Thierry Martinez /

"Absolute carnage everywhere"

Zhik Moth Worlds fleet venture out in winds gusting to 27 knots

Thursday January 13th 2011, Author: Lizzi Rountree, Location: Australia

It’s the battle of the breeze as the steady 24 knot ENEerly tore down the race course, with maximum gusts recorded during the first (and only race so far) at 27 knots. With Silver Fleet postponed on shore, Gold Fleet danced the 'You Launch First, Mate' before the daunting trek to the start line.

“It’s like the Gorge [2009 Moth Worlds],” recalled Lindsay Bergan, “I leave just enoughtime for 1 wipeout on the way to the start line.” Her team mates agreed – you don’t want to be out there longer than you have to.

Clear start, carnage ensues. First with Moth Squaddie Joe Turner, capsizing he emerged with foils in hand. He managed to salvage all the bits and make the upwind haul back to shore. A Moth without foils? “Felt like a Sabot,” he reported.

Tom Slingsby was next. After a rocky start, he bolted up the course and assumed control after the first three boats sent it in at the windward mark, with Rob Gough and Bora Gulari hot on his heals. At the leeward mark it was "absolute carnage everywhere" according to Rescue Rib Driver John Fullerton.

The full top flight stacked it – Gulari was the first to recover, and fired off lap 2 in the lead. Slingsby had a tough time recovering, as did Peter Burling and Iain Jensen.

Nathan Outteridge went over landing on his side-stay, taking a big hit to his leg and forearm. Sheer determination drove him to a 2nd place finish, and as soon as he hit shore he was on ice and analgesics.

Burling said he stacked it about 20 times, but with his scores from yesterday he said, “I knew I had to soldier on.”

Solid racing for John Harris who finished third, and more new faces in the top 5: Andy Budgen (GBR) and Josh McKnight (AUS). McKnight
describes his upwind strategy, “I just sailed really high – I wasn’t really hiking, and my main was right in.”

Ultimately getting the gun was Gulari. “I love it out there, I hope we race again!”

After a 2 hour postponement, he is about to get his wish.

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