Days 4 and 5

After a nice delay parked up near Dortmund with a flat tire, Mr Pybus is now at the wheel of the Aardvark Tour Bus which is allowing me to muse over the last couple of days.
Thursday saw a frustrating day on the water. We launched out after lunch foiling all the way to the line only to find that once there the wind wasn’t too happy to play ball. We loitered around for a while, tried to get a race in which was abandoned (with Ninjas in 1,2,3…) after a lap and then headed back in. We then headed back out again a short while later as we were informed that there was ten knots at the start boat. Unfortunately this wasn’t strictly true and we sat around even longer with a start abandoned mid sequence and another race abandoned after one beat… The race officer wisely called it off at that point and the dash for cash took place next to the shore, the only place where there was actually a bit of wind! The big cheese Philip Kasermann won the big cheque for 1k euros and looked even happier than usual!
Friday saw the breeze on and we cracked on with two quick races, both won by Special Agent Barton on his chainsawed m2. I had a much better time of things with the boat doing what it was supposed to and despite being over the line and taking a dip on the finish mark thanks to Mr Paton I managed a ninth and after a bit more practice got 7th in the last one.
We had a good cheesey prizegiving on the other side of the river for the top ten, including podiums and stirring national music that wasn’t actually the national anthem. The Mothie organisers had then laid on another massive free meal and 700 odd bottles of beer were still to polish off before a big night on the town for those that weren’t hitting the road.
As an event I don’t think this could have been done any better. The socials were excellent, our hosts friendly and welcoming, the local festival atmosphere was amazing and the race officer did a great job with what he was dealt. Everyone being in one place, camping together and having (free) breakfast together meant for plenty of chat and a good time in general. Anyone looking to take on organising a Moth event has just had the bar raised (HISC crew, I’m looking at you…).
On a personal note I’d like to congratulate Rashers for a job well done. I feel like I’ve let myself down a little and had a bit of bad luck go against me with races canned while im doing well. Suffice to say I might actually go and sail in waves for a few days before the next big event so I’m not so rusty!
Bring on Garda 2012…

Day three. Yesterday didn't happen!

We’ve just got off the water after a day of beautifull sunshine and light sea breezes where we managed to get another 3 races in.

I was going to gloss over yesterday altogether but in brief: Jason broke a shroud while leading the first race. He managed to get a rib ride in and back out for the final race of the 4 but that effectively puts him out of contention. Chris won all the races putting on a convincing display in the confused seas. I had a bit of a nightmare day with several random control issues.

First. The rocker arm at the bow managed to screw its bolt up tight over the course of the first race resulting in a locked wand and many pitchpoles with me heading to shore for the second race to sort it out. After launching back out I found a sandbar 100 yards offshore which I ran into with thankfully no damage.

Second, in a dose of high amusement for me, my wand retaining string decided it was going to start hooking itself around the wand paddle resulting in a couple of mega pitchpoles (one right in front of the start boat, no doubt on Youtube already..).

I generally didn’t have enough gearing either so was struggling for control. I made it round for the next two with a long list of things to do overnight…

Team GB had a bit of a Barbeque which was organised by Katie, Richard Westburys far better half which went down very well with everyone.

Today saw a return to the lighter winds with a light sea breeze and Chris would have won all three had the clew of his 10c not fallen off mid gibe in the final race. He lowrode across the line in second with Ben taking the win after I fluffed my final gibe letting him through. I ended the day with 2,2,3 and climbed to 5th even after yesterdays mishaps just behind Ben Paton, Matt Renker and Markus Steeg, all some 40 points adrift of Rashers!

We’re now enjoying a fantastic FREE bbq in the hangar courtesy of the sponsors and sort of enjoying Ben and Josh’s attempts at dj’ing although “danger zone” was just played so may have redeemed themselves…

Day one. One race.

We had both an eventfull and eventless day!

We launched into a nice foiling breeze and got away nicely. I had a hundred yard lead on Jason before the wind went squiffy and Chris went past both of us. We lowrided down the last run only to have the race abandoned a hundred yards from the finish… After sitting around for a while we were sent back in to wait – I’d just decided to order a pizza when the race officer decided we were going back out!

Actual race one took place in marginal conditions and the Ninja’s really shone taking the top 4 places with Chris just edging out Jason on the line and me a few seconds later after throwing my chance undercooking my final layline.

We then sat around a bit more, one start was abandoned in the sequence and another general recalled. We probably should have gone straight into another sequence then as the breeze was pretty good but we hung around a bit longer and then headed back in.

Last nights entertainment was on the barque (tall ship) Passat where we had a free hot buffet laid on with a couple of the other fleets and more free drinks before Ben and Josh led the charge onto the other side of the river to the beach club. I got a bit over excited when we finally found the donuts I’d been smelling from on the water.

Thankfully for a few sore heads there isn’t much wind this morning so we’re held onshore and the dash for cash has been put back even later in the week!

Not to worry, we’re having a good time and a lof of people are making the most with some serious boatwork…

Blowing old boots

Well, so far not much to report sailing wise…
The dash for cash was scheduled in for yesterday but unfortunately the wind wasn’t playing ball with 15 knots gusting up to 30 at times. Rashers and Jason went out for a quick blast in the morning but with racing set to take place in the river off the quay it was even more gusty. We’re now set to race the dash on Tuesday after racing. With the marquee’s so close to the shoreline it will be a pretty good spectacle and a good showcase for the Moth…
This left team GB with the task of getting rather drunk as the forecast was for more wind again for the practice race and not much chance for sailing. Ben was leading the charge and when I left near midnight was mumbling something about girls dancing on poles outside the sailors beach tent. Apparently Pete Bartons dance floor skills involve pretending to be a hermit crab and then waving his arms around. Jif, Doug and James found their way onto a tall ship in an attempt to climb the rigging but were left making shapes in the spotlights and shouting down the funnels. Lochy and wingman Lambert weren’t seen until well into the following morning.
This place is a pretty excellent event so far with a massive festival atmosphere, loads of places to eat and our German hosts have made a lot of effort to make sure we’re well attended to with free breakfast and plenty of evening entertainment and prizes courtesy of Nordea, FSE and CTM.
Todays practice races have been called off with more big breeze. Tomorrows looking much better and the sun is even forecast to make an appearance to hopefully by the time the racing kicks off it’ll be all good and Bens hangover will have gone and Jason R’s need to hang out in the changing room (warmest place he’s found) will have passed.
I’m off to find some donuts. The cake here is excellent but the tea leaves a bit to be desired, luckily I’ve found a box of earl grey in the supermarket…

On my way

Me and Doug have just departed Dover on our mammoth trip to Germany.
I stopped off at queen mary earlier this evening to load up the monster trailer and now have 6 moths and a van full of moth related junk!
Hopefully by lunchtime tomorrow we will be in Travemunde where it sounds like there are already plenty of mothies to meet us…

– Posted using BlogPress from somewhere in the English channel…

Ninja Nationals Win

Congratulations to Ninja sailor Jason Belben for winning the UK Moth Nationals down at Stokes Bay. Jase put in a sterling performance beating Arnaud Psarophagis of Switzerland and fellow brit and Ninja rider Chris Rashley in third place.
The Europeans start in Germany in Travemunde this coming weekend and with Jason and Chris on good form the outcome could be very interesting!
Check back on here and the Bristol Moth Blog for more updates.

The Curse Pt2

So, my Nationals didn’t go entirely to plan.

I was rigging up on Saturday to find my rear wingbar had split across the centreline. Bearing in mind it was absolutely honking at the time, I wasn’t prepared to risk doing more damage to the boat by sailing on it so I packed up. It was a bit of an odd break really – I’d changed style of the rear wingbars on my boat to a single piece across the transom, rather than plug in socket style, as it should be a lighter solution. Good idea, not so good in practice for reasons I won’t bore you with here! In hindsight (what a lovely thing it is) having dismantled it and had a closer look I could probably have gotten away with it…

It’s a big ‘what if’ kinda decision. I don’t tend to look too kindly on people who know something is wrong and sail on anyway, as the resulting mess is harder to clean up – so, if I talk the talk…!

It’s a massive feeling of frustration, and the second consecutive nationals where a random breakage has put me out of contention early on. To all those who say you make your own luck, I tend to agree but I’ve been sailing in a lot of wind this year and am really surprised this hasn’t come up sooner. If you believe in karma then maybe I should play the lottery this week!

Anyway. On a more upbeat note, Jason Belben put in a very solid performance to take the Nationals, beating off Arnaud for the open championship and a hard-charging Chris Rashley who put in a first and three seconds on the final day to take third (or second, depending on how you look at it!). Both were running the new skinny Ninja foils and will be a force to be reckoned with at the Euro’s in 10 days time. Proof that the little Ninja from Somerset can mix it up with the best of them…

Final results are here
Photos from the event here

The curse of the moth nationals…

Day two of the moth nationals. Its currently blowing up to 30 knots and doesnt look like abating over the course of the day. Currently looking like were going to do the agm this morning and then make a decision on where to can it for the day.

Day one was a bit of a baptism of fire with a nice chop going around with 15-20 knots at times. I was late getting onto the water and only just made the start of race one and capsised three times up the first beat while getting myself figured out as my flat water settings obviously weren’t u to it! I pulled through the fleet over the next few laps and unded somewhee in the teens.
Race two I got my act together and didn’t do anything silly pulling from 5th up to 3rd by the finish.
Unfortunately race three saw a return to my usual form, failing to make my first tack twice. There then happened to be a nice set of standing waves/wash from a passing ferry that saw about a dozen of us all stacked at the top mark going nowhere… A pretty dismal showing from my good self really but i was starting to get the hang of my annual outing on waves!

Jason Belben was on top, with a 1,1,2 followed by Arnaud, Si Payne and Chris Rashley all charging hard…

In the dinghy park, theres a few interesting developments. Arnaud has moved back to the larger Mach 2 rudder and also cut down his mainfoil slightly. I think that might have been the result of a night out in Portsmouth though. Most of the top guys are running adjustable wand length of some descripton. Mike and Richie are running a new evo of the current Hyde main and seem to be better paced when the breeze is up.

Now I’ve found the code for the wifi I’ll try and get online a bit more. I’m also posting to the IMCA UK Twitter twitter feed when i can.

2011 So far

It’s been a good season for Aardvark so far, with Cookie winning the Moth winter series in “Ninja Turtle”, followed by the UK Dinghy sailing show at Alexandra Palace where the Aardvark built E6 Cherub won the Spitfire concours award, beating the Mach2 and several timber tubs.
The Moth circuit has seen the Ninja Death squad starting to get their act together, with Chris Rashley winning the Inlands at Queen Mary and the first 2011 Ninja Donatello winning a race in it’s first outing.
Rashers and Jason Belben gave Si Payne a run for his money at Parkstone, pushing him all the way and there was only 1 point in it at the end. Again, Donatello showed what she is capable of, taking the first race.
Hayling saw the local black boat fleet on top, but Jason was looking pretty fast in his first outing on the 2011 foils and kept them on their toes, leading races and taking 3rd overall.
Thorpe Bay saw biblical conditions, with only Chris Rashley able to get around in the only race on the Saturday and showing the way around on a more sensible Sunday, making that his second open win in his first season.
The Nationals at Stokes Bay are now upon us and with the entry now topping 50 boats it’s going to be excellent. The Ninja is the strongest it’s ever been with several people capable of winning races and the event will be a good indicator for the Europeans a few weeks later.
On an equipment side, the new foils are proving themselves to be stiff and fast while losing none of the light airs performance the Ninja is known for.
Rudders are available as upgrades for the Mach2, Bladerider and Prowler and mainfoils will fit the above although due to the pushrod direction some control modifications would be required. Mike has been experimenting with a new stiff mast designed to work with the KA10 which has shown much promise and we can accomodate any bend requirements.