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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD
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Miracle Southern Area Championship at Whitefriars Sailing Club

by Andrew Robinson 10 Jul 2023 08:55 BST 1-2 July 2023

Breezy, shifty winds awaited ten Miracles for the Southern Area Championship at Whitefriars Sailing Club.

The first race started with winds gusting 20kts. Wayne Atherton and Angela Sweeney flew off the start line into an early lead and maintained their position to take the first race win. Graham Watts and Helen Jacks reached the first mark in second and finished the race in this position. Behind the top two, Simon Turnbull and Vivienne and Andrew Robinson and Hannah Mumford had a close race for third place, in what would become a common theme throughout the weekend. The boats were changing places almost every leg, at one point a gust almost sending both boats capsizing whilst reaching. It was Simon and Vivienne who eventually came out on top and finished in third. Further down the fleet John Coppenhall, sailing a Miracle for the first time, with his grand-daughter Sophie finished in seventh.

The wind strength increased for the second race, with the gusts and holes in the wind becoming bigger. Graham and Helen raced into the lead and held first place for two laps before they were overtaken by a determined Wayne and Angela who would go on to take the race win. Behind the top two, Simon and Vivienne and Andrew and Hannah continued their close racing for 3rd place. Both boats made mistakes under the pressure hitting marks or sailing straight past marks in the gusty conditions. It was Andrew and Hannah who finished ahead in the second race. Carolynn and Nick finished in fifth position after a close race with Paul and Nathan. Dave Dyson and Dave Harper finished ahead of John C and Sophie. A notable mention to competitors Michael and Alexander Silverwright who were competing in their first Miracle Open meeting at their home club of Whitefriars.

Sunday began with 10kts of wind but with the forecast building. For the first race the race team decided to set a course sending the fleet down 'the cut'. A narrow opening in the lake, banked by trees where the winds are notoriously shifty. It meant the fleet was closely bunched heading in to the first mark, Wayne and Angela lead ahead of Simon and Vivienne followed by John T and Kathy. John C, now sailing with his other granddaughter Chloe, had a tight battle around the race course with Dave and Dave. Wayne and Angela won the race, their third bullet, meaning they won the Southern Area Championship. Graham and Helen finished in second ahead of Simon and Vivienne. Paul, now sailing with Emily, finished in fifth narrowly ahead of John C and Chloe and Dave and Dave. John T and Kathy, who had an unfortunate incident with their spinnaker on the first lap, finished in eighth position.

Graham and Helen, determined not to let Wayne win all 5 races, got a flying start in the second race of the day. They held first place to the finish line to claim the race victory. Wayne and Angela had a poor start and were in sixth at the first mark, meaning they had to sail their way through the fleet. They eventually passed Andrew and Hannah on the final lap to finish the race in second. Paul secured his third fifth place finish in the race. John C and Chloe, Dave and Dave and John T and Kathy had an extremely close race, swapping places regularly throughout the race.

Heading into the final race, the points were tied for third place in the Championship. The race turned in to a four-way battle between Wayne, Graham, Simon and Andrew. Graham and Helen lead for the early stages of the race, followed by Andrew and Hannah who were importantly ahead of Simon and Vivienne. Wayne was chasing the top three down eager to finish the event with another win. An unfortunate gust caught Simon and Vivienne out on the second beat which led to a capsize and meant there were three boats fighting out for the final race win. Andrew and Hannah managed to get in to first place but were unable to hold on to it. Off the last leeward mark it was Graham immediately followed by Wayne with Andrew a few boat lengths behind. With Graham and Wayne following each other on the left, Andrew tacked off early. Wayne creeped past Graham to windward. A wind shift, 3 boat lengths before the finish line meant a tack was required to cross the line. Wayne tacked and crossed the line. Andrew was free to tack on the shift at the pin end and took second place from Graham by half a boat length. All 3 boats were within a boat length of each other on the line. A very close finish to the final race of the Championship! Simon and Vivienne recovered to finish in fourth position. John T and Kathy finished the final race with their best result of the event in fifth, narrowly beating John C and Chloe to the line.

Congratulations to Wayne and Angela winning the Miracle Southern Area Championship for the second year in a row. Graham and Helen finished 2nd and Andrew and Hannah in 3rd. Vivienne and Emily both took prizes as the youngest crews (10 years old).

A massive thank you to the race team, Elizabeth MacDonald and Dave Whittle, and all the volunteers & duty teams at Whitefriars SC for helping to run the event. Liam who cooked an excellent BBQ on the Saturday evening and Ana and family who cooked and served a tasty Chicken Curry for the sailors on Sunday for lunch.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
14121Wayne AthertonAngela SweeneyDelph SC111213
24114Graham WattsHelen JacksStaunton Harold SC222135
34123Andrew RobinsonHannah MumfordHunts SC434328
44050Simon TurnbullVivienne TurnbullPembrokeshire SC3434410
54110Paul RobinsonNathan Robinson / Emily HockingWhitefriars SC5655DNF15
64020John TippettKathy BoultenDraycote Water6DNF86517
74010John CoppenhallChloe Brisley / Sophie BrisleyHunts SC / Whitefriars SC7867619
83717Dave DysonDave HarperWhitefriars SCDNF778DNF22
94115Carolynn SmithNick SmithThornbury SCDNF5DNCDNCDNC27
101145Michael SilverwrightAlexander SilverwrightWhitefriars SCDNFDNFDNCDNCDNC33

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