Goodison takes early lead

Britain’s Paul Goodison is the early leader in the Bacardi Moth World Championships being hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on the Great Sound.

Fierce northerly winds caused the opening qualifying races on Monday to be postponed.

Yesterday the winds were less intense, blowing steadily between 18 and 22 knots with gusts of nearly 30 knots, proving some challenging racing for the sailors.

“The conditions were on the edge, pushing everyone to the limits of what’s possible in the Moth,” Goodison, the two-times world champion told “But it was fantastic. So many guys were rocking around with big smiles.”

Goodison, 40, did not have any setbacks yesterday although Iain Jensen, of Australia, one of his main rivals, did.

Jensen led Goodison around the first lap of race one, however, on the second upwind leg, Jensen’s boom vang, the line that controls the height of the outboard end of the boom, broke.

Jensen finished fifth but then missed the second race because he returned to shore to make a repair in the hopes of returning for the third race.

By that point the wind had increased and the race committee decided to postpone the rest of the day’s schedule.

“We had a good race going in the first one,” said Goodison of his battle with Jensen. “We were about the same at the first windward mark.

“I just got past him on the run and then had a bit of a splash down and he got past me at leeward gate. I didn’t see what happened to him on the next upwind leg, but after that I sailed pretty well.”

Another competitor, Victor Diaz de Leon, of the United States, relished the challenging conditions.

“It was super windy and pretty hairy, but the water was flat enough to get around the racecourse,” said Diaz de Leon, the shortest sailor in the fleet.

“I’ve sailed in those conditions before but it’s rare. The Moth often makes you scared, but it’s fun when you’re scared. It was a blast.”

The conditions took a toll on the fleet, with broken masts, broken rudders and broken controls. Although unscathed, Dave Kenefick, of Ireland, was not without problems.

“After the first start the breeze built from fresh to frightening,” he said. “It’s the windiest I’ve ever sailed a Moth in and I’d prefer not to do it again, but I got through unscathed.

“I had a big pitchpole just before the start of race one and ripped the cleat for my ride-height control line right off the deck,” said Kenefick, who sits thirteenth overall with 30 points.

“I had to stop during the first upwind leg and tie the line off and I limped around the course for both races.”

The course axis for both races was set at 330 degrees at a length of 1.1 nautical miles. In each race the fleet mostly took to the left side of the course.

“When it’s so windy, the fewer tacks the better,” said Diaz de Leon, who is in fifth overall on ten points. “People were mostly thinking start and go to the layline. It’s risky to tack because you don’t want to flip, and a lot of people were flipping.

“I felt good about my tacking today. Most of my tacks were pretty nice and I think I made big gains. When you’re small you have to have good boat handling to go as fast as the big guys.”

Racing is scheduled to continue today with a forecast for winds between 12 to 20 knots.

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Published Mar 28, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 27, 2018 at 10:01 pm)

Goodison takes early lead

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