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Miracle National Championship 2023 at Brixham Yacht Club - Day 1

by Hannah Metcalfe-Smith 13 Aug 2023 11:57 PDT 13-18 August 2023
Miracle Nationals at Brixham Day 1 © Brian Jones

The 2023 edition of the Miracle Nationals is underway in Devon at Brixham Yacht Club, kindly sponsored by SailingChandlery.com.

Today's sailing events saw boat tuning efforts in the boat park, ahead of an afternoon on the water, with a short briefing from our Race Officer for the week.

The Miracles took to the water, with some sailors misled by the warm conditions in the sheltered boat park and harbour. A tricky exit from the harbour which is sheltered in today's sou'westerly breeze turned up as forecast with lumpy gusts at times.

The day's sailing started with a couple of one-lap practice races to get everyone into gear and ready for the Practice Race to start the Championship.

The Practice Race started with a group of boats sailing from the pin end to the left-hand side of the course. Hannah and Tom Metcalfe-Smith were in the middle of the group, but left the melee and went across to the right-hand side of the course and took an enviable lead which they retained through the spinnaker legs of the Olympic-style course. The second windward leg proved tricky with Wayne Atherton and Angela Sweeny tacking straight away at the bottom mark, and Hannah and Tom carrying straight on for a little way. The gap closed down throughout the leg, but Hannah and Tom managed to stay in front for the second lap.

The big conditions proved challenging for all, with an unexpected capsize for Carolynn and Nick Smith in Queen Bee.

On the third lap, there seemed to be a small break in the depth of the breeze on the final windward leg, allowing Wayne and Angela to catch up the race leaders and overtake on the windward mark, after which Hannah and Tom couldn't make up the difference, taking second place.

Sunday evening holds the competitors briefing and the Commodore's reception for those taking part this year in the beautiful surrounds of the Brixham Yacht Club bar.

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