British Moth National Championships 2012


Forty boats gathered at Northampton Sailing club on the 8th August for the prestigious 80th Anniversary Championships of this endearing boat which formed the vanguard of dinghy sailing in this country.

The fleet included six former champions and 9 new entrants were welcomed to the fleet where there was a fine display of latest boats together with interesting classics such as Morris  Metcalf’s all aluminium boat.

British Moth National Championships 2012

Racing on Day One got underway in brilliant sunshine but sadly little wind breaking the mirror surface of the lake PRO Chris Harris keen to keep to programme managed to make best use of the little wind around to run a practice race won by  one of the former class champions Toby Cooper.

Race 1 was started in a light breeze with early leaders Robbie Claridge  and Graham Pope having to endure the chasing fleet being lifted over them on the second lap with Toby Cooper, long time absentee from the class,  taking the win from Rob Wilder and  Roger Witts.


Day Two saw similar conditions, in the very light winds the fleet managed to keep still and sail fairly in the testing conditions with only a few pleas to stop pumping or tacking too enthusiastically. The race however finished  controversially for allegedly not properly signalling the finish resulting in a protest which after long and careful deliberation and reference to the RYA resulted in the result  standing with Wilder, Witts, Davison and Tony Latham the finishing order.

The following two races of the day were sailed in a filling wind and a familiar pattern was developing with Wilder and Witts leading junior Tim Lupton and veteran Tim Davison with Toby Cooper being excluded from the last race on a Black flag.

There was however much to celebrate throughout the fleet with encouraging improvements from Chris Latham and Simon Hall in their new ships while Paul Thomas Peter and Toby Smith were showing the benefits of new rigs and sails on older boats with appearances in the leading group of this large fleet.


Day Three saw the return of some proper wind and with this Robbie Claridge’s return to the front of the fleet, despite this he could not contain Tim Lupton who sailing borrowed  Gipsy kept his promise to owner Christina Hardyment to win the attractive Thompson Trophy; a unique silver model of a British Moth, together with the Obelisk Trophy for good measure.

Behind the leading pair the usual suspects Wilder, Witts and Davison filled the leading group with a chasing peleton generally lead by Graham Pope but  with David Taylor, Abby Freely and Colin Hall all pressing hard.


On Friday evening the 80th Anniversary Dinner was held with many Honorary members welcomed and thanked for developing the healthy class we have today. Tom  Cooper regaled us with tales from his Moth sailing career before a large Scotch appeared before him and diverted his attention.

Rob Wilder - BMBA National Champion 2012

Final Day; Rob Wilder by now had the Championship secure however the rest of us had it all to go for. In the champagne conditions out on the water an enthusiastic fleet got away smartly at the first attempt and promptly spread to both sides of the first beat but regrouped at the Windward mark with Robbie Claridge narrowly rounding ahead of  Davison, Pappa, late arrival Chris Gould, Wilder and Witts following closely.

As The race progressed around a course which including some exciting reaches  and nervous runs, Tim Lupton rejoined the front pack  together with Abby Freely and Colin Hall showing blistering pace off wind. Robbie Claridge held and built a good lead in front of Tim Davison who edged out Chris Gould (sailing borrowed Gromit) with Lupton, Witts , Wilder and Pope completing the leading group. Chris Gould graciously retired to avoid spoiling the final standings but is keen to return.

Tim Lupton - BMBA Junior Champion 2012

Tim Lupton - BMBA Junior Champion 2012

The racing was concluded on a high with  the best conditions of the week and lots of good signs or the future, we welcomed 9 sailors to their first BMBA nationals, 5 ladies took part and Medley Club brought 9 boats in a logistical masterclass of multi stacking trailers. There was no domination of boat builder or spar and sail maker though Rob Wilder praised his sail maker Dynamic and boat builder Severn for their equipment both taking their first BMBA championship wins

The Final Placings were….


Place   Sail No            Helm                           Club

1st        881                  Rob Wilder                  Tamesis Club

2nd        885                  Roger Witts                  Frampton on Severn SC

3rd        852                  Tim Lupton                   Hunts SC

4th        888                  Robbie Claridge           Royal Lymington YC

5th        846                  Tim Davison                 Medley SC

6th        882                  Graham Pope               Severn SC


Junior Champion: Tim Lupton Hunts SC

Ladies: Abby Freely Sesca

Veteran: Tim Davison Medley SC

Endeavour:  Paul Lohr Welwyn Garden SC

Vintage Boat: Toby Smith Medley SC

Transom Team Trophy:  Frampton on Severn SC

Most Improved:  Chris Latham Frampton SC

Simon Hall  Maidenhead  SC


Written by Graham Pope.

Full results [here]