great Balls of Fire! Fireball Sailing Competition Sets Sail in Barbados

Great Balls of Fire! Fireball Sailing Competition Sets Sail in Barbados

Barbados is host to the Fireball International, an exciting, high-speed competition of slick 16-foot dinghys with enormous sails designed to really move. The race begins today and runs for two weeks in Carlisle Bay at the Barbados Yacht Club. Seventy contestants from 15 countries from the US to Russia have entered. I stopped by Carlisle Bay yesterday for the uncrating and official measuring of the boats.

Barbados Fireball International

Getting ready for the competition, fireball boats were uncrated at Carlisle Bay yesterday.

An International Fireball is a two person, three sail-monohull sailing fiberglass (or wood) dinghy, with a single trapeze.  It’s suitable for competitive racing from club to world championship level.

Polishing a fireball sailboat in Barbados

Polishing the boat. Fireballs are stable enough for the novice and exciting and challenging enough for experienced sailors.

The annual competition keeps its devotees on the go: last year’s was in France and next year it’s in Ireland. Competition sites can vary because the boat is good for both inland water and the sea. It planes at the drop of a hat and is intended to sail best at an angle of about three degrees.  It’s really fast. One site said it is as fast as a sailing surfboard frightened by an American scow.

It’s social, too; among many special dinners and events, the competitors and their families have been invited to Prime Minister David Thompson’s home.

Fireball International takes place in Barbados in April 2010

Barbados Yacht Club is the hub of the Fireball International action.

The International Fireball is the highest-performance dinghy that can sail in any wind strength, on any style of race course, on virtually any stretch of water. It’s fast and it’s exciting.  But don’t take my word for it … check out this two-minute clip.



3 Responses to “Great Balls of Fire! Fireball Sailing Competition Sets Sail in Barbados”

  1. Greg says:

    Wow.. that’s an exhilarating clip. i think you have to be certified crazy to go on one of those.

  2. Monica says:

    Great, good sailing

  3. i am into sailing and i am also a diy fiberglass sailing boat enthusiasts for 5 years now. i really love sailing.~*;

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