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British Moth National Championship at Staunton Harold Sailing Club

by Jenni Heward-Craig 30 Aug 2015 09:50 BST 12-15 August 2015
British Moth Nationals at Staunton Harold © Mark Wiltshire

Conditions ranging from rain-down-the-neck, no wind miserable to sunny and feisty greeted the competitors in this year's British Moth Nationals at Harold Staunton Sailing Club. Over fifty percent of eligible class sailors turned up to compete, and for the first time, over a quarter of the competitors were female, with three of them having never competed previously.

Wednesday afternoon, and the practise race gave all the sailors a taste of the conditions and layout of the reservoir. Toby Cooper (887), mindful of the superstition that the boat that wins the practice race doesn't take the championship, did his best not to win, but was forced into first by the conditions. Tim Davison (892) and Robbie Claridge (893) took the minor placings.

Race 1, a couple of competitors were a little too eager across the line, causing Race Officer Alan Bennett to bring out the 'I' flag. The long first beat spread the field, with competitors breaking into three or four groups. Boats were tested, with at least two breakages – Tim Davison (892) doing a reverse pike into the lake after his toestrap broke, and Roger Witts (890) hurriedly repairing a mainsheet failure.

With Andy Matthews (881) and Toby Cooper incurring pre-start penalties, and Robbie Claridge still getting used to his new boat, first place was taken by Witts, second by Abby Freeley (883) and third, Robert Paynter (839).

Day two. The wind had strengthened. The lesson of the 'I' flag well-learnt, all but one sailor, Robert Paynter (839) – later disqualified – made tentative starts in Race 2. Davison took an early lead from Claridge and Cooper, while throughout the race, places were being keenly fought over further down the fleet. On the final lap, Claridge overtook Davison who, at the final approach to the finish line, continued his run of bad luck when he fell out of his boat, ceding Cooper second place.

Toby Smith's (838) second place at the start of Race 3, behind Davison and ahead of Claridge, didn't last long. He was soon passed by Claridge and Cooper, who, with Claridge getting ahead of Davison, made the top three.

In what was becoming a familiar story, Davison got away with a commanding lead, ahead of three other boats (and the rest of the field) at the first mark. Cleanly ahead, the first four boats battled for position. By the second lap, Claridge got ahead of Davison, who kept Cooper at bay for his third second place of the competition.

Day three. The rains and wind fell. Race 5 started in murky conditions, with Andy Mathews (881) taking the lead in the three-beat-leg course. Dead spots in the wind, particularly at the club-side marks, meant that places changed often, but the leaders continued to do what they had been doing all championships. The three top places were familiar – Claridge, Cooper, Davison. In Race 6, the same weather conditions prevailed. Claridge, Cooper and Davison, along with Mathews, fought for first, but with Cooper passing Claridge, and Mathews third ahead of Davison. Despite his second placing, Claridge's four firsts had guaranteed him the overall championships. It was between Davison and Cooper for the minor placings.

Race 7's conditions could not have been more different to the previous day's. Sun and a brisk wind made exciting sailing, and Claridge took his fifth first of the Nationals. However, Davison's fourth second was not enough to put him ahead of Cooper (third), who was second overall – the curse of the practice race strikes again! Abby Freeley took out Ladies' champion, while Davison had to be content with Veteran's champion.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the British Moth nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosFleetSail NoBoat NameHelmClubPractice RTeddy HicksCoupe de LeonMarlow RopesObelisk TrophyAmeythst TrophyThompson TrophySolent TrophyPts
1stSenior893 Robbie ClaridgeLymington‑3‑50.750.750.750.75‑20.753.75
2ndSenior887There is no SpoonToby CooperBroxbourne SC‑0.75(OCS)2‑3320.75310.75
3rdVeteran892MulliganTim DavisonMedley SC‑2‑93223‑4212
4thSenior881X MothAndy MathewsChew Valley SC‑4(OCS)45‑743420
5thSenior890DakotaRoger WittsFrampton on Severn SC‑50.755‑6‑856622.75
6thSenior838PolyannaToby SmithMedley SC‑666446‑9‑1026
7thLady883LapwingAbby FreeleyHunts‑92‑107998‑1435
8thSenior839PanicRobert PaynterMedley SC‑123(OCS)8611‑13735
9thSenior882Little WingGary TompkinsHunts‑147‑1611‑1375838
10thVeteran856Okhams RazorColin HallHunts‑1049(DSQ)10‑1412540
11thSenior828GromitGraham PopeSevern SC‑8‑127(DSQ)51211944
12thSenior880SameSameTony LathamFrampton on Severn SC‑11‑13810‑1210101149
13thLady757Lilac BeautyNicola BarrettFrampton on Severn SC‑71013(DSQ)‑17871351
14thSenior817Painted LadyJonathan TwiteNottingham SC‑151111911‑13‑141254
15thVeteran854This way upIan EdwardsEarlswood Lakes(DNC)8(RET)14‑1515151567
16thVeteran871ScruffIan HeywoodFrampton on Severn SC‑131412131617‑18‑1872
17thVeteran836FidgitJohn PickfordEarlswood Lakes‑1715151218‑19‑211676
18thSenior847Ghost SwiftSimon HallMaidenhead SC‑1617171714‑2017‑1982
19thSenior394TwitAndrew CooperShearwater SC(DNC)1614(RET)211616(RET)83
20thLady504HawkmothElaine GillinghamHunts(DNC)181815‑1918‑191786
21stLady837UncertainAnn WiddowsFrampton on Severn SC‑18211918(RET)‑222220100
22ndLady818MadgeJenni Heward‑CraigMaidenhead SC(DNC)19201922‑23‑24RET102
23rdSenior870Grafifiti RatPaul LeafeGirton SC(DNC)(DNC)(DNC)16202120DNC103
24thVeteran245AeolusMorris MetcalfRye Harbour SC(DNC)20RET20RET(DNC)(DNC)RET106
25thLady700Tabitha TwitchitJennfer BentleyMaidenhead SC(DNC)22RET(DNC)(DNC)242321111

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