The wheels are dangling by a single bolt on the bus that is the ultra highly anticipated Moth Worlds. Despite sailing just one light-air, low-riding race in the finals the fleet has been bloodied from top to bottom with the carnage spilling over to a humbled race committee who is feeling the pressure and has used their one life-line in hopes that they can salvage a regatta that’s been slipping away from them.
A few boats again didn’t make it home after sailing yesterday, a two-time world champ got taken out by a press boat, another ended up tangled in the rig of a moored yacht, and one boat dropped a rig without a single race to show for all the effort, and with just two days to go, the pressure is on to do everything possible to get in three a day on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, the Anarchy team went hunting for two elusive species in Southeast Oz: Bogans and kangaroos. We”ll have more on that when our regatta recap/Reality TV episode next week
Peter Burling’s dominant performance, both in the heavy and in the light, means he has a nice cushion at the top of the leaderboard. Following up his unforgettable four-bullet performance in breeze-on conditions on Sunday to own the right side of the course, keep it on the foils and secure a handy third place finish in race 1 of the gold fleet, Burling has now opened up an eleven-point lead over now second-placed Josh McKnight. Japanese Nacra 17 Olympic hopeful Hiroki Goto relied on a special ‘samurai’ foil and some smooth moves at the top mark of the second lap to gybe inside of Chris Draper and take his first ever worlds race win. While Burling, Bora and Hiroki were both happy to be interviewed live aboard M/V Anarchy during the postponement that followed, several other skippers weren’t so stoked to race in non-foiling conditions with just 7 of 80 starters getting around the race track within the time limit. After a three-hour postponement to wait for breeze, the RC finally pulled the plug and called off the day’s second race. With Murphy’s law in full effect, a perfect 12-15 knots built in the late afternoon sending several Moths back onto the course for a beautiful sunset sail.
Following up ‘Super Sunday’ and ‘Mellow Monday’ was ‘Terrible Tuesday’ at the Moth Worlds. With northerly breeze and it’s associated twenty miles of fetch combining with blinding rain and poor visibility to wreck the race course, the race committee was eager to get a race off but gun-shy of sending the fleet out into controversial conditions after the reaming they had taken in social media the day before. At three o’clock, after four hours of postponement, a competitors meeting was held under the marquee with the decision to race or not coming down to a show of hands amongst the sailors. Silver fleet voted almost unanimously to hit the shower and then have a rum in lieu of sailing while gold fleet wanted to get a race off. Almost exactly the opposite as Monday, as soon as the decision was made to go racing, the conditions deteriorated again with northeasterly breeze well into the 20’s and an opposing flood tide at the height of it’s flow creating a virtual minefield of short, choppy waves for the Moths to contend with. Just getting out was going to be a dilemma with the lee-shore boat park, heinous conditions and a large mooring field full of peril. The media, spectators and other competitors watched on in anticipation to see who would be the first one to go out and with little surprise it was Moth builder Andrew ‘A-Mac’ McDougall who led the charge on what was truly a boat-builders day. About 30 Moths followed and what ensued was complete and utter chaos with Moths crashing in every direction, carbon bits exploding and of course, the Bora incident. With half the fleet in the water and the other half afraid to bear away and put the bow down, RC was again in a bind and made the call to go in for the day. The sail back to the beach was just as hectic with as many sailors needing assistance to get back in as those that were able to sail in. The Emirates Team New Zealand boys were amongst the dozen chase boats that stayed out for an hour until all boats could safely make it back to the beach, several of them having sustained too much damage to foils, wands and other bits to sail in under their own power.
The predicted front came through on the lay day, the Club has brought in a class-recommended technical advisor to prevent more gaffes on the RC boat, and the weather should allow for some solid, (if wet and low-vis) racing on the final days of the regatta. We’re looking forward with cautious optimism and will continue to bring it all to you live from Sorrento. Check the thread for the latest.