Andrew McDougall Andrew McDougall

The Simon Payne rollercoaster ride

Andrew McDougall continues to lead after four races held in the Puma Moth World Championship

Tuesday March 9th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Arab Emirates

Day two of the Puma Moth World Championship was graced with similar light sea breeze and the ‘shamal’ effect, creating a sandy haze over the sea and land that initially meant that you couldn’t see the complete race course. And as with day one, Melbourne-based Bladerider/Mach 2 designer Andrew McDougall continues to lead on 15 points to second placed Mike Lennon’s 24.

Three races were shoehorned in today. The first was held with a 0.9 mile beat with the intention of sailing three laps but with the wind starting at 8 knots and then dropping to 5-6 with large wind holes across the course, it was shortened to one lap. For the subsequent two races PRO David Campbell-James shortened the course to 0.6 miles and 0.75 miles respectively, both held in slightly more stable conditions and pressure the wind topping out at 11 knots on the committee boat.

As was the case yesterday, the marginal foiling conditions separated the experienced from the inexperienced and so it was that Andrew McDougall scored his second back to back bullet of the series. He led up the beat with Britain’s former Moth World Champion Simon Payne and both nearly lost it coming into the top mark as the wind dropped off.

“We tacked on the lowriding layline to not go too far away from the mark, because the foiling layline in that sort of wind is way out and you can’t afford to get caught out in it,” explained McDougall.

When non-foiling, or ‘lowriding’, Moths point like any normal boat and this is the same when up on foils in anything over 12 knots. But in the marginal foiling conditions below 12 knots McDougall says there are two hugely different modes – bearing off on foils, in which case you can be as much as 80degrees off the wind or low riding when you are slower, but only 40-45 degrees off.

“There is definitely a point where you can foil, but lowriding is faster because the angles are just so extreme,” continued McDougall, although he adds that the occasions when this is the case for him are rare with his set-up.

On the run McDougall found the wind going soft and had to take radical steps to keep going. Second placed Simon Payne explained: “AMac was crazy – half way down the run he just hardened up on a lowriding beat and went back in search of breeze, which was almost suicidal. But he got the gust and took it down to the finish.” McDougall had broken away from those chasing him and said he’d been uncertain of how his play would end up at the line simply because in the haze he couldn’t see the other boats. However it went his way

Simon Payne took over the lead of the Puma Moth World Champion after he won today’s second race that left him with a score line of 5-2-1 to McDougall’s 1-1-11. But then on the first beat of today’s third and last race, disaster struck when his mast broke about 0.3m down from the join in the two piece carbon fibre spar. “I’ve never broken one there before, but they are pretty loaded up at that stage,” said Payne. He has since sourced a replacement spar as well as another piece of the 2mm (!) thick Element C6 carbon rigging. A discard kicks in after race five and so providing he does well tomorrow, he could be back at the top of the pile.

As to the race he won today, Payne was first to the weather mark ahead of 2009 World Champion Bora Gulari and spent the rest of the race that way, Gulari a little faster on the run and Payne faster on the beat.

Race three was won by the man with the coolest name in yachting – Brad Funk - who is currently taking a break from Olympic Laser sailing for the US team. Funk had a Bladerider last year which he raced at the Worlds in the Gorge, changing to the Mach 2 in January this year. “It is good racing. I love it. It is a great boat. It is so much fun,” he enthuses about the class.

With Laser Olympic sailing in his blood, Funk is clearly one of the forces to be reckoned with when conditions get a little less...funky, as was the case in today’s third race. Prior to this Funk said he was having trouble starting. “When the breeze is light just realising how early you have to get on the foils - the calibration for that is pretty key. Then just staying on the foils all the way around I had trouble doing that so I definitely lost places when I was doing a little bit better. That is making me want to lose weight more and more!”

In the final race Funk came off the start line well and tacked in pressure, led around the top mark ahead of European Champion Arnaud Psarofaghis. “I tried to minimise the tacks because my tacks are still really poor. I flipped today on one tack. It is a really big loser against a lot of these guys if you can’t tack effectively. But that is just for me. The other guys can tack at will and stay in phase and hit shifts or stay in pressure. That is the only reason I’d tack - to stay in pressure.”

After four races, Mike Lennon is now top Brit, holding second place after scoring a consistent, but slightly below average for him 8-8-6 today. Things could have been a lot worse when the Hyde Sail boss was OCS in today’s first race and had to loop back around the pin to restart. “Fortunately people stopped foiling and that allowed me to get back," said Lennon. "I picked up on the last run when I got foiling and most of the boats around me weren’t.”

With Payne suffering from his last race today and now tenth overall, Adam May is second placed Brit in eighth place, which he is happy with considering his lack of practice prior to this event. He would have been top five had it not been for today's last race when on two occasions he snagged plastic bags with his foils and had to capsize in order to get them off.

Racing continues tomorrow with another three races with conditions expected to be much the same the last two days. We may even get to see the Dubai skyline one of these days.



Pos Helm Type Nat R1 R2 R3 R4 Tot
1 Andrew McDougall Mach 2 AUS 1 1 11 2 15
2 Michael Lennon Mach 2 GBR 2 8 8 6 24
3 Brad Funk Mach 2 USA 3 11 10 1 25
4 Scott Babbage Mach 2 AUS 8 4 9 5 26
5 Chris Graham Mach2 UAE 4 7 7 10 28
6 Bora Gulari Mach 2 USA 12 10 2 7 31
7 Arnaud Psarofaghis Mach 2 SUI 17 9 3 3 32
8 Adam May Mach 2 GBR 6 5 6 16 33
9 Dalton Bergan Mach 2 USA 10 20 4 4 38
10 Simon Payne Mach 2 UK 5 2 1 45 53
11 Rob Gough Mach 2 AUS 11 18 12 12 53
12 Ricky Tagg Mach 2 GBR 9 17 15 13 54
13 Jean-Pierre Ziegert Mach 2 SUI 19 16 13 9 57
14 Mark Robinson Mach 2 SGP 16 23 5 14 58
15 Zack Maxam Mach 2 USA 14 15 14 15 58
16 Tomaz Copi Mach 2 SVN 7 3 45 11 66
17 James Cole Bladerider AUS 21 6 21 20 68
18 George Peet Mach 2 USA 23 14 16 18 71
19 Alex Adams Full Force GBR 18 24 17 17 76
20 Mikis Psarofaghis Mach 2 SUI 15 28 20 19 82
21 Martin Gravare Mach 2 SWE 13 19 45 8 85
22 Marcel Herrera Bladerider UAE 24 13 26 22 85
23 Alex Buerger Bladerider UAE 22 12 24 28 86
24 Paul Hayden Mach 2 GBR 20 22 23 24 89
25 Glenn Raphael Mach 2 UAE 35 35 18 21 109
26 Kerstin Sommer Bladerider UAE 28 25 29 30 112
27 Ben Crocker Prowler Zero AUS 32 27 25 29 113
28 Emma Aspington Bladerider SWE 29 30 28 27 114
29 James Phare Mach 2 GBR 26 21 45 23 115
30 Simon Savage Bladerider UAE 33 36 22 25 116
31 Dougie Imrie Bladerider GBR 27 26 45 26 124
32 Dion Houghton Mach 2 HKG 34 32 27 31 124
33 Rob Fordyce Assassin UAE 30 29 31 35 125
34 Magnus Gravare Bladerider SWE 36 33 30 32 131
35 Tim Penfold Mach 2   38 45 19 33 135
36 Marc Bruegger Fastacraft UAE 31 37 33 34 135
37 Philip Kasermann Bladerider SUI 37 31 32 39 139
38 Richard Davies Bladerider X8 UK 39 34 34 37 144
39 Dirk Weiblen Mach 2 CHN 42 38 37 38 155
40 Per Eskilson Bladerider X8 SWE 40 45 36 36 157
41 Lindsey Bergan Mach 2 USA 25 45 45 45 160
42 Jonathan Peats Bladerider GBR 41 45 35 45 166
43 Mauro Bettazza Bladerider SUI 45 45 45 45 180
43 Jeroen Leenen Bladerider UAE 45 45 45 45 180
Puma Moth World Championship
Puma Moth World Championship Puma Moth World Championship
Puma Moth World Championship Puma Moth World Championship


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