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Miracle End of Seasons & Welsh Championship at Shotwick Lake Sailing

by Josie Airns 14 Nov 2016 06:30 GMT 10-11 September 2016
Miracle End of Seasons at Shotwick Lake © Geoff Weir

The Miracle 'End of Season' and Welsh Area Championships at Shotwick Lake Sailing Club was a real success. A great time was had by all, both on and off the water. A big thank you goes to all who came along and to all those willing volunteers from Shotwick who made it happen.

The weekend started with tents going up on Friday night with more arriving on Saturday morning. On the Saturday morning we woke to the sound of geese flying over the lake with swans and coots making the most of the water before 10 Miracles arrived to take over their space! This was added to by the arrival of several vans/cars with Newfoundland Rescue dog owners carrying out Rescue tests for their dogs at the far end of our little water. Who needs a safety boat! The wafting smell of bacon baps welcomed the visiting sailors and the club's much appreciated volunteer officials who ran the event.

The racing was excellent—Saturday's conditions were warm with light to medium airs changing direction by the minute during the racing, sending us on a beat to one end of the lake and on going round the buoy to head back finding ourselves on a beat again! Gusts coming in on isolated areas of the lake in the proverbial triangle running towards boats, sending them into a moment of turbulence. So the first 2 races on Saturday were for skilful sailing, which I can't say we mastered on Miracle 3770! The day ended with Wayne Atherton and Angela Sweeney from Delph (Welsh Area Champion for several years in a row) and Shotwick's own Dave Turtle and Zara Turtle winning one race each, followed close behind by Dave Butler and Ross Fleming from Welton. During the evening we all settled down to a hearty meal and a good social gathering which everyone seemed to enjoy. Thanks to Cathy and Leah Goodwin from Port Denorwick for making the effort to join us for the one day on Saturday and for staying late for the meal, adding to the warm community spirit of the Miracle fleet.

On Sunday we shared the water with Shotwick's Club Regatta – the 3 races operating separate starts went smoothly as 19 boats in total criss crossed their way around the course in wind speeds of 16 knots, gusting 24 knots. With the winds getting stronger as the day went on, it was clear that Wayne had some keen competition with Dave Turtle. After 4 races they were two races each! This left the trophy hanging on the last race. Further down the fleet there seemed to be 3 groups forming, all having good racing in their part of the fleet, which made the racing interesting whatever your level. Keen competitive sailors were Ian and Lilly Brown from Delph, who kept a close eye on the possibility of winning the Super 6 Series prize of a free spinnaker or jib, (courtesy of Gibson Sails)– which I am pleased to say they achieved, well done Ian and Lilly.

Up until the last leg of the race Wayne and Angela were ahead with the trophy in their grasp, but a last minute burst from Dave and Zara saw them overtaking and pipping Wayne and Angela over the finish line just seconds ahead to bag the Trophy on their home ground. So Wayne and Angela from Delph came in 2nd place, followed by Dave Butler and Ross Flemming from Welton in 3rd position. Such a close race and one that will be remembered. It has to be said that Dave & Zara and Wayne & Angela BOTH deserved to go home with a Trophy, having provided some excellent sailing and being a great challenge to each other throughout the weekend, but our congratulations go to Dave & Zara the new Welsh Area Champions.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelm & CrewClub
14026David and Zara TurtleShustoke
23383Wayne Atherton & Angela SweeneyDelph
34060Dave Butler & Ross FlemingWelton
43813Graham Watts & Helen JacksStaunton Harold
54007Simon Reddecliffe & Mark AthertonDelph
63657Rob & Rachael CockingDelph
73770David Herbstritt & Josie AirnsShotwick Lake
84052David & Jean ReedGirton
9662Cathy Goodwin & Leah MurphyPort Dinorwic
104098Ian Brown & Patrick GloverDelph