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British Moth Sea Championship at Fowey Gallants Sailing Club

by Jenni Heward-Craig 2 Jun 2015 08:34 BST 23-25 May 2015

For the three days over the recent long weekend, sixteen sailors from around the country competed in the Fowey FFFFFive British Moth Sea Championship. With conditions ranging from wet and blustery to sunny and nary a wind, the added hazards of tides, ferries, yachts, tourist, Troys and the occasional container ship, the competitors (eight new to Fowey) encountered conditions not often met on their home waters.

After the Saturday morning mini races, won comfortably by Andy Mathews (881), the racing got underway in earnest. Strong southwesterlies coming up the river made for a challenging start in the first race, with most boats crowding the line. Quick reflexes got Roger Witts (890) off quickly, but he was harried by Nicola Barrett (757) throughout the race, only securing first at the finish line. Gary Tompkins (882) took third.

A shift in wind direction meant a change in course, reversing that sailed for the first race. Again, strong winds meant that the boats started closely, but Roger's skill in negotiating the subsequent drop in wind speed gave him another first place. Andy took second, while Gary's third place was his second for the day.

The second day of the championships lacked the sunshine of the first, but not the wind conditions. The bay considered too dangerous for the Moth, the racing was moved further down the harbour to make the most of sea-like conditions. These races also added the additional hazard of sailing amongst moored yachts.

Roger, again, had the race all his own, but the surprise was Colin Hall (856) and his second place, gained despite capsizing, a 720-penalty and a 360-penalty. Andy continued his good form, taking third from Mark Wiltshire (872).

Colin's luck did not hold for the second race of the day - he dropped to eighth in a race which started with strong winds and faded to little wind and drizzling rain. Roger took his fourth first, securing the championship with one race to spare, with Graham Pope (828) second, and Andy third.

With Roger unassailable champion of Fowey, the race was on for minor placings, with only a few points separating the next five sailors. A longer course was set, taking the sailors through all the hazards they had experienced on the previous two days. Simon Hall (847) made one of the best starts of the championship, surging ahead of the other contestants, only to capsize before the first mark. The inevitable wind shift came, and with its accompanying drop in speed, most of the field remained together for the duration of the two-lap race. Andy was rewarded for his consistenty with a first place, with Colin second and Andrew Perrott (834) third.

Nicola, with two top-five placings, took Ladies' champion, ahead of Abby Freeley (883) with her three top-ten. Elaine Gillingham (504) was third. Andy's first in the final race gave him a comfortable second in the competition, two points ahead of Colin, third. But, at the final reckoning, Roger - four firsts and a fourth - was the undisputed British Moth Fowey FFFFFive Sea Champion.

Mini Races Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubMR1MR2MR3Pts
1st881Andy MathewsChew Valley‑2213
2nd890Roger WittsFOSSC1‑334
3rd872Mark WiltshireNOMAD3‑825
4th856Colin HallHunts‑6156
5th757Nicola BarrettFOSSC4‑548
6th828Graham PopeSevern SC54‑69
7th883Abby FreeleyHunts‑106713
8th504Elaine GillinghamHunts7‑10815
9th882Gary TompkinsHunts‑97916
10th861Mike BarrettDesborough SC89‑1217
11th847Jenny BentleyMaidenhead‑12111122
12th837Ann WiddowsFOSSC11‑131324
13th818Jenni Heward‑ CraigMaidenhead1312‑1425
14th884Richard KeefeHunts(DNC)DNC1028
15th6 /Mark BarrettFOSSC(DNC)DNCDNC36
15th847Simon HallMaidenhead(DNC)DNCDNC36
15th834Andrew PerrottChippenham(DNC)DNCDNC36

Sea Championship Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubSC1SC2SC3SC4SC5Pts
1st890Roger WittsFOSSC‑1111‑43
2nd881Andy MathewsChew Valley‑102‑3316
3rd856Colin HallHunts‑742‑828
4th882Gary TompkinsHunts33‑8‑9511
5th834Andrew PerrottChippenham4‑8‑75312
6th757Nicola BarrettFOSSC2‑94‑10915
7th884Richard KeefeHunts555‑12‑615
8th828Graham PopeSevern SC‑117‑102716
9th883Abby FreeleyHunts‑6666‑818
10th872Mark WiltshireNOMAD9‑1194‑1022
11th847Simon HallMaidenhead810‑117‑1125
12th504Elaine GillinghamHunts‑12121211‑1335
13th861Mike BarrettDesborough SC‑151313‑141238
14th837Ann WiddowsFOSSC‑141414‑151442
15th365Jenny BentleyMaidenhead(DNC)(DNC)15131543
16th818Jenni Heward‑ CraigMaidenhead1315‑16‑161644
17th6 /Mark BarrettFOSSC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC54

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