x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Simon Payne leads the field as weak winds delays Moth World Championships

Weak and shifting winds rising to just 11 knots causes an early finish to day four of the Moth World Championships at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.

DUBAI // Weak and shifting winds rising to just 11 knots caused an early finish to day four of the Moth World Championships at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. With 17 series points, the UK's Simon Payne leads the field with a three-point buffer between him and the overnight second-place, Brad Funk who has 20. Eight races are now in the bag and the postponed final race will be squeezed into tomorrow's schedule. "Conditions were not great and the winds just weren't strong enough so we had to cancel the last race," said Lisa Richards, who manages the Puma-sponsored event. The UAE champion, Chris Graham, was in ninth position after the two contests while Kerstin Sommer, the only female Moth sailor in the country, was occupying 30th. It's her first World Championship outing and she has only been sailing the tricky and technical Moth boat for eighteen months, but Sommer said she was not happy with her performance. "It was pretty terrible to be honest," she said. "I seemed to do too many things wrong, but I haven't really had the chance to sit down and think about where it went wrong today." Sommer made an excellent start to the competition, leading the women's event from 26th position, but has slipped down the rankings since. "I began the week very well but I have just gone a bit off track," she said. "But I will go out tomorrow with a fresh outlook." The 44 competitors enjoyed a lay day and Sommer said she enjoyed the chance to have a rest. "Sailing every day and spending hours out on the water is very tiring so I was glad of the day off. I'm just going to focus on my performance for the rest of the week now," she said.

stregoning@thenational.ae