When is a Mirror not a Mirror?

  • Jacksonac
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13 Mar 2007 20:37 #19752 by Jacksonac
When is a Mirror not a Mirror? was created by Jacksonac
Unfortunately not a joke.

With all the developments we've had in the last year - new mast, centre main, GNAV - I'm getting concerned that we are loosing track of what a Mirror is and turning it into a development class. The changes appear to improve performance at the expense of the older boats. I can't afford to keep with all these changes, so my boat is going to get slower in relation to the other boats. At some point are we going to start a veterans class for older boats without all the latest whistles and bells or rename the new boats as Mirror Plus or something?

Andy J

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  • Simon Lovesey
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13 Mar 2007 20:54 #14546 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic When is a Mirror not a Mirror?

The changes have been designed to widen the appeal of the Mirror, making it more modern and easy to use, much effort has been taken not to radically change the performance, so far the evidence this is working, gaff rigged boats are still winning top events.

Before we embarked on these changes it was clear that a modern racing Mirror was somewhat faster than a traditional Mirror, the older boats have been out classed for many years.

At the Nationals we have a Bronze fleet for the older boats and newcomers, there are plans to acknowledge the classic boats at other events.

MCA Secretary

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  • LukeDolman
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14 Mar 2007 17:39 #14549 by LukeDolman
Replied by LukeDolman on topic When is a Mirror not a Mirror?
Hi Simon

I think Andy has asked a great question yet I also see entirely where the MCA is coming from. IMHO (and looking enviously at the UK Mirror Scene from the dinghy wilderness across The Pond) this looks like gentle and well thought out compromise in action and I hope it encourages new blood to join the Mirror clan.

I'm pondering one thing though. Are the hulls quicker now? Or is it newer, lighter, equipment and better sails? Or a combination of all things? I guess the question I'm asking is whether a good condition old hull with the latest rig, foils and fittings would be competitive or whether even the hulls are now different in some way from the older mirrors? I'm talking wooden boats here, BTW.


PS: If this IS actually a closet development class now then I can't wait to see the first Mirror on hydrofoils... <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>

Edited by - lukedolman on 14 March 2007 17:43:18

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14 Mar 2007 23:30 #14558 by Trevor Lloyd
The mirror is most definitely not a development class. The new rig has meant a few changes and probably a few more to come to make it all hang together and importantly work in the best fashion.

Over the years the hulls have evolved into 'quick' shapes, within the rules, though a lot of early boats can be very quick depending on how they were built and that is a subject in it's own right. Sails have improved hugely over the last 15 years and the rigs in the quick Gaff rigged mirrors were extensively tweeked to optimize performance. If your hull is stiff and straight, a new rig\sails, quality laminated foils and you'll probably be there or there abouts. One duff tack and 20 boats have passed you!!!

I started a discussion on the creation of a 'classic' mirror definition, I guess that this now needs to be completed. I have just been a bit consumed with building a mirror, fortunately now finished! There are similarities with a class I used to race, Fireballs, I got caught by the changes as it turned to a virtual one design 'winder' class. Now there is a classic fleet there and in certain conditions there is little difference in boat performance, though this does get lost in the fact that the 'best' sailors generally have the newer winder boats!

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27 Mar 2007 20:09 #14712 by GERRY
Replied by GERRY on topic When is a Mirror not a Mirror?
All good points. The simple fact is that several years ago it was a case of "change or go under". Numbers at events and sales were the lowest in the mirrors history. Younger sailors were looking at the plastic trendy classes and the mirror was difficult and took longer to rig. The present strenght of the mirror class is a fantastic achievement due to reasonable changes with the times and the dedication of many of the members and a brilliant team at the top.


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