Western Area Championship Reports

2002 Western Areas at Chew Valley Lake SC 31st August & 1st September

A father and son sailing a grey wooden Mirror downwind with the crew concentrating on trimming the spinnaker

There was an excellent turnout of 59 Mirrors for the Western Area Championship held at Chew Valley Lake SC over the weekend 31st August & 1st September. Conditions were warm and sunny with a generally light, patchy and shifty breeze marking the blue water of the lake surface. The lush greens of the unspoilt Mendip hills formed a breathtaking backdrop to complete a picture postcard scene.

Being both a National Squad and South West Zone Squad qualifier as well as a Tasmania 2003 Worlds travel grants qualifier, the event attracted boats from as far away as Sunderland, Windermere, Penzance and Brightlingsea. The team at Chew Valley really know how to put on a good event and the race management was superb and ashore the boat parking and launching was easy and the clubhouse provided great spectating and good lunches and Saturday evening meal for both competitors and supporters. Although there was no camping on site, the local fruit farm was ideal, with a lovely secluded field with the tents and campervans all around the edge and the kids playing football in the middle and only £2 per pitch per night.

Western Area Championships 2001 8th/9th September at Starcross Y.C

Two men sailing a white wooden dinghy to windward in a force 5

On the 8th and 9th of September force 5 to 6 winds blew down the exe estuary making testing conditions for the 30 competitors who travelled from as far as Cumbria for the weekend. This was the fourth and final selector for the National Squad and also a selector for the South West Zone Squad.

The race officer, Russell Gibbs, set "P" courses for the 5 race series. The high quality of the fleet was show by 4 different race winners. At the end of the first day, Elliot Jago and Ben Arscott shared first position with Steve and Juliet Long. The gusty winds and large swell claimed half the fleet by retirement, turning each race into more of a survival.

Western Area Championships, Plym YC, 9 & 10 Sept 2000

Prizewinning helms and crews behind a red banner with yellow lettering saying 'Plym Yacht Club'

A record turnout for a Mirror Class Area Championship with forty Mirrors from 21 Clubs around the country attending. This was the last event in a hard fought season with the younger sailors competing for a place in the National and Regional Youth Squads as well as a last chance to gain ranking points for inclusion in the UK team for the World Championships in Ireland in August 2001. The Sunday results also counted towards the Southwest Travellers Series and for several of the SW region's younger sailors this was their first taste of the excitement of a major championship. The event was hosted by Plym Yacht Club at the impressive new Mount Batten Centre.

Western Area Championships 21st & 22nd July 1973

Sailed at Mount's Bay Sailing Club 21st & 22nd July. Peter Knight, writing in 2018, takes up the story:

"I remember it well. It was the year after I sold my Mirror (Fugio) and got a Firefly, age 15. Peter Jenkins sailed with me. We borrowed Nigel Parish's Mirror. It didn't have a spinaker, so we lost out a bit on the downwind legs, and on the Sunday we borrowed a spinaker and tied on some blocks through the rowlock holes to sheet it! Luckily it was blowing old boots, so it didn't matter too much."

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