Monday, 22 February 2010

Spanish Armada

Last weekend we were at Alan Hillman's excellent Pro Vela sailing school in Murcia, Spain and the venue for the "Mothfest" in May. It was a chance for me to do some tacking/gybing practice and also to meet Alan, who had just taken delivery of his new Mach 2. It was cold actually but I could see how nice it will be in May.

Andrea borrowed one of Alans Bladerider RX's and Simon (Si Fi) Fisher and Pablo Arandia brought their Mach 2's along. We had some good time on the water and with some short sharp windward/leeward races everyone improved a lot!

Foiler girl. Andrea won a race!

Yachting great Ian Walker was also down and had his first go in a Moth doing really well as you'd expect, but declaring "I've never been so terrified" ..

Over a few beers we talked about that elusive Channel crossing... Si Fi and I are keen to do it. If anyone knows of a south coast based fast boat that can be used to pull us out if it all goes wrong.. please let me know!

Anyway IMCA Spain has been born with Pablo/Si Fi and Alan heading up the class association. And with flights fifty quid from Bournemouth its tempting to become a "country member"

I enjoyed my time in Alan's boat and proved my tacking is OK from starboard to port but the other way round is still a little tricky.. See below for the good bit.

Next weekend its off to the worlds. Gulp!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Week need

Tomorrow we go to Pro Vela to see Alan Hillman and to meet the other Spanish Moth sailors to sail in a place that's currently 14 degree's. That is 14 degree's warmer than here but its been a bloody long winter and it doesn't seem to get better. I really need a break. I thought the America's Cup would lead me out of this depression but like scared heavyweight boxers they've run for the skirting boards at the slightest sign of danger. I spoke with Alan Block today and he thinks the cup should be melted down, and I agree. It's time is up. It should be used as the new Moth Mr Universe trophy. If nothing else we have the guts they lack. Sailors like my hero Admiral Lord Nelson would laugh at them. "So the nasty nasty swelly man might get you? Oh come here poppet!"

My boat is in a box now, ready and waiting to go to Dubai. I guess I am too and I will surely be one of the favorites if the ambient air temperature is less than 5 degrees. It has not been higher in the all the training I've done, which isn't much, and when I did sail, I would probably have only scored 5 out of 10. Still we'll see. England expects, but they can expect it of the other English this time can't they lads?

But what of all this talk of pumping onto the foils and stuff. Well let me tell you the rule is academic 'cos you can't get a Moth onto the foils with two pumps. Full stop, or err.. Period. Anyway I dont mind either way, I just think the class has a good track record of managing change and the processes in place to discuss this. Every member has a vote no? We must put the class first.

But I like the Worlds, my greatest friends I see there, I get to meet new people, customers and competitors, and I see ego's made and ego's broken. Who the fuck knows what will happen, but as Nelson once said, "No Captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside his enemy"

Bertarelli and Ellison would do well to remember that.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

My Worlds Form Guide

Here is my form guide for the Worlds coming up in Dubai.

1st place, Scott Babbage. Australia. I truly think Scott will win. Apparently the organisers will play the "Top Gun" soundtrack in the dinghy park. Of course the first spoken words in Top Gun are "Morning Scott". To me that's a sign. Weakness is that he's hard on boats. Scott hasn't actually sunk yet but there was probably a Babbage on the Titanic.

2nd Place, Arnaud Psarofaghis. Switzerland. Slow starter and needs to be up there from race one if he's to do well. Well prepared with frequent visits to St Tropez to train. On/off Facebook relationship status updates indicate an active winter. Will probably fly if we can get enough fluids back into him in time.

3rd Place, Bora Gulari. USA Prosperous Professional and seemingly comes with his own news desk. Will the current World Champion go from good to great? Its been a fabulous year for Bora, now an American Idol. Get him to sing "I dreamed the dream".. and it could be Susan Boyle...

4th Place, Dalton Bergan USA, Evidently been working hard. Keeps himself to himself. Being beaten by Bora at events although pedigree would suggest otherwise. Good bloke.

5th Place, Jean Pierre Ziegert Switzerland. JP's gonna be quick! Fast in the light, and like Arnaud training on the French Riveria. Prone to excitement. Can resemble a foilborne version of one of Spielberg's gremlins.. at its most agitated.

6th Place, Andrew McDougall. Australia. Does age poison us, or do we poison age? Seemingly the latter. 2nd at Sydney International and winner of the Australian Nationals. Faster this year. Will he cope with nature's juggernauts? Those Dubai waves...

7th Place, Rob Gough Tasmania. The Tasmanian Devil is the size of a small dog, and like Rob stocky and muscular. Will fight hard for his place and one to watch.

8th Place, Adam May UK. Got an optimist on foils and frankly this result is as optimistic. Only just unpacked from the last Worlds, but he is very good. If its light he could be top three. That Olympic pedigree will come shinning through and you will be looking at his transom.

9th Place, Tomaz Copi. Slovenian 470 star and paragliding champion. Getting his second Mach 2 delivered to the event. 65kg light and could finish much higher up. A real unknown, but the Slovenian for "well done mate" is err.."Dobro mate". Better get used to saying it.

10th Place Mike Lennon UK. Pathological boat bimbler and serial Moth Sailor. Been sailing hard at "Ice Station Zebra" this winter, or Hayling Island SC as we call it in the summer. Done his time and deserves a result. Moderate conditions could put him much higher up.

So there we have it.