Monthly Archives: January 2016
Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) – Photos © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy
Sailing World Cup Miami – Overall
The tension on the water at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella was fully loaded as Medal Races across the ten Olympic fleets drew the first big regatta of 2016, the Olympic year, to a close.
Despite many of the top sailors deciding to sit out the regatta in favour of preparing for the upcoming world championships, some of the podium finishers from six days of racing in Miami are likely to feature on the Rio 2016 pedestal in 188 days’ time.
Sailing World Cup Miami also acted as an Olympic qualifier for all ten of the Olympic classes for North and South America with 22 nations across both regions aiming to book their spot at Rio 2016. (See at bottom or report for the successful qualifyers)
In a week plagued by grey skies and fickle breeze the sun shone brightly in Miami but the light winds remained.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) came into the day as the only team who had gold wrapped up. In the remaining nine events it was wide open and in a shifty northern 6-8 knot breeze there were up, downs, disappointments and highs in their numbers.
Olympic medallists such as Robert Scheidt (BRA), Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED), Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) showed their worth, taking the honours in their respective fleets. In the remaining divisions, several new contenders emerged including Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) and Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) who won in world class fields.
Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) claimed gold in the Nacra 17, jumping up the leader board after a tense light wind Nacra 17 race. The Dutch pair occupied third overall heading into the Medal Race with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) in pole position and Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI) in second.
Eight points split the trio beforehand with an unassailable advantage over the chasing pack. The sailors on the podium were decided, but the colour of the medal they’d receive was far from certain.
The leading Australians were penalised at the start and were up against it immediately, crossing the start line well behind the pack. Meanwhile, the Dutch pair got underway without fear and worries as the only way for them was up.
Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) ran away from the fleet to take the race win by a minute over Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP).
The Dutch crossed the finish line third and had to watch the finishers to see if they’d moved up. Waterhouse and Darmanin crossed in seventh and the Swiss in ninth which gave them gold.
“Out there we used our speed well and we went to the left of the first upwind and it paid off,” explained Mulder. “We were leading at the top mark and consolidated. We ended up third which was enough for the regatta win. We were in a perfect position to go full on today and take some risks.”
Darmanin and Waterhouse ended up tied on 119 points with the Dutch but missed out via the Medal Race countback, settling for silver. Buhler and Brugger completed the Nacra 17 podium.
The Nacra 17 fleet will have to go through the emotions again in just a matter of days with the World Championships taking place in Clearwater, Florida, USA from 6 -14 February.
Laser and Laser Radial
When regatta leader Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was flagged by the officials shortly after the start, it appeared Evi van Acker (BEL) had the opening she needed to close the 6-point gap that stood between her and a gold medal. Indeed, Bouwmeester was 10th around the first mark. But van Acker was ninth. These positions held around the second mark. On the third leg, van Acker made her move.
“I went on the right side when the wind was dying, but I thought change was coming,” said van Acker, the bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympics in London. “The wind turned to the right and I was there when it turned.”
Van Acker went from ninth to third on the second beat and then picked up another place on the final run. Meanwhile, Bouwmeester, who had so little trouble moving through the fleet earlier in the regatta, was unable to make any significant gains during the second half of the race. Van Acker’s second, to Bouwmeeter’s seventh, was enough to flip flop the overall positions the two sailors held coming into the Medal Race.
Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) struggled during the medal race and finished last. But none of her rivals for the bronze medal were able to take advantage of the situation and Gunni Toftedal held on to the bronze. Alison Young (GBR) was fourth, with Emma Plasschaert (BEL) in fifth.
Paige Railey (USA) won the medal race and while her move from 10th to eighth didn’t factor into the podium standings it did earn her two additional places in her battle for the U.S. Olympic berth in Rio. Her primary rival, Erika Reineke finished 17th in the regatta and will have to make up 9 places on Railey in Part 2 of the U.S. Athlete Selection Series.
5-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) – Photos © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy
Displaying a veteran’s poise, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) sailed a steady medal race in trying conditions to win gold in the Sailing World Cup Miami. While the positions around him switched considerably over the course of the 25-minute race, Scheidt rounded each mark in fourth place and finished fourth.
“It was a tough race, the wind was light and shifty,” he said. “I was worrying about the French guy as he was the one I had to finish ahead of to win today. He got to the [first] mark ahead of me, which made things very interesting. At the gate we had a split, which was lucky for me as I finished ahead of him. I sailed well this week. The Medal Races are always tough and very close. The day has a huge impact on the result and I took my opportunities today.”
Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA), who made his international regatta debut the same year Scheidt won his third Olympic medal, started the day with a one-point lead in the overall standings. Though he didn’t win the gold, he can be comforted that he was just a place away from defeating one of the sport’s living legends. He’s clearly moving up the ladder and in good position to improve upon his 10th in the London Games.
Scheidt, though pleased with his results this week, knows the work of an Olympic sailor is never done. He’ll take some time to recoup, and then get right back to the grind.
“After this I am taking a break,” he said. “In March I will be back training in Rio. Rio is going to be quite a difficult venue with challenging conditions. I’ve sailed there for 25 years and I still don’t know the place. I’ll try and get myself comfortable with the place.”
Men’s and Women’s RS:X
Bryony Shaw (GBR) made a terrific comeback in the second upwind in the Women’s RS:X to seal her third consecutive Sailing World Cup Miami gold.
After the first lap of the course, Shaw was as low as ninth, leaving Lilian de Geus (NED) first overall. Shaw knew what had to be done and her never say die attitude enabled her to fight and push up the fleet.
On the final upwind Shaw swiftly moved into seventh, sixth and at the top mark had overtaken de Geus and was third overall. She maintained that position through to the finish to seal the deal.
“This week was about consistency,” said Shaw, a Beijing 2008 bronze medallist. “We had a lot of different winds this week so I was happy to sail well in the light winds and strong winds. The focus for more has been on training to prepare for the World Championships. We’ve had a really good quality fleet here so I am pleased to take the win today. It’s good momentum to take into the World Championships.”
De Geus wrapped up the week with silver and Peina Chen (CHN) completed the podium.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) started 2016, an Olympic year, with a big, convincing win in the Men’s RS:X.
Van Rijsselberge finished seventh in the Medal Race, his worst result this week, but his consistency over the series kept the pressure off him as he went in with a nice gap between him and the chasing pack.
“I like Miami and like racing here,” said Van Rijsselberge after competition. “I’ve been coming here for eight years now so I’ve got the place sorted and I enjoy racing here.”
Nick Dempsey won the Medal Race finishing six points off the Dutchman to pick up silver and Aichen Wang (CHN) rounded off the podium.
No class had more sailors enter the medal race with a shot at the gold. Six Finn sailors started the final contest with a legitimate shot at the medal. Adding to this was a light, shifty breeze that provided plenty of passing lanes. But when the dust had settled the top two sailors entering the race, Jorge Zarif (BRA) and Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, were the top two in the final results.
“It was really hard as everybody was really close before the race,” said Zarif. “I thought the left side of the racing area was paying a little bit more. I tried to be there more than the others and it worked well.”
Zarif held the lead around the first two marks, but dropped to fourth on third leg when a big left shift jumbled up the standings. On the fourth leg he ground back to second place, where he finished. Arkadiy Kistanov of Russia won the Medal Race and was able to vault from fifth to third in the overall standings. Jake Lilley (AUS) was fourth in the race and third in the overall standings.
For Zarif, who hadn’t previously won a World Cup race, this was a significant victory as he prepares to compete for the home crowd in Rio.
“Next we will have 15 days of training in Rio now with Rafa [Trujillo] my coach and then we go to the Europeans, Palma, Hyeres, the Worlds and then back to Rio,” said Zarif. “I was happy with the week I had, but I could have finished sixth or first today. That could have easily happened if something bad happened today. I just tried to do the best I could.”
Men’s and Women’s 470
For the Men’s 470 fleet, the crucial moment in the Medal Race came right at the starting gun. Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA), one of three teams that entered the race in a virtual tie for first, controlled the left end of the starting line and were able to tack at the gun and cross the fleet, putting themselves in a very strong position right out of the starting blocks.
“We saw an opportunity at the start and we were able to take advantage of it and get an early lead on the fleet,” said McNay, a two-time Olympian in the 470. “Dave called some great shifts on the first upwind.”
McNay and Hughes rounded the first mark with a 30-second lead over the fleet and never looked back, at least figuratively. In light conditions, no lead is ever truly safe.
“It was an easy race course to become frustrated with as it was very shifty and variable,” said Hughes. “By the same token, the teams that did well at this event just embraced it and played it forward from whatever position they were in. We are happy to better them all in the end.”
The most interesting battle of the race was for the silver medal, with Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) rounding the first mark separated by just 4 seconds. On the second upwind leg the Greek duo was able to put over a minute on their rivals and all but clinch the silver medal. Jacob and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders finished second in the medal race and moved up a spot, to seventh, in the overall standings.
McNay and Hughes will hope to carry the momentum they earned in Miami this winter into the class’s world championships in Argentina in February.
“This is the third of three events in Miami this winter and we can proudly say we have won all three of them,” McNay said. “We felt that to do that many competitions back to back to back would be the best way to prepare ourselves for the upcoming World championships.”
Consider it a job well done, on to the next challenge.
“There are many events between now and Rio and we are just going to chip away at one event of a time,” said Hughes. “We’ve got lots to work on and as with any Olympic campaign there are a lot of different boxes to tick.”
Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) started the Medal Race much the way they started the regatta, in last place. The first race of the event, which might seem like it took place a month ago given the twists and turns of this event, resulted in a DSQ for the Chinese team. Likewise, the first leg of the Medal Race didn’t go well and Chen and Gao rounded the first mark in last place, 48 seconds off the lead and in real danger of missing the podium entirely.
But in the light and shifty conditions, persistence was the key; and passing opportunities were there for the taking. Chen and Gao found a few on each of the next three legs, moving to sixth on the first run and then to third on the final run. Meanwhile, their chief rivals for gold, Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) and Fernanda Oliveira and Luiza Ana Barbachan (BRA) found the going much more challenging. With those teams finishing in eighth and 10th respectively, Chen and Gao claimed the gold medal, with the Austrians in second and the Brazilian team, which led for much of the regatta, in third.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) – Photos © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy
49er and 49erFX
Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) ventured into the 49er Medal Race with a strong lead and as they came through in second, a convincing victory was signed, sealed and delivered.
Portugal’s Jorge Lima and Jose Costa had an outside chance of overthrowing the Spaniards but Lopez felt no worries as he explained, “For us we had to take control of the Portuguese guys today. We had a 12-point advantage so we wanted to control them with some tactics to win.
“We finished second, which was a really good result for us and we won. We’re really happy.”
Lima and Costa settled for silver and Carl P Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark (SWE) completed the podium.
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) had gold all sewn up before the Medal Race so the pressure was off.
The real battle in the 49erFX was for silver and bronze with Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) and Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga (SWE) split by one point.
Hansen and Salskov Iversen were sublime in the Medal Race. Chased by the Swedes they did not let up. They led from the off and used their superior boat speed to pull away and claim a well deserved silver medal.
From now on, it’s full on to Rio 2016 with World Cups, World Championships and continental championships coming thick and fast before the flame is lit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 2016.
The 470s, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS:Xs will have to reset quickly with their World Championships taking place in February. The remaining fleets will hold theirs later on this year.
For full results see: www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
Sailing World Cup Miami acted as an Olympic qualifier for all ten of the Olympic classes for North and South America with 22 nations across both regions sending sailors with one aim, to book their spot at Rio 2016.
After the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships and the 2015 Class World Championships, Sailing World Cup Miami was the last chance for sailors to qualify.
The following nations have qualified in the following classes:
North – Canada
South – Chile
North – Canada
South – Chile
North – USA
South – Chile
North – USA
South – Chile
North – Canada
South – Uruguay
North – Mexico
South – Venezuela
North – Bermuda
South – Peru
North – Canada
South – Argentina
North – Canada and USA
South – Venezuela and Colombia
North – Canada
South – Argentina
Photos © Robert Hajduk / WMRT
World Match Racing Tour Monsoon Cup – Overall
Ian Williams (GBR) dominated Taylor Canfield (ISV) to win the Final of the Monsoon Cup 3-0, sweeping the GAC Pindar skipper to his sixth World Championship title on the World Match Racing Tour. Williams has extended his record as the most successful match racing skipper in the history of the Tour.
While Canfield was getting the better of his arch-rival in the pre-starts, once out of the blocks GAC Pindar was just coaxing maximum speed out of the FarEast 28R keelboat on the challenging, ever-changing Straits of Johor.
The British skipper admitted that the US Virgin Islander had brought his ‘A game’ to the pre-starts, as US One managed to stick penalties on GAC Pindar in both of the final two matches. However Williams had a clear boatspeed edge that left Canfield scratching his head. The British skipper paid tribute to his team – mainsheet trimmer Gerry Mitchell, headsail trimmer Mal Parker and tactician Chris Main – for digging him out of a few holes.
“I can’t say enough about these guys, I feel like I let them down a bit today. A fantastic job by all of them and to come back in that last race, buried off the line, a penalty down, to be able to overtake and sail away was just amazing. Chris was nailing the shifts, and Gerry and Mal were keeping us fast. We could cross when we needed to, and that was the key to that match.”
Canfield, the 2013 World Champion, was understandably downbeat. “After dominating all three starts, it’s definitely not what we hoped for,” said the US One skipper, for whom the new era of M32 multihull racing can’t come fast enough. “Ian and his guys sailed a hell of a day; they took down Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and took us down in the Finals. We thought we were going pretty well, starting well, but they simply outsailed us in the Finals. I’m looking forward to the next rematch.”
The previous evening, Canfield had attempted to upset team morale on GAC Pindar by announcing that he would be racing next season with Williams’ tactician, Chris Main. However, Williams said the announcement had achieved the opposite effect. “I think it really helped clear the air between me and Chris. It galvanized the team and really helped lift us to a higher level today. So, thanks for that Taylor!” And so the bitter rivalry continues as the Tour moves into multihulls. “It does feel like the end of an era,” said Williams of his time racing monohull keelboats, and now looking forward to a new format Tour in high-speed M32 catamarans. “It’s an era we’ve dominated, thanks to these guys, and thanks to GAC Pindar.”
The path to the Final had been very straightforward for both teams, with Williams outsmarting Hansen in all three pre-starts to win 3-0, the same score by which Canfield dispatched Eric Monnin (SUI).
In the Petit Final, Hansen beat Monnin 2-0 and took 3rd overall in the regatta. “We’re disappointed we didn’t manage to do better this time,” said the Swede. “We were quite depressed after we came in from the Semi Finals, but I have to admit after watching the Finals and what Ian and his team did, picking almost every shift, having fantastic speed in the boat, maybe we weren’t so bad. I’m extremely impressed with GAC Pindar. They really deserved the win this time.”
Now the teams have just a month to regroup and ready themselves for a very different challenge in Fremantle, Australia, where we will see teams doing battle in M32 multihulls for the first time, competing on the World Match Racing Tour 2016.
2015 World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard:
1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 142pts
2. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 132pts
3. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing 130pts
4. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 100pts
5. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox 96pts
6. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 96pts
7. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing 92pts
8. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 76pts
9. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing 76pts
10. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing 65pts
Monsoon Cup Overall Results:
1. Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
2. Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
3. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Nautiska Racing
4. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team SailBox
5. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing
6. Nicolai Sehested (DEN) Trefor Match Racing
7. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
8. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team
9. Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing
10. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Corbett Racing
11. Maximilian Soh (SIN) Team Red Dot
12. Hazwan Hazim Dermawan (MAS) hazOne Racing Team
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar bt Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 3-0
For all the standings and scores on the Monsoon Cup visit wmrt.com/component/wmrt/event_results/105.html
Photos © GC32 Racing Tour
For 2016, its fourth season, the GC32 Racing Tour is taking a fresh approach with the simple remit of visiting venues that will provide the optimum foiling conditions for the 32ft flying catamarans and the best, most high octane racing for its teams.
To minimise transportation time and cost, while maximising time on the water for competitors, the circuit is also this year located exclusively in southern Europe.
The schedule for the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour is as follows:
•26th-29th May: GC32 Riva Cup, Riva del Garda, Italy
•7th-10th July: GC32 Malcesine Cup at The Foiling Week, Malcesine, Italy
•3rd-6th August: 35 Copa del Rey MAPFRE, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
•22th-25th September: TBA
•13th-16th October: Marseille One Design, Marseille, France
The 2016 GC32 Racing Tour opens with two regattas on Lake Garda. This Italian lake is considered one of the world’s must-visit regatta venues. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, with its northern end nestled within the Alps, surrounded by giant mountains, but it is renowned for offering exceptional wind conditions and flat water. Thanks to this perfect combination, it was here in 2014, that the SPAX Solutions GC32 set a new class speed record of 37.9 knots (although bettered last year by Alinghi, which managed 39.21 knots on Lake Geneva during training).
The first regatta will be held out of Fraglia Vela Riva located in Riva del Garda, in the lake’s northernmost corner. The club is a favourite championship venue, especially with dinghy and Olympic classes and last year alone hosted World Championships for the Cadet, Topper and Musto Performance Skiff classes.
For the second, the GC32s move to the eastern shore of Lake Garda to Malcesine, where it will join The Foiling Week with racing organised by the Fraglia Vela Malcesine. The Foiling Week is an international gathering for foiling enthusiasts and combines shore-based technical discussions and presentations from leading international foiling experts, including America’s Cup designers, and racing for a mix of popular foiling classes such as the Moths, Flying Phantoms and innovative one-offs as well as the GC32s.
The third event of the GC32 Racing Tour sees the fleet moving from Italy to Spain, where it will compete in one of the Mediterranean’s leading regattas, 35 Copa del Rey Mapfre. Racing here is held on the Bay of Palma, another of the world’s top regatta venues, renowned for its consistent sea breeze – more than adequate to get the nimble GC32s foiling.
135 boats, ranging from Maxi 72s to one designs such as the popular J/80, competed at Copa del Rey Mapfre in 2015 and the arrival of the GC32s this season is significant as it will be the first occasion the organisers, the Real Club Náutico de Palma, have allowed multihulls to compete at their premier event. The GC32s will sail on their own dedicated course with the class’ regular umpires and race management team, led as usual by Anne Mallédant.
Javier Sanz, President of the RCNP welcomed the GC32s: “Integrating the GC32 into the 35th Copa del Rey is the big story of this year’s regatta. These ‘flying boats’ represent the cutting edge in sailing and we, as organiser of one of the most important events in the Mediterranean, want to incorporate this very latest style of sailing into our regatta.
“One of Copa del Rey’s goals is to have the best sailors and boats. The GC32 Racing Tour fits perfectly with that philosophy.”
Details of the venue for the fourth event are being finalised and will be announced soon.
The 2016 GC32 Racing Tour concludes – as it has done for the past two seasons – with Marseille One Design, held on the Rade Sud off France’s second city.
Marseille is renowned for being a big wind venue and offers an attractive backdrop of the Frioul Islands and the city, topped by the impressive Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde church. The event is organised by Sirius Events as part of Marseille’s build-up to being European Capital of Sport in 2017 and the potential Olympic sailing venue, if the Paris bid wins to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
GC32 Class President Flavio Marazzi commented:
“The venues this year will provide an ideal mix – from high speed foiling on Lake Garda to one of sailing’s biggest regattas, the Copa del Rey, concluding with our season’s grand finale, Marseille One Design. All our venues have been selected so that they provide the GC32 crews with the best conditions for foiling.”
At present eight GC32 teams, including some of the world’s top teams such as Spindrift racing, have signed up to join the GC32 Racing Tour in 2016 and numbers are expected to swell to more than 10 over the season.
Christian Scherrer, Manager of the GC32 Racing Tour said: “I’m very much looking forward to the 2016 GC32 Racing Tour. We have some great venues, which will provide the best possible sailing for the GC32s with new events on Lake Garda as well as our first participation at the Copa del Rey MAPFRE, the top regatta on the Mediterranean. The interest shown and the number of teams that have confirmed their participation this season, shows that the new philosophy of the GC32 Racing Tour is working.”
An additional special event for the GC32s, will be the GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee, being held on Lake Traunsee, Austria over 12th-15th May. This will be fourth time racing for the GC32s has been held out of Gmunden, a popular resort and spa town on the north shore of this picture-postcard 12 km long by 3km wide lake. The GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee will be a match racing event (with fleet racing to determine the seeding). As an added attraction, it will have prize money amounting to 30,000 Euros.
Photo © Sara Proctor / Quantum Key West Race Week
Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 – Overall
Lightning, thunder and torrential rain opened the final day at Quantum Key West 2016, with organizers debating if the conditions were safe to proceed with two races to finish the J/70’s, Melges 24’s and C&C 30’s in Division 2 and one for all other classes.
With several titles at stake, but bad weather threatening, this was not an easy call. Forecaster George Carras from Commander’s Weather described the moist tropical conditions in the atmosphere as “juicy and unstable,” with a chance for more cells, but with nothing on the radar the fleet headed out of one more day of battle.
When they got out the harbour and headed into the southerly, the forecasted 8-15 knots turned out to be 20+ and building, with monstrous seas enhanced by the south-flowing ebb tide, especially in the Division 4 and Division 1 pre-start course areas. These seas hampered the Race Committees in their efforts to set marks and establish their race courses, so the PRO’s pulled the plug for these classes for the day.
But racing proceeded on the Division 2 and 3 areas where the ebb tide was not as strong and produced nothing more serious than some OCS calls for some teams.
“It was wild out there. For the last couple legs the wind was north of 30 knots and the waves were real big. We hit 16 knots surfing downwind with the kite,” said Robin Team, skipper of the ORC 1 class champion Teamwork. A win in this final race gave the North Carolina boat a total of seven bullets for the week with a low score of 13 points, five better than fellow J/122 Orion.
Photo © Max Ranchi / Quantum Key West Race Week
Elsewhere on Division 3, skipper Henry DeGroot and his crew on Wired completed an impressive victory in ORC 2 class by winning Race 10. Simona Pasqua served as tactician on Wired, which won five races and finished second in four others in totaling 16 points – 10 less than runner-up Rattle N Rum, a GP 26 sportboat skippered by Mike Beasley.
Mike Bruno and the Wings team led at the end of each day’s racing en route to topping J/88 class. Bruno won Race 3 then finished second in five of the last six starts. This was Bruno’s first trip to Key West as skipper of his own boat. It was only his fourth event since taking delivery of the J/88.
Skipper Carlo Alberini and the crew of Calvi Network also led from start to finish in capturing the J/70 overall class win for the second straight year in Key West. Branko Brcin called tactics for Alberini, who got the gun in five races and finished second or third in four others to finish with an impressive 15 points.
Skipper Peter Duncan and the Relative Obscurity team were runner-up in J/70 class with 27 points, four ahead of Tim Healy and the Helly Hansen crew. Skipper Luis Bugallo and the Spanish sailors on Marnatura were the top Corinthian entry, finishing seventh.
Fernando Campos Marquez (spinnaker trimmer), Enrique Freire Faria (jib trimmer), Jose Luis Freire (tactician) and Gerardo Prego Menor (bow) crewed aboard Marnatura, which earned the Quantum Corinthian Boat of the Week award.
It was a wild ride for all the boats on Division 2 with the J/70s, Melges 24s and C&C 30’s not enjoying the slamming upwind but reveling in the planing downwind conditions. British skipper Richard Thompson steered Black Seal to overall victory in the 12-boat Melges 24 class, overtaking Blind Squirrel by winning Race 10. Jamie Lea called tactics for Thompson, a class veteran who achieved a bucket list item by winning their class at Quantum Key West 2016.
Skipper Walt Thirion and the Themis team placed fourth in Race 10, but held on to edge out closest rival Extreme2 (Dan Cheresh) by just two points in C&C 30 class. Geoff Ewenson called tactics on Themis, which won two races and placed fourth or better in seven others.
Division 1 principal race officer Ken Legler said steep waves he estimated at six feet battered the committee boat and made it almost impossible for the volunteers onboard to do their jobs. Because the situation was unmanageable, Legler was forced to abandon racing on his course.
That means the results from Thursday stand and made Quantum Racing a narrow winner in IRC 1 class over fellow TP52 Spookie. Skipper Doug DeVos, who won the same class at Quantum Key West 2014, closed the regatta with three straight wins to nip skipper Steve Benjamin and Spookie by a half point. Morgan Larson served as tactician aboard Quantum Racing, a multi-time winner of the 52 Super Series.
DeVos also had high praise for Benjamin, who was just named 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. Spookie also had four bullets and three seconds with the difference in the regatta coming down to a fourth place finish in Race 3 for Benjamin’s team.
“Steve and the entire Spookie team are terrific, just outstanding sailors. It was neck-and-neck the whole way. They sailed incredibly well and really pushed us hard. Fortunately, we were able to eke out a few seconds here and there on the race course,” said DeVos, who was presented with a special award for his contributions to the sport of sailing at the final prizegiving ceremony.
Photo © Max Ranchi / Quantum Key West Race Week
Bella Mente, which clinched victory in the Maxi 72 class on Thursday, was selected as Quantum Boat of the Week. Skipper Hap Fauth steered his big blue boat to first place in six of nine races in a class that was extremely close this year.
Two of the most dominant race week champions were on Division 1 with Christopher Dragon capturing IRC 2 by 13 points and Skeleton Key securing J/111 class by 14 ½ points. Owned by Andrew and Linda Weiss this Sydney 43 finished second in Race 1 then proceeded to reel off eight straight wins. Legendary sailmaker Butch Ulmer served as tactician and Larry Fox as navigator for Weiss, who has known both men since he was 14 years old and crewing on his father’s boat.
Christopher Dragon led at every mark rounding from Race 2 through 9. Weiss said the Sydney 43 performs very well in heavy air, which prevailed all week in Key West.
The Sailing World Trophy honouring the best performing team composed of junior sailors went to the crew of Eagle’s Eye, Matt Wake’s Fareast 28R in ORC Class 2. The crew of Sam Tobio, Grant Boicheff, Nevin Avilza, and Blaire McCarthy are from the St Petersburg YC Junior Sailing team, and along with Todd Fedezsyn had an average age of only 21 years old.
Skipper Peter Wagner and the Skeleton Key crew made a successful debut at Quantum Key West, winning J/111 in dominant fashion.
Defiant, a New York 40 owned by John Streicker of New York City, won all three-distance races in the Performance Cruising class, a new feature at this year’s event. The entries in both this class and the multihulls started and finished near the harbor, with courses set around government buoys south of the island.
And the winner of the Multihull class, like the performance cruisers, also won in straight bullets: Tom Reese’s Corsair 28R Flight Simulator beat the much larger (and luxurious) Gunboat 60 Arethusa, owned by Phil Lotz.
Complete results, photos from Max Ranchi and Sara Proctor, and videos from T2P.TV are available on the event website at www.keywestraceweek.com.
Photo © World Sailing
Sailing World Cup in Miami kicks off the Olympic trail
In just under 200 days 380 sailors will be set-up at the Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finalising their preparations for the greatest sporting spectacle, the Olympic Games.
On 5 August the Rio 2016 Olympic flame will be lit, signalling the start of 17 days of sport. For sailors to get to an Olympic Games they have to play their cards right, qualify their country, qualify themselves and fine tune their physique and boats so they’re fully optimised for the stresses and strains an Olympic Sailing Competition provides.
In order to do exactly that, sailors will be using the first shuffle of 2016 in Miami, USA to deal a killer blow to their rivals in the Olympic year. London 2012 gold medallists, World Champions and Rio 2016 medal hopefuls will be among the starters aiming for glory in the ten Olympic and two Paralympic events on show in Miami from 25 to 30 January 2016.
A World Cup podium position is not the only thing at stake in Miami. As a Rio 2016 Continental Qualification regatta for North and South America, several nations will be vying for an Olympic berth. One spot in each of the fleets for both continents will be up for grabs with two available in the Men’s RS:X.
Sailors from 64 nations are gearing up for the first big showdown set to be shown in front of a live audience on the World Sailing TV YouTube channel and on more than ten global broadcasters, Sailing World Cup Miami will provide sailing fans with a window of opportunity to see who is looking strong on the Road to Rio.
Live Medal Races will be available from 11:00 EST on Saturday at youtube.com/watch?v=_V2YQYar0IU
The Nacra 17 will be fiercely contested as Puerto Rico’s Enrique Figueroa and Franchesca Valdes face off against two Canadian teams for the North American spot. Long term campaigners and Olympians Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke will be the main Canadian hopefuls aiming to to overcome the Puerto Ricans. They’ll have compatriots and relative newcomers to the Nacra 17 Maxime Loiselle and Justine Antaya for company in the fleet.
Throughout 2015 the Puerto Ricans faced Ramsay and Girke on six occasions in highly competitive fleets. Figueroa and Valdes finished ahead of the Canadians at World Cup Miami, the World Championships and the European Championships.
Ramsay and Girke were in front of the Puerto Ricans at World Cup Hyeres and Weymouth & Portland as well as the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta.
At each regatta the separation between the teams was minimal. That rivalry will resume in Miami for what could be the final bout between the teams as there will be no second chances for whoever misses out.
As for South American qualification, Guatemala’s Jason Hess and Irene Abascal, Uruguay’s Pablo Defazio and Mariana Foglia and Venezuala’s Yamil Saba and Andrea Saba will go toe to toe for the Rio 2016 spot.
At the head of the fleet World #1 Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) will spearhead a pack of 49 that includes high profile Nacra 17 contenders. Teams such as three-time World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), World #2 Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) and the experienced Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) will all be on the start line.
In the 49er, crews from the British Virgin Islands, Canada and USA will be going for the North American Olympic spot and duos from Chile and Uruguay will aiming for the South American position.
The 66-boat 49er fleet features a strong and seasoned contingent of skiff racers. London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) are amongst the entrants. They are joined by defending champions Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) and Beijing 2008 gold medallist Jonas Warrer and crew Anders Thomsen (DEN).
Newly crowned 49erFX World Champions Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) are amongst the 36-boat 49erFX fleet in Miami. The Italian duo won their first World Championship together in Buenos Aires, Argentina last year and will be looking to bring that form into Miami.
They will be joined by World #1 duo, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), defending Miami champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) as well as three leading Danish crews.
Partnerships from Aruba, US Virgin Islands and USA will be aiming for the North American Rio 2016 place and Chilean sailors are the only representatives from South America.
Forty-nine sailors will compete in the Finn class. London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Jonas Hogh Christensen (DEN), Jake Lilley (AUS) and national favourites Zach Railey (USA) and Caleb Paine (USA) will all be in the running for the medals. Sailors from Argentina and Chile as well as Canada are looking to qualify for Rio 2016 from South and North American.
In the Men’s and Women’s 470, fleets of 24 and 18 will sail on Biscayne Bay across the week. Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) and two-time World Champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) will lead the charge in the Men’s and Women’s fleets.
South American Olympic Qualification will be between Chile and Ecuador in the Men’s and Argentina and Chile in the Women’s. As for North America, Canadian and Mexican sailors will compete for the Men’s Rio 2016 slot and Canada’s Allie Surrette and Ali Ten Hove are left uncontested in the Women’s.
The Laser Radial fleet will be one to watch in Miami with a special trio facing off in the 80-boat fleet. London 2012 gold medallist Lijia Xu (CHN) will be joined by silver medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and bronze medallist Evi Van Acker (BEL).
Alongside Ireland’s Annalise Murphy, Xu, Bouwmeester and Van Acker had a famous four way battle for gold at London 2012 with the Chinese racer coming out on top. Xu stepped away from the Laser Radial in 2013 but after a two-year hiatus she returned to Olympic sailing at the 2015 Laser Radial World Championship.
The rivalry with Bouwmeester and Van Acker resumed instantly as she finished sixth to their second and third. With more miles and training in the bag, Xu, who stole the hearts of the sailing world in 2012 will be aiming to make an impression in Miami.
Denmark’s Anne Marie Rindom continues to excite in the Laser Radial and returns to Miami to defend the title she won 12 months ago. Rindom also comes into the American World Cup regatta off the back of a world championship victory last year and will be aiming for the medals once again.
Much like the Radial, the Laser fleet will feature many of the leading lights of sailing and is set to be a hot contest. Leading Australians Tom Burton (AUS) and Matt Wearn (AUS) are fighting their own battle for selection and will spearhead a fleet that includes key players on the road to Rio. Five-time Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt (BRA), 2014 world champion Nicholas Heiner (NED), Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED), Andy Maloney (NZL), Jesper Stalheim (SWE) and Charlie Buckingham (USA) will be amongst the front runners looking to capture top honours.
Miami will welcome strong windsurfers in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X fleets. London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED) and Marina Alabau (ESP) will be on their respective start lines come Monday 25 January.
Joining Van Rijsselberge in the men’s pack of 59 racers will be Ivan Pastor (ESP), Mattia Camboni (ITA), London 2012 silver medallist Nick Dempsey (GBR) and bronze medallist Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL).
In the 39-boat Women’s RS:X fleet, Alabau will be up against the world’s top four sailors, Defending champion Bryony Shaw (GBR), Lilian de Geus (NED), 2015 Youth Worlds Champion and Italian Flavia Tartaglini.
Racing is set to commence at 10:00 hrs local time on Monday 25 January across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic fleets. Medal Races on Saturday 30 January will bring Sailing World Cup Miami to a close with the races to be broadcast live on the World Sailing TV YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/worldsailingtv
The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking. Live tracking will be available when racing commences via – www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. The competition status screen will be available when racing commences via – www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
By World Sailing
Designer Andrew McDougall on the status of the WASZP
We sailed the boat after installing a new production mast, a new wand control system, production injection parts, and an improved mainsheet system. As you can see from the video the boat is really coming to life now.
The sailor is Harry Mighell, (pronounced My-ell). Harry has taken the Waszp to heart and has been out testing on it more than anyone. He holds the speed record of 24.79 kn. He has been working for us for nearly 6 months now, concentrating mainly on fluid analysis. He has taken over the design of the foil tips from me and has done a magnificent job on that and getting the dynamics of the foil systems right.
You may notice that the sail is cambered (pocket luff). If you read my last blog I was fully committed to going with a bolt rope sail. We are not going that way. We have solved the issue of rigging the cambered sail by simply reducing the weight of the rig. The prototype mast we have been using was a lot heavier than the new production mast, and the new sail is also significantly lighter than the original prototype sail. It’s now much much easier to get the mast in. It’s amazing what a kilo or two will do when it’s 5 m away from you!
We did put a lot of time in on the bolt rope sail. We found two serious issues which we solved, but the solutions were not elegant and did not have a place on this clean boat.
In late November I spent a long stretch at McCongahy and resolved a range of issues.
We built fully assembled master boat to align the ‘Green Jig’ (read more here) to ensure everything lined up millimetre perfect. Everything came together really well and we built the first production hull.
We now have two hull moulds complete and another two in final preparation, along with two Green jigs, so we are ready to build hulls.
At this stage we remain on track for first WASZP’s to start shipping in March.
I just need to finalalize the sail and make sure we don’t miss our production slot.
Apologies for the shaky video, we have not had time to get someone down to do a proper shoot. So it is just me with a basic SLR, without my glasses and hanging off the rocking RIB!
Shared from The Foiling Week blog www.foilingweek.com
Buenos Aires Foiling Long Distance Race 2015
The race was scheduled for saturday 1pm, a decreasing wind forescast was known, but the cat guys couldn´t race the next day, so all foilers went out to start the first class combined foiling Long Distance in BA: 3 Kite Foilers, 4 F20s, 2 As, 2 Moths & 1 FP.
Just before the start the wind dropped from some good 10 knots and only one Kiter was left literally standing, but he managed to dominate the short upwind leg to first buoy and the following reaching mark +500mts to shore. The Kiter established a gap of +1 minute ahead of the Nacra 20s and the top A, Moths and the FP followed behind.
After the Kiter, Nico Ocariz, lead through the offset he just couldn´t get going and it was race over for him as wind kept decreasing in intensity. The rest of the fleet went for a first leg upwind to the turning point mark near BA port.
It was a lottery with lulls , holes and wind from every direction as it tried to establish itself 180° from the North. Nevertheless it was a interesting tactical regatta, where you needed to see the transition taking place and act accordingly, some like the FP crew couldn´t react though as the were stuck too close to the coast while the F20 in last place at the moment went offshore searching for more breeze.
The move payed off and the fastest F18 & F20 foiler local crew, Juan Faustin & Nico Aragones, started foiling upwind! while the others watched in awe (watch shorth video above). These guys were eating distance like melted butter. Meanwhile the leaders, Cruz & Mariano reached the turning point Mark with a good lead, although the raid was far from over…
They decided to go for the last Southern gust near the shore to raise Spi, they gained some meters but wind began to establish a solid North East direction benefiting those who decided (again) to go for the outside, like Juan & Nico and Segio in the A, who was 3rd at the moment.
So in the outside Juan & Nico’s F20 went for an upwind/reach full leg followed by Sergio DNA who was maintaining the speed rythm in that sailing course towards the second last mark that became upwind again on the wind chage direction.
Faustin reached first to that Mark while Smith-Heuser were pointing high from the coast now in 4th place behind Fede-Lucas F20. Sergio reached 3rd to the offset, really close to the leading 20s.
After the final mark Faustin did a short final downwind leg to extend his lead, the A lost too much ground without any spi to raise for the last short ride to finish in 4th place overall.
In the end we could match much performance on the conditions, but it was a first good try who reinforced some aspects:
•Kite Foils (underwater & up) are simply untouchable if they are able to fly the kite, they need +6/7knots – Below that range they are useless.
•Moths did pretty well for moments considering the conditions , but then again, they are another perfect winds machine. Get a caddie for them in long Distance racing.
•The Dna / Decksweeper is quite dangerous for the double handed/ spi equipped foiler on the upwind legs, we did some tests last week downwind with spi for the F20s and it was not contest with the A foiling good.
•F20 vs FP was sadly not measurable in the end this time, so don´t start speculating because is worthless, if lottery breeze would have established from the coast it was advantage for the FP position. The 20s had a way better start though with Juan & Nico lightweight and skills showing off their foiling abilities.
The most interesting performance measure was the start, with photo progression below with the Kite Foiler killing the fleet. Remember it was a short upwind and then a reach offset to start the way to the long distance mark upwind.
1st Juan Faustin & Nico Aragones – Team Forward Sailing: 1:53:07 – F20
2nd Federico Ferioli-Lucas Gonzalez Smith – Team Código Rojo 1:54:33 – F20
3rd Cruz Gonzalez Smith-Mariano Heuser – 1:58:17 – F20
4th Sergio Mehl 2:02:12 – A-Class
5th Sergio Armesto- Ian Rodger 2:05:00 FP
6th Francisco Bellochio 2:16:45 Moth
7th Julio Saubidet 2:17:08 – Aclass
8th Pablo Volker 2:29:03 – Moth
Text and images are sourced and copyrighted by Catsailingnews.com
All Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
Jonny Fullerton talks to two Moth sailors about getting into foiling
Kirsten Norris at the Australian Moth Championships in Perth, WA
JF: How did you start sailing and in what classes?
KN: I started sailing when I was 10 years old sailing a local WA class the Pelican and then 420’s as a kid, then I moved to match racing and keel boats and a bit of Tasar sailing.
JF: Thats very different to a foiling boat like a Moth when did you get the bug to go foiling?
KN: I found that I had become strong as an allrounder in sailing over the years but the area I hadn’t tried was skiffs so I was keen to give skiffs a go and obviously the hydrofoiling side became very popular so I had a go on one of my friends boats once and was hooked so I decided to give the skiffs a miss and go straight for Moth foiling.
JF: So once you got the Moth how long did it take you to get used to sailing it and then foiling?
KN: So what I did was, I probably went out about 4 or 5 times with a friend of mine and we had a Laser and a Moth out and I would take the Laser and when once we were away from all obstacles I swapped to the Moth and towards the end of the 3rd time, I started sailing the boat in by myself so then I could sail it and tack basically, but to be sailing well, it took me about a couple of months. I could foil well but it takes a bit longer to master tacking and gybing on the foils but I am getting better all the time.
JF: It is one thing getting up on the foils and another thing foiling around a race course, thats another step?
KN: Yes absolutely I am just working on that step at the moment, I am looking at upgrading to a more competitive boat, I have become hooked and so keen to give this racing thing a hard go rather than just the joy of foiling.
JF: What are your ambitions for the future?
KN: It’s really addictive after you give it a go, its nothing like anything you have done before, its really challenging, its a whole new aspect of sailing, its really fun, its terrifying when its windy but I am coming to terms with that and hopefully I will get more confident in the wind as well.
JF: Any tips you can give any female club sailors wanting to get into foiling boats like the Moth?
KN: Yeah they are difficult boats to sail, you really need to be good at sailing another dinghy class before you give it a go because a lot of your responses need to be instinctive but once you do anybody can try it at a ‘Try Sailing Day’. You just need to have someone there who does know what they are doing who can give you pointers.
Go sailing in the right conditions, when its not windy you are not going to hurt yourself, you just fall in the water al lot, you just have to persevere. When it gets windy it gets difficult but make sure you tell someone you are going out and make sure there are people around and work up to the stronger breezes.
JF: The boats are very technical aren’t they?
KN: I focused on getting a relatively basic boat that was well set up to start with at first so i could focus on trying to sail it and using all the settings as they were and now I am starting to tweak it more.
JF: Good luck with the rest of your season
KN: No worries, thanks very much
Emma Jane Spiers – 1st female at the 2016 Australian Moth Championships on foiling classes
JF: What type of boats have you sailed before you got a Moth?
EJS: When I came to Australia I had a 29er and then a 49er, then I bought my first Moth six years ago in 2010.
JF: Coming from a skiff background that gave you a good background for foiling but what inspired you to try Moth foiling?
EJS: There was an opportunity to have a go on a demo boat in Woollahra (Sydney) and that was it, I just wanted one, I was hooked!
JF: How long did if take you to get foiling?
EJS: It took me quite a while, I’d say about 6 months before I was able to get around the race track regularly but I had a lot of help from the people at Woolara so I think that was key for me, having other people at the club who could give me advice on how to get a bit quicker.
JF: You have been quite successful in the Moth class?
EJS: I have had success at the Nationals but not at the Worlds!
JF: Well the majority of the female competitors at the last Worlds were Olympic sailors but for the amateur club sailor, what advice would you give to other club sailors wanting to get foiling in Moths?
EJS: Find a club where there are other Moth sailors because it is much easier to fast track is to find people who can explain how the boat works. It is a very friendly class, there is heaps of information on the internet and class sites. You can find videos. If you reach out and ask questions, people will always help you so it actually not as daunting as some might think.
JF: What are your regatta plans for 2016
EJS: I would like to go to the Worlds in Japan if work doesn’t get in the way! I will be very focused on the Worlds in Lake Garda, Italy the following year but I really want to sort out my fitness so I am going to do a lot of cycling this year to improve my fitness.
JF: I wish you all the best with those plans
EJS: Thank you
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Josh Mcknight – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
McDougall McConaghy 2016 Australian Moth Championship in Perth, WA
Thunder and lightning threatened over the Perth city skyline on the final day of the McDougall McConaghy Australian Moth Championships but an early start meant a number of competitors were slow to get afloat for the first of three final races.
The PRO Les Swinton fired his gun for a 3 lap race in a shifty 15 knot NE/E breeze. Britain’s Ed Chapman was still frantically foiling to the start line in the final seconds, rounded the committee boat and picked the first shift perfectly to lead around the course and never look back. Some of the favourites were less fortunate. Runaway leader Josh Mcknight (NSW) hit the ground in one of the many shallow patches and limped round to finish 31st (his second discard). Many other competitors went for a pitstop ashore to change foils due to the the impending storm clouds. Rob Gough (TAS) used the situation to his advantage to finish in second with Reece Tailby from RPAYC in Sydney, enjoying the freshening conditions in third.
Ed Chapman – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
As race 2 started the breeze was already shifting further East and building and the lightning flashing around the shoreline. It was back to business as usual with Josh Mcknight doing somewhat of a horizon job on the fleet with the ever consistent Rob Gough in second. Reece Talby claimed third again.
Rob Gough – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
As the final race approached the thunderstorm really broke and a reduced fleet blasted around the track in a gusty 25 knots with gusts of 30! It was wipeouts everywhere, even the top sailors had control issues especially at the bottom rounding. However it didn’t slow down the flying Sydneysider, who finished the regatta in style with a bullet to build his tally to 12 wins in 15 races. Rob Gough sealed second overall and Ed Chapman settled for third crashing around the course at every turn.
Steve Thomas – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
WA’s Steve Thomas also suffered some impressive face-plants but managed to hold on to 4th overall and Grand Master Andrew ‘Amac’ McDougall (VIC) 5th despite his wipeouts. The fleet got back ashore just before it got a bit ugly.
Emma Jane Spiers (NSW) finished as top female in 30th place.
The host club, the South of Perth Yacht Club did a good job in a variety of testing conditions and hospitality ashore was well received. A large number of spectators afloat and ashore marvelled at the site of the flying moths and it is no doubt the class is growing in WA.
Wakako Tabata – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
A highlights package by Skyworks WA will be sent out over the weekend.
For full results and more info go to:
Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/2016-Australian-Moth-Championships
Sponsors & suppliers to the event include: McDougall McConaghy, Deck Hardware, Zhik, CST Composites, Knee Deep and Matso’s Brewery.
Unstoppable Josh – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
McDougall McConaghy 2016 International Moth Australian Championship in Perth, WA
The moth fleet sweltered in the heat scattered around the boat park at the South of Perth Yacht Club under the shade of trees and in air conditioned rooms waiting for the scorching Easterly breeze to stabilise.
With the thermometer reaching around 42 degrees mid afternoon, race officer Les Swinton sniffed a small window of opportunity to squeeze two quick races in when the sea breeze finally forced its way down the Swan River.
There was a lot of ‘bimbling’ around the boat park and mothies strugglng in their choice of size of foils, (critical to have the right foil for the wind speed as it turns out!).
In race one of the day (race 11 of the series) the unstoppable force that is Josh Mcknight (NSW) again led the fleet round the race track in the short two lap race held in a 11-12 knot WSW patchy breeze.
Places from 2 – 5 changed on almost every leg but the ever reliable Tasmanian Rob Gough sealed second with the lone British competitor Ed Chapman taking third. Andrew McDougall (VIC) took fourth and Steve Thomas (WA) fifth.
Stefano Ferrighi – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
Race 12 started soon after with an extra lap before a big thunderstorm threatened to shut down the breeze again for the day. Andrew ‘Amac’ McDougall bolted off the pin end of the start line timing it perfectly and challenged guess who? (yes Josh Mcknight) for the lead on lap 1 but it didn’t take long for the irresistible force to snatch the lead and never look back. WA’s Steve Thomas pushed Josh hard on the second lap and looked good for second before just losing out to the flying Brit, Ed Chapman on the final lap. Amac dropped a few spots allowing Rob Gough to recover to fourth. Victorian Harold Mighell scored his best result of the championship with a 5th.
Steve Thomas describes his day;
“I started the first race a bit shaky, I didn’t get off the line very cleanly, i worked my way back into the race to score a keeper.”
“In the second race I had a good one, rounding the top mark on the transom of Josh and from there stayed just behind Josh but a couple of crashes off the foils put my back into 5th. But I had a good upwind on the third lap and a reasonable downwind with only one crash.”
“The breeze was a lot further west than the true sea breeze and just surged a couple of times to get everyone excited but it has been quite unusual weather for the last couple of days.”
The two Italian brothers from Lake Garda, Stefano and Gian Maria Ferrighi both had a good day, Stefano with a (5,8) to move up to 7th overall and Gian with a (6,7) to climb to 13th.
Emma Jane Spiers – Images by Rick Steuart of Perth Sailing Photography
First female sailor is still Emma Jane Spiers from Sydney (NSW) who remains in 29th place overall.
So with one more race day to go, Josh Mcknight has one hand on the trophy with a scorecard of no less than 10 bullets as the second discard comes into play. Rob Gough looks quite comfortable in second with 25pts and Ed Chapman of GBR in third with 34pts. Steve Thomas is just off the podium in fourth.
Racing starts earlier on the final day with 3 more races starting at 1100 hrs local. The cold Matso’s beer tasted good on return ashore but lets hope the temperature drops a little for the carbon foils to cool down.
Video of the day by SkyworksWA: https://vimeo.com/150920600
For full results and more info go to:
Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/2016-Australian-Moth-Championships
Sponsors & suppliers to the event include: McDougall McConaghy, Deck Hardware, Zhik, CST Composites, Knee Deep and Matso’s Brewery.
By Jonny Fullerton, Grand Prix Sailing