A word from our new UK president

Mike Lennon UK Moth Class President

Photo Courtesy of Emma Cooke

What a great National championship we have just enjoyed hosted by Royal Torbay, friendly welcome ( except the from the Harbour officials) and great help with launching etc. I reckon it took less than 40 mins to launch 43 boats and escort them out of the entrance.

A big thanks to James Phare for making this happen and getting reports out to the media.

Congratulations to Simon Payne who has a habit of making the most difficult conditions look easy. No pressure Si but a Euros win gives you the box set ! Also thanks to our non UK participants, Arnuad, Mikas and Giovanni.

Since the AGM we have several new committee members and several who have stepped down, a huge thanks to those who served the class so well. Katherine Knight, Tim Ollerenshaw and Alex Adams. Stepping up to take on the vacant roles are Ben Paton as Fixtures, and Graham Simmonds as Sec. We have created a new role for Simon Reynolds who is in charge of finding sponsors and publicity attached to that. Note that all three have been in the class less than a year and are willing to offer their time to the association, Moth sailing is like a drug, you just can’t get enough!!

So the committee members are as follows —

President:  Mike Lennon

Secretary / Treasurer and Membership secretary:  Graham Simmonds

Fixtures: Ben Paton

Sponsorship: Simon Reynolds

Publicity: Mike Cooke

UK Web: Helen Rollinson / Phillippe Oligario

General member: Ricky Tagg

We are in a very fortunate position thanks to the work of those who went before us, of having a growing class both numerically and in stature with the larger sailing community. Our aim must be to capitalise on this position, to push Moth sailing into new areas of the country and help in the establishment of new and bigger fleets. We are currently working out ideas to try and achieve this end. Currently the class finances are very limited and don’t allow much room for any creative moves to help thing move along or promote the class effectively. The move at the AGM to raise the subs will help a little in this respect, and we will be working in other areas to try to raise funds to enable us to promote the class, and offer some value to paid up class members.

We will be setting ourselves some ambitious targets and no doubt will be hoping to co-opt members who have particular skill to help with the work load. We may fail to deliver some of what we hope to achieve but that shouldn’t stop us trying.

I will attempt to keep the class informed of what is going on and I hope to publish a set of goals after our first committee meeting scheduled for next week.

Many UK boats are off to the Europeans next Month which judging by the entry list looks more like a worlds. Good luck to all who attend and I hope we have a UK based European champ !

Ricky Tagg has very kindly volunteered to look into shipping for the Belmont Worlds, anyone interested should contact him so he can go to the shipping companies in good time. There are some quite strict criteria regarding box sizes and timing. So best let Ricky know ASAP if you want in. It will make your life so much easier if you do !

Ben and Ricky are currently looking into likely venues for Nationals and open meetings for the next couple of years and suggestions for kick ass locations especially for Nationals would be welcome. We are a difficult class in many respects requiring easy launching and space to turn over, plus sheltered waters to ensure it doesn’t all get a bit epic.

I hate to say it but the best place for Moth sailing I can think of is Portland harbour — It ticks all the boxes. Can you think of better ? If so let us know. Ben is is working on some great ideas’ for a revamped race circuit and I really think we can hit the 50 plus club at next years Nationals.

The venue will be key but also encourage your club mates to come along, we will try and work on some ideas to encourage those who don’t normally travel to join in. Fifty plus puts us back on the map as a serious class numerically speaking and may prompt those who see us as a side show to look again.

More to follow soon.

Good sailing,

Mike Lennon.

One thought on “A word from our new UK president

  1. It is great to see how the arrival of hydrofoils has so rejuvenated the class. Long gone are the days in 2002 when I arrived at the RYA Dinghy Show to discover the Fixtures Secretary had changed class and nothing had been booked for the year ahead. Having recently retired, I was prevailed upon as someone with the time to rescue the situation. So I set about getting a circuit organised and at the last moment Saundersfoot Sailing Club stepped in to host the Nationals for us. Just 19 competitors attended. Some were writing the class off as moribund. Happily, Rohan Veal brought the first hydrofoil Moth to sail in the Worlds in France in 2003 amid considerable controversy about the development, particularly back in his home country Australia. We have all passed a lot of water under the bridge since then! Look at the class now, up and flying in big numbers and looking to the future with the confidence reflected in Mike’s comments above.

    Over the years I have sailed at about 70 venues in the UK and another 10 or so abroad. I have to agree with Mike, Portland Harbour is the best location for a Moth event anywhere in the UK. Other venues I have sailed at like Pwllheli which was to be the venue for the sailing had Manchester won its bid to host the Olympic Games some years ago, ticks most of the boxes. You launch from a wide sandy beach into a lagoon, then sail out into the open water. The downside, as with Abersoch further down the same coast is that in a blow you can get some very difficult, short, steep waves. Other places like we saw in Saundersfoot can be difficult for launching from an exposed beach. I have not sailed at Restronguet but it sounds great. The Fireballs are holding their Nationals there this year. The travelling distance to deepest Cornwall and some of the excellent and most welcoming venues in Scotland do however mitigate against a big turn out. Portland Harbour does indeed tick all the boxes. My first Moth Nationals (and first Nationals in any boat) was in 1992 at Saundersfoot when 45 competitors attended (Jason Belbin finished third) so the class is almost back to its heyday in terms of numbers. Pick a popular venue and the class could easily make the 50+ Club, possibly for the first time?

    Colin Newman

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