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.
Boats launched into a very strong North Westerly which made the normally calm launching beach, a leeward shore with small breaking waves. The Committee boat was recording gusts to 30 knots and there were some capsizes.
After the Practice Race (Trevor Wilkins' photos here) The Opening Ceremony for the 2015 Mirror Worlds started with a march through the local town of Villiersdorp with the colourful Izivungu Vungu band (a charity that helps township children & youth) leading the way and the competitors and supporters marching country by country.
The Mirror Class African Championships - that sounds exotic - it certainly was! Theewater Dam, the South African version of Lake Garda, where the wind clocks in at 20-25 kts every day at around 12:00. Wake up every morning to sun and wind, followed by a leisurely breakfast, squad briefing at the club, rig on the beach and out onto an enormous reservoir that makes Rutland look like a little pond. Sail, return to shore and party with the fellow South African and Australian Mirror sailors - and they know how to party, particularly on New Year's Eve! What a great way to spend Christmas and New Year.
The start of race 7 was delayed when the wind shifted a long way left shortly before the scheduled warning signal and also because a Cape Cobra was spotted swimming near the start line. With the wildlife safely ashore and the force 2 wind back to a northerly, the race got underway - two laps of a windward-leeward course.