Zhik Moth Worlds attracts a red hot field of 112 entries
With just over a month to go before race one of the Zhik Moth Worlds, regatta organizers have received a talent filled 112 entries from ten countries who are all ready to test themselves and their boats on Lake Macquarie NSW, Australia in January 2011.
Head lining the entry list is ISAF Sailor of the Year & three time Laser World champ Tom Slingsby (AUS) who is looking to add yet another world title to his growing tally, however Tom will have a big challenge on his hands because there will be Four previous World Champions; Simon Payne (GBR), Bora Gulari (USA), John Harris (AUS) , & Chris Dey (AUS) along with another Four Olympians all pushing hard for the title.
To pick a favorite for this event is almost impossible with a lineup of champion sailors from Australia, NZ, USA, Great Britain, Singapore, Japan, Ireland, Sweden, Germany & Switzerland. (See entry list below) Interestingly, competitors will be racing with a variety of rig & foil combinations with the Mach‐2 package being the most popular.
Current World Champion, Simon Payne (GBR) will be looking to recreate the form which won him the 2010 Moth World championships in Dubai, however there will be a stack of Aussies led by Nathan Outteridge, Andrew McDougall (Aka “A‐Mac”), Scott Babbage & Dave Lister who will be all putting pressure on the Brit over the course of the week.
Nathan Outteridge (AUS) is the current Moth Open European Champion and has been in solid form of late having just won the Zhik Australian 49er National Championships with his crew Iain Jensen (AUS) who is also competing at these worlds. Both have been putting in some long hours on their home waters of Lake Macquarie.
Along with the depth of talent turning up at Lake Macquarie, the latest advances in Moth rig technology are keeping the class at the forefront of sailing development and will ensure that these Moth Worlds will be the most watched edition yet.
2009 World Champ Bora Gulari (USA) has thrown down the gauntlet to his fellow competitors and will be arriving at the Lake with a solid wing sail on his Mach‐2. The yet to be measured sail has been designed and built by Canadian C‐ Class Champions Object 2 Skiff Works and it will be sure to provoke intense interest both within the class and the sailing community. The new wingsails are yet to race and the big questions on everyone’s mind are‐ Who else is bringing one? Will it be faster? Will it break and will it measure? All will be known in the course of time.
Other sailors to watch include seasoned America’s Cup campaigners, Adam Beashel (AUS), Charlie McGee (USA) & Tatsu Wakinaga (JPN) along with Volvo Around the world sailor George Peet (USA) who could surprise the seasoned Moth guru’s.
The Zhik Moth Australian championships will be held on January 4th & 5th and should be a great form indicator for the Zhik Moth Worlds which starts on Saturday January 8th. Stay tuned for updates at www.mothworlds.org
January 8th 2011 BELMONT- AUSTRALIA
2011 Zhik Moth World Championship- Day One
Turner Turns up the Heat
Sydney’s Joe Turner (AUS) sailed an almost flawless day taking an early lead on the 1st day of qualification series at the 2011 Zhik Moth Worlds sailed at Lake Macquarie, NSW Australia. The self-acclaimed light-air specialist won his fleet with two wins and a second place.
With 115 competitors entered, Race Committee split the fleet into two groups for the qualification series to limit the congestion on the start line and race course.
The 8-12 knot Easterly never delivered the famed sea-breeze, and remained patchy in places with shifts of almost 20 degrees.
Weed woes continued, wrapping around more than a few foils. Sailors in the top end of the fleet such as Turner and Scott Babbage consistently threw in “a capsize or two” during the race to clear their blades.
Tasmanian Rob Gough (AUS) also had a good day in this group posting a 1, 3 and 3 whilst Scott Babbage (AUS) continued his good form and scored a 6, 2 and 2 to be the other standout from this group. Arnaud Psarofarghis (SUI) is the best European and showed that he will be a contender by posting a 4,4 and 6 for the day and is placed 6th overall.
The other qualification fleet featured close racing and amazing comebacks. Iain Jensen sailed a stellar first race, beating his regular Olympic 49er skipper, Nathan Outteridge who finished 5th.
Outteridge bounced back winning race two by a large margin over Tom Slingsby (AUS) and Pete Burling (NZL) who both got through the day relatively unscathed. Slingsby sliding around 5ths while Burling was never out of the top 3.
Both Outteridge and 2009 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (USA) staged amazing comebacks in race 3. Both were dead off the start line, and managed to climb up to 20th and 21st, respectively by the first windward mark. By the finish Outteridge was able to claim his second win of the day from Burling and 2008 World Champion John Harris (AUS).
Dalton Bergan currently leads the Americans in 11th place, and the 2010 Moth World Champion from Great Britain, Simon Payne sits in 12th place. 2009 Moth World Champion is presently in 14th place.
Spectators galore flanked the finish line, with cheers erupting as the Moths screamed across the finish. More crowds are expected tomorrow for a 1300 hrs (ADST) start.
The fleets will be re-split for tomorrow’s second day of the qualification series which will run until Tuesday 11th January. The final series begins Thursday, 13th of January after a lay-day on Wednesday.
Top Ten Provisional Results after Day One is as follows:
Zhik 2011 Moth World Championships - Belmont Saturday 8 Jan 2011
Rank Skipper Country Sail No Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Pts Overall
1 Joe Turner AUS 3639 2 1 1 4
2 Nathan Outteridge AUS 3750 5 1 1 7
3 Rob Gough AUS 3731 1 3 3 7
4 Peter Burling NZL 3773 2 3 2 7
5 Scott Babbage AUS 7 6 2 2 10
6 Arnaud Psarofaghis SUI 4 4 4 6 14
7 Tom Slingsby AUS 3786 6 2 6 14
8 Matt Crockett AUS 3820 7 4 4 15
9 Iain Jensen AUS 3709 1 9 7 17
10 John Harris AUS 3634 9 7 3 19
All the action can be followed at www.mothworlds.org\
January 9th 2011 BELMONT- AUSTRALIA
2011 Zhik Moth World Championship- Day One
Outteridge the Overtaker, Bullets for Burling
Belmont delivered it’s famed 18 knot E-NE gusting over 20 for day two of the 2011 Zhik Moth Worlds providing an action packed day full of swims, stacks and rescues – and not just at the back end of the fleet.
Nathan Outteridge (AUS), despite not always having the early lead, escaped unscathed adding 3 wins to his score. On the other course, Peter Burling (NZL) nailed an impressive 3 bullets. ISAF Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (AUS) and 2008 Moth World Champion John Harris take the cake for impressive stacks.
In the Blue Fleet, John Harris (AUS) led Nathan Outteridge (AUS) and Bora Gulari (USA) around the first windward mark, but Outteridge was able to slip by when Harris, then Gulari took a swim. Brad Funk (USA) and Slingsby kept up for 2nd and 3rd, and despite Gulari’s swim, the Americans were able to keep 2 in the top ten with Dalton Bergan in 6th.
There was awesome high-speed lead-swapping between Outteridge and Slingsby throughout Race 2, with Outteridge ultimately taking the gun. Harris was deep early on and made an impressive fight back to the leading pack of Funk, Gough and Gulari.
More than 20 boats were back in the boat-park by the start of the 3rd and final race for the day. The “usual suspects” started to emerge with with Outteridge, Funk, Harris, Gough and Slingsby. Psarofaghis (SUI), and Josh Mcknight (AUS) making his debut, both finished the day with all top ten finishes.
In Yellow Fleet, Burling took no prisoners, consistently leading the charge around the marks and taking all 3 finishes. Scott Babbage and fellow Aussie Iain Jensen duelled for 2nd overall for the day. The tussle escalated in Race 2 when Babbage hit the mark. His penalty turn put him back to 10th, but he fought back to 4th. Yesterday’s standout Joe Turner (AUS) still had some fire in the breeze and hangs on to 3rd overall for the combined fleets going in to Day 3. Andy Budgen (GBR) loved the bigger breeze with a consistent 5, 5, 6.
Charlie McKee (USA) rocketed the Wing-sail to the windward mark in the first race, finishing with a 5th, but had to pull out of the second race to recover from compression failure below the forestay. Back on for race 3, he limped through the course hanging on to a 21st finish after suffering further damages.
Forecast promises a building sea-breeze and after a good feed, the fleet is already busy with tweaks and tunes for a 13:00hr (AEDST) start tomorrow.
Top Ten Provisional Results after Day two is as follows:
Rank Skipper Country R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Overall
1 Nathan Outteridge AUS 5 1 1 1 1 1 5
2 Peter Burling NZL 2 3 2 1 1 1 7
3 Joe Turner AUS 2 1 1 7 2 3 9
4 Scott Babbage AUS 6 2 2 3 3 4 14
5 Rob Gough AUS 1 3 3 4 5 4 15
6 Iain Jensen AUS 1 9 7 2 6 2 18
7 Tom Slingsby AUS 6 2 6 3 2 5 18
8 John Harris AUS 9 7 3 8 3 3 24
9 Brad Funk USA DNF 8 11 2 4 2 27
10 Arnaud Psarofaghis SUI 4 4 6 7 7 6 27
All the action can be followed at www.mothworlds.org
January 10th 2011 BELMONT- AUSTRALIA
2011 Zhik Moth World Championship- Day 3
Supported by SP High Modulus
Just another day at the office for Nathan Outteridge (AUS) who flawlessly handled the gusty 16-18 knot Easterly on Lake Macquarie at the 2011 Zhik Moth Worlds during the final day of the Qualifying Series. In the last start of the day he blasted off the line at 20 knots, after dipping the line from above the start boat.
Also moving quickly was Kiwi Peter Burling hitting a max of 27.7 knots, but he suffered two stacks in the last race, costing him the chance for another triple bullet day and a minor injury when his foil came down on his back. Joe Turner (AUS) swooped in for the win and enters the finals in 3rd. Scott Babbage was almost too consistent, failing to cover Outteridge in the final downwind of Race 9, and earning straight 2nds for the day, putting him 4th overall.
Is Bora back? “I think he might be”, reports the 2009 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari (USA), who in the first race of the day wasn’t quite on pace, but was able to turn up the heat for a 4th place finish. Closing out the day with two 2nds, he jumps to 11th place. Fellow American Brad Funk (USA), who was off to a rocky start with fleet mix-ups and an OCS, grows more consistent and holds onto his 9th place slot.
Standout performances were made by Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI), leading the Europeans, and Andrew Budgeon (GBR). 2010 Moth World Champion Simon Payne (GBR) clings to 19th with a damage-free day for Charlie McKee and the Wing-sail, now in 21st.
There’s a tight battle for leading lady with Sam England (AUS), Emma Aspington (SWE), and Linsdsay Bergan (USA) all qualifying for Gold with 51, 52, and 53 points, respectively.
Fortunately most the fleet survived the day unscathed, and event sponsors SP-High Modulus, who have offered free carbon for repairs during the event, can hang on to their supply for another day.
Winning AC skipper James Spithill was out on the course today. When is he getting a Mach 2 Moth? “Maybe when they make a Mach 3.”
The top 55 proceed to Gold Fleet, with 54 sailors making up Silver. Sailors carry over their rank from the Qualifying Series as points into the 3-day Final Series (e.g. Outteridge starts with 1 point, Burling with 2, etc) starting tomorrow. After a lay-day on the 12th, racing will conclude on Friday, 14th of January.
For full results for the Qualifying Series, please refer to the link:
All the action can be followed at www.mothworlds.org including race updates, news,