There is a very full programme of Irish Mirror dinghy events in 2016 with seven events in seven different venues culminating with the European Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club from 7th - 12th August writes John McGonigle, President of the Mirror Association of Ireland.
People tend to view the Mirror fondly. It may remind them of when they started sailing many years before. The angular shape recalls it’s origins from a time when you made your own boat from marine ply. There may even still be one in the shed. With red sails and technicolour spinnakers, no fleet can compete with the Mirror’s riot of colours. It’s hardly surprising that it’s viewed fondly, even nostalgically but in an age of asymmetrics and more modern hull designs can the Mirror still be relevant?
The age of a class is not necessarily an indicator of relevance. The Optimist, which is used as the mainstay to train our younger sailors, is after all an even older design.
A quick glance into one of the latest Mirrors will reveal a cockpit fitted with the deck gear and control lines that would be familiar to any high performance sailor. The Mirror has moved on.
The traditional gaff rigged Mirror will always be welcome and will always find a good portion of the fleet in traditional boats to race against.
In both gaff and Bermuda rigged Mirrors the valuable skills of traditional spinnaker work is learned. The competition is close and the standard is high.
For anyone considering racing the Mirror, 2016 will be an excellent year to start. There is a very full programme with seven events in seven different venues culminating with the European Championships, which will be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.
Wherever you are in the country there should be an event not too far from you.
In preparation for the season and the European Championships, there will be a series of training weekends organised in Lough Ree Yacht Club starting in January.