IN OR ON THE WATER: WA to host sailing championships

MOTHS SET TO FLY: Up to 200 of the world's best will descend on Mounts Bay Sailing Club in Crawley from December 9-18.
MOTHS SET TO FLY: Up to 200 of the world's best will descend on Mounts Bay Sailing Club in Crawley from December 9-18.

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Perth will host the International Moth Class World Championships in sailing in December.

It comes two decades after Western Australian innovators revolutionised the sport.

Up to 200 of the world's best will descend on Mounts Bay Sailing Club in Crawley from December 9-18.

The WA Government will contribute $15,000 to support the event.

Known as the 'Formula 1 of Sailing', the moth class is one of the fastest and most exciting forms of sailing thanks to an innovation pioneered in WA.

Moth sailboats were originally cheap, homemade vessels - before Western Australian innovators transformed the sport by adding hydrofoils to boats to significantly increase their speeds.

Moths can be regularly spotted on the Swan River.

They are noticeable by their distinctive sailing style where the hull lifts out of the water.

This allows the vessel to hydrofoil and reach speeds of up to 30 knots.

The 'foil' innovation was developed by WA's Garth Ilett, John Ilett and Brett Burvill in Perth in 1999.

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This year's championships mark the 20th anniversary of the hydrofoil development for the moth class which inspired the development of similar craft, even those competing in the America's Cup.

The championships will be video streamed live to an international audience, showcasing the picturesque Swan River and Perth skyline.

"It is wonderful to have the International Moth Class World Championships returning to WA, 20 years after local innovators changed the sport forever," WA Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray said.

"The Ilett brothers and Brett Burvill's innovation transformed the sport into a high speed, exciting sailing format - and we can't wait to see the world's best out on the Swan River this December.

"With up to 200 competitors and their families descending on Perth, the championships will provide a boost to WA tourism with some terrific world-class sailing competition."