Thierry Martinez / www.thmartinez.com

Nathan Outteridge crowned Zhik Moth World Champion

49er ace sails a conservative final day to claim title

Friday January 14th 2011, Author: Lizzi Rountree, Location: Australia

Hugs and champagne welcomed the newest Moth World Champion Nathan Outteridge to his home shores in Lake Macquarie, Australia. Entering the day with an 11-point lead over second placed fellow Australia Joe Turner, Outteridge sailed a conservative four races to closeout a winning series.

Almost too conservative – Outteridge was never hot off the line nor leading at the top mark. In more than a few races he was surfacing around seventh in the first lap, yet in all but one he was able to turn it into a top five finish over the line.

Turner won the day without ever winning a race. He was consistently hot on the trail of the top pack, which was all he needed for a 2nd place finish in the Championship.

Third place was anybody’s guess, but by closing out the day with a bullet, Scott Babbage took a decided third. Kiwi Peter Burling, who carried a DNF from the first day of the Finals, was able to jump just two points ahead of past champions John Harris and Bora Gulari.

Tom Slingsby had a hot and cold day, but his win in Race 8 put him just ahead of fellow Aussie Rob Gough. Arnaud Psarofaghis of Switzerland finished 10th overall, and first European.

Samantha England beat American Lindsay Bergan by one point for the title of leading lady at 47th and 48th place.

Despite the tough forecast, the Race Committee executed the entire scheduled series – including a total of five races for the Silver Fleet on the final day. Unfortunately there were not enough hours in the day to see the return of the wing-sail, and Charlie McKee was just not able to keep on pace sailing with the softer rig.

“The first thing I noticed going back was how much more physically tiring [the soft sail] is!” he reported.

James Spithill was back on the water for more of the action, and the high-speed stacks at the leeward mark kept the camera crew busy.

Overall the 2011 Zhik Moth World Championship, supported by SP High Modulus was a huge success thanks to the multitude of volunteers and supporters.


 

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