Three races kicked off the YANMAR Moth Worlds 2016 taking place in Hayama, Japan, 23-29 May 29th.
Yesterday’s practice race gave competitors a bit of a leg stretch, ahead of three back to back races today which saw the serious competition get underway. An atmosphere of anticipation in the boat park, set the scene for the day ahead. A southerly breeze of five – ten knots dominated the day, starting light and building. By races two and three, the Moth was on show in all its full-on foiling glory.
Great Britain’s Robert Greenhalgh, reigning Moth European Champion, made the most of his early familiarisation with the conditions, having arrived in Hayama a week ago. After several days training, Greenhalgh returned to Great Britain, and arrived race ready back in Japan yesterday.
“Since I just arrived in Japan yesterday, I am still suffering from jet lag a little,” Greenhalgh explained. “But I am satisfied with today’s races and believe I will have a good night’s sleep. I expect to keep going for tomorrow’s races,’ he grinned.
Paul Goodison, 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medallist in the Laser Class, pushed Greenhalgh hard round the track, hounding his every move, to wrap up with three second place finishes. Rounding out the leaderboard top three is young British sailor, Chris Rashley. An impressive display from Great Britain’s competitors, has kept the ambitious Australian contingent well away from today’s limelight.
Leading the way for the home nation are Japan’s Hiroki Goto in ninth place and Kohei Kajimoto in tenth. Hayama is Goto’s home town, so we could well see a fight back from him as he relishes the stronger breeze and local knowledge on offer tomorrow.
Three races are scheduled on Wednesday. The weather forecast will see an increase in breeze and a new challenge from waves.
by Panos Marinopoulos