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British Moth open meeting at Tamesis Club

by Simon Hall 12 Sep 2014 15:35 BST 7 September 2014

British Moths moved upstream on Sunday 7th September to compete at the Tamesis open meeting, having sampled the Thames waters the previous day at Desborough Sailing Club. The light winds from the Saturday persisted, with competitors greeted by a variable 1 to 3 knot breeze.

At the starting gun for the first race, the wind dropped even further, resulting in a very slow and frustrating first leg downstream. Gary Tomkins lead the fleet off the line, pursued by Toby Cooper and Rob Wilder, the 2012 National Champion returning to the class in a borrowed boat. By the first mark Cooper had managed to overhaul Tomkins and he set about the struggle against the stream in the light winds back up river.

The rest of the chasing fleet remained becalmed at the first mark for a few minutes allowing Cooper to slip away and also enabling Rob Wilder to move past Tomkins into second. Cooper proceeded to sail the race in what appeared to be a privately owned wind pattern and established an unassailable 7 minute lead by the finish.

Wilder remained in second, having to contend with challenges from both Tomkins and Colin Hall before himself pulling well clear to secure his place. The fickle wind saw multiple place changes in the pack with Colin Hall finally securing third from Tomkins in fourth.

After a hearty lunch the competitors went afloat for the second race, hoping for an improvement in the wind, only to be disappointed. The start got underway in slightly more breeze than the first race, but this quickly faded. Wilder led the fleet away but was overhauled by Cooper before the first mark.

This time he was keen not to let Cooper break away and he successfully chased in close formation for the bulk of the first two laps. On the third lap the private breeze Cooper had ordered for himself arrived and he again broke well clear. Due to an off water commitment Wilder was forced to retire, leaving the slow motion chase of Cooper to Tomkins, Colin Hall and Simon Hall (Maidenhead SC).

For much of the last lap it looked likely that Simon Hall would secure second, but a close battle from the last downwind mark saw him overhauled by Tomkins leaving him to finish in third, with Colin Hall fourth.

The wind faded further after the finish and on agreement with the Race Officer, the final race of the day was cancelled, leaving the overall standings as; 1st Cooper 2nd Gary Tomkins 3rd Colin Hall and 4th Simon Hall.

Despite the conditions, the Boths with their high aspect ratio rigs had been able to make the most of the meagre wind rations and enjoyed some close, if sedate racing.

Final Results

1st Toby Cooper, Broxbourne
2nd Gary Tomkins, Hunts
3rd Colin Hall, Hunts
4th Simon Hall, Maidenhead
5th Rob Wilder, Tamesis
6th Andrew Perrott, Chippenham
7th Elaine Gillingham, Hunts

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