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Mirror Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by Paul Nichols 31 Oct 2023 17:46 GMT 21-22 October 2023

Chew Valley saw the famous red sails return to the lake hosting a two-day Mirror Inlands championship. An entry of 21 boats competed with competitors travelling from 8 different clubs across England & Wales.

As Storm Babet battered the North of England, Chew remained relatively peaceful as the high calibre field, a wash with elite sailors produced close and enjoyable sailing over the two days.

A mid-day start on Saturday saw a mild Northerly going West challenge the race committee to get the fleet away eventually under a U flag to see Ben & Kiara McGrane take honours in the first two races after competitive sailing throughout the fleet. Will & Isabelle Crocker grabbed a 2nd place in race 1, and Toby & Molly Wincer took 2nd in Race 2. Chris & Edward Grube remained consistent picking up two 3rds. The final race of the day saw Toby get away on the beat to lead from the front with Geoff & Zac Carveth picking up 2nd from Ben & Kiara in 3rd as the temperature dropped and winds eased.

Sunday saw a change in the weather as the Sun graced the lake. Ben and Kiara got into their stride winning the first race with Geoff & Zac bagging another 2nd place with Ian & Ted Dobson in their wooden boat taking 3rd. The swirling conditions pushed the fleet in the second race as Chris & Edward battled with Rachel Grayson and Harry Smalley at the front, Chris taking the honours from Rachel with Geoff & Zac finishing 3rd.

The final race of the day Saw Ben & Kiara back to the front with Adam & Arabella Broughton pushing through to take 2nd with Toby & Molly bagging 3rd spot.

Ben & Kiara extended their honours to include the Inlands championship with Chris & Edward Grube runners up and Toby & Molly in third. Top Chew boat and Lady helm went to Rachel Grayson with Harry Smalley in 4th and Geoff Carveth picked up the Over 50 helm trophy finishing 5th with son Zac. Top wooden Boat fell to Ian & Ted in 7th. Lucy & Rosy Searle landed the Race Committee's Anchor trophy for the happiest boat completing all races with the best smiles and Traveller awards were also made to Tim & Molly Hall from Port Dinorwic and Justin & Felix Denny from Arnside.

Chew Commodore Andy Jones presented the silverware to the fleet with trophies also awarded for the Race winners of R1, R4 & R6. Ben paid tribute to Chew for hosting the event and look forward to a regular notch in the Mirror Calendar going forward.

Strength to Strength

With the relentless support of Martin Egan & Chris Balding and the inputs from Ben McGrane amongst others, the class continues to grow and grow. And with regular events now appearing in many clubs calendars the Mirror remains one of the true gateways for many into such a great sport.

With over 71,000 boats since the first wooden kits were built in the early 60's for £64. Now we see many acclaimed sailors using this friendly boat to bring their children and grandchildren into sailing and Racing. Whilst the Mirror Dinghy has changed over the years - it is still competitive throughout - Wooden, and Gaff Rig Vs the GRP Bermudan Rig now flaunted by the stylish GRP version.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st70987 ‑ Elsa Ben McGraneKeira McGraneNetley1131‑517
2nd71039 ‑ The Black PearlChris GrubeEdward Thompson GrubeNetley334‑61516
3rd70922 ‑ Wave Catcher TooToby WincerMolly WincerHISC & Netley‑82148318
4th70964 ‑ Primary CruRachel GraysonHarry SmalleyChew Valley Lake65‑1352422
5th70556 ‑ Stroma IIGeoff CarvethZac CarvethHayling island10‑13223623
6th71042(?) sailing as 70713 (white hull)Matthew McGovernLewis McGovernSSSC44‑1276728
7th54453 ‑ dontlegoIan DobsonTed DobsonHayling island96934‑1031
8th71014 ‑ Bamm‑BammAdam BroughtonArabella BroughtonChew Valley Lake79108(OCS)236
9th70832 ‑ Revenge of the SmurfsHeather RossHenry RossNetley5‑1471071140
10th70916 ‑ MoreJoshRichard SearleRupert SearleItchenor‑16881213950
11th70852 ‑ BlueJohn SmalleyPeter SmalleyChew Valley Lake137(DNF)9101251
12th70587 ‑ HummingbirdLeighton KingPenny KingNetley12156119(DNC)53
13th70573 ‑ Little Miss ChatterboxWill CrockerIsabelle CrockerWelton2105(DNC)DNCDNC61
14th70324 ‑ StarlordJustin DennyFelix DennyArnside14‑161116151470
15th70713 ‑ Peanut (grey hull)Lucy SearleRosy SearleItchenor15‑191617141375
16th69971 ‑ Who's BlueTim HoughtonAndy GribbleChew Valley Lake(DNC)DNCDNC1411877
17th71007 ‑ Dipperforce Paul NicholsGabe NicholsChew Valley Lake1717151516(DNC)80
18th70570Tim HallMolly HallPort Dinorwic1818(DNF)1312DNC83
19th70989 ‑ Fred The RedTerry HuntCharlie HuntNetley1112(DNF)DNCDNCDNC89
20th71011 ‑ Bede3Jarrod SimpsonFinn SimpsonHayling island(OCS)1114DNCDNCDNC91
21st70905 ‑ Big DippersAlice SemenenkoRuth KenyonChew Valley Lake(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC110

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