Saturday, 18 July 2009

An unfortunate event

CNN on a slow news day have just published the results of their "Mans Greatest Achievement Survey". Oddly the lunar landings were not on the list at all which was made up of woeful replies likes the "computer" or "fire" (which wasn't exactly man's achievement) and were followed by even more unrelated entries like "world peace" (which simply proves people don't listen to the question). Anyway a very thin article

Of course you and I know that man's greatest achievement is the Cat Flap, but like those in the survey you are probably too scared to suggest it, driven by a mandate to be come up with a seemingly profound and deep answer.

Anyway here's mans worst one. It's Lycra.

Let me explain. Years ago, and normally after Christmas you had to diet to get back into your clothes. That doesn't need to happen any more because Lyra just says "I'll be any size you want me to be", and that's why we have so many overweight people. Lycra first appeared in Star Trek and the only reason we had "The next Generation" was because the original lot were at the clinic getting stomach bands fitted.

So what is man's greatest achievement in Sailing do you think? Rope advancement has to be up there, as does building materials. All significant but is Hydro foiling one? Darwin would be proud. We are learning to fly all over again and without an engine too.

Nope, the most significant invention was made by Doug Culnane at the European Championships this summer. Most people put the cover on backwards, inside out or sideways 78% of the time. Doug is making one out of prisoner uniform material, and all the arrows point to the front. Utter brilliance and right up there with the Cat Flap.

Anyway its kinda hard to think of doing well in the Worlds having just come last in the Nationals.. I intended to do well, despite arriving a day late, but I had a breakage and on a wet beach in Wales, with one umbrella between 37 sailors and a lone battery powered dremel, I knew when I was beaten. So this past few days I've been fixing the boat and it now incorporates a lot of elements from the less glamorous side of the periodic table.

Congratulations to Australian Moth National Champion Nathan Outteridge for winning the 49er Worlds in lake Garda. He'll be at the Gorge and what racing it will be!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

My form guide - more lies ahead

This is my first and possibly last ever form guide for the worlds. And only for the people that I know. Its quite possible that it's right but its more likely that its wrong and it's based on my warped syntax rather than any logical theory.

So here we go.

1st place overall.

Arnaud Psarofaghis. Switzerland

Physically lazy, mentally strong and battle hardened recently. Will probably win by miles unless I can lead him a stray with a few well timed night outs down the local strip club. More talent in his little finger than most have in their whole body. Annoyingly good and a reminder of how it could have been if motorcycles, alcohol and women hadn't got in the way.

2. Nathan Outteridge. Australia. Seemingly perfect sailor and looks like the bloke from that gay cowboy film. Accordingly might attract persistent, distracting and unwanted attention from the locals.. I could be wrong, but don't drop the soap mate.

3. Amac. Australia. If he was a horse you might shoot him but now seemingly the Benjamin Button of Moth racing. Will redefine what fast is. Starting and tacking are areas of concern. New starting procedure as follows.

a. Wait for starting siren
b. Drain glass.
c. Confidently engage full ahead.

Tacking procedure as below

a. Wait for layline or shore
b. Drain glass.
c. Purposefully push helm down
d. Alight onto centreboard

4. Scott Babbage. Europe. Rumours from down under says he's fast with something in reserve, actually Italian so arguably on our side for the Ashes series.

5. Charlie McKee. USA. Form, grace and style. Will go ballistic if anyone starts pumping. Rightly.

6. Rohan Veal. Australia. 20 knots upwind indicates a rigging error and the subsequent use of rope as a tiller extension. So low he will be knocking holes in the banks of the Columbia River. Entirely possible Rod nicked the original to use as the "tiller of doom".

7. Bora Gulari. Excess windage and a choice of too much kit could be his downfall. Rumoured to have 10 masts. Good news for the organisers as the sponsorship didn't stretch to event flag poles...Pick the right stuff though and he'll fly. And the helicopter won't.

8. Kevin Hall. Will bugger off into the distance like the Millennium Falcon on the Kessel run in over 20 knots. Will hold his own in a lot less.

Others to watch:-

- Dalton Bergan. Mach 2 fast and one of the band of great USA 49er sailors.

- Morgan Larson. nearly as above.

- Jonathan Mckee. Fast DNA and proven mental strength by way of racing the Barcelona double handed race with a howl at the moon crazy Spaniard.

- Mike Lennon. Will probably arrive as British National Champion. Fast, but tacks slower than a Hobie cat.

I haven't included myself cos Scott doesn't, no other reason really. I just thought that was what you were supposed to do.

In truth though any of the above could finish in any order.