Campione del Garda, 20 August 2012: When asked earlier in the morning about what he considered to be his advantage over the rest of the fleet, Scott Babbage stated that he was consistent across the range from light to windy and that even if he didn't win "very often" he would come on top... Yet, three hours later, the Australian sailor would thrash his opponents and score three bullets in the day's three races. It was impossible to be more consistent than that.
With a record-setting 125 entries, organizers split the fleet into two groups that alternated on an inner and outer racing area. Getting the right start, ahead of pack, flying to the rocks and tacking under the layline first would practically guarantee a win
in the inner course. The steep hills surrounding Lake Garda not only provide a stunning backdrop they also give more pressure to the breeze and the closer you sail, the more pressure you get. There was little tactical brainpower needed further into the race and the leader of the fleet at the first top mark that would avoid stupid mistakes would bag the win.
On the outer loop, further in the middle of the lake, things were much more complicated, or even "spooky" as Bora Gulari stated. The breeze was much harder to read and a favored side in one race would then fail to pay out. Still, Scott Babbage managed to tick all the boxes. He nailed his starts, got to the rocks and seemed to always pick the favored side in the outer course, something that his closest opponent, and favorite according to the form guide, Joe Turner, failed to do.
Indeed, with the exception of Babbage, the form guide didn't seem to hold true on the opening day of the 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds. Bora Gulari and Turner are fifth and tenth, respectively, while Australian Joshua McKnight and Anthony Kotoun from the Virgin Islands had an excellent day and sit on second and third place overall. Racing resumes on Tuesday and the weather forecast calls for the same type of conditions. The African heat wave passing through Italy results in record-high
temperatures that don't allow the "Ora", the afternoon breeze Lake Garda is famous for, to develop properly. However, even with 8-9 knots of breeze the Moths are fun and spectacular to watch and the tight leaderboard promises another exciting day.
1. Scott Babbage (AUS), 1,1,1=3
2. Joshua McKnight (AUS), 6,1,1=8
3. Anthony Kotoun (ISV), 3,3,2=8
4. Eric Aakhus (USA), 1,4,5=10
5. Bora Gulari (USA), 2,2,7=11
6. Francesco Bianchi (ITA), 3,6,4=13
7. Julian Salter (AUS), 7,4,3=14
8. Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2,8,5=15
9. Chris Rashley (GBR), 4,7,4=15
10. Joe Turner (AUS), 9,9,2=20
Event Website - www.mothworlds.org