Monday, 26 March 2012

Ides of March

Its sunny here and the weekend made for great sailing! A high sat over the country which meant light winds, cold water and the unusual smell of suntan lotion in March.

In Australia Amac won the Victorian States with ballistic downwind speed using the new production KA MSL 16. Something I began to see with the prototype KA MSL 16 on Saturday which although a bit too flat in the middle for everyday use and is now superseded by the production model, does have that really groovy top.

We thought Amacs total of 8 wins had equalled Brian Morris's record run, the son of class founder Len Morris, but in fact Brain won 11 times from 1947 to 1963 and actually Len won it from 1933 to 1946 consecutively.

Back to Hayling and I think we must have had 8 Mach2's out and having fun on Saturday. Great to see newbie Matt Bergmann Smith up and foiling on effectively his first time out in his new boat.

On Sunday we took Callisto out and had lunch at Easthead. I saw the guys out again and it occurred to me why Moths do so well at pursuit races. It has little to do with a favourable handicap but more to do with the fact that we practice so much more than other sailors. Why? Because the boats are so much fun!

Today is an exciting day as my i pad is being delivered. I'm hoping its similar to my old Etch A Sketch in terms of use! I plan to use my free time to sail most evenings this week now the clocks have gone forward.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Sail Positioning

Its beautiful here but the leaves are still. I dont know if we'll get any wind but it will be a good time to re-rope my boat with my lovely new Gottifredi Maffioli rope kit. New colour coded "Olympic 75" 4mm control lines always make the boat look great and the controls work better.

This weekend I will try the new KA MSL16, I have the prototype here, one that Andrew made to see he'd got the shape right rather than one to use. This means there are no batten zippers on this sail which means you have to arrive 4 hours earlier than anyone else to rig it. Still de rein. It looks good on the mast and the new ones will be here soon.

With three sails now in the range we were talking about "positioning" and came to this conclusion:-
MSL13 = The most powerful sail
MSL10 = The most versatile sail
MSL16 = The lowest drag sail.

See? Easy innit?

Garda is on my mind and the French Nationals at Quiberon might be fun and pretty close. Thierry will be there and it would be good to support the French fleet and get some good racing in.

On thursday I went for a walk away from screens, emails and phone calls. It was gorgeous and I took this picture of which I'm quite proud. I may yet have a calling in the Christmas card business.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Feather Lite

Up she comes, no sudden movements!

Light wind racing at Queen Mary Sailing Club at the weekend on a day that looked as if Spring had also entered for the first Moth GP of the year. I managed both of my goals, one was to win some races and the other was to not get wet. Queen Mary is like a mile wide cereal bowl and launching a Moth is the same as flicking a cornflake from the rim. Still, we had four races in marginal foiling conditions. It was good practice though and a balance between low riding in the right direction or foiling in the wrong one. We've sailed championship races in these conditions before, so it was relevant and it was good for me to be racing people like Jason Belben and Chris Rashley, who was in his new boat.

Coming into the leeward mark in a rare gust

I scored a 2,1,1,1 which I was pleased with. My Mach2 was fast, I had the MSL10C/stiff mast rig and after a bit of tuning after the first race I was up really early and sailing tactically quite well in that stuff.

A few minutes after the start, it was like this a lot!

That night, with the wind all but gone and the forecast even lighter for the next day I went back to the south coast. Others left too but I'm sure they raced yesterday.

I really enjoyed the racing on saturday and these little boats are great. Despite the v light winds I still hit just under 19 knots in my Mach2.


Monday, 5 March 2012

The London Dinghy Show: Back to the future

It was the London Dinghy Show over the weekend and a chance to connect with potential Moth sailors, existing Moth sailors who cant quite make or don't feel confident enough to attend the calendar events and of course the press. The Moth Class Constitution reminds us all that one of the three objectives of the class is to promote sailing and racing of the International Moth and I can think of no better place to do this than at the dinghy show. Especially on a wet weekend in March. Performance isnt everything and there are of course many other boats there, from the much maligned Heron, which has almost glacial like acceleration and can only described as fast if you've just jumped into it after stepping out of a rickshaw (but is supported by the most enthusiastic committee to the extent that this cute little boat punches well above its weight) to the A class Cat. The A class stand had a beautiful Italian made boat on it and was manned by a very proud and enthusiastic bunch, all of whom looked older than God. So once again by looking back in time we are reminded of how to go forward as a class. The first Moth was created in the same year that Ford launched the Model A, which replaced the Model T Ford, which apparently you could only have in black, and so it was with a sense of pride that a Mat Black Ninja and a Glossy Black Mach2 caused much interest. Interest and aspiration not only for association members but for the many kids running around clutching bags of freebies, who are currently involved in youth classes and one day will, I'm sure, come and sail a Moth.

Thanks to Mike Cooke and James Phare for organising it and Jason and Neil for coming along to man the stand and others for popping by.

Its the first proper event of the season next weekend at Queen Mary, If you have a Moth come and sail, its the best way to learn, if you don't and live near by, come and watch. The sailors are only to happy to talk about their boats, some for hours. We are just another class which, just like the Heron, the sailors are intensely proud of. We may badge ourselves as the formula one of dinghy racing but volunteers and enthusiasts still run the class, and just like the Dinghy Exhibition, you wont find Bernie Ecclestone at Queen Mary either,