International Moth Open at Datchet Water Sailing Club
by Doug Pybus on 1 Apr
25-26 March 2017
Twenty-one boats arrived to glorious sunshine at Datchet, but will a daunting north easterly breeze. The fleet were rigged in the shelter of the foreshore, and somewhat dubious about conditions out on the lake.
Alex Adams was the first to break cover and proceeded confidently downwind. The rest of the fleet watched on for a few minutes before launching, and consequently a few boats missed the start completely. Only Tom Offer was actually on the line at the gun and took the bullet with ease.
R1 results: Tom, Eddie Bridle, Kyle Stoneham, Alex
With a few more boats on the line at the gun, things were a bit tighter in Race 2. Ross Harvey was getting his nose through the tacks more cleanly than the rest of the fleet, with plenty of aborted efforts, dipped wings and capsizes the order of the day.
R2 results: Ross, Jim, Tom, Dan
R3 and damage took out a couple of the front runners - Tom Offer with a detached vang lever, and Jim Macmillan with a ripped sail.
R3 results: Ross, Dan, Doug Pybus, Alex
By race 4 the fleet had thinned out to 7 through a combination of exhaustion and poor wetsuit choice. (Kyle!!;)).
Ross continued his dominance by actually being able to tack in the breeze, with Dan hot on his heels.
R4 results: Ross, Dan, Alex, Doug
This left Ross the overnight leader. Rumours were that the breeze may have hit 28 knots on the course at times. Consensus was that it was easier to get downwind than upwind. That said there were some fairly wide roundings taking place at the leeward mark, and a few choosing to push the eject button on approaching the dam wall. Dan claimed a top speed of the day with a 10 second average of 29.9 knots, although it was boat handling rather than top speeds that had been key to the day.
Sunday started with marginally less breeze, but as the day went on it built to similar to Saturday.
R5 and after an abandoned start (RO having forgot to set the pin end of the line) it was a refreshed Dave Hivey that came out and took race 1 having spent day 1 fixing his boat. Jim back on the water with his patched sail in second.
R5 results: Dave Hivey, Jim M, Ross H, Alex Koukorakis
By race 6 the breeze was starting to increase. Dave was winning until the final leg when he capsized on a tack and Ross got through to take the win.
R6 results: Ross, Dave, Dan, Doug
There were plenty of people capsizing with the gusts and ventilation, but the comedy moment of the day was when Dave Hivey pitch poled upwind in full view of the fleet when his main foil ventilated mid-tack on the port layline, and immediately turning turtle. The front order from day 1 was restored with Ross and Dan out in front.
R7 results: Ross, Dan, Jim, Andrew Jarvis
R8 and as on Saturday the fleet had thinned out again. 10 boats crossing the finish line in a similar order to R7.
R8 results: Ross, Dan, Jim, Kyle
Only 6 boats managed to complete all 8 races, which probably sums up the weekend. Plenty will have woken up with sore bodies on Monday morning but it was a great weekend out.
Many thanks to the race officer and rest of the crew at Datchet,
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