ups and downs
Fast foiling to barely moving, leaders to DNS, Day 2 of the Puma Moth Worlds has certainly had its ups and downs! The first race today saw a northwesterly of about seven knots which had the fleet foiling off the line. However, it dropped and shifted right, and after a number of left-siders gybe-tacked (gacked) and headed on over to the right, the whole fleet fell off their foils. Andrew McDougall continued his winning ways, calling a perfect layline to the top mark and outpacing the fleet, winning by about 100 yards after the skewed race was shortened. after 1. He had a slight hiccup in the second race of the day (11), but bounced back in style with a 2 in the last race, giving him 15 points, which keeps him in the lead by nine points at the moment. Can he keep this pace up?
2006 Moth World Champion, the speedy Simon Payne, scored a deuce in the first race of the day and followed it up with a bullet in the second. Just when he had it fully dialed in, his soft Mach 2 spar broke while in top five position on the first beat, which landed him a DNF (45) for the last race. When he gets to throw the 45 tomorrow he’ll likely rocket up the leader board.
US sailor and former Olympic laser helpful Brad Funk (pictured above) came roaring to life in the last race of the day with a bullet going away. This race had plenty of pressure and full foiling was in effect. He kept his lead through the three-lapper by banging the right-side and staying real fluid around the corners. At 25 points, he is only one point away from second place, Michael Lennon, who is quietly keeping it consistent. Michael and fourth place Scott Babbage are the only two who have all single digit finishes.
2009 Moth World Champ and US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Bora Gulari, had a tough go of it in the last race when he managed to pick up two plastic bags. From what I’ve heard, there is no short supply of foil draggers off the Dubai coast with quite a few competitors hooking up garbage. Class president Mark Robinson picked up one, and one racer actually picked up the same blue bag on two different laps! Bora was a solid top three during the race, but still managed to come back to seventh. He is one point in front of the second place finisher from the 2009 Worlds and current European Champion, Arnaud Psarofaghis. Bora and Arnaud are both known for their high wind skill and top speeds, which they haven’t been able to showcase so far at this World Championship. The forecast isn’t for the wind to stiffen up this week, so they’ll need to grind it out and find a way to win.
Chris Graham who won the lead-in regatta, the UAE Nationals, is currently in fifth place. He gave us an earful twice today when he thought the RIB Mer and Petey were on repeatedly cut across the course laying a high wake for him to sail through. In marginal foiling conditions, boat wakes wreak havoc on Moths. Of course, we had no friggin clue what he was talking about since we were a little busy doing a live show called On The Water Anarchy. Clean gave it back to him in style and he foiled off. As it turns out, Shirley Robertson’s CNN Mainsail boat, which is identical to our photo boat, was doing whatever they felt they needed to get their big money shot, and that included running ahead of the boats on their layline all the way to the finish. For once, we weren’t the ones stirring it up! I’m actually a little disappointed about that. I hope we haven’t lost our touch after getting almost tossed from everywhere we went in Valencia.
The 2010 Puma Moth Worlds is only beginning though. Anything can happen on the race course from breakage to flippage, and we still have plenty of time to piss someone off by the end. On our production side, Mer is working the photo angle, Petey and Felipe are busting out vids, Aaron is uploading and keeping the live feed and internet running, and Clean is directing the show. Our coverage starts tomorrow at one o’clock our time, 4 AM on the East Coast. We have more interviews cued up, one with PRO David Campbell-James, and George Peet gave a run-through of the current foiling Moth. Our live broadcast schedule, endless photos, videos, and much more are available via the microsite , and stay with us all week for this fun regatta – we will continue to bring it. -John Casey.