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Ocean Elements 2016

Miracle North East Championship at Welton Sailing Club

by Richard Brameld 11 May 2015 08:17 BST 9-10 May 2015

The Miracle North East Championship took place at Welton Sailing Club on the weekend of 9/10th of May. The fleet was greeted by a good force six gusting seven. The boats chose to hide in the lee of the clubhouse whilst the humans hid inside. Thankfully the decision to postpone until after lunch was a wise one. Whilst the crews were fed and watered the wind was abating to a more manageable four gusting five.

Race one got underway without hitch. As the lighter crews battled with the conditions, Dave Butler and Ross Flemming showed their intention by disappearing into the lead. They continued faultlessly to the finish; leaving the rest of the fleet to battle it out with Richard and Todd Brameld gaining second. Richard Wharram and daughter Hannah placed third.

A gaffer tape plaster on Jon Willars boat ensured race two got away cleanly. The gaffer tape must have given a slight edge as Jon and Rachel led round the first lap. They battled with Dave Butler and Ross whilst Richard and Todd were in hot pursuit. Butler finally fired the afterburners up and disappeared into the lead. This left Richard and Todd chasing Jon and Rachel with Richard and Hannah breathing down their necks. Spinnakers up, flying down the reach, on the edge of control - Jon Willars' rudder snapped resulting in a capsize. Taking advantage, Richard and Todd passed. The positions remained unchanged to the finish.

Sunday dawned with a beautiful force three to four and the sun welcomed another couple of local boats onto the water.

The third race got under way with a faultless start line and fantastic course. The racing was neck and neck throughout the fleet. One mistake and you were spat out the back. In the end Dave Butler and Ross flew past Jon and Rachel and won the championship with two races to spare. It was a photo finish for third place between Dave Smith and Richard Brameld - with no more than an inch between them.

By the fourth race Dave Smith, Richard Brameld and Jon Willars all had their eye on second place. Once again the racing was intensely fun. Butler was still on fire, but with the rest of the fleet making him work for it. Richard and Todd finally got it together to get past Dave and Giles, and the other chasing pack, and totally nailed the long close reach down the lake. Not satisfied with that, they proceeded to wind the fast Butler boat in. The next couple of laps continued with Dave and Giles in hot pursuit keeping things interesting. In the end the Butler boat outpaced the rest of the fleet with Richard and Todd in second; giving them second overall.

The final race of the series commenced with a couple of boats calling it a day and a quick crew change for Richard Wharram now with son 'Fast' Max. Brilliant racing ensued tit for tat all the way round with fast planing reaches, and hard core beats it just couldn't have got any better. It was a clean sweep of first places for Dave Butler. The battle continued right up to the last mark with Jon pushing Richard and Max up. Dave Smith stayed low and sailed off to the finish leaving Jon/Rachel, Rich/Max and Rich/Todd fight it out to the end. Rich/Max had to take turns en route, leaving him gutted in fifth. Rich/Todd placed fourth and Jon/Rachel placed third.

Thanks go out to all at Welton Sailing club for a fantastic weekend: the food was excellent; the racing was awesome; and the beautifully hand-crafted glassware made gratefully-received prizes.

The Miracle is going from strength to strength at this club as more and more people are realizing its versatility to get the kids, grandkids, wives and girlfriends out enjoying this real grass roots class. Boats are available for a few hundred pounds and an immense amount of pleasure can be had.

Overall Results:

1st Dave Butler/Ross Flemming in Mayhem 2nd Richard/Todd Brameld in Woody 3rd Dave/Giles Smith in 4031 4th Jon Willars and Rachel Day in Holey Sh** 5th Richard/Hannah/Max Wharram in All The Names Under The Sun 6th John/Kathy Tippet in 4020 7th Dave/Jean Read in 4052 8th Angela/Paul Featherstone in 3720