Winds and waves greet moths at Stewartby.



The eight visitors to Stewartby Sailing Club’s annual British Moth Open were greeted by Force 4 winds gusting 6.  However, Commodore Carl Pountney reassured the fleet that all would be OK. 

With half the fleet opting for smaller sails the fleet launched for the First Race.  The Race Officer set the tone of the day by opting for a long beat diagonally across the lake.  Mark Wiltshire (872) reached the first mark 1st closely followed by Toby Cooper (754) and Roger Witts (885).  A screaming reach across the lake was followed by a very gusty gibe before heading back down the lake.  Just after the third mark Cooper took the lead.  At the end of the first lap Cooper was in the lead, with Wiltshire and Witts in close contention.

During  the second lap, the 3 leaders continued to battle away together, with Ed Deacon (808) closing in on them.  At the back of the fleet there was also close racing with continually changing places.  The race finished with Cooper coming in first followed by Witts just beating Wiltshire on the line.

After a well-deserved break and an energy top up by the Galley the fleet set off again.  With the wind shifting slightly and the strength increasing, the Race officer changed the course and put in 2 beats.  Once again the fleet split into two, with the leaders Cooper, Wiltshire and Witts continually changing positions.  At the other end of the fleet there was also close racing, with their positions changing. Again the first three boats finished in the same order as the first race.

With tiring competitors, the majority decided to sit the last race out.  With 3 boats venturing out –Wiltshire, Deacon and Gary Tompkins (862) this  race became a bit of a procession, however, Wiltshire on the last lap decided he wanted to test the water by capsizing at the windward mark.  This allowed Deacon to catch up. The last down wind leg saw Deacon challenging Wiltshire all the way to the finish line, with only 4 seconds between them.

With thanks to Carl Pountney and his team for excellent racing and to the Galley staff for keeping the sailors hunger away.  The next open meeting is at Medley Sailing Club on the 26th May, the first of the 2013 river venues.