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13 January 2004, 10:20 am
Milestone Event Won By Rohan Veal
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Moth Australian Nationals
Lake Cootharaba, Queensland

Attracting a record fleet of 42 moths from 5 states, including a strong fleet of 12 scows and 9 juniors, the 2003-4 event brought a new era to moth sailing. For the first time a hydrofoil borne vessel won a major event.
Not only did Rohan VEAL defend his National Title but he did it with 8 straight wins by margins from 3 to almost 8 minutes over some of the best conventional Moth sailors in the world. This is the same boat and configuration as featured in the World Championship report in November 2003 issue of Australian Sailing. Veal's boat can use either conventional fin and rudder or specialist hydrofoils fitted to the fin case and rudder pintles.

After two stormy days, Lake Cootharaba offered a week of strong winds and flat water, ideal for the current design foiling moths, but also great fun in narrow skiffs or scows. Veal initially sailed two races as a conventional moth without foils in strong winds for a third and a fourth, then fitted the foils to lead around every mark for the remaining 8 races which averaged 15-20 knots.

The racing for the minor places was more intense. Winner of the two initial races was Rob FISH who slipped to third overall after Chris DEY scored a string of second places. These two, plus NSW Champion Les THORPE, Scott BABBAGE, Andrew STEVENSON, Steve DONOVAN and Ben CROKER fought some close battles for the second to sixth places in most heats. 2003 World Champion Mark THORPE did not compete.

Singapore resident, Mark ROBINSON sailed the only other foiler present. He arrived without practice and had some spectacular crashes early in the week, but by races 7 and 8 he managed a couple of second places to end up sixth overall, showing that the transition to foiling will not be as difficult as some feared.

Veal sailed a John ILLET built Prowler from WA with Ilett foils and a KA sail. The next 5 sailed Thorpe Hungry Tigers with Truflo sails except Robinson who fitted his with Ilett foils and KA sail.

The Australian Moth Association has also voted not to ban foilers but to impose a restriction on changing equipment during an event. This should lead to development of foil systems which cope better with light and rough conditions.

Full results are available on the class website at the address below

Overall Top Ten

Pos Skipper Total R10 R9 R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
1 Rohan Veal 8 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 3
2 Chris Dey 17 2 2 3 5 2 2 2 3 2 2
3 Robert Fish 21 3 3 4 4 4 3 4 2 1 1
4 Les Thorpe 32 44 31 8 3 3 4 3 4 3 4
5 Scott Babbage 40 6 4 5 6 5 5 5 5 5 28
6 Mark Robinson 43 4 7 2 2 6 15 7 14 8 7
7 Andrew Stevenson 51 5 5 6 8 7 6 9 39 17 5
8 Stephen Donovan 56 9 6 7 7 8 8 8 7 7 6
9 Ben Crocker 59 7 8 9 11 9 11 6 6 6 8
10 Greg Wise 90 8 10 15 16 12 7 12 10 44 28
Event Media (As Amended By ISA News Editor)
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