Monday, 24 October 2011

Age of Speed

Stuart Jardine is another Olympian who's been attracted to the Moth class! Bet by a friend that he couldn't sail a foiling Moth, Stuart duly took to the skies on Friday, sailing Pete Bartons Mach2.

These days we are kind of used to having Olympics sailors competing in the Moth class, and of course it makes us very proud, but it is not uncommon.

I have to say though that Stuart's case as the latest Olympian to sail a Moth is quite incomparable, and that's largely because we have to go back in time a bit.

You see at the age of 35 Stuart represented Great Britain in the Star class at the Mexico City Olympics and then again in Munich four years later. That's 1968 and 1972. The more numerate of you will have immediately calculated that this makes Stuart 78 years old.

So its been a while since Stuart has sailed a dinghy and its been 20 years since he last capsized! However proving that once again form is temporary and class is permanent, Stuart duly delivered!

Stuart said; “I think it might of been a bit easier if I had done some dinghy racing in the past few years and probably 60 years earlier! My stomach muscles and arms were like jelly after a few big splashes. Then relearning the technique of heeling to windward rather than the other way in keel boats will take a bit of practice. The most noticeable sensation was the complete lack of noise and splashing and speed once airborne - Quite unnerving.”

Notice the reference to "will take a bit" of practice?

Here's another master at work. Andrew McDougall, almost a boy by comparison, winning a race at round one of the KA Sail Victorian GP by thirteen minutes! It makes you think doesn't it?

As Pete Barton said "4 of the top 5 British Moth sailors are in their late 40’s demonstrating that experience and technique far outweigh any requirement for a youthful body. So if there are any wannabe Moth sailors out there that are thinking that they might be too late to start and over the hill at 30 please take note; You might have over 50 years of Moth flying ahead of you – and reach your best after 20 years!"

Couldn't agree more...

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Propper Job

I'm really happy to say that Simon Propper has become the West Coast USA Mach2 distributor. Here is the press release.

Mach2 Boats are delighted to announce the appointment of Simon Propper as the brands West Coast USA distributor.

Simon, who has recently relocated to the USA and is based in West Hollywood, has been a Moth sailor for many years. Passionate about the boat, Simon was instrumental in getting the UK foiling Moth fleet started and is now focussing on helping to build awareness, enthusiasm and fleets on the West Coast by representing the Mach2 brand. More here.

Says Simon “having owned and sailed my own Mach 2 for almost two years, I am excited to have an opportunity to promote the boat and therefore the Moth class on the west coast.

There's tremendous potential to recruit new Mach 2 sailors here in what must be one of the world's most Moth friendly climates. Email me for a demo sail in the sun !"

The Mach2 Moth is an amazing a hi tech sailing dinghy weighing only 30kg with a top speed of over 30 knots. This boat is completely addictive, gliding above the water in the lightest of winds with unbelievable efficiency. You must try this in this lifetime! You can race it in a world wide network of class associations, or simply go free sailing for the best buzz in sailing. Don't miss this!

Simon can be contacted at

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Don't you hate the way the sun goes away, just when you need it most? Last Sunday was very hot with a light little breeze which allowed me to try the one thing I'd been thinking of. Flying without the wand. If you've ever read Jonathan Livingston Seagull then you've probably been persuaded that flight can move to a higher order, a place where things are done by thought. Not so it would seem, at least for me, but with the wand tucked under the wing we silently left the water and I found that a slight tweak on the ride height adjuster had absolutely no effect. In fact (and disappointingly) a very aggressive pull on the ride height adjuster had the same effect as the previously mentioned slight tweak. Few people I think have pichpoled that hard in 7 knots of wind. Still for the rest of it it was a nice sail, and in a bid to chase the sun I'm currently planning to head to the Eurosaf regatta on the Mar Menor next week to if nothing else get a few valuable training days in.

I'm getting to grips with the new Mach2 small front foil. You have a higher angle of attack on take off and I think this means that the difference in take off speeds is marginal. I may take a RIB to Garda and have the other foil on the water, or I may lobby for a rule that says "you launch with it, you use it for the day" . Depends on the economy.

As I rigged the boat on Sunday another cigarette burn in the cover finally pushed me over the edge. At FED week a friend doused the cover with water before the big evening as my boat sits under the balcony like a silver ashtray. New tactic. I'm going to douse it in paraffin from now on. It will cost me far less than it will them.