Parkstone Moth open

Couldn’t make this one, but heres the report from Si Payne…

This was the first moth open meeting in February that anyone can remember. That Moth sailors are racing in the winter, despite a somewhat unconventional (wet) launch procedure is a testament to enthusiasm and atmosphere in the class.

With the World Championships at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy in July several of the top UK sailors have already put quite some time in. Also several new world class sailors have joined the class and with many younger up and coming mothies having new kit, no one really new who would beat who. And with 15 knots of breeze on Saturday it was sure to be good spectator sport on the mile long windward/leeward course.

But when the start gun fired at 1300hrs on Saturday morning it was immediately clear that National Champion Jason Belben had not taken the winter off. Quick out of the blocks in his Fastacraft Prowler he won both races. Adam May was up there too in his M3V design and Mike Lennon in his Blade Rider sailed well in his first ever moth race to come 3rd in race one. Gary Ireson fresh from competing in the Australian National Championships was also going well in his new Prowler Zero. European Champion Simon Payne, who’s boat arrived from Australia the day before was struggling a bit with set up problems and posted a 4th and 3rd. The cold water was having an effect on most people’s foils and occasionally large plumes of spray were seen suddenly erupting from rudders as they ventilated. This was often followed by a spectacular crash, oddly a problem that doesn’t happen when the water is somewhat warmer.

With three back to back races on Sunday it was an early start but as this was the first ever open where every boat was a foiler, it wasn’t long before the sailors were on the start line. In 8 to 10 knots of breeze the racing was good.. Belben won the first and second after close racing with Payne, who getting faster each race won the last. New people, notably Gary Ireson, and Tim Boon, now in a Prowler were mixing it at the front and both snatched the lead briefly. Adam May, forced to use his hi wind KA MSL10 design sail was down on power a bit and just hung off the back of the first group. He’ll be back at the front when he gets the right sail up.

In terms of development within the class Tom Whicher turned up with the new Axiom design which can be seen at this weekends Dinghy Exhibition, Mike Lennon is using the new Hyde sail, Simon Payne used the all new “F sail” from Fastacraft on Sunday and was going fast and Ricki Tag sailing a Full Force Mistress design was using the new KA MSL10B, a sail optimized for breezy conditions which looked good and goes very well, even down the wind range.


1st Jason Belben
2nd Simon Payne
3rd Adam May
4th Gary Ireson
5th Tim Boon
6th Mike Lennon

The next event is 21st and 24th of March at Weston. There is sure to be good racing as people continue to try out new gear and practice hard in the mean time.

Weekend sailing

Saturday had Alan, Ade Murphy and myself out for a bit of foiling fun. Wind was only just hitting 10 knots at times but it was great to get out and get some proper practice in and start practicing foiling tacks. – Technique for this one is pretty hardcore as you have to be really fast across the boat but I don’t think I am that far away – was coming out of the tacks with some really good pace, just not flying… Yet!


Adrian is really getting to grips with the Nemesis and was all over us in the light patches flying in practically nothing as he is pretty light. He had on his headcam and has posted a bit of footage. I had mine too, but had forgotten to wipe the previous recording so managed to record zip! ah well, lesson learned!

Sunday saw myself and Martin driving ribs as it was duty time – Alan went out for a bit and was foiling in the puffs and new Bristol Mothie Leo took Wasabi the Pimp Ninja our for his first sail and was coping fine with the art of light air mothing…

Poole is next weekend – I’m not able to make it, but it will be interesting to see how things are shaping up in our first open of the year.

More Tiger stuff

Youtube User Shockwave40 has just posted this montage of mothies at the gibe mark on saturday…

You can see why Graham was so fast – hes pushing it the whole time, not just hanging on for fear of death like the rest of us!

I’m looking a little sketchy on my setup there, but I was having a pretty serious panic on at the time – I was around 20 knots according to my tracklog and had to bear away in a big gust after just rolling a couple of 49ers and was in their path and really not wanting to wipe out there…


Gibe school…

Kevin Heasman has sent me a cd of a few shots he took at Rutland last weekend and caught this cool gibe sequence on camera…

Tiger Weekend

The rest of the world seems to have a problem forecasting wind at Rutland – it never plays nice!
This year was no exception with 20 knots instead of the forecast 12 on Saturday. Just getting to the line past the line of 250 odd other boats all jostling for position was damned hard. It was also really cold – although the midweek forecast of snow was thankfully wrong too…

Race one saw Graham Vials going the right way up the beat and rounding a good few hundred yards ahead of the next boat and dissapearing off into the sunset never to be seen again.
I was second of the Mothies, and proceeded to burn off a couple of 49ers on the top reach and enjoy the relatively small amount of traffic on the run. The second lap was a different story with the slow fleet all parked in the area between the top and bottom wing marks, gibing in front of you without looking and generally causing me to perform a few controlled wipeouts. There was no way around it – the marks were both about 150 yards off the shore (good for the spectators!) leaving little room on the shore side to go down and the rest of the fast fleet coming upwind on the other side of the slow moving roadblock. My race (and weekend unfortunately) ended a bit early when I noticed the kicker ‘U’ bolt and backing plate starting to emerge from the kingpost leaving me with no choice but to back off, ease the kicker and head for home. Which was a good job really as I couldn’t feel my feet anyway!

The remaining three mothies of Boona, Mike Lennon and James Roche all had a pretty good battle by the sound of things but all saw sense of the weather and left Graham to it. There was a pretty large pile of boats all parked on the lee shore and the rescue boats were nicely loaded so no point in taking chances with the weather gods.
Sad story of the day was Sam Pascoe, who was holed by a port tack 49er and had to be towed in with his 600FF almost completely underwater.

Graham had a 1,23, and 2 over the course of the day leaving him with a pretty good chance of delivering the goods for the remaining mothies now spectating on Sunday and he didn’t fail us with a 3rd in the pursuit (20+knots again…) taking the overall trophy. Rutland had us on 800 for the weekend, which given the pretty hardcore conditions was about right – a bit less wind and we would have been better off, but it worked for now.

Anyway, boat is now in for a redo of the kicker system, but by all other accounts was performing beautifully – really stable upwind and down and a new personal best of 22knots.

Results Here

And a couple of pics from Emma of Graham on the way to the start of the pursuit and a perfectly timed one of James hitting eject! Mid gibe shot of me thanks to Kevin Heasman, an innocent bystander taking some great shots. Hopefully there should be more to follow…

Foil lingo

It gets thrown around a lot, but something really bugs me! When people start saying that their rudders are Cavitating. Now unless someone has skipped on the 30 knot barrier altogether and is rapidly approaching the world water speed record in a Moth this just isn’t right.

Cavitation is basically the low pressure area on a foil getting so low, that the water vaporises itself and turns to steam.

What is actually happening on the moth is Ventilation. This is where air gets sucked down the low pressure side of the foil from the water surface – the rudder loses steerage and you have to back off to reattach the flow – this happens a lot on the 0010 section foils (earlier Prowlers, I think they’ve changed section now) and especially in cold water.

Fences go a long way to solving this as they stop the air getting too far down the blade but they are draggy and a lot of hassle.

I did have a weird ventilation experience a while ago when foiling particularly high and the leeward rudder tip broke out – I saved the crash and carried on with a very draggy rudder for a few seconds until the air was gone and normal service resumed. Curious I had another shot at it and watched the rudder this time and you could visibly see the bubbles on the foil and the pocket getting smaller until they were all scrubbed off.

You don’t see that every day – Anyway, vague science lesson over – I’m off to the Tiger Trophy in the morning with a good bunch of about 8 other Mothies. Will be fun!