#mirror – The Irish Mirror Dinghy Association's winter training started this weekend in rather tricky weather conditions. 14 hardy sailors headed out on to Lough Ree in gusts of 20 knots on Saturday morning, under the excellent coaching guidance of Olympic 470 sailor and Mirror Sailing Champion, Ger Owens. The fleet were flying their spinnakers and Ger had them sailing some fantastic tight circles to keep warm and blow out those winter cobwebs. After a short break for lunch a couple ventured out, but some fierce 30 knot gusts came in and with a few young crew in the team it was quickly decided to head back to the warmth of Lough Ree Yacht Club for tactics coaching.
Sunday started at 9am rigged and ready to sail with blue skies and calm waters, then it soon picked up to gusts of 20–knots across the lake and just as quickly dropped to back light winds, heavy showers, then an incredibly thick snow blizzard. Those hardy sailors were having a ball out there, but coaching had to be called off due to poor visibility - they couldn't see the coach or the next mark! A return to base for snow ball fights and hot chocolates completed a rather "fluky" weekend.
Lough Ree Yacht Club (LRYC) host the Mirror training every year, offering free shed storage between training weekends and a warm welcome with log fire and wifi for the parents and essential hot pasta for the sailors. A massive thank you has to go to them for their support of the Mirror coaching.
The professional coaching by Ger Owens there each year really helps the Mirror sailors to develop their racing skills and the young sailors look forward to it extending their sailing season. Everyone is welcome and the storage facilities provided by LRYC for the boats makes training more accessible for sailors throughout the country and it less wear on the boats from travelling.