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2014 Moth UK Nationals Day 1

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  • 2014 Moth UK Nationals Day 1

    The International Moth UK Nationals are underway at Hayling Island Sailing Club. The club is awash with the vast fleet getting set for the worlds and this morning saw sailors bimbling with their boats, talking about the wind (or lack of it) and many preparing for their first true racing at the worlds venue.

    Tim Hancock's thorough briefing assured competitors that the wind would come in and told the fleet to launch at 10.30am for a 11.30 start. His prediction proved correct and the fleet carried their boats into the water and foiled out to the race area.
    There is a vast fleet of 116 helms for the UK Nationals with many international competitors using the event as a worlds warm-up. This has necessitated the fleet being broken up into yellow and blue fleets, racing on an inner and outer loop of the same course.

    Race 1 started in 10-12 knots of wind with a little more at the windward mark. The yellow fleet raced on the outer course but the blue fleet were less lucky, suffering a complete failure of the wind after one lap, leading to the abandonment of their race.
    Mike Lennon, who won the first race on the outside course, describes the final run, " Chris (Rashley) gybed outside of me, further East and in better pressure. He nearly got me; there was three boat lengths in it at the finish - I'd lost about 100m. It was pretty scary at the end, when I gybed across I thought I might not stay on the foils, it was getting so light and fluffy."

    The wind was back up to 12 knots again for race 2 with the fleets swapping to yellow on the inner course and blue on the outer course. Chris Rashley turned the tables on Mike Lennon to take the race win in the Yellow fleet, while Scott Babbage took the win in the Blue fleet.

    Mike Lennon describes his race; "I think the tide has slackened and was turning so I thought going offshore was better. The pressure felt good going left. Going up the beat I tacked simultaneously with Chris. We were pretty much holding station but Rob suddenly was way ahead. When I got within 50m of the windward mark I got this massive knock; I went down about 15 degrees - Chris didn't get it! Suddenly from being in the hunt with those two, I was way off. Even when I tacked I had very little pressure to get back up on the foils. I was struggling a bit.

    "It paid to the stay on the right (East) on the run to get the wind and nothing changed. Going up the next beat I'd sort of decided I'd pump it all the way out to the layline and overstand it slightly, so at least if the pressure dropped I could put the bow down and go in with some pace.

    "Then the wind did exactly the same thing as before, but even more so. Rob was even worse off than me; he was off the foils for ages. Chris went round first and I went round second. Down the last run it was light and fluffy but nothing much changed. It was scary because you could see the wind going... and going. Luckily I stayed on the foils till the last 30 metres and that was it."

    Blue fleet then re-ran their abandoned first race with Josh McKnight taking the win ahead of of Jason Belben.

    Overall there is a three-way tie at the top with Chris Rashley (GBR), Josh McKnight (AUS) & Mike Lennon (GBR) all on 3 points. The top 15 is packed with the top names in the class. The quality of the fleet is highlighted when you see names like Chris Draper, Luna Rossa's America's Cup helmsman, in 13th place after two races.

    The International Moth class is hugely grateful to the companies that are helping make this championship possible; Magic Marine, LV, Lennon Sails, CST Composites, Ronstan and Blueteq. is the official media partner and will be producing daily reports and blogging live from the event. Reports will be complemented with Beau Outteridge Productions videos.

    The World Championships take place between 19-25 July and are preceded by the UK Open National Championships on 16-17 July. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  • #2
    Day 6 2014 Moth Worlds: Outteridge In Control

    An earlier start allowed the Gold fleet to get a full four races on the penultimate day of the International Moth World Championships at Hayling Island, with the Silver fleet once again getting in three.

    The breeze was a gusty and shifty 8-13 knots, which dropped off during the final race as it shifted round to the East. Once again racing was held in scorching temperatures under a cloudless sky.

    Gold fleet started Finals race 3 under the Black Flag on the second attempt after a general recall. Robert Greenhalgh's vang then broke which took him out of the race. Scott Babbage led from start to finish with a good performance, winning comfortably from Nathan Outteridge with Josh Mcknight 3rd and Chris Rashley 4th.

    The Black Flag remained hoisted for the rest of the starts - the Committee were obviously keen to get the racing in before the wind died.

    It was clear that with the scores almost even Nathan Outteridge was keeping a keen eye on Chris Rashley with a loose cover going on upwind.

    Finals race 4 saw Nathan take the win, and the outright lead, with Josh Mcknight just behind and only a second ahead of Scott Babbage, who continued his good form of the day to finish 3rd. Paul Goodison had his best race so far of the finals series in 4th.

    Josh Mcknight turned the tables on his compatriot Nathan Outteridge in finals race 5 to take his first finals series win, with Chris Rashley hanging on to their charge with a 3rd.

    The breeze continued to swing East and was dropping all the time in the final race of the day. The big names went for the pin end; Nathan Outteridge was squeezed out but kept his cool to round the top mark in touch with the leaders. Robert Greenhalgh put his troubles from earlier in the day behind him to start well in this group.

    Mike Lennon was flying in the light stuff downwind and had a 100 metre lead at the gate. Brad Funk, who had a great start to the race, was under pressure from Nathan Outteridge and Chris Rashley.

    The final leg became really light and fluky and even the leaders were struggling to stay on their foils, but Chris and Nathan managed to weave their way through the holes to finish 1st and 2nd respectively. The Patonator came through strongly to take 3rd with Brad Funk dropping to 9th and Mike Lennon to 11th.

    Nathan Outteridge summed up his superb day, "We got out a bit earlier today so there was a bit more breeze. I was just able to link the shifts on the first beat. I think I led around the top mark in the first 3 races. I was finding the right end of the line and then judging when to tack. Sometimes you had to overlay the top mark by a long way to get the best pressure and sometimes you had to hitch up underneath, and I was just getting that tack timing pretty good. I figured there were some good oscillations, based on what was happening yesterday. The wind was really good on the left at the top, coming off the land, and we were getting some good righties at the bottom, so in the middle two races it worked out to start at the windward end and I could see that I was just higher than all the boats to leeward of me. I just waited for them to cave, and then just tacked when I thought it was good."

    On having a lead going into the final day Nathan said, "The forecast doesn't look great for tomorrow, and when the forecast doesn't look good for the final day it's important to be in the lead. It happened to me last year against Bora (Gulari) where he got a couple of points ahead of me going into the final day and we never raced. I'm not saying I'm wishing for no racing tomorrow but at least I'm not going to be disappointed if we don't."

    Ben Paton said, "I had a bit of a nightmare in either the third race today. I was always quite consistent getting round the windward mark in the top 3 or 4 but this time I had Nathan who came and slammed a tack on me at the windward mark. I lost the wind and ended up getting the rudder caught around the anchor line for the windward mark which cost me a couple of minutes and a 360. I was about 26th at the bottom mark and had to work pretty hard to get back into a counter which I think was 9th. The final race of the day was probably the most tactical downwind race that I've ever done in a Moth; I think we were doing 8 or 10 gybes just to stay in a bit of pressure, lots of places changing so I was happy to get a 3rd in that."

    Full Report ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~