Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds 2012 Campione del Garda, Italy - day 1.
Scott Babbage from Australia is leading the Moth Worlds after three bullets in three races on day 1.
Fellow Australian Joshua McKnight and US Virgin Islands sailor Anthony Kotoun are equal on eight points, McKnight leading on count back. US sailor Eric Aakhus is fourth, while 2009 Moth World Champion Bora Gulari, also from the USA, is fifth.
Babbage won the pre-event to the Worlds, the Italian National Open Moth Championships just a few days ago and has carried his form into day 1 of this event.
With a record-setting 125 entries, organizers split the fleet into two groups that alternated on an inner and outer racing area. Getting the right start, ahead of pack, flying to the rocks and tacking under the layline first would practically guarantee a win in the inner course. The steep hills surrounding Lake Garda not only provide a stunning backdrop they also give more pressure to the breeze and the closer you sail, the more pressure you get. There was little tactical brainpower needed further into the race and the leader of the fleet at the first top mark that would avoid stupid mistakes would bag the win.
On the outer loop, further in the middle of the lake, things were much more complicated, or even 'spooky' as Bora Gulari stated. The breeze was much harder to read and a favored side in one race would then fail to pay out.
Still, Scott Babbage managed to tick all the boxes. He nailed his starts, got to the rocks and seemed to always pick the favored side in the outer course, something that his closest opponent, and favorite according to the form guide, Joe Turner, failed to do. Indeed, with the exception of Babbage, the form guide didn’t seem to hold true on the opening day of the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds. Bora Gulari and Turner are fifth and tenth, respectively, while Australian Joshua McKnight and Anthony Kotoun from the Virgin Island had an excellent day and sit on second and third place overall.
Racing resumes on Tuesday and the weather forecast calls for the same type of conditions. The African heat wave passing through Italy results in record-high temperatures that don’t allow the 'Ora', the afternoon breeze Lake Garda is famous for, to develop properly. However, even with 8-9 knots of breeze the Moths are fun and spectacular to watch and the tight leaderboard promises another exciting day.
Joe Turner: 'This was probably one of the worst days of Moth sailing I have ever had in my life. The boat was going very good but the driver was a bit of an idiot. It was a tough day and I think the start line wasn’t set up very fairly. It was extremely biased in the pin end and every one was port-tack starting. People were too scared to start on starboard.
In the first race I tried to port tack the fleet along with everyone else and some guy who was on starboard protested and I had to do a 360. In the second race I tried to call someone up and crashed into another boat. In the last race I sailed OK, I made a lot of mistakes but still managed to finish second.
It was still a relatively fun day on the water. It is always fun to sail on the moth.'
Bora Gulari: 'On the outer loop it was kind of spooky. When I chose the left, the right would pay and when I chose the left, the right would pay. I was a little bit lost on the outside course. I would say that my boat speed was OK, not great but I’m still working on it. It’s still the qualification stage so we have a couple of days before the final showdown.
The starts are probably the most exciting 30 seconds of sailboat racing that can exist as most of the fleet is lining up on port and a few people are lining up on starboard and with closing speeds of 30 knots it gets your heart going. That’s for sure.'
Top 22 Overall:
ZHIK MOTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2012
Campione del Garda - Italia
Results as of 23:41 on August 20, 2012
Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Entries: 117, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Tally BowNumber Fleet Nat SailNo HelmName Club Q1 Q2 Q3 Total Nett
1 3 3 B AUS 3 Scott Babbage WSC 1 1 1 3 3
2 29 29 Y AUS 3776 Joshua Aaron McKnight RPAYC 6 1 1 8 8
3 116 B8 B ISV 3596 Anthony Kotoun VISA 3 3 2 8 8
4 44 44 Y USA 3911 Eric Aakhus Balboa Yacht Club 1 4 5 10 10
5 5 5 Y USA 5 Bora Gulari Bay View Yacht Club 2 2 7 11 11
6 32 32 Y ITA 3791 Francesco Bianchi Club Nautico Marina di Carrara 3 6 4 13 13
7 45 45 B AUS 3631 Julian Salter royal yacht club of tasmania 7 4 3 14 14
8 83 83 B AUS 3900 Andrew McDougall Black Rock Yacht Club 2 8 5 15 15
9 12 12 B GBR 3939 Chris Rashley Royal London Yacht Club 4 7 4 15 15
10 2 2 Y AUS 2 Turner Joe Mothman Woollahra Sailing Club 9 9 2 20 20
11 107 A8 Y USA 3931 Brad Funk Lauderdale Yacht Club 7 7 6 20 20
12 38 38 B NZL 3774 Matt Vincent Auckland SC 10 2 10 22 22
13 78 78 Y GBR 3979 Robert Greenhalgh Stokes Bay SC 4 12 8 24 24
14 88 88 B GBR 3804 Ricky Tagg Hayling Island SC 11 6 8 25 25
15 8 8 Y AUS 8 Rob Gough RYCT 5 3 17 25 25
16 104 A5 B GBR 3836 Simon Payne HISC 6 9 11 26 26
17 48 48 Y AUS 3783 Warren Sare Woollahra Sailing Club 8 16 3 27 27
18 58 58 B GBR 3757 Ben Paton ROYAL LYMINGTON 12 12 7 31 31
19 26 D1 B AUS 3833 James Edward Dorron Manly 16ft Skiff Club 5 14 13 32 32
20 17 17 Y GBR 3805 Tom Offer Rock Sailing Club 17 8 9 34 34
21 87 87 Y GBR 3892 Andrew Friend Queen Mary Sailing Club 14 10 10 34 34
22 40 40 Y GBR 3914 Mike Cooke BCYC 13 14 12 39 39
Full results here Mothe Worlds website by Moth Worlds/Sail-World.com