The Moth racing in Denmark had finished last Saturday with a four race day which only saw me finishing one race and starting the second one, but not finishing. It had been a tough week for this competitor and though I tried to give my all, I ended up with mostly "Alphabets" but not numbers.(DNC by the way does not mean that you have not started ((DNF)) these days) It has not been the strong wind which teared me down, it had been the waves and my inexperience in such conditions, as well as the frugal stage of the body condition. Maybe I will write a more personnel note about the event later. The following report has been written on request for an online sailing publication. Here it goes and I did have avoided to write about any of the new Moth brands which are trying to conquer the world.
The Moth World has changed
Horsens, Denmark had been the venue for the European Moth Championship held between 24th and 28th of June. The week had been dominated by strong easterly winds which never dropped below 15kn/h usually blowing in the higher wind range, gusting up to 25kn on the race course and even more. As the local Horsens Sejlklub had been the organisers for Euro and World Championships for the Moth Class before, they were prepared with all the necessities required by such a sportive and challenging class like the Moth. This year the event saw only Foiler Moths racing and it had been very exciting to see around 40 Moths flying across the startline nearly at once and going uphill in a battle for height and speed. Not all competitors managed the very challenging downwind leg (3 laps around) in the steep waves and only abt. 20 - 26 boats finished the races. But the once surviving, finished most of the races in style. Flying very high, going dramatically fast with a downwind speed clocked at more than 25kn, recorded for over 10 sec. The early races had been dominated by no lesser than the Brit, Simon Payne, a former Champion in the class. He came well prepared and looked unbeatable through the first races. We had witnessed the second race of the first day with a timer and found Arnaud Psarofaghis from Switzerland leading at the weather mark with 10sec which were wiped out to a 17sec lead by Payne at the downwind mark. The racing was tense between these two competitors and it must have been the last day where the race committee opted for four races on the day instead of the three which were written in the sailing instructions. This would allow two drop outs for the competitors. Arnaud Psarofaghis was already able to drop his 43 points from the first race when he did not finish and thus both competitors where on equal points going into the last day. Though everyone had his own fight within the strong competiton and the tough conditions on the Horsens Fjord, all eyes were on the two competitors fighting for the 2009 title. Arnaud P. started the day with a first which Simon Payne answered with two firsts in the next two races. The finish in the third race was reported to be 1 feet apart. The fourth and most tiring race of the day should be the decider and all eyes of many of the shorebound competitors were glued on this epic battle. Everyone hoped for the Master sailor Simon Payne, who did not have the luxury all week of a fully equipped service team like the Swiss brought to Denmark but at the end of the battle, it was the young Swiss sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis who had the nose in front and won the 2009 European Championship. The newcomer from the Netherlands, Eelco Boers came third with 3 more Brits filling up the ranks.
It was visible during the week that the Moth class is attracting many top sailors from other classes and that the days of the DIY low rider Moths are gone. At least when it comes to European Championships held in open water. During the price giving ceremony the competitors were full of praise for the Horsens Sejlklub organisers and their race committee which was well prepared not only ashore but also for rescuing many of the fragile Moths which were not able to limp home alone after some damage, mostly caused by user errors due to over exhausted riders. Full result list to be found under: http://www.horsens-sejlklub.dk/app/doc/doc_17510622.pdf
PS: A very good day by day report you can find on Eelco´s blog: http://ejbmoth.blogspot.com/
PPS: The picture shows Simon (in the foreground) and Arnaud after the second day of racing on the Horsens SK´s slipway. As usual you can extend it by clicking on it.