Moths and B14s at the Tide Ride
19 foiling Moths descended upon Hayling Island for the 10th year of the Tide Ride, and following a misty start, the sun shone through gracing the fleet with a mild 10-15 knot easterly and classic Hayling conditions.
With the fleet sailing a windward-leeward course on the Pilsey bank side of the harbour, the race officer packed in five hectic quick fire races on the Saturday. Local hero Mike Lennon (Hyde Sails) showed great early pace, and quickly began to stamp his authority on the day with some effortless boat handling, securing two firsts and three seconds.
World Champion, Simon Payne (Abarth) responded by nailing two good firsts, and a third, but had to contend with an OCS and a retirement in his scoreline. This left Mike Cooke (Aardvark Technologies) lying in second overall, taking the second race along with a second and three third places. However, the top three didn't have things all their own way with Richie Lovering (Hyde Sails) challenging really hard with good boat speed, and Jason Russell (Tere) and Tom Offer both getting right in the mix.
Sunday dawned with a 15-18 knot breeze blowing, and a frenetic reaching slalom course was set, that called for four gybes down to the leeward mark of the course. This, combined with a swell over the sandbar, and a stack of lumbering cruiser traffic in the harbour, resulted in an unpredictable sea state, and the risk of some spectacular wipeouts being on the cards for some of the fleet! The testing conditions saw a number of ‘over the handlebars’ moments and retirements, but Lennon continued his winning ways taking all four races, as well as the final double points race. Cooke gave him a run for his money at times, but took too long mastering the conditions to mount a credible challenge. Simon Payne unfortunately dropped out of the racing following a collision and personal injury, leaving third spot up for grabs, with Geoff Carveth pulling it out of the bag, yet with Geoff, Jon Peats and Jonnie Hutchcroft all finishing within four points of each other following a solid day of results by each.
The participation and spectacle of the Moth fleet at the Tide Ride has risen greatly in recent years, and the Class would like to thank HISC for continuing to run this innovative and exciting event, and we look forward to hearing of a new sponsor coming forward to help push the event on for another 10 years.
1st Mike Lennon GBR 8 - Mach 2, Hyde sail
2nd Mike Cooke GBR 3760 - Ninja, Hyde sail
3rd Geoff Carveth GBR 3386 - Mach 2, Hyde sail
4th Jon Peats GBR 3730 - Mach 2, KA sail
5th Jonnie Hutchcroft GBR 3376 - Velociraptor, KA sail
And from the B14s:
The B14 flying circus rocked up to Hayling Island for what was looking to be a full on weekend. The weather forecast was to prove right on Saturday but very peachy on Sunday.
As per previous years, the B14s were to dish up a very close event which would be too close to call. The scoring system would be low points scoring, but Grand Prix style. That means, if a boat failed to complete a race, her last known position would be taken. This would mean that if she had been lying second and 6 boats including the leader complete the course in the time limit, the boat that had been second would be awarded 7th, if all others were a lap down.
Day 1 and the fleet were greeted by strong 18 - 23 knot winds and strong tide to the south of the Winner Bank. The B14s this year were to be the first fleet on the course at the height of the tidal flow. From the off, no quarter was given at the start. Three teams were to conduct a gladiatorial display of short course racing in testing conditions on the first day. Ullman Sails (Mark Watts/Chris Bishop), Acxiom (Mark Emmett/Allan Stewart) and Seavolution (Mark Barnes/Paul Smith) were to prove the main players. With little to chose between these three, it would be a case of which team capitulated first or made the mistake. Though All Good Fun (Dan Cowin/Dan Hollands) and Asbo (Crispin Taylor/Guy Harrill) both broke into the top three, they could not hang on to the big guns thrashing it out for overall supremacy. Seavolution was the first to flinch, while leading race 2 ripped the luff off their kite, but being so close to the shore, a short pit stop and another kite, and they were back to try and break the stranglehold of the other two teams in race 3.
As the race committee ran through the five races, more of the fleet were to capsize but still the three went full on. Going into the last race, Seavolution led again off the start, but cooked the run in a big gust and struggling to stay on the course, allowed the other two through. However, Acxiom was to fade but Ullman Sails were to close out the day as the leaders of the pack with the other two hot on their heels.
Day 2, and sailing on the inside course following the Moths, would we see a great day’s sailing or as the Moths were experiencing, a full on rock and roll ride on the harbour. All bar two teams returned to the track to see out what was proving to be a series of great expectation. Asbo took up the charge and on turning the windward mark, chose to not hoist due to the breeze which was to prove their loss. Seavolution took up the charge chased by Acxiom and Ullman Sails. A mistake at the leeward mark saw the other two pass at the gate, but Seavolution hounded both to an overlap at the finish going in Ullman Sails' favour.
The next three races running over four laps were to be of similar close racing with shared spoils. Ullman Sails passed Seavolution and Acxiom by the finish in two races, but being made to work for the result with less than five seconds between the three boats in any race.
Going into the final where the position from the last nine races was carried forward, Ullman Sails led from Acxiom, Seavolution and All Good Fun. At the start, Seavolution controlled the pin but a drop in wind pressure saw the top three miss the pin on the ebb. Ullman Sails and Acxiom tacked through and Seavolution gybed round at five seconds to go. Heading into the windward mark 400m up the course. Ullman Sails edged in first from Acxiom and All Good Fun with Seavolution spinning on the mark inside Porky (Kathy Sherratt/Toby Barsley-Dale).
Now the chase was on. The first two had nothing between them with Seavolution getting the better of All Good Fun. Over the last two laps, the front three compressed but Ullman Sails held out to take first from Acxiom at the finish, followed by Seavolution and Porky.
The event proved to be a high energy full of fun, event. It was well run by Claire Durrant, deputising for Tim Hancock (PRO at the Extreme 40s in Almeria) and the rest of the team. Though not sponsored by Holt this year, the prizes lived up to the ethos of the Tide Ride. With this being the 10th anniversary, let us hope that there will be more in the future. Each year the format is revised and so the style of the event does not lose its freshness.
Thanks to the members of Hayling Island Sailing Club for making the event happen.