Saturday, January 12, 2013

Burling Wins 2013 Moth Nationals After Dramatic Collision

Saturday was the final day of racing at the Moth Nationals and as predicted, the weather was not good (stinking hot and no wind). Luckily the Race Committee’s decision to run four races on both Thursday and Friday meant that only one final race needed to be sailed.
Photo: Kingsley Forbes-Smith
The 12:00 noon start was put back and put back as what little breeze there was came from the North South East and West until eventually a mild southerly change came in just before 3:00pm. Even then, the breeze was swinging around considerably making it difficult to set a course. 

Just a couple of minutes before the race finally started, just after 4:00pm, Pete Burling and Scott Babbage crashed into each other, with Scott breaking a wing bar and Pete receiving a nasty cut to his arm and resulting in both retiring. This opened things up for others at the front of the fleet, with Andrew McDougall taking full advantage to chalk up a win in front of Tom Slingsby and Josh McKnight followed by Rob Gough and Joe Turner.

The overall winner of the regatta however was Pete Burling, Olympic silver medalist from New Zealand, with Scott Babbage  second and as first Australian, he was crowned National Champion. Current World Champion Josh McKnight came third just ahead of Joe Turner, followed by Olympic gold medalist, Tom Slingsby with defending National Champion, Rob Gough from Tasmania finishing sixth overall.

A presentation dinner was held at the adjoining Wangi RSL club that evening and along with the formal awards, a number of humorous awards were made, including the Golden Cleat awards. As further entertainment the competitors were given a sneak preview the uncut video version of the 'Bangin’ the Corners Cup' which was held earlier in the week, along with dubious commentating from Randy Cunningham. 

The standard of racing and the level of skills on display were extremely high and the star studded field just keeps raising the bar higher and higher. Many of the competitors plan to compete in the 2013 World Championships being held in Hawaii in September.

Tony Outteridge

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