After the UK Nationals a month ago Dylan and I sat down and had a chat about what we needed to do to really move the Rocket SSD (Solid State Deck) on. There were some prototypery related build issues with Rocket Raccoon and his boat was still a bare shell in build, so we had the opportunity to change a few things. While the boat was obviously fast with the higher wings and smoother shapes, there was definitely room for improvement.
The forward mast position was causing some problems lowriding in a chop, especially with the extra heft that the Raccoon was carrying, so we’ve moved the mast/deck/daggerboard aft a bit to improve the seaworthy-ness.
While for ages we had the benefit of bigger wand/foil spacing with a small sprit, the Exocet adding a full length bowsprit had made a noticeable catch-up so that was an easy add-on.
Then there was the diet. When you start with something so out of the field it’s really hard to know how to pitch things with material. Raccoon really was solid – actually the best place to start as we wouldn’t have learned anything if it had folded up on the first sail! Then it was just a question of looking at everything and seeing where little losses could be made. Thinner foam here and there, going a bit lighter on the skins, a bit less uni in the ‘I’ beams across the cockpit. It’s all added up nicely and ‘Stingray’, as she is now known, is much closer to the ballpark weight-wise.
It’s been a wild few months, as always a bit too hectic for me and my sailing has suffered – but coming out the other side we’ve come up with something that looks totally badass and is certainly the nicest Moth I’ve ever sailed. Hopefully Dylan can overcome the little tune-up time I’ve left him with and put in a good showing at the Europeans. The SSD Rocket will see production for anyone that wants one, while the high wings, revised geometry and long sprit will all transfer across to the version 3 Rocket for all new boats.
Would love to be out there watching and cheering on, but I’ve got a bit too happy with the grinder while fixing/dismantling Rocket Raccoon and have a long list of rebuild to crack on with. Better make the most – will be sailing again by Paignton GP!
All 5 of the new Rockets made it down to the 70 boat Nationals down in Weymouth last week for 4 days of full on racing in everything from marginal foiling to full on 25 knot winds.
It’s clear that the UK fleet has really stepped up a gear in the last season with the top of the fleet running very professional campaigns and testing multiple mast and sail combinations. Top of Rocket Racing was Cookie finishing in 12th. James Phare ran Rocket foils on his Ninja and posted some great top 10 results on the breezey day. Matt Ponsford took the top under 21 spot and posted a solid top-half of the fleet result despite only having taken delivery of his boat 2 weeks earlier.
All of the boats had great downwind speed and plenty of depth and regularly able to gybe inside others and make better vmg. Cookie experimented with a Raptor sail on the final day and was back on the pace upwind.
We’ve been working on feedback from Team Ninja to beef up parts of the boat, including controls, foils and torsional stiffness and it’s testament to all the years of Moth development that we suffered no breakages with the exception of Cookie’s Prodder which made a bid for freedom from his silly rod rigging.
With the nationals now out of the way there is still a good season of open events to get to and the next one for Mike is the Torbay regatta weekend.
The new Rocket Moth design has taken to the water, with a tune up sail at Queen Mary against the Ninja death squad followed by the Tiger Pursuit last Sunday. Early impressions are great and it’ll be good to start getting some air miles in.
Order book is fast filling up and it’s looking like a busy season!
From the UK Cherub Website…
This week the town of Santander in Spain has played host to ISAF and the trials of six skiffs, one of which will be chosen as the boat for the Women’s Skiff event in the 2016 Olympics and possibly beyond.
Two E6 UK-Cherubs designed by Kevin Ellway, built by Aardvark Technologies and beautifully liveried as Arup Skiffs have attended the event as one of the six entries. You may recognise these as the boats as “Eleanor” and “Marmite” displayed at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, Eleanor winning the 2011 Concours D’Elegance Award.
Accompanying the boats are a team of UK-Cherub sailors headed by Roland Trim and he is supported by his employer, the engineering firm Arup.
Photos and reports from the event show the boats performing fantastically well, and although there have been days of poor weather there has also been sufficient time for the Olympic sailors to trial the Arup Skiffs, which offers a much lighter alternative to the other five contenders.
The ISAF are expected to make the decision on which Skiff will be used in the 2016 Olympics during May 2012. We wish everyone involved with the Arup Skiff Project the best of luck with the selection.
The UK-Cherub class is proud to be associated with this project and to have lent its support, boats and expertise. You can read more on the Arup Skiff website, and read the Arup News here.
We wish everyone a safe trip home.
Congratulations to Ninja sailor Chris Rashley who fought a tight battle with Simon Payne down at Paignton over the weekend to secure the open and the Grand Prix series for 2011. This tops off a fantastic first year for Chris and we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do in 2012!
Another excellent result for Team Aardvark with Graham and Eddie Bridle taking the UK Cherub Nationals in their Banshee down at Lee on Solent. Going into the final day it was all to play for and the Bridles went out in style winning the last two races.
Full report and results over at Yachts and Yachting’s website
Chris Rashley, sailing a Ninja with the 2011 Elite foils has just won the Moth Europeans in Travemunde, Germany.
Chris put on a dominating display with 7 first places in a mixed condition event with light airs races to 15+ knots and big waves! Ben Paton, also on the new foils finished in 3rd place – winning race 6. Other Ninjas in the top ten were chief Aardvark Mike Cooke in 5th and Jason Belben finishing in 9th place, despite counting a rtd in his score after a shroud failure on day 2.
Things are looking good for Team Ninja and with the worlds in Europe next year we’re stepping up a gear at Aardvark HQ…
Congratulations to Ninja sailor Jason Belben for winning the UK Moth Nationals down at Stokes Bay. Jase put in a sterling performance beating Arnaud Psarophagis of Switzerland and fellow brit and Ninja rider Chris Rashley in third place.
The Europeans start in Germany in Travemunde this coming weekend and with Jason and Chris on good form the outcome could be very interesting!
Check back on here and the Bristol Moth Blog for more updates.
It’s been a good season for Aardvark so far, with Cookie winning the Moth winter series in “Ninja Turtle”, followed by the UK Dinghy sailing show at Alexandra Palace where the Aardvark built E6 Cherub won the Spitfire concours award, beating the Mach2 and several timber tubs.
The Moth circuit has seen the Ninja Death squad starting to get their act together, with Chris Rashley winning the Inlands at Queen Mary and the first 2011 Ninja Donatello winning a race in it’s first outing.
Rashers and Jason Belben gave Si Payne a run for his money at Parkstone, pushing him all the way and there was only 1 point in it at the end. Again, Donatello showed what she is capable of, taking the first race.
Hayling saw the local black boat fleet on top, but Jason was looking pretty fast in his first outing on the 2011 foils and kept them on their toes, leading races and taking 3rd overall.
Thorpe Bay saw biblical conditions, with only Chris Rashley able to get around in the only race on the Saturday and showing the way around on a more sensible Sunday, making that his second open win in his first season.
The Nationals at Stokes Bay are now upon us and with the entry now topping 50 boats it’s going to be excellent. The Ninja is the strongest it’s ever been with several people capable of winning races and the event will be a good indicator for the Europeans a few weeks later.
On an equipment side, the new foils are proving themselves to be stiff and fast while losing none of the light airs performance the Ninja is known for.
Rudders are available as upgrades for the Mach2, Bladerider and Prowler and mainfoils will fit the above although due to the pushrod direction some control modifications would be required. Mike has been experimenting with a new stiff mast designed to work with the KA10 which has shown much promise and we can accomodate any bend requirements.