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Friday, January 8, 2016

Josh McKnight Crowned 2016 Australian Moth Champion

Last day lethargy affected many of the fleet on the last day. With just 15 minutes to the warning signal, the boat park was still full when the realisation finally hit home that some would fail to make the start. As the warning signal was hoisted, there were only 27 boats on the water. Many more made a frantic run to the start, arriving with seconds to spare and some missed the first of today’s races altogether.
Josh McKnight Photo: Bernie Kaaks
The sole British entry, Ed Chapman, jumped out of the blocks and quickly established a good lead, which he never surrendered to post his second win for the series.

Weather conditions for the last three races were most unusual. Under stormy skies, an easterly breeze at about 15 knots made for good foiling conditions, but violent swings in direction made control difficult and even the reliable Josh McKnight had a big lose at the gybe mark.

He finished the race after completing just two of the three laps. That was his only blemish however, as he won the second race by several hundred metres and then finished the regatta with another win in the final race. That performance gave McKnight a very creditable 12 wins from 15 races, emphatically underscoring his domination in this championship.

During the second race a bank of dark storm clouds rolled in from the east, punctuated by flashes of lightning. Radar showed a big rain squall approaching so there was some urgency about getting the last race under way. It was started in 18 knots of breeze, but the anticipated squall came through during the final lap, bringing with it some isolated gusts up to 30 knots, but was completed without incident. Support craft immediately rounded up all boats to return to the security of the beach without delay.

The clear regatta winner was Josh McKnight from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, followed by the very consistent Tasmanian, Rob Gough, who might have been a little worried about his position after third placed Ed Chapman won the first race, but put the issue to rest with his usual efficiency in the final two races, posting a pair of seconds. Chapman, carrying the Union Jack, finished third.

Royal Perth Yacht Club’s Steve Thomas also sailed a very consistent regatta to finish fourth, ahead of Victorian Andrew McDougall.

The regatta was sailed in great spirit. The South of Perth Yacht Club were efficient and affable hosts and the Swan River provided a very good venue – good viewing from the clubhouse and a wide range of sailing conditions to give sailors a balanced regatta.

For full results see >>>

Bernie Kaaks

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