The Father and son team of Andy and Tom SMITH are the 2009 Mirror World Champions after the British weather put paid to what looked set to be a spectacular final day showdown at the Pwllheli Sailing Club in North Wales.
Conditions on the racecourse were already pretty adverse when the competitors arrived at the regatta centre early this morning and the situation failed to improve as the day progressed. Principal Race Officer Mike PEARSON made several trips out to the race area by rib before finally deciding that the combination of high winds and huge waves was simply too unsafe to send the fleet afloat.
The abandonment of racing means that Andy and Tom SMITH (GBR) are confirmed as the 2009 Mirror World Champions. The duo sailed an impressively consistent series, backing up an early race win with a string of top 10 results which see them take overall victory by a margin of 12 points. A delighted Andy was quick to praise the contribution of his ten-year-old son Tom who has braved some ferocious conditions during the Championship.
"We are delighted to have won this week and I'm really proud of the way Tom has sailed,"
said Andy. "Even in the really windy stuff he was always concentrating and he worked very hard all week."
Andy, who is a past Fireball World Champion and joined the Mirror Class just over a year ago with a goal of introducing his son to competitive sailing, says he has been really impressed with the quality of the younger sailors at this Championship. "They are really pretty impressive and well coached so there are no easy places to be made at the front of fleet."
Amazingly for a 10 year old, Tom seems to have taken his World Championship victory in his stride. "I thought we might do well" he said "But I didn't expect to win. I'm really pleased we have though."
Second overall is brother and sister team Chris and Jessica RUST (GBR), who despite some great results including a win in race six, in the end could not match the consistency of the SMITHs. Still clearly delighted with second overall they were nevertheless disappointed not to get a chance to race on the final day.
Third overall and also winning the Oceanair 2009 Mirror Junior World Championship is Izy FITZGERALD crewed by Emily PETERS (GBR). They too say they would have been keen to race today despite the extreme conditions. "We didn't have much of a chance of catching Chris and Jessica,"
commented FITZGERALD. "But it would have been nice to have a go."
Izy's sister Charlotte FITZGERALD
crewed by Annie SIBTHORP
(GBR) finished second overall in the Junior Worlds and fourth overall in the main Championship. Third place in the Junior Championship went to Tom LOVESEY and Milly PUGH (GBR). Ross KEARNEY and Katy JONES (IRL), who last week won the 2009 Mirror UK National Championship round out the overall top five places in the main Championship.
The 2009 Mirror Beach Worlds for those competitors not quite ready for the cut and thrust of the Championship has been running alongside the main event all week. Matthew JAYCOCK and his daughter Eloise JAYCOCK won the 2009 Mirror Beach Worlds title with James LOVESEY and Eleanor BELLFIELD took second overall with Chris and Tom MOORE securing the final podium position.
Results - click here