Solid start for Dylan Fletcher

Latest toys on display as the UK Moth Nationals kick off on Stokes Bay

Thursday June 25th 2015, Author: Mark Jardine, Location: United Kingdom

Blazing sunshine and a 10 knot southeasterly greeted the 59 boat Moth Nationals fleet at Stokes Bay Sailing Club. A number of new innovations were on display including Dylan Fletcher's solid wings, Mike Lennon's boom fairings and James Phare's double-wand.

Straight from the off the action was tight at the top. Dylan Fletcher made his intentions known straight away with a port-tack flyer, going on to take the race win. Fletcher said after the race, "It was good fun. I started on port and crossed the fleet and that's always a good feeling and then just tried to position myself between the next mark and the fleet, especially Rashley as he's pretty hot on Stokes Bay - it's the first time he's lost a race here in 6 months - so I was just trying to stay ahead of him."

On his solid wings he said, "It makes a few manoeuvres harder, like the gybing in the light winds, but I seemed to be going quite fast in the first race, so happy days with that."

Chris Rashley was hot on Fletcher's tail, but couldn't find the extra gear to get past his rival. "Dylan got a great start on port and went out to the right hand side in a little bit more tide and possibly had a little bit more pressure out there and so he came out 80 to 100 metres ahead when we came to our first cross. He then just extended up the beat, made some better decisions than me and was going a little bit quicker. I reeled him in a little bit on the run but nothing significant to get close enough to him."

On whether the solid wings the difference Chris said, "I don't think it was anything to do with the solid wings, if I made my boat with solid wings I think I would probably go exactly the same speed as I am now. It's a combination of a couple of things; his boat is aerodynamically very clean, there's a lot less stuff on it than on mine, and that's obviously quite nice when you're going upwind in breezier conditions, and I think the other advantage is that you sit a lot higher so you've got a lot of extra righting moment when you're in powered up conditions like we were in that first race."

Behind the leading pair, defending champion Mike Lennon came in third for a solid start to his series. "It was alright, I've got good pace on the boats around me. It's tough racing but it was a cracking sail, perfect conditions while it lasted," he said.

On his new boom fairings Lennon continued, "You're into subtleties here, you're not going to see a sudden jump in performance, but I think it's all these little things that add up after a while. I've got 2mm shrouds and lots of tiny little details and you just hope it all adds up to a little bit more of a gain - on their own they're barely noticeable."

Jason Belben who finished 4th in the first race said, "It was a good race for me, I'm happy with that. I rounded the first mark about 6th or 7th and gained on the second beat so pretty pleased. I went out to sea and caught the right shift and took a few boats there. Unfortunately I went there again in the second race and it cut out on me. I've gone for a few mods on the boat; bowsprit, lower rig, new Lennon sail and that's all working really well."

Luckily for Belben, and a number of other sailors on the right, the second race was abandoned after the wind switched off, leaving vast holes on the course and the Moths low-riding into the shore. The committee kept the fleet postponed until 4.15pm when they called it a day.

A few Moths went to buzz the Emirates Team New Zealand AC45 which was training in the Solent ahead of America's Cup World Series Portsmouth.

Racing has been brought forward to 11am on Friday to try and get things back on schedule.



Pos Helm R1 Tot
1 Dylan Fletcher 1 1
2 Chris Rashley 2 2
3 Mike Lennon 3 3
4 Jason Belben 4 4
5 Ricky Tagg 5 5
6 Dan Henderson 6 6
7 Rory Fitzpatrick 7 7
8 Eelco Boers 8 8
9 Jonathan Heathcote 9 9
10 James McMillan 10 10
11 Giovanni Galeotti 11 11
12 Ollie Holden 12 12
13 Dan Ward 13 13
14 Phillip Kasermann 14 14
15 Dan Ellis 15 15
16 John Clifton 16 16
17 David Hivey 17 17
18 Penny Clark 18 18
19 Kyle Stoneham 19 19
20 Fabien Froesch 20 20
21 James Phare 21 21
22 Jeremy Hartley 22 22
23 Tim Penfold 23 23
24 Jason Russell 24 24
25 Alex Koukourakis 25 25
26 Richard Edwards 26 26
27 Neil Baker 27 27
28 Leigh Albrecht 28 28
29 Cameron Stewart 29 29
30 Tom Lambert 30 30
31 Doug Pybus 31 31
32 Chris Clarke 32 32
33 Anthony Rezzoug 33 33
34 Nic Streatfeild 34 34
35 Philippe Schiller 35 35
36 Matthew Lea 36 36
37 Hans Rasmussen 37 37
38 Alex Adams 38 38
39 Graham Simmonds 39 39
40 Constantijn Weber 40 40
41 David Smithwhite 41 41
42 Bruce Spratt 42 42
43 Chris Jeeves 43 43
44 Eddie Bridle 44 44
45 Simon Grundy 45 45
46 Ross Harvey 46 46
47 Ole Frey 47 47
48 Menno Berens 48 48
49 Steve McLean 49 49
50 Dominic Hutton 50 50
51 Chris Tilbrook 51 51
52 Robert Pike 52 52
53 Luka Dogan 53 53
54 Eddie Gatehouse 54 54
55= Cameron Harris 60/DNC 60
55= Ben Paton 60/DNC 60
55= Andrew Jarvis 60/DNC 60
55= Guy Raynes 60/DNC 60
55= James Sainsbury 60/DNC 60

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