Parkstone always offers challenges and the first is getting to the race area. The launching is into the walled yacht haven – there are two ways out. One is to follow the winding deep water channel which is around 3 boat lengths wide and the other is straight out through the “ledge.” The ledge in question isn’t local hero Rod Harris despite his many legendary exploits, but a narrow gap in the harbour wall. The ledge is only passable “low riding” at super high water and the usable width is around 5 meters. So the safest way out and back is on your foils doing 15 knots with a stone wall one side and mud bank on the other.
Once out and having sailed through the moorings on exiting the ledge, your off to the Top Triangle. This is an ideal moth sailing area – surrounded by land on all sides nearly, giving super flat water. But down side to all this land are some major shifts.
Chris Rashley (who dominated the event) favourably compared Poole Harbour to Lake Garda saying: “Its marginally better than sailing on a lake” .*
Whether you agree or disagree with Chris – the Northerly wind gave huge shifts and holes meaning no matter how bad things might look you were always in with a chance.
Its the tradition in the Moth class that 3rd place writes the report. But as I spent race one on Brownsea island fixing a broken vang strop I have no idea what went on! My guess is that it was shifty – the lead changed a few times and Chris Rashley won.I could report that for all the races bar one on Sunday, where part time open meeting attendee and Moth hero Ben Paton, made an appearance in two of the six race series and took a race from Chris. It was said Ben didn’t race Saturday because of alcohol addiction and a particularly big night having spent £200 on an alcohol fuelled binge. But this may not be true!
So rather than a blow by blow account of the racing which only a day later seems in my head at least, that all the races have merged into one. A quick summary (apologies to those missed out as many folk had some front time).
Chris Rashly dominated despite getting poor starts and then no matter where he went on the course always picked the right moment to get across – there is more to this guy than speed and good boat handling it appears.
Jason Belben put a solid series together as he often does getting an easy second overall. Mike Lennon (me) had little time leading any races but somehow snagged enough top five places to get 3rd.
Simon Hiscocks had some good races on Saturday but couldn’t do Sunday. Jim McMillan also had a good Saturday but let the exuberance of youth get the better of him on Saturday night and was 2 minutes late for the start on Sunday morning.
Dave Hivey looked fast and seemed to win most of the starts but where Chris found the snakes Dave found ladders and despite leading some races never fully capitalised – one to watch in future.
So that was Parkstone – Challenging – shifty – chilly – exciting – slightly better than Lake Garda and Chris Rashley won.
A huge thanks to the race team who gave ideal length races and turned it around in double quick time.
Also thanks to Rod Harris who is now back in from the cold with his brand new Maguire built Moth. Rod will be joining the classes expanding over 50’s club. His company Why Jewellers sponsored the event and provided the Silver Moth Cuff links that Chris Rashley won.
Full results: WHY Jewellers Parkstone YC Moth Open 2016 Results
* Chris actually said “sailing on Poole Harbour is marginally better a lake”. However, it’s been interpreted by some that Chris considers Poole Harbour to be better than Lake Garda, because (obviously) Garda is a lake…