Mike Lennon comes out on top at the Moth's Pro Vela
Friday at the Pro-Vela Moth Fest in Mar Menor saw the fleet go for the downwind bar slalom.
With a shorter course set up due to the fresh to fruity breeze the Mothies packed their spending money in their socks and blasted off round the Isla de Perdiguera then a downwind gybing extravaganza to the sleepy Estrella de Mar Beach and Juan’s bar for lunch. With a quick bout of boat wrestling to get off the gently shelving beach the fleet blasted back across the expanse of Mar Menor back to Los Narejos. Ben Patten managed to coax his main foil less Ninja back to shore with a great display of boat handling. That was to be the end of his regatta as his damage was terminal.
Saturday saw the breeze up and the morning was spent trying to join the 20 knot club as the brave ventured out with their gps! Mike Lennon and Jason Russell managed 23.8 knots with Pablo Arandia third on 23.11. A moderating afternoon breeze saw the fleet back into racing mode. An offset gybe mark and finish line kept the spectators entertained but the improvement in boat handling throughout the fleet saw very few errors as they foil gybed past the expectant crowd. Once again Mike Lennon was making things look easy but Jason Russell in his Mach 2 was now starting to put pressure on him. With Fred Schmid from Germany rapidly improving and Simon Reynolds and Pete Barton getting to grips with their foilers the racing was getting more intense as the slightest error was being punished by several place losses.
Sunday fortunately dawned windless which gave the sailors plenty of time for boat prep as the sea breeze built to the expected 10-12 knots. Early lunch was taken and the final racing session started in absolutely stunning foiling conditions of flat water 12 knots and 28 degrees of sunshine. Five windward leeward races of 2 laps concluded the event on a real high. With the expected transport truck arriving to take the boats back to the UK several sailors had to be prised from the water to pack up and receive the prizes which had been generously provided by Henri Lloyd, Harken and Marlow. Thanks also to the generous support of CTM/SP systems who kept the fleet stuck together with the provision of resin and carbon and also to Spinlock who provided the competitors with knee pads. Infanta Cristina were the perfect hosts to the fleet who will no doubt be returning. Pro-Vela who organised the event were delighted with the outcome.
Alan Hillman commented “We are really pleased to have been the catalyst for this type of event. Top level coaching and friendly competition in the sun and warm water of the Mar Menor is a pretty unbeatable combination.”
Mike Lennon, overall winner of the Golden Wings at the prize giving vowed to be back for next year...”But only if I am not down for some pre worlds training later this year” For the record German Fred Schmid received the bronze wings with a massively improved Jason Russell taking the Silver.