by Warren Sare
The International Moth 2014 Australian Nationals was hosted by Keppel Bay Sailing Club. While the numbers were lower this year with the travel effort to get to central Queensland, those that did travel were rewarded with a very well-run regatta and a host club that really went the extra mile to make all competitors welcome and the event enjoyable. Queensland threw up a variety of conditions with good conditions to start with, strong winds and testing sea conditions in the middle of the regatta but ended with a couple of mild breeze days.
International Moth 2014 Australian Nationals
Whilst Dave Lister started strong with a number of wins defending champion Scott Babbage seemingly had no answer to, when conditions got rough, Lister suffered bruised ribs in a downwind tumble. Others in the fleet also suffered from rib issues on this particular windy, including ever green Les Thorpe who post regatta had a broken rib confirmed. As Lister struggled to move around in the boat for the rest of the regatta, Babbage remained consistent across all conditions to win the regatta with a race to spare.
Josh McKnight started the regatta slowly but came on strong to challenge Babbage but had to settle for second. Kohei Kajimoto was a surprise package performing well across conditions, winning the most challenging race and doing very well in the moderate conditions to end up in third. Andrew MacDougall and Warren Sare battled out for not only fourth and fifth but for the Masters trophy. MacDougall prevailed. Full results can be found here.
The Scows were represented with Andrew Sim coming out on top. Interest in the scows is growing again.
See the below video of the brilliant Dash For Cash where eight of the best moth sailors battled it out for $1000. McKnight took out the win.
There was evolutionary development on show, refinement on all that has worked in the past. Babbage won in his four year old Mach2, McKnight second in a borrowed five year old Mach2. Lister was blistering fast in his four year old home build. It appears that the development has slowed for the moment, efforts are concentrated on tweaking proven gear and improving boat handling.
The next Worlds are in Hayling Island UK in July, then the Australian Nationals and Worlds combine at Sorrento 2015. A strong Australian contingent is expected along with a strong showing from the UK, Europe, Japan, and USA to make up a fleet of over 120 boats. More information can be found at here.