Saturday, 13 March 2010

Day Five Report from PUMA International Moth Worlds

Simon Payne (GBR) maintains a slim lead over Brad Funk (USA)

PUMA Moths Worlds fleet on Day 5. Image copyright Th. Martinez/Sea&Co.

by Bridgid Murphy

Just six of a maximum scheduled fifteen races remain in the ultra-competitive PUMA Moth World Championship 2010, and 2006 Moth World Champion Simon Payne (GBR) retains a slim lead over Brad Funk (USA) and Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI). Light and twitchy breeze only allowed starts for two of the scheduled three races today, the first of which started after a short onshore delay to allow the light sea breeze to stabilize - somewhat.

The first race started in 6-7 knots of wind, and Payne won going away over Australian Master Andrew McDougall. European champ Arnaud Psarofaghis continued his run at the top with a third place. Current Moth World Champ Bora Gulari grabbed fourth and Top US Laser sailor Brad Funk crossed in fifth place, his worst finish since day one. "I still feel fast, but I had a lot of trouble getting off the starting line today," said Funk. "But my US team mates gave me some good tips this afternoon on how to power up more quickly and get off the line quicker, and I think tomorrow will be a better day."

Psarofaghis led nearly the entire way around the course on the second race, with McDougall using his dominating light-air downwind style to take the bullet after rounding the final mark in third. "I'm in a much better mood today," said McDougall after scoring a 2 and a 1, the best score line on the day. "Last night I did everything I possible could to add power to my sail, as in this wind it is all about grunt, as you saw when I took the lead during the second race by staying up on my foils while everyone else was low-riding."

Brad Funk in action on day 5 at the PUMA Moth Worlds. Image copyright Th. Martinez/Sea&Co.

Psarofaghis crossed the line in second, and is now tied for second overall with Funk, who duplicated his race 1 performance with a fifth. Payne scored third, displaying his incredible mental toughness by coming back from an over-early call which called him back to the start line. The Championship leader overhauled most of the fleet by the first bottom mark, and held off Michael Lennon (GBR) for the rest of the race, who finished fourth, moving him into eighth overall. World Champion Gulari (USA) finished tenth after a trying downwind run to the finish, giving him control of sixth place and showing the struggle the champ is facing to match the pace of the lighter sailors ahead of him. "Had I realized how light the wind would be here in Dubai, I would have likely trained much differently than I did," said Gulari, "I definitely wouldn't have eaten for the past two months!"

Three more races are scheduled for Saturday in predicted conditions similar to Friday's. Hot and sunny with light sea breezes.

Results - top ten after 9 races and 2 discards

Series Place - Sail No. - Type of Boat - Class - Country - Helm M/F - Series Points - Race 1 - Race 2 - Race 3 - Race 4 - Race 5 - Race 6 - Race 7 - Race 8 - Race 9

1 GBR5 Mach 2 Masters UK Simon Payne M 17pts 5 2 1 41 3 4 3 1 3
2 USA3451 Mach 2 Open USA Brad Funk M 20pts 3 11 10 1 1 3 2 5 5
3 SUI3 Mach 2 Open SUI Arnaud Psarofaghis M 20pts 17 9 3 3 2 6 1 3 2
4 AUS3380 Mach 2 Masters AUS Andrew McDougall M 26pts 1 1 11 2 13 8 11 2 1
5 USA4 Mach 2 Open USA Dalton Bergan M 31pts 10 20 4 4 4 1 4 8 6
6 USA1 Mach 2 Open USA Bora Gulari M 39pts 12 10 2 7 6 5 5 4 10
7 AUS7 Mach 2 Open AUS Scott Babbage M 43pts 8 4 9 5 10 2 9 6 44
8 GBR3708 Mach 2 Open GBR Michael Lennon M 43pts 2 8 8 6 8 9 10 7 4
9 UAE3679 Mach2 Open UAE Chris Graham M 44pts 4 7 7 10 5 7 7 14 7
10 GBR3604 Mach 2 Open GBR Adam May M 68pts 6 5 6 16 9 14 18 13 15

PUMA Ocean Racing

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