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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

Wetsuit Outlet and Zhik International Moth World Championship Day 1

by Mark Jardine for IMCAUK 12 Jun 2023 21:34 BST 12-18 June 2023

The wind teased, tantalized, taunted and baited the sailors on day 1 of the Wetsuit Outlet and Zhik International Moth World Championship at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, but ultimately it was not to be, and racing was abandoned for the day.

The 140 boats are split into two flights, and Yellow fleet were sent out on to the water after an hour's postponement ashore, as a South Westerly filled in with all the signs of a sea breeze building.

Every so often a band of breeze would come through and the Moths rose up on to their foils, reaching up and down around the committee boat, but the fragile wind dropped down to under five knots as quickly as it came. Monday was destined to be frustrating for all.

Race Officer David Campbell-James showed pity on Yellow fleet after a while, sending them ashore and prepping Blue fleet to launch if the breeze came in, but after a sustained ten minutes of a mighty eight knots mid-afternoon, the feeble breeze capitulated again; AP over A was raised, and with it racing was cancelled for the day.

For Spanish sailor Joan Cardona, who finished third in the Wetsuit Outlet and Zhik International Moth UK Open Championship, the light wind conditions came as some relief, as he's unable to compete in the Worlds due to his SailGP commitments. This morning I spoke to him about his event and Moth sailing on continental Europe.

Mark: You managed to knock in some really good results, with quite a few top five placings. What was key to the sailing in those conditions?

Joan: I stuttered a little bit on the marginal races - that was race 1 and 5 for me. In the races in the middle, it was around 15 knots, nice flat water, so I was always second or third with the Kiwis. The three of us in Blue fleet were quite a lot faster than the rest, and battling at the front. As I'm heavy it was marginal foiling, and it's actually my first Moth international regatta, so I was quite pleased with my result and looking forward to more.

Mark: There has been a lot of development of the Moth fleet in Europe with events like The Foiling Week helping. Are you finding this strength is growing back home?

Joan: Yes, but not so much back in Spain; we've got some Exploders now, but they are all Olympic sailors who are not really putting the hours that are needed due to their other commitments. I've been doing development with the Exploder all winter, and we're a long way ahead from where we were one year ago. So we are quite pleased with the development we have done this year and are looking forward to keep pushing and keep trying: the best new foils, the best equipment we can, wanting to be the fastest boat in the world.

Mark: It's tricky with this constant development to making sure that you've at the cutting edge. Are you keeping up with that development or driving it forward?

Joan: I'm really happy with the development. It's what I like the most; it is the most fascinating thing in sailing. To be able to try new stuff, try new equipment and make it faster than the rest, I really love it. Also, with working together with Exploder and doing so much with new materials, and testing stuff, breaking some, some was not working.... so sometimes not fast, but then in the end, you get to where you have a really fast boat, and it's where we are now, and for sure we can keep going even faster.

Mark: And sadly, you've got this clash - the opening event of SailGP Season 4. After getting on the podium at the UK Open, it must be gutting to then not be able to go into the Worlds.

Joan: Yes, but the forecast is not looking great for heavyweights! So it's not too bad for me. I felt quite strong if the wind was above 10 knots. I think if we had a really strong forecast, I would be perhaps able to get a podium finish, or even win the championship. I need to keep pushing; I'll do The Foiling Week this year and then try to go hard for the next Worlds in New Zealand.

Many fingers are crossed for more wind on Tuesday so that we can get racing at the Wetsuit Outlet and Zhik International Moth World Championship under way.

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