From the extraordinary keyboard of Simon Propper and the folks that run the snarky UK Moth Class site.
It’s the time of year when English Mothies inexplicably undertake great acts of winter foilishness at the annual handicap events – more or less holiday festivals. Today is the fearsome Grafham Grand Prix and next weekend (on the 9th of January) there’s the Bloody Mary.
There’s nothing quite like this event (NOR here), which must surely have a claim to be the world’s biggest pursuit race. Staged on London’s drinking water under the flight path of Heathrow, it has the capacity to serve up some of the grimmest sailing experiences known to man. Yet the vast serpent of classes snaking its way around the reservoir as faster boats race to catch and overhaul slower has a unique draw. And there’s history to be made with some of the nation’s sailing legends etched onto the winners’ plaque. Loyal followers may recall that we Mothies were a little upset in ’08 when Graham Vials (who?) sailed an epic light wind Bloody Mary to win the event outright – except the rules said otherwise! Since the Moth had lost its formal Portsmouth Yardstick handicap number, Vials’ win didn’t count. OK, we went a little over the top at the time, but apologised last year when Queen Mary Sailing Club, keen to avoid another row, established a separate class for foilers. We came, we froze, and we were happy enough.
But this year QMSC has decided it’s GAME ON, restoring the Moths and other unrated classes to the main event. They set the handicap, we go for it. We thank all the folks at QMSC for that, and we’re sure the club will be rewarded with more support than ever. QMSC is one of the main centres for UK Moths, second only to Hayling, and the club has become very supportive of our Class.
So dig out the drysuit, wrap up those carbon wing-bars and see if you can catch a 49er next Saturday. The last Mothie on the winners’ board was sailing a wooden lowrider – Magnum ?? was it Dave Iszatt? – so it’s about time someone put a Moth back on that list.