Greenhalgh holds off compatriot’s charge

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  • Back to back: Greenhalgh retained his Moth Regatta title in the Great Sound yesterday, despite a strong challenge from Fletcher-Scott

Photograph by Beau Outteridge

    Back to back: Greenhalgh retained his Moth Regatta title in the Great Sound yesterday, despite a strong challenge from Fletcher-Scott Photograph by Beau Outteridge

Rob Greenhalgh held off the charging Dylan Fletcher-Scott to retain his MS Amlin International Moth Regatta title in the Great Sound yesterday.

The regatta remained wide open heading into the 12th and final race with Greenhalgh, the overnight leader and defending champion, desperately clinging to a one-point advantage over nearest rival and compatriot Fletcher-Scott after the second drop came into play.

What ensued was another classic match race between the two men for all of the marbles.

Both sailors split tacks coming off the start with Greenhalgh opting for the right side of the course and Fletcher-Scott the left.

Fletcher -Scott held a slight advantage after the two sailors crossed midway up the first beat.

However, Greenhalgh snatched the lead near the top mark after nailing a wind shift and kept clean air on his sail the rest of the way to successfully defend his title and claim the $5,000 winner’s purse.

“I was ahead going into the last race and basically either had to make sure he was third or worst or beat him,” Greenhalgh said. “I lost my rudder just at the start so I had a bad start. But I was going quick so I charged through to go ahead of him maybe at the top mark and then kept my eye on him and covered him up the next beat.

“Luckily, Goody (Moth World Champion Paul Goodison) and Hivey (David Hivey) were away so it was unlikely he was going to do better than third.”

Greenhalgh finished third in the final race and Fletcher-Scott fifth, securing the former regatta honours by a three-point margin.

“To see the tussle at the top between Rob and Dylan was excellent,” said David Campbell-James, the principal race officer and father of Land Rover Bar wing trimmer Paul Campbell-James. “It was pretty gripping for anyone watching.”

Greenhalgh’s victory almost never happened as Fletcher-Scott came agonisingly close to clinching the series.

A 1-4 finish in the day’s opening two races put Fletcher-Scott back on top after discarding his two worst scores and he was on the way to extending his lead in the third race before the wind dropped out, forcing the race committee to abandon the race.

“I think if that had carried on he’d probably would have had it sealed by then,” Greenhalgh said. “That got canned and the wind got back in, which was good.”

Greenhalgh regained the lead of the regatta after finishing two boats ahead of his nearest rival when the third and penultimate race was finally completed and then closed the deal in the regatta finale.

“It was awesome fun this week and I pushed Rob,” Fletcher-Scott said. “I’ve never been so hard in the Moth.

“Rob and I have a huge amount of respect for each other. We are good mates and it was awesome to be hammering that close to each other all the way around the track.

“Today the results weren’t as good but that was only because we were match racing. The last race we sailed the complete wrong side to everyone else because it was just who beat who.

“It was basically who beat who and he was just a little quicker than me today.”

Hivey rounded off the podium in third while Benn Smith was the top local sailor and 28th in the overall 50-boat fleet.

Narrowly missing out on the podium was Ben Paton, a sailing coach at regatta hosts the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, who finished fourth competing for England.

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Published Dec 10, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 9, 2016 at 11:07 pm)

Greenhalgh holds off compatriot’s charge

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