Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

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

upffront 660x82InSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

J70 World Championship – Day 2 images by Christopher Howell
Photographer Christopher Howell has provided this gallery of images from day two Photographer Christopher Howell has provided this gallery of images from day two
Posted on 29 Sep
J-70 World Championship – More action-shots by Erik Simonson
Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2016 J-70 World Championship – Day 2. Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2016 J-70 World Championship – Day 2.
Posted on 29 Sep
J-70 World Championship – Day 2 images by Erik Simonson
Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2016 J-70 World Championship – Day 2. Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2016 J-70 World Championship – Day 2.
Posted on 29 Sep
Building conditions on Day 2 of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during summer/early fall, and Day 2 of Alcatel J/70 Worlds San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during the summer and early fall, and Day Two of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, did not disappoint.
Posted on 29 Sep
J-70 World Championship – Day 1 images by Erik Simonson
Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2016 J-70 World Championship – Day 1. Erik Simonson provided this gallery of images from 2016 J-70 World Championship – Day 1.
Posted on 28 Sep
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Cut-throat competition on Day 1 in San Francisco
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious.
Posted on 28 Sep
Olympic Gold medalist and Volvo Ocean Race winner up for WS Board
Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing Torben Grael (BRA) is amongst the 15 nominations for one of seven places on the Board of Directors of World Sailing in November. The five times Olympic medalist, Volvo Ocean Race winner and several times America's Cup competitor will bring a much needed sailing edge to the Board of World Sailing if he can navigate the politics of the controlling body of the sport.
Posted on 25 Sep
World Sailing President nominated by 45 Member National Associations
Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has welcomed nominations from 45 Member National Associations Incumbent World Sailing President, Carlo Croce (ITA) has nominations from 45 Member National Associations [MNAs] for his re-election as the President of Sailing’s International Federation. Nominations for the position of President have been formally published by World Sailing and show widespread support for Croce.
Posted on 25 Sep
World-class talent expected at 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
Summer’s days may be numbered, but this comes as welcome news to all sailors participating in 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds Summer’s days may be numbered, but this comes as welcome news to all sailors participating in the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, as fall’s arrival neatly dovetails with the start of what promises to be a world-championship regatta for the ages.
Posted on 22 Sep
Daniel Frost’s JJOne of Germany solidifies advantage at J/24 Worlds
Keiji Kondo’s Fox of Japan moved up to second place after a solid 1,2,4 on Wednesday for 15 net points. JJOne earned their second bullet of the regatta in the day’s middle battle, trailed by Fox and Mark Laura’s Baba Louie of the USA.
Posted on 21 Sep