Mirror Sailing in WA

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50th Nationals Report

Posted by Rik on February 4, 2016 at 9:35 AM

50th Australian Mirror Championships Report Freshwater Bay was filled with red sails and colourful spinnakers between 28th December 2015 and 3rd January 2016. RFBYC has been home to the State’s strongest fleet of Mirror dinghies for more than a decade so was the obvious choice to host the class’s auspicious 50th Australian Championships. The event attracted 28 entries including one boat and eleven sailors from NSW and a team from SA (not South Australia, but South Africa!) giving an international flavour to our Nationals. The full range of conditions, from fresh sea breezes to drifting, were experienced over fifteen races. RFBYC was well represented by thirteen boats across all divisions from Junior (U16), Youth (U19), Family (Parent-Child), Cruiserweight (130kg and over), Lady Skipper and all female combinations.

Staking an early claim by winning the invitation race were former State Champion helm Liam Wilson and crew Alexandra Thornton (an accomplished helm in her own right) sailing “Transom Note”. These two fit young adults found their cruiserweight was no disadvantage in the fresh breeze. Although they had only been sailing together for a few months their combined experience and form was looking ominous as they went on to also win Races 1 & 2. However several challengers soon emerged; Sydneysiders Gavin Cooke and son Oliver on “Lightning Strike” posted two seconds on the first day. Tara Wilson’s purple boat “Jazze” was the only boat to cross the Nullabor making her way on a truck in a ply box purpose built by husband Bryan. Together with crew Kirsten Johansen the girls made a great start to the regatta with a 3-3-4 scorecard on the first day. RFBYC father and son team, Simon and Tyson Barwood sailing “Bulletproof” won Races 3 & 4. RFBYC youth team of Ethan Prieto-Low and James Stout sailing “Just Do It” were sailing consistently and improving with each race. In a fight with “Transom Note” for the lead late in Race 5, Liam and Alex capsized allowing “Just Do It” to record an easy win. “Bulletproof” finished second but “Transom Note” was slow to recover and scored a 20th. Liam and Alex regained their composure and winning form for Race 6 and with a drop now in play finished Day 2 as regatta leaders on countback tied with “Bulletproof” on 10 points each, the boys on “Just Do It” were only 4 points behind in third. Moderate conditions on Day 3 saw some different boats at the front of the fleet. Dunsborough father and daughter Richard and Matilda Rowell on “barnacle Blues” won Race 7. NSW father-son team Douglas and Myles Raftesath sailing “Sandy” improving each race, consecutive seconds and then a bullet in Race 10 moving them up to third overall. “Transom Note” had another minor disaster in the same race when they capsized and finished 10th but with two drops now in play their consistency earlier in the day saw them fall to second overall but only by one point.

The forecast for the final day wasn’t looking promising so four races were expected on Day 4. In the light to moderate morning conditions Douglas and Myles continued their winning form in Race 11 with “Transom Note” finishing second and “Just Do It” third. “Bulletproof” had their worst race, working back through the fleet for a 7th and then repeated the same result in Race 12 after the lunch break. With a seabreeze building over Saturday afternoon and the regatta theirs to win Liam and Alex were clinical, executing three straight wins by comfortable margins. They were staying dry, had “Transom Note” sailing high and in phase upwind and were devastatingly fast on the reaches. “Just Do It” also enjoyed the strengthening breeze and had a consistent afternoon with all top three finishes to complete the day only one point from third place. With just one race left to sail on Day 5 a change at the lead was a mathematically possibility, but highly improbable. The equation required “Bulletproof” to win and “Transom Note” to finish 10th or worse. The conditions also seemed to favour “Sandy” over “Just Do It” in the contest for third place with the moderate Easterly expected to fade. The South African mother-daughter team of Sigi and Tamryn sailing “On The Wall” were early leaders in Race 15, and they held that advantage at the rounding for the last beat to the shortened course finish line at the windward mark. Local father-daughter Alex and Charlotte O’Beirne on “Leading Edge IV” were in hot pursuit with “Bulletproof” third and “Transom Note” fourth. The result seemed inevitable but “On The Wall” had gone a long way left when “Bulletproof” tacked away from what had been the favoured side all morning. “Transom Note” was conservatively covering from behind when the wind started to die. “Bulletproof” crossed the line just before calm descended on the fleet. After a few minutes some wind reappeared from the left bringing “On The Wall” home in second and then “Just Do It” in third and enough places ahead of “Sandy” to claim third place overall. Then the boats on the port tack layline began moving. “Transom Note” sat agonizingly becalmed as boat after boat crossed the finish line. Liam and Alex’s family and supporters on the water couldn’t bear to watch as they lost place after place and then finally, they found enough wind to cross the line in 8th and win the regatta by one point.

At presentations class stalwart and RFBYC fleet coach Geoff Wilson was awarded the Bill Jaffray Memorial Trophy for his services to the Mirror class in Australia to a standing ovation. The citations of Geoff’s achievements in and contribution to the class over more than a decade took as many minutes to read. The timing was impeccable as Geoff had just relinquished the National Measurer’s role he had held for many years. Liam and Alex received a hometown heroes reception when presented the National Champions trophy. They had won seven races and been the better sailors over five days by more than the net scores suggested. Simon and Tyson and Ethan and James rounded out a full podium for WA and RFBYC. The Mirror Dinghy occupies a unique niche as an international family class, remarkably six of the top eight places were held by parent-child combinations. The class also enjoys a great diversity of participants as demonstrated by the age range of sailors, from 7yrs to over 70yrs, in this regatta.

Trophies were awarded to; Open Championship/National Champions “Transom Note” Liam Wilson & Alex Thornton (RFBYC – WA) 2nd Place Overall “Bulletproof” Simon & Tyson Barwood (RFBYC – WA) 3rd Place Overall “Just Do It” Ethan Prieto-Low & James Stout (RFBYC – WA) Cliff Scott Invitation Race “Transom Note” Liam Wilson & Alex Thornton (RFBYC – WA) Junior (U16) Championship “Lollyhead” Charlotte Raftesath & Rosie Rowell (BSC – NSW/DBYC – WA) Youth (U19) Championship “Just Do It” Ethan Prieto-Low & James Stout (RFBYC – WA) Ladies Championship “Jazze” Tara Wilson & Kirsten Johansen (HHSC – NSW) Veteran’s Championship “Sandy” Douglas & Myles Raftesath (BSC – NSW) Norm Deane Master’s Trophy “Maglia Rosa” Stan & Diane Bland (WSC - NSW) Frank Buxton (Family) Trophy “Bulletproof” Simon & Tyson Barwood (RFBYC – WA) Cruiserweight Championship “Barnacle Blues” Richard & Matilda Rowell (DBYC – WA) Classic (Gaff Rigged) Division “Turbo” Terry Gaunt & Dylan Holthouse (MYC – WA) Encouragement Award “Knot Too Risky” – Zavier Riches & Codi Cook Many thanks to RFBYC for hosting a wonderful regatta. Special thanks to Jenn Suffield, John Taylor, Geoff Brown, Geoff Wilson and each of the many volunteers for making the event possible.

50th National Championships - Perth Dec 2015

Posted by Rik on June 2, 2015 at 8:10 AM

Sailors from all over Australia will be coming to Perth this Christmas & New Year to be a part of history.

The 50th Nationals will be held at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club from December 28th to January 3rd. This is guaranteed to be a fantastic celebration of the Mirror.

The Notice of Race can be downloaded from the Downloads page.

There is an event page where you will find all the event information plus an online entry form so you can enter right now. There's also a link to a Facebook page for the event.

A national championship on our home waters is a once every five year event so an opportunity not to be missed. We really want to see every Mirror in WA on the water for this one.

If you have a boat that you anticipate will not be sailed there is the option to offer it for charter. We already have eastern states sailors enquiring about the availability of charter boats.  Also if you wish to sail but need to find a boat, helm or crew then Geoff can help you with that too.For more information on offering your Mirror for charter please contact     geoff.leanne@hotmail.com

For other information contact MCAWA President Simon Barwood.



MCAWA President is Runner Up in Worlds

Posted by Rik on January 12, 2015 at 10:55 PM

Our esteemed President Simon Barwood has picked up second place in the 2015 World Championships.

The 2015 Mirror World Championships was sailed at Theewaters SC, South Africa, in January. The local favourites and 2013 World Champions, Michaela and Ryan Robinson sailing 'Mirrorjuana', had successfully defended their title without having to sail the final race however there was still plenty of interest on the last day with only 9 points separating 2nd and 4th.

Western Australian father/son team Simon and Tyson Barwood sailing their locally made Vasco Mk3 Mirror 'Bulletproof' won the last two races to move from fourth to second overall and also secured the Family Trophy. At only eight years of age, Tyson was the youngest competitor by two years.

The regatta was sailed in the full range of conditions from drifting to 25 knots over four days after the first day was blown out with winds over 30 knots.

 Sydney father/daughter team Douglas and Charlotte Raftesath were second placed Australians in 7th with other Australian boats finishing 16th, 34th and 35th.

Full results here; http://2015worlds.mirrorsailing.org/index.php/the-event/2015-world-results

2015 Mirror Class State Championships

Posted by Rik on December 29, 2014 at 9:00 PM

The 2015 State Championships will be held at Koombana Bay Sailing Club in Bunbury from 28 Feb - 2 Mar (Labour Day long weekend).

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are now posted on the website downloads section.  Please remember that you will need to also be a current paid up member of the association to enter.

Container of Mirrors heads to South Africa

Posted by Rik on October 23, 2014 at 12:40 PM

The International Mirror Dinghy is one of the most enduring and popular dinghy sailing classes worldwide with over 70,000 boats built since it's inception in the 1960s. The Mirror dinghy has since been updated twice and remains popular in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Sweden and Canada and is typically sailed by two teenagers or a parent child combination, the latter being particularly prevalent in Australia. World Championships are held bi-annually and in January 2015 are being hosted by Theewater SC on a large dam in the mountains 90 minutes from Cape Town in South Africa with between 60 - 100 boats expected to compete.


Although South Africa have a strong Mirror fleet, amongst their ranks the current world champions, they have no boat builder manufacturing Mirrors and very few quality boats available to charter. This being the case the Australian team of five boats, four from Western Australia, are sending our boats to South Africa to compete in the 2015 World Championships. Fortunately such an undertaking has been done before so the Mirror Class Association already owned custom built steel frames and all the rigging necessary to secure the boats in the container. We were also very fortunate to have the experience and expertise on hand from members involved in previous shipments to advise and guide us first timers through the process which is quite involved.


Many thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far including Ana at CCI, Lockie at UTi (a former Mirror sailor himself), Tony at MSC, Scott at Global Transport, Ben and Jessica at Sea Containers WA and Geoff and Brad from the Mirror Class Association. Fingers crossed that our much loved little boats make the journey to South Africa safely and our sailors perform well at the World Championships.

National Championships for those staying at home

Posted by Rik on October 6, 2014 at 1:50 AM

The International Mirror Class Association of Australia 49th AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS are being held from 28th December 2014 to 30th December 2014 at Somers Yacht Club in Westernport, Melbourne Victoria.

If you can't make it to Cape Town this will be the next best thing. Charter yachts are available.

The Notice of Race is now available by clicking HERE.

South Africa Here We Come!

Posted by Rik on October 5, 2014 at 11:55 PM

It is only a matter of days before the contingent of WA Mirror dinghies are loaded into the shipping container for their journey to Cape Town in South Africa for the 2015 World Championships.

The event will be held at Theewater Sports Club in Cape Town. This ISAF event will take place from 28th December, 2014 to 9th January, 2015. In total there will be about 100 boats.

State Championships Finish in Style

Posted by Rik on April 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Twenty six Mirror sailors travelled to Safety Bay Yacht Club in the damp chill of the early morning of Sunday 30th March 2014 to contest the final four races of the 2013-14 Western Australian Mirror State Championships. The first four races had been held at Maylands Yacht Club on 27th September 2013 so it had been a long wait to conclude the series and unfortunately five boats that registered didn’t make it to the second round. After the four Maylands races two times State Champion (1983-84/2011-12) David Pilbeam and son Timothy sailing ‘Vigilante VIII’ (‘V8’;) led the series on 10 points. In second place on equal points sailing ‘Bulletproof’ was defending State Champion Simon Barwood sailing this season with seven year old son Tyson as crew. In third place was the fleet’s most accomplished Mirror sailor, 2010-11 State Champion Liam Wilson with new crew Dylan Holthouse sailing ‘Game On’. Despite having little time on the water whilst working away in Kalgoorlie Liam had lost none of his touch winning two of the first four races and was looking forward to dropping a DNF from the first race.

The first surprise for the day was seeing David Pilbeam arrive sans son and crew Timothy but fortunately Richard Rowell had a surplus of one daughter so Matilda was seconded to V8 as David’s crew for the day. The second surprise was when a tractor emerged from the boat shed to tow boats 200m down the sandy track to the beach and the third surprise was on reaching the beach to be greeted by 18 knots of breeze, three times the amount forecast. The first cool conditions and rain for many months had sailors diving to the bottom of their kit bags to layer up and over the day several storm fronts like this one passed through interspersed by very light lulls in between to create a mixed bag of challenging conditions. After a short delay the first warning signal was made for Race 5 in a shifty 4-8 knot SWerly combined with a half metre slop from the same direction that would persist throughout the day. Shortly after the signal the wind shifted to the west and the consequent line bias meant the boat end was where the action would be. Game On made their intentions clear at the 1 minute signal luffing Bulletproof head to wind before taking up pole position one boatlength behind the RC boat. Bulletproof recovered just in time to return the favour and held Game On luffed as the breeze shifted back to the SW before bearing away on the gun to a clean start. Boats were piled up behind the RC boat and many including V8 were late over the line. Bulletproof held her advantage over the race and finished ahead of Alex and Tamsyn O’Beirne on Leading Edge IV with V8 having worked back through the fleet to finish 3rd. Game On fell away to 8th following some spinnaker problems and a capsize.

Bulletproof won the start again in Race 6 and was leading the fleet out to the left when the wind died almost completely on approaching the top mark. No one was making headway into the waves and the fleet sat bobbing around and waiting for wind for what felt like an eternity. Bulletproof finally tacked above the port layline and managed to just sneak past the mark before a north westerly shift increased the pressure to a welcome 2 knots and made the first reach another beat to windward. Game On rounded in second but well behind after having to tack again twice to reach the top mark with V8 in third. The course was mercifully shortened at the wing mark and positions at the finish were the same as the fleet headed ashore for lunch. After six races and with one drop now in play Bulletproof was ahead of V8 by three points with Game On another two points behind in third but was still in the hunt carrying an 8th that would disappear with the second drop. The start to Race 7 followed a similar script with Bulletproof getting away cleanly and leading all the way round to wrap the series up with a race to spare. Daniel Judge and Jonty sailing Bombora finished second with the consistent V8 posting her third third place in a row, Game On fell back to 7th after more spinnaker problems. Comeback of the series went to Sidonia Barwood and Rosie Rowell sailing Lollyhead who were dead last at the bottom mark but finished in fifth place. In the final race Bombora showed they were the most improved over the series by picking the first shift correctly and leading at every mark to finish first with Bulletproof second and Alex Thornton and Harry Osborne sailing Transom Note crossing third. Observing from a support boat the difference from six months ago was obvious to RFBYC Mirror fleet captain Geoff Wilson who commented “Seeing the boat handling these two (Simon & Tyson) demonstrated really hit home what all the coaches say – time on the water cannot be beaten. And it was very evident on Sunday.”

After de-rigging in the rain, sailors and supporters took shelter in the clubhouse for a delicious meal and trophies were presented as follows 1st – ‘Bulletproof’ Simon and Tyson Barwood 2nd – ‘Vigilante VII’ David Pilbeam and Timothy Pilbeam/ Matilda Rowell (1st Veteran O40) 3rd – ‘Game On’ Liam Wilson and Dylan Holthouse 4th – ‘Leading Edge IV’ Alex and Tamsyn O'Beirne (1st Family Skipper/Crew) 5th – ‘Transom Note’ Alex Thornton and Farrah Corrigan (1st Lady Skipper) 6th – ‘Bombora’ Daniel Judge and Jonte (1st Junior U19) 7th – ‘Reflections’ Dion and Baily Alston (1st Silver Fleet) 8th – ‘Lollyhead’ Sidonia Barwood and Rosie Rowell (1st Sub Junior U16) 9th – ‘Quickstep II’ Nicholas and Lilly Holhouse (1st Cruiserweight) 12th – ‘Full Turtle’ Callan Little and Matt Clarke-Massara (1st Rookie) 13th – ‘Just Do It’ Brad Stout and Mattais Alvemalm (1st Master O50) Thank you to both Maylands and Safety Bay Yacht Clubs for hosting this season’s Mirror State Championships and thank you to all the sailors who supported the different format. It has been great sailing in these different locations and encouraging their developing fleets.

National Championships Results

Posted by Rik on January 5, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Anita Scott Murphy and son Ben Cruse are the 2013/14 National Champions.  WA's only entry, the relentless Rex Henderson, came a creditable 14th in a good fleet of 37 boats.

Final results are available online - please see the link below to the NSW Mirrors website, including a list of trophy winners and photos.


The detailed results are https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1988677/Overall.htm" target="_blank">here.

Royal Perth Mini Series Feb 8/9

Posted by Rik on December 30, 2013 at 6:10 AM

Mirrors will again be represented at the 2014 Royal Perth Mini Series on February 8 and 9.  For more information consult the Mirror Calendar on this website.


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