Sunday, 25 December 2011

Fly with smile

Happy Christmas! The kids were up early but now are back asleep! And I find myself with a little time to reflect on yesterdays Christmas Cracker race at HISC which was also the first event in the Moth Winter series here in the UK. It was great to see so many visitors, and especially to see Olympic silver and bronze medallist Simon Hiscocks going so well in his new boat.

The course was typical Hayling, a nightmare for visitors to follow, but as the Winter series only piggy backs other large events, such as the Bloody Mary at Queen Mary sailing club and the Steve Nicholson Trophy at Northampton, then we've got to recognise its a bit of winter fun which goes wrong if you apply a championship attitude to it.

Still I thought I'd won until confronted by Ricky on the beach who from 400 metres back apparently saw me and Jason Belben miss a downwind mark we were supposed to keep to port of on lap two. I didn't want to upset anyone, especially at Christmas, so I retired from the race. It had been a good day out and I was going really well! But listen kids if you ever get accused on the shore of doing something you're not really sure you did or didn't do on the water, then do I what I should have done and tell 'em to find a witness and protest. The winter series results are now a bit fucked up as everyone else who missed the mark scored points and prizes.

The most heartbreaking thing! As I hurtled towards the finish a young boy in an RS Tera, sailing so well and still in the lead, was only a hundred yards from the line as he was completely engulfed by the Moths, which arguably took the first six places, and then the rest of the fast boats! Character building? He'll need it!

1st Ricky Tag
2nd Mike Lennon
3rd Jason Belben
4th Peter Barton
5th Simon Hiscocks

Right coffee time! Have a great day!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sweat, Tears, or the Sea

I went to the sailing club yesterday to see if the boats were ok after it blew sixty knots in the night. They were, but the sea was a maelstrom and what a gift! I watched it for a while and went back to work exhilarated. Boats aside, I'm really glad I went down.

There's a lot of sailing to watch right now, and each morning I dive for the computer to see how everyone is getting on in Perth. I thoroughly approve of Ainslie trying to take the colonies back, and after hand pumping a Finn down the course, I admire his restraint. I've spent my life yelling at media boats, not lately of course because (at the last worlds) you don't generally find them hanging around 13th place, but before then yes! The only thing that has stopped me diving over the side to confront them is 1) the uncertainty of being able to actually climb onto the media boat, and 2) that most of the time the camera crew are bigger than me. I'm sure he'd choose to handle the issue differently next time but if Ben's actions do wind you up, it must also mean that you take Jeremy Clarkson's views seriously, and this means you're thick.

But our year is next year and I'm uncertain whether the current World Champ can make the unchanged Garda Worlds, but even if not, I'm excited already. Finally Finally, a place as cool off the water as on it, and I think it will be a big event. Mach2 took the first 30 places at the worlds this year and with a strong focus on the 2012 Worlds you'd be hard pressed to bet against much change.

Last night I was in the gym flogging away on the rowing machine watching Sky's coverage of Perth, and Tom being interviewed. It certainly made the 2000 meters go quicker and I'm getting a bit stronger, weight is 65kg, hand don't hurt, and Clinique for Men is taking care of the ageing, but salt water is the cure for most things I think, whether its sweat, tears or the sea.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Tough Economy

There must have been 7 Mach2 's sailing yesterday at HISC. I wasn't one of them but I did get to see the smiles on the guys faces as they came in, and so last night I went to bed early determined to do well today.

A reaching start with a big windward/leeward was very "America's Cup" and I think I'm finding my feet again after a non too impressive period. Ricky and I rounded the bear away together and I led by a boat length at the leeward mark, which at 26 knots wasn't far away. I felt I had really good upwind speed but couldn't tack, until I reminded myself that you do actually have to cross the boat at some point! Ricky's vang rope broke and that was his race over, and I found myself a really long way in the lead.

I'm still surprised how it happened, and still kicking myself for not doing a "gack", but anyway trying to tack in about 18 inches of water tends to produce only one result.

I could see Mike Lennon in the distance and was frantically dragging my boat back upwind into deeper water. It was a long pull and in the end I just jumped in, and with the boat bouncing along the bottom I took off again with the uncertainty of Wilbur Wright's first attempt, I was on on a dead run but up nevertheless "up".

I'm still amazed at the punishments these Mach2's can take and equally my ineptitude in a harbour that I've only been sailing in for 3/4's of my life. Anyway I just crossed Mike, keeping my lead and had no further incidents.

When I got in there wasn't even a scratch on the foils. just a bit of sicaflex missing from the tip. A bit that I'd put in last week. Sure, other designs may be cheaper but none are as tough as a Mach2!

Friday, 18 November 2011

AC or WWE?

I was always slightly resentful of the new Amercia's Cup format, the claim of "Formula One" of sailing was a long held but only latterly truly earned tag line of the Moth class. They may have the helicopters and broadcasting rights but I still have a 2004 boom sticker. Scissors Paper Rock.

When I watched it in Plymouth I was amazed at the speeds of the AC45's, until it dawned that they were reporting in kilometres per hour and not knots. Thats when I knew we were probably faster, and last night as a green light turned to a err flashing blue, and I switched from white wine to red, I knew I was watching a spectacle. It certainly wasn't Formula One though, no not by a long chalk, it was more like WWE or World Wrestling Entertainment for those who don't spend lots of time in gyms.

The start appeared to be everything and for fuck sake how many times do you need to go round a track to know that left is paying? Dont get me wrong, it cant be easy but if you are going to have match racing, a sport thats traditionally been more boring to do than it was to watch then at least let's go upwind first. Confusing for the spectator? Confusing for us all I think. Aleph had the only passing move of the day when they brilliantly hauled themselves past Artemis, and then the race committee canned it, largely I understand because they had technical issues. Who cares if the race committee has technical issues? I still dont know what those were and I'm supposed to have an idea about sailing. I suspect the software was hacked.

Anyway pan to the mystified spectators and they didn't have a clue either. Most of them were looking at USS Midway, which proves one thing, to impress Jo Public in sailing, just make the boats very very big!

However all that being said, I did enjoy my evenings entertainment very much.

Still if they are going to enter our world then its perfectly acceptable in my mind to enter theirs. I've long since fancied a channel crossing and the whole thing has moved on of late. Unfortunately the Abominable No Men have said "Non" to a Dover Calais dash. I pointed out that people do swim it, and that we'd only be about an hour, but it seems that if we get within 300 metres of the shore then its off to jail. Clad in tight rubber... I think not.

So me and and my little Mach2, my wonderful sponsors Abarth, and Thierry Martinez have something else planned for next year, and I wont tell you anything more now as we've got some logistics to do, but it will start from Hayling Island. And its a bloody long way.


Monday, 7 November 2011

Please vote for Thierry!

Last year Thierry Martinez, good friend and legendary sailing photographer, who's wonderful images have helped to shape the Moth class over the last 5 years, won the "Yacht Racing Image of the Year" competition presented by MIRABAUD.

His entry was "Walking on Water", a picture of Bora and me having fun together in Dubai.

This year he's up for it again with "Ejector Seat!", his picture of current World Champion Nathan Outteridge being flung out of his Mach2 at the 2011 Moth World Championships in Belmont.

This breathtaking image has appeared in many of the worlds leading yachting magazines and I think symbolises the Moth class today. Now is our chance to repay Thierry for his devotion to the class by voting for "Ejector seat".

To do so just click on the link below.


Through the looking glass

photo courtesy of Marcus Payne

Six Mach2's raced windward leeward courses on Saturday , Me, Mike Lennon, Ricky Tagg, Ollie Holden, Ian Gotts and Andrea Biagioni raced in a cool northerly with race officer Graham Simmonds managing to run the club racing and do repeat starts for the Moths in nice long one lap races.

I won the first race but drifted backwards onto the Winner Bank before the start of the second race. That didn't do the flap on the main foil much good actually, and I had to come in. Stupid mistake.

Great to see a number of boats out and people putting some effort in.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Financial Times

I think that Greece should default on its debt, come out of the Euro, devalue its currency and become cost effective again for us Brits to go there on holiday. God knows what the Greek God of financial collapse is, but it will soon be "Merkel" if they don't do something soon. Italy cant be far behind and whilst the moth class will make only a modest contribution to their GDP it would still be nice to get the dates and venue for the World Championships published. Apparently it may be Campioni or it may be Malcesnine but at this rate I'm not ruling out Germany.

My own particular Greek Gods of 2011 were "Courseidon" the Greek God of being over the start line, and "Markemis" the Greek God of missing the lay line, and although both need practice, the gymnasium has reared its ugly head and I'm back doing what I don't do very well at all. Still the thing about the gym in the winter is that at least you feel you've earned the right to do well the following year.

Despite no winter World Championship this year sales at Mach2 are still going well with 235 boats now sold, which must be a sign that at least the Moth class is healthier than ever, and although I missed it, I hear that the UK training weekend at Hayling Island was a resounding success. We were fortunate to have Dubai's Chris Graham who has moved back to the UK and living near Hayling Island Sailing club as the coach.


Monday, 24 October 2011

Age of Speed

Stuart Jardine is another Olympian who's been attracted to the Moth class! Bet by a friend that he couldn't sail a foiling Moth, Stuart duly took to the skies on Friday, sailing Pete Bartons Mach2.

These days we are kind of used to having Olympics sailors competing in the Moth class, and of course it makes us very proud, but it is not uncommon.

I have to say though that Stuart's case as the latest Olympian to sail a Moth is quite incomparable, and that's largely because we have to go back in time a bit.

You see at the age of 35 Stuart represented Great Britain in the Star class at the Mexico City Olympics and then again in Munich four years later. That's 1968 and 1972. The more numerate of you will have immediately calculated that this makes Stuart 78 years old.

So its been a while since Stuart has sailed a dinghy and its been 20 years since he last capsized! However proving that once again form is temporary and class is permanent, Stuart duly delivered!

Stuart said; “I think it might of been a bit easier if I had done some dinghy racing in the past few years and probably 60 years earlier! My stomach muscles and arms were like jelly after a few big splashes. Then relearning the technique of heeling to windward rather than the other way in keel boats will take a bit of practice. The most noticeable sensation was the complete lack of noise and splashing and speed once airborne - Quite unnerving.”

Notice the reference to "will take a bit" of practice?

Here's another master at work. Andrew McDougall, almost a boy by comparison, winning a race at round one of the KA Sail Victorian GP by thirteen minutes! It makes you think doesn't it?

As Pete Barton said "4 of the top 5 British Moth sailors are in their late 40’s demonstrating that experience and technique far outweigh any requirement for a youthful body. So if there are any wannabe Moth sailors out there that are thinking that they might be too late to start and over the hill at 30 please take note; You might have over 50 years of Moth flying ahead of you – and reach your best after 20 years!"

Couldn't agree more...

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Propper Job

I'm really happy to say that Simon Propper has become the West Coast USA Mach2 distributor. Here is the press release.

Mach2 Boats are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Propper as the brands West Coast USA distributor.

Simon, who has recently relocated to the USA and is based in West Hollywood, has been a Moth sailor for many years. Passionate about the boat, Simon was instrumental in getting the UK foiling Moth fleet started and is now focussing on helping to build awareness, enthusiasm and fleets on the West Coast by representing the Mach2 brand. More here.

Says Simon “having owned and sailed my own Mach 2 for almost two years, I am excited to have an opportunity to promote the boat and therefore the Moth class on the west coast.

There's tremendous potential to recruit new Mach 2 sailors here in what must be one of the world's most Moth friendly climates. Email me for a demo sail in the sun !"

The Mach2 Moth is an amazing a hi tech sailing dinghy weighing only 30kg with a top speed of over 30 knots. This boat is completely addictive, gliding above the water in the lightest of winds with unbelievable efficiency. You must try this in this lifetime! You can race it in a world wide network of class associations, or simply go free sailing for the best buzz in sailing. Don't miss this!

Simon can be contacted at

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Don't you hate the way the sun goes away, just when you need it most? Last Sunday was very hot with a light little breeze which allowed me to try the one thing I'd been thinking of. Flying without the wand. If you've ever read Jonathan Livingston Seagull then you've probably been persuaded that flight can move to a higher order, a place where things are done by thought. Not so it would seem, at least for me, but with the wand tucked under the wing we silently left the water and I found that a slight tweak on the ride height adjuster had absolutely no effect. In fact (and disappointingly) a very aggressive pull on the ride height adjuster had the same effect as the previously mentioned slight tweak. Few people I think have pichpoled that hard in 7 knots of wind. Still for the rest of it it was a nice sail, and in a bid to chase the sun I'm currently planning to head to the Eurosaf regatta on the Mar Menor next week to if nothing else get a few valuable training days in.

I'm getting to grips with the new Mach2 small front foil. You have a higher angle of attack on take off and I think this means that the difference in take off speeds is marginal. I may take a RIB to Garda and have the other foil on the water, or I may lobby for a rule that says "you launch with it, you use it for the day" . Depends on the economy.

As I rigged the boat on Sunday another cigarette burn in the cover finally pushed me over the edge. At FED week a friend doused the cover with water before the big evening as my boat sits under the balcony like a silver ashtray. New tactic. I'm going to douse it in paraffin from now on. It will cost me far less than it will them.

Friday, 30 September 2011


Been meaning to write a quick blog and say what a good time we had at Paignton and especially well done to Chris! We tied on points but he deservedly got it on countback. We had some great racing and I was encouraged by my fit and start performance. Still have the speed to win races but not the race time under my belt, which meant each races was full of mistakes. Sill no matter, it was bloody good fun and great to see James, Mike, Doug, Ben, Peter, Tom and the the other boys again. I'm resolved to do more Opens if they are like that and you never know may drag some of the grumpy old men from Hayling along with me next time.

Star of the event though I think was Andrew Friend who sailed really really well!

Next is the Eurosaf regatta in a couple of weeks in Spain. Cant wait!


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Autumn Days

Autumn is a good time to sail a Moth and I like this time of year. If I had enough money I would spend my life, not in internal Summers, but between one Riviera and another, moving only to find the next Autumn. Yet for many it signals the end of the Summer, and I guess it's possible to see Autumn as a decline, where yellow leaves show through like greying hair on a fading film star, a star who has seen one BAFTA too many.

Or you can argue, (as I do) that Autumn is a second spring, where the harbour is empty, and this means it's a relaxing sail. Arrogance, and his cousin Ignorance are largely confined to marinas and there is freedom to move again.

Saturday was a good sailing day, A day when it felt like you had been handed a special gift, unique because it could not be replicated. For a while I darted about, turning when I wanted with no constraints other than a ribbon of weed reminding me that the harbour wasn't all mine.

It was the second time I'd used the new Mach2 small main foil, I also sailed on Friday eve with Mike Lennon and felt fast, where previously I had not. Its an incremental change and so you will get incremental improvements, but I want to thank Joe Turner and before him Rohan Veal for forcing development forward, albeit with a Dremel. I will sail with it at Paignton Open meeting this weekend. the last Moth Grand Prix of the year. I hope there will be lots of Moths there. If you blurr your eyes and ignore the Donkeys, It could be Garda.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Happy Feet

Had to get on the water yesterday, it was a wild day with the wind hovering around 30 knots and I was nervous! I was armed with my new Mach 2 small main foil and I was really keen to see what it was like.

It took two of us to get the rig up (thanks Chris) and as I headed out I immediately got flattened by a gust in front of a moored yacht. The problem was that with 4 knots of tide against me I was hurtling back towards it on my side. I had to stand on the bow in order to get my rudder and stuff past it without getting stuck, but after that it was ok. Apart from the weed.

Impressions of the new foil? It felt like I was 15 kg heavier, the boat was more dampened and faster in a straight line. I didn't stray too far from the shore in that breeze, I was the only boat in the harbour, and it was windy, and so I spent time reaching up and down the narrow channel where easy 25 knot beam reaches seemed common. I began to think that this must be what a Moth feels like to say Bora or some of the other heavier guys, just a bit more dampened and easier to control. Still its early days but this foil feels fast! (And I'm sure it will lift early for its size). I reckon though that the standard foil will still have a place for people who sail in lighter winds where early lift is paramount.

When I came into the beach I was sandblasted, and whilst getting the trolley, the boat blew down the beach on its side and ripped the tramp, but that's life, it was great fun!


Monday, 12 September 2011

New Mach2 Small Front Hydrofoil

Before the 2011 Moth world championships Nathan Outteridge cut down his standard Mach2 front hydrofoil in order to reduce drag and go faster. Nathan went on to dominate the event, and since then we've been working on a new small front hydrofoil. The metal moulds are now all finished and here is the first one! It's not only a smaller span but its a new thinner section too. It plugs on to the standard Mach2 vertical foil in the same way the standard front hydrofoil does. Early reports from Black Rock on both take off and top speed are mind blowing.

Contact sales@mach2boats for a quote.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

China in your hand

First holiday for a while without Moths and it was great. It's true, there are nine million bicycles in Beijing and also very complicated toilets like this in our hotel room. A man could get a shock by pressing the wrong button at the wrong time...

But actually I liked this most creative use of a knackered old scooter, to hold a washroom sink up. Its art really.

Yesterday reminded me why I like pursuit races as we had the "Cock of the Harbour" (yeah I know) at Hayling Island SC. Good fun starting nearly 15 minutes behind the 49ers and winning the race having started some 1hr 35 mins after the first boat.

The break did me good and it was lovely to get back to HISC, quiet now all the visitors have gone, with only slashed tie down lines and cigarette burns in the cover to remind me yet another championship had just rolled out of town.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I Predict A Diet

Image courtesy of David Rose-Massom

Years ago the weather forecast may as well have been written by J K Rowling, but these days its accurate and I can see its going to be windy for a long time yet. Accordingly I am on the cusp of cutting my foils down for the coming Hayling Island Regatta this weekend. England right now seems the place where the worlds weather systems collide and having been grounded every night this week there is simply no other boat work I can do.

On Sunday its the HISC regatta, a great fun start-from-the-back dash for the Moths, and on Monday Federation week starts at HISC. So if you are a Moth sailor with a bit of time on your hands (you may have just finished an Olympic Test event for example) come down and race with us! I'm sailing til Wednesday then off on holiday. Then its time to start thinking about Campioni!

Here are the things I remember from Campioni in 05.

The girls in the rescue Ribs were topless.
It was 12 knots at the windward mark maybe 18 at the leeward mark, except when it wasn't.
The coffee was great
The club was very friendly
They played Nora Jones in the dinghy park
Go right up wind, go same way down wind
When there is a storm, watch out for the falling rocks from the cliff!
It was light, light guys did well, (here's hoping) but it was a bit of a different time.


Monday, 8 August 2011

New Mach2 small front hydrofoil

Speed, we keep being told is bad, intelligent people drive slowly, no flash flash of a speed camera for them. Yet I think its good. It means for example you can go and see your mother in law, but not have to stay the night, and with the Moth Worlds in beautiful Campioni on Lake Garda coming up, it also means that if you are fast, you might do well.

This then is why you should be interested in the above picture. It's the mould for the new Mach2 small front hydrofoil. The new foil will plug straight onto your existing Mach2 vertical foil.

It's being produced right now. We will have more pics for you very soon.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mach2.1 upgrades

Andrew McDougall at the Syz & Co European Championships. Photo courtesy of Loris von Siebenthal


In the last two years that we've been immersed in the Mach2 Moth project we've built up a strong knowledge of the product and this 2.1 upgrade comes as a result of Andrew's work in addressing the areas that we have felt we've been able to make an improvement to.

Here are the list of upgrades:

- Front foil mould reset to get a perfect transition from foil to flap, which means less drag.

- Hydrofoil laminate beefed up to improve strength of the already strong Mach2 foils

- Finer alignment of pushrod to flap to reduce flap mechanism friction

- Low friction control rod tube in main vertical foil

- 1st and 2nd gear options on bell crank axle position

- Laminate changes to both verticals to make them even stronger

- Lighter and stronger gantry

- Stronger hull, same or less weight than Mach2.0

- Hulls now comes with bungs and breather tubes

- Stronger vang rope

- Stronger wing tubes, same or less weight than Mach2.0

- Masts made stronger at the base

- Mast foot and pin redesigned to reduce stress on mast and prevent mast foot failure

- Mast stump now locates more accurately and stump tube is stronger

- Rear wing tubes locate more accurately and are stronger

- New more adjustable wand mechanism. Stiffer with greater durability

- Custom hull colours available

The Mach2.1 is available now!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Mach2.1 Wand Mechanism

Gandhi once said "God has given me no control over the moment following.." A statement many Moth sailors would agree with, particularly those who experienced the windward mark on day 3 of the recent UK National Championships!

And so we'd like to introduce the new Mach2.1 wand mechanism, which we hope will give you more control over the moment following...

Made from 316 stainless steel the stronger baseplate prevents any twist and the steal wand axle bearings, which are drilled for lightness, fit precisely with the new wand axle. The axle to wand holder connection is longer which means there is less wand slap and overall the stronger material eliminates wear that can occur with plastic or aluminium parts.

The wider and deeper adjuster nut is angled upward where it connects to the control rod so that even less gearing can be achieved and the adjuster screw is easier to grip, which is important for "on the water" changes. Also the adjuster screw now has a more precise fit where it locates in the wand axle eliminating any play.

This new Mach2 wand mechanism comes as part of the Mach2.1 upgrades but can be purchased separately and retrofitted to existing Mach2'. It costs $316.00 usd ex shipping. Email sales@mach2boats if you would like one.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Que Sera Sera

Firstly I must congratulate Jason Belben and Chris Rashley for a brilliant effort at the Nationals. They proved that you get out what you put in and thoroughly deserved their one and two positions. Even better was to see the UK fleet in such rude health. The UK committee worked hard and delivered an excellent event, which given the weather, was not easy.

I will now probably will not do the European Championships which are coming up in about 12 days, I would like my hand to heal which the doctor says will take six weeks and I will use the time in the UK to properly prepare for the Worlds next year. I'm sure the Europeans will be fun and a nice event even though the entries are light, but having done every big event since 2004 I don't think I can be criticised for missing one.

I had planned to go and defend it, but sometimes the future is not ours to see. I hope everyone has a great time in Travamunde.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Jason and the Argonauts

A month or so of serious training has paid off and Jason Belben leads the Zhik UK Nationals at Stokes Bay with a 2,2,1. Impressive stuff in bumpy seas that made it hard to get settled and easy to stack it downwind. Arnaud Psarofaghis is second and I am lying third showing none of Jason's understanding of the venue.
The UK Nationals have a record breaking 54 entries but we didn't sail today. Plus thirty knots of breeze meant racing was substituted with the AGM.
We are racing four races back to back tomorrow and also Sunday so there is plenty of time left, but right now Jason Belben, who I think first won the Nationals in 1986 is the clear leader.
Results here

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Here we go again...

It was the Ronstan Slalom today, but not really. Unfortunately. It was windy as hell, and whilst we sat around in the club house drinking tea and worrying if the Hayling Bar might bring little Johnny's stutter back should he decide to do the Worlds in 2014, one guy went one nil up in the series. Pete Barton sailed to the event from Lymington! Some 16 miles away, downwind in boat flattening gusts and it took him an hour and a half to do the journey, the half was trying to get to the beach once he arrived!

When he got ashore he took his helmet off and said "What an adventure"!

For this I honestly think Pete should be on zero points and we should have all scored DNS. In my mind he leads the series.

Tomorrow is windy again and hopeful we will sail, but it may be touch and go. But if we don't? Just entering is a highlight! Simon Reynolds, surely the most effect ever IMCA committee member has organised a host of prizes, if he isn't careful he will be President soon!

Oh, we've agreed with the club that there will be a two Abarth sports cars on display tomorrow, something to look at if we are grounded due to the weather again.

Hopefully some race results here from thursday.


Friday, 24 June 2011


Apparently in ancient Egypt when they packed up mummies for the journey to the next life, they used to paint the heavens on the underneath of the coffin lid so the occupier could navigate his way to the Gods. And so equipped with these aspirations it must have come as a quite shock to wind up in Bloomsbury, at the British Museum, on display. and even worse, next to the "Australian art exhibit" from circa 1973. But thats what happened to one mummy called Nesperennub, whom I would imagine was probably called "Nubs" for short.
And I was thinking about this as I wound up in a place I didn't want to be either earlier this evening. Specifically that was Hayling Bar, upside down, mast smashing on the bottom, my trusty Velocitek speed puck missing and a ripped tramp giving birth to a soon to be set free bladder. And that happened largely because I tried to race a trimaran who was on his way to Cowes for the RTI race which starts at an unearthly hour tomorrow.
Worse still my hand, courtesy of falling off my scary as shit but totally mesmerising fixed wheel road bike, is broken and if you will forgive me, hurts like fuck, and is now swollen in the same way Nub's hand probably isn't.
And so now I'm Velocitekless (new word), with my hand holding a tub of Häagen-Dazs that I would rather eat, and a windy forecast tomorrow. However things aren't all bad, because in the other hand I have a rather nice glass of Argentinean Malbec and this is replacing the Ibruprofen that latterly I've decided I've had too much of.

And so given the above I wasn't feeling best placed to give the nicest guy I've never met Arjan de Lange advice on travelling downwind at Travamunde, an event he's already at and one which I haven't even entered yet. Still I will and I will have a bloody good time.

But tomorrow is another day, and its not too long until the Zhik UK National Championships and then the Nordea Moth European Championships are upon us so some more time in the boat and please, the right way up this time...


Monday, 6 June 2011

Le Hayling

Its not easy to decide which is the most beautiful creation in the world. The E type jag is gorgeous and 50 years old this week apparently, the Burj Al Arab, which we could see from the race course in Dubai is amazing, and lately Pippa Middleton's ass has been getting headline news. Yet to me, in my tiny sphere, its the foiling Moth. It's a perfect little boat where every component is relevant and if any one things fails the thing doesn't function. I also like the intimacy that you get from spending a weekend racing. Life is simple and your world is small, just you and the boat. You cant blame any one else and at the start gun we are all the same. What you've done before doesn't matter, what you've said, what you've won.... But after the final race yesterday my Mach 2 wasn't exactly pinking and cooling down like a racing car but it seemed like it and it winked at me and I winked at it.

After 6 races duking it out with Mike Lennon and Jason Belben at the Hayling Island Open meeting we'd come away counting five first places and discarded a second. It was a bloody hard regatta where waves and big wind shifts made it hard to settle, but it was a proper course, a sailors course and not a go kart track, where fast boats got to stretch their legs in the same way that big V eights get to blow away little cars at Le Mans.

My engine was a KA MSL10C and I was using a stiff mast. Possibly too stiff actually and I contemplated changing it to a medium on saturday night. I reckoned I would have gone quicker with the medium, but on Sunday the forecast was for the breeze to drop, so I left the stiff one on. It wasn't light out to sea as it turned out, but we still went ok.

First race on Sunday and my starting went from poor to woeful. I might as well be a registered charity called "Startline", I got pushed the wrong side of the committee boat due largely to being out of position and all but hit the bloody thing, but as I tacked and gybed to finally start I was so angry I knew I was going to win that race. The next one Mike Lennon beat us all fair and square, out of the gate well he nailed the shifts and deserved the win. The final race the wind did drop and it was a lottery, I won largely though a gust I didnt know was coming.

And then we were in, watching the Abarth stunt plane perform in front of the club. I'm aching a bit today but satisfied .

Racing is important when you try to do it well, the UK fleet is really healthy and it was wonderful to see young guns like Cam Stewart out there in his Mach 2, getting knocked down but getting back up again, and out there til the end.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Hayling Island Open meeting, like Hawaii really...

Hayling will be like Hawaii this weekend for the Moth open meeting, so do come down and race, or if you want to see the boats and talk to the sailors, do that too. It's a great time to see a Moth close up and the sailors are only too willing to chat, some endlessly.

On Sunday at 1400 the Abarth stunt plane will be performing in front of the club as we are on the race course.

With the UK Nationals literally and figuratively just around the corner this is where the battle of Britain starts and there are some key players ready to pounce. God knows who will win and don't expect a prediction here but Hayling Islands version of the Mach 2 "Mothsquad" must be feeling confident. Sharing information for the good of the group isn't something thats comes easily to Brits, especially when you have to race each other the next weekend, and we are already seemingly about to loose one member, but that's how the Beetles started and I think we've made progress.

I like events like this. Sailing Moths is like alcohol. Essentially a truth serum where default behaviour comes to the fore. Some perfectly rational sailors, once airborne become completely unencumbered by any form of common sense, some sing, others shout, and others just have the memory of a tree shrew. This was ably demonstrated last weekend where Mike Lennon essentially forgot to start and I forgot the course.

The only thing I dislike intensely about any event is the briefing, always unnecessarily long I generally want to smack the first competitor who asks a stupid question. Why can't they do a pod cast where I can watch it at home and swear at the screen? Still as I look out of the window now summer is here and looks like it will stay for the weekend so come to Hayling, and if you see the Abarth Moth with a limping sailor next to it (cos I fell off my bike last night) give us a lift into the water?


Friday, 20 May 2011

Starks Kettle

The "to do" list for my boat isn't getting any shorter! I'm new to "to do" lists but after some intense boat work I had hoped it would minimise itself.

Still, some notable additions! I now have an adjustable wand by Phillippe Oligario, and that for me is a nautical version of owning a kettle by Phillipe Stark. Its beautifully built and is the wand of wands. As I sailed last night at a nice warm Hayling Island I really enjoyed the control it gave me. It was easy to fit! Admittedly first time I fired it across the dinghy park, but then changed to a more permanent fixing than super glue. Anyway I really like it and I can see it being more useful in light winds rather than chicken downwind stuff, but we'll see.

Ooh and I now have a new mast coming, and finally I have the correct sail numbers on my sail too, the latter only took two goes. Alzheimer's setting in early probably.

But the coolest thing on my to do list was to buy a bike! And so I'm the proud new owner of a fixed wheel Kona racing bike and after 45 minutes of strenuous cycling yesterday I think that derailleurs really should only be used by the over fifties.

And so I do miss not being at the Mothfest and I hope they are all having a good time, but I'm cracking on and a bit more organised I hope.

PS Mach 2 sailor Geoff Carveth we think has just won the Zhik Laser SB3 World Championships! Hot off the press and barring protests but well done mate!


Monday, 9 May 2011

Diamonds are forever

Hey I won a diamond yesterday! The Parkstone Moth Open was kindly sponsored by Moth sailor Rod Harris and his company "Why Jewellers". What a wonderful first prize, my best ever!

Although after Saturdays performance I didn't deserve anything, low and slow I have finally conceded that only better men than me can make the MSL13 go. Probably its my weight and possibly its an intelligence thing, but we don't gel, and certainly don't go fast . And so after a 5/3/5 on Saturday a new MSL10 was numbered up later that evening and I was a rocket ship yesterday.

The UK fleet is healthy and with 25 boats at the event it promises to be a great year for the Brits. I really enjoyed the event and great to see people like Chris Rashley going so well, and also excellent that Andy Patterson, attending his first Moth open meeting for 15 years, got the newcomers prize!

Funniest thing of the weekend was, after a tiring day yesterday sailed in champagne conditions, Chris and I followed Jason Belben back down the harbour into the marina. Only problem was it was the wrong bloody marina!

Fortunately the Nationals are at Jason's home club...;-)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Son and Air

Years ago I didn't have much tolerance for anything, but if I was drunk I could just about understand the mentality of the cruising sailor. Now I am one and on Saturday I sailed my 50 year old boat around the Nab tower with my Dad. It is, according to the chart, seven miles due south, and because I'm not good at sailing this type of boat I spent 6.90 miles on a port reach and then had to tack to get round it. No matter, it was good fun and I love old wooden boats. I will have a bigger one one day. One that has oil lamps where I can read "Riddle of the Sands" by Erskine Childers, and a toilet, and not a bucket.

But yesterday it was back to Moth sailing and after an ill advised trip out into the bay to watch my friends competing in the Flying Fifteen open meeting I then struggled to get back in again with gearing so low that when the wand swung forward, the flap moved probably in the same way a glacier moves. A fast setting I think on the piste....but not in the Alps..

Later Mike Lennon and I made the long beat to the top of the harbour and hung around near Itchenor waiting for the killer gust that would make us ballistic in the flat water, It never came and the closest I got to any sort of decent speed was actually earlier coming in over the bar with a 25.5. Still it was a good chance to get more time in, and I'm starting to get some speed out of the new boat. Whether it will be enough for Parkstone Open Meeting this coming weekend I doubt. Still I will do my best. I've a new smaller main foil on order, but as Mach 2 sales soar past the 200 mark I doubt that it will be ready in time for any imminent UK events.

Today was windy, and I stood by proudly watching as my youngest son went out in his Tera as the wind topped thirty knots. Well done TP! Great sailing!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Come fly with me

Yesterday the skies turned blue both literally, and in the case of others, metaphorically in yesterdays pursuit race where the Moths started 14 minutes after the International 14's and won with ease. We flew past boats, some of which were a bit surprised to see us so soon, but for me it was an easy relationship between the old and the new, and great fun for my first race in my new boat.

9 Mach 2's were on the beach as Hayling resembled Benidorm in the hottest Easter for 100 years. All of Mike Lennons practice is paying off and he overtook me on the 20 odd tack first beat up Emsworth Channel as I struggled to change gears as the wind died at the top and shifted around. He was gone as I rounded the windward mark. I was half dead.

Still it was nice to race again, my first race since the worlds and I did settle down a bit. I've had a nice long rest but its time now to rev it up a bit. I'm using this part of the season to try some new things, I'm pretty familiar with the MSL10 rig and so I'm currently using an MSL13 with a medium mast and also very little gearing Moth squad style. I find it fast when you are set up, harder to sail (newbies take note) and it does make the Ride Height Adjuster much more critical and I'm a bit late on that string right now. Anyway Mike won. I pulled back a lot, he nicked it on the line but I'll take that. He deserves the win, I don't yet.

I'm looking forward to getting my new smaller front horizontal that should be along soon enough and hopefully in time for the Hayling open, an event where the Abarth stunt plane will perform in front of the club on Sunday lunch time!

Hopefully I can raise my own game before then.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Fly me to the moon

Its hard when you are flat out at work and your new baby sits in the garage. The willpower it takes to ignore it until the day is done is immense, it's as hard as climbing a wall that is leaning towards you, or as hard as kissing a woman who's leaning away from you actually.
Anyway here she is and tonight I will be burning the midnight oil to see if I can make the weekend. We'll see, but last night the boat went together very well. The only drama was that I managed to cycle over the wand (don't ask) although not half as funny as Andrew who managed to drive over his Pro Start (doubly don't ask)
My boat is a standard Mach 2 albeit with some comfy non standard toe straps, which optimistically I've moved out a couple of inches more. Oh and I've mounted an outboard on the stern.
Silver Abarth graphics go on next week.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Travamunde! Warmer and Cheaper!

I hinted that I would like to see an event where sailors were put first. An event where there was so much to do that it became a welcome break from the computer, indeed an event where "Log On" referred to adding wood to the BBQ, a "Mail server" was actually the bloke at the pub who brings out the lunch, and "Off Line" was what happened when your wet sailing kit snapped the clothes peg.

Well it seems that the folks at IMCA Germany have the same philosophy and from what I now know about the "Nordea Moth European Championships 2011" there will be so much to do that there will simply be no need to walk around, in a Bora-esque fashion, with a Macbook Pro clamped to your ear.

So let's get down to it.

How about an entry fee of only 200 Euro's? Not bad eh? Especially not bad when everything else is largely free. No paying extra for your pizza to be cut up here boys.. Read on..

Saturday starts with a "Dash for Cash" which is near the shore and in front of an estimated 4000-8000 spectators who watch you from amongst the food and drink stalls situated at the viewing area. Oh and the prize money? 1500 Euro's shared unequally between the first three.

Later, in the specially designated "Moth Hanger" (a place where you can get breakfast every morning) there is a welcoming party for the Moth sailors.

We have the practice race to deal with on Sunday, and then in the evening we are off to another (again free) official opening party with beer and food. .

Monday through to Friday see's three races a day. Good to finish on a Friday actually, but let's not concern ourselves too much with the racing, we have our own course, and a race officer who sails an International 14 and knows what he's doing, and that's good enough for me.

Monday night is the opening ceremony on a square rigger moored in Travamunde, and then on Tuesday Manfred Schreiber's company "CTM" will sponsor the evenings entertainment. On Wednesday there is a pasta party....

In fact every evening there is a social event ending with Fridays prize giving dinner, and with great sponsors, that means there will be 3-4000 Euro's worth of prizes up for grabs (including a KA sail)

The Moths will be located on the east side of Travamunde which is a bit out of the way of the rest of the event, we have our own area which is great for launching. There are good showers and if you want to camp then it's only 400 metres from the boats.

Here is the link to the website. Download the brochure under "Invitation" (oh you may want to click on English first ;)

It's the Nordea European Championships and it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun!

Now, I understand a great social programme doesn't define an event in itself, it is a European Championship after all and people will try hard. I do realise Olympic sailors can't drink, and accordingly to those dedicated full timers the above might not mean much, but dont worry you are not forgotten! I will go and buy several copies of "My Life in Accountancy" to keep you entertained at night!

Anyway I better start practising, and with a few days to go until the new boat arrives this means I will be in the pub by five!


Thursday, 17 March 2011


The Sydney Opera house isn't, I'm told, very good for Opera. But who cares? It's still one hell of an occasion to go there, eight jumbo jets can sit wing tip to wing tip on the site, and the place is so legendary that it has even had it's own opera written about it.

(Eighth Wonder)

The Sydney Opera house is therefore a perfect example of the occasion being the most important thing, not the perfection.

And we should think about that as a class as we strive for the purest way to decide who is the World Champion to the exclusion of anything else.. We can't control nature and so we cannot be certain about what will happen. Dreadfully dull Weymouth was a good example of that, as was Switzerland where you lost your image rights and all feeling in your hands within 20 minutes of arrival, and at the same time so was Belmont where 10 percent less main foil really just meant ten percent less weed.

The Mothfest however already has 40 entrants and there you don't have to race at all! I think that's wonderful and a signal for all who are in the unpleasant position of having to organise a Championship to take note of. If I'm honest the only really competitive event I'm looking forward to is the 2012 World Championships in Lake Garda. Sure we have the Europeans in the meantime, and I'm prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt, but last time I was at Travamunde my tent blew away and a small hurricane destroyed a caravan park.. No, Garda it is.

And to the purists who say that we must have 20 knots every day largely to cater for the ever increasing girth of the average moth sailor, or perfect GPS laid windward marks, which mean you spend so much time waiting for the race officer to move it 5 metres to the left, then to the right, then to the left...that you are buggered before the race starts. An irrelevance when you can't see the fuckin thing anyway.

Perhaps therefore we should think differently and I recognise this is a possibility only realisable if the class pays for a resource who can take this on.

And if we had that, would it, do you think, be possible for us to approach a venue like say The Bitter End Yacht Club and take the whole circus there? Do we really need a Yacht Club to sail from? Oh and 19 races? Do we really need that? Even the most blindly enthusiastic puppy like Moth sailors in Belmont must have been thinking 'Oh for fucks sake, not again..'

The only vocational race course I can think of, where someone else long before us rose above the water, would be the sea of Galilee. Now that would be cool.

Just a thought, My thought on a cold day where I'd dearly like to be somewhere nice .

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Here you go Joe!

Yeah I know the "1" has to come off too ;-/

Monday, 28 February 2011


Sunday was the first time I'd been down to the sailing club for a while, probably since last year actually, but although still only 6 degree's or so it was great to see four Mach 2's in the form of Geoff Carveth, Mike Lennon, Graham Simmonds and Jason Russell diligently practicing in the blustery conditions. I admire them, it is still too cold for me. Not that I have a boat, my current Mach 2 will soon be on its way to Spain to meet its new owner Andreas John, and the new one doesn't get shipped until around the 12th of March. I paid for it the other day although the way I was feeling after the gym I briefly considered using the money as downpayment for a room at "Shady Pines".

Anyway this is what the new 2011 Abarth Mach 2 Moth will look like and apologies to Mike Lennon (I think) for the identity fraud.

This season will be good, I plan to do the Hayling Island and Parkstone opens, the UK Nationals, Mothfest and the Europeans, I'm looking forward to racing again. I don't like standing on the shore.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Rocked by yesterdays news that red meat can give you bowel cancer but also that regular masturbation can minimise the chance of prostate cancer I now eat Turkey. Judging by some of the comments I get on this blog I have no need to worry about the latter anyway.

But a nice steak was always a reward for a good gym work out! Which at my age starts with "up,1,2.. and then the other sock" and seamlessly progresses into a range of weights designed to make me look good without causing undue distress.

Not any more! After a chance meeting last week at the gym with Mike McKintyre, 1988 Star Gold medallist, who told me I was doing an entirely incorrect routine to put weight on. I'm now lifting weights that make me wonder if I will snap in half, with albeit, less reps. Still, on my quest to reach Moth Squad levels of density I will keep going and report back. Last night I was so spent all I wanted was a little comfort, and for a while felt as needy as those people who put their birthdays on skype.

Anyway I see I'm slowly creeping up the leader board having risen a place in the last couple of weeks. At this rate I will make the top ten at the last world championships by Easter. I feel for those who do the results actually, the efficient Aussies getting it all but right which must make the Italians, our 2012 hosts, shudder. Imagine 150 Moths belting down the right side of lake Garda. How is a bloke in a rib with a broken pencil and a topless girl supposed to cope? That was my recollection of the last time we were at Campioni anyway but it turned out to be one of the best events I've ever done. Still if I were them, and given the recent hoo haa surrounding the Italian prime minister, I would if nothing else ask for assistance.. and get Mr Berlusconi to organise the prizes...

Its the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show coming up on the 4th and 5th of March at Alexandra Palace. Mach 2 are delighted to have a couple of boats on display, one on the UK Moth class association site and one on the stage for the "Foiling Fundamentals" presentation, a talk each day by Alan Hillman on the basics of foiling. Why not come and listen to the talk, then pop along to the stand and chat to some of the sailors?

Then go and get a pint and a Turkey sandwich.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Who loves, raves.

Having previously not cared when I get my new Mach 2 I now find I'm looking at the order spread sheet as often as middle eastern president might look out of the window. Why? well because on a day when everyone else is doing other things (or in short not around to entertain me) I'm consequently bored. I should of course be freezing my nuts off belting down a reach at Hayling Island, but instead I'm reading motorcycle books and, having now decided not to sell my merc on ebay, I'm trying to buy it off myself so that no one else can.

At least its something to do.

Earlier I consumed the Sunday Times, and then warmed by an article from a guy who said that he was inspired to write a book on the male equivalent of "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert on a womans search for self awareness following a divorce, I decided action was in order and I headed for the gym. (His book will be called "Drink, Shag, Fight" incidentally) The gym though was not what it should be and after years of doing the same routine they stuck a stick in my spokes by changing all the equipment around. This had me so out of sorts that I found myself sitting in the corner rocking back and forth and hooting, in the same way a gambling machine at the Belmont 16's shouts "tilt" when you smack it one .

Everything is different this year it seems and February is the cruellest month of all, but as the English Romantic Poet Percy Shelly said "Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon", I tried that and he's right, so work out I must! Even if that means having to be shown how to use a machine by some kid who also has to ask me if I have any piercings or body art.

So whats the point of this post you say? Well to empty my mind, and nothing more. Now back to the spreadsheet.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

One shot at a time

Walking in the Highlands of Scotland, through the breathtaking beauty of the countryside, it felt like something had finally ended. I was in a place that, if I'm honest, I knew would come.

I knew my fate at the Worlds about 20 minutes after I went out for the first time when I just couldn't keep up, and then it was simply a case of going through the process. To be honest this has happened before, quite a few times actually, often when I've not practiced and almost always when its pumping. When I won the Worlds in 06 I felt relief mostly, in 2010 I felt a mild surprise, and now getting whipped like this I feel.. well nothing. I just know you have to wait a bit. Anyway best look at life through the windscreen, not the rear view mirror.

So I'm back here painting the yacht and things like that, working hard accompanied at the computer by a cat that seemingly can send emails, but can't meow, and its cool. I don't want to see any carbon for well..until it wants to see me.

Which, and this is my curse, wont be long I suspect. As night fell, the hills of the Highlands reminded me of the ones I used to drive through to get to Garda (or the Alps as they are known...) Hmmm now thats a thought. Maybe the Italian nationals in a few months would be nice, and think of the coffee! Perhaps I'll leave the boat there (oh I better order a new one btw and perhaps with a new Abarth design on it) and become a member of Campioni Yacht club if they will have me. Isn't that the venue for the 2012 Worlds? I'm sure its pricy but its a little bit more.. well you know.. than Belmont 16's. Hmm well thats a plan, maybe Andrew will come down too?

I cant put on weight but I wonder if I've seen the way forward with cut down foils? Nathan used a small front foil for the whole event I think. Could this be the way that the lighter guys can keep up in a breeze? I'm sure that the good and the great will have an opinion on it but in any event I better give it a try.


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

My boat is for sale

Photo: the gifted and ever young Thierry Martinez

Wow what a tough event! My Ibuprofen intake is possibly now at dangerous levels.

Congratulations to Nathan, a popular and worthy world champion.

Hey my Mach 2 is now for sale and back in the UK mid next week. If anyone is interested let me know at

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Darling leave the light on for me.

Brad funk and his space ship..Photo from award winning Thierry Martinez

Lay day! Time to recover and do some boat work. We had big winds yesterday which peaked at about 28 knots. It was a wild ride and the rich got richer as the big and strong smoked upwind.

The windward mark can be a long way away sometimes.

Well done to Nathan, Peter and the others who showed the rest what a Moth can do in these winds when you light the blue touch paper. And fast it was! I went through the line in the 2nd race with 28.6 knots on the clock. Clive Watts, owner of CST recorded 30.3knots which was a nice birthday present for him.

It wasnt so long ago that we had the prestigious 20 knot club...

So I'm struggling in this event and some people have asked me why I still race after winning the worlds in 2006 ands 2010. For the love of the sport mate, you have to get over your ego and if you still enjoy it, go sailing. In this game sometimes you are the pigeon and sometimes you are the statue. You have to be pragmatic and the effort required to win a worlds is immense! You cant do it every time and accordingly you have to be realistic about your result. You win when you can and you dont run for the skirting boards when you cant. Anyway it was fun yesterday and my little Abarth Moth was going nearly as fast as the car. I wouldn't have missed those downwinds for anything. At the end of the day you are a long time dead. I can't wait for Campioni already.

The AGM was in typical Moth style, emotional and hi energy. A strong discussion on the wing and its place in the class was debated and the rules team will set to work creating a framework to measure it, with a vote on the subject planned at an EGM later this year.

Charlie McKee stated that he wanted to thank the exec for their work, he mentioned that there had been some "regrettable" US blog posts and media/forum coverage which anyway now is all forgotten, but it was nice of him. Mark and Adam have put a lot of work in.

On gear? Well Nathan and some of the other Aussie Moth Squad have cut 60mm off the tips of their main foils and accordingly it's our intention to make a smaller foil for big winds, so dont get the saw out just yet!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Days of Thunder

Thierry Martinez photo.

Tough day on the race course yesterday as 65 kilo's battled against a bullety 20 odd knot breeze. I got decent starts but the big guys stormed away up wind and didn't go any slower down. Today is the first day of the Finals racing and it's looking windy again. Yesterday I used an MSL10b on a soft mast and it went well. I was able to lose a lot of power as efficiently as I could but you can't in the end beat the laws of physics, my constant challenge every since I started moth sailing.
There were some very tired people yesterday evening but the racing is fun and well run. Nathan is looking indestructable and must be the next world champion unless anything goes badly wrong.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

More weed than Marley

Me and Bora yesterday.From the magical lens of Thierry Martinez

One of the very few days I wished I'd capsized more. The accepted amount was 4-5 times per race - to clear the weed.
Still it was the same for everyone and Joe and Nathan head the leader board with some very consistent sailing.

Get off weed!

The split fleet system worked very well for all except for Brad who got mixed up. Yellow and Blue not being common colours on Mars apparently.
For me it was a tough day, I'm lying 12th overall and shared the frustrations of many of the sailors who hit weed and didnt get it off quick enough. I had my moments, but my lack of sailing prep is showing a bit and I'm struggling to get in sync with the shifts. It's a bit like a very warm Grafham water here although the boats and bikini's at the start area tend to differentiate it from any UK venue.
It was another long day on the water yesterday and many sailors will be aching a bit.
Today the wind is more round to the north east and already up to about 15 knots. It could be a windy one!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Worlds update

The 2011 Worlds start tomorrow and most of the sailors will be relaxing today and doing some boat work. I have a bit to do also after the toe straps broke yesterday and I exited stage left at 20 odd knots, snapping the tiller extension in the process.
Nevertheless it's fun here and the fleet seems to be on good form. We've had a few good races in the Australian Nationals and plenty of starting practice. I've been consistently slow downwind in practice and so for the event the KA MSL13 is coming out. As John Harris put it "You need that power to pull all that weed to the leeward mark" The 13 allows you to sail lower and that means you can stay in the gust longer. Its a gusty place.
I've also done more general recalls than I can ever err recall. The black flag, used liberally, was only accompanied by the black board once, and then order was restored. We must have had 10 generals over the last couple of days though..
Nathan and most of the Moth Squad are going well, all that practice not unsurprisingly paying off. Other names are struggling a bit but we are all on the same score right now so we'll see what happens.
Amacs new MSL16 is looking nice and I want a go! More tomorrow now my computer is working. Event website here