A-Mac retains the Moth Ashes for Australia
by Louay Habib on 28 Jul 2014
19-25 July 2014
The Moth Ashes were retained by Australia with the result decided on the 'last ball of the last over' so to speak. Andrew McDoughall as the fifth placed Aussie is now the holder of The Moth Ashes.
The Moth Ashes Score Card:
The Moth Ashes all started in 2007 at the Moth Worlds in Lake Garda. The World Championship in 2007 was a very windy affair and broken carbon chards from English and Australian boats were put into a small silver urn, mimicking the cricket version.
Scott Babbage from the Woollahra Sailing Club, has raced at every Moth World Championship since that windy event at Lake Garda coming second and third twice.
"The Moth Ashes is won on a total score of the top five places for sailors from Australia and England. Josh McKnight was the fifth member of the Australian team last year in Hawaii, so he has the trophy. England have only ever won it once, in 2010, when there was little or no wind. Up until the morning of the final day, England were winning because Australia's fifth man, A-Mac (Andrew McDougall) was back in 16th place and needed to get the tape off his foils, because he was under a bit of pressure!"
Ben Paton from Lymington Town Sailing Club was the 2007 Men's Laser Radial World Champion and the top British sailor at the 2013 Moth Worlds. This is his fourth Moth Worlds on the trot and Ben finished 5th in Hayling Island.
"The main tactic for The Ashes is to stir it up between the Aussies and the Brits. The Aussies have been dominating with the Mach 2s but now, not only have we got four British sailors in the top ten, we also have British designed boats. It must have been a little bit scary for them, as pretty early on they looked like they needed to pull the cat out of the bag and find some extra pace! A-Mac pulled himself back up because he is a great sailor."
The British Moth sailors have really improved this year and a lot of that is down to training together. We have shared more information to try to get the group up to the Aussies' level. Once up to pace, we have branched off a bit to try and find our own advantages.
Andrew McDoughall (Black Rock YC), lovingly known as A-Mac had it all on in the Moth Ashes. Going into the last race, A-Mac needed to beat Swiss Moth sailor, Arnaud Psarofaghis (SN Geneva) by five places to win the Moth Ashes for Australia. A-Mac was totally unaware of the situation but finished 9th in Race 10, compared to Arnaud's 21st to clinch the Moth Ashes and have a good old giggle while he was washing down the boat at Hayling Island SC.
"The pressure was on, I was told by many Australians to pull my finger out." admitted A-Mac. "Yesterday, Josh McKnight started polishing the silver urn in front of me, just to wind me up. So I was made very aware that I needed to come through for the team. I changed the foil today and that made all the difference. The Brits and the Aussies have had a close run thing this worlds but wait until they come to Australia, when it's windy and there are a hundred of us and five of them.
"It is really cool to win the Ashes, but I promise not to steal all the carbon out of the urn!"