The Mirror national championships are always popular and this year, 56 boats signed up for the Itchenor Sailing Club-based contest.
Among them were Dave Wade, multi-national and European champion, Simon Hiscocks, Olympic silver medallist, and Martin Jones, International 14 winner,
Teams came from as far afield as Cornwall and Scotland and ages ranged from six to 60. Event director Tom Trevelyan said: “The Mirror is the best boat you can sail to develop all-round racing skills.”
There were all combinations of age and gender including this year’s winners, a 13-year-old National champion team. Stiff competition and strength in depth meant little room for error.
Day one saw a leader quickly established, as Tim Rush led the fleet round the course and won the race with crew Ellie Rush.
Second were Melissa Heppell and Amelie Hiscocks, third Angus and Florence Hemmings.
The second race saw the Itchenor tide causing many, including locals, to over-run the windward mark. First place was strongly contested with Heppell and Hiscocks victorious, David and Imogen Wade second, and the Hemmingses third.
The third race was preceded by a trek down to Hayling Island. Bertie Fisher and Felix Kent won it with a clear lead, followed in by Archie Grant and Maddie Hantrais and the Wades.
Day two’s racing was delayted by a wait for wind n day 2 there was no wind, nowhere to go. Everyone hoping for a breeze later, boats are rigged and ready. Martin and Henry Jones were first, Heppel and Hiscocks second, Chris and Alex Balding third.
The final day began without any breezebut eventually one arrived.
Young Fisher and Kent claimed this race, and not far behind were Nigel Thomas and Sam Jones from Hill Head and then the Rush duo.
Race six was abandonered through lack of wind so it was back to Itchenor for a regatta tea and prizegiving, with champions Fisher and Kent crowned.
Twenty-two boats entered Dell Quay’s annual Solo class open meeting, of which 12 were from visiting clubs.
The start of the racing was delayed several times as the fickle and shifting wind required repeated moving of the start line the get the best upwind beat.
With limited room on the start line two boats collided as the signal went for race one, forcing the boat responsible to take a 720-degree penalty turn.
The race concluded without further incident with James Ross (Hamble River SC) taking first place, followed by Martin Frary (Weston SC) in second and Ian McGregor (Salcombe SC) third.
Wind conditions worsened considerably for the second race, leading to several capsizes and retirements. One boat, after capsizing twice, was carried on to the western shore by the wind and tide, requiring a lee shore rescue, expertly performed by the safety boat team of Mike Dicker, Peter King and Rob Corfield.
Podium honours were once again taken by Ross, Frary and McGregor, with Frary swapping with Ross this time to take first place.
The same three once again took podium honours with Frary first, McGregor second and Ross third.
Overall winner of the meeting was Frary with Ross second and McGregor third, a triumph for the visitors which left the host club’s highest placing eighth.
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