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The leading boats in a fleet of Mirror dinghies turning around the windward mark

37 boats including the reigning National Champions, Ben & Keira McGrane, ex-World champion Chris Balding, ex-National Champion Chris Fuller plus a host of other top sailors, gathered at Hayling Island SC for the Vaikobi UK Mirror Nationals, also sponsored by P&B, from 23rd to 26th July.

Great racing in Bracklesham Bay and the more sheltered waters in Chichester Harbour. Cracking weather, on-site accommodation, a restaurant & beach bar to keep everyone fuelled up, lots of sand, great organisation from Chris & Emma Fuller and the HISC crew.

Competitors enjoyed great race management with PRO David Nicholls and his team working hard to get as many of the scheduled 8 races in, given the tidal & wind conditions that confronted them over the championship.

Racing started on Sunday with a solid 4-5 and the fleet completing three races in the waves of Bracklesham Bay. Monday was windier, force 5-6 so it was decided to make an early start and race inside the harbour while there was enough water over Pilsey Sands. Conditions were full-on, very choppy and with the wind forecast to increase and a growing number of retirements, the PRO decided to stop after two races. With a ridge of high pressure moving in, Tuesday’s forecast was for a lot less wind, with significant shifts in direction and that’s what happened. The first attempt at running Race 6 was abandoned after the breeze collapsed before anyone had got to the windward mark. This was followed by a long wait for the breeze to pick up and then settle. Eventually race 6 was successfully re-run. This was followed by another wait for the breeze to settle, eventually, with time and water running out, AP over A was signalled and the fleet headed in to pack up and enjoy the prizegiving with tea and cakes.

A white Winder Boats GRP Mirror dinghy with young helm & crew sailing towards the camera

Adult helms with child crews dominated the top end of the fleet with one notable exception. Having collected their P&B Early Entry draw prize of a new spinnaker, Max Phypers, age 13 & Emma Sellwood, age 14, from Restronguet SC, sailed the regatta of their lives, winning one race, finishing third overall and winning the under 15 category. Ben McGrane with 8 year old Keira crewing, dominated but racing for places second to sixth was close. Chris Balding had 10 year old Adriana crewing to finish in second, Paul Smalley had 7 year old Peter crewing to finish 4th, David Edwards had 11 year old Hattie crewing and Phil Smith finished in 6th sailing with 8 year old son Oliver. Top Youths (i.e. U19) were Max Sydenham & Finn Ramus from Hayling Island in 15th place, sailing a Class Association demo boat.

A white wooden Mirror dinghy, with her hull almost completely obscured by a large wave, turns the windward mark as the helm & crew hoist the spinnaker

A special prize, for smiling in the face of adversity, went to 16 year old Poppy Luxton & crew Lottie Tregaskes who led around the first windward mark in race 1, subsequently broke their rudder downhaul and sailed the majority of the third lap without a rudder to finish 7th. The rudder could not be repaired afloat, so they missed races 2 & 3. They capsized in race 4 and again in 5, this time breaking their gaff, and were BFD in race 6. They were worthy winners of a P&B voucher and class trophy

Best U13 boat was Tristan Sellwood & Sam Davies from Restronguet. Youngest crew prize went to 7 year old Peter Smalley in 4th. Youngest helm to complete all races was Torrun Brown age 13 who also won the combined youngest helm and crew prize with 13 year old Murray Oakes. The best team of three boats was very close with Restronguet SC Pirates just edging out Chew Valley Lake SC. Once again top wooden boat (sporting a gaff rig) was Barney & Willow Smith sailing 69020 'Ida' in 17th and Single hander Steve Bland retained his title finishing in 25th. Winner of the bronze fleet, the category to allow older unmeasured boats to compete, went to Richard and Sophie Trevithick from Whitefriers SC.

A  photo of each boat in ranking order - photos, apart from 70743 - Yeti, kindly taken by Peter Hickson.

You can view all Peter Hickson's day 1 photos, also all Kyle Brown's day 2, day 3 & prizegiving photos

Once again we had What HAppened Today? (WHAT?). After everyone was changed and re-fuelled, a post-racing debrief by Chris Balding with input from other sailors.

A sandcastle the shape of a Mirror dinghy

Other after sailing activities included a sandcastle competition – won by a combination team of West Kirby, Leigh Lowton and Whitefriars SC, a BBQ on the balcony and a Mexican theme night with some impressive fancy dress outfits.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Mirror nationals then enter your Gear Guide information to Yachts & Yachting here

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st Elsa 70987 Ben McGrane Keira McGrane Netley SC ‑2 2 1 1 1 1 6
2nd YOLO 70810 Chris Balding Adriana Balding Island Barn Reservoir 4 4 3 6 6 ‑9 23
3rd Vegemite Sandwich 70785 Max Phypers Emma Sellwood Restronguet SC 1 12 4 4 4 ‑25 25
4th Primary Cru 70964 Paul Smalley Peter Smalley Chew Valley Lake SC ‑12 3 10 9 2 2 26
5th Delilah tooo 70923 (sailing as 70967) David Edwards Hattie Edwards Tata Steel S C 3 1 7 11 (DNC) 5 27
6th Lamborbeanie 71013 Phil Smith Oliver Smith Bassenthwaite SC 6 5 2 ‑14 10 4 27
7th   71012 Andy Smith Lily Smith Bassenthwaite 11 7 13 3 3 ‑15 37
8th Te‑feti 70790 Huw Reynolds Bethan Reynolds Restronguet SC 5 ‑9 9 8 9 8 39
9th Ripples 70915 Chris Fuller Will Fuller HISC 13 10 14 5 (DNF) 3 45
10th Wind Whistler 70639 Alex Taylor Martha Newstead Taylor Leigh Lowton SC 10 8 6 ‑17 15 6 45
11th Hype 70811 Stuart Hudson Lizzie Hudson Royal Lymington YC 9 ‑18 18 2 5 13 47
12th Bubblegum 70584 Terry Hunt Charlie Hunt Netley SC ‑15 11 8 7 12 11 49
13th Twinkle toes 70739 Toby Heppell Josie Rist‑Heppell Brightlingsea SC ‑14 6 5 13 14 12 50
14th Bamm‑Bamm 71014 Adam Broughton Arabella Broughton Chew Valley Lake 8 ‑16 12 10 8 16 54
15th   70840 Max Sydenam Finn Ramus HISC 16 13 11 12 7 ‑18 59
16th Marshmallow 2 70650 Angus Armstrong Isla Armstrong West Kirby Sailing Club 17 14 15 ‑18 17 7 70
17th Ida 69020 Barney Smith Willow Smith HRSC/RAFYC/DQSC 18 (DNF) 21 19 11 10 79
18th Sea Glass 70499 Natasha Armstrong Poppy Armstrong West Kirby Sailing Club ‑21 19 16 21 16 14 86
19th Oarsome 70945 Morgan Cross Stephen Cross Brightlingsea SC 24 15 20 15 (DNC) 21 95
20th Dipperforce 71007 Paul Nichols Gabriel Nichols Chew Valley lake ‑25 22 23 16 13 24 98
21st Blue 70852 Karen McIntosh Harrison Smalley Chew Valley Lake 20 20 22 20 (DNC) 19 101
22nd Blyskawica 15563 Florence Luxton Martin Egan Restronguet SC 22 ‑26 24 23 19 22 110
23rd Ruby Papa 70721 John‑Paul Marks Clara Marks Dalgety Bay Sailing Club 23 17 17 (DNC) DNC 20 115
24th Va Va Voom 70190 Torrunn Brown Murray Oakes Restronguet SC 26 27 27 22 20 ‑30 122
25th Peer pressure 70714 Steve Bland   Poole YC ‑32 25 28 26 21 27 127
26th MCA 70724 Alex Balding Priti Verma Island Barn Reservoir (DNF) 24 30 25 18 31 128
27th Clewless 70998 Finlay Appleton Emma Appleton Brightlingsea SC 27 23 26 24 (DNC) 33 133
28th   71011 Jarrod Simpson Finn Simpson HISC (DNF) 21 19 UFD DNF 23 139
29th Yeti 70743 Willow Cross Trevor Appleton Brightlingsea SC 30 28 25 (DNC) DNC 32 153
30th Squirt 70513 Ronald Vass Levi Woodroffe‑Vass Reading SC 28 29 29 (DNC) DNC 29 153
31st EMILY 59254 Richard Trevithick Sophie Trevithick Whitefriars SC 31 31 31 27 (DNC) 34 154
32nd   70549 Tristan Sellwood Sam Davies Restronguet SC 29 30 32 28 (DNC) 35 154
33rd Bold Forester 69667 Poppy Luxton Lottie Tregaskers Restronguet SC 7 (DNC) DNC DNC DNF BFD 159
34th Wave Catcher Too 70922 Toby Wincer Mollie Wincer HISC 19 (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 26 159
35th   70587 Leighton King Penny King Netly Sc (DNF) DNC DNF DNC DNC 17 169
36th Flying Saucepan 70636 Stephen Heppell Elodie Heppell Brightlingsea SC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC 28 180
37th Surfs Up 70972 Julie Vass Tahlia Woodroffe‑Vass Reading SC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 190



Thanks to our headline sponsors Vaikobi and Early Entry Draw sponsors P&B, there were an impressive range of prizes including vouchers, smartphone cases and caps, that were presented by HISC Commodore Andy Partington along with the glassware and class trophies. The ‘early entry’ draw winners got a spinnaker provided by P&B at the start of the event.

Trophy Winners

Trophy Awarded for Winner
Marlow Rope Trophy Winners Race 1 Max Phypers & Emma Sellwood
Cassandra's Cauldron Winners Race 2 David & Hattie Edwards

Jeckells Mirror Trophy

Winners Race 3 Ben & Keira McGrane
Peter Wilson Trophy Winners Race 4 Ben & Keira McGrane

City of Plymouth Trophy

Winners Race 5 Ben & Keira McGrane

National Westminster(Currently missing), International Paint Trophy awarded instead

Winners Race 6 Ben & Keira McGrane
Proops Pot First Lady Helm Natasha & Poppy Armstrong
Arthur Vine Trophy Leading Helm & Crew U19 other than overall winners Max Sydenam & Finn Ramus
Harry Yule Smith Plate Leading Helm & Crew U15 other than overall winners Max Phypers & Emma Sellwood
Mike Devonshire Trophy 2nd place Helm & Crew U15 other than 2nd overall Torrunn Brown & Murray Oakes
Hathi Plate Leading Helm & Crew U13 other than overall winners Tristan Sellwood & Sam Davis
Arthur Birt Trophy Leading Helm U19 from the local (i.e. hosting) club. Max Sydenam & Finn Ramus 
Fleet Shield Best Team of three boats entered from same Club Restronguet SC Pirates
Lucas Trophy (which appears to be lost, the Victor Shaw Trophy has been used instead recently) Leading helm over 39 Ben McGrane
1963 Trophy Leading helm over 49 David Edwards
Shavian Mug Last on points who completed every race Steve Bland
Topaz Trophy Leading parent & offspring Ben & Keria McGrane
Silver Jubilee Trophy 25th Boat Overall Steve Bland
Dyno-Rod Cup Best Devon or Cornwall Boat Helm & Crew U18 Max Phypers & Emma Sellwood
Bass Charrington Trophy First single handed boat Steve Bland
Super Crew Cup Youngest Crew to complete all races Peter Smalley
Turbo Service International Plate Youngest Helm to complete all races Torrunn Brown
MCA Shield Youngest combined age to compete all races Torrunn Brown & Murray Oakes
Ptwootle Trophy 1st Wooden Boat Barney & Willow Smith
Aberdeen Trophy 1st Scottish Boat JP & Clara Marks
Gulf Cup 1st Welsh Boat David & Hattie Edwards
Special Award Trophy Smiling in the face of adversity Poppy Luxton & Lottie Tregaskes
Jan Grieg-Gran Plate for Bronze fleet Winners Bronze Fleet Richard & Sophie Trevithick

America Cup

3rd Overall Helm & Crew Max Phypers & Emma Sellwood
Pioneer Cup 2nd Overall Helm & Crew Chris & Adriana Balding
HL Twentyman Challange Cup (originally the Crew's Trophy was awarded, but this has been missing since 2008) 1st Overall Crew Keria McGrane
Daily Mirror Trophy 1st Overall Helm Ben McGrane

Trophies in strikethrough text were not returned. The Abersoch Trophy, 40th Anniversary Trophy, the Mylor Yacht Harbour Trophy, the Roger Graffy Trophy, the Western Trust & Savings Trophy and the Navigators & General Trophy were not awarded.

The Nationals next year is scheduled for 1st to 4th June at Brightlingsea SC.

(Editors note: more details, photos, list of trophy winners will be added to this article as time allows)


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Thanks to Jan Grieg-Gran, Rob Grieg-Gran and Scotty Cochrane for their work on a previous website.