Greenhalgh leads Bermuda Mothfest

Published on December 8th, 2016

Hamilton, Bermuda (December 8, 2016) – England’s Rob Greenhalgh, the defending champion at the MS Amlin International Moth Regatta, overtook countryman Dylan Fletcher-Scott today for the overall lead in epic conditions on Great Sound.

Greenhalgh is the third overall leader of the regatta. Ireland’s Rory Fitzpatrick led after Day 1 and Fletcher-Scott after Day 2.

Four races were held today in west/northwesterly winds between 15 and 18 knots on a flat sea. After losing two of the first four scheduled days due to windy conditions, today was welcomed by one and all.

Englishman Chris Jeeves, a longtime Mothist, echoed many in the fleet when he said, “I’m knackered, but it was epic racing—really good breeze, sunshine, 50 boats on the water, and racing up and down the fleet. The top guys were going at it and so was everyone else up and down the fleet. One mistake and 10 boats went past you.”

The rough weather earlier in the week, however, has taken a toll on the fleet. Broken items include just about every part of the boat: masts, spreader bars, sails, flap controls, boom vangs (struts and lines), wing racks and mats. Two of the more notable breakages occurred today.

Josie Gliddon, the smallest skipper in the fleet, crashed with another competitor and capsized. She suffered a hole in her boat and the tip of the T-foil on her daggerboard delaminated in the accident. Gliddon, who’s sailed the Moth for only about one year, came to shore, put an MS Amlin sticker over the hole and swapped out the daggerfoil. Although she didn’t rejoin the racing, she returned to Hamilton Harbour for a bit of blasting around.

“I don’t have enough experience in the boat in these conditions so I have to get my confidence up,” said Gliddon.

Ian Southworth of the U.K. suffered perhaps the most unusual breakage. The wings on his rudder broke clear off while he was sailing downwind. “Surprised me,” said Southworth, who couldn’t explain what happened. “It made for an eventful ride.”

Even Fletcher-Scott was bit by the breakdown bug today. After finishing 1-2-2 in the first three races and controlling the regatta, a line in his boom vang system broke in the fourth race and forced him to shore.

“I’m pretty annoyed because I saw it was chafing yesterday (Tuesday),” said Fletcher-Scott. “I changed the line out before today and saw it was wearing again between the third and fourth race and thought I’ll have to change that again tonight. Then, sailing upwind in the fourth race, I came out of a tack and ‘Bang!’ It broke again.”

Fletcher-Scott said he could’ve completed the race but he reasoned that he wouldn’t have finished in the top 10. And since every competitor is allowed one discard at this point, he came in early to fix the vang.

He was gutted because he was having a great battle with Greenhalgh. Both skippers agreed that Fletcher-Scott was slightly quicker upwind while Greenhalgh held the advantage downwind.

“It’s all subtle differences,” said Greenhalgh. “Generally, when it’s windier, I’m not quite right upwind. But we had some good ding-dongs out there.”

Principal Race Officer David Campbell-James intends to run four races again tomorrow, beginning at 1000 hours. After the next two races each competitor gets a second discard, which will tighten the leaderboard and bring the series down to the final two races.

As Greenhalgh says, “It’ll be all on tomorrow.”

The regatta runs from December 4 to 9. A prize purse of $10,000 is up for grabs, with $5,000 earmarked for the winner.

Current Results (Top 10 of 50; 8 races, 1 discard)
1. Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) 3-1-(8)-3-2-3-1-2 – 15 points
2. Dylan Fletcher-Scott (GBR) 7-4-1-1-1-2-2-(51-DNC) – 18
3. David Hivey (GBR) (13)-6-3-4-6-1-3-7 – 30
4. Stefano Rizzi (ITA) 4-5-5-(14)-4-5-11-12 – 46
5. James McMillan (GBR) 6-7-(9)-5-8-7-8-6 – 47
6. Simon Hiscocks (GBR) 9-9-10-(12)-3-10-4-4 – 49
7. Jonathan Heathcote (GBR) 5-11-(12)-9-7-8-6-5 – 51
8. Dan Ward (GBR) 8-13-(19)-13-5-6-7-8 – 60
9. Ben Paton (GBR) (51-DNF)-3-4-6-36.5-4-5-3 – 61.5
10. John Clifton (GBR) 12-8-6-10-9-9-12-(13) – 66

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Source: Sean McNeill

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