After letting Emma loose in Edward on Wedneday afternoon I got out for a bit of tacking practice. It’s getting pretty close now and Emma caught one of my worse efforts at the end of the sail on camera…
While I’m definitely touching down mid tack, the boat isn’t stalling on most of them. Just need to get out a bit more! Unfortunately the weather is doing the same thing it has for months now and blowing northerly so a bank holiday weekend is wasted at BCYC…
Wednesday came around again, this week with a more sensible breeze. 10-12 knots and sunshine – lovely. Mike had made a few tuning changes to his boat, so went for a spin to check the set-up before I took the helm.
When I first got started this week, I had a few troubles remembering how everything worked, but once I got sorted I went for some brilliant blasts across the lake. I think I was lasting a lot longer before crashing this week and, on occasion, crashed only because I had reached the other side of the lake!
I decided, though, that this was not the best option and it would be much more sensible to actually attempt to learn how to change direction. So, I did some tacking practice. While my tacks are neither very fast, nor terribly graceful, I am pleased to say that they get round now. This is a big yay for me, as I never really got the hang of them in lowriding FBG, due to her excessive bum buoyancy. So, I was pleased. I also managed one very exciting bum-in-the-air gybe (and I am no longer talking about the boat’s bum). This new style of gybing may not yet have been embraced by mothies around the globe, and may not be as fast as their more conventional techniques, but I think it should get points for style at the very least.
Anyway, I was pleased with the day’s progress and even hit a new top speed:
Next week I hope to take my own boat out. For starters, she has righting lines, so it won’t take me ten minutes to get the rig out of the water after every capsize. We have also done a bit more work to the control system, so as to lose less lift in the system, so hopefully she will be behaving well. I will, of course, let you know.
For some reason, I have yet to attend an open at Weston that has decent breeze – This year was no exception. 5-10 knots and all over the place was the recipe for Saturday and we all got a showcase of early foiling by Mr Vials. I however managed to hit the wrong corner pretty much every time and barely escaped with a couple of 5ths, managing to be last at the windwark mark at least twice…
James Roche played host on Saturday night with the highlight of the weekend, a BBQ full of goodies which went down very nicely.
Sunday had more breeze, but still pretty marginal at times. A minute off the start line and I was in the water trying to tie my kicker back together again, 5 minutes later and I was off again. upwind pace was good and by the second windward mark I was up to 5th and just behind Alex Adams in his new M3 mod.
Unfortunately for me, I went out looking for wind on the run and came downhill too close to the zapcat course where their support rib had the good manners to gun it right infront of me causing a nasty stack and a broken control rod… Day over – by the time I was back in most of the second race was done and no time to get out for the third.
Anyway, pace was good, more tuning options underway and the Nationals is the next event. Roll on Weymouth
Heres a couple of pics of Alex’s new boat – Name suggestions included Skeletor and Scary Pirate Swingball, which while not relevant has to be the most entertaining name for a boat ever…
I’m quite chuffed today.
Scott Babbage has listed me with a worthy mention at the bottom of his form guide! This is something of a shock really – pretty much everyone on his list has an Olympic campaign behind them or some pretty serious sailing history. I did alright in the National 12 fleet once upon a time but barely have any big fleet racing experience…
Either way I have left it far too late to start the crash diet and just can’t resist the double choc cookies.
Its going to be pretty interesting to see how it all pans out in July at Weymouth and to be honest I’m not really putting my money anywhere, plenty have a shot – it will likely be the English weathers’ unpredictability that decides the scores.
Turned out a bit crappy really. The wind has been all over the place for ages now and we had a really shocking northerly, blowing right over the hill and down the gorge with gusts of 25+ knots and lulls of 5 making any useful sailing go right out the window.
Emma and I had gone down to do a bit of tuning on Fat Bottomed Girl, which should now be working loads better after some cable sorting with the plan being for me to take her out and get her tuned up with Emma sailing Edward. With the weather doing what it was we decided against and I just took Edward out for a brief spin to make sure she is sorted for the weekends open at Weston.
5 boats out though, and four of them foilers! Wouldn’t have dreamt that this time last year!
I did it!
Today I took out Jamming with Edward and I flew….like, really.
We got to the club at about 2pm to find bright, beautiful sunshine and an 8-10knot breeze – perfect conditions my first real flight. Before I launched I was pretty nervous, as this boat is Mike’s baby. I was scared of breaking her or, for that matter, hurting me. But I couldn’t chicken out, the conditions were just too perfect.
So, off I went, and boy did I go! It was amazing just how much less effort is required to get flying in that boat than in mine. You just sort of sheet in and pop up – incredible! It took a few blasts across the lake and some frustrating capsizes before I got the hang of it, but with a bit of grit and determination I got there.
I don’t think there are words in the English language to describe that feeling. It is just magical. I think the silence is what makes it so special; you just glide along and make no sound. Except, of course, for the whooping. There definitely was whooping.
And there were crashes – pretty impressive ones at that. Unfortunately the last left me with a dead arm and I had to abandon ship and be rescued by my rib-driving knight. But that was after the most awesome sail of my life. I think the grin will last for days!
No GPS, so no top speed, but here is some evidence:
Now to get FBG going properly…unless anyone has a foiler they wish to donate, of course 😉