Ironic victory as Australia wins first Mirror Worlds crown in 26 years

By Simon Barwood

Platypus, sailed by Simon and Tyson Barwood at the 2017 Mirror World Championship. Photo: Lee Whitehead/photolounge -

Australia hasn’t had a Mirror World Champion for 26 years. The 2019 Mirror World Championship will be sailed on Sydney Harbour. As hosts our message to the world’s Mirror sailors is…




This communication was delivered via a very funny short video ‘promoting’ the next Mirror Worlds and was shown at Restronguet SC, the venue of the just completed 2017 Mirror Worlds, on the penultimate evening of competition.

You can check out the video here…

The marketing was brilliant. The humour was quintessentially Australian and was understood and appreciated by everyone. However, it was fatally flawed and destined to be discarded less than 24 hours after it’s debut because the authors failed to anticipate that Australia would be defending the World Title in 2019.

Cullen and Rowan Hughes from Balmoral SC in Sydney NSW had, bar only the formalities, already won the title of Mirror World Champions. With 11 of 12 races sailed and discarding a fourth and a second, the father-son Sydneysiders had sailed a wonderfully consistent regatta, including five bullets and five seconds, to be five points clear in the lead with one race to go.

So confident were they that while the runners up and third place competitors had competed in a tough 10-race pre-Worlds regattas ultimately decided by one point, the Hughes family had been on holiday, only arriving the day before the Worlds began to measure and rig their charter boat and sail the practice race.

The top three boats were all parent helm with offspring aged 10 or 11 as crew. Second was British Nationals winners Dave and Imogen Wade and in third place was Australian’s Simon and Tyson Barwood from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Perth, WA.

Restronguet provided a great sailing venue for both regattas with moderate or fresh breezes every day. Also in abundance was the famous Cornish ‘liquid sunshine’, although a wonderfully warm and dry day concluded the regatta. The forty strong volunteer team at RSC did a wonderful job on and off the water, the competition was thoroughly enjoyed by all 102 sailors from six countries, which included seven boats representing Australia.

Full results and daily race reports can be found at the club website —

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