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Miracle Open at Port Dinorwic Sailing Club

by Ian Brown 6 May 20:25 BST 4-5 May 2019

The Port Dinorwic Miracle Open, held this year over the weekend of the 4th & 5th of May, might not be the best attended Open on the Miracle circuit but this friendly club on the Menai Straits attracts a loyal travelling party from Delph SC every year. Perhaps not too surprisingly as Louis Moulden, the Miracle Association Chairman and Delph stalwart, is a former member of this seaside club.

Race 1 found us with gusty conditions and an epic course taking in the whole of the strait. Louis Moulden, with crew Lucas Skehan, stormed into a convincing lead where they remained until the finish line. They were followed by local sailors Cathy Goodwin and Cynnan Griffiths in 2nd and Rhys and Alys Griffiths in 3rd. The only other boat to complete this gruelling race.

Race 2 saw the same course but with the conditions easing, Richard Murphy (Murph to his mates) and daughter Leah joined the proceedings. Louis was again first to the windward mark but after grounding his centreboard in a sandbank, the fleet compacted considerably as the chasing boats caught him up. Much tight racing followed with the lead switching place continuously until Louis turtled his boat allowing Rhys and Alys to take the lead. Murph consolidated 2nd place whilst Ian and Lilly Brown attempted to hold off Cathy and Cynnan but it looked sure to be a battle they'd lost until as Cathy tacked to reach the the finish line, Ian drove his boat into the beach to claim 3rd place by a whisker.

The end of day one saw the traditional hospitality we have come to expect from Port Dinorwic with a "More than you can eat" buffet. Louis was first to the windward sausages and then proving it was no fluke, he was first again to the cheesecake.

The field was widened by the arrival of Wayne Atherton and Angela Sweeney. Multiple Open champions who were attempting to take home the silverware by dominating day 2.

Sunday began with very little wind and a strong tide coming into play. Miracle 1667 saw a switch of helm and crew. As race 3 began, the wind dropped considerable and it became a game of chicken with the harbour wall to try and keep your tacks out of the tide. Wayne and Angela showed they meant business when they were first to the windward mark but eventually all the competitors had to cross the strait with its heavy tide and low wind. Murph, a superb light airs sailor used his local knowledge to storm home in 1st with 2nd place Louis a long way behind. The other competitors battled with luck and judgement to find their way to the finish line with Cynann managing a fantastic 3rd place.

Race 4 came after a rolling postponement as the race team took stock of the carnage from the previous race and a simple windward leeward course was settled on, keeping the competitors out of the worst of the tide. Wayne and Angela were again first to the windward mark but this time made it count coming home in first followed by Louis, Murph then Ian and Lilly.

Race 5 began with Ian and Lilly judging the tide to perfection to storm into a commanding lead from which they never looked back. The battle was on for 2nd place with Wayne and Murph trading blows until Wayne and Angela made the spot their own. Louis cruised home in 4th which was enough to win the overall honours on countback but the loudest cheering came from the front as it was Ian and Lillys first ever victory on the Miracle circuit. As back to back winners of the annual travellers trophy, all their practice had finally paid off.

A great win for Louis and Lucas on Louis' old sailing ground, and it was especially good to see so many young crews and helms sailing at this open. Special mention must go to club cadets Gethin Jones and Morgan Rogers who despite being in the oldest boat in the fleet were often in the mix and didn't really deserve to finish bottom of the table.

With the next Open being the Northern Championships at Delph on the 18th &19th May, the scene is set to see if Louis can win back to back events but the smart money must be on Wayne and Angela who are desperate to reclaim a title that has been taken from them by Jack Hopkins for the past 2 years.

Its always a great event at Delph, the Miracles spiritual home. Here's hoping a party of travelling boats will join the large home fleet for a weekend to be remembered but for now we remember fondly the sunset at Port Dinorwic and the great weekend of sailing that saw 5 different winners and a 77 year old champion. Well done Louis and Lucas and thank you for having us PDSC!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st4100Louis MouldenLucas Skehan1[7 RET]2249
2nd3847MurphLeah Murphy[6 DNS]21339
3rd3840Rhys GriffithsAlys Griffiths314[5]513
4th4098Ian BrownLilly Brown[6 RET]364114
5th1667Cynnan GriffithsCathy Goodwin243[6]615
6th3383Wayne AthertonAngela Sweeney[8 DNC]DNC51216
7th1271Gethin JonesMorgan RogersRET5[8 RET]7725

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