The season for the Mirrors got off to a great start over the weekend in Lough Ree Yacht Club with the Westerns. Great sailing was to be seen in the lake with 15 boats competing in a total of seven races. Speaking to Graham Elmes, coach for the Mirror class on Saturday after 4 races, "There were testing conditions with shifts in the winds and varying wind speeds of 2 -8 knots which will prepare the sailors for the Mirror Worlds being held in Lough Derg later this year".
The first day’s racing saw a different sailor win each race namely Tiarnan Dickson with his crew Alex Leech Lough Ree YC winning the 3rd race and lying first overall at the end of Day 1 with 5 points. Cian Hickey Skerries S C with Caolan Croasdell LRYC lying 2nd overall with 8 points and winning race four. Beth Armstrong Sligo YC and her crew Samuel Wray also had 8 points and she won the first race of the event. Peter Reegan and Eugenie Dalby from Lough Ree YC was lying fourth and he won the second race.
The wind shifts might have been the cause for the sailors’ failure to maintain consistency' according to some of the onlookers from David Dickson’s barge. However, it should be pointed out that Tiarnan did have 1 first and 3 seconds – possibly local knowledge could have played a factor here.
Day 2 of the Westerns took place in blustery conditions which would have appeared to suit some of the more weathered sailors. With wind gusting up to 20 knots in a very cold north easterly wind three very exciting races took place.
The races kicked off with Race 5 which was won by Cian Hickey and Caolan Croasdell with Jacy Maye and Oisin McAllister coming in second and Ronan Armstrong and Eva Martin from Sligo YC coming 3rd. Best of the silver were local sailors Jack Ryan and Ben Gaf in race 5 and the best of the bronze was Sutton sailors Shane Mcloughlin and Ben Jennings. Race 6 was won by Cian and Caolain and followed Ronan Armstrong and Eva Martin coming in a close second followed by other Sligo sailors Beth Armstrong and Samuel Wray. Going into the last race there was just one point between the top two sailors Cian and Caolan on 10 points and Tiarnan and Alex on 10 points and Beth and Samuel on 17 points.
Cian and Caolan held onto their winning form and won the race. 2nd place in the final race went to Shane McLoughlin and Ben Jennings SDC and 3rd place went to Ronan and Eva from Sligo YC. Overall racing proved very exciting over the 2 days a key factor would be the excellent racing provided with thanks to the PRO Vincent Rafter and his skilled team. Congratulations to Shane McLoughlin and Ben Jennings from Sutton DC who now move up to the Silver fleet and Jack Ryan and Ben Gaf LRYC who move up to the Gold fleet.