The Metropolitan Police Sailing Club held its first ever Mirror Open on Saturday, 17th July, 1976, at the I.P.C. (Iver) Yacht Club.
The meeting was bedevilled by a complete lack of wind, with only the occasional zephyr, and consequently a lower number of entries than anticipated. Nevertheless, there were 15 entries from the four clubs: I.P.C. (Iver) Yacht Club, King George's Sailing Club, Queen Mary Sailing Club and Metropolitan Police Sailing Club.
The first race, with the puffs coming from the north-west, necessitated a Committee Boat start. This resulted in John Reece, I.P.C., being over the line at the start, and subsequently last away. However, John (who, it is rumoured, can close-haul in a vacuum) made good his loss and, with a lesson to all in light weather sailing, gained first place. This he repeated in the second and third races, but not without being challenged by Roy Partridge, Chris Sidey and Nigel Price from I.P.C., Alec Ross from Metropolitan Police S.C., and Duncan Glen from King Georges S.C. The winds were so light in the first and last races that over a third of the starters were deemed to have retired, as they were unable to finish within 30 minutes of the leader.
The excitement of the day was reserved for the end of the meeting, when an additional tie-breaker race was held (or third overall position between Chris Sidey and Nigel Price, both of I.P.C. Nigel and Chris had scored five and three apiece in the first and second races, then gave the O.D. a nightmare by coming over the line together in the last race, a complete and utter tie. Very sportingly, Chris and Nigel agreed to race off the tie. This consisted of one lap to the windward buoy, return to the start line, and windward once more to the midway finishing line. Nigel took the lead to the windward buoy, but rounded the wrong side allowing Chris to catch up and go ahead whilst re-rounding. Nevertheless, Nigel slowly closed the gap and rounded the start line with Chris. It appeared another tie was in the wind as they crept towards the finishing line together, but Chris managed to get his bow over first by the smallest of margins, and thus picked up third prize of the meeting. The tension was such that the spectators spontaneously broke into applause.
- 1st John Reece, (I.P.C. Yacht Club),
- 2nd Roy Partridge, (I.P.C. Yacht Club),
- 3rd Chris Sidey (I.P.C. Yacht Club),
- 4th Nigel Price (I.P.C. Yacht Club).
The Metroplitan Police Sailing Club would like to thank the I.P.C. (Iver) Yacht Club for allowing them the use of their facilities and water. They would also like to thank the many club members of the Metropolitan Police Sailing Club for running the meeting. In spite of nil winds, a very enjoyable time was had by competitors and helpers alike.
Editors Note: This article is from Reflections No. 26 October 1976, page 17. It has been captured by OCR, so typos & errors are possible.