Photo by Tom Chapman
The first Moth GP event of 2008 took place at Grafham Water this weekend. Despite the dire forecast, including snow and bitterly cold winds, 15 foilers turned up and some very tight racing was had in some very varied conditions.
The first race was dominated by Si Payne in his new Prowler Zero, until the final run where Tim Boon (sailing Si’s old Prowler) got past after Payne sailed into a hole and came off the foils. This allowed Tim to claim a well earned win, with Si finishing 2nd and Ian Forsdike, also sailing a Prowler, coming in 3rd.
Si made no such mistakes in the second race and led throughout with Tim in second and Ian again taking third. The third race was sailed in a squally northerly and included hailstones and a few spectacular wipeouts. Si had had enough of the cold weather, however, and had packed up leaving the rest of the fleet to battle it out. Alex Adams took an early lead until the first run where a failed gibe had him swimming. Mike Cooke took up the lead in his Axiom v4 and held to the finish, despite being chased hard by Alex and Tim who took second and third respectively.
The predicted snow saw a few more competitors making their way home overnight, but the remainder of the fleet, not to be put off by the weather forecast, awoke to a brief snowshower and made a quick dash for the clubhouse for bacon sandwiches, trying to stay indoors for as long as possible. Luckily the sun came out and some good breeze provided great racing.
Tim Boon started the day strongly, taking two wins from James Roche in his Prowler, with Mike Cooke in third. The wind was quite variable with some big holes to sail into and huge gains to be made on the downwind legs by finding the pressure. There was plenty of place changing for the top three, making for some exciting racing and great spectating . This was highlighted by a photo-finish in the final race between James and Mike with Tim just seconds behind. James took the win.
All this left Tim a worthy victor with Mike in second and James taking third. Newcomer Ant Chapman took forth after a solid weekend’s effort. There should be plenty more tight racing to look forward to at the next GP event at Bristol at the end of April. Perhaps the competitors will have thawed by then….
1st 4 Tim Boon Hayling Island
2nd 3191 Mike Cooke Bristol
3rd 9340 James Roche Weston
4th 4093 Ant Chapman Rutland
5th 4073 Adrian Murphy Queen Mary
6th 4082 Alex Adams Weymouth
7th 4095 Ian Forsdike Grafham
8th 3259 Simon Payne Hayling Island
9th 4050 Rob Campbell Grafham
10th 4096 Simon Propper Grafham
11th 3152 Chris Anstead Queen Mary
12th 4048 Martin Fear Bristol
13th 3253 Mike Airey No official club
14th 3172 Mike Owen Queen Mary
More photos from Tom Smith here