Irishman Rory Fitzpatrick holds the early lead at the 2nd annual MS Amlin International Moth Regatta, hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
Fitzpatrick finished 1st and 2nd in today's two races and leads second-placed Rob Greenhalgh of Great Britain by 1 point. Italy's Stefano Rizzi is third with 9 points after placing 4th and 5th.
"It was marginal conditions today for foiling, but it went well," said Fitzpatrick, who placed 12th last year. "The wind was so patchy that it really paid to stay in the puffs because you could stay on your foils."
Greenhalgh, last year's winner, had similar thoughts. "I could've won the first race, was leading in it, but then fell off the foils," said the Briton. "The conditions were really patchy."
For the sailors who had an option on equipment, the large foils were the choice because of the light winds, 4 to 8 knots from the north/northwest. After a weekend of howling conditions that forced the postponement of yesterday's scheduled first day, the lighter winds were welcomed by some.
"I sat around all weekend playing with my boat because it was too windy," said Giovanni Galeotti of Belgium, who holds 19th after finishing 21-22. "It seemed like there were a lot of random puffs on both sides of the racecourse. I'm using intermediate foils because my large foils are being used for something else, but I still had somewhat of an edge. If I'd practiced more I might've been able to hang in there and do better."
James Doughty is the top Bermudian after the first day. He finished 19-28 and holds 20th overall, 4 points behind Galeotti. "I've only been sailing the boat for a year now but was mostly pleased with today," said Doughty, who's one of the lightest sailors in the fleet. "I got off the start line well but had trouble staying on the foils in the patchy winds."
For Doughty, the regatta is about learning the intricacies of the Moth ahead of the World Championship, which will be held in Bermuda in May 2018. "The Worlds is the candy at the end of the stick for sailors like me and Christian Luthi and Ben Paton. We're all looking forward to it," said Doughty. "We don't have a big fleet here so a regatta like this is good for us to improve our skill. If I can improve my boathandling in windy conditions, then this will be a good regatta for me."