While organizers struggle with pollution issues for Key West Race Week, 100 miles to the North, entry fees for the first event of the 11th Hour Racing Moth Winter Series were ZERO thanks to the event sponsor, an environmental organization. That’s not the only innovation from a strong US Moth Class that now features crossovers from not just skiffs and sportboat superstars, but A-Cats and even Sunfish – Matt Knowles checks in with the report from day one in Key Largo, with photos from Marco Oquendo and a full gallery here.
17 International Moths descended on the Upper Keys Sailing Club in Key Largo Florida for the first stop in the 2014 winter series. In connection with its partner 11th Hour Racing, the US Moth Class is hosting a three stop winter tour dedicated to great racing and spreading the message of environmental sustainability. Day 1 was slalom racing in a fresh breeze that was forecast to build to frightening. A few sailors permitted discretion to thwart valor and stayed on the beach.
After a 6-race qualification series plus a repechage, 8 sailors advanced to the grand final. Just as the boats started, a 30 knot gust rolled across the course. In the end, only two boats managed to flimp back upwind to finish: Antony Kotoun (ISV) took the win over new class member Patrick Wilson (USA) who showed impressive boat handling in the big air. Tomorrow the class turns to fleet racing using an America’s Cup reaching start. Full gold fleet results: 1st Anthony Kotoun (Newport, RI); 2nd Patrick Wilson (Charleston, SC); 3rd Johnny Goldsberry (San Fran, CA); 4th Matt Knowles (Newport, RI); 5th Tommy Loughborough (Barrington, RI); 6th Bora Gulari (Detroit, MI); 7th David Loring (Charleston, SC); 8th Ben Moon (St. Pete, FL).