Northampton training video

Sunday saw a chance for a bunch of us to get out and get followed around by Tom Castle in a rib (singlehanded, bit shakey!) with my camcorder. Interesting sailing around with the 600’s. Very little in it speed wise upwind and down against Sam. We had a few short course races running windward leeward which was a good measure of performance. Generally we were all pretty close on speed and only seperated by the number of mistakes…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iaQL8ItUXA]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iaQL8ItUXA&hl=en&fs=1]

I also finally got around to taking out my wide angle Helmet Hero, fixed to a gantry on the back of the boat (which I’ve made months ago and never used!). Quite possibly the single most useful training aid I’ve found – I can see that I am not hiking at all really… Quite hard to tell what was going on outside the boat so I was going to overlay it with the first video but I had an argument with Final Cut so we’ve gone our seperate ways…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmCWzWacyl8]

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmCWzWacyl8&hl=en&fs=1]

I’ve purposefully left off a review of the Steve Nicholson Race, as I’d like to do it justice properly later and have work to do!

Steve Nicholson Race this weekend

Sounds like a good fleet of foilers will be heading up to Pitsford res for the Steve Nicholson Race on saturday this weekend.
Its usually a really good day with two races for the fleets with a break and the chance to watch the other half of the boats racing (split between assymetric and non-assymetric) and we are racing windward leeward with the assymetric fleet which should be good for the foiler fleet if the wind plays nice…
Gary Ireson has sorted out a resuce boat to follow us around for some videoing/coaching on the Sunday too, making a good weekend of it.
Report to follow next week, although I’m sure it wont be as exciting as catching up on the aussie Nationals outcome…

Bloody (crazy) Mary

I’ve done the annual Bloody Mary pursuit about 8 times now and this was my second in the Moth. Its always interesting to see how you square up against other boats in this format but it is very condition dependent – especially in the foilers.

This year was quite possibly the coldest sailing event I have done. The wind looked too light for foiling so I didn’t bother entering until the very last minute (With the Moth handicapped just faster than an 18 footer, this was ages after the slow boats started) when it was just foilable. Rigging was the first challenge, as we all found our various control systems frozen solid, so running around with buckets of water we eventually got that sorted. I was a couple of minutes late for the Moth start, but caught up with the fleet by the end of the second reach as I managed to get foiling and cruise through the middle of them.
Unfortunately, my now iced up tramps meant a gibe was a dangerous proposition and I dumped myself down again and a few folks foiled off down the run – Notably Gary Ireson in his Zero who was never really seen again by the rest of the foil fleet. Geoff Carveth and Andrew Friend both took the reins but neither knew where they were going and had to double back later on, letting myself and Sam Pascoe (600FF) back through. Sam and myself both had a good battle to the finish, following the puffs around and trying to maximise airtime and slowly reeling in Gary . The Moth seemed to have the best of the 600, until the wind died completely with a couple of minutes to go and he coasted through my lee…

Photos of telltales, frozen like that 30 seconds after launching, and my cleats, unusable after 10 minutes. Ratchet block stopped working before the start and at one point, the mainsheet was frozen in place… Air temperature -1, water temperature, plus 5… Ouch!


Top Moth was Martin Harrison making a welcome return finishing in 96th place.

This left the foiler fleet as follows:

1st Gary Ireson, P Zero
2nd Sam Pascoe, RS600FF
3rd Mike Cooke, Axiom v4
4th Geoff Carveth, Bladerider
5th Martin Fear, Axiom v4

Its worth noting that as we spent only about 10 minutes of our hour long race foiling, we were the last 5 finishers on the water… Should do wonders for the PY! The retiree’s (and who can blame them) were Andrew Friend, Simon Propper and Adrian Murphy. Simon was spotted at one point trying to seperate his boat from its launching trolley as they were fused together by ice…

Most of the Mothies there are plannning on attending the Steve Nicholson Race on Saturday the 24th Jan, with potential for training the following day if Mr Garyman can organise it…

New Year, same goals

Welcome to 2009!

2008 was a pretty hectic year by all accounts. The Axiom v4 was pretty well received and turned out to be pretty quick when going the right way. The mission this year is to get it to go the right way more often and that means getting the which-way nut in shape and brain tuned up. I knew this would be a problem last year as I have been spending so long getting the Aardvark moths up to speed that I have sacrificed any proper training and racing I would usually have done. I’ve been to a few events, but bad luck and a touch of poor preparation have meant a failure to shine where I feel I could have… Bruised ribs ruined my nationals and the Foiltown worlds were a disaster for me – Secret Squirrel was ready for the job but I had exhausted myself in the process – A lesson in there somewhere…

But that was last year, and this is a new one. I can’t make the worlds this year due to bigger things going on in life (weddings and houses are pretty big!) but I have no intention of letting up on the Moth front. I have a couple of things in the pipeline which I believe I can improve on from the v4 and with new competition from Mach2 it will be interesting to see if the bar is raised again. I can’t help feeling that the bigger gains aren’t there to be had anymore and it will be a much more incremental evolution rather than revolution – but then I’m sure people said that about hydrofoils…

I intend to publish my some of my older designs for foils and get some basic building guide stuff worked out this year. I have helped a couple of people with homebuild projects and loaned out the Axiom v2 mould to a friend of mine to build himself a boat (pictured) and this will be available to a loving home as soon as he gets it back to me! This sort of thing should be encouraged as much as possible.


Off to Queen Mary for the annual bunfight that is the Bloody Mary Pursuit race on Saturday. Martin and Myself are going from BCYC and it looks like we could get 10 boats there, along with the 600FF’s to play with it should be great fun if the wind gods play the game.

Fingers crossed!