Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Best in the World

Times change. In 1967 the King of Thailand sailed a Moth.

Nowadays the king is over 80, which by present trends still doesn't rule him out of a worlds race win, but their ex president Thaksin Shinawatra does own Manchester City Football Club, and actually if he did sail a Moth, he might not have had a warrant issued for his arrest. Moths are expensive but buying a football club is no mean feat and does tend to attract a bit of attention, and upon closer inspection the Thai authorities found he'd won the state lottery.

What are the odds on that? Y'know especially with him being President and all....

But who was the best? When you've won its easier to look back, and its immediately apparant that you can't be Thai. You need either to be British or Australian.

Sorry my European cousins and American brothers, but if you want to be World Champion you need to change nationality. And that's not easy because to be British you have to queue at Calais for 6 months and enter the country clutching the rear axel of a lorry, or if you're a wizard and aware of our sexual health problems and can make the spell "Chlamidia clearupo" work, then you're in bro.

Or in the case of Australia, either float off their shore line for weeks on end until the rest of the world plead you plight, or turn up at the airport with muddy shoes, In which case they cant get you in quick enough. To clean 'em.

Well I've looked back, and I've gotta say I reckon its David Izatt. Three titles back to back is unbeatable, but then again I think it might be Mark Thorpe..

But look again and Jean Pierre Roggo from Switzerland also won three times in the 1960's and as I'm writing this its perhaps a coincidence that the Swiss Moth Open Cup, sponsored by Alinghi is on this weekend. So maybe a Swiss sailor will be the first to break the Bulldog/kangaroo strangle hold?

How's that for an early worlds prediction?

Nature is enough

Here is an image of the Mach 2 rudder horizontal foil. Its a little difficult to see but its shaped like the open wings of an Albatross. The wings go forward from the root and then back towards the tip. This is largely to prevent any cold water ventilation on the rudder (which itself is angled forwards) from propagating onto the horizontal foil.

This is a recent picture of the mould being made...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Stealth Play

On Sunday morning Simon Hiscocks was visibly distraught when a call from home told him he'd forgotten to gybe, and had hit Africa.

So many people are playing the Virtual Volvo race game that it seems to me that the actual and real race is all but insignificant.

I'm not playing it because if I do, I know I'll do nothing else.

But it does account for why most of the fleet were late getting to the start of the fourth race of the RS600FF national championships at Hayling Island on Sunday, where I was race officer.

Now I have tried to make a habit of being such a bad race officer that I was never invited back. The advice once given to me by a friends father has never left me.

That was: "To make such a hash of the washing up, that you will never be allowed back in the kitchen". It was a signal to me that this was worth considering as his elderly wife immediately replied to him "In that case Tony, I should never have let you back in the bedroom"

Anyway Sam Pascoe won easily and made the RS600FF look a very good boat indeed, freed from the criticism of the "balcony one design" who think they know about foiling, but don't. In fact even I couldn't mess up the racing and the only thing I was left wondering was why its called an "RS" at all, given the complete absence of that company.

Mark Robinson came to stay the other night and we speculated how we too could use the Volvo Ocean race "Stealth Play" function in the Moth class. This is where each boat can activate a 12 hour "black out", which saw the boys on Green Dragon invisibly head west and subsequently take the lead.

The best we could come up with is that, upon a sound signal, everyone but the stealth play boat has to shut their eyes for 20 seconds.

That should do it.

Talking of which someone must have been doing the same when local boy Alex Thompson's Hugo Boss was holed by a French fishing boat at 02.30 in the morning on the way to the Vendee start. Really bad luck and it seems there's always a price to pay for fashion, and having a black boat and black sails has, I suspect, not helped.

I hope they get it fixed.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Doing it right when no one is looking

This image is of the mould for one side of the Mach 2 front foil. You can see the main wing and the flap. Actually the word flap is interesting, and out of all the words in the dictionary has it probably has the greatest number of meanings. As an acronym it can also stand for Foreign Language Assistance Programme, and as a word it can mean a "flat usually thin piece attached at one side only"

Both of the above you might become familiar with if you loose yours on foreign soil. Yet if you look closely at the mould you will see something reassuring.. Can you guess?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


Photo courtesy of Tania Samus. More Tide Ride photo's are here

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Mothmen are coming

Taken by my mate Chris Bashall at the Tide Ride yesterday...

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Treading on passionate ground

This is my Gerbera. I always buy 'em because they remind me of when I see flowers growing through cracks in concrete, its so fucking brave. Think of that when you next weed your drive way.

The Tide Ride this weekend was my last event this year and I was looking forward to it, because after a week of highs and lows, where I first understood and then did not, I was ready for some air.

And in it came, moving at over thirty knots actually, and that battered the south coast so hard that it looked once again to have messed up a Moth event.

Y'know I think it really is me... I'm jinxed, and with this in mind, the next time I decide to do a worlds campaign, I'll let you know.

So you can go and buy a windsurfer.

But nothing was stopping me going foiling on Saturday and even though our racing was cancelled I did indeed get some air. Of both kinds

Today the wind eased and we had four great races and the Moths were the biggest fleet at 23 boats. My, how times change and we were the bell of the ball amongst the Int 14's, RS800's, Musto Skiffs, 29ers, B14s and Laser 4000's

With short course racing in front of a packed club balcony I won with three 1st's and a 2nd, Jason Belben came second and Adam May third. I was quick and my boat handling was better than anyone else's, I knew if I hadn't lost touch at the first mark, I'd win.

And I won £150 in Holt vouchers and a Magic Marine bag. Not so bad.

We must do more of that kind of racing.

A huge thank you to Katherine for helping me with the fastest cam change on record just before race one today,