I’ve raced in my share of big championship events, but never have I been on the committee boat to feel the pressure aboard at the moment of the start. Until yesterday, when a light bulb went off in the head of OTW coverage boat driver desert dingo, and we radioed PRO David Campbell-James, who graciously allowed us to raft up to the committee boat for the start of race seven.
But that wasn’t enough for us, and On-The-Water Anarchy production geek Aaron pushed our cameraman and me aboard the RC boat to get the kind of footage that is rarely seen, and pretty much never allowed. And amazingly, the only complaint from James was that I needed to learn to moderate my voice as I called the start for the live feed from next to his head. No surprise there! I’ve gotten that complaint before, in fact Clean told me the same thing just the other day. But of course the RC needs to communicate with one another during the sequence, so I shut up and put the mic next to him to catch his intensity as he did his high-pressure duties. After the start, Campbell-James showed me his anemometer speeds (13.3 high and 9.5 average), and we talked about the racing until the returning boats sent us scurrying. Here is the footage from the start.
The incident finally convinced me that, (despite the opinion of some that the only thing that matters is the racing), the PRO, DOSC, and Class really ‘get it’ when it comes to Sailing Anarchy’s style of coverage. A cutting edge Class helping to provide the world with cutting edge coverage of a cutting edge boat. A match made in heaven. I’m not sure if we’ll be allowed on again, but we’ll give it a shot. (David, if you read this, I promise to whisper – I’ve been practicing all day).
Today was a lay day, though most every competitor went out for a training session, with Dalton, Funk, Bora and Bear working on adding some speed to their packages to move the US Air Force up in the standings. Already, 3 US competitors are in the top 6, and they’re all looking for the podium. In a development class like the Moth, a lay day means not only fixing what broke and resting your body a bit – it also means perfecting some of the experiments that might be rolling around in the average engineer/sailors brain, and the sight of dozens of foils laying around the grassy field at DOSC made it clear that there was plenty of shaping, sanding, and painting to do. Unfortunately for the foils, there’s not much you can do about the two main obstacles on the course: Plastic bags and fully grown manta rays.
It’s not just the 2-point battle for first place between the crafty vet and the upstart Laser kid that fascinates so far. You’ve got some real nationalistic action going on; GBR, USA, UAE, SUI, AUS, with fans around the world watching this stuff, as well as meaningful battles all over the board as we are just short of the halfway point. Like young Marcel Herrera and Alex Buerger, two UAE friends who bought Moths at the same time and train together out of the DOSC. They’re both too young to drink, even in a place where alcohol would be legal, but they sure can sail, and are separated in the "junior" division by only one point
With Linsday Bergan off the course due to a minor (we hope) back injury, Swede Emma Aspington and German/UAE resident Kirsten Sommer are battling for ladies’ honors, with just 4 points separating the girls after 7 races.
Check out the current standings here, and be sure to say ‘thanks’ by visiting Puma Ocean Racing and CST Composites. Remember that CST’s offer for 15% off any carbon-fibre dinghy is still in effect until the end of the week if you mention the CST ‘phrase of the day, which you can find in the DAY 4 THREAD. We’ll be posting everything we do in the Puma Moth Worlds Anarchy OTWA Forum right here, and keep your eyes on the Puma Moth Worlds Anarchy Special Report site for the live racing videos, a schedule for all our coverage, a quick source for our best content.
Photos by Meredith Block, and you can browse her huge photo galley of all the racing and racers right here -JC