UK Nationals 2015 Day 2

Chris Rashley has a perfect day.

Chris Rashley has a perfect day. Photos (c) Mark Jardine

The day started with a calm, mirror-like Solent, but ended with 4 glorious races completed in perfect foiling conditions. This was Stokes Bay at its best and the Moth fleet turned on the style in spades.

Home club sailor Chris Rashley, focused by the threat of Dylan Fletcher’s opening race win, switched on the after-burners to show that he is the sailor to beat at this event. With awesome downwind pace, he racked up a perfect day with four straight wins.

Chris said after the racing, “It felt great. I did a lot of thinking last night and got myself mentally prepared for the day. I thought that Dylan was going to come out and be really tough so I prepared myself for potentially being a little bit slower than him, but just thought if I can stay consistent, keep him on his toes and wait for him to make a mistake, then I could sneak in there and take a couple of races off him – as it turned out that’s exactly what I did.”

On his pace and approach Chris said, “I’m not a lot faster than anyone else, downwind I’m probably the pace-setter, but upwind there’s Mike (Lennon), Dylan (Fletcher), Ben (Paton) and a couple of others who’ve potentially got a little bit of pace on me, but I race clean, I race fast, I don’t tend to make too many mistakes when I’m on it, and today I was on it.”

Penny Clark port-tacks the fleet

Penny Clark port-tacks the fleet

The moment of the day was when Penny Clark timed her start line approach to perfection to port-tack the fleet in the second race of the day. “My plan was to go behind the fleet and get out of the tide – start on port and cut a tack out – but the whole fleet was hanging back a little bit, so I just decided to pull the trigger and go and cross them. It was absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t believe it! I think it was a little bit cowboy giving it a go, but it was brilliant to see Chris & Dylan both go behind me.”

Jason Belben

Jason Belben

We asked Penny what advice she would give to women wanting to join the International Moth fleet and what it’s like to sail them, “It’s absolutely brilliant, I’ve had one on and off since 2008. I started with a Bladerider – this is the first time I’ve ever raced one as the boats are just so much fun you just want to go sailing. The boat’s perfect for the girls – yes, we’re a little bit light when it’s breezy, but they’re just so much fun. Who wouldn’t want to sail one? My advice to anyone buying one is spend as much as you can – the control systems are just so much better on the newer boats – I had a Ninja before my Exocet and I think it made a really big difference out there today because in the waves, learning to sail in a Ninja at Stokes Bay has taught me how to get downwind. I was quite surprised how many of the guys were pitch-poling next to me and I was not ever worried about it. It was champagne sailing.”

Mike Lennon and Rory Fizpatrick

Mike Lennon and Rory Fizpatrick

After a shaky start to the day, Mike Lennon knocked in three 3rd places to move up to second overall. Mike said, “It was alright, I was nip and tuck with Ben (Paton) on the final finish, bang-bang as we went through the line, so I’m not sure who got it. The first race was a shocker as I went to tack and just saw weed everywhere. I was weaving through the weed and eventually had to do the tack and I picked up loads of weed.”

On the quality now throughout the fleet Mike said, “The boat speed differentials have closed in a bit. Everyone’s got my sails now so it’s bound to have closed in a bit! There’s a lot of people going quick now so if you do bury yourself a bit it’s a little bit harder to extract yourself. It’s not easy for an old man like me!”

Alex Koukourakis with his home-built Chopper.

Alex Koukourakis with his home-built “Chopper”.

Home-build guru Alex Koukourakis reinforced the view of the tight fleet, “It was absolutely epic out there today – nose to tail racing and everyone’s smiling. The middle of the fleet is so tight at the moment whereas 3 or 4 years ago there would have been a big spread. Obviously the pros are out at the front and in a different league but I think the racing in the middle of the fleet is probably even better – you can’t beat it!”

On his boat and approaching building your own hull Alex said, “I’ve given the main foil a bit more aggressive angle of attack which helped me as I’m quite heavy and it now seems to pop up a lot earlier – the boat is just a dream at the moment. With any home-build you’ve got to cut bits off and adjust things – it takes about a year to get it all sorted really. If you’re going to build your own boat then have a lot of time off – it’s going to take a long time. Sail a Moth first as you can’t successfully do a home-build without actually sailing one – it gives you insight as to how to build the boat. Ask other home-builders, we’re all happy to help anyone that wants to do it.”

Ben Paton finally got his championship on track after gear failure affected his first two races, “Not a brilliant start to the regatta, but I was really happy to put in a couple of second place finishes today and get a bit of confidence back. I can still get to the front and I’ve still got the pace, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s racing.”

Dylan Fletcher

Dylan Fletcher

Dylan Fletcher dropped to fourth overall after a few boat-handling errors and leaks in his solid wings.

Rory Fizpatrick, a convert from the Laser class, is in fifth spot and was happy with his day, “Some of the guys are running the smaller main foil and passed me downwind but I was going well upwind. As I come from Lasers I don’t know if it’s me hiking harder or the boat going fast! It was really good fun and quite wavy so I have to get used to the downwind legs – a great day’s racing.”

On coming into the fleet Rory’s advice is, “Spend lots of time in the boat; practicing gybes, practicing tacks. It’s so rewarding when you get each next step done. It’s like nothing else in the sport, you’ll never look back!”

Racing on Saturday has again been brought forward to 11am with four races scheduled. A 12-15 knot wind is forecast with sunshine – it should be another cracker.

The event is kindly sponsored by Noble Marine, Ronstan and Blueteq.

Results after Day 2: (five races, 1 discard)

Pos Sail No Helm Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Pts
1 4 Chris Rashley Stokes Bay SC & Royal London YC ‑2 1 1 1 1 4
2 4147 Mike Lennon Hayling Island SC 3 ‑7 3 3 3 12
3 3942 Jason Belben Stokes Bay SC ‑4 4 4 4 2 14
4 4208 Dylan Fletcher WPNSA 1 2 6 ‑20 12 21
5 4097 Rory Fitzpatrick NYC / RIYC 7 5 (DNC) 6 5 23
6 4062 Jonathan Heathcote Stokes Bay SC ‑9 6 7 5 7 25
7 4040 Dan Henderson Stokes Bay SC 6 8 ‑9 7 8 29
8 3982 Ben Paton Lymington Town SC (DNC) 22 2 2 4 30
9 4309 James McMillan Gurnard SC / Stokes Bay SC ‑10 3 8 9 10 30
10 4099 Ricky Tagg Hayling Island SC 5 11 15 ‑21 6 37
11 4115 David Hivey Datchet Water SC 17 ‑19 5 18 9 49
12 4189 Phillip Kasermann SNG 14 20 10 8 ‑24 52
13 3776 Philippe Schiller SNG ‑35 16 14 10 14 54
14 4144 Fabien Froesch SNG ‑20 15 13 11 17 56
15 4074 Eelco Boers WV Roerkoning 8 10 (DNC) 24 16 58
16 3940 Penny Clark Stokes Bay SC 18 ‑21 12 12 18 60
17 4301 John Clifton Homeless 16 9 21 ‑25 15 61
18 4149 Ollie Holden Hayling Island SC 12 18 ‑24 15 19 64
19 4121 James Phare Queen Mary SC 21 12 17 17 ‑25 67
20 4251 Dan Ward Frensham Pond / Stokes Bay SC 13 37 11 ‑44 13 74
21 4067 Cameron Stewart Hayling Island SC 29 17 16 16 ‑30 78
22 3922 Kyle Stoneham Thorpe Bay YC 19 14 19 ‑37 28 80
23 4049 Giovanni Galeotti RYCB 11 13 31 (DNC) 29 84
24 4096 Tim Penfold Hayling Island SC 23 ‑31 26 14 23 86
25 4075 Doug Pybus Queen Mary SC ‑31 28 18 23 21 90
26 4037 Jason Russell Hayling Island SC 24 23 22 22 ‑26 91
27 4060 Neil Baker Hayling Island SC 27 25 23 19 ‑40 94
28 4277 Jeremy Hartley Stokes Bay SC 22 30 20 26 ‑32 98
29 3943 Richard Edwards Parkstone YC 26 29 27 ‑49 20 102
30 3979 Dan Ellis Yealm YC 15 42 (DNC) 47 11 115
31 4100 Alex Koukourakis Eastbourne Sov SC 25 43 (DNC) 27 22 117
32 4043 Matthew Lea Grafham Water SC ‑36 24 30 31 33 118
33 4299 Chris Clarke Thorpe Bay YC 32 ‑34 32 28 27 119
34 412 Leigh Albrecht Queen Mary SC 28 46 (DNC) 13 35 122
35 4065 Anthony Rezzoug ASNQ 33 32 ‑35 33 31 129
36 4072 Tom Lambert Wilsonian SC 30 27 29 45 (DNC) 131
37 3945 Eddie Bridle Brightlingsea SC ‑44 38 33 30 34 135
38 3959 Alex Adams Castle Cove SC 38 26 25 48 (DNC) 137
39 4307 Hans Rasmussen Troense Badelaug 37 33 (DNC) 32 36 138
40 4281 Nic Streatfeild Rutland SC 34 39 36 41 (DNC) 150
41 4280 Constantijn Weber WSV Muiderberg 40 35 28 50 (DNC) 153
42 3715 Chris Jeeves Homeless 43 36 38 ‑46 38 155
43 3914 Ole Frey Sonderborg YC 47 40 40 29 (DNC) 156
44 4162 Steve McLean Hayling Island SC / LSC 49 41 34 34 (DNC) 158
45 4254 David Smithwhite Hayling Island SC 41 44 37 43 (DNC) 165
46 4126 Luka Dogan Marina Kastela 53 47 39 39 (DNC) 178
47 3794 Menno Berens Marina Muiderzand 48 (DNC) DNC 35 37 180
48 3190 Chris Tilbrook Starcross YC 51 (DNC) DNC 36 39 186
49 4233 Dominic Hutton Queen Mary SC 50 (DNC) DNC 38 41 189
50 3674 Simon Grundy Homeless 45 45 (DNC) 42 DNC 192
51 3924 Robert Pike Eastbourne Sov SC 52 (DNC) DNC 40 DNC 212
52 3980 Graham Simmonds Hayling Island SC 39 (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 219
53 3720 Bruce Spratt Thorpe Bay YC 42 (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 222
54 3870 Eddie Gatehouse Hayling Island SC 54 (DNC) DNC 51 DNC 225
55 4344 Ross Harvey Hayling Island SC 46 (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 226
56= 398 Cameron Harris Parkstone YC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC 240
56= 4343 James Sainsbury Grafham Water SC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC 240
56= 3131 Guy Raynes Weston SC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC 240
56= 3756 Andrew Jarvis Oxford SC (DNC) DNC DNC DNC DNC 240

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