Friday, 27 August 2010

August Rain

All images courtesy of Loris Von Siebenthal

Joseph Conrad said something like that despite all the poems, prose and love heaped upon it the sea has never been friendy to man. Something like that anyway. That's my feeling now, I seem to have bought the depths of the lake and the height of the peaks back from Switzerland with me. I didn't feel great at that event, largely my mind was elsewhere, often I had to drag it back to the Alps as the five minute gun went.

So what a week, and the weather here isn't helping, it's raining so hard that I may sell the Mach 2 and start building an ark but my boat is sitting in the garage and I've some work planned. It's probably the most stock boat out there and inspired by Bora's chat it's going to get pimped. Foil finish first, I've never touched them, they are straight from the mould and they've done OK but they are going to get painted, largely because I think white will go better with the boat.

KA at the front.. Again
One thing I plan to try is the new MSL13.2. KA sails took the top ten results, no accident. Sheer bloody hard work on Andrew's part who's restlessness is a great accomplice when it comes to making sails faster.

But all that aside, right now I wish I was out in my boat, not racing just sailing..

Monday, 23 August 2010

I love it when we lift off.

We are screaming down the run at about 24 knots and I can hear Nathan behind me. Or rather his music pumping out of his boat. He played it every race. On the way upwind he passed me and I passed the committee boat. The race officer gave me a high five and I didn't have to do a 360 as a result. What a class we have.

I was a bit out gunned by Nathan and Bora. Inland sailing it seems isn't a strength of mine and I failed to consolidate when I got into the lead at times. I started OK but faltered a bit mid week. I didn't feel that great and when you are a bit flat things become hard work and don't always go your way. Anyway I tied with Scott on points, but he got it on count back. I would like to congratulate those three wonderful guys and to thank them for coming. It is an honour as always to sail against them.

The finishing line was just behind that bush..

I had a great battle with Arnaud for the European Championship. For me it's a special trophy. It's the first one I ever won. In anything actually. When I was down once it was more than just a trophy. It was something to look at. It reminded me that in one small tiny area of life, I was at least good at something. Now it's back.

Bora and I drove to the airport together. We talked about what it's like to go away and how its easy to get carried away with being too single minded about winning. Sometimes you just have to count your blessings and acknowledge that you are unbelievably blessed to be doing what you do. Switzerland did that for me.

I would like to thank KA Sail, Zhik and Abarth, and those close to me for their unwavering support and belief in me during 2010. By what ever means I now have all three trophies. I will always be in your debt.


Monday, 16 August 2010

Lash for Cash

Christ did it rain, and on a windless mirror like lake we pumped our way around a course that had a confused commentator confusing the sailors. Arnaud won, Mathias Renker was 2nd and Martin Zah an excellent 3rd. Switzerland taking all three top places proving that it really is like this most of the time! I was 4th and have rarely been so wet but a hot shower and a few beers restored the moral. Credit to all the sailors who took their boats to the lake of St Moritz in order to support the event knowing it was going to be a wash out.
Earlier in the day we had a good breeze on the race course and I hit 25 knots in the flat water near the leeward mark. It was good to be finally sailing with the boys, Amac was in JP's boat and we had a good work out. I was fast up wind and gradually got to be fast down wind too although the quality of the 6 tacks required to get to the windward mark will be critical... Anyway today is the practice race. Its going to be tight with 85 boats and more people than normal are talking about this. I hope it doesnt take a major crash for us to make the decision to sail in two flights. I guess we will see.
Today the weather is brighter which should mean more wind. It snowed on the mountains last night and the scenery is beautiful. My Zhik Super Warm wetsuit is doing the business! What a great piece of kit. So glad I brought it!

Saturday, 14 August 2010


We had wind for about 45 minutes today. I managed to get on the water and do some meaningful sailing until it rained again and the wind switched off.

Its going to be raining for the next few days apparently and I feel for those who are camping in these dire conditions. Trench foot is a real possibility and the dash for cash tomorrow will I'm afraid be won by a low rider. Still musn't grumble, the boat feel good and the fresh water has made the ratchet work.

This lake is bloody small and 85 boats sailing a clearly favoured right hand side means it will be intense to say the least. Given this I think you could view this event as really a larger than normal slalom race. More a "super G" I guess.

If I do well in the slalom I will buy a coat. and maybe some of those waders you see fishermen wear.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Top Gear

OK I'm all set and I'm looking forward to getting underway. My new Abarth Punto Evo is a weapon and I cant wait for some nice driving roads on the upper Engadine in the Swiss Alps where ultimatley I will find Lake Silvaplana.

It's cold and wet here but the GPS says 840 miles to go. Soon I'll be going racing with 84 other boats. It will be tight.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Extreme 11's!!

We had 5 Mach 2's racing with the Extreme 40's last weekend. With a close in zig zag course we provided great entertainment. The crowds were amazing and the commentary fun. There wasn't any room to make big mistakes and we had some great races and got some good practice in for Silvaplana. Launching was a faff but Offshore Challenges were really good and we wanted for nothing really. Once the racing was done it was a mission to get back to base in the turbulent waters off the squadron. We all went for a swim but made it back OK.

My little Abath Mach 2 looked tiny against the BMW Oracle AC boats but attracted more attention!

Thanks to Paul and Andrine for putting us all up! Paul's special "Flame grilled" bacon sandwiches were wonderful on the Sunday morning and also thanks to Mike, Ricky, Jason and Paul for being such good sports and coming over to sail. We did have a lot of fun!

The Wing

I've never believed that winning races is particularly related to how much time you spend on the water, if that rule worked then all taxi drivers would be the best drivers.. I believe that you can achieve a great deal without wearing out the boat and that's by thinking intelligently and focusing on what makes the most difference. It is for this reason that I think Adam's new wing rig is amazing. It just looks so cool and is exactly what the Moth class is all about! I hope he goes twice as fast as us all in Silvaplana and wins by miles! And I want a go!