Queen Mary Coaching Weekend

We had a unprecedented turnout of 16 boats at QMSC over the weekend with plenty of new faces turning out to polish their skills and several people stepping foot in Moths for the first time!

While I will admit that my organisation left a little to be desired, I’m pretty sure everyone left the weekend with some new tricks to ponder over. We have a ton load of footage of people which I am currently sifting through at the moment and getting up onto Youtube. While it won’t win any awards for cinematography it does at least allow people to go back over it and see what they were doing.

So thanks to Alex Adams and Doug Pybus for helping out on the water with Phillipe and Helen covering the video on Saturday. James Roche and Ben Sutcliffe helped out with on the water footage on Sunday and some yelling of times for our mini racing sessions…

I had a great weekend and I hope everyone else did too! Heres the first video, I’m afraid it’s me as it was the easiest one to pick out of the clips with that sail…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkkRvPM5qeg]

Sunday sailing

While another world championships was being wrapped up (well done Si), Leo and myself were out enjoying the sunshine and the first double figure (air, but certainly not water!) temperatures of the year with a bit of a sail down at Axebridge.

I did the first race of the day in the blustery 15-20knots which was all over the place at times – it’s very difficult trying to test out gear when the wind is like this as the combination of vicious gusts and big shifts mean you can’t settle down and get a handle on things. I’m still pretty happy with how the crazy sail is behaving and have a couple of things in mind to improve a couple of its foibles. I’m very keen to sail with it against some fast boats and see how it stacks up as I have effectively been sailing in isolation all winter….

Leo had a wild ride and has posted his first 20 club speed, jumping on the ladder at 21.7 knots! I got very excited by my 25.9 before I spotted the units were in mph – I wondered why my takeoff speeds were a bit high…
Leo wasn’t the only new 20+knotter over the weekend, with Jo Evans pushing her Ninja into the 20 knot club down at Stokes Bay which is quite an achievement given the Solent chop!

More sailing this sunday, hopefully team Wales will be joining us, along with a new Mothy in the shape of Darren Mcnamara who was bought Alan’s Prowler.

Get pumped

Sitting on the sidelines yet again watching another worlds go by is leaving me frustrated. I’m not much of a hindsight person tending to just get on with things and take it on board but this past week has been one of regret! Having spent the winter sailing in light airs alone Dubai looks like it would have been a great Ninja venue. I kinda knew this already but couldn’t get excited enough by the venue to get my act together.

The pumping thing has come to the fore again, mostly thanks to Cleans commentary. I feel that if we de-restrict pumping in order to get foiling we are going to have another windsurfing style problem where suddenly you have a fleet of gulls flapping their wings to get started rather than using the finesse that rules currently. The raceboards had a situation when pumping was allowed and suddenly the fitness levels had to increase massively to cope with the increased workload and I feel that will be bad for the class – putting top level competition out of the reach of a 9-5er and favouring those who can go to the gym/sailing all the time.
Being allowed to pump won’t mean the heavier guys get more of a level playing field, as the lighter guys will just foil earlier anwyay.
I may be biased as I’m currently not too bad at it, but I find marginal conditions incredibly testing and rewarding – sure you get the frustration as guys foil past you but the challenge of getting going, looking well up the course keeping in the breeze and picking your spot to gybe involves just as much finesse and technique as sheeting on and pelting downhill at 25 knots. As always, sailing is a sport of averages, every dog has his day and those that deal best with whats thrown at them tend to come out on top and if you spend your whole time practicing in 10+ knots you should wholely expect to get your ass handed to you in 5.

Anyway, well done to Amac, a triumph (so far) of brains over brawn. Also well done to Mike Lennon who regularly gets overlooked and is right up there, thanks to a winter of hard work (Aardvark spars help obviously!).

Rant over. Normal service to be resumed…