We took the opportunity the other day to drive down to Mornington, about 45 minutes south of Melbourne to watch some of the world’s leading exponents of the class racing their foiler Moths in the 2012 Aussie Nationals.
From our vantage point on the Mornington Pier we are able to watch the fleet round the weather mark and a nearby clearance mark as they hurtled off downwind again. The leading sailors had mastered the 2m waves and their machines and were well in control as they blasted downhill in the brisk 20 + knot south westerly breeze. For the mid fleet to tailenders however, it was quite a different story as they found themselves in mortal combat with those large waves and their flighty machines. Many appeared to be trying to sail too deep and the crashes and splashes were as spectacular as they were frequent at that end of the fleet. They all persevered in the trying conditions but the course was littered with many upturned Moths.
They all made it safely back to shore and the camaraderie in the boat park was akin to that among gladiators who had survived yet another day in the arena. Plenty of nice sights…
We had met Nathan Outteridge the previous week when he and his sister Hailey graciously attended, spoke, signed autographs and presented trophies at the presentation dinner for the young sailors at the International Cadets Nationals at Belmont on Lake Macquarie. Chatting briefly with him after the days racing yesterday he told us he wished he was back sailing on his home lake, admitting that the big Mornington waves were proving difficult as he had slipped from third overall to fourth on the day.
Moths would surely be one of the most visually exciting and entertaining classes to watch in action, their sheer speed and capsizing antics impressing even non-sailors just out for a breezy stroll on the Mornington Pier. – SPORTSCAR.