Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kiwi Magic at 2013 Zhik/CST Composites Australian Moth Championships - Day 3

The 2013 Australian Moth Championship are being hosted by Wangi RSL Amateur Sailing Club on the western side of Australia's largest salt water lake Lake Macquarie on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Jody Shiels Photo: Beau Outteridge
After one of the hottest day in the last few decades, a southerly change arrived overnight and the drop in temperature raised the enthusiasm of the sailors.

Racing got underway on the third day on time in a 15-18 knot SSE breeze. In an attempt to try and keep the fleet out of the big waves whipped up overnight by the southerly change, a slightly smaller course was set with the top mark tucked under Wangi Point.

Surprisingly, the speed of the leaders in the first race made it obvious that the course needed to extended. A further complication occurred when the bottom rounding mark started to drift dangerously close the committee boat. With boats approaching at nearly 30 knots and the gap between the mark and the committee boat rapidly shrinking, the quick deployment of a rib and code flag M enabled the race to continue.

The usual suspects figured in the top group, with London Olympic 49er silver medallist, Kiwi Peter Burling first, Scott Babbage second and Rob Gough third.

The only front runners missing from the top 10 were London 2012 Olympic Laser Gold Medallist Tom Slingsby who went for a swim and Nathan Outteridge, the Moth 2011 World Champion and London Olympic 49 Gold Medallist who broke his wing on the boat and was to retire from today's three races.

With the course extended and extra tackle on the drifting mark, everything was set for a good race and the sailors made the most of it. The front end of the fleet was almost a carbon copy of the previous race with Peter Burling first, Scott Babbage second and current Moth World Champion Josh McKnight third.

In the third and final race for the day, the eagerness of the sailors resulted in a general recall, much to some sailors delight, especially Phil Stevenson who was upside down behind the start boat.

In the subsequent restart everyone got away well and Tom Slingsby come good, but not quite good enough to beat Burling, who ended the day with three bullets. Slingsby took second, McKnight third and Babbage fourth.

After six races, with one drop, Burling leads with seven points followed by Babbage Scott on 10 points, McKnight on 21 points, Dave Lister on 24 points and Rob Gough and Joe Turner equal on 26 points. With racing cancelled on Tuesday, catch up races are scheduled to take place on Thursday from 1:00pm.

See full results here>>>

Tony Outteridge

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