A team of six Australian boats attended the 2009 Mirror World Championships in Pwllheli Wales at the end of July. A fleet of 97 boats participated in the regatta with strong representation from the Ireland, South Africa and the host nation.
Best of the Australians was Paul Taylor with son Austin. Representing Princess Royal Sailing Club, the home of the 2011 Mirror Worlds, the Taylors sailing mirrorworlds2011.com came 14th overall and won the veterans trophy for over 50 year olds. Their best result was a 6th in Race 6.
The Australians were disappointed that two days were lost to storms and strong winds meaning that only nine races were sailed out of the programmed 12. Other good performances were from Perth pair Liam and Jessica Wilson in Amazing Albany who finished 17th overall in their first worlds and also Victorians Anita Scott-Murphy and son Ben Cruise who were 38th.
Team Manager Anthony Galante said, “Overall the team was really happy with their efforts in the big fleet. Apart from Anita, this was a first worlds for all the other Australian boats and this experience will hold them in good stead for the 2011 Mirror Worlds in Albany in 18 months time. The competition here was excellent and is a testament to the enduring success for the class which has consistently produced close racing. In Pwllheli, there were nine individual race winners in 9 heats which is pretty unheard of at this level.”
The eventual winner was 2004 Fireball World Champion Andy Smith who with son Tom has added the 2009 Mirror Worlds to his list of achievements and confirm the Mirror's status as the family class. Second overall was Christopher Rust and sister Jessica with third overall going to Izy Fitzgerald and Emily Peters.
In related news, interest is high in the 2011 Mirror Worlds with national targets set for Ireland, South Africa and the UK. Galante who is also the Event Director said, “Part of my role was to promote the event and the feedback has been enormous. At this stage teams have already appointed managers for 2011 and we have established container targets to get the ball rolling. We are looking at two 40-footers from the UK and one each from Ireland and South Africa which will translate to 60 boats. There is also interest from Malta, Canada and France. France does not have a Mirror fleet, however, with the modernisation of the boat, there is interest at establishing fleets there,” Galante added. “With the large Australian fleet and orders for new boats being placed on both the east and west coast, we are planning for a very large fleet.”
Anyone interested in the event should visit www.mirrorworlds2011.com.