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Miracle Inland Championships at Burton Sailing Club

by John Tippett 19 Jul 2015 11:15 BST 27-28 June 2015
Hannah and Nic Smith win the Miracle Inland Championships at Burton 2015 © Kevan Bloor

"We nearly all went for a Burton"

Seven boats from the South West, North Wales, Yorkshire and the Midlands came to Burton Sailing Club for the Miracle Inland Championships sailed round the club buoys in what proved to be some very testing conditions.

The forecast for Saturday was for a gentle force 2/3 westerly in sunshine. Well, we did get the sun which brought the sunbathers and parasols out on the Country Park beach opposite, but we also got gusts of Force 4 which came out of nowhere and made for some interesting sailing particularly on the long dead runs.

Two races were scheduled on the Saturday with 3 more on Sunday and with 3 Races to count. Hannah and Nick Smith (3805) led from the off in the first race with Graham Watts and Helen Jacks (3840) next then John Tippett and Kathy Boulton in 4020.

On the last lap Graham and Helen got the dreaded " spinnaker sheet under the boat syndrome " allowing 4020 to move up into second place with 3840 third. Behind them Dave and Jean Reed (4052) overtook Dave Herbstritt and Josie Arrns (3770) to finish 4th and 5th respectively followed by newcomers Cathy Goodwin and Cerys Murphy (662) from Port Dinorwic Sailing Club.

Graham and Helen had a quick run to the shore of the Country Park to untangle their spinnaker sheets and then desperate beat back to the start line in time for the Race 2 start.

Again the Smiths lead followed by 3840 despite their trauma and then 4020, 3770, 662, and 4052 but on the last beat John and Kathy passed 3840 otherwise the order stayed the same at the gun.

Rain first thing on Sunday saw another layer of clothing being added, the wind had picked up too with stronger gusts which made the dead runs the Race Officer had set very interesting, or exciting, depending on your view point.

Dave Butler and Ross Flemming (4060) had joined the fleet for Sunday's racing and in Race 3 straightaway showed their aptitude for the heavy weather leading the Fleet by the first lap, however, by lap 2 Hannah and Nick were back in the lead followed by 4060, 3770, 4020 and 4052. Cathy and Cerys had retired, as had Graham and Helen with boat damage following a capsize.

At the finish the order was Hannah & Nick, Dave & Ross, John & Kathy, Dave & Josie and Dave & Jean.

The wind had gradually increased by Race 4 which Dave and Ross led from the start to finish. Hannah and Nick had capsized in a huge gust with the kite up on a close reach which dropped them back to 5th at the first lap. Dave and Josie maintained second place until the last lap when they were overtaken by Hannah and Nick who had fought their way back to second place at the gun.

So the finish for Race 4 order was 4060, 3805, 3770, 3840, 4020, 4052, 662 We broke off for dinner, but by the time Race 5 got underway the wind was getting still stronger, the Race Officer recorded 30 knot gusts at times, and the brave souls who sailed it said that conditions were very difficult with the gusts seeming to come from all directions and not allowing the crews to settle into any rhythm.

After the first lap 3805 led from 4060, then 3840, 3770, and 662 and this order stayed unchanged until Dave and Ross capsized in a gust on the beat, allowing Graham and Helen to take 2nd, Cathy and Gerys passed Dave and Josie on the last lap to finish 4th and 5th positions.

So our new National Inland Champions for 2015 are Hannah Smith crewed by her dad Nick.

Overall Results:

PosHelm & CrewClubSail NoR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1Hannah & Nick SmithThornbury3805111213
2Dave Butler & Ross FlemmingWelton4060  2136
3John Tippett & Kathy BoultonDraycote40202235DNS7
4Graham Watts &Helen JacksStaunton Harold384033DNF428
5David Herbstritt & Josie AirnsShotwick Lake37705443511
6Cathy Goodwin & Cerys MurphyPort Dinorwic66265DNF7415
7David & Jean ReedGirton40524656DNS15