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Paris 2024 Olympic ILCA 7 campaigner Ewan McMahon has won the Irish Moth National Championships 2022, for the second year running.

This year, the Irish Moth Class partnered with the Irish Waszp Class to hold a joint national championships kindly hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoighaire.

The initial forecast for the weekend looked borderline, however, the two fleets enjoyed close-to-perfect foiling conditions and warm sunshine for the whole weekend, with Sunday being described as one of the best days foiling of the summer! The standard of sailing was certainly impressive in the Moth fleet this year with Ronan Wallace and Fionn Conway, each having just returned from the Moth Europeans in Brittany, France the week before, keeping the pressure on Ewan throughout the weekend. Similarly, Jim Devlin was flying fast throughout the event and showed the rest of us how to not only balance through a foil tack but also how to balance raising a young family and having the time to compete at the nationals!

Irish National Moth Champion Ewan McMahon pictured centreIrish National Moth Champion Ewan McMahon pictured centre Photo: Sean Hannon

Race one took place after 11 am on Saturday, roughly between the harbour and Sandymount strand in a WNW 7-12 breeze, getting lighter and patchier closer to the windward mark and slightly more consistent towards the leeward and the finish. The Moths sailed three laps of a windward leeward course. Competitors had to ensure they sailed around the spreader mark, laid about 50 metres past the windward mark and then had to round the leeward mark to port and ensure to sail through the finish line before going back upwind again. This was to ensure the race committee could keep track of the fleet and results given the different speeds of the boats and the two fleets racing on the same course.

Fionn Conway in a Mach 2.6Fionn Conway in a Mach 2.6 Photo: Sean Hannon

As per Windguru's forecast, the wind promptly dropped after race one and filled in from the south with a lively 15 knots plus to get the second race off. The first windward mark saw the fleet get around fine however Ed Butler misjudged the rounding which led to a collision between the windward mark and his leeward shroud causing a massive pitch pole which bent his spreaders on impact. There was just one more race completed after race two with the fourth race being abandoned due to the dying sea breeze which couldn’t seem to fight of the westerly gradient. The sailors were greeted with a pasta dish to replenish the many burned calories followed by something to wash it down and a delicious meal altogether with the Waszp sailors and volunteers in the club.

Jim Devlin in a Mach 2Jim Devlin in a Mach 2 Photo: Sean Hannon

Sunday morning dawned earlier than usual with the target first gun being 10 am sharp. It was agreed by all that the best of the wind would be in the early morning so, without delay, the two fleets made their way out (half asleep!) to the start line which this time was about 800 metres directly out from the harbour mouth. The racing kicked off in a fantastic 12-16 knots from the west and the starts were even more competitive than the day before with all sailors hitting the line together at full speed. Fionn Conway, in his Mach 2, took a well-deserved race win in race six and the one Voodoo competing in the fleet, sailed by Ronan Wallace, was going exceptionally quick also. By the end of the seventh race, the decision to race early paid off as the wind began to get patchier and the moth sailors headed home on a high for more pasta and refreshments and craic.

Ed Butler in a Mach 2Ed Butler in a Mach 2

Thanks to Moselle Hogan and Tadgh Ó Braonáin who provided rescue on Saturday. Special mention goes to Moselle for her continued encouragement to the fleet generally and who made it out on Sunday in her Mach 2 to enjoy the thrill of foiling around Dublin Bay in the champagne conditions. Thanks also to Scott Flannigan for providing rescue and much-needed support to the Mothies on Sunday.

While the general consensus from both fleets was that the sailing was very physically challenging, everybody was delighted with the seven races meticulously organised, managed and executed by race officer Barry O'Neill and his team. Combining the two fleets certainly contributed to a more social weekend and atmosphere around the club.

All of the staff at the RStGYC were very welcoming on the lead up to and throughout the whole weekend and provided the sailors with a café, a bar and a restaurant, allowing for a real onsite feel to the event. A big mention and particular thanks to Henry Start, class captain of the Irish Waszp Fleet, for ultimately making the weekend happen. 

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Tom Slingsby has won Olympic gold and numerous world titles in the Laser class. He has won the America's Cup as strategist with Team Oracle USA.

Last December, he flew his North Sails 3Di mainsail in a never seen before domination of the Moth World Championship

Rob Greenhalgh, now based in Sydney, is our North Sails Moth specialist. He himself has won numerous national and international titles (including the 2004 1720 Europeans!) and indeed represented Ireland as a member of Anthony O'Leary's "Antix" team in the 2008 Rolex Commodore's Cup. Rob is veteran of five Volvo Ocean races and was a member of the winning team in the 2005/6 edition on "ABN Amro 1".

North Sails Wins 2019 Irish Moth Nationals

Closer to home, Alistair Kissane from Howth Yacht Club (pictured below) won the 2019 Irish Moth nationals in Baltimore Sailing Club flying his North Sails Vi-8LA 3Di mainsail.

Alistair KissaneAlistair Kissane flying North Sails 3Di to win the 2019 Irish Moth Nationals in Baltimore SC

Please click on the link here to watch a fascinating North Sails video, narrated by Rob with special guest Tom Slingsby, on the technical aspects of setting up the new North Sails Vi-9DSX Moth sail and rig. No matter what boat you sail, this is well worth watching!

Join North Sails Moth Class Leader, National and European titleholder Rob Greenhalgh for the first of many live webinars, on Wednesday, March 25th at 8:00 pm GMT, register here

From all of us here at North Sails Ireland - stay safe and well.

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Royal Cork Yacht Club's David Kenefick has finished 28th and fifth nation at the Moth Worlds in Perth, Western Australia. 

As Afloat reported earlier, the Cork Harbour sailor was one of two Irish helms competing. Also racing was the National Yacht Club's, Fionn Conway from Dublin Bay.

In general, it was a windy regatta with 'extremely tough competition', according to Kenefick. 

With much more interesting breeze conditions, the final day of the 2019 Chandler Macleod Moth Worlds saw a real shake up on the course.

The battle for second place was on between Kyle Langford and Tom Burton after Tom Slingsby took out the overall championship after yesterday with two races to spare.

The day's racing was live-streamed by Down Under Sail and supported by broadcast partners CST Composites and Mach2 Boats, with Slingsby keeping his Moth under cover and joining the media team in the commentary box for the day.

In the first race, Langford was slow off the start line and struggled in the lighter winds after deciding to sail with a bigger foil.

After the first upwind leg he was caught in no wind and was unable to get the boat foiling, leaving himself out the back and giving Burton the opportunity to strike.

But both sailors ended up dropping the race with Burton finishing in 14th, leaving the battle to be decided in the final race where Burton needed to win with Langford in sixth or worse to claim the runner up honours.

The day proved to be a better one for the Europeans with lighter conditions helping Italian Francesco Bruni to a 1-2 and moving into fifth position overall.

The next World Championships are in Weymouth in September 2020, a venue much closer to home that may encourage a bigger Irish entry.

Final top ten:
1. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 14 points
2. Kyle Langford, AUS, 28
3. Tom Burton, AUS, 34
4. Scott Babbage , AUS, 47
5. Francesco Bruni, ITA, 52
6. Brad Funk, AUS, 72
7. Robert Greenhalgh, AUS, 75
8. Matthew Chew , AUS, 76
9. Thomas Johnson , AUS, 104
10. Josh Mcknight, AUS, 107.3

Full results

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Two Irish sailors are contesting the Moth Worlds in Perth, Western Australia. After nine races sailed Royal Cork's David Kenefick was lying 28th and Fionn Conway 38th of the National Yacht Club in the 61-boat fleet at Mounts Bay Yacht Club.

It was all to play for on Sunday with positions very much up for grabs to make the cut for Gold fleet racing.

Both Kenefick and Conway contested Lake Garda foiling week in July with Cork Harbour's Kenefick making the podium.

The fleets will be split for Monday's finals racing allowing the first chance to see the best sailors all on the same course for the first time.

It will be the first time since the nationals that we will see some sailors on the same course, with Tom Slingsby (AUS) putting on a clinic on the Yellow course, while Tom Burton (AUS) and Kyle Langford (AUS) have been duking it out on the Blue course.

Slingsby solidified his position as the championship favourite after a stellar effort today that saw him claim three race wins from as many races, with plenty of daylight behind him in most instances.

His nearest competitors Francesco Bruni (ITA), Brad Funk (USA) and Matthew Chew (AUS) all had solid days as well, but were just unable to get near the current SailGP champion helm.

Results are here

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Royal Cork Yacht Club's David Kenefick has more than got the upper hand on these latest foiling techniques and chalked up another significant result at International Foiling Week on Lake Garda at the weekend.

Regular Afloat readers will recall that the former Figaro solo sailor who switched to the International Moth dinghy in 2016 was a creditable 11th at the Moth Worlds in Bermuda a year ago.

Now the Cork Harbour sailor has posted a third from 83 at the biggest European Moth event at his favourite Italian venue.

Kenefick Foiling WeekKenefick in perfect balance at Foiling Week on Lake Garda. Photo: Martina Orsini

Kenefick will be back on Irish waters next month for the  Irish nationals at Baltimore, West Cork from the 9-11 August.

Other Irish in Lake Garda included Alistair Kissane, from Howth Yacht Club, who took an impressive eighth overall. Kenefick's clubmate, Cian Byrne was 23rd. Ireland's Fionn Conway sailing 'Paddy' from the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club was 33rd. 

Results are here

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After four races sailed on day two at the International Moth Championships in Portugal at Clube de Vela de Lagos Royal Cork Yacht Club's Dave Kenefick is top of three Irish sailors competing in the 47-boat fleet in eighth place overall.

The National Yacht Club's Rory Fitzpatrick is 11th and Cian Byrne is 37th.

Overall, Francesco Bruni of Italy has a 10 point lead. Bruni (1,1,2,1) has 5 points after four races and leads from Britain's David Hivey (2,3,9,2) on 16 points and Ross Harvey (13,4,7,3) on 27 points.

Brad Funk of the USA started well with a 3 and 2, and a win in race 3, but then failed to finish race 4, which places him down in 14th place until the first discard kicks in.

Results are here.

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Ten boats were entered for this year's International Moth National Championships, held at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay.

Starting with three races on a chilly Friday afternoon, in light, north to northeast winds and lumpy seas off the west pier in Seapoint bay. Royal Cork's Davy Kenefick set the tone early with three straight wins. Cian Byrne showed his talent with a similarly consistent string of second places - not bad after just six months moth sailing! Ali Kissane made dad & OOD Richard proud, with three third places in dying wind in his brand new Irish built 'Voodoo' Moth. With the wind gone, the fleet retired to a local eatery for some well deserved R&R.

moth nationals 2018The Irish Moth Nationals took place at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

Saturday dawned with fresh northerly winds and Race Officer Con Murphy took the responsible decision to run racing in the harbour, achieving a reasonable race-track set up for both Moths and Wazsp Fleets. Five quick races were run off in three hours in 18-23knts with a nasty lump on the surface. The conditions took their toll on all sailors and their equipment. Event leader Kenefick had a big stack at the first windward mark going through his sail in the process which allowed Cian Byrne the break he needed to get few bullets under his belt while Kenefick went ashore to change sails.

Kenefick wipe outA shaky race course photo records a wipeout for Kenefick in breezy and lumpy conditions on Scotsman's Bay

After the dust settled, it was close at the top between the two Cork sailors with Jim Devlin, recovering from a rudder issue to claim third. Laser Ace, Ronan Wallace put in a robust effort with a pair of seconds in that challenging breeze.

All down to the final day and mother nature wanted her say - a strong and gusty 15-25knt south-west wind facilitated four more races in the flat seas of Seapoint Bay. Waszps and KONA windsurfers shared the course on the final day to spice up the atmosphere.

"A controversial ninth race saw leeward mark drifting issues"

A controversial ninth race saw leeward mark drifting issues combined with strong squalls on the downwind leg allowing Kenefick come out on top after all the leading group capsized and recovered with varying degrees of success. With Byrne retiring to shore to carry out some quick repairs soon after the start of race 10, the event was left for Kenefick to take advantage of his luck and foil on to victory - but only after Ali Kissane took a well-deserved race 10 off him and his fancy new British built 'Exocet' moth.

So it was Kenefick, followed by Byrne, sailing an Australian built standard Mach2 moth in second, and a well deserved consistent Jim Devlin in third with 27 knots reading on his speed puck, also sailing a Mach 2.

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We thought it would go down to the wire, and that's exactly what happened at the Moth UK National Championships. The final race decided the title with four sailors still in with a shout of winning the event writes Mark Jardine of Yachts and Yachting.

Royal Cork's David Kenefick who had been only three points off second overall missed the podium – but only on countback – after a tough final day to finish fourth overall at Thorpe Bay.

The weather on Saturday was stunning, with early sunshine leading to a good sea breeze. The later high water allowed enough time for four races to be held, leading to the full series of twelve races being completed.

There was drama just before the start when Kyle Stoneham, who has put so much time into organising this event, found a mouse in his wing bar while heading out onto the race course. He, of course, went back to shore to drop it off on land, but hit the slipway with his centreboard foil, leading to some quick sanding time to get it smooth enough to sail with.

A quick recap of the positions going into the final day; Jason Belben was leading by nine points, but Jim McMillan, Dave Kenefick and Simon Hiscocks were on the charge in the stronger winds.

The man who was closest to Belben going into the final race was Jim McMillan, and his final day charge 1,2,8,3 results giving him enough to win the overall title by four points. Jim was understandably ecstatic to overturn the nine-point deficit: "I'm absolutely stoked! This is the first Moth event where I didn't have to count Did Not Starts and Did Not Competes. I came here to have some fun and hopefully finish in the top ten, so to take the win I'm stoked. It's been fantastic for the last two days - perfect Moth sailing conditions with flat water, the sun out and everyone enjoying themselves, non-stop foiling around; it's perfect." 

Overall top five:

1. Jim McMillan, 32 points
2. Jason Belben, 36
3. Simon Hiscocks, 38
4. Dave Kenelick, 38
5. Ross Harvey, 53

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Royal Cork Yacht Club's Dave Kenefick lies an impressive third overall – and a single point off second place – at the 40–boat UK Moth National Championships. 

Counting a string of top ten results in a fleet packed with top British dinghy sailors, Kenefick scored two second places on Friday, which means the Cork Harbour sailor is eyeing a podium finish at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club. 

Conditions so far have been perfect for foiling Moth sailing, with 12 knots of breeze and flat water. 

Howth Yacht Club's Alistair Kissane is 19th and the National Yacht Club's Neil O'Toole is 25th.

More on this from Mark Jardine in Yachts and Yachting.

Results after Day 3:

Pos Sail No Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Pts
1 4509 Jason Belben 2 3 1 1 2 -7 3 5 17
2 4533 Jim McMillan 4 1 5 6 4 2 4 -11 26
3 4148 Dave Kenefick 1 -9 2 7 8 5 2 2 27
4 4409 Ross Harvey 8 2 4 3 6 11 -12 1 35
5 4386 Simon Hiscox 13 4 8 11 -14 1 1 3 41
6 4501 Dan Ellis 11 5 6 -13 9 4 5 7 47
7 4525 Ben Clegg 5 7 3 2 15 9 (DSQ) 9 50
8 4584 Mike Lennon 3 11 10 9 -20 8 9 4 54
9 3980 Alex Adams -16 10 11 8 3 10 10 13 65
10 4149 Eddie Bridle 12 12 9 -18 11 14 6 6 70
11 4534 Jason Russell -18 8 17 4 5 15 17 15 81
12 4442 Kyle Stoneham -21 15 12 16 1 16 11 17 88
13 4542 David Hivey 17 17 28 10 (DNC) 6 8 8 94
14 4541 Jeremy Hartley 14 16 15 5 10 17 24 -26 101
15 4492 Nic Streatfeild 7 18 20 12 16 13 -21 16 102
16 4548 Tom Offer (DNC) DNC 7 15 21 3 7 10 104
17 4544 Mathew Lea 10 21 13 22 17 -26 15 14 112
18 3799 Max Stelzl 22 -25 16 17 7 21 20 18 121
19 43 Alistair Kissane 15 13 -29 20 13 24 25 12 122
20 4136 Ed Redfearn 6 14 14 14 22 33 (DNC) DNC 144
21 4104 George Boussoulas 23 22 24 -29 24 20 18 24 155
22 4101 Andrew Sim 27 19 19 21 23 -30 28 22 159
23 4208 Tom Lambert 24 20 18 -27 25 25 23 25 160
24 4390 Cian Byrne (DNC) DNC DNC 19 18 12 13 20 164
25 4139 Neil O'Toole 20 23 23 -30 29 28 22 29 174
26 8 Dan Ward 9 6 (DNC) 25 12 DNC DNC DNC 175
27 4484 David Jassop 28 24 22 31 (DNC) 29 19 23 176
28 4328 Alex Ringstadt 25 28 21 33 19 18 (OCS) BFD 182
29 3989 Hiroki Goto (DNC) DNC DNC 23 26 19 14 19 183
30 4036 Chris Clarke 19 27 31 (DNC) 30 23 26 27 183
31 4554 David Smithwhite 26 35 (DNC) 24 DNC 22 16 21 185
32 3169 Brad Gibson 29 26 27 26 27 -31 29 28 192
33 3870 Eddie Gatehouse 31 32 25 28 31 -34 30 31 208
34 4479 Adrian Coatsworth 32 30 26 34 33 -38 35 34 224
35 3995 Charlie Coulborn 30 31 33 32 34 -35 34 32 226
36 4033 Adam Golding (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 28 27 27 30 235
37 3629 Thomas Mehew 33 33 32 (DNC) DNC 32 31 33 235
38 4241 Ian Keely 34 34 34 (DNC) DNC 36 33 36 248
39 3948 Neil Cooney (DNC) DNC DNC DNC 32 37 32 35 259
40 4096 Mark Dicker (DNC) 29 30 DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 264

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Just two points off the top ten overall, Royal Cork Yacht Club's David Kenefick has posted Ireland's best Moth World Championships result to date, an 11th overall in Bermuda. 

Dubliner Rory Fitzpatrick was 29th in the 41–boat fleet having suffered both a DNF and a DNC in a six race series that saw many competitors suffer gear damage in the early races sailed in strong winds.

Kenefick was also Ireland's top performer last year when the Cork Harbour ace finished 31st on Lake Garda in 2017 in a massive 80–boat fleet. 

For the third year in a row Paul Goodison of the U.K. has won the world championship of the International Moth Class Association. Goodison, 40, achieved the feat when the final day of racing at the  was canceled due to lack of wind.

Goodison previously won the Moth Worlds in Japan in 2016 and last year in Italy. He became the second skipper in the 77-year history of the regatta to win three consecutive titles, matching fellow British sailor David Izatt from 1979 to 1981.

“Last year’s win was very, very special because it came straight after the Americas Cup and it was against all the guys I’d been working with and sailing against,” said Goodison, who was a member of Artemis Racing during the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda.

“This one feels amazing as well since it’s in Bermuda where I spent so much time practicing for the last Cup,” Goodison continued. “We had some amazing conditions this week. Unfortunately, they weren’t the best conditions the last few days with the light winds, but this championship feels very special because it is the third in a row.”

Along with the three Moth world championships Goodison has also won an Olympic Gold medal in 2008 in the Laser class and the Laser World Championship in 2009.

The weather at this regatta frustrated everyone from competitors to observers. The conditions started as fresh-to-frightening with winds of 20 to 25 knots. By the end of the week the weather pendulum swung to fair-to-fine as warm temperatures and sunny skies were abundant but not the breeze. Goodison played through it all.

“We all came here knowing some days would be bad and some days worse. For me the finest day was the first day of the Bermuda Nationals,” said Goodison in reference to racing on March 23. “The first day of the worlds was very challenging, very windy. The next day we had four races in perfect Moth sailing weather. It’s been frustrating not to do more racing, but the racing we’ve done has been excellent.”

Paul Goodison (bow 01), Francesco Bruni (bow 04) and Victor Diaz de Leon (bow 43) work off the start line in a light-air race on the final day of the Bacardi Moth World Championship. The race would later be abandoned when the wind died away (©Martina Orsini photo).
Francesco Bruni of Italy, a teammate of Goodison’s with Artemis Racing, placed second overall and Rome Kirby of the U.S., who sailed with Oracle Team USA last year in the America’s Cup, finished third.

“It’s just a dream to finish second,” said Bruni, who’ll turn 45 on April 10. “The thing that stands out most for me is we did six races in very strong wind. I was expecting to have to defend in those conditions and attack in the lighter winds. To finish second with four third-place finishes in the second day of racing is a huge achievement and very, very good for my spirit.”

For Kirby, third-place was a just result. “I was just trying to keep the boat together on that breezy first day,” said the 28-year-old. “I just wanted to stay consistent. My finishes were all second through seventh, so I had good consistency. It’s unfortunate we didn’t have more racing, but I’ll take third place.”

Andreas John won the Masters’ Division. The 57-year-old skipper from Blankeneser Segelclub on the Elbe River in Blankenese, Germany, finished 24th overall with 111 points. Among the six Masters’ entrants he finished with the low score of 7 points, good for a 4-point advantage over fellow German Kai Adolph.

Bermudian Benn Smith won the Youth Division. Representing the host Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the 18-year-old Smith finished 31st overall with 151 points. As the lone entrant in the Youth Division he finished with 4 points.

“It’s cool, it’s special,” Smith said of his achievement. “I sail the Laser a lot and you see the top guys in the Moth have sailed the Laser. Bruni was in the Laser and Goodison won a gold medal. They’ve taken to the Moth really easily and I’d like to be like them someday.”

The 78th Moth World Championship is scheduled Nov. 19-29, 2018 and will be hosted by Mounts Bay Sailing Club on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. 

(After 6 races, with one discard)
1. Paul Goodison (GBR) 1-1-(DNC-45)-1-2-1 – 6 points
2. Francesco Bruni (ITA) (13)-7-3-3-3-3 – 19
3. Rome Kirby (USA) (7)-2-6-5-5-5 – 23
4. Brad Funk (USA) 3-3-(7)-7-6-6 – 25
5. Victor Diaz de Leon (USA) 4-6-5-8-9-(10) – 32
6. Ted Hackney (AUS) 14-(15)-2-6-11-2 – 35
7. Benoit Marie (FRA) 8-4-9-10-8-(11) – 39
8. Dan Ward (GBR) 6-5-(12)-11-12-9 – 43
9. Ben Paton (GBR) (45-DNF)-24-8-9-4-7 – 52
10. Iain Jensen (AUS) 5-(45-DNC)-1-2-1-45 DNF – 54
Go to Final Standings here

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