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Talk around Kaneohe Yacht Club’s boat park this morning wasn’t about which foils to use or which sails were best for today’s racing. Instead,...

Kaneohe – Talk around Kaneohe Yacht Club’s boat park this morning wasn’t about which foils to use or which sails were best for today’s racing. Instead, competitors at the 2013 McDougall + McConaghy Moth World Championship were worried if they’d get any racing in at all in the final two remaining days of the regatta.

With 3-4 knots the likely max we’d see today, we’re abandoning the day so you can all go and enjoy Hawaii,” said Matt Knowles, US Moth Class President and organizer of the event at the morning briefing. “Models are all showing a tough couple of days ahead, but we’re hoping a window opens for a few more good, fair races.

Bora Gulari’s (USA) five-point lead over Australia’s Nathan Outteridge becomes far more crucial with a reduced schedule ahead, though the 2009 Detroit-based World Champion isn’t counting on nature to make his life any easier. “I’ve had some great battles with Nathan over the years, but I’m really just happy to be here, sailing fast and enjoying Hawaii,” said Gulari, busy preparing his boat for some practice in Thursday’s zephyrs. Bora was the first American to win a Moth World Title in 33 years when he won the event in Cascade Locks, Oregon; finishing just behind was Outteridge. Two years later, Aussie Gold Medalist and America’s Cup skipper Outteridge crushed the fleet in Belmont, Australia to win his first Moth Worlds.

American racer Brad Funk saw his lock on third place disappear when race officials corrected an earlier scoring error; the Florida Olympic sailor now sits in fourth place, tied on points with 3rd place Julian Salter from Tasmania (AUS). Fellow Tasmanian Rob Gough rounds out the top 5. Full results.

Injuries, Damage Surprisingly Small After “Scariest Boat Crash I’ve Ever Seen”
The first top mark of Race 4 of the Championship was the site of the “scariest boat crash I’ve ever seen,” according to one witness, yet neither of the two sailors involved suffered more than a scratch. “I was coming in on the port tack layline, ducking a wall of starboard tackers,” explained Tom Offer (GBR). “Philip [Käsermann] was on starboard, and I think he bore away to let me through just as I was bearing away to go behind him.” At a closing speed of nearly 40 knots, the bow of Offer’s Exocet moth tore into the Swiss sailor’s wing bar, bringing both boats to a spectacular stop and catapulting both sailors through the air and into the water. Offer’s royal blue dinghy suffered damage to the bow though was otherwise unharmed. “It’s a bit much to reconstruct the nose right now, and while I’m massively disappointed to end my regatta after such strong results, I’m very happy neither of us was hurt,” Offer said. Käsermann’s boat was luckier. “I’ve changed the wing bar and will replace the broken boom; I can’t finish my sailing season with a retirement!” The incident served as a reminder of the skill needed to sail a moth at the very highest level. “One little misstep at these speeds can be catastrophic,” said Knowles.

Youth America’s Cup Star Wins $1000 “Velocitek Dash For Cash”
New Zealand hasn’t sent an army of competitors to this Worlds like their neighbor to the West, but Youth America’s Cup winner and 49er World Champion Peter Burling made up for the deficit in numbers with a victory in the annual Velocitek Dash For Cash contest. After verifying data from Burling’s Velocitek speed-measuring device, Velocitek founder Alec Stewart announced that Burling had reached an incredible 25.0 knots of boatspeed; all in a maximum wind of around 11 knots – and between two races. “I came in after a race to replace a broken part, and I was definitely in a rush to get back to the start of the next race,” said Burling. The young Kiwi would start 4 minutes behind the fleet and still finish the race in the top ten. “We’ve really enjoyed supporting the Moth fleet over the years with the Dash For Cash,” said Stewart. “The cutting edge technology, incredible efficiency, and simplicity are exactly what Velocitek stands for.

Overall Results After 7 Races (Top 5 Only):
1. Bora Gulari, [16]-1-2-1-3-3-7, 17
2. Nathan Outteridge, 1-2-1-[11]-9-1-8, 22
3. Crad Funk, 8-5-4-3-5-5-[18], 30
4. Julian Salter, 11-9-8-5-2-[29]-5, 40
5. Rob Gough, [15]-8-13-9-8-2-4, 44

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