Day 1 photos © Adrian Owens & Cathrine Maguire. Scrolling slideshow help
With the Mirror Worlds having completed in Ireland only a week earlier, a reduced but high quality fleet of 33 boats arrived at Pembrokeshire YC to contest the UK Navigators & General Mirror National Championships. With camping available next to the club, a good forecast, plenty of breakfast and meal options, and evening entertainment laid on, the event looked set to be a good one.
On the Friday, RYA National Junior Squad coach Catherine Maguire held a well supported coaching session for all-comers - the additional practice was sure to up the level of competition. The race area was to be in the largest part of the harbour, around Dale Roads, meaning a 30 min sail to the race course avoiding the shipping and impressive fueling piers along the way, all under the watchful eye of the safety boat crews - thanks.
Day 1 - Saturday
Both scheduled races were held in a southerly 7-10 knots with a slight swell. Courses were triangle & sausage on both races.
Race 1 got away, despite a port end bias line, with just some individual recalls. Nigel Thomas with Oliver Leary played the centre of the beat and lead after one lap. With Nigel Wakefield with Emma Levison going hard left on the 2nd beat and picking up a nice port lift, the finish order was 1st Nigel Wakefield & Emma Levison, 2nd Nigel Thomas & Oliver Leary, 3rd Angus & Fraser Hemmings.
Race 2 got away under a black flag, something which we would see a lot of. With the breeze gradually decreasing, Andy and Katie Smith lead all the way, finishing 1st. With 2nd Esme & Scarlett Shepherd, 3rd Arran Holman & Lucy Offord
Day 2 - Sunday
Day 2 photos © Adrian Owens & Cathrine Maguire. Scrolling slideshow help
All three scheduled races were held in a bright and sunny westerly ;12-16 knots with a chop caused by the wind against tide. Courses were triangle, sausage, triangle on all races.
Race 3 and Nigel Wakefield & Emma Levison lead around the 1st mark followed by Chris & Katie Jenkins followed by Reg Grayson & George Stainforth. By the end of 3rd beat, Andy & Katie were in the lead followed by Emma Grayson & Ben Settle, then Nigel & Emma. The top three positions remained unchanged to the finish.
Race 4 got away under a 'P' start with one boat OCS. Arran & Lucy lead around the windward mark followed by Rory Odell & Lewis Bowen, then Chris & Katie. At the 2nd rounding of the windward mark, Arran & Lucy were still leading ahead of Chris & Katie with Rory & Lewis 3rd. On the 3rd rounding, it was Chris & Katy leading ahead of Rory & Lewis with Andy & Katie 3rd. On the final two legs Rory & Lewis took the lead and held it to the finish.
Race 5 also got away under a 'P' with one boat OCS. At the 1st windward mark, Nigel & Emma lead from Arran & Lucy, then Angus & Fraser Hemmings. On the 2nd lap, Nigel & Emma's boat sustained some damage and had to retire leaving Arran & Lucy building a lead over Angus & Fraser. However at the finish it was Angus & Fraser ahead of Arran & Lucy, with Rebecca Stevens & Niamh O'Neill in 3rd.
Day 3 - Monday
Day 3 photos © Adrian Owens. Scrolling slideshow help
All three scheduled races were held in a bright & sunny 14-18 knots with a chop caused by the wind against the strengthing ebb tide for races 7 and 8. Courses were triangle, sausage, triangle on all races.
Race 6 got away under a black flag after a couple postponements in the final minute due to some significant shifts. Chris & Katie made a perfect port tack start by the pin and crossed the fleet. At the windward mark, Rebecca & Niamh were leading with Nigel & Ollie 2nd and Nigel & Emma 3rd. With the wind shifts, some significant gains and losses were to be made, with the early leaders losing out to a left shift at the top of the 2nd beat. At the finish, it was Reg & George 1st, Rory & Lewis 2nd Chris & Katie 3rd.
Race 7 - There was a long delay due to a shifting wind. By this stage, the tide was ebbing more strongly and the chop was building. Eventually the race got away cleanly under a black flag. At the windward mark, Chris & Katie were leading, with Reg & George 2nd and Rory & Lewis 3rd. On the 2nd round with the wind decreasing slightly, it was Reg & George, Chris & Katie and Rory & Lewis all rounding the top mark together. There were some more place changes on the final round, but Reg & George held on to win ahead of the improving Tom Cosier & Nick Pugh 2nd, with Chris & Katie 3rd.
Race 8 - The wind had dropped to a steady 12-14 knots and this meant less chop. Once again the race got away cleanly under a black flag. Oliver & Hannah Wilson made the best start on a pin end bias line and were rewarded by rounding the windward mark 6th behind Nigel & Emma 1st, Arran & Lucy 2nd and Andy & Katie 3rd. Also going well were Harriet & Helena Watkins age 11 & 8 respectively - one of the youngest teams competing. At the windward mark on the sausage, t was Arran & Lucy leading ahead of Andy & Katie, with Tom & Nick 3rd. By the finish it was Andy & Katie 1st, ahead of Tom & Nick with Arran & Lucy 3rd. Harriet & Helena capsized at the final mark gybing their spinnaker, but did well to recover the boat and finish the race.
Day 4 - Tuesday
Day 4 photos © Adrian Owens. Scrolling slideshow help
The remaining two races were scheduled for the final day - the wind from the west 10-15 knots with sunshine. Andy & Katie were 3 points ahead of Rachel & George starting the day - but with a 2nd discard coming into play after race 9, anyone of about six boats were still in with a chance of overall honours.
Race 9 - got away under a black flag after a couple of attempts using a 'P' start. Even with the tide only just past high water, the left side of the beat was paying and it was Arran & Lucy rounding 1st ahead of Reg & George, then Rachael & Amy Jenkins 3rd. On the 2nd beat, the middle seemed more favoured Arran & Lucy were still leading, follwed by Rebecca & Niamh 2nd, then Rory & Lewis. On the final run, Reg & George got up to take 2nd place behind Arran & Lucy, with Rory & Lewis 3rd. Andy & Katie finished counting a 9th. With calculators whirring, Reg & George were now leading on 23 points, Andy & Katie on 24 points, and Arran & Lucy on 29 points!
Race 10 - got away under a black flag. With the tide now ebbing, the left side was paying upwind. It was Arran & Lucy and Nigel & Emma rounding the windward mark together, followed by Tom & Nick. With the wind decreasing slightly, Arran & Lucy extended their lead to cross the line first 1st, followed by Nigel & Emma, then Tom & Nick. However there was a protest between the two leading boats, Arran and Nigel, for a windward mark infringement - the result of which became clear would decide the championship. After a hearing, Arran & Lucy were DSQ. Leaving Andy & Katie Smith to be crowned 2013 UK Mirror National champions, with Reg Grayson & George Stainforth 2nd and top Juniors, and climbing to 3rd were Rory Odell & Lewis Bowen.
A big thanks and congratulations to Pembrokeshire Yacht Club for hosting a superb event, organising the great weather, the evening entertainment and food, and for being extremely welcoming. Also a big thanks to Navigators & General Insurance and Harken for their generous sponsorship of the event. For 2014, the National and Europeans championships will be hosted by Brixham YC. Come and join us!
Prizegiving photos © Adrian Owens. Scrolling slideshow help
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2013 UK Mirror National top 10 results were :
1st 70513 Andy Smith & Katie Smith 29pts
2nd 70756 Rachel Grayson & George Stainforth 33pts
3rd 70655 Rory Odell & Lewis Bowen 35pts
4th 70668 Angus & Fraser Hemmings 37pts
5th 70720 Arran Holman & Lucy Offord 41pts
6th 70791 Nigel Wakefield & Emma Levison 45pts
7th 70190 Tom Cosier & Nick Pugh 52pts
8th 70564 Rebecca Stephens & Niamh O'Neil 52pts
9th 70716 Esme and Scarlett Shepherd 54pts
10th 70688 Chris & Katy Jenkins 55pts