Thursday, 25 March 2010

Teenage Kicks

OK I'm over it, That event has now gone, consigned to the history books and recorded by an engraving and a few pics on a lap top, Oh and I straightened the trophy out with a rubber mallet. It was never was meant to be square.

This little class of ours is special but something has been bothering me. It's a question that Clean asked me in the final Sailing Anarchy Cocktail hour. That question was "what are you doing for the kids who are trying to get into Moths?" and basically it floored me. "I.. um.. take 'em out in my boat" wasn't a good answer then and it certainly isn't now.

So what to do? It's a truism that we loose lots of kids to other sports, but mainly street corners after the junior and the youth programmes have finished. Why? Because for a life hungry brand aware kid something from sailings antique roadshow just ain't gonna cut it.

It's the parents who have to get aware. The kids can't afford foiler moths, you can take them out as many times as you like and sure they run back to their Oppi's and Tera's with renewed enthusiam in the same way you drive home enthusiastically from a track day, but soon they are just too old..

So Mom and Dad, you've got to get sailing brand aware! Start buying up the perfectly good and very affordable Prowlers and Bladeriders that are now a few years old and get your son or daughter into the coolest class around, I promise you they won't leave, no one ever does, and in the end it will be a damn site cheaper than a Methadrone habit.

I had a great offer for my boat this week, so tempted to take it but I didn't. Why? because I will never get a new one probably and also because I've written to both of the schools my boys are at offering to coach the kids and do talks and stuff. I may need the boat as a prop. It's still not much of an answer Clean but its better than the one I gave you in Dubai.


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Thank you for the music

Wow what an event! I'm home and I am offsetting the jet lag by spending long periods of time staring at the trophy I just won. Largely in disbelief.

It's history tells a story, one that on this particular piece of silver goes back to 1963, It's a story of change, a story of winners (and by definition losers) and of winners again, and of course travel to places others don't get to see. It's the story of the greatest racing class in the world.

There is however only one thing that's different now than back then, and that's that I get to replay the event over and over, not in my head, but on my computer. The media did a fantastic job and the scale of awareness they have brought to our class over the last couple of weeks was and is unprecedented. We must consider them friends and family and give them priority status if they are willing to row to the windward mark rather than motor.

Anyway I feel hugely proud and humble to have won the Puma Moth Worlds in Dubai but the thing that excites me about these events isn't necessarily the thought of winning, although I do dream about it before hand, but its the energy I get from seeing my friends again and meeting new people. The guys in Dubai did a wonderful job and the atmosphere was incredible. At almost every other sailing event I can't wait to leave the area after sailing, but in Dubai I just wanted to hang around..

However one of the best things for me was seeing the improvement in the British fleet. Ricky Tagg achieved his goals by coming 13th in his first ever Moth Worlds, Adam was 10th and Mike Lennon did really well (although he wont admit it) to get to wear GBR 8 on his sail.

A couple of apologies from me. One to my mom for swearing on TV and the other to my mate Bora for being unnecessarily aggressive after the slalom when we exchanged a little skin.

So now its back to looking at my trophy. Thank you to everyone for your help, support and best wishes, you've made me feel great for a few days, but particularly to Andrea, who makes me feel great all of the time anyway.

Over and out

Monday, 8 March 2010

Highway to the danger zone

Holy shit its Viper! Thats what I was thinking when Bora and I exchanged a little skin at the slalom yesterday. A bare knuckle moth fight where normal rules dont apply and the winner takes all. Bora and I had a frank an honest discussion after the race, I finished 2nd and he was 3rd, and in hindsight perhaps we both should have kept our butts above the hardeck. Rob Gough, won moving on from his second place last year. He's the current slalom king.
Today in Fightertone the mood is relaxed. The sailing club looks like a call centre with computers open and sailors trying to keep busy. Two hours to go until we go ballistic. There is no wind but we may get 10 knots by the start.
Last night Puma hosted a cool little party and I found myself thinking how lucky I was to be at a place like this and today with "Chasing Cars" in my headphones the feeling is no different. I guess I'll soon find out whether I'm still capable of soaring with the top boys or only good enough to fly rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Now thats what I call music..

Its gonna be light for the next few days, and whilst the sea breeze may come, its certainly changed the form guide. Yesterday showed that if you got it right you got it very right but if you got it wrong? Well..
The first race yesterday in marginal foiling conditions I went round the first mark second behind Mike Lennon, with Scotty on my tail and Ricky Tagg up there too. We low rode down the run until the breeze filled in from behind and Bora screemed down the left side corner. With a third of the run to go I was in the lead but kinda messed up the final approach up to take 5th. Mike Lennon grabbed a gust and won.

The next race I nailed the first beat and won the two lapper by a few minutes but finished with a cracking headache and Chris kindly gave me some more water but I didnt do the last race. Maybe I should wear sunglasses too.

So the UAE nationals were won by Chris Graham in his Mach 2 who tellingly put together a 3,2,2 yesterday. He now jumps to the front of the form guide if the conditions stay like this all week, he seems to have a slight edge on the rest of us and is sailing well.

We have the slalom today which will be fun as always, although with Scotty, Rob Gough and Amac in my group its a toughy to get through to the next round.

For the Worlds, I feel good about my speed on the foils but there is a certain randomness to these conditions which I think has most of the top lot worried. Oh well, its not raining and if only we can change the dinghy park music to something better than "Now thats what I call music 8" then it wont be a bad place to be..

Plenty of discussion on pumping, ooching and how we should take the class forward for light wind sailing but for now, for this event, you cant change it. Rules are rules. Better just get on with it.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Arabian Knights

Today is the first day of racing at the Moth Worlds in Dubai. Actually its the UAE nationals for two days, then Sunday is a layday before we race for real on Monday. Todays it blowing and err a little rainy but the club is in full swing and the atmothsphere is good.

Yesterday we had some inpromptu short windward/leewards in an unstable wind that was shifting through maybe 15 degrees. Scotty is going well. Arnaud was back on the pace after a sail change and Bora is looking good. I'm going OK too but with many sailors yet to show there stuff its hard to know the form yet.

Its a funny wind that feels strong and we're certainly cranking upwind but if you tack its really hard to get back on the foils. But when it blows, like its doing now, the waves are fierce and just getting downhill will be the biggest test. Next week is looking lighter but we'll see...

Gear wise I'm pleased with the new softer Mach 2 Mast on the KA MSL10B. It seems I can hang with the big boys in a breeze. If it gets lighter I will put my new Southern Spars Carbon rod rigging on and possibly go up a stiffness on the mast. Thierry Martinez arrived last night so you will be sure to see some good pictures on his site here