Don't run your friends over.

There’s been some minor Bristol Mothing lately. We had a bit of an open day two Saturdays ago with DJ, Andrew Friend and Rich Westbury all joining in and I think we had 7 boats out at various stages. Darren took a few pictures which he’s posted on Facebook

I als had an entertaining run in with Mr ‘Badger’ Fear on a Wednesday night when he went for an unexpected gibe and wiped out in front of me – leaving either a run up the concrete bank or a swift gibe as my only options. I went with the gibe and didn’t quite make it, resulting in a small hole in my nice new sail! Live and learn. Nothing a bit of tape won’t fix anyway and it could have been much worse!

I’ve been busy in the workshop, mostly knuckling down and getting some of the new 2011 foils out the door along with Tom Lambert’s new 2011 Ninja in the most tasteful colour yet!

I have been able to sneak in a bit of time on Donatello, finally getting around to my take on an adjustable wand (also known as the Oligario Sissy Stick or Pimp Cane) and fitting my proper Hyde tramps.

Terry the spar man, has been making me a new mast to fit my MSL10, which is a bit stiffer than my usual, but with a longer topmast taper to force more bend from higher up. Might get the chance to have a look at that this weekend before the open in Hayling. If the W.I. can get out of bed for their own open meeting we might actually get a good turnout! 😉

28.8 Knots


Mike Cooke from Bristol has set a new UK speed record of 28.8 knots. This is now the fastest recorded time in the UK and has surely opened the door to the elusive 30 knot club.
Mike Cooke tells us how it was done….
“Well conditions were pretty hostile to be honest, but with my wingman badger egging me on we decided to take to the skies. Some pretty big blasts down the lake saw Badger going into a 5g inverted dive that ended in a big ball of spray, his black box was later recovered recording 27.5 knots. I barely got away with my wings in a 30 knot puff but was rewarded with a big score at 28.8.
Conditions were starting to get really wild after that so we retired to the hard deck for a nice cuppa”
Kevin Ellway, the designer of the Ninja and Ninja foils said “The foil design is the culmination of hundreds of hours of 2D and 3D CFD modelling combined with 3 degree of freedom dynamic system modelling. This should provide a foil system which can win around the racecourse over the wide range of sailing conditions we experience in the UK and Europe.
The foils have performed as predicted during initial sailing trials and performance looks very promising. As ever, however, the proof of the pudding is around the racetrack, so it will be interesting to see how the season unfolds.”

Parkstone Open

24 Boats rocked up for the open at Parkstone over the weekend. After the lacklustre turnout at QM for the inlands I was a bit worried about the UK circuit but things are looking brighter now the sun is out.
The first race was some of the closest we’ve had in the UK with Si Payne, Mike Lennon, Chris Rashley, Jason Belben and me all duking it out for the top spot, swapping places in the puffs and putting a real emphasis on tacking as one drop put you at the back of the group. I seemed to have height on everyone and after a few tactical blunders pulled past on the penultimate beat before pulling out a bit of a lead to the finish. That was pretty much my only moment of glory for the day as I had a pretty shocking two races after that, with capsizes in both races and a botched start. I managed to pull back through in the second one to 4th but the last race was really bad with my rusty race skills and a lack of sailing fitness taking their toll and putting me back to 8th.
The Ninja death squad were on good form with Rashers putting in a 3,2,2 and Jason just behind him. Mike Lennon was out in front with a solid 2,1,1 (Must be the Ninja rudder…)
Rodders had us out and about for a good pizza before putting up with about half the fleet on his floor. Buck the truck still has the SYZ and Co sticker on from the Euro’s although I’m not sure if the tiller of doom made an appearance…
Sunday dawned with a vicious streak and 30 knot gusts going across Poole harbour. There was a large hesitancy in the air with the monster gusts putting off a lot of the fleet, especially those about to pack for Spain. I wasn’t too keen on the harbour launch and recovery and, bearing in mind the amount of work I’ve got on, didn’t want to be putting Donatello back together again after finding the shallows!
The weather backed off nicely and the brave(er than me) enjoyed a good 15-20 knot blast. Simon P showed a return to form with 2 firsts and a second with Jason Belben taking the other race. It’s going to be interesting to see how Jason gets on now he’s got his set of 2011 foils!
I spent the day eating cake, pondering my wimpiness and sorting out Leo and Badger’s wand systems.
With the top 3 separated by 3 points this season is going to be mighty good fun. I just need to make sure I can sail for more than one day in a row and man up a bit!
Gallery of Saturdays racing is here
Results from both days are here
Next open is here…

The 28.8 Knot club

I don’t think there is a 30 knot club in the UK yet, so I have here my highest bid. I also appear to have my rash vest on backwards.
Has anyone been faster over here? I know Rodders/Rashley and Offer have all put in 27 knots recently at least and Martin “Badger” Fear was the fastest in the UK for most of last year with a 26.9.
Anyway, Martin, Darren and I braved the ferocious land that is a crazy northerly at Axbridge today. With gusts coming out of the gorge like bullets it was a wild ride. It was actually surprisingly difficult to get any decent speed runs in as the gusts were so short that you tended to sail out the other side of them…

I went out about half an hour before Martin and had a couple of big runs, blowing away my previous 24.5 best with a 27.3 with the wand bouncing off the hull like a machine gun! I came in just as Martin was rigged up and he encouraged me back out and with gusts coming down on top of gusts I got pretty lucky and saw the GPS go over 28 briefly. It wasn’t till I’d got back on land that I saw it had topped out at 28.8, with a 10 second run of 27.5. Martin also went faster than ever today, hitting 27.5 in his trusty pimped Bladerider – he also had far and away the best wipeout I’ve seen this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d beaten his own boats top speed on exit…
If I’m honest, there wasn’t really much actual sailing to be done today – it was barely possible to get back upwind half the time as the change in windspeed and direction tended to have you underwater at a moments notice!
Still, looking forward to Poole this weekend and seeing if I can take some of this speed onto the racecourse…

Are you serious?

Seems the latest craze with Mothies is blogging less. Even Phil Oligario is doing it!

I think it’s a bit of a shame that in order to be competitive people seem to be spending less time online sharing their experiences – sure, most of the time it’s just people like me spouting off about nothing in particular but there are always little gems hidden away in amongst the general sailing posts.
I think it’s a sign of the newer people in the class bringing in a level of professionalism and not wanting to give their game away or share their secret tweaks. Probably also a sign of the pulls of modern life meaning there is so much to pack into a day.

So, to be serious about your Mothing you shouldn’t be online spouting nonsense when you could be sailing, doing some boat work or going running or whatever fitness craze has taken hold since the new year!

I’m currently sitting in the sailing club watching some vicious gusts flying down the lake. Yesterday was blown off with 35 knot gusts and today looks a bit like more of the same. Normally I’d go windsurfing but my van is in the garage being sorted out and apparently you can’t fit a free ride board in an mx5 or citroen c1! We did find that you can fit two mountain bikes in the c1 though but I won’t let Em and myself’s off road adventures get in the way of my blogging….