Moth Nationals, day 3: McKnight’s 8th win

  • January 7, 2017

Moth fleet hitting the start line at full speed.

The ‘Garda of the South’ is how foiler Moth pioneer and designer Andrew McDougall describes Hobart’s River Derwent after three days of competition in the International Moth Australian championships.

McDougall, at 61, is one of the elder statesmen of this high flying class, and the designer of the Mac2 being used by all 31  competitors in the nationals.

“Since we went into production with McConaghy boats in 2009, we have sold 630 Mac2’s around the world,” McDougall said after today’s third day of competition.

His reference to the Derwent as the ‘Garda of the South’ links the river with the famed Lake Garda in Italy which will host the 2017 world championship in July.

“Who’s not going to Lake Garda,” answered McDougall,” certainly all the leading Australians.”

Lake Garda in August will also host the worlds for McDougall’s latest creation, the Wasp,  which he describes as an entry level boat for young sailors keen to eventually sail a foiler Moth.

“Since we started production last July we have sold 260 Wasps around the world,”  McDougall.

The Victorian veteran from Royal Brighton Yacht Club is no slouch when it comes to top level Moth sailors as is being seen on the Derwent this week.  He is fifth overall which includes a second place in race six on Friday.

Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Rob Gough,  at 47 also a veteran of the class, continues to hold third place overall. Today he had a 2-3-4 result to continue his consistent sailing and six points out of second place.

Former world champion Josh McKnight continued to dominate the nationals, yesterday again winning all three races, sailed in perfect conditions with a 15-18 knot sea breeze coming up the Derwent and with  flat water.

McKnight,  who is representing the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney and is the defending Australian champion has won eight of the nine races sailed so far.  He is on a net eight points,  12 points clear of second placed Harry Mighel from Victoria’s Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

Tasmania’s Rob Gough is  third overall, six points behind Mighell whom he outsailed in two of the three races today.

Two more sailing days and six races more races remain to be sailed today and on Monday in the most spectacular dinghy racing championship seen on the River Derwent in years.

Today’s results are provisional with protests hearings under way. They are believed not to involve the leading group in the Moth worlds.

Words:   Peter Campbell

Photo:  Pete Harmsen

7 January 2017