Outteridge and Gulari extend
The Syz & Co Moth Europeans' 85 participants were thrilled to see the sun today. The lake looked like a postcard, with electric blue sky, turquoise coloured water and more than 20 knots of wind.
Nathan Outteridge and Bora Gulari once again dominated the race, but Switzerland's Arnaud Psarofaghis made a great come-back today moving up to fourth place overall.
The foiling Moth provided an incredible spectacle with their aggressive lines and sailing flat out over the waters of Lake Silvaplana. The three races of the day took place under splendid conditions. A first tough race with a 20 knot maloja wind was followed by an even windier second race, calming down for the last race and allowing the less experienced competitors to finish the day on a smoother note.
Arnaud Psarofaghis, double European champion and title holder, said: “I tried to make simple tactical moves and that’s what works the best for me.” Always within close distance of the best world champions, the Geneva-based sailor explained: “It is very stimulating to sail with these guys… It motivates me to find ways to overtake them. I do not go over any detail. There are meters to be gained in all fields, at the tactical level and at the speed level."
Swiss-German Matthias Renker, from Lake Thun, performed very well today with a 5th and two 8th places. This discrete sailor has just won the Italian Championships on Lake Garda at the beginning of the month. “I tried to take good starts and to leave with the best. The timing is crucial: it is important to start flying quickly, because if not, one is soon overtaken by the fleet, and then, it is impossible to recover” saild Renker. “It’s great fun to sail here. More than 80 boats, it is fantastic… On the Lake of Thun, I am the only one sailing a Moth!"
Full results here
Before racing today World Champion Simon Payne told thedailysail how up until last weekend it had been rainy at the venue, how it is fiendishly cold and everyone is wearing their winter wetsuits and how those who thought they could camp have had to rethink. Conditions became more summery today and are supposed to hold for the remainder of the regatta.
Today four races were scheduled, to make up for lost races earlier in the week, but in fact, as stated above three were held, presumably to Payne's relief: "that’s too much in these conditions – that is like 20 beats a day.It is nice breeze right now, it has been a gradient breeze so it has been very gusty."
Over the last two days the breeze has been up around the bottom mark but lighter at the top mark. They managed some serious speeds: "I had a 26.8 knot 10 second average, going down one run on one leg. The other guys were getting high spikes at 29 knots. That is big numbers coming into a leeward mark."
However racing on a Swiss lake has been an eye-opener: "The finish line is little tributary on this lake and it is about 20m wide and you think you should see grizzlies catching salmon! Getting into that finish after you have been racing in big breeze is really tricky, whether you can foil or whether you can’t. It is wierd, but that’s the rules."
As was the case at the Worlds, the top end of foiling Moth class continues to err towards becoming a one design with the Mach 1 featuring a KA sail becoming the standard kit. "A lot of the guys like Nathan and Scott have had new boats shipped straight here. They have tweaked them a bit but they are pretty stock.
"Because the water is very cold, a lot of people are struggling with ventilation on the foils which is not so bad on a Mach 2, but it can be pretty tough on a Bladerider or something like that."
So why is Nathan Outteridge doing so well? "The guy is a professional sailor. He is sailing better. It is very shifty because it is gradient breeze and he is picking the shifts better. But it is all really close. From my perspective I have done some stupid things. Yesterday I was second around the last mark three times and once I had a boat problem and I had to stop. The others I just lost out..."