37 Mirrors descended on Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club on 13th / 14th September to contest the Allen Brothers Mirror Inland Championship. Visitors travelled from as far a field as Windermere, Whitstable and Poole.
The fleet represented a great cross section of Mirror sailors ranging from 5 years old to 60+, with some speedy parents such as former Fireball World Champion, Andy Smith and several top Merlin sailors, all introducing their youngsters to competitive sailing. The Inlands were also the last in the selectors for the RYA Junior National Squad, meaning there were plenty of keen juniors out to prove themselves.
Conditions were un-seasonal....being sunny and mild with little wind!
Racing was close with several boats showing good speed in the light airs. The black flag appeared after a general recall at the start of race 2. However at the end of day 1 Julian & Evan Parry, Inge-lisa Hansen/Callum Escritt, Izzy Fitzgerald/Lisa McDannell posted a top five result. David Conlon/Mitch Bond sailed very consistently scoring two sixths and a fourth, Tom Lovsey/Millie Pugh recorded a couple of fourths with David & Oliver Winder ever improving recording a second in the last race of the day. Fighting for the lead were Edward & Bethany Grey with two thirds, Charlotte Fitzgerald/Annie Sibthorpe with two seconds and a third and Andy & Tom Smith with three firsts
Sunday dawned with a little more breeze, this time from the south. Charlotte and Annie were victims of a black flag. Meanwhile Edward & Bethany revelled in the conditions to overtake Andy & Tom just before the finish. Harry Yoeward/Nick Elsdon finished third with Sarah and Rebecca Bines recorded their first top five of the event.
In race 5 a left wind shift required a change in position of the windward mark. This caused some confusion with the majority of the fleet rounding the newly laid windward mark the wrong way, resulting in the race being abandoned!
The re-run of race 5 began with Charlotte and Annie once again taking an early lead. Edward & Bethany were just behind the leading group on the first downwind leg and cleverly they sailed low in more breeze to lead at the gybe mark. The Grey’s sailed away from the fleet to take their second win of the day only to watch Andy and Tom pull through to second, which was enough for them to take the event. Roseanna Yeoward and Hannah Mitchell finished third.
For the final race the breeze had increased further which clearly suited David and Mitch, who led from the start to take a well earned win and put themselves third overall. They were closely pursued by the Grey’s, who therefore secured their second place overall. third in the final race were Tom & Millie.
Thanks go to the event sponsors Allen Brothers and their support of the Nationwide Championship Series covering six events, the final being at Shustoke SC in October.