By Peter Barton
Following on from the training the weekend before an eager bunch of Mothies regrouped at Castle Cove, Weymouth to put their practiced skills into action.
Conditions were just perfect up with 12-16 knots of clear Easterly and wall to wall sunshine. With a daunting Sunday forecast the smart call was made to hold an additional 4th race on the Saturday.
The wind was mostly funnelling stronger down the right of the course. Those daring to tack close into a moored tanker on the far right, almost reminiscent of the cliffs of Garda at the recent Worlds, were usually rewarded with a nice lay line. Downwind the immediate gybe set was generally rewarded again with extra pressure on the southern shore.
After some great close racing and place changing Gareth Davies was first home closely followed by Tom Offer then Peter Barton.
After a quick turn around cowboys Barton and Offer fired it of the line on port to claim the right hand side first. Tidy tacking by Offer produced a close drag race into mark one with only Davies coming back from the left in contention. Davies took control on the second beat to graft out his second win with Barton 2nd and Mike Cooke chasing through to 3rd.
Offer tried a cheeky port again but with less success and it was all to play for around the first lap. Davies and Offer eventually pulled clear towards the end of the race and Davies looked all set for his third gun until Offer blitzed down at the bottom of the final run to take the bullet in a dramatic
photo finish. Barton took 3rd with Ricky Tagg finding his mojo to come up fast in his rear view mirror, flashing and honking but with no overtaking lane.
Just as the fleet was getting into a rhythm big wind shifts throughout the last race were a big factor. Messrs Tagg and Cooke led around the first lap. Barton had a strong 2nd lap to take the lead but came a cropper when looking for the same shift twice with Davies. This left Tagg and Cooke to sail off into the sunset with Cooke securing the bullet on his first day out in his newly refurbished ‘Ninja’. Davies once again showed his metal to pull through the fleet to 3rd after a slow start.
Over four 35 minute races the fleet had sailed 17 laps of the harbour totalling 39 nautical miles.
Sunday dawned and beer talk of big speed runs the night before was quickly dampened by torrential rain and 38kn gusts. This left Gareth Davies the clear winner with the ‘Mach2’s of Offer and Barton taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. Cooke finished strongly into a close 4th. Prizes were generously sponsored by Synergyaction sports products and Marlow ropes.
Gareth Davies has gone from strength to strength this season in his new Maguire ‘Exocet’ Moth. When quizzed Gareth ‘fessed up; “the training camp here last weekend really helped as good practice is key and I have also been working through my rig set up”.
Many thanks again to Castle Cove for their warm welcome, efficient race management and world famous baps, butties and cakes. The fleet looks forward to returning for their UK Nationals in June 2013 where, including a foreign contingent, over 60 boats are expected. ‘Foiltown – the 2nd generation’ is in the making with several past and present Olympic campaigners joining the fleet and basing themselves in Portland Harbour and its ideal Moth waters.