Swiss Moth specialist

James Boyd Photography /
We speak to defending Moth European Arnaud Psarofaghis
Rather quietly Switzerland has over the last few years become one of the hotbeds of innovation in the sailing world, whether it is with foiling 18ft skiffs to the radical boats that race on Lake Geneva such as the extreme Pharos 40 monohulls or the D35 one design catamarans to some of the most profound developments in sail making such as 3DL and 3Di. So it comes as little surprise that the foiling Moth class should be popular on the lake. Leading exponent of this discipline in Switzerland Geneva is Arnaud Psarofaghis, the reigning European champion, who is currently lying fourth at the Syz & Co Europeans on Lake Silvaplana, near St Moritz, behind Australians Scott Babbage and Nathan Outteridge, and 2009 World Champion from the USA Bora Gulari, but just ahead of reigning World Champion Simon Payne. Coming from one of the great Swiss sailing families, Psarofaghis, 21, has sailed all his life. The family heralds from Corsier Port about 10 minutes drive northeast from downtown Geneva up towards the French border and they all still live there. Arnaud’s father Francois owns a garage but is an active sailor, but it is uncle Jean who is the best known having run his boatyard for some 35 years. Jean Psarofaghis with designer Sebastien Schmidt developed the Pharos 40, the most extreme monohull on the lake, complete with canting keel, water ballast and trapezes. To date five have been built. He was also the builder of the Toucan, at one point the most popular one design on the Lake. They have built a range of more conventional, but by normal standards extreme monohulls and multihulls for the lake, the most recent being the Syz & Co foiler cat, which Arnaud sailed on from time to time last year. “It is coming back a lot