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Mirror UK National Championships 2023 at Brightlingsea Sailing Club

by Martin Egan 12 Jun 2023 11:38 BST 1-4 June 2023

48 boats including the reigning National Champions, Ben & Keira McGrane, ex-World champion Chris Balding, two time GBR Olympic sailor Chris Grube plus a host of other top sailors, gathered at Brightlingsea SC for the UK Mirror Nationals from 1st to 4th June. To add a little International flavour, there were two boats from Ireland, warming up against GBR sailors prior to the Mirror World Championships in Sligo in July.

Great racing in the sheltered, if tidal, waters of the Colne Estuary. Cracking weather, a campervan site right next to the dinghy park, a bar and a galley providing breakfasts, packed lunches and an evening meal kept everyone fuelled up. Great organisation from Marie & Stephen Cross, Carole Heppell and the Brightlingsea SC crew.

Competitors enjoyed great race management with PRO Phil Rust and his team getting all scheduled 8 races in.

With a large area of high pressure firmly established over the UK, racing started on Friday with a gusty and shifty 3-5 from the NE which built as the day went on. The main fleet completing three races, the first one in the last of the flood tide. After a couple of general recalls, the PRO switched to 'U' penalty starts which curbed the over-eager.

There was also a Regatta fleet for those who only wanted to sail one race per day. On Saturday conditions were similar, but with more sun, and an earlier start, so the tide flooding for longer. Once again the main fleet did their three races and the Regatta fleet one. On Sunday conditions again similar. This time the main fleet just had two races to complete while the Regatta fleet did one, so a fairly early finish, allowing everyone time to pack up and enjoy the prize-giving before heading home.

Adult helms with child crews dominated the top end of the fleet. Ben McGrane with 9 year old Keira crewing finished comfortably ahead of Phil & 8 year old Oliver Smith. Chris Balding had 11 year old Adriana crewing to finish in third. Stuart Hudson with daughter Lizzie crewing were fourth, Paul Smalley had 8 year old Peter crewing to finish fifth.

Top U15 helm was Poppy Armstrong with mum, Natasha, crewing who finished 13th. Top Youths (i.e. U19) were Jessica Greer & Myrtle Bamber from Ireland in 24th place, sailing a borrowed boat. The only all-Junior (U15) boat was Willow Cross and Katie Bees from Brightlingsea in 37th.

Youngest crew prize went to Saskia Leonard in 14th who also took the combined youngest helm and crew prize with her very youthful dad. Youngest helm to complete all races was Morgan Cross with dad Steven crewing, in 25th. The best team of three boats was Netley SC ahead of Bassenthwaite SC. The top wooden boat was James & Meris Date from Burghfield SC in seventh. Single-hander Steve Bland retained his title finishing in 34th.

Once again we had What HAppened Today? (WHAT?). After everyone was changed and re-fuelled, a post-racing debrief by Chris Balding with input from Ben McGrane.

Other after sailing activities included a Beach Olympics competition on the sand in front of the club to round off a lovely sunny day.

Thanks again to Brightlingsea Sailing Club and their sponsors, for putting on a great event.

The Mirror Nationals next year is scheduled for Friday 23rd to Bank Holiday Monday 26th August at Itchenor SC.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Mirror nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stAlna71038Ben McGraneKeira McGraneNetley SC‑2‑82121118
2ndLamborbeanie71013Phil SmithOliver SmithBassenthwaite SC1‑12‑93622216
3rdYOLO70810Chris BaldingAdriana BaldingIsland Barn SC‑855213‑8420
4thHypermouse70683Stuart HudsonLizzie HudsonRoyal Lymington SC423‑93‑77726
5thPrimary Cru70964Paul SmalleyPeter SmalleyChew Valley Lake SC34‑1510584‑1834
6thBlack Pearl71039Chris GrubeEdward GrubeNetley SC‑17‑23412745638
7thShelly70182James DateMeris DateBurghfield SC13‑24‑2374123342
8thWave Catcher Too70922Toby WincerMolly WincerNetley SC7110‑138‑1761244
9th 70668Andy SmithLily SmithBassenthwaite SC12764‑145‑141044
10thReal Deal70971Peter KyneZoe GoodwinBSC‑336116126(OCS)849
11thRenaissance69659Thomax ChaixBen ChaixTralee Bay SC5107111010‑15‑2053
12thBSC70625Mary Henderson WhiteJenson WhiteBSC‑2513‑17591311960
13thSea Glass70499Poppy ArmstrongNatasha ArmstrongWest Kirby SC111411‑17‑221412567
14thLet it Blow71035Alex LeonardSaskia LeonardBassenthwaite SC69‑208‑2015181571
15thBluebell70650Angus ArmstrongIsla ArmstrongWest Kirby SC‑23314‑211621101680
16thBamm‑Bamm71014Adam BroughtonMax BroughtonChew Valley Lake SC9‑2113(OCS)159191782
17thRevenge of the smurfs70832Heather RossHenry RossNetley SC1016181411‑20‑221382
18thBlue70852Alex KnightHarrison SmalleyChew Valley Lake SC15‑318151711‑211985
19thThe Chief71028Sarah ConlonLucy EelesBSC19‑26211813‑3591494
20thToothless70538Andy PickeringFlorence PickeringBlackwater SC1418‑2762718‑3124107
21stIda69020Barnaby SmithJosie Rist‑HeppellBSC/HRSC1817‑2623241617‑26115
22ndFred the Red70989Terry HuntCharlie HuntNetley SC2611(DNC)(OCS)29241611117
23rdBede371011Jarrod SimpsonFinn SimpsonHayling Island SC‑30251224‑35251322121
24thReady or not70646Jessica GreerMyrtle BamberSliga Yacht Club Ireland1622(DNF)261919‑3530132
25thOarsome70945Morgan CrossStephen CrossBSC221529‑30‑32292325143
26thWood stock70351Becky PriestElla SaundersStaunton Harold SC‑372716‑3325282621143
27thHummingbird70587Leighton KingPenny KingNetley SC2120‑28272822‑3227145
28thTwinkle Toes70739Toby HeppellElodie HeppellBSC29(DNC)(DNC)2021232732152
29th 70636Alex BaldingPriti VermaIsland Barn SC28‑352422262630‑31156
30thBlyskawica15563Martin EganFelix HeffernanRestronguet SC2430(DNF)2818(DNF)2929158
31stMCA Demo Boat70905Derian ScottArabella BroughtonChew Valley Lake SC31192229‑383233‑34166
32ndClewless70998Finlay AppletonEmma AppletonBSC20‑3430253330‑3428166
33rdGet Real70959Anna GoodwinClive GoodwinBurghfield SC‑38281931343425‑39171
34thPeer Pressure70714Steven Balnd The Poole Yacht Club32‑3325(OCS)23332833174
35thCrimson Thunder70534Robert ForbesVeronica ForgesIsland Barn SC3629(DNC)(OCS)30DNC2023180
36thSurfs UP70972Jewels VassShiloh Woodroffe‑VassReading SC2739(DNC)193127(DNC)DNC185
37thYeti70743Willow CrossKatie BeesBSC3432(DNC)34‑37312436191
38thDipperforce71007Paul NicholsGabe NicholsChew Valley Lake SC353631353936(DNC)(DNC)212
39thSquirt70513Ronald Vass Reading SC‑40373236‑40373738217
40thJaws65160Keela TudorBrett TudorBSC(DNF)38(DNC)3236DNC3637221
41stHalcyon Days71029Micheal GearMatilde GearMaldon Yacht Club39(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC3835238

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