Photography by Angela Caroline Gray.
Life is Tough in Africa
The sun is beating down, very little shade, deadly snakes are circling you - it is a matter of survival!
Maybe a bit over dramatic - just another day at the Mirror Worlds! 7 hours on the water having lost Day One due to too much wind was a long day but the constant stream of water bottles, the supply of morale boosting pancakes from the GBR coach boat and a wind that built nicely during the day gave more excellent sailing conditions on Theewater Dam.
Just to add a bit of spice to the day a deadly Cape Cobra snake was also deftly removed the course and re-positioned away from the Mirrors.
Having lost Day One due to too much wind, the focus of Day Two was to catch up and therefore the fleet were given an earlier start and told to prepare for four races. The fleet was greeted by a 'mirror-like' surface which led to a long wait for the breeze to build and settle. Boat speed and spotting the pressure was the name of the game for Race One. Team GBR yet again made their presence felt at the front of the fleet with Gemma Keers & Imogen Bellfield leading at the first mark but team mates Emily & Pippa Heath and Eleanor Keers & Izzy Pugh hit the spot on the second beat by being on the left as pressure filled in and built a strong lead - Eleanor managing to get to the front up the final beat. Race One to GBR.
Never underestimate the South Africans and they came storming back in Race Two with the first four places and Michaela & Ryan Robinson showing great consistency with another win, top Team GBR boat being Gemma and Imogen in fifth. Scarlet & Esmé Shepherd sailed an excellent race in Race Three to win by some margin with a brace of RSA boats behind them - some very tight racing where margins of error were extremely close. With the breeze building up to 12 - 14 kts Eleanor and Izzy moved into overdrive in Race Four to lead from start to finish - an excellent performance from two 12 yr olds - leaving youth squad and Olympic squad members in their wake.
Photography by Trevor Wilkins.
So overall - the reining World Champions, although with reversed roles, Michaela & Ryan (RSA) lead the regatta with Eleanor & Izzy (GBR / Itchenor SC) in second after their two race wins. Scarlet & Esme (GBR / Restronguet) are 5th and Gemma and Imogen (GBR / Itchenor / Torpoint Mosquito) in 6th. With a forecast of variable winds for Day Three anything could happen and Tom Weston & Paddy Jefferies (GBR / Itchenor) and Henry Heath & James Dickinson (GBR / Itchenor) are well positioned to fire up the leader board if they get some good results tomorrow..
The Nations Night led to the usual excellent theatrical performances with the Team GBR sketch on based on Top Gear 'hitting the mark'! With 18 Rand to the Pound the parents are having a great time - having a regatta in the top wine growing region in South Africa is a recipe for success!!
Overall Results after Day Two:
1. Michaela & Ryan Robinson RSA
2. Eleanor Keers & Izzy Pugh GBR/Itchenor SC
3. Douglas & Charlotte Raftesath AUS
4. Eben & Johan Vivier RSA
5. Scarlet & Esme Shepherd GBR/Resronguet SC
6. Gemma Keers & Imogen Bellfield GBR/Itchenor SC/Torpoint SC
7. Howard Leoto & Shane White RSA
8. Simon & Tyson Barwood AUS
9. Tom Weston & Paddy Jefferies GBR/Itchenor SC
10. Henry Heath & James Dickinson GBR/Itchenor SC
There are loads more photos from Day 2 by Trevor Wilkins