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Miracle Midland Championship at Staunton Harold Sailing Club

by Hannah Smith 6 Sep 08:57 BST 4-5 September 2021

The Miracle Midland Championship at Staunton Harold Sailing Club got off to a great start with a light and shifty breeze and sunshine.

Race 1

The first race started at 1400, with a complicated course. The first mark was busy with Hannah Metcalfe-Smith and her Dad Nick Smith round first, with Tracy Amos and Gemma Gibson in second, with the Association Chairman Paul Robinson and his crew Dave Dyson third around the mark.

On the second lap, Tracy and Gemma got the inside track and got in front of Hannah and Nick, with Jon and Jess Willars coming into third place, with Paul and Dave dropping back to finish 5th.

Race 2

In the second race, Jon and Jess had a cracking start at the pin, crossing the fleet on port, making it to the windward mark first, with Tracy and Gemma in 2nd and Hannah and Nick in 3rd, with Paul and Dave in 4th.

The cluster of the top three boats stayed together throughout the race with Tracy and Gemma going past Nick and Hannah on the beat, and past Jon and Jess on the gybe.

Gemma and Tracy stayed front to get their second bullet of the day with Jon and Jess in second and Hannah and Nick finishing close behind.

Simon Reddecliffe and Mark Atherton pulled away to come 4th, with Graham and Helen in 5th and Paul and Dave slipped back to finish 6th.

Race 3

Hannah and Nick shot off the favoured committee boat end, but tried to work the shore, whilst Tracy and Gemma utilised the middle of the lake to good effect going first around the windward mark and stayed there for the duration of the race. New arrivals, Wayne and Angela strode into second place, with Jon and Jess Willars in 3rd. With the top three places were settled early on - the main racing was further back in the fleet. The wind of variable strength and direction meant for snakes and ladders on the beat and ever changing spinnaker legs, with the wind swinging so much that a tight reach turned into a windward leg on the third lap. Hannah and Nick gybed on the mark, but Simon and Mark took a lower track, gybing across through after Nick and Hannah and before Paul and Dave. They had to gybe again to make the leeward mark with Hannah and Nick going around in front of them to take fourth place.

Race 4

The wind dropped and became flukey for the 4th race after lunch. A congested start line meant that Hannah and Nick went around the windward mark second to last, with Tracy and Gemma around first holding onto their lead to get their fourth bullet of the weekend. With their best result of the weekend Simon Reddecliffe and Mark Atherton made their way into 2nd, with Jon and Jess in 3rd and Wayne and Angela in 4th. Hannah and Nick were battling Graham and Helen for 5th place with lots of swapping of places on the various legs, but Helen and Graham came out on top.

Race 5

Having sealed their win without doubt in the fourth race, Tracy and Gemma chose not to compete in the fifth race of the championships as did Dave and Jean and Paul and Dave with the difficult conditions frustrating all of the sailors. Keith Martin and John Whitehouse stuck it out and finished the race in 5th, a best result for them. Jon and Jess Willars escaped the rest of the remaining competitors to get away and stay away to win the race and secure 2nd place overall. 2nd and 3rd place was hard fought between Hannah and Nick and Simon and Mark. A bear away on port for Simon at the windward mark, meant that Hannah and Nick slipped away to secure 2nd place and 3rd overall.

The wind conditions made tough and tight racing throughout the fleet over the weekend but the slick boat handling of Tracy and Gemma unbeatable, as evidenced by their clean sweep.

The remainder of the season for the Miracles is jam-packed with next events for the Miracles at:

  • Delph Sailing Club on 2nd - 3rd October
  • Shustoke Sailing Club on 9th - 10th October
  • Welton Sailing Club on 16 - 17th October

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