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31 May 2001, 12:29 pm
Weston Sailing Club hosted the Mirror National Championships
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Mirror National Championships, Great Britain

The event took place over the bank holiday weekend of 26th-28th May.

Saturday 26th May

Fifty-eight competitors travelled from far a field for this event. Spectators were afforded a grandstand view of the racing right in front of the clubhouse. Saturday was very hot and sunny. A southerley sea breeze filled in allowing a start by 1pm. Alex Kaiser and Jack Vaughan from Royal Cork YC arrived at the windward mark first with Dave and Jake Gebhard from Derwent Reservoir close behind. This set the pattern for the weekend as these two were to be engaged in constant battle at the front of the fleet. On the second leg to the wing mark, the wind continued tracked to a more westerly direction, turning the second leg into a run, and the third leg into a very close reach. The race was shortened to a single lap with Gebhard and Kaiser maintaining their positions ahead of Tom Cload and Danielle Hollett of Plym YC who finished third.

The wind then settled to a southwesterly force 3. After a short break ashore, race two was held up by two general recalls as the fleet bunched at the pin end. The fleet finally got away on the third attempt after the raising of the black flag, which remained for the rest of the event. This time Gebhard arrived at the windward mark with a clear lead over Kaiser. Kaiser slowly reeled Gebhard in over the course of the 3-lap race, but was unable to break through Gebhard's close cover to the finish and had to settle for second. Race three was run back-to-back with the second, with Gebhard and Kaiser taking first and second.

Sunday 27th May

Sunday was overcast and much cooler than Saturday, but the wind remained from the southwest force 2-3. At the start of race four, Fireball supremo Vince Horey, crewed by son Thomas, got away at the pin end and lead for two laps, pursued by Gebhard and Kaiser. Both of these got through Horey on the third windward leg in a light patch and they finished in that order. The wind increased to force 4 for race five. Most of the leaders came from the left hand side of the course, with Grieg-Gran leading from start to finish despite the close attentions of Kaiser. Race six was run immediately after race five, and unfortunately saw two boats fall foul of the black flag. Horey again got away at the pin end, and this time held his lead to the finish. Grieg-Gran was second to complete a very successful day.

Monday 28th May

Monday started overcast with the threat of a low pressure bringing blustery winds. However, the high pressure over the south coast continued to hold on, and the day brightened in the middle of the afternoon with the regatta ending in glorious sunshine. The wind remained from the southwest force 2-3. In race seven, Horey made it a hat trick of pin-end starts, and again lead from start to finish. Gebhard picked up several places to finish second.

Race eight was run back-to-back with race seven. Gebhard put in a virtuoso performance, arriving at the windward mark with a healthy lead and pulling away to finish nearly a whole leg ahead of the second boat and take the Mirror National championships in style. After a mediocre first leg, Kaiser pulled through to finish second and second overall, and also first youth boat. Niki and Christian Birrell from Winsford Flash completed a successful weekend to take the junior prize, with Rachel Wigmore and Selena Knight from Itchenor taking the ladies prize with a very creditable top-ten finish.

Overall Results

1. David Gebhard/Jake Gebhard (Derwent Reservoir SC)
2. Alex Kaiser/Jack Vaughan (Royal Cork YC)
3. Robert Grieg-Gran/Jonathan Telford (Lympstone SC)
4. Tom Cload/Danielle Hollett (Plym YC)
5. Max Capener/Joshua Tear (Weston SC)
6. Niki Birrell/Christian Birrell (Winsford Flash SC)
7. Guy Wilkins/Ben Wilkins (Chipstead SC)
8. Craig Bond/Mitchell Bond (Brightlingsea)
9. Matt Burge/Josh Rumbol (Poole YC)
10. Rachel Wigmore/Selena Knight (Itchenor SC)

Matthew Mc Carthy and ISAF Secretariat
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