2014 Moth Worlds preview

Thierry Martinez / www.thierrymartinez.com
Nathan Outteridge, Chris Draper, Simon Hiscocks, Stevie Morrison and Annelise Murphy look forward to next week's racing
The Moth World Championship gets underway out of Hayling Island Sailing Club tomorrow (Saturday) with a record-sized fleet of 137 boats entered. This includes one of the strongest and most diverse line-ups of world class sailors seen recently in the UK, with America's Cup helms and crew, Volvo Ocean Race sailors and Olympic medallists taking part, from 18 countries as far afield as Japan, New Zealand and South Africa as well as a relatively small but powerful delegation from Australia. Sadly defending champion Bora Gulari is not competing (booo....) due to his new found commitments to Luna Rossa, however the Italian America's Cup team’s helmsman, Britain's own son, Chris Draper is. Meanwhile Artemis Racing's helmsman and past Moth World Championhip Nathan Outteridge is one of the 10 strong Aussie contingent that includes another former World Champion, Josh McKnight, Scott Babbage, who was third at last year's Worlds in Hawaii, plus UK-based former Volvo Ocean Race sailor Luke Molloy and other top contenders such as Rob Gough and Bladerider/Mach 2 designer Andrew McDougall. Former K-Challenge America's Cup helmsman, France’s Seb Col, has also recently taken to the Moth, but admits he is still getting to grips with the boat, campaigning with the help of sponsorship from Gurit. Also competing from France is winner of the last Mini Transat, Benoit Marie. Col, was one of several at the World who used Foiling Week on Lake Garda to help get up to speed: "I now know it was a good decision going to Lake Garda and taking part to the Italian Moth Nationals: this was all about sailing, testing different configurations and tuning of the boat, generating more experience by spending hours on the race course, finding out about the right speeds upwind and downwind, and above all learning from the best. I made some great