Preview – Ronstan A-Class Catamaran Worlds at Islamorada, Florida
Last year Australia’s Steve Brewin won his second A-Class Catamaran world title, beating a field of 96 competitors to secure the top spot at the 2011 A-Class Catamaran World Championship in Aarhus, Denmark. This October he looks to defend his title when the A-Cat fleet arrives in Islamorada, Florida for the 2012 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship. However while Brewin will be looking to hold off the competition, a repeat performance will be anything but easy this time around, against a fleet of well over 100 top sailors all set to do battle in the Florida Keys, when the regatta kicks off on October 20th.
The event, headquartered at Islamorada’s Islander Resort, a beachside vacation spot and site of the 2007 Worlds, runs from October 20 – 26, the races taking place on the Atlantic side of the Keys, inside the barrier reef and right in the middle of the north east trade winds. Yet while the trades are typically some of the most consistent breezes in the world, conditions in Islamorada have previously been anything but consistent, with fronts often coming through and shifting the breeze to an offshore northwest direction and further upping the difficulty level. Luckily the event features some of the best sailors from around the globe, and the variable conditions simply add another element to what is sure to be an intense competition.
The obvious favourite coming into the event is Brewin. The current champion is coming off his second worlds’ victory, having first taken home the gold with a win at the 2001 Worlds in Castelldefels, Spain. However Brewin is likely to face stiff challenges from his own countrymen. While Scott Anderson, Brewin’s main competition from 2011, will not be attending, fellow Aussies Andrew ‘Landy’ Landenberger, Jack Benson and Brad Collet all figure to be serious threats. After all Landenberger, of Landenberger Sails, finished just off the podium in 2011, placing fourth, and is fresh off a win at the 2012 A-Class European Championships where he got the better of current European champion Chris Fields. Meanwhile Benson and Collett finished 3rd and 5th respectively in 2011 and both are likely to be forces once again in 2012.
Rumours are ripe that Australian 49er Olympic Gold Medallist and recent America’s Cup AC45 helmsman, Nathan Outteridge is also heading to compete in the Worlds. No doubt Nathan can quickly adapt to the class and become a real threat to the regular AClass sailors.
However Australia is not the only nation vying for the championship. The United States has also thrown its hat into contention with Lars Guck and Matt Struble both expected to be well in amongst the top boats. While each finished in the 20s in Aarhus (Guck 29th, Struble 24th) Guck, the former Tornado Olympian, finished second to Glen Ashby at the previous Islamorada World Championship held in 2007, and has already won the North American Championships three times.
Meanwhile Struble took home the 2010 North American Championships, the last event he and Guck sailed against each other prior to the 2011 Worlds, and has dominated international iceboat for the better part of decade, winning six Detroit News World Championships in the past six years.
Other notable entrants include 2011 Australian of the Year Simon McKeon of Macquarie Innovations, Jay Glaser of Glaser Sails, and Ben Moon of Ronstan, who finished 7th in 2011 one point behind Spain’s Manuel Calavia. However while many of these “old faces” have fought it out on the World stage many times before, a number of new entrants into the class have given the event the definite feel that it is anybody’s regatta. The American fleet has recently received an infusion of new blood from Moth sailor Brad Funk and Star Class Olympian Mark Mendenblatt, both of whom are expected to be significant players. Meanwhile the United Kingdom, a market previously untapped by the A-Cat, figures to mount a serious challenge from either current European champion Fields or Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Watch Leader Rob Greenhalgh. New Zealand also figures to get into the mix, with Oracle Racing’s Mike Drummond coming off a 9th place finish in Aarhus, just ahead of Germany’s Bob Baier, who also will likely be at the top of the fleet.
The event, sponsored by Ronstan, FSE Robline, HallSpars, Zhik, Glazer Sails, Liquified Creative, BlueStreak BoatWerks, Hullspeed.us and KO Sailing, officially opens October 19th with registration and measurement. The skippers’ meeting and practice races are scheduled for the 21st with racing in earnest starting on the 22nd. The planned nine races will take place from the 22nd to the 26th with the 27th reserved as a weather date.
The Principal Race Officer is Billy Richnow, formerly of the Great Texas Race, and the official Notice of Race can be found on the event website at www.aclassworldchampionshipsusa2012.com.
The event entry list currently features 110 competitors from nine countries spanning three continents.
Globaltech Formula 18 Worlds at Long Beach, California, USA
France’s Olivier Backes and crew Matthieu Vandame figured they needed to sail only two of the last three races to pocket first place in the Globaltech Formula 18 World Championship.
Wrong, they needed only one as a light southwest breeze gasped its last against warm desert Santa Ana winds, a local autumn phenomenon, blowing offshore from the opposite direction, leaving the fleet of 118 Gold and Silver flight boats from 16 countries drifting helplessly in the event hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
The regatta was caught in the middle. The single race was delayed by over an hour as racers’ early starts and course changes required with shifting light winds of 3 – 7 knots. Later, as the stragglers crept in from the mile-square trapezoid course, principal race officer Mark Townsend debated for an hour whether to continue.
At one point he even studied smoke from the oil refinery fire west of Long Beach for clues to what the wind might do. Then at 1530hrs he called it a regatta, and Backes and Vandame’s coach, Alex Udin, jumped aboard their cat to provide the winners with a champagne shower.
As far as the championship was concerned, ending two short of the 15 scheduled races made no difference. Backes/Vandame finished 15th in Saturday’s only race, but none of their challengers finished better than sixth, not nearly enough to threaten their lead, especially with a second throwout to play.
Even with the subdued climax, Olivier said the victory was better than his first win of the F18 Worlds two years ago in France.
“The first time I won there was a big fight for the win at the end with three boats,” he said. “This was much better.”
Olivier had another crew in 2010, so this was Vandame’s first F18 Worlds title. “I’m really happy,” he said.
So was Karel Begemann, crew for Oscar Zeekant on the runner-up boat from The Netherlands.
“We didn’t really come here to win,” Begemann said. “We just hoped to be in the top five.”
In fact, Dutch boats seized four of the top six places overall.
It was the first F18 Worlds in the USA. The top American boat finished 10th, sailed by Michael Easton and Tripp Burd of the New England Nacra Sailing Association (NENSA).
By Rich Roberts, photos and video supplied by c Christophe Favreau
Tornado World Championships at Circolo Vela in Lake Garda, Italy
The final day of the 2012 Tornado World Championships saw some awkward racing in light and fluky winds. Many of the sailors had their discard race and places changed dramatically.
Showing consistent form and skill throughout the championship it was the Greek team of Iordanis Paschalidis and Kostas Trigonis who came out on top with 6 victories from 8 races.
Roland and Nahid Gaebler took the mixed crew crown and came second overall with a 3rd place in the last race. In third place overall were Matteo Ferraglia and Lorenzo Bianchini who came 13th in the last race. They’ve been using the Tornado Class charter boat for this event and are sure to come back and join in for more racing.
Nikos Mavros and Alexander Tagaropoulos took the bullet for the last race and finished up fourth overall closely followed by Brett Burvill and Ryan Duffield in 5th place.
Competition wasn’t just at the top with individual battles throughout the fleet and close racing for everyone. Another great event for the class and even better to see new teams coming along and enjoying the racing.
Thank you to Circolo Vela Torbole for another well hosted event.
The 2013 Tornado World Championships will be held in Ibiza.
Overall Results: (top three)
1. Iordanis Paschalidis, Konstantinos Trigkonis
2. Roland Gaebler, Nahid Gaebler
3. Matteo Ferraglia, Lorenzo Bianchini
Mixed Teams (top three)
1. Roland Gaebler, Nahid Gaebler
2. Dieter Maurer, Maren Odefey
3. Jentsch Jürgen, Steimer Klees Sarah
By Andrew Dowley
Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships at Club Vela del Campione
Josh McKnight wins the 2012 Moth Worlds – c ThMartinez
The 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships went down to the wire and were decided in the very last race in fabulous conditions. Josh McKnight (AUS) kept his calm, sailed nearly flawlessly to prevail over fellow countryman Scott Babbage with two bullets in three races. Another Australian, Rob Gough had a very good last day to snatch third place overall from Anthony Kotoun (ISV) in the last race.
If Scott Babbage capsizes at the first weather mark then words are not enough to describe the tough, demanding but equally spectacular conditions on a race course. The ‘Pelèr’, the morning northerly breeze on lake Garda, was blowing furiously from early on and with a violent storm forecast to hit Campione del Garda in the afternoon, the race committee had scheduled a 10am start. That gave the 60-strong Gold fleet of the opportunity to sail three exciting races that saw Josh McKnight prevail, practically from start to finish.
Scott Babbage sailed a superb series but just fell short on the final day – c ThMartinez
When the race committee fired the gun for the day’s first race, the 20-25 knots of Pelèr and one-meter waves were guaranteed to put a big strain on the sailors and their boats. Both Babbage and McKnight had a clean start in the middle of the line and headed to the right-hand side of the course, as close to the eastern shore of lake Garda as possible. Babbage was in the lead at the first top mark with McKnight hot on his heels. That’s when opportunity knocked on McKnight’s door. A few hundred meters after the distance marker Babbage went for a swim. Not only did McKnight assume control of the race, he stretched his lead and won with ease, ahead of Babbage and fellow Australian Rob Gough who would start his best day of the regatta.
In the second race of the day, conditions weren’t as brutal but no less than 20 boats had to either abandon due to gear failure or opt for the safety of the marina. Without any doubt, the man of the race was Rob Gough whose bold tactical call paid a huge dividend and handed him the victory. On the northern race area, the eastern shore of Lake Garda is usually favoured. However, Gough saw a big left shift coming, separated from the bulk of the fleet and seemed like the lone ranger, approaching the first weather mark from the left. The move paid off and Gough rounded the first mark in third place, behind Mcknight and Babbage. He stuck to his strategy and overtook the leading pair while Babbage would snatch second place from McKnight right on the finish line.
As the sky cleared and temperatures rose the Pelèr abated in the third race. McKnight and Babbage were still separated by a two-point cushion and all McKnight had to do was to avoid having two boats between him and his sparring partner. Not only did he achieve it, he had a commanding lead from the start, crossing the finish line in front of Babbage. Rob Gough came in third and snatched the final podium place from Anthony Kotoun who struggled in these conditions.
Sunday’s races conclude the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships that saw record-setting numbers both in terms of participating sailors (117) as well as countries (20). Conditions were on the lighter side in the beginning of the event but then Lake Garda delivered and the Moths brought the “wow” factor back into sailing. The Moths will now fly again in the 2013 World Championship that will take place in the month of October on Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Rob Gough provided a storming finish to take third on the podium – ThMartinez
Quotes of the day
Joshua McKnight (AUS): “I’m pretty relieved because a lot of effort and money has been going into this program. I sailed a little bit more consistently when there was less breeze and Scott was a bit more unfortunate in one race where he got a 16th but that’s sailing. It’s really unfortunate for him. He probably put more time into this regatta than anybody else. I feel kind of bad taking it away from him but at the same time I’m happy and relieved I did it.
It wasn’t all easy today. Scott was ahead in the first mark but I had a two-point lead coming into the day so I knew I had to take a lot less risk than he did in order to win. I tried to sail safely and even if he did beat me in the second race on the finish line, I figured it was just one point. Scott and I train a lot in this type of conditions and he’s the one that usually gets away and waits for me. So, for me to win in these conditions is really surprising.”
Scott Babbage (AUS): “I’m pretty disappointed although I’m happy for Josh because he sailed very well. As I said before, we have been training together all winter and it’s good to see that training paid off. The start of the week was good, I had a very good qualifying series but I had a bad day in the final that cost me.”
Rob Gough (AUS): “The last day of the worlds was fantastic with very good breeze and waves. I had a good day, I sailed around pretty comfortably and I could watch the battle between Josh and Scott. When I came to the Worlds my goal was to make the top three. I was eighth coming this morning, so I’m pretty happy.”
2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships
Final Top 10 results after 9 races (1 discard) and qualifying rank
1. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1+2+4+1+1+3+1 =17pts
2. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+2+(16)+5+4+2+2+2 =20pts
3. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+5+(11)+10+10+3+1+3 =51pts
4. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+10+(33)+1+2+7+16+8 =53pts
5. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+12+8+7+(34)+3+5+7+5 =61pts
6. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+11+3+8+2+8+(36)+20+6 =66pts
7. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+12+9+11+13+9+(61 DSQ)+4+4+7 =74pts
8. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+9+6+7+(38)+3+7+16+13+16 =85pts
9. Simon Payne (GBR), 11+(31)+16+12+4+11+14+10+8+11 =97pts
10. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+10+4+1+8+5+(61 DNC)+14+33 =99pts
Day 6 – Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds at Vela Club Campione del Garda
Josh McKnight’s consistency grabs him the overall lead – c ThMartinez
To say that Saturday’s racing at the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championship was a tricky one and full of surprises and upsets would be the week’s biggest understatement. The first and most decisive race of the day, turned the tables and saw some of the leaders with scores in the teens, twenties or even thirties! It is clear that consistency and committing the least amount of errors are the keys in this regatta and that’s exactly what Josh McKnight of Australia has shown all week.
The overcast skies and lower temperatures meant that lake Garda’s afternoon wind, the ‘Ora’, wouldn’t be as steady as in the previous days, especially with a start one hour earlier than Friday. The right side of the course, as close to the rocks as possible, always paid handsomely this week but this was the one and only race where it wouldn’t. The left turned out to be so favoured that US sailor, Brad Funk saw it coming and would be ahead by a mile.
When the trailing boats on the right saw it and went to the left, the breeze died and turned right. Some of the top ten sailors – Babbage, Kotoun, Salter and McDougall – got the double whammy “right when it’s left and left when it’s right”, rounding the first top mark well in the bottom of the fleet. Babbage managed to climb up to 16th but McKnight had yet another consistent race, finishing fourth.
Rob Gough AUS keeping the pace on – c Th Martinez
As the breeze got fresher and steadier, the second race would be “about boat speed, without a lot of tricks”, as Anthony Kotoun stated. The sailor from the British Virgin Islands nailed his start, got off to the rocks and was able to build an immense lead at the first top mark. Bora Gulari (USA) couldn’t do anything to catch up with Kotoun and crossed the finish line in second place, ahead of Julian Salter (AUS) and Josh McKnight. It surely was a turnaround for Kotoun after scoring a 33rd in the previous race.
The day’s final race was again a demonstration of flawless sailing by Josh McKnight. He got the start right with full pace and rounded the first weather mark in second place, trailing Julian Salter. McKnight has shown his strength upwind all week long and overtook Salter in the second beat. Once again, Anthony Kotoun kept his calm, weaved through the fleet and bagged another second place.
Anthony Kotourn ISV holds on to 3rd overall – c Th Martinez
Quotes of the day
Josh McKnight (AUS): “I don’t know whether I’m leading, I’m not sure about the results. In any case, Scott it still the favourite to win this regatta, I’m just trying to sail well and get some solid results. My aim is to be at the top five in each race and I’ve been working hard to achieve that. At the first top mark of the first race I was probably 7th or 8th or even deeper but since it was quite choppy quite a few around me fell in the first downwind. I sailed more conservatively and finished the race in 2nd place.”
Joshua McKnight (AUS), on whether Scott Babbage should be training with him from Monday: “[Laughs] Whatever happens in this world championship we will always be equal. However, you should never forget we still have another three races to go, so we still have a long way to go.”
Scott Babbage (AUS): “In the first race I didn’t get off the start line well. Then the breeze went really light at the top mark and I was just on the layline with lots of boats. I couldn’t get around the top foiling, so I was deep in the pack, without really many opportunities to get through the fleet. So, I had a really bad one and then probably a fifth and another fifth. Josh might have passed me in the leaderboard with his three good results.”
Scott Babbage (AUS), on whether he learned something today that will not be repeated tomorrow: “I haven’t quite figured that out yet.”
Final Series Results after Day 6: (top ten, qualifying + 6 races, 1 discard)
1. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1+2+4+1=12pts
2. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+2+(16)+5+4=14pts
3. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+10+(33)+1+2=22pts
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+(11)+3+8+2+8=29pts
5. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+9+6+7+(38)+3+7=40pts
6. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+(10)+4+1+8+5=42pts
7. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+5+(11)+10+10=44pts
8. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+12+8+7+(34)+3=44pts
9. Eric Aakhus (USA), 17+8+(15)+6+10+6+11=58pts
10. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+12+9+11+13+9+(20)=59pts
Day 5 – Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds at Vela Club Campione del Garda
It might have taken four days for lake Garda’s famous afternoon breeze to come but it was surely worth the wait. The ‘Ora’ kicked in on time, blew up to 15 – 18 knots and brought the best out of the Moths, piercing through the short chop. The race committee was able to hold three spectacular races with the best breeze yet.
The fleet has now been split into Gold and Silver and as Scott Babbage mentioned earlier in the morning, competition has stepped up a level as he has to face twice as many top boats as in the qualifying series. However that doesn’t seem to prevent him from scoring two more bullets.
The first race of the Gold fleet had three protagonists, all of them Australians. Scott Babbage and Josh McKnight clearly dominated in conditions that are slowly approaching the ones they are used to in Sydney, even if Babbage still finds them “pretty light”. The two sparring partners were a long way in front of the fleet with McKnight leading three quarters of the way. However, Babbage was faster downwind and crossed the finish line ahead.
Joe Turner, the third Australian, stole the spotlight in that first race but, unfortunately, for the wrong reason.
While on the top reach to the wing mark he lost control of his boat and pitchpoled right in front of fellow countryman John Harris. Harris had no time or room to react and crashed into him. As a result, Turner’s boat suffered serious damage that, although repairable, puts an abrupt end to his aspirations to the world title.
Although he likes the strong breeze, Babbage did equally well, in the softening conditions of the second race. He led from the outset and extended his cushion over second-placed Anthony Kotoun (ISV) to a dozen boat lengths at the second weather mark. There was nothing Kotoun could do to bridge the gap but still held on to his position, crossing the finish line ahead of Rob Gough (AUS) and Josh McKnight (AUS).
In the day’s last race Babbage and McKnight reversed their positions with the younger Australian taking the win. It didn’t come so easy though. McKnight was in the lead at the first top mark but Babbage got him at the bottom mark. Still, McKnight was again faster upwind and overtook him.
Quotes of the day
Scott Babbage (AUS): “Josh and I have been sailing a lot in Sydney this winter. He has been my training partner during the off season. I think we have done a bit too much and he now is a threat. When the wind is up a little bit we are much, much faster. The stronger it gets the faster we will be but this is still pretty light.”
Joshua McKnight (AUS): “I was leading the first race by a long way but Scott got me on the downwinds, he seems to be little quicker downwind. I had a tough one at the first race. I was eighth or ninth at the bottom mark but still managed to climb to fourth at the top mark. It was a good day overall and a good start to the finals.”
Joe Turner (AUS), on his crash: “In the first top mark of the first race I was going across the top reach to the distance marker and I basically lost control of the boat when I was just above John Harris and put it straight in ahead of him. He basically had nowhere to go, no room or time to keep clear and ran into me. It was my fault. I was sailing too high, lost control of the boat and pitchpoled in front of him. It is unfortunate it happened, when and where it did. The regatta is basically over for me but hopefully another Australian will win it.”
Results after Day 5: (top ten, qualifying position + 3 finals races, 1 discard)
1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+(2 =3pts
2. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1 =5pts
3. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+(10) =9pts
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+(11)+3 =11pts
5. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+(5) =19pts
6. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+(9)+6+7 =21pts
7. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+(12)+8 =22pts
8. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+(12)+9+11 =25pts
9. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), 9+13+5+(22) =27pts
10. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+(10)+4 =28pts
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Day 4 – Zhik Nautica Moth Wolrds at Vela Club Campione del Garda
Scott Babbage dominates the Qualifying series – c ThMartinez
By Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds media
It certainly was a tricky day for the 125-strong fleet on lake Garda. Although the African heat wave has now receded, day temperatures are still too high for the afternoon Ora breeze to build up and let the Moths fly with the typical breezes ranging from 15 to 18 knots. As a result, the breeze comes later and is much more unstable.
The first race got underway with 10 – 12 knots of breeze and Bora Gulari (USA) showed his form and dominated the Yellow fleet, finishing ahead of Scott Babbage (AUS). In the Blue fleet, Australian Josh McKnight confirmed he’s an up-and-coming young gun, scoring his third victory in nine races. Anthony Kotoun (ISV) continues to show good speed finishing close behind.
The second race took place in the fading Ora that once again forced the race committee to shorten it. It was a tactically tough race with big wind holes everywhere. Still, once again, Bora Gulari led the Yellow fleet.
Bora Gulari closes the gap with two bullets – cTh Martinez
Was he lucky? They say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Gulari must certainly have had both. Another young gun, Great Britain’s Chris Rashley, was first in the Blue fleet, scoring his first victory this week. Despite this being his first world championship, the current UK Moth Champion has shown remarkable consistency, never finishing worse than seventh.
The boats will now be split into two fleets, based on their ranking in the qualifying series, with the top half going into the Gold fleet and the remainder in the Silver fleet. Each skipper’s rank in the qualifying series will be counted as a non-discardable race score for the final series and his score for the regatta will be the total of his final series race scores together with the non-discardable qualifying series rank.
As a result, going into the finals, the score table isn’t reset to zero but Babbage’s advantage will be no more than a few points over his closest competitors, exactly what we need for another three day of red-hot racing off Campione del Garda.
The schedule calls for 9 races in the final series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Quotes of the day
Bora Gulari (USA):
“I had a good day with two wins thanks to a bit of luck and a bit of skill. My end goal is to win this one. A few days ago I stated my goal was to finish in the top five because I wanted to be humble but after listening to all the Australians claiming they wanted to win I will also state that my end goal is to win the worlds!”
Chris Rashley (GBR):
“I’ve had some races I could have done better but across the board I’m really happy. These are my first worlds and I’m well inside the top ten going into the final series. So, I’m quite happy with my performance so far.
My goal now is to sail as well as I can, start well, be fast, hopefully not make too many mistakes and we’ll see how it goes when it comes to the end of the week.”
Results after Day 4: (top ten, 9 races, 2 discard)
Merged results from the two fleets (Blue and Yellow)
1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+1+1+1+(11)+2+(6)=8pts
2. Joshua McKnight (AUS), (6)+1+1+2+4+3+(12)+1+5=17pts
3. Bora Gulari (USA), 2+2+(7)+(14)+4+4+3+1+1=17pts
4. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 3+3+2+(11)+2+2+3+2+(9)=17pts
5. Chris Rashley (GBR), 4+(7)+4+4+2+5+(7)+3+1=23pts
6. Joe Turner (AUS), (9)+(9)+2+3+3+5+1+3+9=26pts
7. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2+(8)+5+7+(21)+2+6+4+5=31pts
8. Julian Salter (AUS), 7+4+3+7+(12)+1+8+(60 DNC)+2=32pts
9. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), (60 DNF)+(10)+6+3+3+10+2+6+2=32pts
10. Francesco Bianchi (ITA), 3+6+4+(16)+6+6+(35)+5+3=33pts
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Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds at Vela Club Campione del Garda
Only the dying breeze at the end of the afternoon could stop Scott Babbage for recording a perfect scoreline. The Australian now has a solid grasp on the overall lead, nine points ahead of second placed Anthony Kotoun from the British Virgin Islands. Kotoun might call himself a “rookie” with “many hurdles to overcome” but he proved to be a master of the light to moderate Ora, the afternoon breeze on Lake Garda. Feeling comfortable in these conditions, Kotoun pushed Joshua McKnight down to third overall.
The top-five is now completed by Bora Gulari and Joe Turner who started finding their form.
The locals say that when the sun rises over the mountains surrounding Lake Garda, the “Pelèr” kicks in with vengeance. So, with an 8:30am start scheduled, the fleet was prepared to face tough but spectacular conditions off Campione del Garda. There were dozens of capsizes, crashes and swims but when the going gets tough the tough get going.
In the Yellow fleet, Babbage led from start to finish while in the Blue fleet a fight between Joshua McKnight, Joe Turner and Rob Gough saw the latter scoring his first victory so far.
When the race committee gave the signal for the second race, the Pelèr was already fading and shifting. Although still fresh, the lighter breeze and the flatter seas didn’t provide the same amount of excitement.
Once again, Scott Babbage dominated the Yellow fleet with Chris Rashley coming second behind him. Although the young British sailor hasn’t scored any victorys his consistent performance has allowed him to make inroads in the rankings and climb into the top five.
After a break ashore in order to get the “Pelèr” out of the way and wait for the “Ora” to build up, the fleet took to the water for two more races.
For the Yellow fleet, the third race of the day was marked by the match race between Scott Babbage and Andrew McDougall. McDougall built an immense lead over the rest of the fleet at the first weather mark but metre by metre, Babbage closed in on him and won the race on the finish line.
In the fourth and last race of the day the shifting and dying breeze made it necessary to shorten it at the bottom mark. Joe Turner dominated the Blue fleet from the outset while in the Yellow fleet Babbage had his worst result of the week so far. Although he was third at the top mark he slipped to eleventh by the finish line.
Quotes of the day
Scott Babbage (AUS), on his performance:
“We had some very good racing in the morning. The first race of the afternoon was a very close one with Andrew McDougall and I’m not sure whether I beat him or beat me. It was too close to tell. In the last race the breeze died at the top. A few boats got away and then the race committee decided to finish the race at the bottom, so there wasn’t any opportunity. I’m satisfied with my overall performance and I find the morning races much more fun than the afternoon ones. The afternoon races are pretty painful but the morning races are great fun. I hope we do more of these.”
Scott Babbage (AUS), on whether he’s happy Nathan Outteridge is in San Francisco for the America’s Cup races:
“[Laughs] No, it would have been good to have him here, he’s always a good competitor and it’s good when you take races off him. He’s good fun to sail against and I beat him in the Australian nationals, the first regatta I beat him in 10 years. That was good but I think that if he did the Worlds he would definitely be hard to beat.”
Anthony Kotoun (ISV):
“I had a good day. The morning winds are usually not my strength and I’m not as good in the waves. It showed in the first where I lead at the weather mark and then downwind went for a bunch of swims. I gained boats on the upwind but then lost on the downwind. I still finished tenth, which was much better than I thought. In the second race of the morning it got light, I sailed well and finished second. This afternoon upwind was my strength and I got a second and a third.
I’m very satisfied with my second place overall so far. My goal here was to finish in the top 10. I’ve never done a world championship in the Moth before, I’ve been sailing this boat for year and a half, so I was hoping for a top ten. I thought a top five would be possible if I had a really good regatta. I realize I am still a rookie and I have some hurdles to overcome but these conditions are mine. If it gets out of this range I don’t expect to keep this train rolling but for now I’ll take it.”
Results after Day 3: (top ten, 7 races, 1 discard)
Merged results from the two fleets (Blue and Yellow)
1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+1+1+1+(11)=6pts
2. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 3+3+2+(11)+2+2+3=15pts
3. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 6+1+1+2+4+3+(12)=17pts
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 2+2+7+(14)+4+4+3=22pts
5. Joe Turner (AUS), (9)+9+2+3+3+5+1=23pts
6. Chris Rashley (GBR), 4+(7)+4+4+2+5+7=26pts
7. Julian Salter (AUS), 7+4+3+7+(12)+1+8=30pts
8. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2+8+5+7+(21)+2+6=30pts
9. Rob Gough (AUS), 5+3+(17)+1+11+7+5=32pts
10. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), (60 DNF)+10+6+3+3+10+2=34pts
Visit the official website for full results: www.mothworlds.org
Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mothworlds
Twitter page at www.twitter.com/mothworlds
OK Dinghy Worlds at Vallensbaek Sailing Club, Denmark – Overall
By Robert Deaves
Andre Budzien won the 2012 OK Dinghy World Championship in Vallensbaek, Denmark after the final two races were sailed on Saturday. Greg Wilcox took the silver while Thomas Hanssen-Mild took the bronze. The final two races were won by Christian Olesen and Björn Allansson.
Despite forecasts of strong winds on the final day, the final day started overcast, damp and windless. Overnight storms had brought heavy rain which tested the integrity of much off the camp site, results in many damp sailors come the morning. The sun soon came out but the wind was not ready yet so AP was hoisted at 9.30 as once again the fleet waited for the elusive Danish wind to appear.
But appear it did and at around 13.30 racing got under way in a strengthening southerly that peaked at about 12-14 knots by mid-afternoon. Two fantastic races were sailed in an onshore wind with nice waves developing that was a fitting end to a great anniversary championship.
In race six, Günther Arndt (GER) was the early leader from the right but soon Christian Olsesen (DEN) took the lead and held it to the finish with Andre Budzien crossing in second and Thomas Hansson-Mild in third.
The wind increased slightly for race seven and Björn Allanson (SWE) was finally able to get out in front and he stayed there the whole race taking his first race win in great conditions. Stefan Myralf (DEN) was second while Nick Craig (GBR) produced his best result of the week with a third.
This meant that Budzien had taken the OK Dinghy world title at the first attempt, his first ever senior world title, after three Finn World Masters titles. The 2002 champion Wilcox had to settle for silver while the 2009 champion Hansson-Mild took home the bronze. The defending champion Craig, finished fourth and went home with just the OKDIA tie that is given to the top ten overall and the major prize winners.
Wilcox summed up, “In the end it was a great regatta actually. It was the largest fleet we’ve ever had in the worlds and it was pretty well organised. We got seven races in, and on land it was great as well. The race officer and his team did a really good job and he put races in when we thought he possibly shouldn’t but they all turned out OK.”
“I’m pretty happy actually. I tried my best and it didn’t quite work out at the end but second in the biggest world championship ever is pretty good, so I think I’ll be pretty happy when I look back on it.”
“Andre sailed very, very well. He never won a race, but he never had a bad one. He was pretty much always up there. Today I tried really hard to get him but we were exactly the same speed and he just always had an edge after the start for some reason. And he just stayed there and we were locked together. I just couldn’t get any points on him. So well done to Andre.”
Hansson-Mild said, “I am happy overall with my week. I knew it was going to be tough. I never sailed this big a fleet before but coming in for the regatta I had some good results at Kiel and the Nordics, but I knew that Andre was coming here and I knew he was going to be a tough competitor. It was all about keeping the numbers low. Going into the last race today I still had a chance for the gold and my only chance was to get points in between so I had to get a good separation so after I saw them starting by the vessel I headed for the right line hoping it would shift right but there was more pressure up on the right. There was took little time to decide so I just threw the dice and it didn;t work out. Then then it was just a struggle to get back into the race. But I did a good recovery on the run and got back back into it.”
Budzien said, “It’s really nice to win and I think it was a really strong fleet here. It was difficult with the low winds to be in the top 10 or even the top 20 so you had minimise the risks all the time. I had some experience with this many boats at this years Finn Masters so that helped me find the right position and also the black flag starts are not so easy to handle. But I am really happy with the result, especially in the strongest OK Dinghy fleet ever.”
“The quality of the fleet here is really good, with six former world champions. I have never sailed against them before apart from Greg and Nick. It was a really strong fleet and strong competition. I would like to try to defend it next year, once we get organised with the transport.”
“The OK Dinghy fleet looks easy, but it is very different on the water. I didn’t win a single race here. In this regatta it was important to be consistent to win, but it’s not at all easy to win in this class. There are a lot of sailors I remember from really early times in the Finn class as well as younger sailors like Björn Allansson trying to catch the fleet here – it was very a strong field.”
At the prizegiving tonight, Andre Budzien was presented with the Canada Centennial Cup, the OK Sculpture and a new trophy for this year, presented by Paul Elvstrøm, for the sailor with the highest points without discard.
The prizegiving ended with six more inductees into the OKDIA Hall of Fame. Started in 2005, these awards are given to people who have made a significant contribution to the class or have excelled on the water. The six awards this year went to:
Nick Craig – four time world champion in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2011
Greg Wilcox – world champion in 2002, past OKDIA President
Knud Olsen – designer of the OK
Axel Damgaard – co-designer and early promoter of the OK Dinghy
Svend Jacobsen – first world champion in 1963
Paul Elvstrøm – big influence in design of OK Dinghy rig and encouraging growth of class.
Next year the OK Dinghy World Championship is being held in Pattaya, Thailand, the second time the class has ventured into Asia and early signs are that it will be a very popular venue for the OK fleet.
Overall Results: (top 5)
1 GER 762 André Budzien 27pts 2
2 NZL 544 Greg Wilcox 32pts 3
3 SWE 100 Thomas Hansson-Mild 39pts 4
4 GBR 2150 Nick Craig 69pts 5
5 DEN 1377 Jørgen Holm Nielsen 74pts
Optimist World Championship at Boca Chica, Dominican Republic – Overall
The best was kept for the end at the Opti Worlds with the weather being ideal for the last day of the Championship. A sunny and clear sky, with a breeze of 10 knots was the perfect combination for the conclusion of the event.
Two races sailed for all groups with several general recalls and black flags. Yokoyama Elisa Yukie and Neo Samuel Jiun Jie from Singapore had their own battle for first place and the rest of the fleet did not seem to be important to them. They both scored a bullet and had only one point difference when going to the final race. Right behind them was their compatriot Goh Jessica Kai Ling that also scored a bullet and was only one point behind second.
All were to be judged in the final race except for one thing, Singapore had secured all the podium places and left no chance for other countries to claim one. Bart Lambriex from Netherlands had an equally good performance scoring a 6th and a 1st place and managed to break Singapore’s domination, throwing Loh Jiayi to fifth place overall with Lambriex claimed fourth.
Yokoyama and Neo continued their flawless performances, scoring another bullet each meaning that Yokoyama is the new Optimist World Champion for 2012. Neo was only one point behind him in second place and Goh, after a bad performance in the last race, took third place overall.
Sweden’s Nevhagen and Jarudd took 6th and 8th place respectively and went between USA’s Shestopalov and Muller that finished 7th and 9th. The top ten completed by Janezic from Slovenia.
A wonderful Closing Ceremony followed, with the organizers giving thanks to all participants and volunteers in a ceremony hosted on the beach! Surely, a unique Championship to be remembered, for the 50th anniversary of the Opti Worlds and the first time that a nation claimed all three podium places.
By Icarus Sailing Media, All photos © Matias Capizzano