Ninja rules the Steve Nicholson race

Mike Cooke, sailing the first of the 2010 Ninja,s took first in the foiler fleet at the Steve Nicholson race with two race wins. Alex Adams was runner up, sailing a Mistress 3 fitted with Ninja foils.
Cookie had a battle on his hands in the first race with a snakes and ladders style race. There were lots of holes and plenty of opportunities to mess it up. Cookie took the win from Alex in a close finish. The second race was in a bit more breeze, allowing Ninja Tuna to show her stuff. Cookie took the win by over half a lap, causing the race committee some confusion in the process!

Steve Nicholson weekend

* EDIT* Added link to Chunkypics website here…

6 Moths and one 600FF made up the foiler fleet at the Steve Nicholson race this weekend and were greeted by bright sunshine and a marginal 6-10 knots.

Race one was a battle to find the holes and avoid them as the gains and losses were huge. 4 boats all arrived at the windward mark at the same time and the battle was on to get foiling and keep there down the run. I used my Ninjapowers to pop up and make my way out right hoping to stay in the breeze which worked until near the bottom where I parked up with Geoff Carveth – leaving Mr Garyman and Alex Adams to sneak through. I pulled through by the leeward mark and then managed to sneak a bit of a lead which I kept to the finish with Alex in second and Gary third with the fleet quite spread out.
The second race was in a bit more breeze but still the occasional hole to find yourself in. I finally got my cobwebs blown away and figured out some tactics (if you want to tack, it helps to do it in breeze rather than a hole!) and stretched out to pull out a half lap lead after 4 laps with Alex again in second and Gary in third.

Overall results were:

1st Mike Cooke
2nd Alex Adams
3rd Gary Ireson
4th Martin Fear
5th James Phare
6th Geoff Carveth
7th George Hand (600)

George has traded in his 600 for Gary’s Prowler and will be a welcome addition to the Moth fleet in the midlands which is starting to see a bit of growth with a couple of boats expected at Draycote.

We all hung around for a bit drinking tea and trying to get some feeling back in our feet (the lake was starting to freeze as we left!) before heading into Northampton for a curry and a few drinks followed by crashing out at Gary’s.
Sunday dawned with plans for a bit of a coaching/video session but unfortunately the wind gods weren’t playing that game so we resorted to some measuring and bimbling and some spreadsheet related nonsese.

I was pretty pleased to be honest, as I think I’ve sailed less than 10 times since the UK nationals and was expecting to be a bit ropey! I’m still foiling nice and early as is Alex in his NinjaMistress and it will be interesting to see how he gets on out in Dubai if it does turn out to be a light airs regatta that is expected…

Pics to follow hopefully!

Weight Weenie part 2

While waiting for the wind to fill in today Leo and myself got a bit over enthused by the scales and went around weighing everything on all the boats we could find! Results were interesting, but the one thing we didn’t have to hand was a Mach 2 or Assassin. I shall wave my scales at the next one I see… All up weights include the sail, but I have included them seperately as they varied quite a bit.

My Ninja
All up 30.5KG
Sail (Hyde crazymain) 3.2 KG

Leo’s Axiom 1
All up 38.9KG
Hyde 2008 sail 3.8KG

Martins Bladerider X8
All up 35.8KG
Sail (KA X8) 4.5

Chris’ Bladerider RX
All up 44.4KG
Sail (KA X8) 4.5

Simons Prowler 3
All up 36.9KG
Sail (KA MSL10) 4.5KG

The wind did fill in at lunch and we got a race in, although I missed the start due to a schoolboy rigging error (not sailed much since the Nationals…). Boat is going well and I’m looking forward to the Steve Nicholson race next saturday. Will be interesting to see how the new sail actually goes against some other Moths as I haven’t lined up against anyone for ages.

Weight weenies

Having signed up with Emma for a 100km charity bike ride later in the year I’ve been fiddling around with her mountain bike trying to figure out where I can shave a few grams.

It’s pretty impressive how things add up and even small gains like 50g off each inner tube can all sum up to quite a big difference once you add in a bit of physics. It’s easy to know where to focus on a bike, spinning weight is bad, all up weight is also bad, but not so much…
It’s quite a lot like looking at Moths, except once a Moth is up to speed a bit of extra weight doesn’t make a huge difference. It’s a whole different ball game once you start looking at maneuvers though – every gram off helps, especially up top as it makes the boat so much easier to get through the gybes. This really came home for me sailing Emma’s FBG at the Tide Ride – in a straight line I could pace a Bladerider offwind just through sheer guts and ride height, but carrying an extra 10 kilos couldn’t land a gybe half the time (ok, I was rusty too…)! This soon adds up around the course…

Do I have a point? No, not really it’s just a bit of food to feed the brain – on a Moth, start at the top and work down. I really need to get on and weigh the latest Ninja all up – everyone is always surprised when they pick one up…

Bloody crazy people

Londons finest bunfight took place yesterday with a massively reduced turnout of 60 odd boats. Normally you can’t fit in the dinghy park with the 300 others but the snow and ice put paid to the Bloody Mary’s usual scale. The fact that the temperatures were barely above freezing and a bitterly cold northerly wind on top of that meant that most people thought sailing in the first place was a really bad idea – But somehow that didn’t stop 7 intrepid/stupid (delete as you see fit) Moth sailors from attempting the silliest boat race in history. I think the fact that the Moths were lined up to start 74 minutes after the topper started (and two minutes after an 18 if there had been one!) at least meant the race would be shorter than for most…

2 and a half hours later and only one Moth was left standing in the shape of Geoff Carveth who came in 15th out of 30 finishers, beating home the two 600ff’s of Sam Pascoe and Simon Hiscocks despite the fact that they had caught up with Geoff halfway around the first lap.

So, well done to these guys for giving it a shot – Geoff Carveth, Alex Adams, Doug Pybus, James Phare, Andrew Friend, Jon Peats and Ben Sutcliffe. Apparently making the biggest fleet in attendance. Also well done to moonlighting Mothies sneaking around in other classes – Pete Barton and Ben Paton sneaking in 4th in the GT60 Cherub, Sam Tozer crewing a 200 in 9th.

I was umming about going with a boat, but found out on Friday that BCYC is closed off at the moment due to the snow, leaving my boat firmly stuck out there. I kind-of missed not doing it, but seeing the guys launch soon made me think otherwise!

Steve Nicholson race at Pitsford is the next winter event on Saturday the 30th of January with a mini training event on the Sunday thanks to Gary Ireson and Tom Castle who have organised a rib for us.

New Year and the crazy mainsail

Had a good sail on New Years day down at Axebridge with Mr Fear and Bishop. Unfortunately there wasn’t really enough wind to shine with marginal foiling throughout. Martin and Chris had a good battle for the first couple of laps with Martin eventually pulling out and it took me most of the race to get in front of Martin after missing the start.
I was out for a quick test sail in Olivier Vidal’s new Ninja before he picked it up the following day and this gave me a chance to test out my new main which went surprisingly well! Designer of all things boaty, Mr Kevin Ellway has been contemplating sails for a bit and has come up with a pretty radical looking thing which was expertly built and delivered by Hyde and looks top notch. Looking forward to getting some proper testing in with it over the winter events to see how i stacks up.
My campaign for Switzerland starts here – watch out Europe… 😉

Happy new year everyone!