2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships
Preview part 2 by Neil Baker
So who is going to win?
First up is the current holder of the World Championship title, Paul Goodison who is turning up fresh from the America’s Cup and, knowing nothing about how much time he’s had to sail, he’s definitely got a good chance as he is pure quality.
Another strong UK sailor will always be Robert Greenhalgh; usually well prepared and driving some primo, slightly experimental kit, you’d be a fool to bet against him. However, time in the boat is also a challenge for him of late. Well that’s what he’ll tell you anyway.
Sadly the current UK champion, Dylan Fletcher, is not available. As a member of the British Sailing Olympic Squad, he’s being marched off to Kiel to continue the relentless Olympic cycle. Far be it for people to have a break in the first year of the cycle. It’s a real shame as Dylan was unbelievably fast at the UK nationals. Still, his Solid State Rocket, not to be confused with a skate park for mice.
There are plenty of other strong UK contenders but it’s unlikely they’ll fight for the title. Ben Paton has already reserved 4th place and Rashley has moved on to Nacra sailing, it all looks the same to me.
From the Australian contingent we’ve got a huge bevy of talent coming, including former Moth World Champions Josh McKnight and Nathan Outteridge, America’s Cup sailors like Tom Slingsby and Iain Jensen and of course long time Worlds contenders like Scott Babbage and Rob Gough.
Rob Greenhalgh – Foiling Week Garda 2017 day 1 – photo © Martina Orsini
Whilst many of them have been heavily involved in the AC, or several other types of boat, they’ve all got some great kit and will no doubt be loving the idea of getting stuck into racing at Garda. Rumour is a few of the AC sailors went straight from the Cup to Malcesine to get practising.
We also have the other Moth powerhouse nation of America. The main man from their fleet is double world champion Bora Gulari. If he’s on it, he is near unstoppable. Rumours are that he really is on it and he’s had loads of time on the water in a brand new Exocet that has all the trimmings. He will be tough to beat.
Other notable contenders from the USA are always Anthony Kotoun and Brad Funk. Both very fast Moth sailors who consistently push well into the top ten.
There is of course another recent world champion who’s not from any of those countries. Yes New Zealand, there have been some rumours, that a certain Kiwi, let’s call him Peter B, is contemplating a late entry just to stick his hat in the ring. The guy can clearly sail, but one wouldn’t blame him if he had a small hangover after every single living Kiwi queued up to buy him a pint of Steinlager over the month of July. Mind you that’s still only about 25 pints in total so maybe he will be looking fast come Monday morning.
As for the other countries: Well, it would be a first if the title went away from one of the 4 countries above. Not an actual first but the first time in a long while, certainly since foiling took over and in fact a long time before that too.
There are a number of strong fleets across Europe now and of course our Italian hosts would love to see a home win. Carlo de Paoli looked very good at the UK nationals earlier this year and I’m sure he could put in a good show on his home lake but a win might be a touch too far. It could still be a best result for the Italians in recent years.
The Swiss have always been strong, the French and German fleets continue to get bigger and bigger, and they are all sending big contingents to race this year. Sweden, Poland, Denmark and the low countries always have a good few contenders too now.
We’ve also got fleets in Japan and Argentina coming to race – good effort! The Irish fleet gets bigger each year with their own builder now, the Austrians are sending a good few and even a few Portuguese coming. Considering that it’s probably going to take them longer to drive there than it will take the Japanese to fly, you’ve got to admire that.
All in all it’s going to be an exceptional sailing event.