Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

International Moths at Thorpe Bay

by UK International Moth Class Association on 22 Jun 2011
SLAM Moth Grand Prix series at Thorpe Bay YC 2011 UK International Moth Class Association
The SLAM Moth Grand Prix series 2011 took place over the weekend of June 18-19th as part of Thorpe Bay Yacht Club's annual regatta.

Being just three weeks ahead of the National Championships at Stokes Bay, the aim of racing on the tidal waters of the Thames estuary was to allow sailors the chance to test and dial in their settings for sailing fast in a short chop sea state ahead of the upcoming championships.

However on the Saturday, whilst the fleet began rigging and waiting patiently for the water to come in over the long sand flats, no-one had planned for the Greek gods Aeolus, Poseidon and Zeus to suddenly appear and randomly thrash about wildly like they were bulldogs chewing wasps.

Race One started in a rising 22 knot breeze, which freshened to 28 knots by arrival at the windward mark and as the fleet began the bear away so the battle commenced. Jason Russell (Tere), Chris Rashley (Royal London Yacht Club), Phil Oligario (Atomik), and Mike Lennon (Hyde Sails), were first round, and the first to savor the short, steep, rolling chop that had kicked up in an increasingly gusting wind. Even with ride heights and wands being adjusted down, the whole fleet were cannon-balled out of their boats as one-by-one they all went down the mine at speed. With some boats recording 25kt boat speeds on their Speedpucks, some sailors were at times landing eight feet ahead of their boats.

With the wind building against an incoming tide, and massive squalls under heavy rain showers, racing turned to survival, and the fleet switched from able high performance racers into the cast of the ‘Poseidon Adventure’, as for ages everyone remained inverted wondering which way was up, as well as how to get downwind to the safety of the beach.

Impervious of the peril, Chris Rashley with dogged determination, fought professionally to finish the now one lap race. Richie Lovering (Musto /Hyde) was first to get back to shore, well over an hour after the start, and had a smile on his face like he’d won the lottery, and very nearly kissed the beach had he not remembered it was in fact Essex!

Some notable sailors were less fortunate, as a 45 kt rain squall with hail and lightning struck. Mike Lennon and Mike Cooke (Aardvark Technologies) came off worse with broken rigs, whilst Ben Paton eventually landed half a mile down the coast. Yet the attentiveness and camaraderie of the Thorpe Bay rescue crews, and many of the regatta sailors standing in the shore break, did a stirling job of reminding us all that regardless of the conditions everyone digs deep to help everyone else safely ashore.


Despite being battered and wounded many gently eased into the evening social and barbecue before turning in, wondering what the weather gods would serve up on Sunday.

To everyone's relief Sunday dawned clear with a fresh yet sailable breeze, although once again as the dark clouds began to gather, a fair bit of trepidation seemed to creep in. For the first race, only Chris Rashley go to the start line on time in a breeze that had eased to 18kts.

Yet for the second race he was joined by an eager although now depleted fleet. By the windward mark the breeze had risen to 22 kts, with gusts of 25-28 kts at times. Mike Lennon, Chris, and Jason were all charging hard, with Mark Dell, Simon Reynolds and Phil Oligario in the next pack. Chris took the win ahead of Jason, after Mike uncharacteristically got sucked towards Davey Jones locker a couple of times.

Starting later in the afternoon, the final race of the day kicked off with less starters, yet in the most relaxing of breeze and sea states of the whole weekend, which saw the Moths screaming around in more familiar style. Having already secured three bullets, Chris chose to sit it out. Jason Russell went on to win, with Phil Oligario stealing second from Mark Dell.

To say the event was memorable is an understatement, and with the extreme conditions could be cited as the most insane the Moths have endured for some time. Chris Rashley showed he had the mental balls of steel to take the event overall, showing his determination and skill, and putting a notable marker down that he will be chasing down the Nationals title hard at Stokes. Jason Russell took away a deserved second overall, followed by Phil Oligario who took third on countback after a results correction having tied with Mark Dell on points.

The generous hospitality of Thorpe Bay YC, who gave free entry, parking, and camping to competitors, was really appreciated by the fleet, who whilst getting some decent racing in at times, drove away questioning if The Only Way Is Essex!

Grand Prix podium:-

1 Chris Rashley, Stokes Bay (Ninja / KA10c)
2 Jason Russell, Hayling Island SC (Mach2 / KA10b)
3 Phil Oligario, Stokes Bay (Ninjario / KA10b)

The event was topped out with some great and well deserved prizes courtesy of SLAM.

UK International Moth website

InSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Oiling the wheels
The TP52 Class have been coming to chic self-contained Puerto Portals since the Med Fleet’s formative year, 2005. The TP52 Class have been coming to chic self-contained Puerto Portals since the Med Fleet’s formative year, 2005. The MedCup was hosted four times by the marina between 2005 and 2008 and 2016 is now the second time that the 52 Super Series will race out on the Bay of Palma based from Puerto Portals Marina.
Posted today at 6:34 pm
Panerai British Classic Week - Whooper in action on Day 5
The fifth day of Panerai British Classic Week produced some interesting weather, some challenging racing The fifth day of Panerai British Classic Week produced some interesting weather, some challenging racing and confirmed of the overall winner in several classes.
Posted on 22 Jul
Transat Québec Saint-Malo – All bets are off for these final 24 hours
Class40 fleet entered the English Channel this morning, and the leading group is so tightly packed that all bets are off The Class40 fleet entered the English Channel this morning, and the leading group is so tightly packed that all bets are off as to the sporting outcome of this ninth edition presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis.
Posted on 21 Jul
52nd Rolex Big Boat Series boosted by one-design classes
Kostaneckisays the varied conditions of San Francisco Bay make the regatta a unique challenge. Of the 48 boats currently entered to race September 15–18, there is a strong showing of emerging one-design classes including the J/70 Class and the C&C 30 Class, which have nine and six boats registered, respectively.
Posted on 5 Jul
Road to Rio – One Olympic venue to the next
Sailing World Cup touched down in Weymouth and Portland last week and it was one of the last official organised regattas The Sailing World Cup touched down in Weymouth and Portland last week and it was one of the last official organised regattas before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It gave the future Olympians an opportunity to test themselves one last time against their Rio competitors, in a full race setting, before the summer showpiece.
Posted on 15 Jun
World Sailing invites bids for 2017 and 2018 Annual Conference
Annual Conference brings together more than 400 delegates over a seven-day period every first full week of November. World Sailing's Annual Conference brings together more than 400 delegates over a seven-day period every first full week of November. It is the central meeting point where the strategy of sailing is reviewed, discussed and celebrated.
Posted on 7 Jun
World Sailing completes final on-site review of the Rio 2016 Olympic
Briefings were provided over two days on key operational and service areas for the Olympic Games. Briefings were provided over two days on key operational and service areas for the Olympic Games, including venue construction, competition schedules, broadcasting, media operations, accommodation, transportation and ticketing.
Posted on 26 May
The World Championships just keep on coming
Last week was the finish of the Finn Worlds. Torch passed to the Laser Standard currently in Mexico having their Worlds. While the Olympic torch is being passed from person to person on its trip to Rio 2016, the Olympic and Paralympic classes are doing the same as the World Championships torch passes along on its tour around the world to Brazil.
Posted on 18 May
World Sailing teams up with Andrew Simpson Foundation and Bart's Bash
Andrew Simpson Foundation continues to encourage people to get on the water and promote the benefits it brings. The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation continues to encourage more people to get on the water and promote the benefits it brings people of all abilities. In 2016 Bart's Bash will be raising awareness and funds to support grassroots disabled sailing globally.
Posted on 16 May
So much happening off the water at World Sailing
Lausanne hosted the mid-year meeting with important points about future of sailing coming out of Switzerland throughout. In a speech by President Carlo Croce to Council outlining three key areas for the federation going forward, Croce highlighted Better Governance, Olympic and Paralympic development and the Sailing World Cup as priorities moving forward.
Posted on 11 May