Hayling Island was the first venue in this year’s Moth Grand Prix Series and with the World’s being held there next year it was a sure thing that the best of the best would attend even recently crowned 49er European Champion Dylan Fletcher was here as no one was going to miss the chance to test out the waters of Hayling Island Sailing Club.
Unfortunately the only thing that we couldn’t change was the weather the twenty seven strong fleet were held ashore for an hour on Saturday while we waited for the wind to kick in.
Eventually the breeze set in at 8 to 10 knots and Ricky Tagg led the fleet out to the race course, slowly the fleet started to follow him but as we approached a large black cloud appeared and the wind increased to 25 knots which made for some great downwind legs across the bar but for some the wind was too great and the fleet was sent back to the safety of the Harbour. Once everyone was safely ashore the PRO took the discussion to race in the Harbour but by the time the fleet got out to the line the wind had once again switched off.
After racing there was a debrief session held by Peter Barton who was the on water coach on Saturday. We talked about the models and what gear does as the wind and waves increases. The session proved very useful for the newbies and also too many of the top guys.
The fleet then sat down for an evening meal and hit the bar but all good things must come to an end and the remaining Moth fleet eventually left the club at 12:00! (This was probably a good idea anyway).
The fleet rose on Sunday to a stiff breeze of 18 to 20 Knots and although the race course was fine for racing the journey across the Bar was looking a little bit interesting, the fleet was once again held ashore to allow the tide to come in but after an hour the bar was still looking a bit lumpy so the fleet drew straws to find some crash test dummies! This saw James Phare and Doug Pybus both from Queen Mary sailing club hit the water; James in a Ninja and Doug in a Ninja bow sprit conversion. Ricky Tagg and Gareth Davies went in the safety rib to ensure James and Doug made it to the course and back again safely.
By then the fleet had decided to sail in the Harbour and at 15:00 the fleet set out for the race course.
Race 1 got away well with Mike Lennon using a new hyde sail rounding first with quite a comfortably Distances but a motor boat had just passed the spacer mark which caused Mike to Capsize due to the wake The top mark had been placed in an area where the tides meet.
This lead to some big old waves and tested the skills of the fleet in the chop which took many casualties. Chris took the first win of the day with Rob Greenhalgh 2nd and Mike Lennon 3rd, 4th was taken by Ben Paton who appeared to have found some extra speed this weekend but pushed a little too hard at times which lead to a visit in the tide.
Race 2 saw a familiar pattern which could not be said about the wave formation at the windward mark, Chris leading again but this time Mike Lennon was to take the 2nd. Dylan Fletcher was in the mix as well until lap 2 when a couple of capsizes at the windward mark let the fleet past. This put Rob Greenhalgh 3rd, Ben Paton came home in 4th place and Gareth Davies 5th.
Race 3 had seen the tide turn which was pushing the fleet over the line the tide caught out Mike Lennon and Kyle Stoneham who were OCS. Although the tide had turned, the top mark was still a little bit interesting which even saw Rob take a dip in the tide. The key seemed to be to gybe off early and get in to the shallows where it flattened of a bit but this was easier said than done, picking the right wave to gybe is an art in itself. But this did not stop runaway leader Chris Rashley from once again taking the win, Tom Offer took 2nd place, Rob Greenhalgh 3rd, James Phare in his Ninja came in 4th and Gareth Davies 5th again.
Then fleet then headed ashore most smiling and with tales to tell about their bear away at the windward mark. The class would like to thank Hayling for running the event and for turning the races around quickly.
|1st||7||Chris Rashley||Royal London YC||1||1||1||3|
|3rd||3941||Gareth Davies||Blackwater SC||6||5||5||16|