Mother Nature not kind at Moth Worlds
Published on July 20th, 2014
Hampshire, UK (July 20, 2014) – The second day of racing at the International Moth World Championship started around 1pm after the Westerly sea breeze came in.
A record-breaking 138 helms from 18 countries required the fleet to be split into two groups of 69 boats, with the results from the first two days intended to decide the split into Gold and Silver fleets for the remainder of the event.
Blue fleet made up for their lost race from Saturday and then sailed two more races in the best of the breeze. Yellow fleet were too far East to get the full effect of this and only managed a single race in what was a long day on the water for them. The race team moved Yellow fleet further west once Blue fleet were sent ashore, but the gradient and sea breeze were cancelling each other out and racing was abandoned for the day.
Robert Greenhalgh (GBR) was the man in Blue fleet who managed to stay up on the foils more than anyone else. Only top Australian helms Nathan Outteridge and Scott Babbage were able to keep in touch at all with Greenhalgh in the first race of the day.
Robert said after the racing, “Confidence is high – that’s three wins in a row and I was leading the race which was abandoned at the end of the day. In the light airs today it was very important to get off the line and after that I was very happy with my speed.”
David Cambell-James on the leeward mark boat took particular note of Robert’s start in Blue race 3 particularly, “He started on port at the pin end and crossed the fleet comfortably. He was off.”
Chris Draper ended his day on a better note with two 5th places after pushing it a bit too hard in the early Blue fleet race, “I was pushing it a bit hard downwind and speared it in just before the finish. To make things worse Simon Hiscocks just got past me on the line.”
Draper’s 12th in race 2 is currently his discard, with his other counting result being a 6th. Stevie Morrison has been consistently getting results around 15th and has been happy with his day on the water. After finishing 50th at the nationals, he had some setup advice from Nathan Outteridge which has helped his foiling stability immensely. Even so, Stevie said the top guys can pull a new piece of kit out of the bag to gain a bit more pace, or as Nathan jokingly said at the bar having a beer with Stevie, “You just need to spend to win in this fleet!”
With only 3 or 4 qualifying races completed so far, depending on which fleet each helm is in, qualifying has been extended into Monday with the reserve day on Tuesday now being used for Gold and Silver fleet racing. Sunday’s Yellow fleet will head out early to make up for their lost race.
The overall results to date are tricky to show with the fleets out of sync. Of the Brits, Robert Greenhalgh is looking good with 3 bullets and an 8th and Chris Rashley has 1,2,1 in his three races. The Antipodeans are also looking strong with Josh Mcknight scoring 3,1,3, Scott Babbage with 2,2,3,4 and Nathan Outteridge scoring 3,2,2 after his gear failure before race 1 of the series gave him a DNC.
There are a few more who’ve been knocking in results in the top ten such as Rob Gough (AUS), Ben Paton (GBR), Andrew McDougall (AUS), Tom Offer (GBR) & Christopher Rast (SUI). With the light winds set to continue into the week, this kind of consistency could well be key to getting a podium result.
The stunning weather does make the racing very watchable from the Hayling Island beach. Why not come down, bring a set of binoculars, some suntan lotion and ice cream money to enjoy the unique sight of 138 foiling Moths battle it out in UK waters.
Event website: www.mothworlds.org/hayling/
Report by Mark Jardine, YachtsandYachting.com
Photo by Tom Gruitt / YachtsandYachting.com