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Friday, August 24, 2012

Aussies Rule Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds - Day Five

Campione del Garda, 24 August 2012

Sparring partners Scott Babbage and Joshua McKnight excelled in Friday’s fabulous conditions on Lake Garda. Babbage scored two bullets in the day’s three races and now leads the final series, closely followed by McKnight. Joe Turner’s aspirations for a world title come to an abrupt end due to an unfortunate crash at the first weather mark of the first race.
Scott Babbage Photo: © Thierry Martinez
It might have taken four days for Lake Garda’s famous afternoon breeze to appear but it was worth the wait. The 125 Moths hit to the water off Campione del Garda in ideal conditions. The Ora kicked in on time, blew up to 15-16 knots and the race committee was able to hold three races in the best breeze yet.
Josh McKnight Photo: © Thierry Martinez
The fleet has now been split into Gold and Silver and the competition has stepped up a level.
Photo: © Thierry Martinez
The first race of the Gold fleet had three protagonists, all of them Australians. Scott Babbage and Josh McKnight clearly dominated in conditions they are used to in Sydney, even if Babbage still finds them 'pretty light'. The two sparring partners were a long way in front of the fleet with McKnight leading three quarters of the way. However, Babbage was faster downwind and crossed the finish line ahead.
Photo: © Thierry Martinez
Joe Turner, the third Australian, stole the spotlight in that first race but, unfortunately, for all the wrong reason. While going on the top reach to the distance marker he lost control of his boat and pitchpoled right in front of fellow countryman John Harris. Harris had no time or room to react and crashed into him. As a result, Turner’s boat suffered serious damage that, although repairable, puts an abrupt end to his aspirations of a world title.
Bora Gulari Photo: © Thierry Martinez
Although he likes the strong breeze, Babbage did equally well, or even better, in the softening conditions of the second race. He led from the outset and extended his cushion over second-placed Anthony Kotoun to dozens of boatlengths at the second weather mark. There was nothing Kotoun could do to bridge the gap except hold his position, crossing the finish line ahead of Rob Gough and Joshua McKnight.
Photo: © Thierry Martinez
In the day’s last race Babbage and McKnight inverted their positions with the younger Australian taking the win. It didn’t come easy though. McKnight was in the lead at the first top mark but Babbage got him at the bottom mark. Still, McKnight was again faster upwind and overtook him.
Photo: © Thierry Martinez
Three more races are scheduled for both fleets on Saturday, commencing at 2:00 pm local time.

Quotes of the day

Scott Babbage (AUS): “Josh and I have been sailing a lot in Sydney this winter. He has been my training partner during the off season. I think we have done a bit too much and he now is a threat. When the wind is up a little bit we are much, much faster. The stronger it gets the faster we will be but this is still pretty light.”
Photo: © Thierry Martinez
Josh McKnight (AUS): “I was leading the first race by a long way but Scott got me on the downwinds, he seems to be little quicker downwind. I had a tough one at the first race. I was eighth or ninth at the bottom mark but still managed to climb to fourth at the top mark. It was a good day overall and a good start to the finals. ”
Photo: © Thierry Martinez
Joe Turner (AUS), on his crash: “In the first top mark of the first race I was going across the top reach to the distance marker and I basically lost control of the boat when I was just above John Harris and put it straight in ahead of him. He basically had nowhere to go, no room or time to keep clear and ran into me. It was my fault. I was sailing too high, lost control of the boat and pitchpoled in front of him. It is unfortunate it happened, when and where it did. The regatta is basically over for me and hopefully another Australian will win it.”

2012 Zhik Nautica Moth World Championships
Final Series – Top 10 results after 3 races (1 discard) and qualifying rank

1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1+1+1+(2)=3
2. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 2+2+(4)+1=5
3. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 4+3+2+(10)=9
4. Bora Gulari (USA), 3+5+(11)+3=11
5. Rob Gough (AUS), 12+4+3+(5)=19
6. Julian Salter (AUS), 8+(9)+6+7=21
7. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 7+7+(12)+8=22
8. Chris Rashley (GBR), 5+(12)+9+11=25
9. Jason Paul Belben (GBR), 9+13+5+(22)=27
10. Brad Funk(USA), 18+6+(10)+4=28

For full results visit

Moth Worlds Media

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