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Miracle Season Opener at Staunton Harold Sailing Club

by Graham Watts 30 Apr 2023 00:00 PDT 22-23 April 2023

Staunton Harold Sailing Club saw the first event on the Miracle calender this year and were joined on the water by the Fireball and GP14 fleets.

Five visitors from the north and south joined the sole home boat in what turned out to be a coolish moderate breeze with 3 boats that were due to come taken out with illness and boat issues.

Race 1 saw a port end flyer right on the pin by Dave Turtle and his daughter, Zara Frankton in 3794, sporting 4026 sails and sailing off into the distance, never to be challenged by the others. Behind them, places changed on every beat depending on which way favoured for every lap with Jon and Jessica Willars (3834) finishing second, and Wayne Atherton and Angela Sweeney (4121) just holding off Graham Watts and Helen Jacks (4114) for third place.

Race 2 again favoured the pin end with Graham and Helen being over-eager and over the line. They had to go back, but as they went back over the line, the individual recall flag stayed up. Someone else was over-eager, but didn't go back. Wayne and Angela managed to get the first beat right, but were being pressed by Dave and Zara, plus Jon and Jessica with the others not too far behind. On the final two reaches Wayne and Angela pulled away to take the win. The other two were now joined by Graham and Helen on the beat to the line. Dave and Zara managed to cling on to second with Jon and Graham crossing the line together, with only one hoot. After consulting on the result, it was Jon and Jessica that were the other boat over the line at the start.

All the competitors retreated to the clubhouse and bar for a fish and chip and Chinese supper, ready to see what lay in store for Sunday with three more races planned.

Race 3 on Sunday saw light winds and rain just stopping before the start. The Officer of the Day set a short, compact course just in case the wind went completely, but luckily it held. Dave and Zara again sailed into the distance with the rest swapping places in the tricky conditions. Jon and Jessica had some rigging issues, so halfway through the race, 8-year-old Jessica took the helm and sailed to the end, finishing fourth behind Dave, Wayne and Graham.

Race 4 was much closer with all six boats close round the windward mark, but again, it was Dave and Zara just edging out Wayne and Angela at the finish line with Jon and Jessica 3rd.

Race 5 was sailed after lunch and only four boats went out in the torrential rain. Jon and Jessica lead the race with Dave and Wayne in hot pursuit. On the final run, Jon went left, Wayne went right and Dave went down the middle. At the final mark, before the short beat finish, it was Dave and Zara, followed by Wayne and Angela, then Jon and Jessica to finish in that order.

With Dave's boat 3794 being 20 years old, and third place 3834 being 15 years old, it just shows that to be competitive in the Miracle, you don't have to get the cheque book out!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st3794Dave TurtleZara FranktonShustoke SC‑1‑21113
2nd4121Wayne AthertonAngela SweeneyDelph SC‑31‑2225
3rd3834Jon WillarsJessica WillarsBeaver SC2(OCS)‑4338
4th4114Graham WattsHelen JacksSHSC‑433‑4410
5th3805Hannah Metcalfe‑SmithTom Metcalfe‑ SmithThornbury Sailing Club54‑65(DNC)14
6th4110Paul RobinsonNathan RobinsonWhitefriars SC‑6556(DNC)16

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