Life after Oppies, decision time - by Jenny Lorimer

I will miss sailing oppies with all my heart but we can’t all stay in oppies all our lives, we all have to move on. I had to start to think about what boat to sail next because I was starting to get too big and too heavy to sail it competitively, doing well.

At my sailing club I started to have a go at a few different types of boat, mirrors, fevers, lasers and so on. I enjoyed them all. The first decision I had to make was whether to sail a single or double handed boat. My instinct told me to sail single handed because that was what I am used to, but after having loads of fun with another person in the boat at my sailing club, I decided against it. Even though I knew that after my friends had finished oppies they would go into lasers.
I also decided to be the helm because I had all the basics of being a helm from sailing an oppie.
After that I had to choose a boat. After a lot of experimenting and the fact that we used to as a family, own one and go for picnics when I was young, I decided to sail a … MIRROR. I choose this because much like an oppie it was stable and not too wet.

After I had made all the decisions necessary I needed to find a crew and get some training. Luckily at my club they were just starting to set up a weekend session for mirror training, and a few of my other friends were doing it too. This made it easy to find a crew because some of them were looking for a helm. So whilst still sailing my oppie, I was doing mirror training too.
After a few weeks me and my crew, started going to events. We were very nervous not knowing how competitive or friendly the class was. We stated off doing some training at Itchenor sailing club. Although the tides were very strong and scary we had a good time, and the people seemed nice.
We were doing well so decided to buy a fibre glass mirror. We found a second hand one on the internet that belonged to two girls that had done very well at the Mirror Europeans in Ireland. We did a few events on the southern traveller series (there is also a northern traveller and national series).
I did the nationals in Falmouth with my sister. It was great fun and we did decently well, about half way. Seeing as this was our first time sailing together and at a big event. There were about 80 boats there and this was strange to me because I am used to hundreds.
This event was when I started to make friends with the other people in my class. They are all very friendly and by the end of it I knew a lot of people and had a good laugh. There were loads of social events such as quizzes, sumo wrestling in silly sumo costumes and a bungee run.
Sailing in Carrick Roads was definitely testing. One day it would be very light, the next it would be blowing 20kn. It was definitely exciting.

On the mirror circuit I made a great friend and we decided to do Hill Head together. Little did we know it was going to blow 26kn!! We were going so fast it felt like we were flying, and by the photo below it looked like we actually were. I was laughing with shear excitement and fear the whole way round. We did quite well.

Mirror dinghy 70560 being sailed at Hill Head Sailing Club in 2011

A few weeks later we did the squad indicator at Poole; this was also a national squad indication event. There were about 25 boats there and we came 7th. I was so pleased with the result that I decided to the squad selections at Weymouth.
My crew and I also came 7th in that. Though not expecting it we got the email to say that we were in the squads, I was bouncing off the walls.

My last oppie event was the end of seasons and that was slightly sad but I just went out there to have a laugh and I did. Though I will miss oppies my future in mirrors is a good one and I know I will love every moment.

Good bye oppies.

By Jenny Lorimer