Day 1 of the Mirror Nationals kicked off with a brisk breeze and big seas that had being building over the last few days. This led to a short postponment to allow the Race Officers to assess the conditions.
Many of the competitors had arrived in Pwllheli at the beginning of the week to get in some practise before the competition. However, after the big winds had kept the fleet ashore for the last few days everyone was keen to get racing. With the threat of a black flag to keep racing on time, the race got under way on the first start.
The current European Champion, Chris Rust now sailing with his sister Jessica, led at the windward mark, from 2005 World Champion Ross Kearney and Katy Jones of Ireland, with 2008 National Champions the Barry sisters in third. Ross and Katy took a brief lead but fell in after loosing out on a luffing match with the Rusts.
The winds were building with gusts of over 25 knots and 1.5m seas that made judging the position of boats quite hard, as they disappeared when crossing tacks.
At the finish the Rusts took the bullet, from father and son Paul and Austin Taylor from Australia and Ross Kearney and Katy Jones from Ireland in third. Tom Lovesey and Milly Pugh were first juniors in fourth. Showing great speed in the testing conditions, African Juniors Howard Leoto and Renaldo Mohale in their 40 year old boat came in 11th showing you don't necessarily need to have a new boat to do well.
The evening beach games saw the RSA team winning.
The UK Nationals continue to Saturday, with the Worlds starting on Sunday.