Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Reflections From an Interior Mirror

JULY 2003

I've always had a soft spot for the Mirror as it was one of the first boats I ever sailed in during a summer holiday at Abererch -North Wales- back in 1964. A few years later in London, I had the privilege of meeting the designer, Jack Holt; he was a lovely man who openly chatted about his dinghies and sail making ventures- did you know that he also designed a stitch-n-glue high performance trapeze dinghy called the Mirror16? It unfortunately never enjoyed the same popularity as its little sister.

When we moved to Orange and joined Carcoar Dam Sailing Club, the Corsair was the ideal boat in which the five of us could go sailing together. But as the children grew, and wanted to take the helm, it was time to look at a boat of their own, and of course there was only one choice! We managed to find an old dejected Mirror for $50 which had been lying upside down on a front lawn in Avalon for 15 years. The hull needed a lot of work, complete reglassing the interior joins, removing existing varnish and paint, plus rebuilding the centerboard case, thwart, and outer gunwales. This was a great summer project which we all got involved with; the kids chose spinnaker red for the colour, and Red Hot Chilli Pepper for the name.

We’ve had the Mirror for just over three years, and it has provided endless fun and healthy activity throughout the sailing seasons, but Alice and George’s sporting interests have now taken them elsewhere, so Ben has a classmate from Blayney High as his regular crew. This coming season we are fitting a spinnaker sock from Steve Walker, and applying the usual new coat of paint. Ben has done very well racing at the Club level, particularly as there is no junior fleet, so he races amongst all ages.

Sailing on an inland dam with constantly shifting winds (and water levels!) with short choppy waves certainly requires a particular technique, but we take Chilli Pepper to the coast for holidays, there is nothing more exhilarating than feeling an ocean swell beneath you, and screaming down the back of a wave!

Yep, the Mirror is a fantastic class of boat, and aptly named as it enables everyone to reflect on their own experiences.

(Those of you who went to Carcoar last year will remember Timothy and Ben and the redoubtable Red Hot Chilli Pepper. The Carcoar Regatta is on again this year, water level permitting. November 29/30th. We have not included it in the Travellers Trophy this year, but if you want a wonderful weekend of country hospitality, family fun and exciting inland sailing I heartily recommend the Carcoar Regatta.)

Timothy Hone, Mirror Assoc. Newsletter, July 2003.

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