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Irish Moth National Championship at the Royal St George Yacht Club

by Ed Butler 8 Aug 06:26 PDT 6-7 August 2022

Ewan McMahon has won the Irish Moth National Championships 2022, for the second year running. This year, the Irish Moth Class partnered with the Irish Waszp Class to hold a joint national championships, kindly hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on the weekend of 6 / 7 August.

The initial forecast for the weekend looked borderline, however, the two fleets enjoyed close-to-perfect foiling conditions and warm sunshine for the whole weekend, with Sunday being described as one of the best days foiling of the summer! The standard of sailing was certainly impressive in the Moth fleet this year with Ronan Wallace and Fionn Conway, each having just returned from the Moth Europeans in Brittany, France the week before (Euro Results 2022), keeping the pressure on Ewan throughout the weekend. Similarly, Jim Devlin was flying fast throughout the event and showed the rest of us how to not only balance through a foil tack but also how to balance raising a young family and having the time to compete at the nationals!

Race one took place after 11 am on Saturday, roughly between the harbour and Sandymount strand in a WNW 7-12 breeze, getting lighter and patchier closer to the windward mark and slightly more consistent towards the leeward and the finish. The Moths sailed three laps of a windward leeward course. Competitors had to ensure they sailed around the spreader mark, laid about 50 metres past the windward mark and then had to round the leeward mark to port and ensure to sail through the finish line before going back upwind again. This was to ensure the race committee could keep track of the fleet and results given the different speeds of the boats and the two fleets racing on the same course. As per Windguru's forecast, the wind promptly dropped after race one and filled in from the south with a lively 15 knots plus to get the second race off. The first windward mark saw the fleet get around fine however Ed Butler misjudged the rounding which led to a collision between the windward mark and his leeward shroud causing a massive pitch pole which bent his spreaders on impact. There was just one more race completed after race two with the fourth race being abandoned due to the dying sea breeze which couldn't seem to fight of the westerly gradient. The sailors were greeted with a pasta dish to replenish the many burned calories followed by something to wash it down and a delicious meal altogether with the Waszp sailors and volunteers in the club.

Sunday morning dawned earlier than usual with the target first gun being 10 am sharp. It was agreed by all that the best of the wind would be in the early morning so, without delay, the two fleets made their way out (half asleep!) to the start line which this time was about 800 metres directly out from the harbour mouth. The racing kicked off in a fantastic 12-16 knots from the west and the starts were even more competitive than the day before with all sailors hitting the line together at full speed. Fionn Conway, in his Mach 2, took a well-deserved race win in race six and the one Voodoo competing in the fleet, sailed by Ronan Wallace, was going exceptionally quick also. By the end of the seventh race, the decision to race early paid off as the wind began to get patchier and the moth sailors headed home on a high for more pasta and refreshments and craic.

Thanks to Moselle Hogan and Tadgh Ó Braonáin who provided rescue on Saturday. Special mention goes to Moselle for her continued encouragement to the fleet generally and who made it out on Sunday in her Mach 2 to enjoy the thrill of foiling around Dublin Bay in the champagne conditions. Thanks also to Scott Flannigan for providing rescue and much needed support to the Mothies on Sunday.

While the general consensus from both fleets was that the sailing was very physically challenging, everybody was delighted with the seven races meticulously organised, managed and executed by race officer Barry O'Neill and his team. Combining the two fleets certainly contributed to a more social weekend and atmosphere around the club. All of the staff at the RStGYC were very welcoming on the lead up to and throughout the whole weekend and provided the sailors with a café, a bar and a restaurant, allowing for a real onsite feel to the event. A big mention and particular thanks to Henry Start, class captain of the Irish Waszp Fleet, for ultimately making the weekend happen. Duncan Hepplewhite of SailingFast generously provided the fleet with reusable drink bottles. Many thanks also to all the volunteers on and off the water.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st4747Ewan McMahonHYC11111‑216
2ndPaddy 24312Fionn ConwayKSC‑222221211
3rdClaoimh Solais4687Ronan WallaceWHBTC3‑44333319
4thEl Toro3632Jim DevlinRSGYC433444‑522
5thNo Regrets4138Ed ButlerMSC/SYC5(RET)DNC555430

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