West Oxford S C – 5/6 May 2012

“La Pappa” wins on Day 1; Chairman Rob on Day 2.

The British Moth Traveling Fleet returned to one of their favourite venues West Oxford Sailing Club for a double header Open-Meeting on May 5th and 6th. 13 Moths mustered and were joined by 8 Bytes in this joint Open weekend.

Apart from the cold, a tricky and unpredictable North Easterly breeze presented Race Officer Roger Postbechild a considerable challenge to set good courses. Ever jovial Roger coped admirably but had to use virtually every buoy at his disposal. Bless him !

Race 1, starting in a nice Force 3 breeze, saw Roger Witts [790] from Frampton-on-Severn S.C take the lead at the windward mark but a potential incorrect rounding saw him drop to 7th place for the first of the off wind legs. This error let fellow club mate Tony Latham [880] take the lead closely followed by Mark Wiltshire [872] Whitefriars S.C. , Andrew Perrott [834] Chippenham S.& C.C. and Ian Haywood [871] Frampton.

Latham headed the fleet for 3 laps but was caught by Witts and Haywood, with 2 laps to go both slipped by momentarily with Witts going on to take the win but Latham finished 2nd, Haywood 3rd and Perrott 4th. Richard Keefe [817] S.E.S.C.A. was 5th using a “Slim” sail proving yet again that it is not always appropriate to use a max sail.

With the breeze freshening a little Race 2 saw Latham lead again. Wiltshire and Perrott were in close attendance but both faded in the tricky conditions finishing 7th and 6th respectively. Both Witts and Graham Pope [828] – Severn S.C. did not figure in the early stages but slowly made ground on the leading pack.

However it was Pope who now had the measure of the conditions now after a mediocre first race 7th place, and passed Latham and was never headed again.

Latham sailing perhaps the best he has at an Open thus far hung on for 2nd with Witts close behind and unable to pass in 3rd. Haywood was 4th,and Gary Tomkins [862] S.E.S.C.A. was closing fast in 5th.

Furthest traveled Paul Thomas-Peter [784] Ripon S.C. was making hard work of the conditions ending up 9th; but this was an improvement on a first race 11th placing. Likewise Simon Hall [847]- Maidenhead S.C. was adjusting to a “new” boat and retired with essential adjustments needed but happy with the speed of the Boat.

The final race on Day 1 was won by likeable “La Pappa”, 2nd place went to Haywood who showed consistency and good speed all day and Witts 3rd after recovering from a very lack lustre start. Wiltshire scored his best position of the day in 4th after leading at the weather mark. Latham also made a bad start and was swamped but recovered to finish 5th for his discard.

Day 1 went to Graham Pope with the 3 Frampton boats of Witts, Latham and Haywood in respective placings. The ever dueling Wiltshire, Perrott and Keefe taking 5th,6th and 7th positions.

Day 2 was a two-race programme with no discards. A slightly lighter breeze but still coming from the North East prevailed but this time swinging and even more changeable. The welcome arrival of Rob Wilder and John Claridge ensured good racing was to come.

Race 1 saw Claridge [888] Royal Lymington S.C.lead the fleet with Wiltshire and Wilder in close contention on the very long corner-to-corner reach across the Lake. This pack pulled out a lead over the chasing fleet headed by Witts, Latham and Tomkins.

Claridge was quick and held onto the lead for almost 3 laps until he was “mugged” by Wilder and Witts and had to defend 3rd place to a fast closing Latham. Wilder won with Witts second, Wiltshire slipped back to 5th and Tomkins to 6th.

Prior to the start of the 2nd Race Witts broke a Tiller Joint and headed for an early shower and a Beer on the now sunny Veranda. Simon Hall hit the front and stayed there for a lap before being caught in one of the windless areas in the now unsettled conditions by Wilder.

Tomkins had his best result of the weekend as the wind continued to fade with a 2nd and Latham concluded a successful weekend with a 3rd. Thomas-Peter also chalked up his best result with a 4th place just ahead of a closing Claridge.

As for early race leader Simon Hall he slipped back through the fleet ending up 10th but still smiling at having breathed clean air for a lap !

A great weekend, good sailing and good fun on and off the water. Superb hosts and special mention to Roger Postbechild, Donna Radford and Tina Hardyment for their hard work over the weekend.

Next Open will be the first River Open in the B.M Open Meeting Season at B.A.S.C.,Saltford Nr Bath on May 13th…..

BMBA – Fixtures


WOSC Open 2012 Day 1

WOSC Open 2012 Day 2