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9th May 2016

THE FLYING BOATS – of the WHY Jewellers Parkstone Moth Open 2016

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Defying gravity is a captivating sight.

Yet this is what these diminutive sailing craft seem to achieve as they fly four feet above the water, at speeds of up to 35 mph. The statistics of these craft are unique. The “formula 1 style” all carbon fibre hulls of these flying machines weigh around 6 kg. At only 11 feet long and so narrow at around 1 foot wide they have no inherent stability; ostensibly the only boat in the world that will not stay upright of its own accord. It is the consummate skill of the sailor that allows them to perform as they do, literally flying on a pair of hydrofoils which are not much bigger than machete blades. They are the fastest single handed sailing dinghy in the world, often travelling at twice the speed of the wind, a fact that seems to defy logic itself.

This class of boat is called The Moth, and is now legendary in the sailing world.

Indeed we can be proud that the very finest of these are built locally, by Maguire boats, with a skill and precision beyond compare.

An esteemed group of some of the UKs most elite sailors descended on Poole Harbour to race against each other in these amazing flying boats at a grand prix event expertly organised by Parkstone Yacht Club. The event was proudly sponsored by WHY Jewellers who have deep historic links with the sailing world. Renowned for fine diamonds and the creation of bespoke jewellery, WHY had designed and crafted a pair of cufflinks in the shape of the Moth dinghies logo, a fitting first prize for the winner of the event.

Flying faster than the wind that powers it sounds impossible, and so the Moth provides a stunning visual allegory to one of the world’s most urgent environmental issues; how to get energy from the environment in a pure, sustainable way. As these foiling craft silently and magically rip across the surface of the sea they leave almost no trace, no wake, no waves behind them, and no pollution. And so it should be with the energy we use to move across the oceans, air and the earth. Pertinently, and with a passionate empathy for the marine and terrestrial habitat, WHY Jewellers have created “the Ocean collection”, a range of beautiful designs echoing the shapes of waves and nautilus shell forms, intelligently, and subtly conveying the heart of this very issue.

Yet who would win the event and the highly precious first prize?

After the most challenging sailing conditions which pushed the sailor’s physiques and skills to the extreme, it was Chris Rashley who finally triumphed, narrowly beating Olympian Jason Belben who held second place, with Mike Lennon in third.

So if you find yourself looking out over the waters of Poole harbour, and are fortunate to see a foiling moth ethereally flying over the seas, hold the thought of our power and how we should use it in this precious, beautiful, fragile world.


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