March 14, 2010- Today was the final day of 2010 PUMA Moth Worlds. The Race Committee was forced with an early onshore postponement for lack of wind. After a morning on shore, the breeze in Dubai filled in nicely to get Race 13 off at 12:45 local with a reported wind of 11 knots.
Simon Payne led the fleet going into the day. Being the last day of racing, with everything on the line, we saw an aggressive start from the fleet; it appeared that a slew of boats could have been over but only one recorded OCS.
Day seven showed the fleet the biggest breeze of the event. Bora Gulari (2009 World Champion, USA) won the pin at the start, showing he still has what it takes. Gulari’s start resulted in him winning the first race of the day. Simon Payne (GBR) had a disappointing first race, opening the narrow gap for Brad Funk (USA) or Andrew McDougall (AUS) to make something happen in the final race, Race 14. Going into race 14 with a bad race, Payne felt the pressure. « When it dawned on me that I hadn’t actually won, I put the hammer down » said Payne
Race 14 brought a steady 10 knots of breeze. Fighting a battle for the top spot, Payne was able to stay in the top five, clinching the 2010 PUMA Moth World Championship. Payne’s victory was more than he expected from the event; « I didn’t think I had a chance here, I just came to see my mates. »
McDougall, with his experience, knew what he needed to accomplish to bump him into the number two spot. Winning race 14, McDougall put six boats in between himself and Brad Funk, who was second on the leader board. « In many races I made small mistakes, » sail McDougall, « but in the last one I put it all together, I knew I had to get a first in the last race to break the tie with Brad. » The distance was enough to create a tie at 42 points, and having won the final race McDougall won the tiebreaker with five first place finishes in the regatta.
« As a laser sailor the moth is the most exciting class to jump into, » said Funk. « You can sail the Moth for a lifetime and never get it all perfected, there are just so many little things you can change and tweak. » Funk, who is relatively new to the Moth class improved on his 2009 eighth place world finish.
PRO David Campbell-James has been impressed and challenged by the Moth class. « The grand prix style racing was fantastic and exciting, » said Campbell-James. « The difference in speed between the boats creates a challenge as how to be a good PRO and create fair racing for all. I have been impressed with our gracious host the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club and all they have organized here for us and all the sailors, including a slew of volunteers. »
The top five finishers for 2010 PUMA Moth Worlds are:
1. Simon Payne (GBR)
2. Andrew « Amac » McDougall (AUS)
3. Brad Funk (USA)
4. Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
5. Dalton Bergan (USA)
Moth Worlds 2011 will be held in Belmont Bay, Australia in February 2011.