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Miracle Welsh Area Championship at Shotwick Lake Sailing Club

by David Turtle 1 Oct 2019 20:28 BST 21-22 September 2019

Shotwick Lake Sailing Club hosted the Miracle Welsh Area Championship over the weekend of 21st/22nd September. The small fleet of five boats enjoyed very contrasting conditions with brilliant sunshine and plenty of wind on Saturday and dull overcast with a lighter breeze on Sunday.

Everybody agreed that the sailing on Saturday was something special with some excellent courses set by Jonathan who once again kindly volunteered for Race Officer for the weekend.

There was a clean start to the first race on Saturday and at the end of the beat the local team of Geoff and Dav together with visitors Wayne and Angela led the rest of the fleet around the first mark. Some crews chose not to use their spinnakers on the short reaches across the lake but there was no such hesitation on the long downwind leg across the whole length of the lake that completed the lap. At the end of the first lap Wayne and Angela made a rare error with their spinnaker drop that allowed Dave and Zara together with Simon and Mark to squeeze past. As the six-lap race progressed Wayne and Angela made a good recovery passing Simon and Mark to take second place but unable to catch Dave and Zara who managed to hold on to their lead until the finish.

There were some slight tweaks to the course for the second race to provide different spinnaker angles but with 25 knot gusts this still did not tempt some of the lighter crews to fly their kites on the shorter legs! In fact, Simon and Mark were the only boat to fly their spinnaker at every available opportunity but this was not enough to catch Dave and Zara who took an early lead that they extended throughout the race. Simon and Mark had a well-earned second place followed home by Wayne and Angela.

After a great afternoon's sailing 20 folk sat around one long table decked with flowers in our cosy warm clubhouse, ready to eat the amazing food prepared for us - a great social evening was had before retiring to our tents etc.

Sunday dawned cloudy and wet following some overnight storms but fortunately the rain had stopped and the wind settled down to a light southeasterly increasing to about 12 knots in the gusts. The Miracles were joined by seventeen club boats that shared the same course but with a separate start. This format worked very well with both fleets enjoying excellent racing. Wayne and Angela resumed battle with Dave and Zara with some close racing before Dave and Zara broke clear to take their third win of the weekend to secure them the title. Dave and Josie found the lighter conditions more to their liking and held on to third place for a while before being overhauled by Simon and Mark.

Unfortunately, as a hearty lunch provided by Shotwick's very welcoming and legendary 'Galley ladies' was being enjoyed, the wind dropped and the heavens opened. Much to the relief of the sailors a short postponement was announced while the storm passed. Eventually the wind settled back to where it was allowing the fourth race to be sailed. Wayne and Angela established a good early lead and looked to be sailing off into the distance before Dave and Zara slowly wore them down to take their fourth win.

Dave and Josie were again sailing well and looked set for a comfortable third place before heading for the wrong buoy allowing Simon and Mark to slip past - so much for local knowledge!

As rain threatened, the wind dropping and the final positions already decided the fifth and final race was abandoned and the boats packed away for a timely finish.

In conclusion, a very enjoyable weekend, great hospitality and good sailing with Dave and Zara retaining the Welsh Area Championship.

Thanks go to Shotwick Sailing Club; its members for sharing the water with the Miracles and to all the volunteers in making it such a successful weekend.

Overall Results:

1stDavid TurtleZara TurtleShotwick/Shustoke
2ndWayne AthertonAngela SweeneyDelph
3rdSimon RedcliffeMark AthertonDelph
4thDave HerbstrittJosie AirnsShotwick
5thGeoff WeirDav TurtleShotwick

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