Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mark Pitt rewarded for Outstanding Contributions to Mirror Sailing In Australia

Bill Jaffray Memorial Winner and Commodore Paul Terry

Like so many in the Mirror Class, Mark Pitt started out sailing with his children.  Nearly 20 years ago he ventured down to Nedlands Yacht Club with his then 8 year old daughter Caroline to try a Mirror.  He immediately joined Hillarys yacht Club and started competing in his first Mirror, Darkstar.  He sailed with each of his three children over the next 15 years both as skipper and crew.  They all sailed to a high level and Caroline was National Ladies Champion on two occasions.

He travelled to Ireland, South Africa and Tasmania for the World Championships and has also been involved in National Championships in Canberra, Queensland and Victoria.

Mark held the position of Dinghy Captain for many years at Hillarys and championed the Mirror at the club throughout that time as well as right through to the present when he drives the promotion of Mirrors at the club.

He has served the Mirror Class Association of WA for the majority of the time he has been involved in Mirrors holding a number of Committee positions but most notably those of Vice President and the demanding role of Editor of the association’s quarterly newsletter for some 15 years.  He has also coordinated our travellers series and email communications with members and filled in as Secretary when that position has been left vacant.

Long after his children have left the class Mark has continued to show great passion for, and devotion to, the Mirror.  He currently owns four or five Mirrors including his original boat Darkstarwhich he recently found badly neglected at a local club.  He willingly loans his boats to others to encourage them to take up Mirror sailing.

Mark has travelled to the US in the last 12 months in an effort to have them compete in the 2011 Worlds as well as encouraging them to grow the class there.  The participation of two teams from the Philippines in the current Worlds is directly due to Mark’s efforts.  He developed a relationship with a Filipino club and then secured sponsorship for them.

The foregoing only touches on Mark’s contribution to the Mirror over the last 2 decades and there is no sign of him slowing down.  

Mark Pitt is a most worthy recipient of the Bill Jaffray Memorial Trophy.

Day 3 Aussie Champs - Pre-Worlds Wrap

The Aussie Champs provided a full range of breeze from 3 to 25 knots providing something for everyone.  The morning started in 5/6 knots from the East and moved about resulting in a change of course.  The Irishman, Ross Kearney and Max Odell showed blistering pace in the light breeze storming to a 20 boat length lead and an unassailable lead.  They were chased by Jessie Atherton and Katherine Maher from Tasmania who were liking the light conditions with New South Welshman Mark Phillips and son Hugh pushing to the front of the fleet after Hugh had recovered from illness that saw miss the first day of racing. 

Race 9 caused some problems in getting the line set and the fleet away with some wind vascillation and a twitchy fleet seeing the black flag come into play with 12 teams being penalised.  The Tassie girls Atherton and Maher revelled in the light breeze and took the gun. 

After lunch Race 10 provided a southerly breeze of 7-9 knots in magical conditions which were enjoyed by all the sailors and spectators.  The Phillips were on fire and managed to win by a healthy margin followed by Philippines Olympic aspirations Balladares and Chavez, the heavyweight crew who managed to stay in front of Victorians Anita Scott-Murphy and son Ben Cruse.

The final race of the Championships went to Kearney and Odell with the South African number ones, Ricky and Ryan Robinson coming second and British teenagers Millie Newman and Jessica Rust showing great form to come in third.

The battle for the Australian Championships was between father and son teams, local Albany sailors Paul and Austin Taylor and New South Welshmen, Lachlan and Finn Gilbert.  The two teams pushed each other throughout the series with the Taylors becoming the 45th Australian Champions with the Gilberts 4 points behind in the 11 race series. 

Third went to the Tassie girls Atherton and Maher a further 11 points behind.

The Ireland Trophy for the winner of the Pre-Worlds went to the Taylors.  The first internationl boat was the Philippino team of Balladares and Chavez who sailed brillantly given the regatta was their first time in the boat.  They finished 4 points behind Gilbert in the tally for the Pre-Worlds. 

The Australian Championships were a great success with 5 different race winners showing the eveness and competitiveness at the front of the fleet and the quality of competition.  The introduction of the trapezoid provided excellent angles for the sailors and the Race Committee did a first class job with laying the courses. 

In other results:

Silver Fleet
  1. Time N Tide - Douglas and Edward Raftesath (NSW)
  2. Fizz - Quentin Hunt and Molly Hulton (TAS)
  3. Sea Joule - Megan Price and Celia May (QLD)
Classic Fleet (Gaff Rig)
Steppnwolf - David and Timothy Pilbeam (WA)

The Montrose Bay Trophy - Cruiseweight Champion combined weight over 130kg
Knot Too Risky - Paul Terry and Sara Batten (WA)

NRMA Mirror Class Sub Junior Champion
Foxy Lady 3 - Robbie Hunt/David McAully (TAS)

The Canberra Cup  - Youth Champion
Lightning Strike - Kieran Murnane and Mani Guintoli (WA)

Retire Invest Trophy - Veterans Champion over 45
Black Jack - John and Jesse Dransfield (NSW)

Ladies Champion
Kamikaze - Jessie Atherton/Katherine Maher (TAS)

Norm Deane Masters Champion
Kamikaze II - Mark Barrington/Thomas Howell (TAS)

Frank Buxton Family Champion
Stanley Crocodile - Lachlan and Finn Gilbert (NSW)

The Canberra Times Winning State
Western Australia

The Ireland Tophy - Winner of the Pre-Worlds
Bombora - Paul and Austin Taylor (WA)

1st International Boat
Charter 2 - Rigdely Balladares and Rommel Chavez (Philippines)

Bill Jaffray Memorial Trophy - Outstanding Contribution to Mirror Sailing in Australia
Mark Pitt

The Mordialloc Mirror Trophy - Australian National Mirror Champion
1st Bombora - Paul and Austin Taylor (WA) 45 points
2nd Stanley Crocodile - Lachlan and Finn Gilbert (NSW) 49 points
3rd Kamikaze - Jessie Atherton/Katherine Maher (TAS) 60 points

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 2 Aussie Champs - 2 Horse Race

Lachlan and Finn Gilbert

Day 2 of the Australian Champsionships became a two horse race with father and son teams Lachlan and Finn Gilbert and Paul and Austin Taylor separated by one point with 7 races completed and one drop.  The Gilberts, on 12 points, managed three wins on a spectacular day on Princess Royal Harbour.  The Taylors sailed to one bullet and 3 thirds and are a threat on 13 points.

The highlight of the day for the sailors was the screaming reach from 3 to 4 in Race 6 which had the fleet planing beautifully against the backdrop of the town.  Squeals of joy were coming from some boats with the girls in Transom Note having a hoot of a time.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Australian Championships Day 1

The 45th Australian Championships kicked off with the Cliff Scott Memorial Invitational, the traditional warm up of the Mirror fleet.  In fresh SSE conditions, the fleet got racing and all the nerves and anxiety are now gone. 

The Cliff Scott was a close tussle between the Philippines team of Ridgely Balladares and Rommel Chavez and 2007 Mirror World Champion Ross Kearney and Max Odell from Ireland.  They steamed up the first beat with the Philippinos getting a good break of 10 boat lengths that was bridged to a couple by the time the teams reached the bottom gate on the trapezoid course.  The gap to the following pack was quiet substantial and the two front runners were never headed.  Balladares and Chavez took the bullet followed by Kearney and Odell.  the Cliff Scott Memorial Trophy for the first place Australian boat went to 2009 Australian Champions Lachlan and Finn Gilbert who edged in front of two other boats in a tight finish.

Race 1 of the Aussie Champs eventually got underway under a Black Flag.  The Gilberts took first place followed by local Albany sailors Paul and Austin Taylor with Myles and Rory Odell in third.   

In Race 2, Kearney and Odell were steaming and got off to a great start and were never challenged with the Gilberts in hot pursuit with British teenagers Millie Newman and Jessica Rust in third. 

The final race was taken by the Taylors who went right one the first beat.  Local knowledge perhaps played a role in them splitting from most of the left travelling fleet and it paid off with a bullet and overall lead after three races.  Second were Brits David Conlon and Charlotte Bond and third Anita Scott-Murphy with son Ben Cruse.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Registration and Measurement and Australian Championships Opening

Day 2 of Registration commenced under blue skies.  The easterly continues to howl keeping many sailors away from the water with a few venturing for a sail in the 20/25 knot breeze.  For many it was the first sail in the boat since packing them into containers months ago. 

The Race Committee and the Rescue Teams assembled for pre-regatta briefings with many officials coming from Perth and as far away as Broome.  Sadly, one of our Race Committee ended up in Hospital after falling while getting about the Committee Boat.  With an ulna broken in three places, we won't see him for official duties and wish him a quick recovery.

The Official Opening to the 45th LandCorp Australian Championships was most enjoyable as the competitors, officials and supporters enjoyed the sundowner.  Commodore Paul Terry welcomed the competitors and Event Director Anthony Galante briefed the sailors. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Registration and Measurement

Boxing Day was the start of the official program for the 14th LandCorp World Mirror Championships.  The 25 knot easterly kept all the boats ashore and concentrating on getting their boats through the measurement tent. 

Most of the travellers who were snowed in, in London and Paris have now arrived in Albany and only Team GBR is short a supporter who has been in Heathrow lock-down for 7 days. 

Many of the Tasmanians arrived today after the long haul across the Nullabor with every State of Australia represented at the regatta with the exception of South Australia. 

The measurement team, led by Geoff Wilson, did a great job getting over 50 boats through the tent today.  There were the usual issues that have resulted in some remedial work and lead seemed to be in demand for a number of boats that measured in under weight, so lead was doing a roaring trade.  In general, everything looks in order so far.  

The weather looks like being another 25 knots as the easterly continues to howl, so that might keep the competitors rested until Tuesday for the Cliff Scott Memorial Trophy and the start of the 45th Australian Championships. 

The team and event uniforms look fantastic for this regatta. 

Remember, the Opening Ceremony for the Australian Championships starts at 1600 and will include a brief to competitors. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Xmas

Welcome to the 2011 Mirror Worlds Blog.

We will be keeping competitors and people across the world up to date with what is happening on the water. 

So add this link to your favourites and follow the event.