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International Moth GP at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Andrew Friend 27 Mar 01:15 PDT 25-26 March 2023
International Moth GP at Queen Mary © David Dyson

A forecast depleted fleet of 9 Moths got their entries in on time and landed in the capital for the first Grand Prix event of the year at London's Queen Mary SC.

The fleet were welcomed with spring sunshine and a solid 25 knots of breeze with frequent gusts up into the mid 30s, suffice to say a call to postpone for a couple of hours was made to give the wind a chance to calm down a bit! This allowed many of the fleet to 'warm up' with a quick windsurf or wingfoil session, and the opportunity to take a close look at some of the new developments that have been going on in the class, namely the beautifully detailed new Maverick Moth design from Phil Oligario and the team at Fluid Composites.

At 2pm during a slight lull in the breeze a decision was made to try to launch and get some races in. The wind then proceeded to get back up to strength but by this point it was too late and the fleet had decided to go for it, Andrew Jarvis in his Thin Air being the first to launch into the frothing lake showing everyone it was possible and that they should get out there and make the most of the conditions. In the end one race was run, with local hero (though soon to join the Weymouth infestation (is this the correct collective noun for a group of moths?)) James Phare in his 'proven winner' thinair leading from the start to take the win from Maverick Jack Hawkins.

Sunday saw a complete shift in the weather as the fleet were met by very light winds and grey skies. Fortunately following a short postponement the call was made to launch and have faith in the forecast of building breeze. By the start of the first race the fleet were foiling only for a squall to come through half way up the first beat killing off any wind leading to a battle of low riding skills to the finish. By the end Andrew Friend in his Homebuilt boat took the line honours followed by Dave Hivey in the Aerocet second and Andrew Jarvis in his Thin air in third.

Race two saw a building breeze punctuated by some powerful gusts keeping things interesting, Here Hivey in the new Aerocet really started to put his foot down (well until he had to change direction), though his superior boat speed was enough to get away from Doug Pybus (thin Air) who took second, with a photo finish between Gareth Davies (Exocet) and Andrew Friend (homebuild) coming in 3rd and 4th respectively.

The remaining 3 races followed a similar formula with Hivey leading the fleet around the track and Pybus, Davies and Friend battling it out for the lesser places as the breeze built throughout the afternoon.

By the end of the day a cold but satisfied fleet reconvened in the clubhouse for the prize-giving with Hivey taking the event win in his Aerocet, Gareth Davies second in the Exocet and Andrew Friend 3rd in his homebuild. It is a sign of the design and build quality of the current generation of boats that all 6 of the different moth designs present were able to capably handle the onslaught of conditions over the weekend. The fleet looks forward to reconvening for the Inland Championship at Grafham on the 22nd-23rd of April.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st4968David HiveyWPNSA(DNC)211116
2nd4525Gareth DaviesBrightlingsea SC(DNC)5323215
3rd4578Andrew FriendQMSC(DNC)1462316
4th4902Jack HawkinsWindspot2‑7745422
5th4721Andrew JarvisOxford SC(DNC)3654523
6th4837Doug PybusQMSC(DNC)423DNCDNC29
7th4780James PhareQMSC1(DNC)57DNCDNC33
8th4442Robert PikeQMSC(DNC)888DNFDNC44
9th4705Alex BaroneCardiff University SC(DNC)6DNFDNCDNCDNC46

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