Monday, 24 May 2010

Time Lord

The Mothfest at Alan Hilman's Pro Vela facility on the Mar Menor proved to be a good little event. I enjoyed the coaching and found helping sailors to improve as they battled to fly in the anarchy of earths lowest orbit very satisfying. Unencumbered by the unsavoury business of winning the dinghy park had a more relaxed air about it as people found their own pace.
I was there only until Wednesday night and then we went to a nice hotel for the remainder of the week where to my surprise I found it very easy to spend all day by the pool. I resisted the temptation to go back to see the guys, although I did allow my mind to wonder away from the serious business of sunbathing and speculate at will. At one moment it was readdressing the issue of the effect of rig tension (inconclusive) and yet on the other it was trying to determine if breakfast was included in the room rate (it was).
We tried golf which was fun and we read lots. Inspired by Alain de Botton's book "The Art of Travel" I though of the different Moth sailors you get, and concluded that (given mine was due) there should be lower insurance premiums for the wild eyed survival types who spend their whole time ignoring the moment and thinking "what the f**ks going to happen next" versus the ones who are so blissfully happy in the "here and now" and at one with their poetic souls that their equipment unexpectedly, yet regularly meets its demise by twatting solid objects at 20 knots. I may suggest this behavioral segmentation to Bishop Skinner and see where it gets me.
Andrew McDougall was another year older at the weekend, and presumably another year faster. A real Time Lord. Happy Birthday mate.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Spanish Eyes

The first of a new kind of event starts with paella and a beer on Sunday on the beach by the Mar Menor in Spain. Alan Hillman's new style Mothfest is already popular with 20 odd entrants. With long distance races, slaloms, pursuit races and three days of coaching by me and Alan, the positioning of the event has found popularity with Moth sailors who want to enjoy a some free ride time with their boats in a great environment. Sailings version of a golfing holiday if you like.

We hope to raise everyones skill levels which are a great mix of personal ambitons in a unique environment where the goal of the event is not to find the champion but to individually improve and collectively have fun.

Each sailor has completed a score card giving us an idea of their strengths and weaknesses and their aim high ambition for 2010 . We'll try hard to help them fulfill that.

But they say practice as if you are the worst and perform as if your the best and I will do the former this afternoon. I find it hard to find time these days but the one thing thats drives me is that when I'm not practicing I'm damn sure somewhere someone is practicing and when I meet him, he might win.

My own 2010 ambitions involve the UK National Championships in July and the European Championships in August, and also to learn to anchor without looking like an idiot but that in fairness involves a different boat.

Sometimes it can be hard to train alone and at HISC we all seem to be good at it despite the 17 Moths we have at the club. I'm very happy to be getting a new Velocitek Speed Puck to help me out, I've tried many GPS's over the years but the Speed Puck I used at the Speed Trials at the Gorge was the best by far.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

When the north wind blows..

Hayling. It's a name that conjures up cold weather when you say it. Spelt almost the same as frozen rain, it has been like that for most of the year. This weekend was no different and the only good thing is that you dont have to equalise the pressure in the tanks when you launch because the temperature of the air and the sea are both the same. Eleven degrees. The heated floors in the changing rooms were fantastic however turning the place into a sauna.

I sailed both days, trying the MSL13 and being beaten resoundly by Mike Lennon on Saturday and today going back to my trusty MSL10, three piece mast, fixing my wand and winning well.

This evening, and pleased with todays speed I sat on the sofa in a zen like trance reflecting on the day which Andrea mistook for dozing.

Last week Ricky Tagg and I went out determined to err determine whether sailing with the main foil on the front hole or the middle hole was fastest. We found the front hole was quicker downwind and the middle (IMHO) was quicker up. Bugger all in it though but I will stay as I am as I dont really like feel of the boat as the COE moves aft..

Its the Mothfest next weekend at Pro-vela in Spain and I can't wait to get down there and coach the 20 odd Moths that are entered. An eclectic mix of standards from worlds top ten sailors to new for 2010 beginniners but with two things in common though. A desire to improve, and a desire to sail in a warm place!

Sorry I didnt go to the Inlands. I've done enough not to really need an excuse which is just as well as I haven't got one anyway.