Zhik Moth Worlds - Record breaking fleet set to compete

The 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds are set to take place from 19th-26th August with a record-breaking fleet of 125 Moths from 20 countries set to take to the waters of Lake Garda.

A talent-filled lineup promises to deliver what could very well be the most exciting worlds ever. Only a fool will dare make a prediction about the top-ten, let alone the winner with such a quantity of red-hot talent among the 125 skippers. No less than 20 countries will be represented on the Italian waters off Campione del Garda with a score of former Moth world, European, and national champions.

The 2012 Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds will also go into history for the record-breaking number of participating nations. Sailors from the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, USA, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, Austria, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Poland, Singapore, and the Virgin Islands will vie for
the world title.

They might not constitute the biggest group in absolute numbers but the 21 Australian skippers definitely have the numbers and depth to fill quite a few of the top ten spots. Taking a pick among the Aussies is even harder. Joe Turner and Scott Babbage, second and third-placed respectively in the 2011 Zhik Moth World Championships, will undoubtedly be on the front line in the fight for the title, although the 2008 world Champion, John Harris has been putting in long hours on the water.

No less than 28 British skippers will be in Campione del Garda, making Great Britain the most-represented country. Two of them could very well take a shot at the top spots. With two world and five European trophies under his belt, Simon Payne needs no introduction. Hot on his heels, a young newcomer, Chris Rashley, promises to make a splash in Italy. He’s the reigning European champion and most recently beat Payne to claim the UK national title.

No Moth world championship would be complete without Bora Gulari, the 2009 world champion from the USA and fifth-placed last year. Other sailors that could upset to form guide are Italy’s champion Francesco Bianchi, Philip Käsermann from Switzerland and Yann Adrillon from France.

However, much water has flown under the bridge since the 2011 Moth World Championship in Belmont, Australia and a number of factors could throw the form guide out of the window. New people have come into the class and sailors that did not performed well in Belmont have been putting in very long hours on their boats since then.

The Moth boats have also progressed by leaps and bounds in the last 18 months. New developments in foils, sails and rigging have been implemented, making the boats 1.5 knots faster upwind with 12 knots of breeze and upward. On average, the newer generation Moths are 10% faster all around the course than Belmont.

The Moth fleet will take to the waters of Lake Garda on August 19th for one practice race and will then go on with racing in full earnest from the 20th until the 26th, holding the 23rd as a reserve day. The weather forecast looks very promising and even if August delivers the lightest breeze, local experts expect the 'Ora' afternoon breeze to blow between 12 and 18 knots. Compared to Belmont, Lake Garda is bumpier with a rougher sea state and more importantly there is no seaweed.

Prior to the Zhik Nautica Moth Worlds, the Vela Club Campione will play host to the Italian Open Championship, on August 16th and 17th, providing a good indication on the form of the top contenders. All participants in the worlds will race in this warm up regatta but only Italians will be able to claim the title. Scott Babbage will make use of his Italian ancestry to vie for the title, prompting his fellow Australians to call him 'Scott Babbigio'.

Moth Worlds website