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British Moth National Championship at Northampton Sailing Club - Day 2

by Jenni Heward-Craig 15 Aug 2014 09:06 BST 13-16 August 2014

It proved to be a day of contrasting weather on Day 2, with a deluge in the first race of the day, while the last race finished in sunshine (though dark clouds did threaten something worse). It was the wind – recalcitrant, fickle, and a race officer's worst nightmare – that tested the sailors the most. No leg was ever the same, no matter what course was set. As for finding a decent beat or run... well, let's say that it is a miracle that the RDO didn't go completely grey.

The conditions didn't faze Robbie Claridge (878). Even though he wasn't ahead at the first mark in any of the day's races, he remained comfortably in the first three positions, which meant he was well placed to make a move on the leader. This strategy gave him two firsts and a second over the three races. Only Tim Davison (846) bested him on the day, taking advantage of a tactical error and slipping ahead of Claridge on the committee boat end of the line.

The competition for the first three places in each race was close. Davison, Claridge and Toby Cooper (887) took the first three places in Race 2, while Race 3 saw Claridge finish first by a comfortable margin from Matthews, second, and Cooper, third. Matthews almost had Race 4, a five-lap shorter course race, won, but heading right while Claridge headed left meant he got caught at the windward mark. He did, however, take second, with a closing Davison third.

Some of the best battles took place further down the fleet – fourth, fifth and sixth being particularly tight, especially in the Race 4 – Gary Tompkins (882) and Cooper slugging it out, with Tompkins taking the place.

Adding interest to the sailing, SailRacer tracking devices were fitted to all the fleet, and prizes went to the fastest speed – Claridge – and the shortest distance – Ian Edwards (854). It added a different dimension to the racing, and the sailors were very impressed by the results.

At the end of day 2, while Claridge remains comfortably top of the results table, second to fourth could be anybody's. And with more races to go, Claridge might find the Pitsford Reservoir wind is a very fickle mistress, indeed.

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