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...