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2022 Noble Marine UK International Moth Inlands at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Gareth Davies / IMCAUK 26 Apr 03:56 PDT 23-24 April 2022
2022 Noble Marine UK International Moth Inlands at Grafham Water © Paul Sanwell / OPP

After two warm up events at Oxford and Queen Mary sailing clubs, it was time to head up north to Grafham Water in the search of more wind. As everyone knows, the moth fleet can be seen doing a little wind dance late on Friday evenings to make sure its foiling weather at the weekend. If you ever want to see the dance, just ask a moth sailor for a demonstration!

When Saturday came it looked like the fleet may have over done it with 20 knots and gust up to 27 knots blasting across the racecourse. To make matters worse a few of the fleet was parked up on the M11 due to an accident and as they were all very good sailors, we thought we best to start on time! It's all about the small gains in the moth, more on this later.

The race officer and his team set the perfect course and awaited the fleet and with a run to the start area it was never going to take long to get there but this still caught a few of the fleet out arriving late for the first race. First to launch was Kyle Stoneham with Kyle safely away from the shore the rest of the fleet followed for what was a crazy ride to the start line.

After a brief postponement the first race got away, Kyle Stoneham, Simon Hiscocks and Alex Adams all steaming up the first beat and Kyle rounding the windward mark first before Simon switched on the afterburners and got past Kyle downwind with the front three staying this way for race 1. Chasing pack places were all up for grabs, with John Evans and Phil Bevan both rounding Infront of the pack. By race end Gareth Davies was able to work his way passed and take 4th with Phil in 5th and John in 6th. A full spectrum of boat designs and ages in the first race with the Bieker 1st, Exploder 2nd, Rocket R1 3rd, Exocet 4th, Ninja 5th and a Mach 2 6th.

Race 2 Some who had beaten the traffic were now on the start line in the strengthening conditions. The start was well contested with the fleet all within a few metres of each other, again with no one design having overall height or speed advantage over the other until it's time to tack. This was when Kyle, Simon and Alex showed the pack how it's done with Kyle again edging clear to round in front of Simon and Alex A. Kyle lost out to Simon downwind who went on to his 2nd win of the day followed by Kyle and Alex A. In the fun zone, the chasing pack consisted of Joe Adams (Exocet), Andrew Jarvis (Thinair), Alex Barone (rocket R2), Ed Redfearn (Thinair) Gareth Davies (Exocet) and John Evans (Mach 2). It was amazing how close this little pack was and what great racing is had through the whole fleet with all the little tussles going on. In the end it was Joe Adams who stayed cool and dry to take 4th Place in the Exocet followed by his training partner Andrew Jarvis, Gareth Davies 6th and Alex Barone holding on to 7th.

Race 3 and the wind was beginning to build more with a good competitive start in the now 20 knots plus of wind. The front 3 followed the same patten with Kyle again rounding first, followed by Simon before edging his way past Kyle down wind and Alex A in 3rd. Simon was not to be caught making it 3 out of 3. Ed Redfearn and Andy Jarvis filled out the top 5 in their Thinair's.

With the wind increasing into the mid 20's and squalls above, the race officer made the correct call and sent everyone ashore with the ability to run 5 races on Sunday.

Overnight the top three were Simon Hiscocks, Kyle Stoneham and Alex Adams with the rest of the fleet very closely packed together.

The moth fleet spent the night in the club or the pub sharing stories and comparing bruises from the day, along with the usual intelligent conversations not about foils and sails but what do you think your boat would say to you if it could talk - quiet an interesting conversation just thinking about it!! The one area where the moth class really has strengthened over recent years is how approachable and friendly everyone is, whoever you are or whatever your standard of racing, everyone is a friend, (until the start gun goes anyway...).

Only one boat suffered damaged in all that wind which was a ripped wing trampoline on the Ninja, easily fixed ready for the next day. I'm sure many classes may have experienced damaged boats and broken masts, but credit to the numerous class builders these days that it's the skippers feeling more broken than equipment after a hard day.

The next day was an early start of 10.30am with a brisk wind of 18 knots the rest of the fleet had beaten the traffic and was ready to race. 5 scheduled races and it was going to be a tough, challenging day for the fleet.

The race officer and team again laid the perfect course, with 3 laps displayed on the committee boat covering the width of Grafham water.

Race 4 again caught a few out not being at the start area on time but the race got away clean with Simon leading from start to finish, Alex A taking 2nd and Gareth Davies in 3rd. It was a close finish between Andrew Jarvis 4th and Ben Clegg in his Volant design 5th. 6th was Ed Redfearn and 7th Andrew Friend in his home build. Once again great to see five different designs in the top positions.

Race 5 with the whole fleet present now was a close start with James Phare nailing the pin end at full speed with the rest of the fleet left to hunt James down. The breeze was becoming gustier with some large holes as well at the top mark which meant that a number of moths got their first taste of Grafham water. Simon took the win with Ross Harvey coming in 2nd in front of Eddie Bridle 3rd, Alex A 4th and Gareth Davies rounding out the top 5.

Race 6 The race officer made the call to make it 4 laps this made little difference to Simon Hiscocks who took another win from Eddie Bridle and Alex A in 3rd. Racing was becoming closely fought in the middle of the pack behind the lead 2 with Kyle Stoneham unable to do day 2 due to other commitments. Eddie Bridle, Ben Clegg and Graham Bridle after missing the first day due to traffic were in the mix leaving 3rd place overall up for grabs with a close pack of Ed Redfearn, Andrew Jarvis, Joe Adams, John Evan and Gareth Davies all in with a shout.

Race 7 Four laps, and the number of races in testing conditions was beginning to take its toll as sailors became tired and lost concentration. Simon Hiscocks took the win with Eddie Bridle 2nd, Ross Harvey 3rd and Alex Adams in 4th, while in the chasing pack Gareth Davies edged out Ed Redfearn to take 5th and Andrew Friend taking 7th.

Race 8 Started with a good fleet but was a challenge for most with not everyone fully race fit. As the laps went on the fleet reduced as more decided that after a great weekend of racing it was time to head ashore. The race was won by a dominant Simon Hiscocks, Eddie made it three 2nds in a row, Ross Harvey was 3rd in the chasing pack Gareth Davies came 4th pressed all the way by Andrew Friend. Ed Redfearn after getting into 4th place twice during the final race was unlucky on a few shifts and came in 6th.

Congratulations to Simon Hiscocks for an outstanding display of fast flatwater racing and to both Alex Adams and Gareth Davies for rounding out the podium. It was great to see so many different designs getting in the mix with skipper skill still largely the determining factor as 4 different designs in the top 5 will atest.

Our thanks go to our Sponsors Noble Marine and to the Grafham Water SC team for their excellent hospitality and for laying on a great weekend's racing.

Our next event is Round 2 of the UK Moth Grand Prix at Stokes Bay Sailing Club on the 14th and 15th of May before we head to WPNSA for the Nationals on Portland Harbour in June.

Follow the UK Moth Class for the season ahead at www.internationalmoth.co.uk and at www.facebook.com/MothClassUK

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st11Simon HiscocksWPNSA‑111111117
2nd4546Alex AdamsWPNSA3332434(DNC)22
3rd4525Gareth DaviesBlackwater Sailing Club46(DNC)3545431
4th4874Ed RedfearnBristol(DNC)8476107648
5th4721Andrew JarvisOxford Sailing Club(DNS)554979DNC62
6th4780James PhareQMSC(DNC)DNC688610970
7th4826Eddie BridleBrightlingsea Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNC322278
8th4578Andrew FriendNPC(DNC)RTDDNC6798581
9th47Ross HarveyStokes Bay(DNC)DNCDNCDNC253382
10th4048Joe AdamsOxford Sailing Club(DNC)4DNCDNC1186782
11th3390John EvansGrafham Water Sailing Club69TLE111614(RTD)DNC87
12th4Kyle StonehamPMS222(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC98
13th3944Phil BevanGrafham Water Sailing Club5TLE(DNC)91513DNCDNC100
14th4705Alex BaroneCardiff University Sailing Club(DNC)7DNC101211DNCDNC109
15th4385Graham BridleBrightlingsea Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1412118114
16th4869Ben CleggBrightlingsea Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNC510RTDRTDDNC130
17thGBR3169Brad GibsonMYA(DNC)10.5DNCDNC13RTDDNCDNC138.5
18th4361Donald SmithASYC(DNC)TLERTDDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC150
19thGBR 4758Eddie GatehouseHayling Island Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC161
19th4492Nic StreatfeildRutland(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC161
19thGBR 4764David SmithwhiteHayling Island(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC161
19th4036Paul MyerscoughDRSC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC161

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