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British Moth Training & Open Weekend at Whitefriars Sailing Club

by Simon Hall 25 Apr 2015 17:39 BST 18-19 April 2015
Race 2 starts during the British Moth Open at Whitefriars © Simon Hall

The British Moth fleet descended on Whitefriars SC at the Cotswold Water Park for their annual training and open weekend on 18th & 19th April.

The Saturday training was conducted in blustery conditions and the fleet were tasked with an intense session of boat handling and mark rounding practise on a V shaped course. This proved suitably challenging with some exciting planning, ragged gybing and a smattering of capsizes to keep the rescue crew busy and some spectators suitably entertained. Following lunch and a review of the mornings "video nasty's", the fleet opted to return to the water to repeat the exercise. The afternoon efforts progressed well with some noticeable improvement in standards, and still enough breeze to keep the sailors on their toes. A final review of video footage was conducted when the sailors came ashore, followed by an evening barbeque.

For the Sunday racing the wind had moderated but was still a gusty 10 – 15 Knots. Additional travellers arrived to add to the Saturday training fleet, including two brand new Claridge boats (Roger Witts and Tim Davison). For race one, the Race Officer set a figure eight course, which including a long fine reach across the lake, providing some excellent planing opportunities.

The fleet got away from the start line cleanly with Toby Cooper (Broxbourne) in pole position from the Committee boat end and this saw him head the fleet at the windward mark, closely followed by Andy Mathews (Chew Valley). Cooper, enjoying the fast downwind legs quickly stretched out a comfortable lead with Mathews also breaking clear from the chasing pack. A battle developed in the chasing pack between Abbie Freely, Tim Davison (Medley) and Robert Paynter (Medley) for third place. A mistake and capsize by Paynter, saw him drop out of contention. Roger Witts (Frampton on Severn) who was getting to grips with his new boat, recovered with good speed after a mediocre start to pull past this pack into third place. At the finish Cooper and Andrews remained clear and took the first two places, with Witts third.

The second race was sailed back to back with the first and saw a slight change in course, accommodating a veering in the wind. The committee boat end again proved to be the popular choice and this time was more closely contested with Davison and Cooper flying out at the start in very close company. Davison capitalised and picked a fine port approach to round the windward mark first, followed by Mathews and Cooper with Witts in much closer order than race one. Cooper slipped under Davison on the second downwind leg and picked the right side of the second beat along with Witts. This move saw both pull past Davison and Mathews. Cooper again pulled away into an unassailable lead and Witts maintained a comfortable hold on second through to the finish. Davison, also coming to terms with a new boat pulled through to pursue Witts and finish third.

After a filling and warming lunch the fleet head out to the start line for the final race, minus Cooper who had already bagged the results he needed. This time the tightly bunched group headed to the first mark, being led by Witts and Davison. By now the wind had decreased a little making it easier for some of the lighter helms. After a brief tussle with Davison Witts pulled away to win, leaving Davison to successfully fight off a challenge from Gary Tomkins and Mathews who came home third.

Overall Results:

1st 887, Toby Cooper (Broxbourne)
2nd 890, Roger Witts (FOSSC)
3rd 892, Tim Davison (Medley)
4th 881, Andy Mathews (Chew Valley)
5th 882, Gary Tompkins (Hunts)
6th 883, Abby Freeley (Hunts)
7th 884, Richard Keefe (Hunts)
8th 856, Colin Hall (Hunts)
9th 880, Tony Latham (FOSSC)
10th 839, Rob Paynter (Medley)
11th 872, Mark Wiltshire (NOMAD)
12th 834, Andrew Perrott (Chippenham)
13th 808, Ed Deacon (Hunts)
14th 757, Nicola Barrett (FOSSC)

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