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Pimped machines on the Southend seafront

by Mark Jardine 10 Jul 20:20 BST 11-14 July 2018
Final preparations ahead of the Noble Allen 2018 International Moth UK Championship at Thorpe Bay © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

Southend-on-Sea is home to the pimped car, with low profile tyres, extra body panels, lowered suspension and modifications aplenty. It's apt then that the foiling Moth fleet is now in town, fettling and finessing ahead of the UK Nationals at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club which starts on Wednesday.

The latest pimping includes the new Dave Hollom foils, the Excocet fully faired rudder gantry, a range of wings including the Rocket SSD solid wings and the new curved Exocet wings.

One of the late entries to the event is Mike Lennon in the THINNAIR. Fresh from a couple of promising race results during The Foiling Week at Lake Garda, the boat is seriously thin vertically and has built-in air bags in the wings. After eighteen months of development it will be interesting to see if the Lennon Moth is now coming together. Mike is a perfectionist, and while he always has something to do on the boat, the THINNAIR is now looking like a weapon.

Many of the Olympic sailors have other commitments this week at the 49er and Nacra 17 Europeans, meaning reigning champion Dylan Fletcher and Moth regulars Stu Bithell and Ben Saxton won't be taking part. Robert Greenhalgh has only just finished the Volvo Ocean Race on MAPFRE but isn't ready to compete yet in his new Moth.

This leaves the door open for the some of the top amateur sailors to win the title. Last year's runner-up David Hivey must be amongst the favourites, fresh from The Foiling Week in his new Exocet Moth. Other sailors on great form include Dan Ellis, Tom Offer, Ross Harvey, Jason Belben, Simon Hiscocks, Dave Kenefick and Kyle Stoneham.

There is also a superb overseas contingent here including visitors from Norway, Greece, Austria, Japan and Australia.

The event has attracted support from Allen Sailing, Noble Marine and Wetsuit Outlet with coffee and bacon rolls provided in the morning followed by pasta and beer when signing off and the odd happy hour. With the World Cup semi-final taking place tomorrow night, Thorpe Bay Yacht Club should be buzzing!

We'll be keeping you posted with all the news, plenty of photos, and the legendary Beau Outteridge will be producing daily videos. It's all set to be a great few days in Essex.

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