I’ve done the annual Bloody Mary pursuit about 8 times now and this was my second in the Moth. Its always interesting to see how you square up against other boats in this format but it is very condition dependent – especially in the foilers.
This year was quite possibly the coldest sailing event I have done. The wind looked too light for foiling so I didn’t bother entering until the very last minute (With the Moth handicapped just faster than an 18 footer, this was ages after the slow boats started) when it was just foilable. Rigging was the first challenge, as we all found our various control systems frozen solid, so running around with buckets of water we eventually got that sorted. I was a couple of minutes late for the Moth start, but caught up with the fleet by the end of the second reach as I managed to get foiling and cruise through the middle of them.
Unfortunately, my now iced up tramps meant a gibe was a dangerous proposition and I dumped myself down again and a few folks foiled off down the run – Notably Gary Ireson in his Zero who was never really seen again by the rest of the foil fleet. Geoff Carveth and Andrew Friend both took the reins but neither knew where they were going and had to double back later on, letting myself and Sam Pascoe (600FF) back through. Sam and myself both had a good battle to the finish, following the puffs around and trying to maximise airtime and slowly reeling in Gary . The Moth seemed to have the best of the 600, until the wind died completely with a couple of minutes to go and he coasted through my lee…
Photos of telltales, frozen like that 30 seconds after launching, and my cleats, unusable after 10 minutes. Ratchet block stopped working before the start and at one point, the mainsheet was frozen in place… Air temperature -1, water temperature, plus 5… Ouch!
This left the foiler fleet as follows:
1st Gary Ireson, P Zero
2nd Sam Pascoe, RS600FF
3rd Mike Cooke, Axiom v4
4th Geoff Carveth, Bladerider
5th Martin Fear, Axiom v4
Its worth noting that as we spent only about 10 minutes of our hour long race foiling, we were the last 5 finishers on the water… Should do wonders for the PY! The retiree’s (and who can blame them) were Andrew Friend, Simon Propper and Adrian Murphy. Simon was spotted at one point trying to seperate his boat from its launching trolley as they were fused together by ice…
Most of the Mothies there are plannning on attending the Steve Nicholson Race on Saturday the 24th Jan, with potential for training the following day if Mr Garyman can organise it…