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2019 Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals at Castle Cove Sailing Club Day 1: Baptism of Fire

by IMCA UK 12 Sep 18:36 BST 12-15 September 2019
2019 Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals at Castle Cove SC day 1 © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

There was a marked reluctance from the fleet to launch today from the Castle Cove Sailing Club dinghy park as they looked out onto the white horses covering Portland Harbour. It was only 20 minutes before the 1pm start gun that a deluge of Moths flew to the start line, battling on the edge of control.

Under an overcast sky, the Race Officer wasted no time in getting the fleet away, knowing that the wind was forecast to increase, catching out some who waited too long on the shore.

From the off Dylan Fletcher showed why he's favourite for the event, with only the USA's Brad Funk sticking with him upwind before Dylan hit the afterburner down the run, extending throughout to take the win.

"Upwind today we were hitting 19.5 to 20 knots, which was getting a bit wild, and downwind I peaked at 31.4 knots which is pretty good considering it was windward / leeward, rather than just reaching to get a top speed - it shows how the boats are moving. It was an exciting day!" said Dylan.

In the second race things didn't go so smoothly, with Dylan ditching it in a few times as he explains:

"The boat was great today, but I was thinking a lot about how to stay safe on the runs, and I had a game plan of being slightly shy of the lay-line, and that turned out to be pretty bad news. Some of the older guys who were just doing one tack and one gybe, slightly over-standing, seemed to be taking the safer option. Maybe I was trying to race it a bit hard and I paid the price, getting stuck in the death-zone just above the leeward gate."

Even with these capsizes, Dylan leads after two races with a total of five points.

French sailor Benoit Marie didn't make the first race, but blasted round the course in the second race to take third place with a constant smile on his face as he describes: "It was full on! When I missed the first race it was beautiful to watch the action, but once I was out racing in the second, the aim was to hang on, stay upright and just send it, especially downwind. I loved it today - it was a lot of fun. It's so cool, the boat is whistling, you know you're right on the limit and you have to steer through the waves. It's just fantastic!"

Kyle Stoneham has recently switched from an Exocet to a solid-winged Rocket Moth so we found out what it has been like changing between the two designs:

"The Rocket is definitely more difficult to sail, but I think there's more potential speed there, if you can somehow get it out of the boat. I felt moments of absolute pace, but also contrasting moments of very little control! Trying not to under-lay the leeward marks downwind and reducing your manoeuvres, while upwind not over-laying the windward marks is key to getting around the race track. Coming into the windward mark on a reaching angle is very difficult, especially when you have a gate. Once you've completed the bear-away and can see, it's exhilarating, you're then looking for your gybe and keeping an eye on the waves, trying to stay above the water! It was an awesome day."

Top female sailor Josie Gliddon didn't have the best start to the event:

"After I finally got out on the water after having problems with my cunningham, I just couldn't keep the boat upright, so I didn't even make a start! It was just too much today - I've found the limit! I still enjoyed it, you just hang on and try and stay in control. Clearly that doesn't always happen! But every time you go out you get a little bit better and I learnt something new today - how to right the boat like a windsurfer - water-starting every capsize!"

For some of the elder statesmen of the fleet it was a tough day on the water, as Ricky Tagg describes: "It was fun, it was fast, it was furious and also a bit wet at times. Unfortunately, the body was failing, but the boat failed first with a broken shroud. It should all be fine for tomorrow."

James Sainsbury documented his home-build of Valkyrie on Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com last year and it's fantastic to see him now enjoying the fruits of his labour out on the race track:

"The boat is absolutely fantastic, solid upwind and downwind, and has some incredible pace in a straight line, logging well over 30 knots during the winter. It's quite difficult to sail with a very low boom making it a small area to get through during the manoeuvres, but I'm learning and developing new systems all the time. It was particularly well-behaved in today's breezy conditions."

Paul Williams, Managing Director of Wetsuit Outlet had these words to say about their title sponsorship of the event: "Wetsuit Outlet is delighted to return this year, growing our sponsorship to be the lead sponsor of the Moth Nationals. As the largest online retailer of premium performance sailing brands, such as Zhik and Gill, it's a perfect association to be involved in the all-action Moth class.

"Over the last 14 years Wetsuit Outlet has grown to be Europe's biggest dinghy and yacht sailing retailer, supporting everyone from the leisure sailor to the serious racer, by offering the best customer service and next day delivery from our extensive stock."

IMCA UK (the UK Moth Class Association for those not into acronyms) is fortunate to have the support of some key sponsors who we'd like to thank individually below:

  • Noble Marine Insurance have been involved with the class for many years and probably provide the best service to Moth sailors when things don't go as smoothly as planned. A quick chat with the sailors in the dinghy park will reinforce this.

  • Allen Brothers have been designing and manufacturing high quality deck hardware in the UK for many years. Their XHL blocks are in use in many of the kicker systems across the fleet thanks to their extraordinary load-bearing capabilities - it does no harm that they look the business as well.

  • Maguire Boats are the builders of the market-leading Exocet Moth but have supported designs of every flavour during class events. Simon and his team work tirelessly to ensure that every sailor spends as much time as possible during a championship on the water.

  • Shock Sailing are based just around the corner from Castle Cove SC at Portland, servicing high-performance boats at the WPNSA and around the world. This is a company which is always innovating, and they are loaning a RIB for the Nationals.

  • The Rutland Moth Squad are a growing band of competitive sailors who are notching up some top international results. They take the phrase 'loyal to the foil' to new levels and the class are actively looking to add Rutland to the Grand Prix circuit.

Results after Day 1:

PosSail NoBow NoHelmClubR1R2Pts
1463522Dylan FletcherWPNSA145
2452512Ben CleggBrightlingsea426
345095Jason BelbenStokes Bay SC5712
441498Eddie BridleBrightlingsea6612
5424Bradley FunkWPNSA21113
645817Stu BithellHollingworth Lake SC31215
7450119Dan EllisYealm YC81018
8408048Max LutzNO SC14822
9873Dan WardStokes Bay SC13922
10458447Mike LennonHISC101525
1145803Sam BarkerCSCC71926
12431221Conway FionnNational Yacht Club121628
13459940Danny InkyovKSSS30535
1445461Alex AdamsCCSC221335
15470567Kyle StonehamTBYC152136
1645629Craig BurltonNetley Sailing Club231740
17430929Paul GliddonNetley Sailing Club113041
1846592Arthaud AymericAntibes281442
19452438Ollie HoldenHISC242549
20454446Matthew LeaRutland Water SC193150
21452256Tim PenfoldHISC292453
22448974Chris WhiteRestronguet SC272754
23467751Evan McMahonHowth YC332255
24457758Doug PybusQMSC362056
25455466David SmithwhiteHISC352863
26398059Ed RedfearnBrightlingsea422365
27449939Dominic HuttonStokes Bay SC313566
28467342David JessopOMSC501868
29439010Cian ByrneRCYC/UCCSC343670
3039416Menno BerensVW Braassemermeer393372
31460262James RossNetley Sailing Club383472
32406171Billy Vennis‑OzanneWPNSA462975
33454854Tom OfferRockDNS176
34392225Paddy GambleHayling Island SC453277
35749Benoit MarieSno NantesDNS378
36452111Madeg Ciret‑Le CosquerASNG522678
37316927Brad GibsonMYA403878
38453352Jim McMillanStokes Bay SC9UFD84
39447913Adrian CoatsworthRYA483785
40463734Ross HarveyHISC16DNC91
41466257James PhareQMSC17DNC92
42438636Simon HiscocksCCSC18RET93
43455743David KenefickRCYC20DNC95
44457823Andrew FriendNorfolk Punt SC21DNC96
45449268Nic StreatfieldRutland Water SC25DNC100
46449370Ricky TaggHayling Island SC26RET101
47454133Jeremy HartleyStokes Bay SC32DNS107
48453463Jason RussellHISC/QMSC37DNC112
49404935Paul HirtzmannNO SC41DNS116
50373055John PeatsCCSC43DNC118
51429360Alex ReidQMSC44DNC119
52454564James SainsburyRutland SC47DNC122
53452330Greg GoodrumStokes Bay SC49DNC124
54387026Eddie GatehouseHISC51DNC126
55394814Neil CooneyCarsington Sailing Club53DNC128
56430816Alan DavisTBC54DNC129
57=407269Morgane SuqartASNQDNSDNC150
57=362372Roald VerschuureFrisiaDNSDNC150
57=33814Paul BeardQMSCDNSDNC150
57=465665Graham SimmondsHayling Island SCDNSDNC150
57=463318Luka DoganJK SplitDNSDNC150
57=420845Tom LambertWilsonian SCDNSDNC150
57=378717Mark DickerRORCDNSDNC150
57=397961Ian RenilsonDalgety Bay SCDNSDNC150
57=467644Alistair KissaneHowth YCDNSDNC150
57=458931Adam GoldingHISCDNSDNC150
57=441132Christian HamiltonDatchet Water SCDNSDNC150
57=362953Thomas MehewAYCDNSDNC150
57=438550Steve McLeanHISCDNSDNC150
57=470215Gareth DaviesBlackwater Sailing ClubDNSDNC150
57=423020Mark EmmettHISCDNSDNC150
57=444241Paul JenkinsEastbourne Soverign SCDNSDNC150
57=409628Josie GliddonNetley Sailing ClubDNSDNC150
57=463437David HiveyWPNSADNSDNC150

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