In Moth circles Parkstone is famed for challenging sailor’s ability in landing and leaving, small entrances to the Marina and a sand (mud) bank between the flat waters of Poole harbour and the safety of the slip way make for some tricky moves to get out and back. Combine this with a weather forecast that gave little hope for any racing led to a small but very keen group of sailors rigging up on Saturday morning. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a negative postponement as the morning looked to be the best opportunity for any racing. Undeterred the race officer declared he would start on time and get the races in as quick as possible.
A steady 18 knots with gusts in to the mid 20’s tested most sailors in race one led by Simon Hiscocks until the last lap when Chris Rashley took advantage of Hiscocks being blown over upwind. Jason Belben followed through to take third place. Elsewhere carnage ensued with many boats being derigged on the water and towed home.
Race two saw some uncharacteristic swimming from Rashley whilst Hiscocks and Belben fought it out at the front, places swapping leg by leg. By the end it was Belben with some skilled top mark rounding’s who took the win from Hiscocks and Tom ‘Facebookless’ Offer pushing Rashley back in to 4th.
Gusts of over 29 knots were hitting the fleet at the start of race three, just Rashley and Belben were actually sailing at the start with the remainder of the fleet being Hiscocks and Offer getting started a short while later. Belben started on port and across to the right where there had been more pressure only to find he could not keep his boat in the water. By the top mark Rashley was ahead but Hiscocks had passed Belben until a capsize tacking put him out of the picture. Wisely the race was shortened to one lap. Rashley took the win followed by Belben, Hiscocks and Offer taking 4th.
With Sunday forecast to be even windier and most of the fleet packing to head to Sicily for the Europeans it was wisely decided to cancel Sunday’s racing program. That left Rashley taking the win after a tie break with Belben both on 6 points with Hiscocks a point behind on 7.
The weather has certainly played its part in the UK Grand Prix, Queen Mary was just cold, Parkstone just windy – next up Bala, followed by Stokes Bay in June which is likely to be just perfect, at least that is how Rashley describes it. He does however promise a warm welcome and a Saturday social.
If Stokes bay can be just perfect then just two weeks later the fleet head to Moth nirvana for the Nationals at Castle Cove in Weymouth. In the meantime The Europeans will give a good clue to who is on the pace internationally.
Report by Simon Hiscocks, Photo Dylan Fletcher