James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com

Payne takes the lead at the UK Moth Nationals

We report on the first two races held after a tricky day out on Torbay

Thursday July 8th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

42 boats eventually pitched up at the Moth UK National Championship taking place out of the Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Torquay. After two races, reigning World Champion Simon Payne proved that he has lost none of the magic that won him this year’s supreme title in Dubai.

After a brief delay caused by congestion squeezing the Moths down the narrow slipway, launching into the marina, the first race got underway in around 10 knots of breeze from the south and with the wind set to go right there seemed popularity in port tack starts.

By the first mark the usual suspects were ahead with Switzerland’s European Champion Arnaud Psarofaghis leading from Simon Payne, but with the surprise feature of Alex Adams in third. However after four laps Payne had pulled into the lead finishing substantially ahead of Psarofaghis and with Hyde Sails’ Mike Lennon having pulled up through the ranks after a slow start to take third.

Race two and the wind was already going right and continued to do so in a major way through the race. This was compounded on the third beat a large hole developed in the middle of the course leaving the foiling Moths in low rider mode. Mike Lennon made up for his slow start in race one to lead around the top mark, but Ronstan’s Jason Belben aboard his Ninja demonstrate his skill in these conditions and pulling into the lead eventually taking the gun from Simon Payne. This was something which Mike Lennon says Belben also demonstrated at the recent Poole Open. “It went squwiffy – and he tacked away and everyone was heading out to the supposed favoured side and he played the shifts up the middle and he did the same here and he won.”

Back on land Belben, who was National Champion three years ago, commented: “I managed to keep foiling for most of the time - it was very difficult finding the bits of pressure, just to keep on the foil when doing the tacks and gybes.” Belben picked up his Ninja (his third foiling Moth following on from a Mistress and a Prowler) in November and reckons they are quick in the light to moderate – “they just manage to stay on the foil a bit longer.” The boat he sails is a standard Ninja, but Belben trains out of Stokes Bay where the Ninja’s designer Kevin Ellway also sails from.

Simon Payne was pleased with his performance on his Mach 2. “I have only sailed about seven times since Dubai, so when I got off the start line I was fast through the water and I sailed sensibly. It started to get gusty so you had to cover your arse downwind rather than sail the fastest course. The next race was hard. I was second at the top mark and then it started to go funny and then a huge hole opened up in the middle of the course. Jason was to windward of me and as it died he tacked and he foiled out and I lost it. That was it. Then possibility it should have been shortened after that because it turned into a lottery. We were beating downwind and running upwind. But it is the nationals – it is a bit of fun.”

Others who did well after this tricky opening day out on the water were Ricky Tagg, who posted a fifth in both races and Tim Penfold who holds ninth.

Ninja builder Mike Cooke was not in the best of moods back ashore. While Jason Belben had won the second race in one of his boats, his own new Ninja, featuring super high aspect ratio foils and a new deck arrangement, had broken in the second race.

Racing at the UK Moth Nationals continues Friday and Saturday with three races on each and an addition non-scoring slalom competition on Saturday with two races completing the regatta on Sunday. The breezy day is expected to be Saturday.



Pos Boat Helm R1 R2 Tot
1 Birdy Simon Payne 1 3 4
2 Oyster Funds Arnaud Psarofughis 2 2 4
3 Stay Hungry Jason Belben 4 1 5
4 Hyde Sails Michael Lennon 3 4 7
5 Hidden Talent Ricky Tagg 5 5 10
6 Black Pig David Edwards 6 6 12
7 SYZ and CO Mikis Psarofughis 9 7 16
8 Tere Jason Russell 8 8 16
9   Tim Penfold 13 9 22
10   Richard Lovering 7 17 24
11 El Toro Paul Hayden 14 10 24
12 Slipstream Paul Highnett 16 11 27
13 Man Group James Phare 10 19 29
14   Peter Barton 15 16 31
15 Packet Rocket Ben Paton 21 13 34
16   Sam Tozer 22 14 36
17   Gareth Davies 20 20 40
18 Flying Scotsman Dougie Imrie 26 15 41
19 Jet Air Jonnie Hutch 18 23 41
20 Arjuna Rod Harris 17 30 47
21 Blackrider Martin Fear 19 28 47
22 Ninja Tuna Tom Offer 23 24 47
23   Graham Simmonds 24 25 49
24 Nijario Phillippe Oligario 28 22 50
25 Very Orange Thomas Lambert 31 21 52
26   Andrew Friend 25 27 52
27 Gnoose Alex Adams 11 43 54
28 Lola Doug Pybus 43 12 55
29   Giovanni Galeotti 12 43 55
30   Jonathan Peats 27 31 58
31 BlackFatima Chris Anstead 43 18 61
32 Must Fly Colin Newman 32 29 61
33   Daniel Hare 29 32 61
34   Alan Watson 36 26 62
35 Daedalus Tom Altman 30 34 64
36   Jamie Hare 34 33 67
37 Carbon Footprint Katherine Knight 35 35 70
38 Black Pig Mike Owen 33 43 76
39 Tiger Too Helen Rollinson 43 43 86
39 Pimp Ninja Leo Carswell 43 43 86
39 Il Mostro Simon Propper 43 43 86
39 Ninja Turtle Mike Cooke 43 43 86

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