Please select your home edition

British Moth Open at Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club

by Ian Edwards 4 Aug 2014 21:08 BST 26 July 2014
British Moths drifting at Earlswood Lakes © Robert Marshall

Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club had the pleasure of welcoming nine British Moths to join their small fleet for the first open event to be held by the club for the class on Saturday 26th July 2014.

The balmy weather had however resulted in little or no wind the surface of the lake giving an excellent impression of a mirror with the occasional zephyr rippling the surface. The fleet were not perturbed by the conditions rigged and launched to accept the challenges of the day the British Moth being notorious for its light wind performance.

The principal race officer Alan Wright set a simple triangular course for the first race. As the start sequence ticked down the final seconds Roger Witts B.M.885 (Frampton on Severn S C) spotted the slight change in the wind and took a flyer on a port end start and managed to cross the fleet starting on starboard. The fleet then all tacked on to port to slowly chase Witts to the first mark. Witts by now had sailed into a commanding lead. The majority of the fleet not being able to fetch the first mark ended in quite a gaggle at the mark with Colin Hall B.M.856 (Hunts S C) and then Gary Tomkins B.M. 882 (Hunts S C) set about the chase of Witts. Although there were several changes throughout the middle of the fleet as zephyrs of wind were picked up or holes found the leading pack were not caught.

The second race was sailed on the same triangular course but by now the wind direction had changed slightly resulting in a broad reaching start. This did however result in two boats being over the line at the start and were duly called back by the race officer. Mark Wiltshire B.M. 872 (Chippenham S C) took full advantage and sailed confidently to the first mark and was never challenged throughout the race. There was considerable activity throughout the fleet as various helms took advantage of the wind or picked up the small changes that appeared. On the penultimate lap local helm Ian Edwards B.M.854 took full advantage and was able to sail over the fleet from last to third at the leeward mark. The final run to the leeward mark saw Tompkins pushed through the fleet as he picked up and held the wind rounding the mark second followed by Richard Keefe B.M. 884 (Hunts S C) to finish third behind Wiltshire and Tompkins. Throughout the race Witts who had been one of the premature starters was picking his way through the fleet to finish fourth.

The third race after lunch was therefore to be the decider, the wind had now taken a slight shift resulting in a long slow beat to the first mark. The lead to the first mark changed on several occasions between Witts, Hall and Keefe but it was Witts to round first followed by Hall & Keefe. This order was retained for the rest of the race with valiant attempts being made by the fleet to catch the leaders.

The second win by Witts therefore won the Open meeting with Colin Hall second overall and the ever consistent Gary Tompkins third. Abby Freeley B.M. 883 (Hunts S C) with a seventh overall won the ladies prize from Nicola Barrett B.M.757 (Frampton on Severn S C).

Robert Marshall, Commodore of Earlswood Lakes Sailing Club presented the prizes and a very attractive engraved whisky tumbler to Roger Witts saying how great it was to add British Moths to the clubs programme of Laser, Enterprise and Merlin Rocket Opens. The British Moth is well suited to our lake so it was a pleasure to host an event for the class which has been around for over 80 years

Class Captain Ian Edwards commented that the Moth is a thriving class that enjoys new venues and Earlswood didn't disappoint in the racing and hospitality provided such that the competitors hope to include Earlswood in next year's programme.

Related Articles

British Moths at Fishers Green
A shifty beat kept everyone on their toes Owing to another open event being cancelled at short notice a small group of British Moths deferred their open meeting to Fishers Green SC on Saturday 22 June. With the sun sparkling on the water all day we had a light wind. Posted on 25 Jun 2019
British Moths at Leamington Spa
A number of new faces amongst the visiting sailors Leamington Spa Sailing Cub welcomed 11 visitors and fielded 4 home boats for the British Moth Class first event of the year on Saturday 6th April 2019. Posted on 8 Apr 2019
20th Salterns Sail-a-thon
Salterns children sail through the night for Children in Need The young sailors of Salterns Sailing Club showed great stoicism when they sailed through the night in cold temperatures for the BBC Children in Need appeal. Posted on 21 Nov 2018
British Moths at Leamington Spa
Season opener at a club with a new name Leamington Spa Sailing Cub (formerly known as Mid Warwickshire Yacht Club) welcomed 6 visitors and fielded 4 home boats for the British Moth Class season opener on Saturday 7 April 2018. Posted on 8 Apr 2018
British Moth Nationals at Staunton Harold
A grab bag of testing conditions Staunton Harold Sailing Club provided a grab bag of testing conditions at the British Moth Nationals, held there on August 2-5. For some, there was high winds and exhilarating planing, for others, there was proper Moth conditions. Posted on 9 Aug 2017
British Moths at Mid Warwickshire
Season opener on Willes Meadow Reservoir The British Moth Class which is celebrating its 85th anniversary year held its season opener at Mid Warwickshire Yacht Club on Willes Meadow Reservoir, Leamington Spa on Saturday 1 April 2017. Posted on 2 Apr 2017
Sutton-In-Ashfield Mad March Regatta
British Moth takes honours at season-opener The sailing season started at Sutton-In-Ashfield Sailing Club on Sunday 5 March with the Mad March Regatta. Light winds and rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the seven crews plus rescue and race teams to get the year's sailing underway. Posted on 7 Mar 2017
British Moth Nationals at Northampton
A little windy on the water The forecasts had been read. The tradition was quoted, 'Strong, strong, light'. All the twenty-four competitors of the Moth Nationals 2016 knew the score – it was going to be a little windy on the water. Posted on 18 Aug 2016
British Moths at Maidenhead
A mirror-like Summerleaze Lake Sun, warm temperatures and a mirror-like Summerleaze Lake greeted the competitors of Maidenhead Sailing Club's Moth Open. For Race Officer Brian Jones, the conditions presented a challenge, as he searched the lake for sufficient wind to set a course. Posted on 4 Aug 2016
Moth Bowl at Medley Sailing Club
One of the oldest events in the Moth calendar The Moth Bowl is one of the oldest events in the Moth calendar. This year's was held in light and tricky conditions, ensuring a worthy winner. Posted on 23 Jun 2016