The first International Moth Class Association training session of the year happened this weekend – the first in a series of events, some formal some informal which have been put together to help new and intermediate moth sailors to de-mystify their flying machines and be comfortable in a racing situation. Sailors ranged from the their teens to their 50’s, from only 60 kilos to over 85! Although all boats were foilers, some were bought for a couple of thousand, some were full-on latest generation 25+ knot machines.
13 moths ventured to Queen Mary reservoir to an initial 25 knots and 4 degrees, with a relatively inexperienced group of moth sailors sailing for one of the first times this year it was unanimously decided that the weekend should begin with some classroom sessions, cover the fundamentals of the foil and wand setup and gybing technique. By 12:00 the wind had eased enough for everyone to get on the water and sail a windward-leeward course in the gusty conditions. A rib manned by Olivier Vidal and James Phare was on hand to offer advice to all the sailors whether they were hoping to achieve their first foiling gybe or looking for some fine tuning tips. James jumped into lots of boats to try and diagnose set-up problems and allow owners to see their boats flying from the outside.
Sunday saw lighter winds, and around 20 moths took to the water to complete a few practice races, focusing on tacking and gybing as much as possible on each leg. Andrew Friend on the rib captured footage of each boat and a debriefing was given over lunch with plenty of pointers about technique and boat set-up.
The fleet then temporarily re-launched after lunch with the intention of completing more practice races but the wind completely died leaving everybody to flounder around in the rain. Such is the glamour of moth sailing in March!
Despite the wide variety in age, weight and mothing experience the entire fleet got stuck into some good sailing over the weekend and were able to pick up priceless top tips on how to improve technique and boat setup in order to progress quickly up the learning curve. Bring on next weekend where it can hopefully be put into practice!
Many thanks to Olivier Vidal, James Phare and Andrew Friend for running the event and Queen Mary SC for putting it on.