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Miracle Southern Area Championship at Whitefriars Sailing Club

by Andrew Robinson & Paul Robinson 26 Jun 2018 06:09 BST 16-17 June 2018
Miracles at Whitefriars © Patrick Green

Twelve boats competed for the Southern Area Championship in the inaugural Miracle Open meeting at Whitefriars Sailing Club which saw close racing throughout the fleet and three boats with the chance of victory heading in to the final race.

It was great to see 9 visiting boats from as far away as Bolton & Kent traveling to the Cotswold Water Park for this open meeting event. Saturday saw 2 back-to-back races starting at 1:30pm with large gusts and tricky wind shifts across the course. Race 1 was the first time Tom Metcalfe, crewing for Hannah Smith, had raced at a Miracle Open event. The first race was won by Tracey Amos and Gemma Gibson, a start of things to come? Followed closely by David and Zara Turtle in second. The second race of the series was started promptly after and was won by Wayne Atherton and Angela Sweeney, with David and Zara proving to be consistent second place. Saturday's racing ended with 3 boats all tied at the top on 4 points.

A tasty BBQ in the evening refuelled the sailors ahead of what was to be further competitive and testing racing on the Sunday. The Saturday evening quiz was won by the 'Delph Duo' of Angela Sweeney and Ian Brown.

Sunday saw the wind strength lessen with fewer gusts however the tricky wind shifts remained. 2 races took place before lunch and a difficult upwind section in the course meant position changes were aplenty. One especially strong gust swept through the fleet halfway in to the race, nearly sending Ian and Lily Brown swimming and did manage to capsize Hannah and Tom! Tracey and Gemma began the day with a race win closely followed by Wayne and Angela in the first race.

The second race kept the same course, but it was David and Zara to take the race win and Graham Watts and Helen Jacks to finish second. Brian Jones and Jago Wightman took a series high third, something grandson Jago was extremely excited about!

A ploughman's lunch followed for the sailors with the wind conditions ever increasing which would test the abilities of the sailors in the final race.

The results meant the title was wide open with any of the top 3 boats (3692, 4026, 3383) in with a chance of taking home the winners' trophy heading in to the final race.

Race 5 started with a heavily port biased start-line, due to a change in wind direction, seeing Andrew and James Robinson getting off the start line strongly at the pin end. Wayne and Angela got forced below the first windward mark resulting in them ending up near the back of the fleet. They fought back to a worthy 3rd place which left David and Zara and Tracey and Gemma to battle it out at the front for victory. Tracey and Gemma took the race victory meaning they won the inaugural Miracle Open at Whitefriars SC.

Congratulations to mother & daughter Tracey Amos and Gemma Gibson 3692 for winning the Miracle Southern Area Championships. Youngest crew was awarded to Jago Wrightman Smith crewing for his granddad Brian Jones in 4021. Brian won the highest place non-spinnaker boat for the event. It was a close call for the longest distance travelled to the event however our Kent visitors were 4 miles further away that our visitors from Bolton!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubPts
13692T AmosG GibsonReboubt3
24026D TurtleZ TurtleShustoke5
33383W AthertonA SweeneyDelph6
43813G WattsH JacksStanton Harald10
54110P RobinsonN RobinsonWhitefriars15
63101A RobinsonJ RobinsonWhitefriars17
74021B JonesJ WightmanMaidenhead17
84052D ReedJ ReedGirton21
93805H SmithT MetcalfeThornbury23
104098I BrownL BrownDelph24
114020J TippettK BoultonDraycote Water26
122549J ReidM DysonWhitefriars32

Thank you to the support of the Miracle fleet which made for a very enjoyable event and the race, safety & kitchen duty teams at Whitefriars Sailing Club.

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