Challenging Nationals-Day 1

This year, Northampton Sailing Club opened its doors, grounds and waters to the 25 sailors competing in this year’s British Moth Nationals.

With strong westerly winds forecast, the practice race was vital. Chris Harris, the PRO, made sure that the course would give the sailors experience of the challenging first day conditions. Seventeen boats took to the water, with Tim Davison (846) leading the first race home, followed by the seven sailors hardy (or courageous) enough to decide that retirement was not the better part of valour.

The wind conditions changed, leading Chris to change the course of the first race of the series from that of the practice race. Twenty-three boats crossed the start line, but conditions were too strong for the light-wind-loving British Moth, and by the end of the first lap, three boats had retired. The others, however, proved to be stayers.

Robbie Claridge (878) took the lead early, and never let it go. Toby Cooper (887) in a very new, untried Moth, tried his best to catch him up, but had to be content with second. Davison (846) took a comfortable third. But the best battle of the day was for fourth and fifth, with Mark Wiltshire (872) and Andy Matthews (881) switching positions between them each lap, with Matthews taking fourth on the line.

The weather will definitely prove the deciding factor for these Nationals. With lighter winds and some rain forecast tomorrow and heavier conditions later in the week, all positions are there to play for.

And may the flattest boat win