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Plas Menai 2015

Miracle Inland Championship at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club

by Michelle Raines on 18 Jul 8-9 July 2017
David & Rebecca Southwell win the Miracle Inlands at Leigh & Lowton © David Raines

Over the weekend of the 8th & 9th July Leigh & Lowton held the Inland Championship. A small fleet attended the event which was a shame as there were blue skies, sun shining and light airs, with free camping for the weekend. The event was run alongside the Europe Inland Championship, however, you have to be in it to win it.

On the Saturday there were 3 races, a practice race followed by 2 point races.

Practice Race

This started with a small postponement due to lack of wind. However, this did not help Ashley Southwell who was still on land putting the finishing touches to his new boat, mainly involving screws. When the start gun went it was a 2 boat race between our chairman Louis with super crew Ross Southwell who had travelled from his army camp to attend and Dave Southwell with 10 year old daughter Rebecca. All credit to Louis and Ross's superior spinney flying Dave just could not catch him.

Race 1

Started with light airs and the wind shifting all over the lake Dave Southwell went right with Ian Brown and picked up some good shifts from the bank. Ashley had his usual poor start and followed Louis down the middle, Dave went round the windward mark first followed by Louis just ahead of Ian. After three challenging laps with the wind doing all sorts of funny things, not just on the beats but also on the spinney legs, Dave just held off Louis and Ashley overtook Ian on the reach to finish third.

Race 2

The sun was still shining and the wind was still playing its part of swinging, dying and then picking back up - OOD nightmare. This time Ashley and Ian went out of the pin end of the start line, Dave was just a bit further up the line and Louis starting at the committee boat end, Dave tacked away to the shouts of starboard from Louis so with ducking hard round the back went back right which again seemed to pay. This time Ashley was stuck with Louis sailing on top of him, Dave went round the windward mark first with again Louis in second, Ashley rounded in 3rd, once again the wind played it's part as there were big losses and gains on each leg. This time Dave finally got away so the battle was for second place and Louis came out on top.

Race 3

Sunday dawned to blue skies and very little wind, but in the same direction. Dave & Rebecca thought 'win the first race then just top up the sun tan for the rest of the day'!! The wind was not playing and decided to disappear, after a small postponement it came back and the OOD had a change of course. At the start Louis shot out of the start gate pursued by the rest of the fleet, Dave just started to play catch up when the wind had its fun again and left the race course, even Rebecca said "Dad were not moving". Stuck in the middle of the flash was not the best place, as the wind came back to the right side of the course just where Louis was and he sailed off into the distance. Dave managed to round in 2nd place, Ian in 3rd so the sun tan was put on hold and big smiles on Louis face.

Race 4

This race was run back to back before our lunch break, another change of course and the wind was still playing tricks. Again the start was key and Louis shot off the start, good tacking was the order of the race as super crew Ross was up for the challenge. Every tack Dave did Louis was there covering, so it was Louis first to the windward mark, Dave in 2nd and Ashley back in 3rd. Ian decided to have an early dinner. Dave was starting to catch up on the long run, but Ross's spinney flying came into its own and Louis managed to stay ahead to win race 4 which now meant it was all down to the last race.

Race 5

The wind was starting to settle down but it needed a change of tactics, with a very port bias on the start line. At the pin Dave decided to do a port flyer, however, Louis was not going to let that happen and came down the line on starboard. good tacking on shifts on the right hand side of the course paid dividends and Dave rounded the windward mark in first place. The reach was a tight one so Dave choose not to fly his spinnaker, this paid off as Ashley and Louis flying spinnakers started to fall off the mark and had to drop them half way down, this then let Dave sail off into the sunset. Louis and Ashley got stuck in traffic from the club sailing boats, this then let Ian sneak pass into 3rd place. Ashley managed to recover the place towards the end, giving Louie another 2nd place.

Fabulous prizes donated by an old Miracle Sailor – Phil Twinnings were part of the presentation, and admired by all. We wish to thank Leigh and Lowton SC for holding the event, Mike Baldwin OOD for keeping the championship on track in very tricky conditions.

Dave dedicated the win to his dad, Dennis Southwell, (Rebecca's granddad) as he not well at the moment but managed to watch the event from the club car park.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelm & CrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
14010David & Rebecca SouthwellLeigh & Lowton11223
24100Louis Moulden & Ross SouthwellDelph/L&L22114
34011Ashley Southwell & Michelle RainesLeigh & Lowton33339
44098Ian James and Lily BrownDelph444DNF12

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