Moth event proves to be big draw for sailors
The inaugural Amlin International Moth Regatta proved to be a huge success and organisers hope to stage a similar event next year.
Nearly 60 sailors from 14 countries took part in last week's regatta which was won by Britain's Robert Greenhalgh, who came from behind on the final day of racing in the Great Sound to pip compatriot Chris Rashley.
“The regatta has been a tremendous success and we are certainly looking forward to putting this on again next year,” Andy Cox, the regatta chairman, said. “The sailors want to come back, and we are going to make sure we do everything we can to make sure it's on again.
“We know we have the demand and the best sailing venue in the world for these Moths. That's what the sailors want to come back for, and it's looking encouraging.”
Last week's regatta featured several world champions, Olympic gold medallists and America's Cup sailors, such as Chris Draper, of SoftBank Team Japan, who is also keen to see the event held again next year.
“It would be brilliant if we could do this again next year and I hope the people will come here and sail their Moths a lot over the winter, because it's a great place to sail,” Draper, who finished fourth, said. “You get a good mix of weather and that's good for training.”
Rashley, who led most of the regatta before faltering on the final day, can hardly wait to return to Bermuda early in the new year to train in the high performance Moth dinghy with some of the America's Cup sailors already based here.
“The conditions here are great and I will back out here probably in February or March to do some Moth training with the Cup guys here,” he said.
The Moth has become popular with America's Cup sailors as they learn the nuances of hydrofoiling in advance of the 35th America's Cup, in Bermuda in 2017.
“Each guy on the boats nowadays has to be tactically sound, and has to think and make decisions on his own as well, as being aware and up to speed with what's going on, so sailing Moths is a big part of our preparations,” Rome Kirby, of Oracle Team USA, said.
Flying Bermuda's banner alone last week was James Doughty, who finished 45th on his racing debut in the high-performance foiling Moth dinghy.
Also competing was Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sailing coaches Ben Paton and Nathan Bailey who placed sixth and 47th representing Team Britain.