Mothists vie for $10,000 purse in Bermuda

Published on November 5th, 2015

The first Amlin International Moth Regatta, scheduled Dec. 5-11 in Bermuda, will feature a blue ribbon fleet of sailors with credentials abundant in World, continental and national championships, mixed with a slew of sailors from teams entered in the 35th America’s Cup.

“We’re very excited to host this regatta because of the great interest in the class among the America’s Cup teams,” said regatta organizer Andy Cox of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “The Moth is a fantastic class with a history of development. Given that it can sail as fast as 30 knots, it should be a week of phenomenal racing on Great Sound.”

The Amlin International Moth Regatta has attracted a fleet of 60 sailors from 11 countries and they’ll be vying for a share of the $10,000 prize purse, which includes $5,000 for first place.

The list of entrants includes six of the top 10 from the 2015 International Moth World Championship and is headed by Australian Nathan Outteridge, a two-time Moth World Champion (2011, ’14) and three-time runner-up (2009, ’13, ’15). Last month Outteridge helmed Artemis Racing to first place at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Bermuda, an experience that will likely be beneficial when Great Sound is full of Moths blasting to and fro.

More than 20 America’s Cup sailors have entered and others of note include Outteridge’s teammate Iain Jensen, who was 10th at the 2015 Moth World Championship, Tom Slingsby and Kyle Langford of ORACLE Team USA, and Dean Barker and Chris Draper of SoftBank Team Japan. Draper placed 5th at the 2015 Worlds.

“The racing is a lot of fun,” said Draper. “You have to have smarts to go with the speed. Good boathandling goes a long way.”

The fleet also includes the top two from the 2015 European Championship, Rob Greenhalgh and Chris Rashley, both of England, and the top two from the 2015 U.S. National Championship, Anthony Kotoun of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Newport, R.I., and Victor Diaz de Leon of Venezuela.

“The key to doing well in the Moth is a combination of speed and boathandling,” said Kotoun. “The boats are made for speed and if you’re going slowly you’ll feel it. Boathandling is also hard. The ‘shangri-la’ of foiled tacking is hard to find. But you have to stay up on the foils as much as possible. The boat that is on foils and stays together is the one that’s going to do well.”

The Moth is an 11-foot hydrofoiling dinghy and is sailed by one person. The first Moth dinghies were launched in the late 1920s and the International Moth Class Association was founded in the 1930s. The class has always attracted “tinkerers” because it allows latitude for development.

In the past five years the Moth has gained popularity with America’s Cup sailors because it hydrofoils, similar to the catamarans currently used in the competition.

The Regatta will be run over five days with two races per day and will be overseen by Principal Race Officer David Campbell James.

Event website: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/9953#_home

Source: Sean McNeill, Amlin International Moth Regatta

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