After a long cold winter the UK Moth sailors headed out to Sicily in search of sun and sailing time at the 2013 Europeans. There was a sense of what was to come when early arrival, Mike Lennon, had spent more time sat in his chair in the shade than on the water; the wind being either too much in the morning or cutting out by the afternoon.
The practice race provided sailors with an indication of the sailing conditions with a variable force wind and a big shift to the right but nothing was to prepare them for the next two days.
The area was in a region of the Sirocco wind and it blew with vengeance on the first 2 days of the regatta up to 40 knots, the only thing to do was to tie the boat down hard. Some intrepid sailors did venture out in a bid to up the Moth speed record, Chris Rast put in a brief performance clocking 32.2 Knots, while Ben Paton gave further entertainment clocking 29.2 Knots.
After two days of getting familiar with the dinghy park the Championship finally started with a moderate southerly wind which flicked to the right and varied in strength finally finishing the day non foiling. Chris Rashley started strongly with two firsts while, Mike, Ben and Tom Offer put in some consistent results.
The results posted caused some entertainment then and throughout the week in there accuracy and errors which were blamed on James Phare presumably changing sail number on entry although this might have been lost in translation!
Thursday started with a 20-25 knots offshore breeze and after managing to negotiate the shallows and make it to the start line this promptly cut out at the start gun resulting in a random race which was abandoned. The afternoon saw a light to moderate breeze with Chris’s dominance being broken by Mike on the last run followed by Jason Belben.
The Friday saw another day on the shore, this time waiting for the wind, the most competitive racing being the airbed race in front of the club from camp Ninja. As always upon postponement for another day the wind kicked in and gave some of the best sailing of the week. The evenings social was the Championship Dinner which for some spilled over to the early hours of Saturday and some 4am skinny dipping.
So we had reached the final day with still only 3 races sailed and a likely hood of a series without a discard due to a 1300 cut off and some sailors feeling not so well from the night before. However after an hour wait, enough wind to foil came from the north and the event was still effectively open. The first race was never confirmed until the end with radical place changes and some low riding and spectacular running aground from the Patonator; this being won by the Swiss with Mike second and Chris 4th. So for once in the Championship Chris was under pressure from Mike for the final race which brought in the discard. His dominance was not in doubt though when he finished first, Jason second and Mike third after a downwind collision. This gave Chris the European title for the third time in successive years, also meaning the top five boats were British using Exocet designs and a variation in rigs.
Questions to be answered:
Did Patrick Cunnigham ever pack his boat up?
Did Richard Westbury find his way home from the Fish Market after being rudely awoken in the gutter by the local police?
How did Peter Barton get two results on the last day having been ill on the shore?
Did the British show the Italians the meaning of Shambles?
1st Chris Rashley GBR
2nd Mike Lennon GBR
3rd Jason Belben GBR
4th Ben Paton GBR
5th Tom Offer GBR
6th Pablo Arandia ESP
Overall results here
See here for pictures.