Puma Moth World Championship
Thierry Martinez / www.thmartinez.com
Puma Moth World Championship

The return of AMac

But Simon Payne still holds on to the top spot at the Puma Moth World Championship

Friday March 12th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Arab Emirates

With the same intense sun and haze over the land obscuring even Dubai’s most extravagant landmarks and the wind back down to 6-8 knots again - marginal foiling territory - so day four of racing at the Puma Moth World Championship had a slight feeling of ‘groundhog day’ about it. The only difference was that with the wind dying PRO David Campbell-James sent the fleet ashore after the second race, canning today’s third.

Today’s racing may have only been in roughly two knots less wind than we saw on Wednesday, but in this wind range it is significant for a fleet of foiling Moths with mixed experience skippers. For example the US sailors Dalton Bergen, Brad Funk and Bora Gulari seem to really come into their own in the 8-10 knot range, just above marginal foiling and seemed fractionally off form today, while ‘the master’ from the first two days, Andrew McDougall (‘AMac’), posted a 2-1, hoisting him back up to fourth overall.

However Britain’s Simon Payne wasn’t far behind AMac with a 1-3 and continues to lead the Puma Moth World Championship, but on 17 has only a three point advantage over Brad Funk and Switzerland’s Arnaud Psarofaghis tied in second. With two days of sailing left Payne appears to be in good shape. When today’s second discard kicked in after race nine, Payne was able to discard a 5th (the nearest competition in this respect was Arnaud Psarofaghis who discarded a ninth). So while it is still close at the top he can effectively afford one mediocre result over the remainder of the series.

In the first race today Payne got off to a blazing start heading out to the left and was first to the weather mark where he says he struggled to stay airborne (the most basic rule of thumb sailing foiler Moth is that out of the water is fast, ‘lowriding’ isn’t) because of the press boat wash (not ours). “There was so many waves at the windward mark, it was like the Southern Ocean, but Arnaud and AMac and I got away.”

Otherwise Payne says he found race one quite even - once he was in the lead he was able to cover as in a normal race. He added that he felt more confident of his pace today as he has been reunited with the mast, itself reunited since it broke on Tuesday. As a result he felt he was extending on the upwinds.

With the wind dropping for today’s second race life was harder and Payne was OCS. “It was impossible to foil off the line, so I tried to stay on the foils and I just misjudged it. But I gybed around and came out on port which proved to be an okay start.” He rounded the top mark in fifth or sixth place but it was a case of whoever was fortunate or skilful enough to find a gust got ahead. Payne got up to second at one point, but ended up third.

Having spent the first race battling for second with Andrew McDougall, leading for most of today’s second race was Arnaud Psarofaghis until the old master slide ahead of him on the final run. “He just went past me,” described the Swiss sailor, who is the present European champion. “I gybed too early and he went nicely and he went straight to the finish while I had to gybe twice. He [AMac] seems to be going five degrees lower downwind all the time.” In the marginal conditions the boats sail big angles to stay airborn, but approaching the gate in these light winds, McDougall has a technique where he gets close and then low-rides round the mark.

Psarofaghis’ cousin Mikis, who is also sailing here, posted the best result of the series so far with an eighth in race two. Similarly George Peet, Bora Gulari’s training partner, pulled it out of the bag in today’s first race, posting a ninth, his first top 10 result.

With three quarters of the regatta now gone, a distinct split has opened up in the scoring between the top nine, with local hero (and national champion) Chris Graham bringing up the rear on 44 points and the ‘mid-fleet’ with Adam May holding tenth on 68.

Results:

 

Pos Helm Nat R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Tot
1 Simon Payne UK 5 2 1 41 3 4 3 1 3 17
2 Brad Funk USA 3 11 10 1 1 3 2 5 5 20
3 Arnaud Psarofaghis SUI 17 9 3 3 2 6 1 3 2 20
4 Andrew McDougall AUS 1 1 11 2 13 8 11 2 1 26
5 Dalton Bergan USA 10 20 4 4 4 1 4 8 6 31
6 Bora Gulari USA 12 10 2 7 6 5 5 4 10 39
7 Scott Babbage AUS 8 4 9 5 10 2 9 6 44 43
8 Michael Lennon GBR 2 8 8 6 8 9 10 7 4 43
9 Chris Graham UAE 4 7 7 10 5 7 7 14 7 44
10 Adam May GBR 6 5 6 16 9 14 18 13 15 68
11 Tomaz Copi SVN 7 3 41 11 19 10 19 10 9 69
12 Rob Gough AUS 11 18 12 12 12 12 8 11 14 78
13 Mark Robinson SGP 16 23 5 14 11 15 6 15 20 82
14 Ricky Tagg GBR 9 17 15 13 14 11 13 43 19 92
15 Jean-Pierre Ziegert SUI 19 16 13 9 7 19 15 17 17 94
16 Zack Maxam USA 14 15 14 15 16 17 14 12 16 100
17 George Peet USA 23 14 16 18 17 18 26 9 11 103
18 Martin Gravare SWE 13 19 44 8 18 13 12 44 21 104
19 Mikis Psarofaghis SUI 15 28 20 19 15 16 16 16 8 105
20 James Cole AUS 21 6 21 20 25 21 21 19 12 120
21 Alex Adams GBR 18 24 17 17 21 20 17 18 18 125
22 Alex Buerger UAE 22 12 24 28 23 27 22 22 13 138
23 Marcel Herrera UAE 24 13 26 22 26 23 20 25 24 151
24 Paul Hayden GBR 20 22 23 24 27 30 29 21 23 160
25 Tim Penfold   38 42 19 33 20 22 27 20 22 163
26 Glenn Raphael UAE 35 35 18 21 22 29 25 23 38 173
27 James Phare GBR 26 21 41 23 24 24 24 43 44 183
28 Emma Aspington SWE 29 30 28 27 33 25 23 30 25 187
29 Ben Crocker AUS 32 27 25 29 28 28 31 24 28 189
30 Kerstin Sommer UAE 28 25 29 30 30 26 28 31 31 196
31 Dougie Imrie GBR 27 26 41 26 31 34 33 29 26 198
32 Simon Savage UAE 33 36 22 25 34 31 34 32 29 206
33 Rob Fordyce UAE 30 29 31 35 35 32 32 28 30 212
34 Magnus Gravare SWE 36 33 30 32 29 36 37 27 33 220
35 Dion Houghton HKG 34 32 27 31 36 37 38 43 34 231
36 Philip Kasermann SUI 37 31 32 39 32 33 36 44 44 240
37 Marc Bruegger UAE 31 37 33 34 39 39 39 36 32 242
38 Richard Davies UK 39 34 34 37 37 35 35 33 35 243
39 Per Eskilson SWE 40 42 36 36 38 38 30 35 37 250
40 Lindsey Bergan USA 25 44 44 44 44 44 44 26 27 254
41 Dirk Weiblen CHN 42 38 37 38 41 41 41 34 36 265
42 Jonathan Peats GBR 41 42 35 44 40 40 40 37 39 272
43 Jeroen Leenen UAE 44 44 44 44 43 44 44 43 44 306
 

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