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British Moth Sea Championship at Fowey Gallants Sailing Club

by Jenni Heward-Craig 6 Jun 2016 17:29 BST 28-30 May 2016
British Moth Sea Championship at Fowey © Jenny Bentley

Moths all at sea

Bank holiday weekend, and Fowey Harbour saw the return of British Moths for the annual Fowey Sea Championship. Despite the hazards of sunshine, decent winds, and lunch, sixteen Moths sailed both the harbour and the river for a weekend of intense competition.

After the mini races on Saturday morning, won handsomely by Colin Hall (Hunts), ahead of Roger Witts (FOSSC) and Mark Wiltshire (FOSSC), the fleet took to the water for the first race of the five-race series. The start was tight, with all boats fighting for position down the harbour to the windward mark (alongside all the usual traffic), with the fleet spreading out as it sailed to the mark nestled amongst the moored yachts.

Andy Matthews (Chew Valley) crossed the line first, with Richard Keefe (Hunts) second, and Hall third. For the second race of the day, Keefe battled with Nicola Barrett (FOSSC), Hall and Matthews, prevailing at the line, with Barrett and Hall second and third respectively.

Sunday, and the fleet sailed the Fowey River for the inaugural Brown Willy trophy. Upriver, the usual backmarkers were surprised by being at the front of the fleet, none more so than Ann Widdows (FOSSC) who managed to sneak ahead of Witts for her first third placing in the first race. However, on the downriver legs, Witt's skill prevailed, leaving him the winner of the trophy, with Hall and Gary Tompkins (Hunts) the minor place winners.

Lunch done, and the third race of the Championship got underway under light winds – ideal Moth weather. The third race was interesting for the sailors, with the course overlapping that of the Troys, but Hall's light weather skills held him in good stead, as he won the third race ahead of Matthews second, and Keefe third.

With the wind holding, and the possibility of unsailable (for Moths) winds on the Monday, Race Officer John Burford decided to move the fourth race forward. The race started well, with most of the fleet tight around the first mark. Then the wind died, the field spread out, and the envisioned second quick race of the day became a battle to move forward. Hall finally crossed the line first, followed by Witts and Tompkins.

Going into the last race of the series, the four sailed races had four different winners. With the winds fresh, but not unsailable, the fleet took to the water eagerly. A little too eagerly, in the case of Witt's halyard, which broke while the fleet waited for the RNLI boat to go to a rescue out at sea.

A rapid swap of boats with Simon Hall (Maidenhead), who had retired injured, and he was back in the hunt. The gate of the course abandoned, the race became easier in theory, but in reality, no less difficult to sail.

The start spread the fleet across the harbour, but by the first mark, most were back together, fighting hard for water. It remained that way for most of the race, with Matthews taking his second first, and the championship, on the line, ahead of Keefe and Hall.

When the results were tallied, Andy Matthews was crowned this year's Fowey champion, with Richard Keefe second, and Colin Hall third. Ladies' Champion was Nicola Barrett, ahead of Abby Freeley (Hunts) and Elaine Gillingham (Hunts).

Sea Championship Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubSC1SC2SC3SC4SC5Pts
1st881Andy MathewsChew Valley1‑42‑714
2nd884Richard KeefeHunts21‑3‑425
3rd856Colin HallHunts‑3‑81337
4th882Gary TompkinsHunts43‑61‑78
5th890Roger WittsFOSSC‑6542‑611
6th757Nicola BarrettFOSSC‑825‑6512
7th872Mark WiltshireNOMAD‑777‑8418
8th883Abby FreeleyHunts56‑9‑9920
9th834Andrew PerrottChippenham(DNC)(DNC)85821
10th504Elaine GillinghamHunts99‑11‑101028
11th847Simon HallMaidenhead101010‑11(DNS)30
12th837Ann WiddowsFOSSC1111‑13‑13DNF34
13th818Jenni Heward‑ CraigMaidenhead‑13‑1212121135
14th700Jenny BentleyMaidenhead1213(DNS)(DNS)DNC40

Brown Willy Trophy Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubBW Leg1BW Leg2BW Leg3BW Leg4BW Leg5BW Leg6Pts
1st890Roger WittsFOSSC‑4142119
2nd856Colin HallHunts2‑4113310
3rd882Gary TompkinsHunts8‑10242420
4th757Nicola BarrettFOSSC157‑97727
5th883Abby FreeleyHunts‑103679227
6th884Richard KeefeHunts92‑1136929
7th504Elaine GillinghamHunts6635‑121030
8th834Andrew PerrottChippenham599(RET)5533
9th872Mark WiltshireFOSSC‑1271084635
10th837Ann WiddowsFOSSC31151110‑1240
11th847Simon HallMaidenhead11‑12868841
12th818Jenni Heward‑ CraigMaidenhead78‑1210111147

Mini Races Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubMR1MR2MR3MR4Pts
1st856Colin HallHunts11349
2nd890Roger WittsFOSSC42129
3rd872Mark WiltshireFOSSC652114
4th883Abby FreeleyHunts336315
5th757Nicola BarrettFOSSC267520
6th882Gary TompkinsHunts544821
7th504Elaine GillinghamHunts798630
8th847Simon HallMaidenhead879933
9th884Richard KeefeHuntsDNC105737
10th837Ann WiddowsFOSSC98101037
11th818Jenni Heward‑ CraigMaidenheadDNCDNCDNCDNC60
11th881Andy MathewsChew ValleyDNCDNCDNCDNC60
11th834Andrew PerrottChippenhamDNCDNCDNCDNC60
11th700Jenny BentleyMaidenheadDNCDNCDNCDNC60

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