(Guest Blogger Simon "Hollywood" Propper reports..)
Mothies experiencing Garda withdrawal symptoms will be wondering how to get their foiling glamour kicks next year. The Worlds are scheduled for October 2013 at Kaneohe Yacht Club on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Your intrepid Moth reporter took a trip over there for the US nationals this October to find out what our first Worlds in Hawaii will be like. I know it’s a tough assignment but I am dedicated to the cause.
O’ahu is a small island about 20 miles wide and 30 miles long. You fly to Honolulu, a busy developed tourist resort. Kaneohe is a twenty minute drive across the island to a much quieter and more idyllic spot. The bay is a stunningly beautiful enclosed sailing area bordered by hills and completely protected from ocean swell so the water is flat and warm as a bath. Coral reefs mean you have to sail out of a channel before the bay widens into the race-course. It’s exactly large enough to set a 1 mile beat and wide enough for tactical sailing upwind and downwind. So it will be a different kind of racing to Garda. Boat speed and tactics will be more significant than wave handling.
We had trade winds of 15 to 20 knots every day so there were high numbers on the GPS downwind. It can be lighter in October if the trades don’t blow but we didn’t see those conditions.
Launching is from floating pontoons into the mini-marina leading to the bay. These are fine for us but the club needs to add some more for the event so we can launch in greater numbers. The great thing is they are really keen to host our event and have a star race organizer in Tom Pochereva who will do whatever it takes to make it a classic regatta. The race organization was faultless for our warm up event – the US nationals – and they are working closely with the class to get feedback on courses, race length and number of races etc.
There are no local hotels. Accommodation is in B&B’s near the club or rented houses and apartments. I would think that the cheapest deals will be rented property which could be as little as $50 (GBP30) per person per night if a group of us shares. The nearest small town is Kailua ten minutes drive from the club. If you have family with you that could be the best base because it has a fantastic beach and all the usual holiday amenities without being at all trashy. Opportunities for hiking, surfing and generally exploring the incredible natural beauty of the island are plentiful.
Ok so it’s going to be a one-time Moth Worlds in paradise. If you miss this one, when will you next get the chance to race in a tropical island setting? But it’s a long way from Europe and the event really won’t be the same without a UK and European entry. There’s no way to make this a cheap trip, but it may be less than you are imagining and there are things we can do to cut the budget.
I just checked Expedia and flights in September are GBP930. October isn’t on the booking calendar yet but its low season and could be less. The stop-over would be San Francisco or LA. Two great places to break your trip if you are interested in seeing some of California.
Shipping will be the other big ticket cost. Si Payne is going to talk to the Mach 2 shipping partner Rohlig to see what rates they could get us for a group deal out of London and presumably Sydney would be the other main hub. Si will report back about prices and specifics. Maybe the rate could apply to several European airports.