I haven't got a clew!

Not any more anyway…

It was blowing dogs off chains this evening, but I went for a blast as I had some new mods to try out. The result was this, but only after Alan Watson went for a blast in the boat and got himself a bit sideways out of a gibe (he nailed the first one!) and took a dive through my nice Hyde sail! Anyone that knows Alan can probably imagine him doing it with plenty of grace and jolly good form.

Nothing a talented sailmaker cant fix anyway, I have a MSL11 lying around somewhere that can probably get me on the water for some pre Tide ride practicing…

Anyway, the result of the mods are that I can now foil tack, and while my success rate is low (1 in 5 maybe?!) at least they are happening… Just in time for the end of the season!

The Powermann race at Poole last weekend was a good laugh (wished I had done my tweaks for that one now, life would have been peachy…). Sailing out in the bay with some biggish swell going was great fun, and something I want to get some more of. Gary was fastest Mothie, but the results don’t show that I was second fastest as I got a bit lost out there and couldn’t find the windward mark and sailed back downwind for a good few minutes thinking I had passed it! Live and learn…

Rod has posted some pics up here and there is some video of Norm the foiling dog here

Champagne Sailing – Almost…

I got down to Hayling on Sunday for a bit of time sailing somewhere that doesn’t involve forests of weed growing up from the bottom of the lake and it proved to be well worth it.

Axebridge is normally mostly empty of water at this time of year as it is a reservoir for Bristol Water Co, so I dont usually have to worry about the weed as theres not enough water to sail anyway. Yet I keep trying. Hopefully as the weather is starting to cool off now these underwater trees should start dying off and normal service can resume.

So anyhow, sailing down at HISC is great, the launching is pretty easy, there is nice soft sand to rig up on rather than concrete and there is a fleet of top guys all floating around to gauge performance against… Mike Lennon and Jason Russell were both out sailing first thing so we attempted a bit of a windward/leeward race that was going on at the time. Mike and myself were pretty evenly matched for pace in the marginal postitions, both taking off at a similar sort of speed and doing similar angles upwind and down. The race was mostly seperate by which holes you managed to sail into.

Tim Boon came out and joined us, which killed the wind pretty nicely, so we headed in for lunch. After an hour of chillin’ out the breeze kicked back in again and we went out to play. Dave from Dynamic sails took my boat out for a spin and started getting his gibes in, although it did reveal from the shore that my boat was flying a little too high and he kept getting the rudder into the air and spinning out!

I got out to make the most of the breeze and my foil tacking is as close as it has ever been now – Just in time for the Powerman Poole bay race next Sunday that Rodders is getting us all worked up about…

Flying High

As I’m not getting much sailing in at the mo (either too busy at weekends or can’t be bothered to tackle the weed at the club) I have been getting my wind-powered-sport kicks from a touch of power kiting in the past couple of weeks. And it rocks!!

Our friends, Dom and Barry, at UFO Kite Shop have been running sessions on Weston beach every Tuesday evening over the ‘summer’ and we have finally begun to take advantage of this. It’s a touch annoying that the nights are drawing in, as I am now totally hooked on this kiting malarkey and we are quickly running out of evenings to play in.

If you haven’t tried power kiting yet, I really think you should. My eventual aim is to go out in a buggy and speed around on the sand in that, but so far I have been getting to grips with four line kites.

Tonight I took my new kite – a fabulous pressie! – down to the beach for the first time. I have got an HQ Crossfire, which is 1.7 square metres, and is quite big enough to drag me around on the beach. After a bit of zooming, Dom decided I was ready to move into a harness, which made the flying soooo much more comfortable. I spent most of the evening grinning!

Apparently I am now ready to move into a buggy…..

What a lot of fun!

Here are some piccies taken by our resident Cookie Monster:

Wednesday sailing

Wednesday afternoons are still rolling on as the windsurfers at BCYC want to sail even if there is no racing. This means I can have most of the lake to myself and get some practice in.

After a few hours pimping Alan Watson’s Prowler with a new wand and ratio changes along with a bit of foil angle changes I managed to get out in the Squirrel for a quick spin. The weed at the club means I have to take my sailing in short bursts as the frustration sets in (Hence the Hayling trip on Sunday). The boat is working really well now and I really want to get out in some waves and see what the score is, along with sailing against the best.

On the Mothosphere front at the moment there is a good deal of chat about the new AMac/Payne collaboration. There is a bit of a negative slant coming from a few people on the topic, mostly aimed at the potential of the build quality. I’m sure AMac will have designed a competitive boat and the question has to be whether McConaghy boats have learned anything from their foray into Moth building with Bladerider.
I’m sure they are as capable of learning from their mistakes as the rest of us and they will produce a fine boat…

Lots of builders, spending lots of money on a class that never sleeps… Gotta keep moving!

Weddings and Funny Powerboats…

Not a lot of sailing over the weekend, as Bristol Mothie Chris Bishop was getting married to Laura Hitchcock on Saturday which meant lots of orange juices – (still not drinking, coming up to 6 years now and juice is getting boring…) plenty of cake, air guitar and entertaining speeches.

Most of the people there were sailors, so Sunday saw dribs and drabs of people arriving at the club with big headaches and not much inclination to go sailing. I got a brief sail in the morning to test a new mods (verdict – good). Alan rocked up with a hangover and the intention of sailing just as I was packing up and heading home.
Earthrace (the round the world record breaking powerboat) is currently parked in Bristol docks so I snapped a few shots while I was on a supply run. They were giving tours around the boat but I had to get back to work. It looks sweet, but is a complete rip-off of a Nigel Irens designed powerboat-tri from the 80’s called Ilan Voyager which held the round Britain powerboat record. They have done some cool styling bits on it though, which is why I thought it deserved a post…

Anyway, off sailing tomorrow afternoon for a bit, before heading to Hayling for some practice on Sunday.