Outteridge clinches it

Aussie 49er Olympic sailor comes out on top at the Zhik International Moth Nationals at Skandia Geelong Week

Sunday January 25th 2009, Author: Lisa Ratcliff, Location: United Kingdom
Lake Macquarie sailor Nathan Outteridge finally scored a heat win on the last day of the Zhik International Moth Nationals and it cemented his place at the top of the series pointscore in his first hit out in this class.

Outteridge gave the race committee a wave and a smile as he sprinted over the finish line at the head of the pack in race ten. In return, they blasted their horn multiple times to signal the victory, which is an extraordinary result for the 22 year old who spent around 25 hours settling into the new class of boat off the back of his Beijing Olympic 49er campaign.

“Simon [Payne] had the edge all week but today I started hiking a lot harder and the boat found different speed,” said a delighted Outteridge this afternoon. “They are awesome boats to sail, it will be hard to go back to the 49er after this. An Olympic campaign is so intense, with this class I’m just enjoying sailing again.”

In a 14-16 knot southerly which finally allowed the commencement of race ten more than four hours after the scheduled 1000hrs start, Outteridge sailed a flawless race, hitting 22 knots downwind in the three lap race and averaging 15 knots upwind.

Next on the calendar for Outteridge, the current 49er world champion, is the Farr 40 Nationals, then the 49er Worlds on Lake Garda in July. He admitted today he’d also love to go to the next Moth Worlds which will be held at Cascade Locks or ‘the Gorge’ in Portland, Oregon, in August before re-starting his 49er Olympic training with new crew Iain Jensen, also a Lake Macquarie sailor.

Simon Payne and the Mach 2 Moth designer Andrew McDougall spent until 11pm last night repairing the damage from yesterday’s race nine, when Payne went through the trampoline in a capsize.

Payne wasn’t able to catch the super quick Outteridge today but with the brand new boat only foiling the day before the regatta he’s delighted with second overall in this new generation design.

“I shouldn’t have got up yesterday,” he acknowledged. Payne felt plenty of pain yesterday when he broke the start in the first race and was scored OCS, while in the second race he was scored DNF after his capsize.

The gracious Englishman, who was hoping to fit a Radox bath and a gin and tonic in before this evening’s trophy presentation, paid full credit to Outteridge. “Nathan is a professional sailor, you can see how good he is out there. He’s a class act and he’ll go far.”

Speaking on the new frontier of Moth designs, Payne recalled that “five years ago the class was full of people with beards tinkering in the garage and making things in the kitchen and look at it now, we are one of the premier dinghy classes.”

A homemade Moth built from a Gilmour mould by self-confessed tinkerer David Lister from Caringbah in Sydney’s south finished third on the pointscore.

A St George Sailing Club member and former 16 foot skiff sailor, Lister’s success has got others in the boat park talking, but he’s not giving too much away.

“It’s a complex boat, quite different to the others. There are more differences than you can see. I’m very secretive. The trick is not to copy anyone, to do your own thing. I have done a lot of work at home, testing a lot of stuff. I’ve used my own rudder and modified a Prowler centreboard and I’ve managed to get an edge in boat speed. I’m not a boat builder by any means, I just like to tinker.”

At 87 kilos Lister was one of the heaviest mothies sailing in the Zhik Nationals held in conjunction with the 165th Skandia Geelong Week. Not surprisingly, he liked everything about this regatta but wasn’t a fan of the light air morning races. Case in point was today’s lengthy postponement due to a glass out on Geelong’s Corio Bay until the southerly finally kicked up.

The Moths are a development class dinghy and for this series, four scow Moths (the original Moth design, with a square bow and no foils) have taken on the might of the modern Bladerider and Mach 2 designs.

Ian Sim from Sydney’s northern beaches has been sailing his 10 year old scow Moth called Smith since its launch. “Geelong’s a wonderful place to sail,” he said.

The next major regatta for the class is the 2009 Moth World Championships.

Zhik International Moth Nationals top 10 results:

1 Nathan Outteridge (Bladerider), AUS, 15.8 points
2 Simon Payne (Mach 2), GBR, 21.2 points
3 David Lister (Manic), AUS, 22.6 points
4 Scott Babbage (Appliances Online), AUS, 37 points
5 Andrew Brown (Southern Spars), NZL, 41 points
6 Bora Gulari (Bora Gulari), USA, 41.8 points
7 John Harris (Sailingbits.com), AUS, 58 points
8 Luka Damic (Ready!), AUS, 61.8
9 Rob Gough (Altitude), AUS, 66.5 points
10 Mark Robinson (Kar Sail), AUS, 71.5

Full results here

More photos on the following pages....

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