Sailing is a big part of my families life.
I sail a International Mirror Dinghy. You can find out details about the Mirror through the International Mirror pages, or Brightlingsea Mirror pages.

Basically the Mirror is a two man (or woman) wooden Boat. It is sailed by anyone of any age, from people of my brothers age 13, to people as old as 69 who sail with younger children.

My first ever boat was a Mirror called Pootle. It was red and it was number 60752. I first went sailing when I was 5 with my dad and my sister. (The Mirror really is only for 2 people but we were only small and hey, it's no fun burying treasure if there is just you and your dad.) Later when I got older I started racing with dad at the club in weekend races. All I can remember about this was shouting to my friend , often just before the start, "Clare, Have you eaten your Mars bar yet". (Well there isn't really much more important in life when you are five or six as to whether you have or haven't eaten your Mars Bar.)

Sailing to Wivenhoe with my sister When my sister got about 11, I started sailing with her and I can really remember plodding around miles behind everyone else, last, going really slow. I also remember the horrible winter series when it rained and even snowed and we didnŐt get in for ages because we were so slow.
After weeks of practising and 100's of races we started to get better. We even won a couple of races like this one of us sailing up to a town along the river called Wivenhoe.

Dad decided it was about time that we got a new boat. So over the winter of '94., our new boat was built. This one was blue and we called it Ptwootle. It was boat number GBR 69583. We launched Ptwootle in late august and went out and won the first race we sailed in it. Everything was fine until we came ashore and I decided to stand on the front of the boat to get the sail down, but slipped and my knee went straight through the deck and smashed a whole in it. Luckily our local boat builder, Malcolm Goodwin is a member of the same sailing club and was around to mend it. Letty and I started to race competitively and we started to go away to other places and to compete in championships and did quite well. (There were some bad points about this as well, one being lots of weekends away meant camping and so sleeping on the floor in the freezing cold.) Our trophy which is a cannon that we won We were then selected to be part of the UK squad and represent the UK in the world Mirror championships in Milford Haven, Wales last year. The worlds were a great success and My sister and I picked up the title of being the Best ladies Mirror sailors in the world, and a nice trophy to prove it.

Jo and I in my new boat Now I helm myself in my own boat which my dad built for me last winter. This boat is pink and it is called pthreetle. Its number GBR 69776.
I sail my "Pink machine" with a girl called Joanne who is twelve.

We are currently doing the open meeting circuit and travelling around a lot because we are trying to qualify to be part of the UK squad to represent the UK at the 1997 Mirror worlds in Lake Ontario in Canada. We will hopefully qualify but we will not know until we come back from the national inland championships in Oxford later on in September.
I'm a member of Brightlingsea Sailing club and of the Colne Yacht club in Brightlingsea of which my dad is rear Commodore. The sailing clubs have a really good reputation with the sailing and we have had two gold Olympic medals. And hopefully in the Olympics one year you will be able to see my face on the television receiving my gold medal at the Olympics. This is my ambition!

The sailing clubs aren't just a place where everyone talks about sailing all the time, although this is the main topic of conversation at the club. I have a big group of friends there who I have Known practically all my life. We are all very close and as you can probably tell from the photo album, have a good laugh together. The club holds lots of social events as well as the sailing. The main thing is Pyefleet week . This is a week of sailing and of getting very drunk in the evenings, dancing until the early hours to local bands from the town. Also we have Cadet race week at the Yacht club around the corner. This is for cadets, under 18's only, and we all sail and have a good time in the evenings. Dancing at the barn dance and singing, or trying to sing at the Karaoke.

These pages were created, and are maintained by Melissa Heppell
You can mail me, at: my mail address