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International Moth Grand Prix at the Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy

by Richard Mason on 4 Sep 2-3 September 2017
Weymouth International Moth Grand Prix podium (l-r) Kyle Stoneham (2nd), Simon Hiscocks (1st), Richard Mason (3rd) © IMCA UK

A very dodgy forecast and a closed A1 kept many people away from the Moth GP in Weymouth this weekend. However, those 18 who did take a punt were rewarded with a full series of six races.

On Saturday, in stunning Costa del Portland sunshine, the fleet launched into a young and fickle sea breeze. Race one was started in very marginal conditions with less than half the fleet foiling at the gun. As the race progressed the wind established itself and gradually the whole fleet were up and going.

Throughout the day, full blown shouting turned to minor cussing on the edges of the race course as it became easier to keep the boats in the sky through the manoeuvres. The wind gradually built to 12kts.

A gentleman's agreement at the morning briefing allowed for four races to be sailed since Sunday's forecast looked marginal at best.

It was decided the Dorset Burger Company would be the best place to refuel that evening. Almost the entire fleet descended on the restaurant, which was conveniently close to the hen party-filled bars of Weymouth town centre.

Sunday was the polar opposite of the day before. The forecast rain and wind had arrived. The fleet of 18 had already turned to 15 as some fled the boat park Saturday night claiming; "I don't actually own my boat so I don't want to break it" and "my boat is too new to be torn apart by 35 knot gusts".

People converged in the canteen for a 'big breakfast' and it was generally agreed that we much preferred the water under our boats rather than falling from the sky. A nervous-looking race officer showed up and asked whether we actually wanted to go out. A few more decided not to go sailing.

Launch time came and news that a 30 knot gust had just been recorded on the wall sent a shock wave through the fleet. In the end, 7 boats launched into what Simon Hiscocks admitted was the "windiest moth racing he'd ever done".

Two races were sailed with the wind peaking at 37kts in the second. The 30kt boat speed barrier was smashed left, right and centre. Kyle 'Biceps' Stoneham winning the fastest recorded peak of the day at 31.3kts. Sam 'Eitherbraveorstupid' Barker gets a special mention for completing both races with no bowsprit or adjustable wand.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st4050Simon Hiscocks 11122‑37
2nd4442Kyle StonehamTBYC‑86631117
3rd4439Richard MasonWPNSA53‑844218
4th4499Dominic HuttonStokes Bay SC257‑85423
5th3980Alex AdamsCastle Cove SC9‑10553527
6th10David Hivey 10221(DNC)DNC34
7th2Jim McMillanStokes Bay SC3736(DNC)DNC38
8th4010Sam BarkerCastle Cove SC412‑13117640
9th4214Michael BarnesWWSC1191296(RET)47
10th4438Matthew LeaRSC121347(DNC)DNC55
11th4208Tom LambertWilsonian SC781012(DNC)DNC56
12th4350David SmithwhiteHayling Island SC649(DNS)DNCDNC57
13th4136Ed Redfearn 15111110(DNC)DNC66
14th4525Alex HaymanLymington Town SC13161614(DNC)DNC78
15th4033Adam GoldingHayling Island SC141415(RET)DNCDNC81
16th4100Chris WhiteRestronguet SC171514(RET)DNCDNC84
17th3870Eddie GatehouseHayling Island SC(DNF)171713DNCDNC85
18th372Charlie CoulbornNetley SC16181815(DNC)DNC86

The top 3 boats won new goose-necks courtesy of Shock Sailing which confused the safety boat crews attending the prize giving. They wondered why they weren't shiny, or shaped like cups.

A big thanks to WPNSA who did an excellent job to get a full series in.

Next event is the Irish Nationals

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