Day 5 and final race day of the 2013 Mirror Worlds and it was all still to play for today in the final day of racing. Two boats were still in with a shout and separated by just three points; Ryan & Michaela Robinson from South Africa and Ridgely Ballardes & Rommel Chavez from the Philippines with the Robinsons holding a few more aces due to better discards.
A nice bright breezy morning greeted the 91 boats with 15-18 knots when boats launched but rain with plenty of wind shifts was forecast. The fleet got away eventually on the third start, not before about eight boats had fallen foul of black flag. A black flag casualty was Ireland’s Dougie Elmes who had been lying 5th overall.
The Sutton boats were having much better race with Shane & Ben the 7th boat at the first weather mark with Conor & Matthew and David & Rory also well up in late 20’s.
On second leg it was close between Philippines and lead South African boat with Sutton Shane & Ben still holding a good position in about 15th as the leaders started to make their move. A tight situation was unfurling at top of the leader board and with the wind increasing a great spectacle with a number of capsizes.
With fleet spread across the course down to bottom mark, Ballardes & Chavez were still leading but Robinson & Robinson were very much in touch around the bottom mark. The wind picked up as the lead boats went down the close reach, with one of the lead boats broaching but making a fantastic recovery. The final legs could be key to the destination of the title. If Robinson & Robinson kept a few boats between themselves and Ballardes & Chavez then it would make it very difficult for the Philippine boat. With South African leader Ryan Robinson in 4th and Philippines a few place back it now looked like the title was South Africans to lose going into final race.
Shane & Ben held on to take a 16th and at that stage the best result for Sutton Dinghy Club at this Mirror Worlds. Conor & Matthew continued their good form and took their first Top 20 result when coming home 20th. David & Rory came home in a bunch for a 36th.
The second race was a black flag and general recall with four numbers on the blackboard and a few boats heading for an early bath. First to go were David & Rory and as boats readied for the one minute it became apparent that leader Ryan Robinson (RSA) was also black flagged. It was only when the fleet got away clear and a cheer went up on RSA support boat along with the South African flag, that the 3rd boat black flagged was Philippines pair , so the Mirror Worlds title was heading to South Africa for the first time.
With the Philippines boat now out, the battle was on for second and third place. However 2 Irish boats were in the mix up the first beat with Skerries Sailing Clubs Kerri-Ann Boylan and Sligo’s Jack Maye in top 4 up the first beat. Boylan was first to the weather mark to a rousing cheer from the Irish supporters. With 2 GBR boats including Sarah Richards having a major battle and eventually passing Kerri-Ann Boylan. GBR Sarah Richards took 2nd on the line which was enough to see her take runner up spot behind South Africans who had to sit out the final race.
A great cheer greeted the two Irish boats Kerri-Ann Boylan who took 3rd and Jack Maye who placed 4th. However it transpired that Kerri-Ann Boylan was OCS so 3rd went to Jack Maye from Sligo.
With David & Rory already headed for an early bath after the black flag, the remaining Sutton boats continued their good form on the day. Shane & Ben followed their earlier 16th with a 15th, while Conor & Matthew managed to get up to 21st. Sinead & Eve finished 31st to ensure 34th overall and 5th prize in Silver fleet.
Conor & Matthews consistency throughout the event saw them finish in 38th, with Shane & Ben last day results pushing them up to 46th overall. A tough event for Mirror newcomers David & Rory saw them finish 50th.
The top Irish boat was Dougie Elmes & Scott Levie in 6th after a great series that included two race wins with Alfie Wisdom and Sam Warren in 10th making it two Irish boats in Top 10.
Lough Derg YC have put on a great event and the generosity and friendliness of everybody was greatly appreciated by all the sailors and parents. This Mirror Worlds has been a great sailing occasion with some excellent racing in some tough hard conditions. The class seems invigorated and there seems to plenty of interest from Irish sailors here to stay in the class and prepare for South Africa Jan 2015.