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.