From World champ to National Champ
A mill pond-like Torbay greeted the fleet for the final day of the 2010 UK Moth Nationals, hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club.
The prospect of a dying breeze however did not deter race officer Bob Penfold and his team from setting a course in the light southerly breeze. After a short postponement ashore and a drift out to the start line the fleet were able to commence race 9 of the championship in a building 7 knot breeze.
Foiling off the line while many low rode Phare, Cooke and Tagg made good progress up the left hand side of the beat, while the majority of the fleet opted for the right. Dave Edwards was one of the few able to make the right pay, perfectly laying the mark just behind a local passenger ferry that had decided the best way to view the racing was to be part of it. Approaching the new ‘entrant’ Phare hailed starboard, but to no avail as the ferry narrowly avoided running him over causing an early capsize.
On the following run a pack comprising Payne, Cooke, Belben, Tagg and Arnaud Psarofaghis emerged at the front of the fleet. Payne was able to hold this lead for another lap before the Swiss sailors was able to slip past into first. This lasted until the final leg when Psarofaghis slipped to third allowing Payne and Cooke through to first and second respectively.
Ben Paton and Tom Offer, in their first Nationals sailing Ninjas, also had a good race bringing their steeds home in 7th and 10th respectively.
Following a general recall Race 10 got underway in slightly more breeze with more of the fleet foiling off the startline with Payne heading in for an early ice cream.
Following a solid first beat and being chased closely by Mike Cooke, Arnaud Psarofaghis showed good pace to lead the fleet. Mike Lennon however making up for a disappointing race 9 showed a bout of speed to take the lead in the hope that the Swiss sailor would fall sufficiently for the Hayling sailor to claim second overall. This however was not to be as Mike Cooke had another fast race to achieve 2nd, followed by Tagg, Belben and Arnaud in 5th. Lovering, Edwards, Paton and Penfold rounded out the top 10.
Commenting on the week ashore Payne noted “the UK fleet is in really good shape” with many using the Nationals as key preparation for the Europeans in Switzerland next month.
However with a consistent set of results Payne was able to claim a convincing victory over Arnaud Psarofaghis in second with Mike Lennon taking third. Race 2 winner Jason Belben was fourth overall followed by Hayling sailors Ricky Tagg and Jason Russell in fifth and sixth.
Congratulations must go to Bob Penfold and his team on the Committee boat for running a smooth series and for also running two races against all the odds on the final day. The class’ thanks also go to Bill Butcher and the team for getting the fleet underway in ‘challenging’ launching conditions for an excellent week of racing.