Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Flasheart Update

I've been feeling bad about the lack of Moth news. Unfortunately I've just been too busy to push on much with mine, but it does vaguely look like a Moth now.

Doug Culnane is moving fwd with the Flasheart project ( with the foam panels all attached now (see above). We were keen to try and design and build an easily home built boat that most people could build. While the Flasheart mk1 has some tricky curvatures, I think the flat panel approach has great potential, and we'll develop it further.

LV Day 10

Wind again in Valencia and another race for us today. Scoring another 2 points with a win over +39. We then had a bye in the second flight of the day so took the opportunity to test some new sails, and then get in early to get on with some maintenance before the forecast breeze kicks in for the rest of the round robin. We are currently 6th on the ranking list, but with some tough matches to come.....

Our fishing team continue to excel!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

LV Day 9

With a shocking forecast racing was postponed this morning to wait for the breeze. Fortunately a seabreeze filled in and we got two races in. Beaten by BMW Oracle in the first, and then beating Team Germany in the second.

The highlight of the day for the team though was the lingerie fashion show put on in the Spanish base next door mid morning! The stairway outside the base was soon packed as word quickly spread!

Perhaps this is the glamour part of the America's Cup that gets talked about. I've only seen the long days on the water and long nights in the office part of it so far.

Monday, April 23, 2007

LV Day 8 - Guess What - No Wind!

Another day sat around on the water in Valencia..... With 4-8knots forecast tomorrow, it could be more of the same.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Hyeres Regatta 2007

With America's Cup commitments in Valencia I've got Dave Cockrill standing in for me helping out the 2.4 squad in Hyeres this year. I like Hyeres, and it is a shame to miss that regatta, but having sailed or coached at 7 events there, to miss one for the AC is okay I guess. The girls started well, with Helena posting a 3,4 to be equal 3rd, and Megan a 6,5 to be 6th.

The British stars of the regatta so far are the Yngling Team of Victoria, and Emma Rawlinson & Sue Monson who are leading the Yngling fleet with two bullets. I'll be coaching these girls at the ISAF Worlds in Cascais this July so it was great to see them doing so well after the first day.

Full results can be found on:

LV Day 7 - Some Wind

Not a lot of wind, but enough came in today to get one more race in. SWE 96 beat China Team, Luna Rossa beat Team Germany, ETNZ beat +39, Areva beat the Spanish, and BMW Oracle beat Shosholoza, although they had t ofight for it as Shosholoza had the lead for much of the race.

Forecast is for more light winds until next Friday!.......

Saturday, April 21, 2007

LV Day 6 - Racing Cancelled Again!

Incredibly enough we've had another day of hardly any wind! There was enough for everyone to hoist mainsails and start checking out the course, but it never remained stable and the day was canned at about 4:30.

Of the almost 100 spectator boats on the Northern course area, the most impressive boats out were the classic 12m's.

Friday, April 20, 2007

LV Day 5 - Wind!

Only 8-9 knots but enough wind for racing! SWE 96 won the first race against Shosholoza, but was beaten by Luna Rossa after a close race in the second race of the day.

Full reports online on: or and a variety of other sites.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

LV Day 4 - Still no wind

Impressively there is still no wind in Valencia, with racing cancelled for a record 4th day! As a result our pros in the weather boat, Simon Fisher and Neal McDonald are getting quite into their fishing. Check out Si Fi's catch yesterday, which was big news within the base, and with the lack of sailing news, had made quite a few websites now as well -

Copyight Oskar Kihlborg/Victory Challenge

With another early finish, its time to get the carbon out and push on with the Moth.

LV Day 4

We've got a bye for the first match of the day, so we get to wait around until the first match of the day is completed, if it is..... The wind doesn't look good again though, and doesn't look like it will improve for the next few days. Check out the current BBC forecast.

Apparently Alinghi have given their sailing team the next few days off, as they don't think there will be any good sailing until Monday... Eeeek

The last regatta I was at that lost the first two days due to no wind was the Tornado Europeans in Switzerland on Lake Silverplana - we should have known though as it translates to 'Mirror lake'. Three days gone is a new record.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LV Day 3 - Still no wind!

Amazingly there is still no wind here in Valencia, and we've now lost three days of racing...

With only two reserve days, the unsailed matches from round robin 1 will now roll into round robin 2. With the forecast not good for the next few days, this could start getting messy soon....

Apparently Russell Coutts rang race officer Harold Bennet yesterday and just laughed, saying " you should have gone to Portugal!" Coutts was never a fan of going to Valencia.

Check out Larry Ellison's boat yesterday. A little hatch opened up in the side, and a little Riva powerboat was lifted out. I wonder what other toys are hidden inside.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

LV Day 2 Cancelled.

Another day of no wind here today, so still no racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup. With Valencia chosen to host the Cup due to its reliable sea breezes, it is another classic case of 'its not normally like this'!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

America's Cup Boat Parade

The boat parade to mark the start of the Louis Vuitton was an impressive affair!

GBR 4021

My old Aussie Axeman lives on! 4021 the boat I built back in 93/94 is still in active service. Its new owner Helen Rollinson emailed me over some pictures of it today. Good to see it is still going strong.

Friday, April 13, 2007

SailRocket Video

Paul Larson is out in Walvis Bay, Namibia at the moment having a crack at the World Sailing Speed record, and to be the first past 50 knots. Initially most people were sceptical about his craft, but seeing this latest video where the aft planing surface blows of and he still posts a speed of 38.3 knots, I'm starting to think they've got some serious potential.

Best of luck with the rest of the time out there Paul, and keep the great videos coming.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Moth Ideas

I've started to properly pick the brains of some of the key people in the Cup team here. And we've started to generate quite a list of things to try on the Moth. The satisfying thing is that all are in agreement with my current ideas. I'm looking fwd to a winter in the workshop with time to try them out!

Lots of possible areas of research. In fact I think it is time to start listing all the possible research projects and see if we can get interest for some University projects. The Class would gladly help with info if there was to be an interesting report published at the end. I'll have to dig out my 3rd year university project that was Moth rig inspired - "Mast and Sail Interaction - Wind Tunnel Investigations".

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brits in the Cup

British Sailors in the sailing teams of Victory, ETNZ, Areva, and Shosholoza.

Check out the Sunday Times this weekend for a feature on the British sailors and support staff involved in the America's Cup across the teams. We've just done a photo shoot of most of the Brits in town at the media centre. It was quite a social affair, with most wanting to continue it as a regular coffee morning meeting!

Expensive Game

Just read an interesting article in the Independent Online by sailing correspondent Stuart Alexander:

In it he writes: "Taking a budget of $120m (£61m) and dividing it by the maximum 54 races which a challenger could race this year, that works out at $2.2m a race, which lasts 90 minutes. For $24,444 a minute you can have an awful lot of superyacht fun."


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Alinghi Win Act 13

Alinghi proved to be the dominate force everybody had feared they would be in this last act. Using the first of their two new boats they won 4 of the 7 races and never finished outside the top 4. There is every likelyhood that they have a faster boat in the shed at the moment, which is a scary thought for any challenger.

Victory managed to finish a little better than we'd started and ended up 8th. Still working on boat handling and much happier match racing than fleet racing there is room for much improvement in the upcoming round robins.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Act 13 - Fleet Race Day 4

Big swell running during the race today. Here SWE 96 disappears behind a wave before the start.

It is an awesome site 11 Cup boats off the line together.

This was the crowd cheering the boats in on a cold showery Friday. How packed will it be come the Cup final?....

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Act 13 - Fleet Race Day 3

It's not normally like this! A phase we hear all over the world when the weather turns funny during a regatta. Valencia's typical sea breeze hasn't decided to show, and we've had it cold, wet, and no wind today. After 5 hours on the water, racing was postponed for another day.

3 races into the regatta, and we've had two races turn 180degrees and boats have to beat to the finish. Mmmm, not normally like this!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Act 13 - Fleet Race Day 2

The big story of the day was the dismasting of +39. Germany were trying to duck near the windward mark and just hooked the top of the +39 rig. Big expensive bang, and a lot of carbon fell in the water.
Check out for the full sequence.

Act 13 - Fleet Race 1

Doh! The first race of Act 13 didn't go quite according to plan! Two ripped spinnakers had us finish up in last place. Oh well, at least the boat seeems quick enough. We lead briefly after the start, and then there was a big shift right that mixed up the fleet well. Mid fleet down the run, the kite blew out near the tack, and then managed to catch another on on the third spreader on the final run. The sailmakers had a busy night!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Practice Fleet Race

The day before Act 13 is due to start almost every team was out on the water training, and undertook an unofficial practice fleet race. It was an impressive sight seeing so many AC yachts come off the start line together. We are not allowed to report on the outcome of these unofficial races though, so we'll just have to wait until it all starts for real tomorrow!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Unveiling Day in Valencia

I thought this picture marked the day well! This was a keel skirt in the skip outside the Alinghi base. As of now, teams are not allowed to cover their boats or appendages so it was an interesting day going around all the bases to see what each team had done. There was a surprising variation to the same fundamental design problem, but you have to wonder what the big teams will change over the coming days/weeks. Many teams had their boats back in the yard overnight and rig down.... While you can't skirt again, you won't have members of other teams walking around your boat only meters away again either.

I won't post a selection of my pics here, as there are loads of good websites out there that have already posted the same shots: