Report by Mike Lennon
The August Bank Holiday weekend is the start of the week long Poole regatta. However the the first 3 days were used to score the Parkstone YC Moth open.
Parkstone having already Hosted the Moth racing circuit grand prix event in June, hosted this second more of a friendly open come training weekend. Saturday was used as a tune up day and after a long brunch with associated banter 10 boats did several short races with post race analysis. This resulted in some boats making some changes that saw marked speed improvements.
The official racing started on Sunday at 2pm which again allowed some time for a leisurely breakfast, so more ideas and banter could be shared – The Moth being quite cutting edge is renowned for its free exchange of information and advice to newcomers. This is noticeably shortcutting the learning curve of newcomers to the class. What used to take months to master some are now achieving in weeks or days ! This form of weekend is designed specifically to this end.
With a fresh to frightening forecast 15 boats tentatively slipped the dock and headed to Poole harbours “Top Triangle”. The race commenced in a perfect 12 to 15 knot north westerly. The simple windward leeward course made it easy for the visitors to find the marks and newcomer Pete Barton lead at the first windward mark. Mike Lennon got to the leeward mark ahead but approached to close to the mark and left a big gap for Pete to sail into as Lennon still had to Gybe ! Lennon tacked to clear his wind and Barton followed and the subsequent header put Lennon ahead. However Mike Cooke was already left of them both and took the lead. Another lap and nothing much had changed but of the final run to the finish Lennon closed on Cooke and squeezed past just before the line. Richard Lovering another relative newcomer was always in the chase and pushed past Barton to take 3rd.
Between the races the wind further moderated and several people commented on how the forecast was so far adrift, however soon after the start of race two the forecast came to pass! With gusts of 30 knots and some confusion over a late course change the fleet got separated. Lennon led from start to finish on those doing the “old” course and Rod Harris led those doing the new version. The courses shared the same lee mark and finish line leading to some confusion on who had done what. However what is clear with carnage all around and RS 200 / 400 and 100 littered around course upside down the Moth fleet all got ashore unaided with no breakages and some with no capsizes and what we believe to be a new UK speed record — Although Rod was set up for 5 knots with no wand gearing and so much ride hight that all flights in to Bournmouth had to be diverted, he managed 27.2 knots. Some say this was done when his whole boat and foils were airborne.
Eventually the results were resolved to give all who finished a result despite most sailing the incorrect course — Rod Harris won with Lennon second and Lovering third.
Monday was predicted to be light and fluffy and served up exactly that. The fading Northerly wind gave massive shifts and speed differences across the long course. To add to the challenge the windward mark was set just off Poole quay where cross channel ferries and gin palaces were messing about.
Race three had Rod Harris leading at the first mark with Ben Paton and Alex Adams next, Lennon was next but snagged a good wind line which took him to leeward of Adams and Paton and right up to Harris – the two duelled in the fading breeze trying to gybe and stay airborne whilst not sailing out of the narrow breeze line. The course was shortened at the lee mark giving Lennon a narrow victory from Harris. Adams took third.
The forth and final race was much the same with less foiling air time. Lennon lead at the first mark which saw some of the slower fleets beat the moths round mark 1 however as in the previous race Lennon picked up a line of wind as he rounded which took him straight to the finish. This gave him the trophy ( if there had been one) . Alex Adams picked up some air time on the final run giving him second and Harris third.
Mike Lennon GBR 8 Hyde Sail 1st
Rod Harris GBR 3754 Chalys 2nd
Alex Adams GBR 4082 3rd
Richard Lovering GBR 3629 4th