The Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals at the WPNSA – Day 2

by Mark Jardine / IMCA UK 8 Sep 20:32 UTC 5-11 September 2020 Tweet
Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

Portland Harbour served up more ideal Moth conditions for the fleet on Tuesday, allowing the race team to reel off three more races for the fleet.

Winds stayed around the 10 knot mark for the day and the top sailors in the fleet demonstrated just how much power and speed they can develop in these conditions, racing away from the fleet.

Dylan Fletcher had another superb day, posting a 2,1,1 scoreline to extend his lead at the top, and last year’s runner-up, Brad Funk, was hot on his heels with a 1,4,2 scoreline from the day, moving him up to second overall. America’s Cup and SailGP sailor Chris Draper showed his form with 3,2,4 moving him up to third in the standings.

Behind them are a group of four sailors, Alex Adams, Ross Harvey, Eddie Bridle and Simon Hiscocks, who are all biting at the heels of the top three, mixing it up with them when they are in the groove.

Weed proved a problem at times for all the sailors at different points, resulting in boats having to purposefully capsize to clear strings of it from their foils at times.

For Race Officer David Campbell-James the venue and the class offer a few challenges. Portland Harbour itself is the limiting factor for course length, but as David explains, this suits the class well:

“We have a target time of 30 minutes for each race, but the class internationally seem to be reducing that time. The Worlds in Perth was held inside the harbour there and races were averaging around 24 minutes, and we’ve been replicating that here. Today the first race was 26 minutes for the leaders when the wind was slightly lower, with a 1.15 nautical mile windward leg, and then the final race was 23 minutes when the wind rose to 13 knots. I’ve discussed it with the sailors, both the ones at the front and the ones at the back, and everyone was pretty happy with that. The racing has been great, I’m really pleased and really like this class.”

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals Race Officer David Campbell-James – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

David has known many of the sailors for a very long time, some who have grown up sailing against his own sons Mark and Paul. He’s also a regular Race Officer for the 49er and Nacra 17 fleets worldwide, which more than a few Moth sailors have been involved in.

“Sailors like Chris Draper and Nic Asher I’ve known since their Optimist days, so it’s a fun class to be looking after.”

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

The Sailing Instructions made it quite clear that the black flag would be raised as soon as a General Recall was needed, but so far (touch wood!) the fleet has been exceptionally well-behaved on the start line, with only one boat on course side in the six races held so far.

“We had two very close in the first race today, but it was all clear, so one UFD (U flag disqualification) is a good record. I really don’t like doing them, but sometimes it’s inevitable.”

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

There is a massive disparity in speed around the race course in the Moth class, depending on the age and technology of the Moth itself and the skill level of the sailor. This is where ‘Grand Prix finishing’ comes into its own.

“We brought that in a few years ago when the foilers were developing so quickly. We have some sailors completing one lap in the same time that the leaders are finishing two, so sending them round again would add a huge amount of delay, and really tire the sailors who had to race for so much more time. With Grand Prix finishing we can rapidly turn around racing, while ensuring as many as possible get a counting result for their race. It’s a good system, but it does make compiling results more difficult as we have to take the numbers and boat order through the leeward gate all the time.”

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

As with all events at all levels, David relies on a team of mark layers, result recorders and rescue boat drivers to back him up.

“It’s great coming to Weymouth regularly with their superb team. I love the committee boat Gyrinus and it’s a much easier place to be race officer than a number of places I’ve been to! It’s a harbour steeped in history and one that I’ve enjoyed sailing at myself back in my Tornado days, firstly at Castle Cove SC and now at the Academy – I love Weymouth.”

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK

Conditions are looking very similar for Wednesday, so let’s hope for three more high quality races for the fleet. The unanimous verdict amongst the sailors is that it’s great to be back out racing.

IMCA UK would like to say a massive thank-you to the event sponsors, who have been so good to the Moth class, especially during these times.

  • Wetsuit Outlet – title sponsor for the second year in a row, they are experiencing a record year partly due to the huge amount of stock they hold on-site ready for next day delivery.
  • Noble Marine – continued support has allowed IMCA to subsidise entry fees for this year’s championship, the support we receive is directly linked to the policies they provide Moth sailors with a discount for class members.
  • Blueteq – as well as hosting the online entry system, they are sponsoring an evening meal during the event.
  • Allen – over the past few seasons have become the preferred manufacturer for many high load applications, they have their finger on the pulse with the Moth and continue to support our nationals for the third successive year.
  • Maguire Boats – Simon and the team will be on site for the whole week providing support for their four-time World Championship winning boats.
  • Provela – the home of winter foiling in Mar Menor are putting on #FoilFest weekends throughout the off season, together with transport arrangements for your boat.

The class encourages Moth sailors to support our sponsors wherever possible, since they are so good at supporting us.

More Information:

  • Moth Class UK Facebook page:
  • Results:
  • WPNSA event page:

Wetsuit Outlet UK Moth Nationals day 2 – photo © Mark Jardine / IMCA UK Source

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