14 foiling Moths from all over the UK descended on the beautiful lake of Ullswater for the 2012 running of the Inland championships. From as far south as Hayling as far west as Bristol, east as Essex and as far North as the Isle of Arun made the event a truly national championship.
Ullswater YC organised some great event sponsors, Orange mountain bikes and Neil Pryde sailing, the Moth class brought its own sponsor Marlow ropes giving a fantastic array of prizes.
Perhaps the coldest May day weekend in recent memory coupled with light wind meant the racing got of to a slow start. One race was held on Saturday with little to no foiling which was a slow an shifty affair. Mike Lennon sailing Hyde sails took an early lead which he held to the finish without foiling at all. The next group finished en mass foiling to the finish line on a small gust all desperately trying to get a gybe in and stay up in the dying wind. Jason Russell sailing NZL 3715 took 2nd with Mike Cooke’s Aardvark Technologies taking 3rd.
Racing was abandoned and the fleet sent ashore to wait for the wind – Unfortunately according to the forecast that was not until Monday ! This of course allowed time for the fleet to talk Moth whilst sitting on the grassy knoll in the cool afternoon sun. With new boats on show from Simon Maguire and Mike Cooke (Aardvark) there was much to discuss and with a UK based world championship at Hayling in 2014 and two British builders right on the pace all bodes well for the health of the UK fleet in years to come.
A light dusting of snow and flat calm was offered up on Sunday morning so the racing was postponed until 1pm. Unfortunately this didn’t change much so with nothing forecast racing was cancelled for the day so half the fleet went mountain biking whilst the other half went sailing in the breeze which of course built soon after the cancelation.
With Monday forecast quite big the racing was brought forward to get as many races in as possible. South east is not the best direction for a lake facing south west and surrounded by mountains. Also the temperature was barely in double figures. So the day required a tough mental attitude. Youth over experience seemed to work best in this environment in the topsy turvy racing with 90 degree wind shifts and zero to twenty knot gusts.
Chris Rashley sailing the Maguire prototype which the fleet nicknamed the ME 109 ( Maguire / Ellway) (ME 109 being the German ww2 fighter plane for younger readers) was most consistent in conditions where you would have thought consistency impossible! By race 4 the fleet had been whittled down to the main protagonists and going into the last race it was still possible for Rashley, Tagg or Lennon to take overall honours. However it went to form and Chris added the UK Inland Championship to his European championship. Tagg sailing BlueTeq took 2nd after a game of cat and mouse with Lennon swapping positions several times depending on who was in the favourable gust !
Congratulations to Chris and all who stuck it out in the testing conditions.
A big thanks to all at Ullswater for such a warm welcome which made up for the cold weather.
With one event left in this years GP circuit things are looking pretty tight between Chris Rashley, Simon Payne and Jason Belben. The next event is Stokes Bay – The best place to sail on Earth says Rashley, bless he’s still so young!
1st Royal London Chris Rashley
2nd Hayling Island Ricky Tagg
3rd Hayling Island Mike Lennon
4th Hayling Island Jason Russell
5th Loch Vennachar Paul Hignett