Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Aces High

I went to a vintage air display at Goodwood over the weekend. The WW1 planes were fantastic, all string and glue, bi and tri planes hardly moving, like flying venetian blinds. You could imaging the designer and the pilots trying to figure out how to control height and speed, take off and landing (sound familiar?)

And then with a roar that would make any yoghurt eating, sweater knitting liberal voting Health and Safety exec wring his hands in horror, a Spitfire screamed past. Christ what a machine! And the sight and the sound! I was utterly speachless, which doesnt happen very often.

It struck me that the '20's and '30's would have been a good time to live if you were a plane designer. Each design was a big jump, you made a difference, and you got to wear a silk scarf, (which I'm now seriously thinking of doing in the moth) And as a pilot you slept with a girl and she knew you'd be gone the next morning, sometimes literally.

But not now..cramming another passenger on to a flying bus headed for Spain is the goal and that's what most of dinghy sailing is too. It's become a one size fits all, overweight and over rule riddled flotilla with the attraction not of the product, but where the annual beach party is...It reminds me of how I choose which airline to fly. Its largely based on which movie I havent seen...

But not hydrofoiling, which is pushing the boundary's of performance in exactly the same way as the designers and aviators of yesteryear. The boats are changing all the time, its pure and true, nobody gives a fuck about the rules, of which there are only four..the media love it and we have our Aces. Its a great time to be alive if you are a foiler moth sailor.

Mike Lennon and I went out yesterday, it was windy, we gybed down from Itchenor putting on our own show, nautlical loop the loops.


Doug Culnane said...

Woof Wooooooof, to that old chap.

Ole Frey said...

Hi Simon
The new CST mast comes in two differend stifnesses the harder is 4% stiffer than the softer
As a sailor of 72 kg I would think that I should take the softer model !
What do you think and which one do you sail with.

/ Ole Frey , Denmark sailing former GBR 4083

Simon Payne said...

Hi Ole

Most people are going for the stiffer model. My email is simonpaynegbr@btinternet.com. Send me a note and we can discuss.

Fred said...

GREAT post!