Tuesday, 18 December 2012

GBR 9 for sale

Hi my Mach 2 is for sale. GBR 9 aka 3836.

All the gear including travel box and choice of sail.

All mint condition

Email me at simonpaynegbr@btinternet.com if you are interested.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Gearing Business

For me the back end of this year has been so busy that sailing seems a thing I used to do. Those sparkly days of recreational fun long gone. The sun, my uplift, has become merely an hour hand, rising with the Nikkei and setting with the election results. It's a busy life where the sea has played no part.

I read that most peoples fantasies would be satisfied by a private island, but right now an afternoon in my Moth at Hayling Island would do me, and I might achieve that this weekend.

Anyway the real reason for writing is to show you the new Mach2.2 Gearing Adjuster with axle. It has a feature that will allow Mach2 sailors to adjust the gearing from the wing and makes use of the "utility tube" that runs through the ship. This means that you won't have to capsize your Mach2 in order to change the gearing at the front. Or risk running yourself over should you try to reach across to the bow to do it. It also means you can sail with the bonnet on. It's available soon. Delivery and prices to follow

Monday, 5 November 2012

A Blog for Hawaii

(Guest Blogger Simon "Hollywood" Propper reports..)

2013 Moth Worlds in Hawaii will be a once in a lifetime sailing trip

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.

If Carlsberg ran a yacht club it would be Kaneohe YC. In a dramatic Hawaii setting it’s palm lined lawns slope to the dock, the wooden bar is festooned with trophies and local artifacts and the drinks are cheap and plentiful. There’s a pool and tennis courts outside the bar for non-sailors or après sail and the barbecue seems always on. It has an air of expat country club but with Hawaiian hospitality and chilled out atmosphere. The chef’s a punk rocker so great sounds served with great food.

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.


Friday, 28 September 2012

Mach2 Seminar - Its a date


I plan to run the
 one day Mach2 seminar at HISC on the 12th of October. This is the day before the Hayling Island Open Meeting.

My goal is to impart Mach2 set up advice and sailing tips based on our latest learning from Italy. Everyone is welcome of course, this is in no way meant to be elitist
 but I really only know about Mach2’s, and thats what we will focus on.

A number of people are already confirmed, let me know if you are interested.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Mach 2 seminar

Summer seemingly finished at about 1400hrs yesterday when I was in Lymington with my son in 420's. I had a chance to reflect on what a good season it had been with a very enjoyable UK Nationals and a challenging Worlds. This is the time of year though when you can have some of the best sailing, there's less yachts, more space and the water is still warm. I was thinking about running a one day "How to set up and sail" a Mach2 at HISC in the near future if anyone is interested? I don't want it to conflict with the classes Castle Cove training this coming weekend which I'm sure will be excellent or the Hayling Island Open meeting, but if anyone is interested let me know at sales@mach2boats.com. I'm sure we can arrange something.


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Racing, Italian Style

Photo by kind permission of Thierry Martinez

"Is your boat tied down?" "Yes".
(Boat flies through the air as 60 knots of wind hit the dinghy park)
"Your boat is not tied down!!"(Shouted this time, not spoken..)
"That is not my boat"

And so a touch of Pink Panther style humour ended an excellent Moth World Championships!

Stand out performances came from Anthony Kotoun who sailed into 4th place overall, Tom Offer who came in 15th, and of course Josh McKnight who decided to win. And did!

This World Championship was an experience for sure, in all aspects actually, and whilst one might argue that the qualifying goes on too long, in the same way that Christmas seems to go on too long these days, there is no denying the new levels of excellence that the top boys have taken the class to.

We used to have the 20 knot club only 5 years ago and now the front runners are hitting 17 knots upwind, and its clear that despite the more evolutionary development of late, the boats are going faster and faster in a way that no other class can or does. What a great time to be sailing Moths.

And whilst we at Mach2 came equipped with the excellent Simon Owen Smith and a couple of crates full of spares, there was probably less breakage than one might have imagined. There would have been even less if the start line wasn't so chancy.

Its clear that the new KA MSL16 has taken the rig to the next level too and that Mach2 Moths remain the leaders choice. Another great regatta for us which of course makes us very proud.

For me? Well I was pleased to make 9th overall and achieve 2nd in the European Championships. I'm looking forward to working with Andrew on a new rig for the lightweight sailor and I take back all I ever said about adjustable wands, and I'm going to get one of those soonest!

I loved the last day!  Sometimes we get into thinking that we shouldn't sail when its too light or too windy, but we must remember that we are a sailing class that foils, not a foiling class that sails and in years to come we'll cruise round in those winds and waves, but only because we are going out in them today.

Very many congratulations to Josh. He sailed superbly and said, as does every winner, that his overwhelming emotion was one of "relief". As he was waving the Aussie flag I remembered that feeling from 2010. Not any delirious happiness at that stage just sheer simple relief. He will be an excellent World Champion and I suspect he is the youngest ever. Time for plenty more.

The UK fleet did OK! If we can figure out how to work together better, a great strength of the Aussies and the Americans, then we can get more than two boats in the top 10 for sure!

Right now I still feel exhausted. A by-product of giving it my all, and a long drive home. I may not manage rigging the boat tonight, but I probably will the day after!


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

2012 Moth World Championship Form Guide!

Lagio del Garda. Dramatic breathtaking scenery where we rig in the stillness of the morning, and as we launch the Ora wind slowly wanders down to greet us on the racecourse. Now it’s a great time! The onshore wind smoothes the sounds of the day and if we are lucky might mercifully drown out the noise of those who are incapable of launching without yelling at themselves.
Still, the evenings! With fine dinning and that “come on and relax” feeling that only (in our experience) the Italian Lakes offer. This is the place where the Worlds will be fought out! But who will win? Here is our light hearted form guide in order of only how we wrote it. Of course we won’t be right, but we won’t be far wrong either….

Scott Babbage, AUS- been there or there about for years. Was racing Moths when the Dead Sea had only just called in sick. Still, always fast and likes Garda. Coming into this off the back of a fairly successful Aussie summer. Everyone will be happy if Scott does it, no one deserves it more. Ride it like you stole it mate.

Rob Gough, AUS - Current Australian National Champion. No one will be more prepared, a past windsurfing world champ, he's proved he can win. Sometimes though it's a fine line between trying hard and trying too hard. Which side of the line is The Tasmanian Devil? No flash photography or you might find out! Anyway, we will see in a couple of weeks.

Chris Rashley, UK- great to see a promising young Brit! Chris works hard and his tacking is the best. He's fast across the range and added the UK National title to the European title he won last year. The Worlds will be his first big event, and of course it's another level higher. Will he handle it? We suspect so! Weaknesses are that he's late onto the foils, and if we get more than two low riding races the restaurants will be shut by the time he gets in.

Peter Burling, NZ- could be coming to Garda straight from the best week of his life! Peter is one of the favorites for a 49er medal. Super fast, super good, but in Moths hasn’t always managed to stay attached to his boat for the entire race. He's a big bloke and might be a bit sticky if it goes light. If it doesn't, the trophy will go to NZ for the first time ever.

Brad Funk, USA - Top bloke, stick your boat next to him in the dinghy park and by the end of the week you will be faster, and also probably a scientologist. Bloody fast, very fit and Moths seem to suit his natural “march to the beat of a different drum” style. He isn’t good at boat work however believing they heal over night. Strong in the light for a biggish guy.

Joe Turner, Aus– Naturally fast and with the least wetted surface area. (Joe cuts his foils down to the minimum) . Earlier this year Joe looked to have wintered well and, probably, as a result wasn’t so flash at the Australian Nationals. If it’s windy “Big” Joe may go very fast indeed, but aesthetically better off not wearing Lycra ;-)

Jason Belben, UK– Don’t call starboard on him as he’s wearing headphones, and he won’t hear you. And he ain’t young either. Surprise the old boy however and watch him tack! Ex Olympian, albeit from another time, he’s got the skills to pull this off.

John Harris, AUS- 2008 world champion now living in the US. Early form this year in Miami showed promise. Would've been faster without a girl in the front, but still.  Bit of a wild card this one, on the one hand naturally fast and proven winner, on the other living in land of supersize, and consequently could be carrying a few more pound than he ought...

Francesco Bianchi ITA– Possibly the fastest Italian. Won all the races he sailed at the recent German Nationals. If they ever translate the rule book into Italian he might benefit from a quick flick through, and too unpredictable to top this list, but with all that Italian flair! You never know.

Andrew McDougall, AUS- rumors of superfast straight line speed (at times-ed) and his boat has more lines than a Zebra wearing corduroys ….Anyway If we are racing in the middle of the lake he's made. If not, its six tacks to the first mark and he'll fade. A mix between Mark Webber and a “high heeled girl on a wet floor” depending on whether its straights or corners.

Bora Gulari, USA - Quiet as a mouse and not even on the entry sheet yet. 2009 World Champion at the Gorge, which isn’t too dissimilar to Garda. Very accomplished with probably an invention or two up his sleeve, or in his container... Looks Italian which is just as well.

Simon Payne- GBR Simon Payne GBR - With two world championships under his belt, you can’t bet against this wily sailor. Unless it is windy of course, then bet away! Has put more hours sailing a Moth than any other contender, but that could be because he is really old! Claims to be the inventor of the now obsolete Cleat de Payne in desperation for recognition for services to the class.   In all seriousness, he could… no, dammit, how can we take him seriously, he doesn’t! (Andrew wrote that! – Ed)

The “ex Olympic sailor “– Several “new to the Moth” World-class sailors will be competing. Can be identified by boats covered in sponsors logos and burst of brilliance mixed with some minor moments of a more humble nature. Those who stick at it will be great. Yet to learn that the protest room is really just a place for storing stuff.

And the Rest? Mike Lennon of the UK, Arnaud Psarofaghis (if he races but we don’t think he can), Anthony Kotoun... there will be more

Monday, 23 July 2012

Weston Morning News

Wow! How a week can change things! Last week it was the third month of rain cold and wind, and suddenly Weston Open Meeting turned into a sunny sea breezy event that lifted the heart as early as it lifted the boats.

For me it was a positive event but I had mixed feelings after saturdays racing, I hit the bricks pretty hard while leading the first race saturday and had to retire with a damaged foil. That was stupid of me. Next race I was leading and speared a fish which had to be pulled off by hand. That was stupid of the fish.

Still I was going fast I suppose. Both Jason Belben and Mike Lennon were sailing well.

I owe my sunday to Peter Barton who had a spare wand, I must have broken my wand holder as I went over the front in Saturdays first race. I won the first race comfortably on Sunday and then did we have fun in the second! Ricky Tagg did all hard work to get to the front but on the run there were signs of a sea breeze and I hit the deep water hard. Ricky, Mike Lennon and I somehow got to the first mark together and we reached down the run, and then procession like, we then reached back up the beat, Mike nipping inside me when I couldn't gybe at the spacer mark due to traffic, and won the race. The final race was a flicky "careful you don't capsize to windward/is the sea breeze here to stay or not type race". There were certainly quite a lot of holes and Jason and I duked it out quite a long way in front of everyone else. I led initially, Jason came back at me but then I crossed him back. It went on this way for a very long time and was good fun and hard work but I just got a gust to whip me round the windward mark while Jason struggled to foil after a tack. In the end it was a big gap that didn't tell of the closeness of the race.

Sorry to miss the prize giving, I was running late for another meeting about cars! In my experience the event was not dissimilar to how I remember Campioni can be. It was great training for the big one.

Great to see everyone


Friday, 13 July 2012

New Mach2 small rudder 2012

This is the new Mach2 small rudder foil. It has been in development for 7 months and X Foil and the in house McFinn software programmes had to be re written to cope. Then a quad core i7 computer ran for 4 full months analysing it against other shapes. We are not revealing the size at this stage but the mould was submitted for machining today, and this is a true image looking from the front.

Of course it is designed to plug on to a Mach2 rudder vertical. See it in Garda!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Worlds Form Guide - Help Needed

With the summer on back order in Northern Europe we are clinging to the prospect of two beautiful weeks in Campione del Garda. The Moth Worlds at its best in a country who’s history is filled with so much culture, innovation and sophistication that the Italians were eating with a knife and fork long before we’d finished eating each other.

Campione is blessed with stunning scenery, and is probably the one place where a hundred yard walk will reverse any sour feelings from a bad race, a welcome alternative from the desire to punch a slot machine, and it is the perfect stage for us to write our own classic on the waters of Garda under the direction of the Ora wind.

But before all this, and of course right up there with Dante’s Inferno, is our Worlds Form Guide! It’s published here prior to most World Championships and it offers an insightful, impartial and informed appraisal of the Worlds best Moth sailors. Kind of...

This year however it’s harder to write, and that’s because there are more Moths and more good sailors competing. Doubly harder because we no longer know them all well!

So we’d like your help! If you feel strongly that someone you know can make it into the top ten and they don’t owe us any money, we’ll mention them as long as we think you are being serious. Email us 

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mud Men

Sooner or later the summer will come to Northern Europe and we will all feel better. That said it was with a good feeling that I left the Moth Nationals on Sunday and drove home into a 40 knot headwind. We had fun but didn't race on the final day and Chris won, which he thoroughly deserves. He puts the time in, sails well and is prepared. In life one gets the opportunities to really go for it, and he's doing that and must be considered a bet for the Worlds.
For me, well I got a bit out gunned in the wind and punchy chop, but also felt I could have sailed better. I finished 2nd and it was good learning, but my handling wasn't that sharp and tactically I was a bit short. I should have got there earlier. Still better than last year!
Nevertheless I hope Garda isn't a place where I have to dither about which mast to use, a by product of being a lightweight, and I'm looking forward to trying the new KA MSL16 this week on my Mach2 to see if I can get to one rig for all conditions. 
It has been said elsewhere how much fun the 2012 Nationals were, despite the weather and I think the class is really healthy, and it is in good hands. The committee worked hard and Olivier Vidal has now taken on the presidency, and with discussions surrounding the class tag line ("Formula One On The Water" now being seen as old) showed his immediate understanding of the class with a new tag line proposal that reads.. "Cock Off, You're Not Having A Go"... Brilliant in my book.
So the next event is the World Championships, and Chris and I are sailing at HISC next week, Peter Barton is off to the German National Champs and there is training at Castle Cove planned. Let's see if Campioni can measure up! On paper its blue skies, dramatic scenery and cappuccino's should trounce brown water, mud and nuclear power stations, but as we know, it doesn't always go to form.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Moth Nationals: The only way is Essex

Stone Sailing Club in Essex UK: The Brits mix with the French, Swiss, Dutch, Swedes and Irish, and a total of forty two competitors hang around waiting for things to happen. It's day two of the UK Moth Nationals and it howling outside right now. There are weather checks every hour but we are on hold for the moment. Last night a Mach2 and a Ninja design blew over and landed on top of each other and there is speculation that a "Minja" will soon be born! Basically all the usual chatter and joking that comes from sailors hanging around and not knowing if we are racing or not today. It doesn't look too bad right now actually, but we will see. Yesterday was good racing and I was lucky to score a 2,2,1 which gives me the lead by a point. Chris Rashley had a 1,1,4 and is only one point behind. His boat handling is very good, much better than mine, and it's something I need to focus on. In any event there is less of a gap between the leaders and the rest of the fleet these days, meaning its all tighter at the top. Right now it's a choice between a run to Starbucks or some boat work! There is a good report here on Yachts and Yachting.com

Monday, 21 May 2012

Glyn Charles Race

Was it that long ago that Glyn died? The Sydney Hobart race of '98 on Sword of Orion. It seems like yesterday.

Each year Hayling Island Sailing club host an open pursuit race in this Team GBR sailors honour and this year 110 boats competed. The wind was good, about 12-18knots and it was great to see nearly all the best UK Moth sailors there as well as countless sailors from other classes. We sailed off a handicap of 499 which is 15 minutes after the 49er (big rig). Especially difficult if that 49er happens to be John Pink and John Gimson.  The biggest problem we faced was the weed, having to capsize or back up on a tack regularly to clear the foils and as I got to the windward mark I was down to 9 knots boat speed and full ride height, but I daren't capsize to clear it for fear of hitting the bottom!  I could have sailed that beat better actually. Still Chris Rashley and Jason Belben lead at the windward mark but with a choice of three marks (and not knowing the harbour that well) got the wrong one and Mike Lennon in his Mach2 nipped around the first mark in the lead. I was second and led at the next mark as Mike hit weed. The other guys caught up lots too. On the next leg I nearly missed the next mark and as a result of loosing time ducked Mikes transom out of a tack and just cleared Chris. I managed to get round the next mark first and extended on the run trying like hell to dodge the weed. A short beat later and that was it. I finished 25th, and without the capsizing could maybe have got the the front but  I guess everyone, whatever the boat had weed issues. Fellow Mach2 sailor Mike Lennon was going well and just behind me and the event was won by James Peters and Alan Roberts in an RS200.

Most improved Moth performer goes to fellow black boat sailor Graham Simmonds, and Simon Hiscocks and Ollie Holden were going well too.

Still it was a good work out, and it was a fun day in memory of a  great guy.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Little flashes of sun on a cold dark sea

Those, the words of Jean Paul Sartre in his book Nausea could have described the French Nationals the other weekend, but to view the event from just the five races on the last day would be missing out on the wider adventure that is Moth sailing. Olivier Vidal and Peter Barton also made the overnight ferry trip/small drive down to Quiberon,  and Fabien Froesch, Philip Käsermann and Mikis Psarofaghis drove up from Switzerland to complete the International contingent.
I went there for a chance to race on a long course and to support the French fleet as the class continues to grow there, and what a fantastic time it was. We didn't sail on the Sunday, too much wind, but to be honest its such a nice place it didn't bother me too much, and we met Thierry Martinez in his Locmariaquer based gallery and went to dinner that night.
The next day the Moths were sent out just to make sure it was impossible to race and I came in 20 capsizes later with mild whip lash and a taste for some more bonhomie...
The only race day was medium conditions and very bumpy. Race one went easily to Philip, with Peter Barton second as I struggle into third place after a major pitchpole and a resolve to drink less in future.
The next race and I still capsized twice but a devil may care "lift it high and fly" strategy (which you should only ever use on the last run) saw me first to the finish. It was great to see Yann Andrillon from France getting up there in his Mach2 and also Fabien going very well.
Great pace rather than any specific skill saw me do well in the next three races and importantly I felt like I'd had a good work out and learnt a bit more about my boat set up.  Peter Barton wound up second, with Fabien third overall but several French sailors showed a lot of grit to give it a go and get round the course.
After the racing we sat around drinking beers in the dinghy park with the members of ASN Quiberon who were so welcoming that it was quite hard to go back home.

Now the worlds are not that far away but with an air temperature on Saturday of 5.7 degrees at HISC (colder than Christmas day) I elected not to sail. I guess my next event will be the UK Nationals so time for some evening sailing.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012


photograph: Mike Millard 

The scariest thing about Parkstone was the sail home on the 2nd day. Speed in the mid twenties, fibreglass on one side, and a wall on the other. I think everyone felt like they'd danced with the devil after that ride. 

It was a good event with great racing and considering the forecast an excellent turn out.

 Thanks to Rod Harris and Why Jewellers for sponsoring the event. I won a blue sapphire which is lovely. Full results here.

Its the French Nationals this weekend and Olivier Vidal, Pete Barton and I are going.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

If you don't think it will happen to you, find the person who had it happen to them

Safety is our primary concern. Well, speed, then safety. Oh no- speed, image then safety, but its still right up there...

Seriously for the newbies, read the "Mach2 safety tips" page

It's Parkstone Moth Grand Prix at errr Parkstone this weekend. The forecast looks alright. It's a good place to sail and the reasonably early 1100hrs start means we'll be back home before the average round of golf is finished. For new Moth sailors you will learn quicker at Parkstone than you will anywhere else, so don't be afraid to come and sail. The good guys are only too keen to help! Anyway to the racing, and I'm looking forward to it. It seems we've been messing around in really light Northerly winds of late and Queen Mary was awful. It will be nice to stretch our legs on this flat course where its easy to set super fast speeds.

See you there!


Monday, 16 April 2012

Hard headed?

Whilst I really enjoyed watching the Americas Cup over the last few days it's pretty clear that in most conditions (OK not last tuesday) Moths would smoke 'em, and whilst its only an observation its still kinda nice.
Watching everyone get such a pounding it did occur to me that it seemed eminently sensible to wear helmets, and that got me thinking as to whether we should too? OK, we don't have so far to fall when it goes wrong, but with closing speed that can easily be 50 mile per hour then it does seem sensible doesn't it?

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Making April

I read yesterday that container ships had been told to slow down so much by their owners in order to conserve fuel that the Cutty Sark, the greatest tea clipper of them all, would hammer them in a race today. Things are changing for sure, but progress? Well it's not all that it's cut out to be it seems.
Except when it comes to breaking into cars. Which is frustratingly difficult, as I found out last week when I locked my keys in my lovely Abarth Punto Evo. The RAC man, an uncomplicated guy who sucked through his teeth and winced at today's machines used wedges and rods and tape to the extent that I couldnt look, but it seems that cars have to pass a break in test before a new model can go on sale, and it appeared that the reason there are so many new models out there was because I had just met the examiner.
I got her back yesterday after she'd been fixed by the Abarth garage, and if you won't tell anyone I whispered a little apology to my car on the way to the sailing club last night.
Another good session on the water had me feeling ok as I left in the twilight, although the bay was choppy and i was on the edge of control as i sailed in with Mike Lennon. More practice will solve that.
Tonight I completed a number of jobs that needed to be done on the boat. The upshot is that I'm putting in the time and the boat is fast and a few meanigful races at Easter will do me good.
In Australia they have the NSW State titles this weekend and with the Worlds not far away it's sensible to keep an eye on who's going fast because soon enough we'll be racing each other.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Ides of March

Its sunny here and the weekend made for great sailing! A high sat over the country which meant light winds, cold water and the unusual smell of suntan lotion in March.

In Australia Amac won the Victorian States with ballistic downwind speed using the new production KA MSL 16. Something I began to see with the prototype KA MSL 16 on Saturday which although a bit too flat in the middle for everyday use and is now superseded by the production model, does have that really groovy top.

We thought Amacs total of 8 wins had equalled Brian Morris's record run, the son of class founder Len Morris, but in fact Brain won 11 times from 1947 to 1963 and actually Len won it from 1933 to 1946 consecutively.

Back to Hayling and I think we must have had 8 Mach2's out and having fun on Saturday. Great to see newbie Matt Bergmann Smith up and foiling on effectively his first time out in his new boat.

On Sunday we took Callisto out and had lunch at Easthead. I saw the guys out again and it occurred to me why Moths do so well at pursuit races. It has little to do with a favourable handicap but more to do with the fact that we practice so much more than other sailors. Why? Because the boats are so much fun!

Today is an exciting day as my i pad is being delivered. I'm hoping its similar to my old Etch A Sketch in terms of use! I plan to use my free time to sail most evenings this week now the clocks have gone forward.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Sail Positioning

Its beautiful here but the leaves are still. I dont know if we'll get any wind but it will be a good time to re-rope my boat with my lovely new Gottifredi Maffioli rope kit. New colour coded "Olympic 75" 4mm control lines always make the boat look great and the controls work better.

This weekend I will try the new KA MSL16, I have the prototype here, one that Andrew made to see he'd got the shape right rather than one to use. This means there are no batten zippers on this sail which means you have to arrive 4 hours earlier than anyone else to rig it. Still de rein. It looks good on the mast and the new ones will be here soon.

With three sails now in the range we were talking about "positioning" and came to this conclusion:-
MSL13 = The most powerful sail
MSL10 = The most versatile sail
MSL16 = The lowest drag sail.

See? Easy innit?

Garda is on my mind and the French Nationals at Quiberon might be fun and pretty close. Thierry will be there and it would be good to support the French fleet and get some good racing in.

On thursday I went for a walk away from screens, emails and phone calls. It was gorgeous and I took this picture of which I'm quite proud. I may yet have a calling in the Christmas card business.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Feather Lite

Up she comes, no sudden movements!

Light wind racing at Queen Mary Sailing Club at the weekend on a day that looked as if Spring had also entered for the first Moth GP of the year. I managed both of my goals, one was to win some races and the other was to not get wet. Queen Mary is like a mile wide cereal bowl and launching a Moth is the same as flicking a cornflake from the rim. Still, we had four races in marginal foiling conditions. It was good practice though and a balance between low riding in the right direction or foiling in the wrong one. We've sailed championship races in these conditions before, so it was relevant and it was good for me to be racing people like Jason Belben and Chris Rashley, who was in his new boat.

Coming into the leeward mark in a rare gust

I scored a 2,1,1,1 which I was pleased with. My Mach2 was fast, I had the MSL10C/stiff mast rig and after a bit of tuning after the first race I was up really early and sailing tactically quite well in that stuff.

A few minutes after the start, it was like this a lot!

That night, with the wind all but gone and the forecast even lighter for the next day I went back to the south coast. Others left too but I'm sure they raced yesterday.

I really enjoyed the racing on saturday and these little boats are great. Despite the v light winds I still hit just under 19 knots in my Mach2.


Monday, 5 March 2012

The London Dinghy Show: Back to the future

It was the London Dinghy Show over the weekend and a chance to connect with potential Moth sailors, existing Moth sailors who cant quite make or don't feel confident enough to attend the calendar events and of course the press. The Moth Class Constitution reminds us all that one of the three objectives of the class is to promote sailing and racing of the International Moth and I can think of no better place to do this than at the dinghy show. Especially on a wet weekend in March. Performance isnt everything and there are of course many other boats there, from the much maligned Heron, which has almost glacial like acceleration and can only described as fast if you've just jumped into it after stepping out of a rickshaw (but is supported by the most enthusiastic committee to the extent that this cute little boat punches well above its weight) to the A class Cat. The A class stand had a beautiful Italian made boat on it and was manned by a very proud and enthusiastic bunch, all of whom looked older than God. So once again by looking back in time we are reminded of how to go forward as a class. The first Moth was created in the same year that Ford launched the Model A, which replaced the Model T Ford, which apparently you could only have in black, and so it was with a sense of pride that a Mat Black Ninja and a Glossy Black Mach2 caused much interest. Interest and aspiration not only for association members but for the many kids running around clutching bags of freebies, who are currently involved in youth classes and one day will, I'm sure, come and sail a Moth.

Thanks to Mike Cooke and James Phare for organising it and Jason and Neil for coming along to man the stand and others for popping by.

Its the first proper event of the season next weekend at Queen Mary, If you have a Moth come and sail, its the best way to learn, if you don't and live near by, come and watch. The sailors are only to happy to talk about their boats, some for hours. We are just another class which, just like the Heron, the sailors are intensely proud of. We may badge ourselves as the formula one of dinghy racing but volunteers and enthusiasts still run the class, and just like the Dinghy Exhibition, you wont find Bernie Ecclestone at Queen Mary either,

Monday, 13 February 2012

Inland Revenue

The last time I sailed... photo Brian C-B

Throughout this winter the Campione Speed Trophy is keeping me going. I won it in 2005 racing Rohan Veal and Adam May. It's in my toilet and in this cold weather I see it a lot. It has the 11 winds of Garda on it and I now know them off by heart. Campioni is a tricky place to sail, six to eight tacks to the windward mark mean you need to keep your head up, I think it calls for a simple boat with minimum fiddling and not one of the multi adjustable Moths you see, which in any case seem to go no faster and remind me of nautical versions of an Ascot hat. Anyway our apartments are booked in Tremosine, which is so high up on the cliff top that even if you p**s on me on the water, I'll be able to do the same to you on land ;-).

Perhaps I shall sail this weekend. Lots of time in the gym means I now have thighs like Zorba the Greek, pre austerity measures. Last time I sailed the boat seemed fast but its been in the fridge ever since. Last time I made lasagne it was great, but after a month in the fridge it was uneatable and I'm full expecting the same theory to apply.

I'm loathe to take my fixed wheel road bike out after last years injury which saw me catapulted into my ex wife's newly planted Lavender bush after a visit to see the boys. An event that caused much amusement which I've decided to put down to the the essential oil/anti inflammatory properties of the crushed plant.

I guess I'll try to go to Queen Mary Sailing club early next month for the first event of the season, it could be good practice for Campioni, being Inland, although I'm unsure if they name the winds in the same way.

Below is the latest picture of the KA MSL16 (foreground) next to a KA MSL13.2.

MSL16 on left, MSL13 on right. Blackrock last weekend

Monday, 6 February 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet 16!

The new KA MSL16.

Good news! I'm really excited about KA Sail’s new baby, the MSL16, which will make her UK debut at the London Dinghy Show next month on the International Moth class association stand. Built for the conditions expected at the 2012 World Championships at Campioni, Lake Garda, with its “light at the windward mark, breezy at the leeward mark” wind variation, the sail will be featured on my Mach2. One of two International Moths on display.

This is what Andrew McDougall says about the new sail “The MSL16 has taken me a long time to develop, after all we are trying to improve on an already very high level of existing performance with our stock designs. I’m very happy with it though, and sailing against the top Aussies in Sydney the other day I was really fast. I’ve always believed it was possible to create a sail that would have the flexibility to be fast in all conditions and with the 16 I think we’ve succeeded.”

Here are the features of the new sail
  • Complete redesign from the previous MSL at 10 and 13
  • Wider luff pocket
  • Combination of soft and light materials for the pocket
  • Shape moved forward and down to reduce drag /increase power
  • Gap between sail and boom closed.
  • Extra cam and batten in at the bottom of sail
  • Suits medium mast/soft with high forestay for improved response to the vang and Cunningham.
  • Brand new cams for better entry profile
The MSL16, which is a limited edition sail will be available to order from March 1st.

Mach2 masts with the new hound configuration are now available. A hounds kit which allows people to convert existing Mach 2 masts is also available

Another sunny day. Although about 30 degrees colder than the pic above! Pic courtesy of Brian C-B.


Sunday, 15 January 2012


I survived the January sales by digitally watching the Australian Nationals and the Miami Moth event. The Australian Nationals especially seemed from another planet, (Australien geddit?) where rain, cold and massive waves sorted the hommes from the garçons. Most of the time we sail in flatish waters, with only the UK Nationals, and now the Australian ones being an exception, and the results of last week prove that these days preparation must be event specific if you are to do any good. Anyway well done Rob Gough for taking the event.

In Miami it was different, with a relaxez -vous race style sailed in light winds and blue skies. Anthony Kouton using the new Mach2 front foil seemed to be first up, closely followed by Brad Funk.

I write this at 0800 this Sunday morning. It's cold outside at about 4 degrees, and the harbour weather station is saying 20 knots. It's an easterly wind so just getting off the beach could be a problem, especially at my height. Still, its a good time to sail in Chichester harbour, made more bearable by the heated floor in the changing rooms!

This week I was at the Fiat dealer Conference with Abarth. The new cars look fabulous! Anyway better go, if I hang around here too long, I'll find a reason to stay inside..

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Australian Moth National championships - Halfway stage

Another cruncher today as two more races were completed. Tasmanian Rob Gough's excellent boat handling means he's on top as the competitors go into the lay day. Although the wind wasnt strong apparently the waves made even windward work exceptionally difficult. Scott Babbage in "7" won the first race today and now sits 3 points off the lead. Nathan Outteridge is still third but expect a big comeback as the winds are forecast to drop on Thursday and Friday.

Here's a video from day 1. Highlights? Scott exceptional "save" at the windward mark and Nathan's dodgy hat...

Detailed results here..

Monday, 9 January 2012

Australian Moth National Championships

images courtesy of Lochy Byrne

The Australian Moth Championships are currently underway at Morningtown Bay Yacht Club on Victoria's spectacular Morningtown Peninsula, situated on Port Phillip Bay.

Early reports are of massive waves running 70 degrees to the wind. Yesterday was windy and today was lighter, but the waves still remain and after 4 races Rob Gough is leading from Scott Babbage and current World Champion Nathan Outteridge. Andrew McDougall is in a hugely impressive 4th place with Peter Burling 5th.

Nathan said "Been pretty windy here here and massive waves, Amac is fast and we are all trying to to get his secrets as always.."

Sound the Klaxon! Peter Burling takes a dive

Here are the results after today.

16AUS8AltitudeRob GoughRYCTasmania1.0S10.
27AUS37Scott BabbageWoollahra SC
342AUS1WMDNathan OutteridgeRSIS, WSC
42AUS3900NoNaAndrew McDougallBlack Rock YC
541NZL41Peter BurlingTarranga
61AUS2Zhik MothJoe TurnerWoollahra SC
724AUS3719The BoxPhillip KurtsWoollahra SC
836AUS3776Flying HellfishJoshusa McKnightWoollahra SC
99GRB3769Flying BananaAndrew BudgenEngland
1015AUS3685Racer X MarineLeigh DunstanMornington YC7.0S49.
1118AUS3903XTCJames Owen-SmithDaveys Bay YC
125AUS363620 Good ReasonsSteven SherringSouthport YC
1314AUS3832StonecutterLes ThorpeBYRA
1422AUS3631RAG RacingJulian SalterTasmania6.0S60.
1511AUS3775Big Night Last NightSamatha EnglandMornington YC
1610AUS3717Dripping CarbonJack SherringSouthport YC
174AUS3783Peanuts DreamWarren SareWoollahra SC
18337NHS Plaster & TimberMatt CrockettLMYC
1938AUS3641BismarkPeter ValpianiWoollahra SC
2021SWE3786Sweeden RacingNils AkervallSweeden
2125AUS3878Stray ReturnsAndrew CuddihyWoollahra SC
223233AceJames DorronManly 16ft SC
2319AUS3823MK Building GroupRichard JacksonMt.Martha YC
2413AUS3781ImpactWill LoganRYCTasmania
25359336Leeroy JenkinsMark HughesSouthport YC
2617IRL3771Balin DubhMicheal O'SeaWoollahra SC
2716AUS3655OurborosAlan GoddardBalmoral SC
2828AUS3865Sea SteezeKyle RossMcCrae YC
2939AUS3676Mark 6 MiniEelco BoersWSVONS
3029AUS3574KarmaPhil StevensonSt George SC 136.043.0C43.0C23.027.0
3140AUS3807K-SanRyan KellyWallaroo SC
3231AUS3359ChatterboxStuart OrmondBlack Rock YC 143.043.0C43.0C26.031.0
3330AUS3780NatsuKohei KajimotoBlack Rock YC 145.043.0C16.043.0C43.0C
3412AUS3731Mach 2Lochlin ByrneBlack Rock YC17.0S146.043.0C43.0C43.0C17.0
3520AUS3770LadybirdEmma SpiersWoollahra SC
3637AUS3904East Coast MarineScott BeebyNCYC 148.043.0C43.0C43.0C19.0
3727AUS3767Midnight FoilerSimon LiddingtonWoollahra SC 155.043.0C43.0C43.0C26.0
38339364Silver ShadowNick BillettRQueenslandYS
39349256SmithIan SimSC2 172.043.0C43.0C43.0C43.0C
3926AUS3638CrumpetDavid MartinWoollahra SC 172.043.0C43.0C43.0C43.0C
398AUS3634Sailing Bits.comDavid RobinsonWoollahra SC 172.043.0C43.0C43.0C43.0C
3923NONUM3NoNfJame MackenzieSC1 172.043.0C43.0C43.0C43.0C