Thursday, 10 December 2009

New ISP for IMCA

Big thanks to Nige who now host the IMCA website along with the US, UK and worlds 2009 sites. This saves the IMCa some cash and I have much better technical support form Nige than the old ISP.

This hopefully puts an end to an issue that some of you understood as me censoring your blog posts. Due to an unreliable DNS lookup problem something peoples posts would disappear from the list. This some people took personally which is not true. My blog policy is the more the merrier so long as it is mostly Moth related. If it happens again let me know and I will investigate. At least now I have a chance of fixing the problem it is persists.

So if you are in the Moth class you owe Nige a beer next time you see him. I suggests you get him a bottle or a can so you can shake it very hard before you give it to him because he likes working under pressure.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Harald's new Moth-baby

I got a message from Harald and some pictures of his home build. Check it out:
Hi Doug,

hier paar Photos vom neuen Boot. Boot ist eigentlich fertig, Foils Ruder und Schwert zur hälfte fertig.

Gruss, Harald

Monday, 16 November 2009

A new Moth is born.

Last weekend Niki and I launched his new toy. This is the 2nd New Moth that got the launching treatment at Weiden of a bottle of bubbly. How we have moved on from a shower of baked beans...

So we sailed out into a very foggy empty lake full of extremely cold water. The water was so cold that pain was the only sensation I had on my wet bits. So the priority for me was to keep my wet suit dry and let Niki get his dry suit wet, as he was too hi on new toy fever to feel the cold.

The fog was interesting as you could not see much. I thought very cold water zero visibility and zero rescue cover. I worked out the strategy of if if I get lost I can sail in one direction hopefully till I find a featureless bank of reads and then sail along that for a few kilometres until I reach some kind of civilisation. Good got it covered so long as the wind does not die. Probably a good idea not to loose Niki because then we are both lost and have to also find each other. Good job he is just over... SHIT where did he go...

There was not much wind and the fog was very patchy. At one point it cleared to sunshine and at another point there was consistent foiling wind. However the patch of wind we did find allowed Niki to climb as high as the boat would go and stay there until I was laughing my head off and he got a worrying feeling of no control. This state (apart from my laughing) came to an abrupt end with the inevitable nose dive. That was the only real flying time we had, as by the time Niki had changed the push rod length the wind had reduced to low riding conditions again.

I had a go in the Assasin doing an on the water boat swap without getting wet. Jumped board to board which worked twice. Almost as good as the sail along the jetty and jump out the boat dry dismount at the end of the sail.

It is great to have a production boat that is not just another Hungry Tiger with foils. Build quality and detail is not in the Prowler or Mach 2 league but the price is right and the thing is a racing machine. The boat is solid and has some really nice ideas. There is real clever stuff there that makes sense which I like because it is not just a copy. Things like a gunwale hung trolley, small tramps, the wand and push rod mechanism are simple and look reliable as well as seam to work really well, the rudder looks totally mad with the horizontal being way in front of the strut, flat deck, no freeboard etc...

I helped Niki finish rigging it up expecting half the bits to be missing or not fit but it was painless. Everything was there and fitted. I was not sure about the best way to rig bits and was amazed when Niki pulled out a huge manual. This caught me off my guard and I started reading this until I came to my senses and realised that it not cool to read the manual after messing around with Moths for nearly 20 years. The only problem we had was I pulled the kicker anchor off the boom which is a very easy repair. Maybe I should have read the manual after all.

So Niki is happy and I finally have a regular training partner in a good boat again, which makes me very happy. So let the season begin. Actually that as the end of the season for me. So I can not wait for next year, hopefully it will be a good one.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

In my world(s) es geht anders

I have been taking Dave Lister's advice and not been blogging much which turns out has made me no faster at all. So I will blog anyway because as Chris notes this game is all about ego and I have a huge one that needs to be feed.

There is a great podcast out where Bruce and Luka chat away about various moth stuff and it is really a great show with lots of good advice and ideas but the love ends there. Just like Dave, here are two more bloodly Ozys that do not understand my world or World(s). So when we talk about one equipment rules do we really understand the monster that these guys are potentially creating.

Do not get me wrong I would love to write a rule that would be clear, no work to implement, have full support from everyone, mean that the undisputed best sailor won, reduced costs dramatically and make me the winner. But I can not quite put it into words. Lets talk about the reallity that this rule needs to adress.

A Moth sailor goes to an event to help support the local fleet and make up numbers but has huge problems with cramp that mean he just wants to go home. It is hot and they want to change the size of thier water bottle for a larger one so that they are not so dehydrated. Is this OK?

A Moth sailor turns up with 5 sets of foils and is only allowed to use one set. On the evening of the penultimate day the forcast is set to change and they are joint level on points with another competitor so they want to swap foils for a last day advantage. However due to the one equipment rule this is not allowed. So they go for a training sail and come back with a broken set of foils and rig. It seams a bit strange but under the rule they can now legitimately change them if the official agrees. The official is a ISAF guy that sees foils broken (with a stange tire tracks that matches the thread on the coaches van)). Under the rule it is clearly broken and so they are allowed to swap, the the official uses their descression to take into account the rumers that these foils were delibratly broken on the other side of the lake and says no. Is this OK?

So far Bruce and Luka think they have it covered. But the following is the kind of world I live in:

A Moth sailor goes out on the water with 4 wands (3 in the tramp pocket) and does some 2 boat testing. Changes wands and does really well at the event with all 4 wands on the boat (but using only one) and gets his Moth Mojo back and shows how good an out of fasion design really is.

A Moth sailor orders a set of foils at one event but gets them 2 weeks before the next (1 year later). They fit them and drive 900km to the event. It turns out that the system is total crap and that big changes need to be made. Are they allowed?

A hobby Moth sailor goes to an event and is having all sort of problems with the main foil. Someone lends them a spare foil with a flap hinge that works better and they start to have fun. Is this OK?

A enthusiastic Moth sailor trys all year to build a local fleet so that they can test their speed and it does not work out. So they go to an event totally unprepared and want to change stuff as they realises the game has moved on and they should get with it if they are to take the lessons back home. Is this OK?

The cunning Moth sailor breaks off the paddel on the end of their wand during a capsize so that the boat behaves totally differently and is more controlable. Is this OK?

I top Moth sailor goes to an event and wants to put in a good performance but can not becuase they spend 4 hours before racing and after sorting out the policeing the one equipment rule. Should they resign from the IMCA Committee and not help out?

A Moth builder has the crazy idea to build boats half the width of all the others. He finishes his boat shortly before the event but has not learnt to sail it. At the event it shows great speed and changes the future of development and the boats forever. Should this guy experiment?

A guy develops hydrofoils but is only fast in certain conditions so swaps between low rider and hydrofoils mode. This swapping allowed them to use the foils on 1 day and show the potential of this development. Should they be forced to stick the tried and tested low riding foils?

A good Moth sailor has development a Moth sail with a sailmaker that is keen to get into the class. The sail is good but the guy has not tested it in all conditions. Should they be allowed to take it out and use it in a couple of races to get it seen?

A Moth sailor has 5 sails that look identical. Each night they take their sail home "to dry it" and swap it for the design that fits best to the forcast for the day ahead. Should event organisers spent volenteer time policing this so it can not hapen?

A Moth sailor develops a Moth based on a windsurfer. The thing is radical and mad as hell. Should they be encourged to bring it to an event so others can see it even if it is not fully developed?

The wand is not moving freely so the pivot mechnisum is exchanged which changes the performace of the boat dramatically. Is this an legitimate equipment change?

A top contender for the title breaks his rigging leaving the beach for the start of the race. His support team help him swap for spare rigging and he makes the start. Is this an unauthorised gear change?


As I see it higher levels of effort, money, time, experiance, skill, commitment and luck lead to better results. The winner is the guy that got the best combination for the rule. Changing the rule is not the issue.

I have done 1 race in Austria last year against another Moth. So should I not bother to go to an event organised by the IMCA because I am clearly not prepaired? Should I be "punished with bad results" because my efforts to organise a local fleet have not yet blossumed? Should I be "punished with bad results" because delivery dates of training partner boats have not been taken seriously? Should I be "punished with bad results" becuase when my training partner organised a training event for 20 people we only had 4 boats and ZERO wind? Should I be pubnished with bad results because I can not go to a worlds due to the cost? Should the reining World champion be given a chance to defend his title at a time when he is not becomeing a father? Should we not allow people in the fleet to study navel architecture for 3 years so they have an unfair understanding of the Maths? Should we control time on the water so no one has the unfair advantage of practice? Should we control access to the internet so that people can not waste their training time reading this shit? Should we control the wind so that is always blows from the same direction?

So Bruce and Luka what about Geelong and Bruce's trying to get up to speed? You say in your postcast "not talking about you", but you are because we all sail under the same rules. If some ritch dickhead thinks they can beat me with 3 hulls, 30 sails and 500 foils, 5 coaches, and a full time training program then OK. I will take my one ride and take them on. The winner will be because they were the fastest in an 11ft monohull with less than 8sqm sail. If I loose it will be because yada yada yada... (see Chris's post)...

When someone can write a rule to deal with all the above issues then I will be their biggest supporter. I will not be at the next AGM (which is not fair either) so we will see what happens. In the mean time at least the internet Mothing is back on track, becaue it is Fucking cold here so real sailing is dangerous especially without a wingman. Surely I should get a climate compensation of serveral points. What about 10 points per day below 5 degrees per weekend that I do not have other commitments that prevent me from training?

Back to the Love,

One hull is easy to police and reduces costs dramatically. Foils I am not sure about. Wands, settings, toestrap tension and water bottle contents... is a can of worms that is impossible to police.

I am worried about hard sails. It is possible for someone to produces hundreds of hard sails and be very sucessful. That will make transport costs unbearable for a lot of the fleet. Shall we ban developlent? Then we are as interesting as the LaserCast intro to your show. I personally would love to see a Hard sail turn up at an event but not sure i want to have to deal with owning one.

Good work guys this is going to get fun...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

International Moth Training

The First International Moth Training 3 day weekend was a success despite a string of disasters. The 2 Assassins were not delivered on time as well and Felix's rudder. No one traveled from outside of Austria in the end. So we only had 4 boats. This meant we had one trial boat for those wanting to try to sail a Moth, and 3 boats to do some short course racing/training. However there was no wind all of the 3 days. Niki and Walter got a 15 minute flight on Saturday evening but that was it.

On the positive side all the test sailors got a taste of Moth sailing and low-riding. This is a good grounding for some stronger winds but lots of work without the reward of a flight.

We have devised rules so that if a boat gets a 50m lead they have to do at-least 3 tacks and gibes a leg. If a boat is 50 m behind they have to not round the mark and take a short cut to the middle of the other two. Not sure if this will work but the aim was to keep racing tight and fun. We could not be bothered to try the concept in no wind, so we will have to experiment with this later.

At least the weather was good so it was a nice weekend hanging around talking about Moths and doing the splicing jobs which I have never got round to. However the teasing wind would fill in and look like it may build then die, which kept us on our toes. The atmosphere was good and I think most people had a nice weekend.

Most people did get foiling on the Aqua skipper which provided good entertainment for all.

So I think it will be a while before we do one of these events again but I am sure there will be something similar next year. Now it is a case of waiting for Niki's Assassin to finally arrive and then we will start some hardcore training until the cold overcomes our enthusiasm, (or the the lake ice's over).

Big thanks to Yacht Club Weiden for hosting this event and for this members for helping run the non existent racing.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

One man race.

Harald is in a one man build race. He has the deck on after 9 days!.

It looks light.

and well built. He has gone for a flat panel build

He plans to be finished this year and I look forward to sailing against the boat next spring.

Martin has his flat panel home build up for sail so he too is maybe building again....

Tomorrow starts our 3 day Moth Training weekend. Unfortunately I have to work but I will get there late afternoon if possible. The wind looks like it may cooperate with a perfect force 2, so push your thumbs.

I cant wait to get flying around in Austria with a fleet of Moths. So far we have only had a fleet of 2 but this time 6 boats is a real fleet. I hope this will be the start of things to come more regularly. Still no sign of the Assassins unfortunately, but we will make the most of what we have.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Redefine Average

I only know what I see on the Internet so I may have misunderstood Rohans announcement the wrong way.. However it is sad that he no longer wishes to be involved with the Moth class. Rohan has done a lot for the development of sailing Moths and for the IMCA. It is hard at the best of times to mix business with pleasure and it looks like it proved too hard for Rohan. Good luck Rohan and I hope to see you back in a Moth having fun again some day soon.

His departure puts Bladerider, and the Moth Class in a vulnerable position and kills off any attempt to make a business model of "Moth for the masses". If Moth sailors only buy the same boat that the World Champion won in then there will only be one builder at a time and the boats will be very very expensive.

Buying the boat that won is not the same thing as buying the boat that is going to win next time. I suspect that if the average sailor spent less money on gear and more on sailing time they would do much better. However this idea obviously does not sell boats and that leads to a lot of pressure that can not be fun.

So are we going to see a new one design Bladerider or peoples foiler? Will the IMCA have to compete with this new class? Will the Moth have a reduced number of builders and be more and more expensive and elitist? Or will there be even more builders, events, choice and number of average sailors?

Who knows what the future will bring but Moth sailor spending will shape it.

My cooperate strategy is clear:

1. Sail, sail, sail and have fun sailing.
2. Try to build a local team so fleet racing happens more than once a year.
3. Do not play the who spends wins one desgin game.
4. Build a new boat if it is fun to do so.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

First Austrian Moth Event

It really great to have Niki pushing me. He is waiting for his Assasin to arrive and sorting out training for when it does. So the first Austrian Moth Event will happen on the 2nd to 4th of October.

It will be a fun weekend at the lake and we will do a mix of Try a Moth, fun flying, short course racing training, small regatta and Partys. So there should be something for everyone. So far as far as I know we have 6 Moths and about twice as many sailors. There will always be at least one demo boat available, so everyone should get a go.

We will also set up some short windward leeward courses for playing chase the leader. The rules will be something like the leader has to tack and gybe at least 3 times per leg and the last boat can take a short cut so that racing is always close.

We have support from Yacht Club Weiden so we will have on the water rescue and Start boats. Some good sailors from Weiden have kindly volunteered to help run the racing too.

It is a three day event so the wind should cooperate at some point at least. In October it is very unlikely that there is no wind but there could be lots of wind. I will probably have some windsurfing gear that can be used there if it blows all weekend.

There will also be plenty beer if you still are not convinced.

If you want to come then let me or Niki know and we will try to sort you out with accommodation etc... More info here.

So hope to see you there,


Friday, 21 August 2009

Certainly NOT as cool as 40 year old Operating System Design.

Unix is 40 years old and it is still the coolest thing in the computer industry (If you are still using Windows then it is time to learn about 40 year old Operating System design that has become the basis for all proper modern systems). I think that at the moment Apache is the best software manufacturer but Google are becoming a close 2nd. I have been playing with Google Maps and it looks like it is working OK. It was a lot of fun to do, so please have a play.


The search criteria is all events that started less than a year ago and all Worlds and Euros. I do not have a complete set of data but I have a good starting point.

You can reuse this on National sites or your blog or

So what about a map of the moth fleet. If a number of people are prepared to log in and enter where they sail I can make a map of active members. You will have to be a member to get on the map because that is the easiest way to stop SPAM, and clean out old data. I am not sure if that is a good idea, so what do you think and what do you want mapped?

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Nearly Cool

I played with Google maps to get a dynamic map of Moth events, and it worked great from Austria for a while, but after I deployed it to the UK based (I think) server it becomes a virus.... I even did the old change your nationality trick so I could try to re-register as British with the help of a ssh tunnel:

ssh -L

but it is 1am and I am too drunk and stupid to work out the parameters for the isVirus(); method.

So instead of Bloging about a cool new feature that will make the Mothsphere virtually better I am Bloging about my geo queries getting HTTP 404:

Which means it does not work.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Train spotting

I have updated data from scott and other sources for the Euros:
and Worlds:

Anyone have any corrections additions or CopyRight free pictures of of each boat?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

All you blacks look alike.

I am having a great time following the Worlds on the web it is really first class Internet Mothing going on. Well done all the people that have contributed to this.

So from the minutes of the AGM it looks like the boats are going to have more and more bloody stickers. Why oh why do we have to turn our great looking boats into a something tacky that looks like it just came out of a teenagers bedroom. Next we will be making the sails bigger so we can get more bloody stickers on them.

So if you want to make the boats look different do not make them all black. My boat does not look like any other Moth. It is about time someone says it and that is going to be me: stickers are not cool they are tacky and look crap. Fair enough to support sponsors that support our events or your campaign but lets not get too carried away.

I would prefer Moth sailing to evolve to be more races with shorter courses. This makes it more interesting and the boat handling challenge is more interesting than the sit on and ride boat speed (where who spends wins) challenge. I also think that you have to pimp your ride and that will help identify you. We already have big numbers of the sails for this purpose. Anyway I am a long way from the top ten so it does not really affect me. I do however try to collect data on boats and having the ISAF Number as the sail number is great for this.

It sounds like poor Joe is on a downer representing the death of the home build. Well Joe you can still build a competitive home build. Adam, Me, Dave, Martin, Kathrine .... have done it. Yes it is damn hard and it is a lot easer if you buy the foils (although that can be a challenge in itself). However as Martin Zäh said to me 10 days ago "You have to build your own Moth, because, well, you just do". We will probably do a new home build race maybe for the Garda Worlds :-)

If you do not have the resources to win you will not. The required resources are going up and up, so it is likely that there will always be a better sailor or someone with more cash and time. You can only compete with yourself and the Moth is a great challenge to do that. It can be a real emotional roller coaster at times but that is part of the game. This is not new it is just harder these days. Learning is fun for me and there is some much to learn about these boats.

I set my personal target to finish all the races at the Euros after 3 years of finishing half of them. I did it and this put me in the middle of the fleet. Maybe not sailing mag front cover stuff but I know how hard it is to do so I am proud of that. So Joe get the carbon out and get round the course, you are after all the leading home build, and have beaten everyone that did not make it to the start line.

With all this internet Mothing I am dead keen to get out there are sail. There is 2 days of racing this weekend at Weiden. I will probably be the only Moth racing in a handicap fleet but none the less I am in race mode.

Monday, 3 August 2009


The 1000km round trip was worth it. I had a great weekend at Walchensee.

I finally found some upwind speed by adding more purchase to the downhaul. I got in to 2nd position a few times, the lead on occasion and nearly caught Sven in the last race. A bit of Moth racing and I have learned lots and really had fantastic fun on the water. This was the first time I can actually say I was racing rather than sailing. It was a lot of fun and there is lots to learn. I am very proud to have finished a 4th in the fleet of 12 boats.

Thanks to Daniel and Segelculub Walchensee for an excellent weekend.

More here.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

News and rants.

Boat is loaded on the car and parked outside the brothel (I live in a house with a fitted brothel). Next weekend I am off to Germany to Walchensee for a Moth regatta. I think 10 plus boats will be there and I am really looking forward to it.

Last weekend we went to Heidelburg in Germany for a The Touch Rugby Mainland Cup. Both the Mens and Mix team amazingly managed to beet Germany. This is like Scotland beating England at football apart for the "We hate the Fucking Cunts" songs. We got are arses kicked by other teams but we really steeped it up a level and Austria is really becoming established as a F.I.T. country which is great and a credit to the hard work of my team mates.

Tomorrow the Cougars have 2 games to play in the Austrian Touch League and the chance to become the top team in the league so fingers crossed and a BBQ afterwards to look forward to.

This post has been far to positive for me so lets bring some negative angry stuff in. I am getting Fucked by banks and so after a mate put up with my complaining he sent me a link to a video. Now this is a bit old news in internet terms but shit it is good. I do not subscribe to all the ideas here or all of the agenda but a lot of it has a lot of value and it will make you think which is I believe a good thing. Zeitgeist provides a explanation for the basis of religious stories, a convincing conspiracy theory on 911, and shows that bankers are Wankers. I checked out the chat on the Net for the debunking of this and I found lots of Christians stupid Fucks ridiculing a Film they pretend not to have seen. I found some maybe reasonable engineering explanations for some of 911 claims, but nothing proving that governments did not act on intelligence to prevent the attack. I found nothing about greedy Wankers that made any sense. Make your own mind up and there is a part two as well if you want more.

Oh that feels better I have my inner equilibrium of negativity restored, I am at peace. Back to Moth stuff.

Si Propper has been sent to the naughty chair which is a shame as I really enjoyed his Editorial style. If we all turn into PR agents for our sponsors then Internet Mothing will be hollow. However it is also great to see fresh blood and energy coming in to push forward development. I hope one day I will also be sent to the naughty chair where I can sulk and rant and rave while everyone ignores me. Wait a moment I am already there this is it, it is my Blog, cool.

Finally the 3 years of Navel Architecture Degree, 2 years boat building, 1 year working with Phil Morrison and 1 year working at the Royal Institution of Navel Architects and 1 year working at the Institute of Marine Engineers has paid off. I got recognition for Moth design input. The prison uniform boat cover is on par with the cat flat in making the world a better place. The truth is I have not done more that talk about it in the bar, but is sounds good.

The final stages of the Moth World Bloging Championships are coming to a close and there is lots of Internet Mothing activity as contenders try to get last minute advantages so I should carefully post clever well thought out stuff but I do not have the time at the moment so you get a brain dump rant that apparently need a spell check.

So fingers crossed for wind south of Munich this weekend and I will see if I can do better than my last attempt to do better that the last attempt to to better than coming last and not finishing a race when I did not even make it to the regatta. Does that make any sense?


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

RE: moth bloggers cool wall.


Unfunded persinnel attack on my here and smelling.

Feck u proper.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Set your alarm clocks

There will be a 2 part Moth feature on Austria's FM4 Radio Morning show Thursday. (09-07-2009 6am - 10am CET)

You can check out the live stream here:

Also check out the NikiCam:

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Middle Doug

I am back from the Euros and slowly getting through the back log of Internet Mothing...

Euros was a great event and I finished 21st of 42. Which puts me in the top half of the fleet or the middle depending how you want to look at it. I knew I would come in the middle I some how always do. The real competition was on to be Top Doug with 3 Doug's at the event. I of course came in the middle.

I had a great week and archived my target of finishing all the races which was no mean feet with major arm cramps in legs 2 and 3. However the sailing was awesome. Flashheart was great and the biggest repair had to do was on the trolley. I had some good racing and amazing burns to the finish line with Soren and Peter.

I learnt lots and have lots to work on. My biggest problem is going upwind in strong winds. My best asset is my consistent and good starting. Both of these seam to be a direct result of my talent for being able to sail upwind very slowly.

It was really a fun event and I am glad I went. It was great to meet up with old and new friends. 15 hours drive there and 17 back (with Lord Flasheart and Blackadder funnily enough) were well worth it.

For all of you that are desperate to see me on TV here is another link that seams to work outside Austria: here.

That is end of a very egotistical self centered Blog Post. That is what happens when you become a middle of the fleet superstar the success just goes to your head. WOOF WOOOOOOF.

Monday, 22 June 2009


I have a weeks holiday and the ipod is loaded with ROCK. The car will get loaded with stuff at some bloody early hour tomorrow and I am off on the road trip to ROCK my way to school. After I have dropped Max off at school I will be able to turn the car stereo down a bit and continue on to Denmark. ETA is middle of Tuesday night.

Laptop stays in Vienna so I am now going off line for some real sailing. All complaints about lack of updates on the IMCA website will be written to /dev/null.

Monday, 15 June 2009


I have a theory that there are more people on TV than watching it these days but actually it is really fun to be on TV. The show is called Hi Society and is targeted as "light entertainment" rather than "technical sailing documentary" but they did not a bad job of presenting the Moth.

So you can watch it here. We are on 15 mins in to the show.

Tomahawk for Sale

Now that I have Flashheart and too many Moth bits I finally want to sell Tomahawk. I built her with Adam May in 1994 as a Aussie Axeman low rider. She was the basis for the Diamond Foil project and competed in the Euros as a lowrider in 2005. I converted her to a hydrofoil strap on boat in 2006 for the Denmark worlds. She sailed in the 2007 Worlds at Garda.

She will never win the worlds but she is a fully functioning hydro foil boat that can be used to learn the basics of hydro foiling. She can not be compared to modern boats and the price reflects this.

She is located at Weiden on lake Neuziedlersee and can be taken for a test sail. I am not interested in shipping her far as it is not worth it. Ideally she will be sold on Neuzeidler see as the extra boat in our fleet there would be worth dropping the price for...

Name: Tomahawk
Design: Aussie Axeman
Year Built: 1994
Builder: Doug Culnane

ICF Plaque No.: 2934
Sail Number(s): GBR 4019, AUT 4019

Foils: Full Force
Mast. Angel
Sail: Truflow

Hull is glass and kevlar foam sandwich. Wing bars are a mix of carbon windsurfing masts and laser masts. Carbon mast and boom. Carbon gantry and foils.

Price: 4000 Euros or near offer.
If you have questions please call me Doug on +43 650 285 6263 or mail me doug at culnane dot net

Saturday, 13 June 2009

The price of fame and foutune

Luckily the wind eased a bit and so we had perfect conditions to show off in the Moths. Good strong winds but we could remain in control (mostly). So Niki and I did some showing off and blasting around for the camera boat. Not sure if there is any usable video because the rocking boat meant that the camera man was not able to keep the camera still enough.

Anyway it was great fun and my boat is so much better now I can really drive hard downwind and I am no longer scared. I did not nose dive once it was easy. So if your boat does the submarine catapult thing then less lift on the rudder is the answer and you owe me a beer.

The wind then kicked back in and the idea was to do some filming from the jetty. On the bast down wind to the jetty my bottom rudder fitting let go. So I was out there with no rudder... After sail swimming a bit of the way back the Weiden Yacht Club RIB came back (thankfully without the camera crew) and did an awesome driving job recovering my boat.

The damage is not too serious but at 17:00 in the afternoon a 6 hour drive and 11am start with at least 2 stages of laminating to get the boat repaired it was not going to be easy so I had to pull the plug on the Ammersee regatta. This is really a shame as there was a great forecast for today.

I am really pissed off that my 4 days final preparation for the Euro s turned in to 1 hour showing off for the cameras, but Moth sailing is like that sometimes. However I am really happy with the boat but not happy that I have done one days racing since the last worlds.

So check out High Society on Monday at about 19:50 (I think) as that is when we should get scheduled.

Friday, 12 June 2009

15 mins of pain

Yesterday there was no wind so I did not get sailing. Today it is blowing dogs of chains and the TV cameras are coming. So instead of 15 mns of fame, it will be 15 mins of pain.

So I am off to shit myself on national television!

Monday, 8 June 2009

The life of an international sportsman(?)...

The last two weekends I have been playing touch. We did a tournament in Berlin and have been coached by some Scottish coaches that we flew in to Vienna to train us.

The Berlin tournament was really fun. I played for Prague and Vienna. Prague were made up of guys from Prague and some form Vienna. The Vienna players helped both teams get into the finals for 3rd and 4th. So we mixed up the teams for the final and agreed we would again share the 3rd spot before we played, and then just had a fun game without even counting the score.

We did not have the competitive ambition of the winners but the relaxed play for fun team mix up was really great and revitalized my enthusiasm for touch. If we want to win then we have to field our best players in one team and not let them play other games so they have energy for finals. However in my line of work it is important to have fun and I was not the only one that felt like they had won coming 3rd.

We then did a day and a half of tourism in Berlin. I learned lots about German and Berlin's History both of which are really fascinating and I was totally ignorant about. I can really recommend the Fat Tire bike tour of Berlin and the German History Museum. Really an intense and fascinating story that is well worth doing at least once.

In just under 20 years on from the falling of the Iron Curtain you can drive from Vienna to Berlin through Czechoslovakia without even a passport. After the History of Berlin this is a really cool thing, (apart for it is bloody long drive).

This week I switch back to Mothing. Thursday is a National holiday and I will train and practice some crowd pleasing cunning stunts. Then on Friday afternoon Niki and I will get filmed for a Austrian TV show. The plan is to full off a mix of cool moves and spectacular crashes in front of the camera, without taking myself, my boat or any expensive TV cameras out of action. After the filming I will drive to Ammersee in southern Germany for the Moth regatta there this weekend.

I hope the Ammersee regatta will give me 2 days of racing practice before the Euros and it will be the last opportunity I have to sail before I drive to Denmark for the Euros. Niki is probably not coming this year so I will have total control of the car keys and I have learned again (the hard way) to learn the bloody course. So I hope to finish my first race in Germany and not come last! I also hope to have enough fitness and energy so I do not fall asleep in the bar afterwards like last year. Basically it will be hard not to do better.

I have just got to wet flat the paint drips off the foils and I think I am sorted. This years Euros/Worlds preparation has raised my bar considerably from previous years. A stunning 3 days racing (hopefully) and more than 1 hour flying time in a boat that I know works! This year my Euros targets are to not have to count any DNFs in my score, get some real racing in, and come in the middle of the fleet AGAIN...

So hope to see some of you at Ammersee and even more a the Euros.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

The Good

Had a great Fenster Wochenende ("Window Weekend" four day weekend with one day off work and bank holiday Thursday. Kati and I went hiking and biking in the mountains that mark the start of the Alps. Austria is really a beautiful country and so green with rich forests and lots of wildlife. Then we went to Niki and Julia's wedding which was set in an old castle and the weather was so good we had dinner and the party outside. It was a really nice event and party with a really nice bunch of people.

The Bad

Part of the rich wildlife are these little bastards. I got 5 of the nasty disease carrying sods eating their way into me. I like lots of wildlife but the world would be better without some of it.

The Ugly

Austria tends to have the Sound of Music stereotype of beautiful mountains and Nazis. This stereotype is unfortunately accurate. Now I believe in freedom of speech. Which means I believe I have the right to say what I like and that other people have the right to say stuff I dislike. Therefore as Austria gears up for the Euro elections I must not get upset about placards claiming that the Austria needs to ethnically cleans all the foreigners out or it is endanger of evolving into a modern society. (Not an Austrian one made up of Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Swiss, Italians,...). However what is not OK is blatantly Nazi propaganda being main stream politics.

Maybe I am turning into a grumpy old man but the increasing reality of stupidocracy really pisses me off.

14 - 16 year olds shoot at concentration camp survivors. here

Memorial to Nazi euthanasia victims vandalised. here

School kids shout racist Nazi insults while visiting Auschwitz here.

etc... etc....

If you put up lots of posters blaming minority groups and EU Mafia for problems you get 30% of the vote! If you come up with long term funded integration strategies none cares. The bloody obvious result is ghettos and sound bite politics.

So recently one of these ghettos breaks out into violence over some stupid religious bullshit and some Austrian politicians use it to have a field day taking the hard line with foreigners. If plain clothes policemen beat the shit out of someone because they are black in an underground station in the middle of the day they keep quiet.

Religion is the root of a lot of evil. You should make time to watch this as it funny and makes you think. If people think then maybe the world will be a better place:

Maybe I should start a new political party. I will ethnically cleans out religion and ticks. Not sure how the details are going to work out but that is not important. What is important is the simple slogans.

Austria NOT Tickria

No more EU forced immigration of Ticks.

Austrian Mountains NOT Mountains of Ticks.

Ticks must learn German.

Meteorology NOT Wind Godology.

Maybe not. Maybe I will just have an angry Internet rant and the world will be exactly the same.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Euros Entry list.

Sign up now for the Euros. Entry has been extended till the 1st of June but you risk having to pay an extra 100 Euro if you are late!

The official list and entry is here:

My list is here:

Send me your picture and I will add it to the list. doug at culnane dot net.

Monday, 18 May 2009

A Result.

Niki and I managed to start and finish our first Moth race in Austria. Conditions were perfect apart from the massive hangovers from the night before. I was in a better state than Niki due to my party trick of hiding and falling a sleep early... At least this time when I regained continuousness no one had tattooed "I love cock" on me.

We started the race well and got to the windward mark just behind the only F18 cat. I got inside him at the wing mark and was of to the leward mark at top speed with no one in front. I pulled out a massive lead by the lewward mark but soon realised that I had gone round the wrong wing mark. So it was back up to the right wing and to rejoin the race behind the hobbie 16s.

I spent the rest of the race trying to get back up with Niki but could not catch him, before the line. So I finished 3 on the water and 3rd monohull on handicap! Niki won on handicap and was 2nd boat on the water. So it was a good result for us both and a nice last race for Niki to do in his Bladerider.

There was a second race which I competed although most of it was low riding which proved too much for Niki's hang over. I finished first on the water but had to battle hard against some fast yachts. I way really happy with my boat speed but I have a lot to improve on with tacktics of racing in a fleet of stationary boats. The worst thing I did was at the leeward mark where I could not work out how to slow down enough to get in line to go round it with the boats I was lapping. I just reached backwards and forwards waiting for a gap which was not too fast.

All bloody good fun and I really enjoyed it.

On Saturday Niki's Bladerider went to its now home and we finished rigging Tomahawk. She flew but there is some work to do on her control systems. This will keep him busy while he waits for his new Assassin.

Walter also flew his new Bladerider for the first time this weekend. So there are now 4 flying Moths distributed around the north of the lake.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Car is loaded with beer and Moth bits.

Ok that is it I am off to get my new tramps and take Tomahawk to the lake. I have 2 moths to rig and Niki's Stag do this evening! Then tomorrow it will be the first Moth race in Austria (I hope). So far Niki and I have not managed to start a race but tomorrow we hope to both complete one.

I am always much faster with a hang over than without so my pre-race preparation is planned nicely. Not sure what state Niki will be in but hopefully he will not be tied Naked to a tree in Hungry but you never know...

So we could see 4 moths sailing on the lake this weekend! Niki's BR, Walters new BR, Tomahawk, and Flashheart! Niki has sold his boat and ordered a new one. He will borrow Tomahawk till the new one comes. This is good because it gives me a kick to get her rigged and in a decent sailing state as I hope to get round to selling her at some point.

Here is a nice pic from Alan of me cowering at the back of my tramp 2 weeks ago. It was windy there is an air born surfer in the background.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Found more info on project Whisper.

Following a link on Rohan's Blog there is more info about the Whisper project.

"...ongoing R&D for Bladerider....hull uses basic materials...over-rotating carbon fibre wing mast..."

Sounds like Bladerider are investing in R&D. Interestingly at the high performance end of the market at the same time as at the low cost hull materials end...

Friday, 8 May 2009

Weekend is here already.

It was a big weekend last weekend. Alan Godard visited from Finland, and Guy and Susie from the UK. We had a big beach party at the Pad...

...and went Mothing twice...

Friday is was very windy so I when out until I trashed my tramps and could come in again with a good excuse. Unfortunately Matthias (AUT A-Cat sailor) and Alan did not get a go.

Both Alan and Guy got a fly in the gust of Sunday.

This weekend I have no tramps so it maybe time to visit the workshop and get Tomahawk flight ready, but am not sure. I need a plan and fast because the weekend is here already!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Moth Forum Feedback

I have been hacking away at the IMCA site, and integrated JForum into it. The user admin is done with the existing site accounts which has made it a bit complex but will mean that people do not need to register etc... The forum has all the cool forum features like the Australian one.

This forum is not aiming to replace Sailing Anarchy or the Australian/Italian/German forums but of course there will be some overlap.

So I am setting up a forum and I want some feedback.

What Forums?
Events: IMCA Events.
Boats: Boat building, science and theory discussion.
General: Other topics and discussion.
Non English language forums. ???

Anonymous Read only. No anonymous posts?

I hope to get a prototype online soon so we can test it, but until then does anyone have any thoughts, which I will try to consider in the implementation?

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Internet Moth activity inversely proportional to sailing activity.

Australia has overtaken the UK in the Internet Mothing league table (on IMCA website at least).

Is this because the AUS season is ending while the GBR season is starting, and that Internet Mothing is inversely proportional to sailing activity?

It also looks like I am not the only Internet Mother in Austria!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Last weekend etc...

I had a great weekend with little wind but the odd gust where you could fly along at twice the true wind speed on sunny flat water. This meant you could burn up everything on the water like it was standing still. However while I and Niki were drifting around a guy blasts by in his electric motor speed boat. Now this thing was a very beautiful boat and I am sure it is worth more than my flat. The drivers relaxed glance as he passed clearly expressed the obvious conclusion that the Moths where no longer the coolest boats on the lake.

The wind gods do not like me much (mainly because I am an Atheist) but they liked this rich guy even less so in fills the wind and I scramble to the air and am on his tail. I am gaining fast and moving in for I high speed kill. However he turns directly into the wind and I can not. So I loose him and have to peel off. This was a shame because he had not looked round and would have got the shock of his life to see me there. He had blasted passed me about 1 km ago while I was stationary. He must have been doing about 15 knots and thought he was on his own.

One thing about Neuziedler See I can not get used to is how fast the wind can change. When I found myself becalmed and could see a big black cloud at the other end of the 16km long lake I knew it was time to have a coffee and wait. The wind did fill in and I went out. In about 20 mins it had gone from flat calm to Armageddon where I could not tack upwind and was afraid to sheet in downwind. I made it back to the beach a lot more humble and sore than when I left. 30 min later (about how long it takes the hundreds of surfers to scramble out of god knows where rig up small sails and launch) the wind was dropping fast. So out I went again and foiled for 200 meters only to find myself becalmed in a sea of frustrated surfers.

I may not believe in them but the wind gods are having a good laugh.

Niki and I also got some bay watch action in when a Laser 16 tipped over. The couple on board were very cold in the water and had no chance to get the boat up on their own. Still they were in better shape than the yacht that ended up on the bottom of the 1.5m deep lake last year. I did not hang around to help bail the yacht out once I had helped get it upright. They must have managed somehow because it is no longer sitting there.

Turning up at the lake with a Moth is the closest I will ever get to being a rock star. However unfortunately I realize that the boat is the star not me. There is plenty interest in the boats, and it is realistic to think that there will be enough boats here soon to think about forming an Austrian IMCA Association next year. Until then Niki has sorted out a list of Handicap events we will do, and I have added them to the IMCA Calendar. The current (50 year old) official handicap rating for the Moth will mean that in an hour race we should win about about a week. It will be interesting to see if the official rating will be used or a more sensible one. It will also be a close call to see which Moth wins... assuming we can do better than last year and get across the starting line.

So it is all happening on the lake. We just need to start racing...

I got some rope from Adam and have spliced up a set of shrouds, so that Tomahawk can have her metal ones back and I can start to get her rigged too. However I read from Bruce's blog that I have done it all wrong... and I guess I should re-do them since they do hold the mast up and Moths seam to be the only rescue boat cover on the lake!!!... However Bora comments that the what I did was fine.... What to do? Maybe I ask Niki if he wants to test the first set ;-)

No sailing next weekend for me because it is the date of the biggest sporting event of the year: The Vienna Touch Rugby tournament. Hopefully I will get through the day without my legs going into spasms of exhaustion and have to be carried of the field... Luckily I will miss a couple of games midday as I have a Taxi driver shift for Max who is playing in a Hockey tournament. When you become a parent you should not get a cigar from your mates you should get petrol for your car that becomes a Kid Taxi before you know it.

To change subject a bit:

I like this from It is a good example of explaining something complex and making it simple.

So it turns out the Credit Crisis is not a complex international banking and trade problem it is just a bunch of greedy bastards selling bullshit. (Or is it an inevitable result of Capitalism and blind faith in market forces?) I am glad my tax payments are going to bail these guys out of their mess. The good news is that governments are making policies to help average people not just city fat cats. So enjoy it while it lasts.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

I cant wait for the weekend to begin!

On Easter Sunday Niki and I got out for a play. The wind Gods tormented my soul with zero wind and Niki enjoyed reminding me that he had just had 2 days of great sailing in 10-15 knots in 25 degrees air temp. I may be an cynical old Bastard but rather embarrassingly when it comes to the first flight of the year I behave like a 10 year old kid at Christmas. So when the wind came in: "The teasing was over and Father Christmas does exist after all!" and I panicked to get out there ASAFP.

We drag raced upwind and downwind and I got my foils nearly set up right. (Still flying too low but could not undo cable adjustment lock nut with teeth on water). Now that I can dial off lift on the rudder Flashheart is much easier to sail downwind and I could almost imagine being able to get downwind in 25 knots. It seams that too much rudder lift results in the main foil and rudder fighting each other until the rudder wins and you nose dive. I have done far to much of that so I am sticking to my no lift on rudder is less traumatic theory for psychological comfort at least.

Flashheart is looking good and you can not see the curtains at 15 plus knots. The wand is no longer as close to the middle so for the first time I notice that Port is lower Starboard is higher. Have to do something about that at some point. The paddle has not been hacksawed off yet so that is not too bad.

I would like to be nice about this but after the: "Die Letzte 2 Tag war perfekte Segeln Doug. Du solte dabei sein. Heute kommt keine wind." The gloves are off, so here is a picture of Niki in one of his better gybes, (or maybe it is a tack it is hard to tell...)

I was facking good. Or at least the lack of ruder lift meant that I did not nose dive mid fack. I still have a lot of work to do to get the out of fack bit right but in light winds it was fun. However I tried to do this is a gust of wind and it reminded me that foiling and tacking normally results in a painful disaster, where if you do not capsize and can sail out of it sitting on a different side of the boat it was a good one.

Ok I feel bad now so here is a picture of Niki in control.

Bloodly great day and a great weekend. On Easter Monday the Pirate School navigated their commandeered Laser all the way to the Island with the one tree in the middle of it. I have never been that far out on the Lake in a Moth since Tomahawks wingbar broke. The lake is amasing you can almost not touch the bottom of it now that there is so much water in it.

Out here in Austria when we go Moth sailing we may not have all the very latest go-faster goodies. But now that I have read that all the fast guys sail with them I have ordered a set of foil bags. What we do have now is Sun and Water and wind gods. So I can't wait for the weekend to begin!

(I would embed the song link because it is well worth watching, but I do not want to develop (or steal, depending on how you want to look at it) other Moth sailors ideas (unless it makes my boat go faster)).

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Nearly News

I nearly posted this as IMCA news while catching up on the the IMCA AU news.

I would have posted it if I have seen it a week earlier, but seeing it a week later nearly caught me off guard.

Sunday, 5 April 2009


When I got to the workshop at 9am! (on a Saturday!!!) the bloody paint was still wet and the white paint job looks real bad close up. However with more damage to the soft wet paint I got the gear to the lake and rigged up. But there was no wind all day so we did not bother launching. Today is the same deal of sitting around waiting for wind and I can not be bothered, to drive for 2 hours and rig and de-rig for 1.5, for the hope of 20 min flying. So the wind gods win.

So I should have repressed the youthful enthusiasm to get flying and finished of the boat properly. However it is the youthful enthusiasm to get flying that makes this stuff fun, so I do not want to loose that.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Spray them till they drip.

I managed to get a weekends worth of boatbuilding into a heroic friday after work workshop session. This weekend I can hopefully rig up and go sailing. The paint job has more curtains than Schönbrunn Palace but it is done and I am going sailing so sod it. Or at least I am going to try to get the thing rigged at the lake.

It will be 20 plus degrees tomorrow and a nice light wind so I can get the foils set up and make sure everything works. Niki and I have all weekend and he is going to help me rig up becuase he is ready to go, and a bloody good bloke. So it could be a legendary weekend or a furstrating disater but that is Moth sailing.

So I hope to be able to report how fast curtains are on your foils. Maybe you will all be spraying them till they drip next season.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Foiler Performance Calculations from Alan Smith

I did NOT create this program and I am not claiming any credit for it. I got this from Alan Smith and rather than just post it I thought it was worth introducing a bit. Therefore I am posting some info copied from his mails in my Blog because it is the quickest way to get it on-line.

Bill Beaver’s excellent scientific paper, released publically via the international moth web site has prompted me to offer a foiler performance estimating program that I have developed.

The attached program is in excel and that may limit the range of users. Hopefully anyone with access to excel will not have any problem using it. The drag parameters of the computation have the benefit of Bill B’s work. This validation is of comfort but is not actually that important. The important aspect of the program is that it correctly indicates the sign and the order of magnitude of each partial derivative for many of the variables available to the designer. It provides answers to many of the questions the moth guys keep asking and illustrates that selecting the best geometry is more important than selecting foil sections. It does on the other hand provide the designer a knowledge of foil loadings and cL’s hence enables the selection of foil sections best suited to the aspect of sailing where he wishes to perform ahead of the pack.

The reason for developing the program is my long time interest in foilers; a deep interest in the dynamics of aircraft (40 years of UAV development) and now foilers; I have a number of 3DofF foiler simulation model running; have been watching the moth evolution and amazed at many of the misunderstandings that are out here even among the to guys. As I said in my first email, this program provides a lot of answers!

The program has a brief set of "sailing" instruction on the opening page. It also contains a 60 day self destruct algorithm. I will remove this for any serious users on a one on one basis.

Alam Smith
April 2009
alans at aapt dot net dot au

The program can be downloaded here.

In due course I will do a Science | Technical | Boffins |.. Ideas on a postcard please | page on the IMCA site and collect together various papers and programs for the geeks out there.

Friday, 27 March 2009

It is a beautiful world again.

Back from a great holiday. We had a fantastic time in Dubai mainly thanks to Susie, Chris and Tracy. Dubai is very interesting and hard to explain and understand without going there. Even once you have been there, a lot of it does not make any sense. It is a strange mix of shopping malls, fundamental Arabic attitudes to behaviour, a truly multi cultural society with social divides along cultural lines. It is also a great example of how effective a government can be without the burden of pretend democracy. The rate of development there is amazing, and I would like to understand more about it.

We went to Sri Lanka and went diving which is a strange mix of calming yourself as a way of dealing with the panic you feel. It was great and very strange. Sri Lanka is a very beautiful war zone where any minute you could be dead, but luckily we survived two road trips from the airport to the hotel and back, although the laws of physics and road safety would predict otherewise.

I met up with the Dubai Moth Fleet at the DOSC and I got what I think is my first ever Moth sail in swimming trunks. It was great to visit the site of the worlds that will be run in a years time and to see such a healthy fleet of moths at a club. However after 2 mins in Chris's boat I realized that no sport in 6 months has taken its tole and I need to get fit now.

Back to reality

Fitness training started with a mid week touch session now that it is just about warm enough to play without ice skates. This made me realize just how lazy I have been this winter.

All the plans to sort out loads of Moth gear for next season have turned into a rush to get Flashheat on the water ASAP. I did have all weekend to do this until I fell out of bed and spent a day not moving and thinking that I should also have got the stairs up to the high bed built so I can get rid of the wobbly ladder.

Still at least I got some lipstick on the pig on Sunday.

I guess I had such a busy winter last year that I have been resting on my lorels (or arse) this winter. Time to get back up to racing speed.

This week I went to a lawyer fee fund raiser for a guy who got the shit kicked out of him for being black. He knows who attacked him but unfortunately they are part of an organization that protects their own and see it more as an unfortunate mistake as a case of kick the shit out of who ever you like because it is fun. Anyway that is the Austrian police for you. So if you are a person that would like to keep a child in your cellar and rape them for a number of years then come to Austria because the police have better things to worry about like kicking the shit out of black people in the middle of the day in and underground station. Maybe this guy is making up a story but unfortunately there is no video camera evidence or eye witnesses to prove otherwise. So the police guys are not able to protect themselves against his claims, or come up with a remotely realistic version of events. So with help this guy will take them to court and loose, because apparently no one has ever successfully sued the Austrian police. "One of" I hear you say, but no. This guy teaches at a school where the rich and powerful kids of Austria go, so it has become an issue, like the other black guy that worked for the UN and showed them his UN ID so that they could say it is a fake and continue to kick the shit out of him.

I am a bit depressed at this point.

Then came the great paper from Bill! What a great bit of work that I am still trying to understand. Makes my paper on Moth design look like kindergarten stuff.

The facking vidio from Dave, has got Niki all excited. We got to get out there (on the unusually deep puddle) and try to do that shit.

I get a facebook message for a guy asking about a Moth in the middle of the biggest shopping street in Vienna. He clearly is on drugs but it makes a nice change from the usual SPAM. So he sends me a this picture and Niki went there today. Holy fuck there is a fucking Moth in the fucking middle of Maria fucking hilfe fucking Strasse.

Interest in the Moth here is building and there are boats here I do not even know about. So it looks very realistic that we could really get a fleet (like the fleet I was jealous of in Dubai) going here which is my hope for 2009.

Then Anja posts a video from Grada.

It is a beautiful world again.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Goodbye Snow Hello Sun.

There has been a fair bit of snow in Austria this year. Here is a picture taken a month ago while snowboarding of a hotelier digging his hotel out of the snow.

Kati and I are off backpacking to Dubai and then Sri Lanka so we are in for a bit of a climate change. I hope to catch up with the Moth fleet in Dubai. Unfortunately I will be a bit late for the Dubai GP but getting to the start line on time was never one of my strengths.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

IMCA website is now self funding

I am please to report that the web banner advertising on the IMCA website now pays for the hosting of the site. This means the site is no longer a drain on IMCA funds which is great because the IMCA does not really have any funds.

Thanks to the companies who have taken part in this scheme for their support of the IMCA. If there are other Moth related companies out there that would like to advertise then please contact me for details of the scheme.

It is a shame that not more Moth sailors support the IMCA by joining the class association...

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Thinking alloud

Just got back from an afternoon at the workshop. Flashheart now has a Fastacraft main foil and a rudder with an Aardvark vertical and repaired Bladerider horizontal... It all looks like it will work but I put lots of forward rake on the rudder (bit too much as the thing moved before the glue set) so I hope I can get enough lift from it. The gantry bottle screw has gone from one extreme of spending the summer at the very end of it thread trying to lose lift to the other of tightly screwed up in the hope it will generate some lift. Still the forward rake on the rudder looks mad, and should reduce rudder ventilation. It also fits with the Mach 2 trend if the computer graphics of the gantry are to be believed.

The Bladerider horizontal was easier to repair than the Aardvark one although the word on the net is that small rudders are in. The Aardvark rudder was definitely small and was great. I never adjusted my twist tiller (because it did not work and) because I always had too much lift and so it would not adjust any more. However the small rudder seamed a good thing, so it is a shame I have maybe taken a step back.

However the tiller twist adjustment is much better now. It is a Bladerider mechanism (without the bloody great chunk of stainless tube, as I cut most of this away and replaced it with a carbon/glass tube. This saved about 100g). This Bladerider mechanism sits in an Aardvark tiller with and Doug Culnane rudder stock.

Flashheart is starting to look like a jumble of acquired Moth parts which is exactly what she is. However I am moving on to the sanding and painting phase now so hopefully the end result will all look like parts of the same team.

It is hard to sit behind a computer or in a workshop and work out which developments are joking banter and which are real developments. It seams that people are experimenting and there is some strange stuff groining on. Check out Chris's post about the new North Sails ( Arnaud is hiking very far forward..? Rohan has indicated that sitting at the back is fast downwind. Small rudder horizontals are being used by a group of Aussies. Warm water is fast (How do I know which side of the beat is warmer?). There was an interesting paper that attributed speed to sharing induced drag equally between the 2 foils. Snoring is fast but cutting of the genitals of your competition is faster. The aerodynamic drag of the wand mechanism is very important to upwind speed. Small bows do not cause a nose dive when they crash down like big buoyant ones do (this I believe because I have the smallest bow in the fleet, so I know. However there is a problem with this which will become notorious. If your foils no longer work and you have to lowride home and home is downwind then you are fucked). So next week at work will be interesting as I hope the hoaxes and the real developments become clearer, or at least there is even more to chat and think about.

I however have 2 boats I want to get sorted and that is enough work for this winter (and maybe a bit too much of spring). Next summer is to be the summer of completing races without alphabet and my target from 2008 to beat is an impressive 4 (out of 13 races). I want to find a good home for Tomahawk, so that we have another sailor and I have less Moth bits. I also want to help any local Moth sailors get in to this amazing game.

Moth sailing is still in its infancy in Austria (like many other countries) and this stuff is very hard to do in isolation. So if there are moth guys out there that do not have a new widget that is guaranteed to win the $1,000,000 prize in the local Moth open, I hope they will chat openly and not subscribe to the secrecy is success vibe. In my line of work it is important to have fun, and at the moment this stuff is fun.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Holy Shit that is fast.

Niki invited Kati and me to have a go at Ice Sailing, and wow.... If anyone thinks that wind is not a viable energy source they should have a go in one of these.

These DN things and ice surfers just generate their own power like a chain reaction perpetual motion machine that just goes faster and faster..... Unbelievable...

This DN was built 20 years ago by Niki's father and is a very nice toy.

The lake was full of people on various ice sailing toys from kites to DN yachts. It really is a great playground for those that do not go through the ice...

It was a great day out apart from me losing my wallet. This however gives me a new game. I tell people I have lost my wallet then they ask me "where?" and I just stare at them for about 4 seconds until they say "sorry that was a stupid question".

Monday, 5 January 2009

SAP middleware (XI/PI) tool for Java geeks.

One area that I have been working in recently is SAP middleware (XI/PI). This is basically software that pushes and pulls data between different computers. There is a whole load of GUI tools and monitoring clients for mapping data and monitoring process flow and errors. However quantity does not always mean quality and I personally find it very tedious to click through the ABAP GUI and monitoring runtime web application to get to the actual error which is often hidden, or not even visible. Understanding the user interface is often harder to do than understanding the error. You have to spend a long time defining and maintaining data structures so that the messages can be serialized for the GUI tools. It is a complex environment and maybe I am just too stupid to understand it but I deiced to do something about it.

Basically XI follows the normalized message model. You have communication channels that send and receive data using technical protocols like HTTP, FTP, SOAP, File... and then a Process runtime (a non standard BPEL) engine. This is a nice easy to understand concept and similar to JBI (Java Business Integration). It is possible to do a Java mapping program, which gets a very low level binary stream and returns a low level binary stream. This is great because I understand 0010010011111 stuff. Including libraries and developing in XI is hard, but that is OK I have a cool set of tools for programing in Java on my laptop.

So what do I want?
- A cool test driven development environment.
- Direct access to the data streams for sample data.
- Java Stack traces when and if there is an error.
- To use my laptop and tools not some random computer.
- Something like tcpmon for seeing exactly what is going on.

How shall I do this?
- I need a kind of server running on my laptop that can collect data.
- A java mapping that will post data out of the XI environment.
- An error handler that posts stack traces out of the XI environment.
- Maven, JUnit, XSTL, Eclipse... all my favorite Java development tools ;-)

XI is normally in a very secure environment and the only way to get data out is often with HTTP and a proxy (there is no way can you access the server hard disk). I want the exact 01001001 stream and not have to debug data transformations so I will use Base64 to encode and decode. I can not really include lots of jar libs so I should use low level standard Java rather than Apache's HttpClient etc... I can import a jar into XI, so I want to be able to deliver jars (like JBI tools deliver jbi files).

So I have created a Maven project that builds a jar for import into XI. In the Maven project I have my test sample data, JUnit tested mappings, my debugging webserver, my error handler, and stream posting mapping, and cut down version of the Apache Codec Base64 encoder/decoder.

Time for some code.

Parent Mapping class.

package com.snapconsult.xi.mapping.common;

import java.util.HashMap;
import java.util.Map;

import com.snapconsult.xi.mapping.common.HttpConnectionUsingProxy;

* XI Mapping super class.
* @author Doug Culnane
public abstract class XIMapping implements StreamTransformation {

* Map containing XI runtime environment variables.
private Map param = null;

* Method used by XI to set map containing XI runtime environment variables.
public void setParameter(Map param) {
this.param = param;
if (param == null) {
this.param = new HashMap();

* Execute the mapping. Called by XI.
public void execute(InputStream inputStream, OutputStream outputStream)
throws StreamTransformationException {


try {

doTransFormation(inputStream, outputStream);

} catch (Exception e) {
logTransformationException(param, e);
throw new StreamTransformationException(e.getMessage());

* Method to do the real implementation.
* @param inputStream
* @param outputStream
* @throws Exception
public abstract void doTransFormation(InputStream inputStream, OutputStream outputStream)
throws Exception;

* Utility method for logging start of transformation.
* @param paramMap
* Map containing XI runtime environment variables.
public void logStartTransform(Map paramMap) {
if (paramMap != null
&& paramMap.get(StreamTransformationConstants.MAPPING_TRACE) != null) {
MappingTrace trace = (MappingTrace) paramMap
trace.addInfo("Start Transformation of "
+ StreamTransformationConstants.MESSAGE_ID + ": "
+ paramMap.get(StreamTransformationConstants.MESSAGE_ID));

* Utility method for logging successful end of Transformation.
* @param paramMap
* Map containing XI runtime environment variables.
public void logEndTransform(Map paramMap) {
if (paramMap != null
&& paramMap.get(StreamTransformationConstants.MAPPING_TRACE) != null) {
MappingTrace trace = (MappingTrace) paramMap
trace.addInfo("End Transformation of "
+ StreamTransformationConstants.MESSAGE_ID + ": "
+ paramMap.get(StreamTransformationConstants.MESSAGE_ID));


* Utility method for logging errors.
* @param paramMap
* Map containing XI runtime environment variables.
* @param e
* Exception thrown during transformation.
public void logTransformationException(Map paramMap, Exception e) {
if (paramMap != null
&& paramMap.get(StreamTransformationConstants.MAPPING_TRACE) != null) {
MappingTrace trace = (MappingTrace) paramMap
trace.addWarning("Error during Transformation of "
+ StreamTransformationConstants.MESSAGE_ID + ": "
+ paramMap.get(StreamTransformationConstants.MESSAGE_ID)
+ ", " + e.getMessage());

try {
ConfigurationSingleton conf = ConfigurationSingleton.getInstance();

if (conf.getPostMessages()) {

HttpConnectionUsingProxy con = new HttpConnectionUsingProxy(

StringBuffer buf = new StringBuffer();
buf.append(e.getMessage() + "\r\n");
StackTraceElement[] trace = e.getStackTrace();
for (int i=0; i < trace.length; i++) {
buf.append(trace[i].toString() + "\r\n");
} catch (Exception e1) {
// so what can you do.

The HTTP Post class. Note if you need proxy authentication it is easy to implement just ask google.

package com.snapconsult.xi.mapping.common;


import org.apache.commons.codec.binary.Base64;

* This is a HTTP connection programmed at very low level.
* @author Doug Culnane
public class HttpConnectionUsingProxy {

private static final String ENCODING = "US-ASCII";

String url;
String proxyHost;
int proxyPort;

public HttpConnectionUsingProxy(String url , String proxyHost, String proxyPort){
this.url = url;
this.proxyHost = proxyHost;

try {
this.proxyPort = new Integer(proxyPort).intValue();
} catch (Exception ex) {
this.proxyPort = 8080;

public void post(byte[] dataArray) throws Exception{

Socket socket = null;
URL server = new URL(url);


if (proxyHost.equals("")) {
socket = new Socket(server.getHost(), server.getPort());
} else {
socket = new Socket(proxyHost, proxyPort);

Writer writer = new OutputStreamWriter(
socket.getOutputStream(), ENCODING);

String content = new String(Base64.encodeBase64(dataArray, true), "UTF-8");

writer.write("POST " + server.toExternalForm() + " HTTP/1.1\r\n" +
"Host: " + server.getHost() + "\r\n" +
"Cache-Control: no-cache\r\n" +
"Pragma: no-cache\r\n" +
"User-Agent: Java\r\n" +
"Accept: text/html\r\n" +
"Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5\r\n" +
"Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate\r\n" +
"Accept-Charset: utf-8\r\n" +
"Keep-Alive: 300\r\n" +
"Proxy-Connection: keep-alive\r\n" +
"Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded\r\n" +
"Content-Length: " + (content.length() + 4) + "\r\n" +
"\r\n" + content + "\r\n\r\n");

BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(
socket.getInputStream(), ENCODING));

while ( != -1);



My post stream mapping.

package mapping;


import com.snapconsult.xi.mapping.common.ConfigurationSingleton;
import com.snapconsult.xi.mapping.common.HttpConnectionUsingProxy;
import com.snapconsult.xi.mapping.common.XIMapping;

* XI Mapping that posts the stream to the logging webserver. The mapping then
* passes the data on to the output stream unaltered.
* @author Doug Culnane
public class PostMessageStreamToWebserver extends XIMapping {

public void doTransFormation(InputStream inputStream,
OutputStream outputStream) throws Exception {

// Read bytes to array.
byte[] dataArray = new byte[inputStream.available()];
for (int i = 0; i < dataArray.length; i++) {
dataArray[i] = (byte);

ConfigurationSingleton conf = ConfigurationSingleton.getInstance();

if (conf.getPostMessages()) {
HttpConnectionUsingProxy con = new HttpConnectionUsingProxy(
for (int i = 0; i < dataArray.length; i++) {


The server.

package com.snapconsult.xi.loggingwebserver;


import org.apache.commons.codec.binary.Base64;

public class Server {

private static int requestCounter = 0;
private static int port = 8888;
private static boolean stopServer = false;

public static final String DATA_FILE_FOLDER = "target/request-data";

* @param args
* @throws IOException
public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

if (args.length > 0) {
try {
port = Integer.valueOf(args[0]).intValue();
} catch (NumberFormatException nfe) {
System.out.println("Error setting port from command " +
"line argument: " + nfe.getMessage());

ServerSocket serverSocket = new ServerSocket(port);

while (!stopServer) {

Socket socket = serverSocket.accept();
InputStream is = socket.getInputStream();
BufferedReader in = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(is));
String line = null;

while (!stopServer && (line = in.readLine()) != null) {


if (line.equals("")){

StringBuffer base64Data = new StringBuffer();
while (!(line = in.readLine()).equals("") ) {

byte[] data = Base64.decodeBase64(base64Data.toString().getBytes());
System.out.println(new String(data));

writeFileToDisk(data, requestCounter);


String response = ";-)";
PrintStream out = new PrintStream(socket.getOutputStream());

out.println("HTTP/1.1 200 OK");
out.println("Server: Server");
out.println("Content-Type: text/plain");
out.println("Content-Length: " + response.length() + "\r\n");




private static void writeFileToDisk(byte[] data, int requestCounter) {

File outDir = new File(DATA_FILE_FOLDER);
if(!outDir.exists()) {

File dataFile = null;
FileOutputStream fos = null;
try {
dataFile = new File(DATA_FILE_FOLDER + "/request-" + requestCounter + ".txt");
fos = new FileOutputStream(dataFile , false);

System.out.println("Written Data file: " +

} catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
System.out.println("FileNotFoundException: " +
} catch (IOException e) {
if (fos != null) {
try {
} catch (IOException e1) {

public static int getRequestCounter() {
return requestCounter;

public static void setStopServer(boolean stopServer) {
Server.stopServer = stopServer;


I think that is about all the important bits of code you need to understand and build this or something similar yourself. So if you are a Java hacker you should be able to get this working, however this software is to be used at your own risk, so if it kills your cat or has some other undesired effect on your life it is not my fault. Here is some screen shots to show the results.

This shows the full archive contents. This jar file is built using Maven so I have all the advantages of Maven like source code management, quality reporting, test scope, project site.... However you should be able to use ANT or Eclipse or NetBeans to build a jar.

Here is some config. Note the PostToWebserver mapping sandwiches the real mapping so we get the before and after streams posted.

Here is the server console output running on my laptop. The server saves the 101010 streams to files in the target\request-data\ folder. The console displays the data but due to conole encoding you can not be sure that was is displayed is correct so always use the binary files for test samples.

If I try and do something stupid in a mapping like:

You get a nice stack trace on the server console.

XSLT is cool so I use this a lot for mappings, however I use a Java mapping to load the XSLT file and perform the transformation. This means I can JUnit test the XSLT mapping easily and catch any errors to my debug web server. I never use graphical mappings so I do not have to waste time defining and maintaining data structures. (This may sound stupid but data structures should be defined and documented at source as far as I am concerned. Is it really the end uses job to document and define a technical implementation provided by a supplier?) I use BPEL for process flow control, and the necessary XI Configuration etc...

The result of this methodic is I can do all my programming in my favorite environment and use test driven development for mappings. I can collect sample data from XI for my tests. I immediately see errors when they happen. I know exactly what is going on in XI and can fix it. I have a nice manageable maven project with a project website documenting project details. XI is used for what it does best which is piping messages around and controlling processes. Once the project if finished I can switch off the post with a simple config parameter. If I need to debug the productive environment I can switch it on temporarily on the productive server without affecting anything. This has transformed my work with XI from finding the stupid mistake to fixing the stupid mistake. Unfortunately I make a lot of stupid mistakes so this saves a lot of time.

So I think this is cool and it works great for me. The question is should I evolve this tool from a cool tool that works for me, to a tool that works for others? There is a lot of work to make a "Hello World" bit of code into a mature high quality, flexible tool that works in many environments and in many different ways but I think this could be worth doing.

So if I am the only Java geek that likes binary but hates clicky clicky then this will stay a quirky tool for a quirky programmer. However if you found this and got it working or would like to use this in your XI projects leave a comment. If you would like to contribute to an Open source project to develop this tool then please also leave a comment. If you have any feedback including negative comments please leave them. If you are an XI Programmer with an ABAP background and think this is all wrong and Java geeks should get the hell out of your domain then you are probably right so please also comment.

If you are a Moth sailor and are still reading this rubbish what the hell are you doing? I promise to post something interesting soon as I plan to go ice yachting for the first time tomorrow.

All the best,