Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 4 - Lay day

A pretty average day yesterday. Didn't really start very well, and never got the first beats quite right. Funny chop around as well that I never got figured out on the run, and had a few pop outs. Oh and I hit a fish up one of the first beats! A day of missed opportunities I think.

Today was good though. After a morning of catching up with some work I went for an afternoon sail, and got in some very constructive tuning runs with Mike Lennon. I learnt a lot about my set-up, and how to sail the boat differently downwind, so looking forward to the next load of races.

Dalton made my day on Wednesday when looking over boats to see what tweaks people had done, he said - "I'm disappointed to see that nobody has figured out a tacking velocitek mount". Ha ha I might not have done much sailing, but not being able to see the gps when hiking upwind had bothered me so I created the tacking gps mount for this event! More details soon....

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Day 2

A day of two solid results and then frustration with picking up two plastic bags in the third race. 8th overall after four races. I'm happy enough with that.
The first race started in foiling conditions, but the beat was light - we were sailing some big angles upwind, and it was all about staying foiling. It was light at the windward mark, and I think everybody was lowriding in the area. I rounded the top mark around tenth but felt I was really close to getting up onto the foils again, so carried on upwind a fraction beyond the spectator boats into some pressure. I held my breath and up we went. It was a tricky run, but I kept it up, and made the gybe to be pleasantly surprised to find myself on the layline. Getting close to the target time, the race was finished at the bottom, and I'd got up to 5th. Amac won, having turned around on the run to go upwind a bit to get up onto the foils!
Race two had more breeze, and I was happy to have a good start, round the top in sixth, and stay there for the race. Amac showed great up the beat, but overstood the layline massively, and left himself quite a job to get back.

A secret to his speed could be his early prep - leaving the boat rigged overnight last night meant he was rigged and ready before anybody this morning!

Race 3 was held in more breeze again, and the usual suspects started to show through. I had an okay first beat to be looking at a 10th ish at the windward mark only to hit a plastic bag, and drop off the foils. I had to capsize to clear it, and was back in the late teens. A good run though saw me back into the mix a bit, but playing the left up the next beat was not a good move and the pack I'd got down the run had go passed me again. I then hit another plastic bag on the stbd layline, and had to capsize again. I clawed passed Alex Adams on the final beat and after a battle down the run beat him to take 16th.

My 6,5,6,16 leaves me in 8th overall after 4 races, but the discard comes in tomorrow, and there are a lot of races to go.

After racing I met up with Shirley and the CNN crew to give Shirley a go in a Moth for their next CNN Mainsail show. (Only fair given that I got to sail her VX40 in Hyeres last year.) Bora had done his bit trying to get her foiling yesterday in very light winds yesterday so I was the reserve today. We got lucky with the breeze though, and she was happily foiling around. Should be a good little piece for the class.

It has made me laugh at this event though that part of the Moth event experience now is the media interviews! I think I've seen everybody from the top 15 being interviewed for some TV show, website, local paper/magazine or online broadcast! Si Payne headed off after racing to do a local TV interview and came back with make-up on!

Oh how the class has changed.

Day 1

Day one of the Puma International Moth Worlds was a light wind affair, but a good race. I didn't get a great start, and was in the teens for the first beat. After a good run I was up near the top ten, and did well out of playing the right hand side up the beat to find myself with not many people in front. I was on the stbd layline with Mike Lennon the final time, but stuck in his dirt, in marginal conditions I lost a fair bit of distance. Si Payne closed up, and soaked inside me a bit on the run. I gybed out, and he dropped off the foils on his gybe. He got up again though and had good pressure down the middle. I came foiling back across but not at a great angle. It was all on at the finish though as I foiled through my final gybe and Simon was coming in lowriding. He pipped me at the line on a beep beep finish. I was happy with my 6th place though, I had no idea on what to expect having done so little sailing since the last Worlds.

I'm pleased with my speed - especially as I'm using a MSL10 in marginal conditions. (Using a 10 in Dubai, and a 13 in the USA might not be the right way round!) A last minute wand change made a world of difference, and suddenly I can gybe and tack again after a week of thinking it was just my lack of sailing time since the last Worlds.

Shirley Robertson is out here with CNN Mainsail, and as they are only here for three days they are trying to squeeze in getting as much coverage as possible for an upcoming feature on speed.
I agreed to help out by putting some cameras on the boat before racing and get some underwater shots of the boat taking off. It was a bit high risk with the camera attached to the gantry and therefore a high speed touchdown was not to be recommended! I eventually got up in the air despite the extra drag. De-misting cameras 30mins before the start and getting some more footage wasn't quite the normal first race of a Worlds prep, but hopefully it'll be good footage. Shirley tried sailing Bora's boat after the finish, but the wind had dropped too much for her to get up. They are now a little nervous today, as shots of Shirley doing 4/5 knots do not make for a good article on speed!

Windward mark rounding. Photo: Suzi Tagg

Sunday, March 07, 2010

More Pics

More pics for those interested in any news to come out of Dubai. I'll be brief though as its been another long day.

Third in my heat in the slalom, so just went for a sail, and played around with the camera. James Phare and I took it in turns to try and get some shots from in the water, and managed to get some okay ones. So here are the alternative shots for those who just went for a sail.

Much interest in Amac's MSL15 onshore

Tuning with Brad.

Dougie Imrie. Boat came out as oversized luggage on the plane! - great work!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Dubai Photos

A great day on the water today. A bit of an evening session for much of Team GBR after a morning of measurement.

Alex Adams and his 'Powered by Rolly's Cakes' logo.

A good beach salute by James Phare and Paul Hayden

Puma branding and bean bags out in force.

James Phare being levitated by Brad Funk's amazing mind skills

Thierry Martinez is in town. Practically a Moth sailor now he's been to so many Moth Worlds.

And lastly not a photo of mine, but sent to me via a reliable soure. Showing a certain Swiss sailor out on the town the other night!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Dubai March 1st.

It is time for another Moth Worlds, and once again I travelled out with Si Payne. On arrival in Dubai we joked about the large greeting party that would be there to meet us, and then we saw the sign...

How nice to have somebody there to meet us!

A taxi ride later, and we got to the club to find a neat row of travel boxes. Fortunately our logistics coordinator Ricky Tagg had done a superb job, and all the British boxes were there. (We are still waiting for a load of boxes for Team USA!)

I got stuck into unpacking straight away, once again forgetting to mentally log how I’d packed it in order to save time after the regatta! I got keen with the camera, and set it up to take a photo every minute while I built the boat. It proved how much chatting goes on during assembly! James Phare got keen and wanted a salute on film so stood there for a minute and a half to be sure to get one recorded! You can see me doing a bit of karate sailing, and pondering my gantry with hands on hips.

After lunch most people went for a sail once the seabreeze had come in, and with the boat pretty much ready to go we got out there. A nice benefit of our early arrival.

It was nice to get out on the water again. I think I’ve only done a few days sailing in Weymouth, and the Tide Ride in Hayling since the last Worlds, so my preparation for this is less than ideal! My gybing needs some work, and I need to get up to speed a bit with my height adjuster, but all worked and I was going okay.

So who was fast? – well it was day one for several people, so it is hard to tell too much, but I’d say Si Payne had the edge on people in the runs I saw.

There are quite a few boats here sailing already, and so far nothing too new. The Swiss have some netting tramps, and a variety of neat little fittings. There are North V8 version ? sails, the standard collection of KA MSl10’s and 13’s andJP had a new Swiss sail I believe. The kit Team USA have brought over is eagerly awaited..

Today we have a bit of a storm. Torrential rain should ensure some blogging by most this morning, then we’ll probably all head down to the boats to check on them later today.