What a lovely day to be up in the Pennines for another Northern Traveller! The sun was out and the wind was fresh meaning that racing could go ahead without question. Unfortunately the turnout for the Mirrors was poor with only four boats coming; however the Yorkshire and Humberside Travellers were there which meant that the Mirrors could join in with them making the starts harder and the fleet a bit bigger. The racing was also a bit different as instead of 3 hour long races, we did 5 races, one about 45 minutes and the other 4 half an hour each. This meant that we had to use our best tactics on the start line and rather than make places, we had to hold them.
The first race started at 11.30 and the wind kept swinging which meant that the line was very port end biased when the start came. Luckily for Emma and Ben they were the furthest towards the port end, out of all the Mirrors. First round the windward mark was Emma followed by Rachel, then George Richards the Ben and Gabe. Throughout the race the wind kept switching so the distance between the mirrors lengthened and shortened all the time. Rachel managed to overtake Emma at one point, due to choosing the right path down the beat, but was unfortunate at the windward mark as the wind shifted dramatically meaning that she hit it and consequently had to do a penalty turn. This meant that Emma could reclaim her lead towards the end of the race and the positions ended in the same way they started. Emma and Ben were 1st; Reg and George were 2nd; George and Alexander were 3rd; and Ben and Gabe were 4th.
After a short lunch break we went back out for two, back to back, half hour races. The wind was quite unsettled but it came through in time for both races. Again the line became a strong port bias however all the lasers and toppers had also spotted this so it was a better idea to go further from the port end to get clean wind and a clean start. The order around the windward mark remained the same in the second and third races as it did in the third, and all four Mirrors got the same results in the second and third races. Emma and Ben now had 3 firsts and had won the competition however Reg and George had three seconds but had to maintain their position. This was because we had 2 discards in a 5 race event.
The final two races were set in the same conditions as all the others, and line was still biased towards the port end. The order of fleet change don this beat however, Reg and George were 1st around the windward mark, Ben and Gabe 2nd, Emma and Ben 3rd and George and Alexander 4th. This all changed however, because there was an extra mark in the course that was not obvious and Ben and Gabe missed it and did not realise until they had passed. This meant that they had to drop their spinnaker and beat back towards the mark. This resulted in both Emma and Ben, and George and Alex to overtake them. Meanwhile Rachel was ahead in first. This remained for the most part of the raced until the final beat where Emma and Rachel had a mini match race which resulted in Emma overtaking and crossing the line first. Unfortunately Emma and Ben were over the line therefore were OCS.
In the final race the usual positions were found again. The overall results for the event were, Emma and Ben came 1st; Reg and George came 2nd; George and Alexander came 3rd; and Ben and Gabe came 4th.
Final thanks go to Pennine Sailing club for hosting the event and Sarah Richards and Richard Benson for doing the ROD. Hope to see you all at Northampton next weekend.
Report by Emma Grayson