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NZ Foiling Moths round out year with two fantastic regattas at Kai Iwi Lakes and Queenstown

by Brad Marsh 28 Dec 2020 23:35 PST 29 December 2020
Lake Whakatipu - Queenstown - Foiling Moth NZ - December 2020 © Foiling Moth NZ

From the winterless North to the Garda of the South, the New Zealand Foiling Moth class finished off a very unique 2020 year with a couple of fantastic regattas over the last two weekends.

The first regatta was held in the pacific paradise conditions of Kai Iwi lakes over the weekend of December 5,6.

The racing was run by Sir Russell Coutts who watched on with intent interest at the recent emerging youth of the class taking on the older and long standing class members. Somewhere in the middle of those two categories was the inclusion of Phil Robertson with his new Bieker designed moth built in NZ by Mackay Boats.

Phil has spent the first part of the year sailing his boat in Sweden and this was his first line up with the NZ fleet where he commented he was “impressed with the skill level at the top of the fleet but also motivated to see the youth and the middle of the fleet showing that the moth can be fun to sail and race against great people”

Two days of racing on an extremely tight track really put the emphasis on manoeuvres and course positioning a look at Matthew Leydon's watch data illustrates this perfectly:

The results are below. Congrats to Graeme Sutherland for a well sailed regatta to edge out Phil at the top.

Special mention to Nick Egnot Johnson for a couple of great results and showing good improvements for the year.


The Garda of the South

Then in typical moth fashion the next regatta was organised for the Garda of the South, Queenstown. Great idea everyone said! Let's do it the weekend after someone said!

So in the dark of the night in the middle of the week a stealth car left Ponsonby for a long road trip to Queenstown with more value sitting on the trailer than any bank manager could ever accept as reasonable.

The trip down went without incident thankfully and the sailors arrived by plane on the friday to set up their boats for a weekend at the Wakatipu Yacht Club again under the watchful eye and direction of Sir Russell.

From the winterless North to the Garda of the South meant not only the location changed, so did the wind conditions. What was white sand, sunshine and light airs at Kai Iwi now changed to cliffs, colder water and strong winds creating the lake chop most dinghies love to surf on...

But not the moth, it is the perfect recipe for cartwheel after cartwheel after cartwheel..


In a battle of attrition, sailors abilities and certainly physical conditioning a clear winner rose to the top in the form of Graeme Sutherland who completed a sweep of both regattas. A notable performance from Mike Bullot in second, followed in third place by the first of the young guns Jake Pye.

Quote of the regatta coming from Matthew Leydon who said “I could have stayed at home and achieved more for less money, it's a long way to go to finish only one race but the experience was unbelievable and the venue was fantastic, count me in for next year for sure”

A huge thank you from the class to the efforts of the Coutts family for running the winter champs regattas and then these last two weekends of racing.

The moth class is in a very strong position at the moment as a result of a lot of interest. The second hand market is very popular and many new people are realising how fun a moth is to sail. Anyone interested in becoming a part please feel free to reach out for advice in entering the class.

The moth class takes a break over xmas as we all eagerly await to see what moth parts are in our xmas stockings (hint hint). The next regatta for us is the North Island Champs in Kerikeri January 30/31 under the stern command of Mark Turner, then we focus on the National Championships that we are holding in conjunction with the Bay of Island Foil Week Feb 18-21.

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