Mirror National Championships, Brightlingsea Sailing Club
29th-31st Amy 2010
An excellent turnout of boats endured trying conditions over the Bank Holiday Weekend to compete in the East of England Co-Operative Society sponsored, Mirror National Championships. A windy weekend kept the organisers on their toes but Brightlingsrea Sailing Club managed to get 6 races completed to guarantee a tightly fought event.
The Saturday briefing warned competitors that things may get a little tough and so it proved to be. Race 1 was won by local pairings Millie Newman and Jessica Rust who showed some consistent speed in a steady force 5 to pull away from Ed and Beth Grey with Chris Rust and Eddie Bridle in third. Race 2 became a real rollercoaster ride down some massive waves as building wind over tide conditions and some squalls added to the tests for the sailors. Rust and Bridle revelled in the conditions winning comfortably with defending National Champion Ross Kearney and Max Odell following them home from Newman and Rust.
Sunday weather forecast was not promising but the boats were launched and had some fun reaching around the committee boat until the increasing wind meant the race officer called it a day with no racing was completed.
Monday involved more windy racing but with everyone back on the water, 4 races were held to complete the event. Race 3 was a further victory for Rust and Bridle who were starting to put together an ominous set of results for the rest. Second was the current World Champions, Andy and Tom Smith with the Greys third. Race 4 was another victory for Rust and Bridle with local sailors Dave Conlon and Charlotte Bond pushing them hard for second followed by Calum and Rory McKenzie. Race 5 was a test of tactics in a shifty breeze with some excellent sailing by Nigel and Rob Thomas pulling them up the rankings with a first. The Greys were second with the Smiths third.
The final race was a tense affair with plenty of places still to be sorted. A flood tide meant 2 recalls and an early shower for the Smiths and some other top crews for pushing their luck on a black flag. The race was won by Kearny and Odell with the Greys second and Newman and Rust third.
After a little delay for protests the final results showed that consistent sailing had paid off. Chris Rust and Eddie Bridle were crowned 2010 National Champions with a 2 point advantage over Ed and Beth Grey. Ross Kearny and Max Odell just pipped Millie Newman and Jessica Rust for third on count back.
Mirror Class Association Chairman, Clive Sedgewick, thanked Brightlingsea for a great event and their safety management whilst the winner thanked all the visitors who had help make the championships such a success. The prizes were presented by Director of the East of England Co-operative Society who congratulated all the competitors and commented how pleased the Society were to be involved and particularly for supporting the young sailors who took part.