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Moth Worlds - day 3 - finals series

by Guy Nowell 6 Sep 10:31 PDT 2-7 September 2021
Jacobsen on the start line, Tom Slingsby in the regatta leader's yellow jersey. Redoro Frantoi Veneti Moth Worlds 2021. © Martina Orsini

Catching up with Nicolai Jacobsen: “Today was a solid start to gold fleet racing. I wasn’t really sailing my best during the two qualifying days, so it was really good to fight my way to the top of the fleet in races and 2 and 3 today.

The first race wasn’t so good. I had a great start and sailed the first part of the beat well, but I overstood the layline and lost about five places – I went round the windward mark in around 15th place. On the second beat I fell off the foils in a light patch, and finished 29th. That’s my discard – it had better be!

In the last two races I started well and enjoyed the lighter winds, which eventually resulted in an 8th and a 6th place. That gives me 12th place overall, and I am still aiming for a Top 10 finish – there are six more races to go.”

We wondered out loud how much difference weight makes to Moth performance. Displacement boats and planing boats generally demand lightness, but there is such a thing as too light. This is well-understood. But when your whole boat is out of the water, and canted over to windward like the rig on a windsurfer, there are a whole new bunch of parameters in play.

Out of the water, ‘aero’ is as important to a Moth as it is to an AC75. In the first instance, all foiling Moths had racks and canvas for the wings, with aim of keeping weight down, but now solid wings are happening, too – and they can be shaped, to contribute to good aero… Then there’s carried weight: Nicolai Jacobsen has an additional 5kg in his starboard wing to give him a little more leverage off the start line. Ruggi Tita is another comparative lightweight (no insult intended!) who sails with an extra 7.5kg on each side. It’s a new game, and just like forever Moth sailors are in ‘development’ mode all the time.

Out in front of this regatta by an Italian nautical mile is Tom Slingsby with a perfect magazine of bullets – his discard is a second place. Luca Rizzotti, International Moth Class Assoc President is on camera saying, “the Moth Worlds bring together the very best sailors in the world to fly at Malcesine, the Foiling Capital of the World.” He’s probably right on both counts.

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