An inside on the members of the RYA Mirror North Zone Squad 2011/12.
Rachel (Reg) Grayson (13) & George Richards (10) both from Beaver have teamed up to sail together in the Mirror North Zone Squad. Reg had crewed for her older sister, Emma, for the last two years having trained in the Mirror North Zone Squad (2009-2010) and National Squads (2010-2011). Reg competed as a crew in the following:- 2010 Mirror European Champs in Sligo, Ireland, she came 13th overall first junior girls. 2011 Mirror Worlds Champs in Albany, Australia, she came 26th overall, again first junior girls. 2011 Mirror Nationals, Restronguet, she came 5th overall, first ladies. Reg has now ‘bitten the bullet’ and is trying her hand at helming under the guidance of super coach Dave Woodhead. George after crewing with his mother for two seasons and taking part in a number of open meetings, competing in his first Mirror National championships this summer, and crewing last year in the Zone Squad for Tom Dean, has now teamed up with Reg for this training over the winter and coming season, they make a very light weight pair but are showing early signs of being a very fast team.
Chloe Macaulay (14) & Isobel Leroux (14) from South Staffs SC started sailing in Optimists but quickly found they preferred to sail with 2 in a boat. This is their third year in the zone squad sailing together. Last year they competed in their first national championship and a couple of open meetings. Their biggest success was winning the ET Champs last year. At South Staffs they also sail a firefly in the club racing.
Tom Howarth (12) & Jimmy Butt (13) from South Staffs SC have only just teamed up to sail in the Mirror. Tom has previously sailed for two years in the Optimist Zone Squad and Jimmy has sailed at South Staffs SC in a Topper. Tom thoroughly enjoyed sailing his Oppy and has won silverware at Trearddur Bay SC and sailed in the Optimist Nationals at Pwllheli this summer. He has competed in other events such as the Eric Twiname Champs in his Oppy and is now looking forward to progressing in the Mirror under the great coaching of Dave Woodhead.
Hettie Stevens (14) & Alice Massam (12) from Hunts SC are sailing together for the first time in the squad this year. Hettie moved up to helming Hummingbird this season after 3 years crewing with her older sister, training in the Mirror Zone squad under Dave for 2 seasons, and competing in the Mirror (Nationals, Worlds, Euros etc…) . Hettie’s enjoying the new challenge of driving the boat, and Alice is bringing the skills she learned sailing Optimists in the UK and the Netherlands to work with Dave and progress at the front of the boat. They’re looking forward to sailing at the Olympic 2012 venue!!
April (10) & Jamie Whiteley (9) from Ullswater YC have been sailing since they were 5&6 starting in Oppies then Teras and Toppers, before moving into a Mirror 2 years ago. They are now in their second year of the Zone squad and are really enjoying sailing their Mirror ‘Instant Custard’. They have a great time on the Zone weekends, developing loads of new skills from Dave’s excellent coaching and having lots of fun with all the friends that they have made.
Ollie (15) & James King (13) from Brightlingsea SC have been sailing for just over 2 years. They went to the last world championship in Australia. They sail under the name “Utter Chaos”, the reason isn’t hard to see. In the 2011 nationals they came thirty second. Ollie & James have attended some open meetings with results ranging from 5th to 20th. At Brightlingsea SC they have won some local cadet handicap trophies and 2010 best boy helm + crew. They are hoping to take in everything Dave tells them and to become more experienced sailors.
Ben (13) & Gabriel Hill (11) started sailing two years ago at West Lancashire YC in Southport. They started sailing an old mirror which we picked up for £100 but after a year they took the plunge and investing a new boat “all the gear and no idea” which Ben and Gabe helped build over the winter. A number of people from the club started participating in the Junior Travellers series around the northwest. This is the first year that they have been in the Zone squad and have already benefitted from the great experience shown by the coaches as well as making some lifelong friends.