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Miracle National Championship at Rutland Sailing Club - Day 1

by Hannah Metcalfe-Smith 8 Aug 21:34 BST 8-13 August 2021
Miracle Nationals 2021 day 1 © Hannah Metcalfe-Smith

The Miracle fleet set off towards the dam at Rutland on a breezy, rainy morning for the practice race to kick off the 2021 Nationals on Sunday 8th August.

A short start line, but disciplined fleet meant a clean getaway. After that, there was a divergence in tactics, with the fleet splitting around the tower on the way to the windward mark. 4023, previous National Champion Jeremy and Kitty Davy were first to the windward mark, closely by 3805, 2015/2016 National champion and previous Rutland winner Hannah Metcalfe-Smith and her husband Tom, and Wayne and Angela in their new boat 4121.

Elsewhere in the fleet, Graham and Helen (4114) were 2nd to last round the windward mark and were making their comeback through the fleet.

At the following sausage, Hannah and Tom gybed without their kite up, leaving Wayne and Angela an opportunity to take the inside line at the bottom mark.

Another divergence in tactics with Hannah and Tom going left and Wayne and Angela going right saw Hannah retake the 2nd place and stretch the gap on the spinnaker leg to finish in 2nd place.

Graham and Helen made it all the way back to 5th place.

After a long slog back in for lunch, the Miracles returned to the water for Points Race 1 in extremely windy conditions, with gusts of 30 knots recorded on the course.

As such, there were lots of thrills and spills with many capsizing. After big capsizes, Wayne and Angela (4121) and Graham and Helen (4114) retired. Special mention goes to Tom of 3805 for his spectacular, backwards dive off the side of the boat whilst capsizing en route to the first kite mark - entertaining most of the fleet who were all closely bunched at this point. It was caught on camera - footage to follow! Paris 2024 is on the cards.

Staying upright and surviving the conditions served many sailors well, with Jeremy and Kitty in 1st, Simon Reddcliff and Mark Atherton (4007) in 2nd and Paul and Nathan Robinson, Miracle Association Chairman taking an all-time best Nationals result with 3rd. Hannah and Tom brought up the rear of the fleet in a serious turn of fortune from the practice race. Louis Moulden and Bill Morris (4100) managed the wild conditions and didn't capsize - many congratulations to Bill as novice sailor of six weeks for braving it and getting out there!

Sunday evening saw the sailors and families greeted by the Rutland Commodore, for a sunny and calm evening in direct contrast to the days windy weather.

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