Sunday, 12 October 2008

A new Boat, A new Season

Today was the start of the 2008/2009 18 Footer season. And boy did I know it. John and the boys have been working until 1am getting the new boat ready! So what's new. The only good thing about the long hours is that I have SO much work on so I too had to work... That was until Starwars convinced me to come out and watch the start of the race. Great decision - it was a stunning day on the harbour! Bring on summer.

Anyway, for all of those who care, some pics of the new boat...

They won the start...

PS - if your wondering about the results, it was a handicap race. Typical ridiculous handicaps with those in charge insisting 'it's all automatic'! Either way, the boys sailed well.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Life after the WIN

Well, can you believe it? John actually won the 2008 Moth World Championships!!!!!!

It was all very exciting and a great result!

The whirlwind of that last day of racing ended with us taking home a HUGE trophy! The next morning at 5am we attempted to pack the car then drive to London Heathrow to start our holiday in Greece. We got a bit lost... but made our flight which was lucky. They even let us on the plane with the mountains of bags and the big box with the trophy! What a circus.

Anyway, what can I say. Greece was AMAZING. Two weeks on the trusty "Apollo" catamaran and our fellow passengers - the rest of the Harris clan. Many stories, wonderful moments and about 1,200 photos. Then two days in Athens.

Then home.

The bad news is that after such a fabulous trip it has taken me a solid 2 months to get over the post-holiday depression.... back to reality as they say.

I guess it's not all bad - we are off to America on Saturday to visit Andrew, Sandy & Oscar! Yay!

Anyway, I will post photos when I get time.

P.S. sorry for not updating the blog - my fault (not John's). There have been a few complaints... and I did not even think anyone reads this this!

Stay tuned...

The Moth World Champ, me and the HUGE trophy! On some remote Greek Island...



Friday, 11 July 2008

PRESS RELEASE: 11 July 2008 – Aussie White Wash at Moth Worlds!

Australian John Harris has sailed away with the 2008 title as World Champion in the Moth Class with one race to spare. With third being his worst result, he has come away the clear winner.

After having a go on fellow skiff crew member Scott Babbage's Foiler Moth 18 months ago, he decided he had to take it on. Thirteen months after purchasing his own boat, and competing at the 2007 Moth World Championships at Lake Garda, Italy, he has made it to the top of the foiling game.

John Harris is a past 18 Foot Skiff World Champion, and has secured numerous Australian Championships on Sydney Harbour.

2nd and 3rd place were also taken by fellow Australians Andrew McDougall and Mathew Belcher consecutively – making the Aussies easy winners in the Ashes series for 2008.

It was an Aussie white wash at the worlds with the Poms being annihilated in the Ashes series – particularly painful on the Brits home turf.

The final day of the CST Composites 2008 Moth World Championships featured the last 3 races of the series, in conditions similar to yesterday. The fleet were sent out in the morning for the first 2 races in conditions averaging 18 knots gusting to 27. After lunch, winds were stronger at an average of 20 knots.

Top five places in each of today's races were as follows:

Race 1: 1st John Harris (AUS), 2nd Scott Babbage (AUS), 3rd Mathew Belcher (AUS), 4th Andrew Brown (NZL), 5th Alex Knight (GBR).

Race 2: 1st Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2nd Bora Gulari (USA), 3rd John Harris (AUS), 4th Mathew Belcher (AUS), 5th Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI).

Race 3: 1st Andrew McDougall (AUS), 2nd John Harris (AUS), 3rd Elco Boers (NED), 4th Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI), 5th James Owen-Smith (AUS).

Top British spot was secured by Alex Knight (GBR) who finished 6th – with no mention in any of the form guides he snuck in as a dark horse on his Bladerider. Second Brit was Graham Vials (GBR) in 7th spot, also riding a Bladerider. Competition favourite Simon Payne (GBR) finished 8th overall and ex-Olympian Adam May (GBR) finished 14th in his new British made Velociraptor.

USA favourite Bora Gulari was unable to complete the series due to other sailing commitments, however, he thoroughly enjoyed his time here at the CST Composites 2008 Moth World Championships and secured 20th spot. He is particularly looking forward to sailing in home waters in at the 2009 Moth World Championships in The Gorge, Portland USA.

Sam England (AUS) dominated the female competition, coming 16th overall, giving many of the men a good run for their money. The other ladies in the fleet finished as follows: Florence Beal (SUI) 55th, Helen Rollinson (GBR) 64th, Clare Dallimore (GBR) 77th, Katherine Knight (GBR) 79th.

French celebrity Sebastian Josse (FRA) finished 23rd and is looking forward to the next World Championships in Portland, USA.

The Swiss contingent was led by Arnaud Psarofaghis, who had an impressive result of 4th overall. At just 19 years of age, Psarofaghis is showing strong potential for future events.

The Junior competition was strong with some fantastic talent coming up through the ranks. Sten-Mark Bachmann from Estonia finished 11th overall which is extremely impressive at just 16 years of age.

Top 10 Final Series Places were as follows:

1st John Harris (AUS)
2nd Andrew McDougall (AUS)
3rd Mathew Belcher (AUS)
4th Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
5th Scott Babbage (AUS)
6th Alex Knight (GBR)
7th Graham Vials (GBR)
8th Simon Payne (GBR)
9th Glenn Raphael (UAE)
10th Andrew Brown (NZL)

Other placing's in the event were as follows:

1st Masters title (over 45yrs) had Andrew McDougall (AUS).
1st Female sailor was Sam England (AUS).
1st Junior (18 years and younger as of 31 December 2008) – Sten-Mark Bachmann (EST).
1st Non-Foiler (Skiff, scow) – Russell Wheeler (GBR).

European Champions:
1st Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI)
2nd Alex Knight (GBR)
3rd Graham Vials (GBR)
4th Simon Payne (GBR)
5th Sten-Mark Bachmann (EST)

The full results are available at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy web site at

Photo of 2008 Moth World Champion John Harris by Thierry Martinez –
For more information on the moth class please go to the International Moth Class Association web site at
For more information on CST Composites and their products go to &
For more information on the World Championships event contact the Media Officer – Alexandra Harris at
For information about television material contact

Thursday, 10 July 2008

PRESS RELEASE: 10 July 2008 - Australia's Successful bid for the 2011 Moth World Championships

The International Moth Class Association has selected Belmont, Australia as the venue for the 2011 Moth World Championships.

Situated on Lake Macquarie, 90 minutes North of Sydney, Belmont will provide ideal conditions for the large fleet of Moths expected at the regatta. Belmont 16' Skiff Sailing Club will host the event, and given it's recent experience with the OK Dinghy World Championship in 2006, other large regattas and the upcoming A Class World Championship, the 16' Skiff Club will have the experience and resources to put together a successful championship.

A long standing record of 95 boats competed in the last Moth Worlds on Lake Macquarie in 1995, yet that record should be smashed in January 2011 given the explosive interest in the Foiling Moth fleet, and the ramping up of production from builders around the globe.

The local Australian Moth fleet has been re-energized by their successful bid. Australian 49er Olympians Chris Nicholson and Nathan Outteridge have both expressed interest in competing as have Rohan Veal and Emmett Lazich with a move to rejoin the class and recapture their World Champion titles past. Given recent successes from Australian 18' Skiff sailors John Harris and Scott Babbage, several other 18 sailors may make the now well-worn transition into what is arguably the highest perfomance dinghy on the planet. Given the swelling ranks of talented sailors and newcomers to the class, their ascension to the front of the fleet will be hard fought.

Summer conditions on Lake Macquarie are usually hot, dry and sunny, with regular North-East seabreezes regularly over 20 knots. These conditions will be ideal for the expected fleet of well over 100 foiling Moths.

For more information, please see the International Moth Class Association of Australia or the Belmont 2011 Moth World Champs web site or contact Phil Stevenson at

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

PRESS RELEASE: 9 July 2008 – Moth Class News and a Speed Challenge

The fourth day of the CST Composites 2008 Moth World Championships has been cancelled due to too much wind with gusts over 30 knots continuing.

However, the sailors spirits were lifted late yesterday afternoon when the event organisers allowed them out into Portland Harbour for a 'Speed Challenge'. Each boat was given a Velocitek to record their fastest 10 second average in over 25 knots of breeze.

Arnaud Psarofaghis (SUI) came away with the impressive 10 second average speed of 26.1 knots; James Owen-Smith (AUS) came in second with 25.9 knots and Martin Gravare (SWE) third with 25.4 knots. The photos attached tell the story of a fun afternoon had by all.

The big news for today was the four hour International Moth Class Association Annual General Meeting. Class President Mark Robinson is delighted by the unprecedented interest coming from all corners of the globe. With 18 nations represented at the CST Composites 2008 Moth World Championships, and a raft of fabulous proposals to host future events coming from various countries, the room took the time to vote on which options would be in the best interest for the growth of the Moth Class.

The next three year's Moth World Championships were confirmed at this meeting, as follows:

- 2009 Moth World Championships will be held in The Gorge, Portland USA from 5th to 14th August 2009.

- 2010 Moth World Championships will be held in Dubai, UAE in April 2010.

- 2011 Moth World Championships will be held on Lake Macquarie, Australia in January 2011.

Further, the 2009 European Championships will be held in Kiel, Germany in June next year.

The WPSA Race Committee have amended the 2008 Championship sailing instructions to allow racing tomorrow to commence as one fleet. This will make for some spectacular sailing with almost 100 boats lining up on the start line.

The forecast for tomorrow's weather is for kinder conditions of under 20 knots, so they are aiming for at least 4 races tomorrow, and as many as possible on Friday, the last day of the event.

Photos by Thierry Martinez –
For more information on the moth class please go to the International Moth Class Association web site at
For more information on CST Composites and their products go to &
For more information on the World Championships event contact the Media Officer – Alexandra Harris at
For information about television material contact

John Harris.

The wild conditions.

The fleet launching.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Sights and funny stuff....

Well, it's 3pm and we still wait... because it's still too windy AGAIN! The race committee will see what the situation is at 4pm today. Considering I have been here since 8am, that makes it a very long day.

Not to mention - what do I write about???? That's 4 days of no sailing!

Everyone is getting extremely bored and frustrated.

There are, however, interludes of funny stuff. Check out Simon Payne's blog titled "The Revenge of Gaia".

Also, some pics below of the sights.

Our home: Tompot Cottage and the crew - John, Scott, Karina & Ben.

PRESS RELEASE: 8 July 2008 – The Moth Waiting Game

The third day of the CST Composites 2008 Moth World Championships has been cancelled due to too much wind with gusts between 20 and 32 knots continuing.

Sailors are now getting disappointed after four days now of not being able to get on the water, and the forecast for tomorrow is not looking good. The race committee is more hopeful for Thursday and Friday, however, the number of races for the championship is rapidly diminishing.

At the sailor's briefing at 9.30am, the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy race committee indicated that the sailing instructions have been amended to reduce the number of qualifying races to four with one drop. However, with the end of the race period closing in fast, they will be more willing to send sailors out in the upper limits of the wind spectrum of 25 knots.

With many hours being spent sitting around the boat park waiting over the last few days a favourite pastime of Moth Sailors is checking out each others boats and innovations.

One of the leaders in current thinking of how to make the foiling Moth faster is Adam May (GBR)

Adam has been sailing foiling Moths for about 4 years and is the current secretary of the International Moth Class Association. He joined the class after finishing 6th in his Olympic campaign in the Tornado in Sydney 2000, then missing selection for Athens in 2004, he jumped to the foiling moths. His resume includes designing a number of moths over the years, the latest being the Velociraptor, with each of his 4 different designs competing at this regatta.

"Apart from the exhilaration of sailing these boats, I really enjoy the camaraderie of the people involved. Competitors willingly share and discuss ideas about design, boat settings, and moth sailing in general… There are very few other boats I'd want to be involved in, and I plan on attending numerous Moth World Championships because after two 3rds I'd like to think I can better that result, and have many more years in the class considering there are some inspirational older class members still foiling around at over twice my age".

Photo by Alexandra Harris – of the CST branded Moths ready to set sail.
For more information on the moth class please go to the International Moth Class Association web site at
For more information on CST Composites and their products go to &
For more information on the World Championships event contact the Media Officer – Alexandra Harris at
For information about television material contact