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Firefly 4000 Draw results!

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Former National Firefly Association chairman and long-time Firefly sailor Will Mason has won a brand new Firefly in the end of season prizedraw on Saturday evening.

A loud cheer went up in the pub on Saturday evening as Will’s ticket was pulled out of the bucket by Olympic sailor and longstanding Firefly sailor Steve Mitchell.  Will, who has owned Border Reiver (2282) for almost ten years and has sailed fireflies for about 15 years, will now receive F4000 Rondar complete with spars and sails, a pretty fantastic prize just for taking part in an open. The winning ticket came from the Upper Thames open in September, part of the M25 series that Mason also won.

“It won’t change me,” quipped Will grandly, adding that he has never won a raffle before.

Winning F4000 contrasts starkly with the story behind 2282 — he bought her in 2000 for just £50. She is one of the many wooden Mark ones in the fleet. “I’m delighted although it hasn’t really sunk in yet. One thing’s for sure though, watch out for F4000 on the water next season,” he said.

The raffle ran all year with each sailor (including helm and crew) receiving a ticket for every open they entered in the busy 2010 calendar. Over 700 tickets were included in the nail-biting draw at the end-of-season party in London on Saturday evening. The event started with 20 tickets drawn by Mitchell. Each won a T shirt promoting the Nationals at Tenby next August, and as the first person present to have their ticket drawn Will also walked away with a signed top from Mitchell and Iain Percy’s 2004 Olympic campaign.

All 20 then stood the chance to win — contenders included Julia Morley, who only started sailing this season, and London student Martin Hague. Becs Marriot, Alistair Norris, Bristol student Charlotte Richardson and Nick Martindale picked up their runner-up tickets at the Inlands in Chew Valley. Nigel Wakefield, Alex Davey, Richard Thompson and Sam Smith received their tickets early in the series, at the Hamble Warming Pan and new event Redditch. Toby Ruffles sailed at Royal Harwich with his brother and scooped a T shirt, Jo Mason got hers by crewing for the chairman at Lymington’s Easter regatta. Vicki Ellwood has been sailing fireflies at Hornsea for many years and won her place in the top 20 at their open. Claire Shea, who was crewing for Damian Boreham, and Lucy Boreham won their place at Upper Thames. Seamus Kilpatrick (who broke away from a riveting episode of the X Factor in the excitement of hearing he was through) picked up his lucky ticket at the South Western champs in Restronguet. Michael Harris won his place at Spinnaker, Darren Williams from Tamesis, travelled to BTYC at the Welsh Harp for the short course open and broke his thwart but now has a T shirt on the way and finally, Lucy Boreham’s second ticket came from Chipstead. Lucy always had the best chance of winning having competed in the most open meetings this season with Rachel Crebbin.

In the next round, five tickets were picked out from the 20 — fifth place went to Nigel Wakefield, who almost won the Triple to top off a fantastic season with victories at the Nationals and the Inland Champs among many other opens (and not forgetting becoming a father). He received NFA membership for a year.
Fourth, third and second which was drawn by Paul Young from Rondar were won by Alistair Norris, Charlotte Richardson and Martin Hague. They each received a Yachts and Yachting subscription.

The Prize draw process certainly made for a great party, check back here for a photo gallery when we get the shots back!

The NFA would like to thank its sponsors Rondar, Hyde and Selden for donating the boat and spars and Dinghy Sailing Magazine and Yachts and Yachting for help wih prizes and publicity. “Without our sponsors, this exciting opportunity would not have been possible,” said NFA chairman Chris Guy.

At the draw, Mitchell announced his plans to compete in the Firefly Nationals at Tenby in 2010, and Will is expecting to show off his new acquisition at the Bloody Mary in January.