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Olympic sailors line up at Manly Moth Winter Sprints

by Brad Marsh 27 Jul 2020 19:50 NZST 25-26 July 2020
Bieker Moth by Mackay Boats - © Adam Mustill Photography

This weekend was the first iteration of the NZ Moth Class Winter sprints racing at Manly Sailing Club. 17 boats in total arrived up for the first race on Saturday then as per usual Moth racing there was a natural attrition rate to those hardy soldiers left at the end of the second day!

The conditions were champagne and the water as cold as the ice in a champagne bucket but Race Officer Russell Coutts did a great job with his team of volunteers and resources donated by the Manly Sailing Club to get us underway in flat water and a shifty offshore breeze. The new Bieker moths built in NZ again showed their impressive speed upwind on the first beat but they were not going to have it that easy with ace wildcard Nathan Outteridge proving to the fleet that a Mach 2 can still be very competitive.

The day was was a battle between the heavyweights with Sam Meech (NZL Olympian) versus Nathan Outteridge (AUS Olympian) Thankfully this ANZAC battle went the right way and Sam came back to the beach at the end of day one the victor and leading the fleet heading into day two. Further down the fleet some of the new comers showed great development since our last regatta just before lockdown - the overall level of sailing getting higher and racing becoming more intense.

Day two was very similar conditions to the Saturday with many people changing configurations and gear based on what was learnt the first day. The Moth class is an open development class and much like a skiff, our trailers are often full of all sorts of equipment from masts to sails to foils that each have a very narrow band of optimum conditions. Local sailor Stu Goodes was lucky to have all of his equipment intact and available for day two after a spectacular crash on day one when he accelerated in a gust approaching the bottom mark and had no option but to plow straight into it. In a crash similar to what we used to expect from Hamish Pepper in his Rent-a-Dent sponsored Moth Stu was catapulted from his boat as it went from an estimated 25 knots to 0 knots in less than 1 second.

Day two was a short and sharp day with 3 quick races and some very close racing. However there was no toppling Sam Meech and his impressive form who went on the win the weekend's racing ahead of Stu followed by Alex Koukourakis in his Exocet Moth.

Wipeout of the weekend!

Posted by Manly Sailing Club on Saturday, 25 July 2020

A special mention to Tom Barker who had an exceptional second day of racing in his heavily modified home build moth and also to Frankie Dair who proved a Bladerider can still be a competitive fleet racing boat when in the hands of a capable sailor.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1st4587Sam Meech311121211
2nd4644Stu Goodes233312115
3rd4278Alex Koukourakis474443531
4th4088Brad Marsh658654640
5th4Nick Egnot869DNS95358
6thNZLNathan Outteridge1222DNSDNSDNS61
7thITEMike Rhodes1046989DNS64
8th4261Sam Barnett12957DNS7765
9th111Frankie Dair91110810DNS1076
10th3610Matt Leydon1110DNS101110878
11th4362George Gautrey7875DNSDNSDNS81
12th13Tom BarkerDNFDNSDNSDNS76489
13th4024Bradley McLaughlinDNFDNSDNSDNS68995
14th2145Mattias Coutts5DNSDNSDNS3DNSDNS98
15th4205Josh WijohnDNFDNSDNSDNS12DNSDNS120
16th4585Logan SutherlandDNFDNSDNSDNSDNSDNSDNS126
16th2147Jake PyeDNFDNSDNSDNSDNSDNSDNS126

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