Thursday, 30 December 2010

Bullshit is the best fertiliser.

I am fed up with the blatant stupidity and manipulative "journalism" on the SA (Stupid Americans) website. So after wasting too much time on trying to repair negative and destructive initiatives from out site the Moth class I decided to put effort into trying to build something positive from within it.

I have tidied up the IMCA website a bit. I hope it looks a bit better and the forum should now work better (I hope). You should be able to "edit your profile" and upload your avatar which has not worked since moving to Nige's server because I forgot to reconfigure it.

Stepping back from the site it strikes me that it is totally content-less. There may well be lots of content, but due to the dynamic nature of the Moth class and all the blogs and RSS feeds I have concentrated on the mothbook aspects so far. This is mainly because it is interesting but there is some great projects out there that are lost. If we just consider my Ego the diamond foil project, Flashheart and my Moth Paper are all now off line. I worry about the other Moth papers that are of more value. I think we need to preserve and make available this content. I have old Moth year books and news letters going back to 1987 and also a brand new one from the German IMCA which is really great. One of the most statistically requested pages on the Moth website is for the Home Build page which is a shame because half it links do not work anymore. There is interest out there for good technical content but I feel somehow it is not getting delivered. Somehow physical information in paper yearbooks is worth so much more than the transient dynamic information and I think we should deal with this issue.

How can we do this? I say we because I mean you as well as me. A Moth Wiki seems to be the best idea and we have one but Bruce's initiative nearly got turned off recently due to lack of activity. Do I build a Wiki into the IMCA site to replace/incorporate the Moth Wiki or does that (like the IMCA forum) dilute the information more and add to the problem rather than solving it?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

My personal view.

The views here are my personal views only. They are based on the experiences I have as a Moth sailor that has never seen a wing sail other than on the Internet. Therefore I do not pretend to know the right answer to the wing issues but I do pretend to understand the issues a bit. Therefore I am not trying to influence the debate (too much) but I hope the following will add to it and give food for thought. I think that if the AGM is to be productive a lot of pre-thought needs to go into the issue of where next. The current questionnaire relates to the future of the Moth class only. Therefore this post has nothing to do with the rules as they now stand.

The questionnaire for National Presidents to complete is available on the IMCA website. Each Nation get votes related to number of members allocated as per the IMCA constitution. So your President has to collect views on your behalf so that you are represented. However I did set up a doodle to get a quick unqualified response to the issues and so far most seam to agree that wings are here to stay. So what form should those wings take?

As I see it there are 3 routes. Ban then, restrict them or allow unrestricted development. Banning seams unpopular and I do not think it will happen. So do we restrict them how much and why?

Traditionally the Moth is a one sail one hull one man boat. There are a few rules that try to preserve this but these now seam redundant. Phil Stephenson and some others are in favor of going to a box rule to allow windsurfers kite surfers and catamarans to compete against us as it is clear that we would beat them most of the time if they are restricted to 8sqm sail. Having a box rule is easy to control and measure and allows all sorts of innovation. Going to a box rule means all current equipment is potentially obsolete so the box rule strategy would have to be a gradual one if it is to maintain popular support. This would be my personal preferred strategy, but so that there is not a too disruptive sudden change what are the parameters that relate to wing sails that will kill the soft sails overnight (if they are not already dead).

Extra area.
Wings get more areas but that is a current rule clean up problem it does not really relate to future. What I think is important is that we measure all sail area and restrict it to a fixed number and 8 is a nice one. Current soft sails have a 8.2 meter limit at the moment due to an obsolete historical rule so maybe 8.2 is the right total or we need to clean up the rules and grandfather current equipment.

High aspect ratio.
If you build a high aspect ratio rig then there will be a definite efficiency advantage. However if will make the rigs longer and potentially harder to transport. It will also make the design closely related the build quality. Therefore the better build spec = stronger = taller = faster = more expensive. This I feel will result in a cash for speed race that home builders will find very hard to compete with. OK this is my self interest coming out here but the rigs we have seen so far look practical-ish and robust but I am but sure that will be the case with higher aspect ratios. However to keep the boat in a box the best suggestion I have heard is from Phil that there is a top to bottom limit on the equipment (mast/sail tip to main hydrofoil flap in down position). The luff length may not be that easy to define.

Multiple elements.
The more elements = more complexity = more weight and cost and less reliability. However they will be more dismantleable so I think if this is unrestricted then a happy good design compromise will be found eventually.

Slots / Gaps.
This is a hard one to talk about at this stage and my opinions on the subject are not very popular in some parts. However do we allow wings to take advantage of the slot effect by having gaps between elements? I think that wings will work really well if they are allowed and not so well if they are not. I think for wings to really show their potential and be a sexy as the current rigs then yes we should allow gaps / slots. However this I fell is a step away from the one sail concept but it is definitely a step in the box rule direction. So yes I am for it, but I understand others that are apprehensive about it because it could be the overnight soft rig killer. However I have no data to back this up other than every time I get on a plane it uses flaps, multiple elements and the slot effect to to land at safe slow speeds with wings that are designed to be as small as possible for minimum drag and fuel cost. Therefore I a convinced it is of value. So this is a Yes to slots for me but a hesitant one.

Travel Box.
This is a clever idea and I think a welcome attempt to force the design of the wing rig products to be transportable. However I do not think it is workable and I do not want to have to cut my 4 year old one piece mast in half. Therefore for I think is would lead to more historic redundant rules not less so it is a bad strategy.

So let the debate rage... what do you think?

BTW: after lisstening to the latest Mothcast does anyone know how Joe Turner is getting on with writing the 50 pages of rules he suggests. If he is going to propose that at the AGM then he must be at the first draft stage already. I would be happy to read through then and add comments Joe so please send me your work so far... Catch ;-)

Do the Wing doodle.

Just for FUN. There is absolutely nothing official about this but if you want to post your answers to the questionnaire for your opinions to be ignored please do the doodle:

To get your opinions taken seriously you need to be a member of the IMCA and should contact your president. See your national committee here.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

worlds training.

Touch rugby worlds...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Friday, 22 October 2010

Android Business Application Mashup.

Mobile applications are an increasing theme at work where our SAP customers have lots of Data and Logic in there ERP systems that they want to make available to their employees on the road. The new smart phones are a great user experience platform for displaying and doing simple interaction with this data.

I did a quick example application for a service technician that mixes data from the ERP system with the functionality of the phone. This was so much fun and quick to program once I got the hang of the Android platform. My company even did a video of it which has come out great.

I am tempted to do an IMCA application but I can not think of anything that would be useful. Maybe a measurement form, regatta manager, boat info lookup.. however it seams better to do this stuff in a web application which will then run on all devices. I started this with the mobile news and blogs page. The stats say that 7.24% of the visitors are mobile devices but the mobile page only get 1.50% of the views. I would be interested to know what you users think of this? Are you interested in more Mobile initiatives or is the site OK as it is?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Wings rant.

After my therapeutic rant yesterday on the Mach 2 forum I will try to be a bit more pragmatic and respectful today. I guess that Internet forums are a poor mans shrink.

I think that solid wings are in the spirit of the class that has been around since 1928. They are potentially the next step of the change. A lot of people are tempted to build them and they look awesome. The class has been around since 1928 because it has been open to evolution. The concept of a development boat is far more important to preserve than current commercial interests. Wing sails, like foils, like racks, like carbon, like plywood... are not going to change the world overnight they are all part of an evolution.

What I do not think is in the spirit of the class is the multi element rigs. Does Adam have a 2 sail boat? This is a gray area as each element consists of structural solid bits and soft membrane bits. 2 sleeve luff sails are not OK so why are 2 solid sails. Is Adams rig the same as a wing mast and a soft sail or is it the same as 2 sleeve luff sails? This I think is an interesting issue.

Will solid sails be so much better than soft sails that it is no longer fun to race moths without one? I think it will be more fun to race soft sails because you avoid a lot of hassle. It may reduce numbers if people perversive it as an excuse to exit out of a competition that they are not capable of wining anyway. Look at the current commitment levels of the top sailors, who the hell can I afford to compete at that level (pretty much full time) without making dramatic compromises in their normal life?

The Moth class does not need protection from itself but the concept of choice to innovate is far more fragile. Please think about who is getting hurt if you ban innovation, and who is profiting from status quo. If people want to build solid wings then they should be allowed to choose to do that in the Moth class, where it belongs.

If you like your current boat as it is then go sail it as it is. This is what I plan to do and my huge ego will just have to get over the fact that Bora or Adam have put a lot of hard work in and are potentially faster than me. I was never going to beat them anyway, where you?

Mach 2 do not need to worry about there business model as they have shown that they are capable of producing great quality products that people want. Restricting evolution has nothing to do with the good of the class it has to do with fear of change.

Friday, 1 October 2010

New IMCA Mobile Home Page

With the growing number of smart phones and mobile devices out there I though it was time to do a version of the IMCA site for mobiles. I have designed a one page view to be an easy fast access to the last 14 days of News and Blogs.

Check it out here:

Here is the URL encoded in a 3D BarCode.

Please let me have your feedback in the comments section below.

I have not been sailing or bloging since the Euros. It is a bit late to do a Euros review now but I had some of the best racing ever. Flat water and a big Moth fleet with good thermal winds made some excellent racing. I was pleased retain my middle of the fleet status as my new boat is now one of the oldest out there. Maybe it is time to think about building another...

Moth sailing is really taking off in Austria. There was a well researched 2 page spread in the big sailing magazine here about the Moths at the Euros. I say it was well researched because the author was not fooled into thinking I was Austrian. I hope that tomorrow the wind Gods will smile on the now 5 moths we have on the lake, and we will get our "fleet" in the air!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010


Well Adam has done it and the eagle has landed. Please lets not ban this because it is just so very cool. It is exactly the sort of thing I want to get beaten by. I want to build one but not until I have built my new deck (in the garden (next project in the pad...)). Still it gets the old engineering brain working and it also connects me with my previous life. (I used to be part of the Boatyard in Beer when it was called something more unprofessional). The thing just looks so right. So next boat should have a wing mast and tramp that seals the gap and lets you run around behind it. That and the split flat anhedral foil... Maybe I will just blog about it and read others blogs that have actually done it, but you never know what inspiration can do.

After the IT nationals I realised it was about time I learnt to sail. So I was happy to get invited by Walter to to a race at his club. This was a good opportunity to practice not crashing to things like camera boats, capsized boats and basically anything that does not move. However the fleet of Yachts decided to to a long distance race. So Walter and I looked good off the line starting down by the pin to avoid the bumper tubs at the start boat. We cleared out to the first Island and Walter was a bit to fast for my liking. Luckily he hit submarines made of weed twice and then had to raise his foils to get round the shallow bit of the Island. I flew round without hitting anything (probably because it was under the muddy water so I did not know where it was) which left me with a hero's lead heading for the tree island on my own. I say heading, but I was heading for a small bed of reeds with a tree on it on a background reeds and trees. This Island was about 3 kilometres away as the Moth flies so naturally I made a mess of it and became a zero as fast as you can say "were da fukawii"*. Anyway that was it for training the next sail will be at the Euros, which I am really looking forward to.

Looks like the Austrian fleet may grow by 50% after the Euros which is fantastic news. I hope we will be in position to apply for official IMCA status at the Worlds so that next year we have another official National Association. There is certainly growing enthusiasm and I think we are close to critical mass. I am aware that the format of racing is all wrong here and we need to come up with some kind of better structure if we are to do more than look for trees and things to crash into. The Commodore of my Club Helmet is a top bloke and will be race officer at the Euros but to run an official race in Austria you need someone of his qualification. Therefore a light weight format need to evolve for training and fun racing. I and Niki are working on it but I need bigger plastic bottles for buoys than the 1.5 litre ice tee ones that you can not see until you crash into them. Niki thinks we should team up with the Cats which may work better.

Tomahawk has found a new home and it is great to see someone having fun in her again:

I have also become a measurer so that the Austrian team we can turn up to the Euros all fully raced prepared...

When I think back to the IT Nationals I am no longer surprised that we Austrians did not get on the podium as there were 6 of the top 10 world competitors there. This just goes to show how competitive the SEX (Southern Europe granpriX) fleet is. (ITA 9, 6, 11, SUI 3, SUI 9). Maybe Sail numbers and the new rules and flag/name stickers are rubbish.

I am reading a book called The Art of Unix Programming

which is truly inspiring stuff, and makes me want to program something that is worth while. I had a brief flirt with an Android Contact Provider for the IMCA site but decided to not be responsible to corrupting mobile phones an personal data. However 5% of the hits on the IMCA site are now mobile devices, so I think it is time for a mobile version of the site. So please fire your thoughts/ideas/requests/complaints at me, so that I can think about building something useful.

See you up the hill.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

it nats

Great weekend in Garda but it made me realise that my 15 knots of fame are over. I got nowhere near the front of the fleet. I am back in the middle of the middle of the fleet.

There is lots to work on but it is great fun racing in conditions where position change fast, and mistakes are more influential than boat speed.

So the Austrian team is in last minute training mode before the Euros.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.4.8

Friday, 23 July 2010

Team Austria on the road to the Italian Nationals

It is Poets Day (Piss Off Early Tomorrow Saturday) and now we are on the road and playing with new phones. Looking forward to a weekend off Moth sailing and looking for a hotel.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.4.8

Monday, 21 June 2010

Information Minister Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf says everything is just fine.

Talking of evil world leaders...

one of these democratically elected evil pieces of shit can find enough money to set up war games where gamers sit at home and machine gun the crap out of wedding parties in lands the other side of the world, but he can not find enough money to provide basic health care for his own tax paying citizens. You get what you deserve in a democracy which means you have to take responsibility for the source and the information that you base your decision on. Otherwise you get blindly dragged into supporting a war by one evil dictator to remove another one, or you end up executing 20 million people because they write blog messages like this one.

I believe in freedom of speech which means that I have to listen to a lot to of stuff that really makes me pissed off. I am totally against censorship on any medium but in the real world the owners of that medium always have vested interests and have to look to the bigger picture. So a decision was made on behalf of IMCA members not to publicize automatic links to a private dispute that was potentially damaging to the positive work of many. I think this is a responsible decision and clearly made with the best interests of the class as a whole in mind. Both parties have been dropped from the blog list and will be welcomed back once they have sorted out their problems. This was not my decision but I recognise that it was made by a higher ranking democratically elected leader who has for many years shown excellent leadership in the interests of IMCA members.

I can live with the above state of play but I personally hope we as a class do not all get totally politically correct and spend all our free time doing things for the benefit of the corporations we represent. Frankly I would rather sail a 3 year old boat that I built than a new one that came with a required code of behaviour. I have no problem with being a corporate whore but I just would like to be able to keep it 9 to 5. So if you have a problem with this information officer

then please complain, because then the IMCA rule of volunteering will be enforced: "He who complains the loudest gets the job", (and at the moment it is our old friend!)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A Result!

The Italian Moth Open at Champoine was a fantastic 4 day holiday for me and Kati (who was kite surfing). Lord Flashheart performed and I got my best result ever in a Moth Open. I even won a race because I was the only one to go through the gate on lap one. I ended up third overall and am bloody happy about that.

Here are the results. It was a mixed fleet of 17 boats training and racing over 4 days. 15 entered the regatta but Lucas hit a submerged tree on the way to the start and Giovanni had to retire with back problems.

The rest battled out in force 2-4 conditions. Matthias showed nearly untouchable pace and I had a good battle for 2nd with Francesco. He was definitely faster but I went the right way in race 4 and had a great result in race 3 when the wind dropped.

I learned lots and I still have loads to work on. (fitness, concentration, maneuvers, tactics, starts, small mods to my boat, foil finish...) but I am very happy to be racing again and not boat repairing or going significantly slower than everyone. The last time a raced was in Walchensee and that is where things started to finally click in to place.

I was worried that Lord Flashheart would be outdated already but this is totally the wrong attitude for Flashheat.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

A presto in paradiso!

I am trying to think up a good concept for running fun training races. Here is how far I got

  • FUN
  • No need to have a race officer or boat, minimum equipment.
  • 1 - 10 boats
  • Option to sit the odd race out for a rest then jump in.
  • No fixed start time.
  • Tactical close racing.
  • Safe racing.
  • Lots of short races.
  • No waiting around (you skip a race if you want a rest).
This mean things can get very confusing so this concept is aimed at setting a set of rules that will not be confusing, and mean lots of fun races can be run without the endless communication coordinating it (or a traditional race officer).

The Gate boat is the last finisher from the race before. They must sail from the green zone behind the leeward mark then upwind on port for at least 20 seconds. Starters cross behind the Gate boat and race to windward mark rounding to port. (Note the Gate clears the fleet and hits the lay line for a good change of getting a good first rounding position. Since they were the last finisher this will hopefully mix stuff up.) The other boats have 2 tacks so there are tactics on the first beat.
  • Leeward mark is to starboard, means there are 2 gibes brining in tactics again.
  • At least 2 tacks on the next beat...
  • At least 2 gibes on the run through the finish.

Once Finished.
You stay in the green zone meaning you sit out a race. Or you go immediately to the yellow zone and wait for the next start. The last boat to finish can start the next race ASAP.

Feedback Please:
  • What do you think (problems suggestions..) ?
  • How do I make 2 portable marks ? 2lt Coke bottle and sea anchor..? How?
  • How far apart should the marks be?

Sailing around a lake looking for wind is not very focused and I learn so much each flight hour I want to focus the learning hence the thoughts above.

What I really need is a training partner (or 10). Niki is still waiting for his Assassin and it will be 1 year at the end of this month since he sold his Bladerider. It really pisses me off to have spent the last year without my wing man. He is on constant high alert and ready to scramble at any moment but supply lines are in bad shape.

The good news is that this weekend I will do the Moth Open at Campione, Garda, Italy. This place is paradise in my view since I did the Euros there in 2005. I am working for the man near Salzburg this week so as soon as I can I am off tomorrow. I should arrive Wed at about 10pm (so hopefully someone will be around to let me into the Sailing Club...). This gives me 4 days where I hope to increase my flight hours from <2 this year so far. So if you are going to Garda "A presto in paradiso!"

Working for the Man means I am spending a few evenings in hotel rooms catching up on Internet Mothing. Just published am iCal event calendar grabber. So each National Association can have a iCal file on the web and the IMCA site will go and get event data from it and update the data every few hours. Gerold Pauler gave me the idea but unfortunately it does not work with the DE iCal File (UTC TimeZone problems..) but it does work for the UK. So hope it will be stable and mean there is more accurate up to date event info in the IMCA site. Let me know if your National IMCA has a Internet calendar with an iCal file or if you spot bugs.

Only 24 hours to contact... ;-)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Apparently Twisted

Ever since I blogged
"My new control lines allowed me to adjust the sail while sailing! I can now tune the sail to the course and conditions during a race! This development I am sure will catch on as it makes a big big difference."

It has of course caught on and everyone is copying me. Si Paynes post and the chat about it got me thinking about apparent wind. So I thought I would take time to work it out in the hi level professional way that is my trade mark.

ASSUMING (I always start hi level professional analysis with he word assuming because then when everyone tells me I am totally wrong you can say I was not wrong it was my initial assumptions that were inaccurate)...that wind at boom is 6 knots wind ant mast head is 7 knots. Then for 3 conditions of sailing lets assume (there it is again...):

Downwind at 45 degs away from wind traveling ~14 knots.
Upwind at 45 degs to wind traveling ~10 knots.
Take off 90 degs to wind and traveling at 7 Knots.

The red dot is the boat and the 2 lines on one side of the triangle are the apparent wind it sees.

With the use of GPS data and wind sheer measurement data this could get more accurate but I conclude that downwind and at take off you should have a bit of twist in the sail so that it is at it's optimum angle of attack at the top and bottom. Upwind requires less twist and due to pointing we tend to try to eliminate it and use it as a de-powering mechanism. Also you get a lot more wind upwind (longer double lines) than you do downwind. So the sail is operating in totally different conditions therefore adjusting the sail (as I first discovered) is the way to go.

The stuff or Si's Blog makes a sense and fits with my conclusions without the rigorous mathematical analysis of course. However he has developed my ideas further and has an adjustable outhaul!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Code name "Moin Moin."

My secret network of spies in the Moth Sphere have managed to uncover a new Moth building project going on in North Germany. I would like to tell you more but I would have to kill you afterwards, so here is the information the has been cleared for level orange release.

This is a Project from Jens Krüger who by the quality of the work in the pictures looks like he knows what he is doing.

His website does not reveal much but hopefully there will be a quite a few more Moths being built in Europe this year.

This computer will self destruct in 1 minute.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Monday, 12 April 2010

Billy the Fish

Far be it for me to make a big fuss over something small but on Sunday I had my second Moth sail of the year and nearly last ever. The internet said force 3 blowing from Weiden down the 16KM long lake to Hungry. The air temp was just about 11 degrees. Not the best conditions but I had a day on my own for with nothing planned other than sailing. So off I went to that lake thinking nervously about the lack of rescue cover and wing man on the way.

When I arrived at the lake it was suitably empty due the the less than spring weather. The wind was very off shore and gusty. Do I pussy out and fear that I will need rescued or do I get out there and double my training for the year?

I went out since the wind was not very strong and I sorted a 4 o'clock safety call. "If I do not call by 4pm I am either dead, drifting to Hungry, or my phone battery is flat." There were people in the sailing school and their rib was on the jetty. Since I helped 2 of their capsized Laser 16s that where in trouble last summer (one badly) I thought they will keep an eye out in return. There where 2 buoys off the school one 50 meters out and another 250. Ok I will sail around there in front of the main beach where everyone could see me if there was anyone.

So I had a frustrating but good learning curve training sail trying to constantly change mode for the wind speed and strength. Not very easy and I was making a mess of it most of the time but it was good training. I was temped to sail off out into the lake for more constant wind but the pussy in me said no. Then as I go a nice gust into the further out buoy BANG, nose in air, very light tiller, Shit where has the rudder gone? CRASH.

Shit I need to act fast not panic and most importantly do not do something stupid. I had spend a lot of time in the car here thinking about what to do if this happened and not really come up with a good answer so I was a bit nervous at this point to say the least.

Quick Appraisal of the situation: 800 Euro rudder in water 30 meters back along the broad reach. Bouy 20 meters in front along same course. Tiller and its extension in hand. Bits of gantry hanging out the back of the boat. Cold water. 250 meter swim to beach upwind.

I decided to grab the forestry of the boat and swim like Fuck for the rudder without dropping the tiler (again). Nearly got it but boat is now gong downwind faster than the ruder which has turned into breaking position. OK swim for rudder and then get back the the boat I hope. Got the bits together and so it was time to lashed up the tiller and rudder to deck of boat with spare rope in life jacket. OK swim to buoy and tie boat to Bouy. Shit. No chance it is now upwind and too far away. I can risk the swim to land leaving the boat but not 100% sure if I would make it with cold water and deceptive "does not look too far to swim" distances. I probably would but leaving the boat felt like one of those tempting stupid things to not do. Shall I wave good bye to potential onlookers and what will they do other than wave back? Do I wait for the worried 4 o'clock phone call system to kick in in an hour and hope that someone would come looking? Do I de rig and try to make a paddleable raft? Taking the mast down also seamed like potentially a stupid action. Could I sail without a rudder in a very gusty upwind course? Would one of the very few boats out come close enough to hear a call for assistance or understand a wave.

I decided to try to sail the boat as I remember trying something like that 20 years ago. It was not easy and did not look possible but with a bit of experimentation (loosening kicker and sitting far back with the windward wing in the water I could kind of sail upwind. After a while I realised it would work and I just needed to concentrate hard and I will be able to self rescue will all my bits. I was Fucking relived I would not spend a night on the lake.

I remember an expression that: "It is not the fittest that survive it is the ones that adapt to changing situations". This makes me feel quite smug until I started to wonder what broke the rudder? Maybe the fish are adapting as they are fed up with getting hit so they get their biggest one to take be out? This is a worrying thought as Billy the Big fish did a lot of damage.

So back to the workshop again.

What have I learnt from this? Well I think it is OK to be a bit of a Pussy. You do need some kind of backup and the best I think is a wing man and someone on shore who expects you to come back. Spare rope is a must and all the toys like radio, flares, GPS, helicopters (standard Moth gear I hear these days).. are nice to haves.

I told my story to Niki and he said "That is nothing you pussy. I have walked for 6 hours in the lake with my broken kite. I got to a beach on the opposite side at midnight." So I have also learnt that Niki is maybe not he best wing man to have, but with Billy about what should I do.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


I got me Moth Mojo back. I had a great sail on Sat the first (and only) of the year. My new control lines allowed me to adjust the sail while sailing! I can now tune the sail to the course and conditions during a race! This development I am sure will catch on as it makes a big big difference. I am sure all the top guys will be doing this next year. (You heard it here first.)

Note to self: Next time a salesman in a Water Skiing Marina says "This rope is really good and my Boss uses it on his boat and he is sailing on the sea!" Do not buy what you know is total shit that is not fit for a washing line out of pity and desperation to get sailing.

I have not done one of these for a while but here is an UNOFFICIAL list of entries for the Euros:

Are you going? Send me as much details as you want but a Yes will do and I will add you to the list. I would like to build up a list of who and what is going up the hill. Send me a picture of you sailing your boat too unless it is a black boat in which case I will just post a picture of a bar code. (No putting your name on the sail does not constitute an interesting design feature). I hope Si Propper is going as his pictures are always the best.

I am really looking forward to the Euros and doing some events is the SEX (South Europe grand priX). There is really a lot starting to happen in my hood with Southern Germany, Northern Italy, Croatia and Austria all increasing in Moth activity. It is getting very SEXy.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Pump it up.

I can not reply to the UK list due to an email change so here goes the blog mojo....

I think banning crew generated propulsion is a good idea but I have no idea how to make it work and possible to police. It just creates a lot of stress and bad feeling on the water. So even if there is a risk that the fittest and most skillful sailor is going to do well I would say go for unlimited pumping.

The arguments against unlimited pumping are:

- The sport of rowing has banned the use or oars because it was hard work and people were getting really tired, cycling is also removing pedals from bikes etc.. So banning athleticism in sailing is a good idea.

- Bouncing and flicking the top of the sail is not cheating as it does not involve pumping the sheet. So the good guys are not cheating where as the clumsy back of the fleet are.

- Pumping is a skillful thing that needs to be practiced. This is also not fair that we should reward sailors that have been practicing.

- ISAF rules for bath tubs work well and classes like the laser never have arguments about illegal body movements. So their rules are going to work great in our boats too.

This really needs to be discussed at the AGM after a light wind day where constant body movements and sheet movements are needed all the time whether you are cheating or not.

If you take a ban on pumping seriously you have to enforce it that means protests. Do we want that? So I think we will end up with the turn a blind eye to all the pumping and we all continue to do it. If anyone is doing it much more than everyone else then it will raise eyebrows at the bar. That is not really a rule that is a gentleman's agreement. I would say it is fairer to let the laws of physics settle the issue.

That being said what would happen in an unlimited pumping environment? I am not sure but the question is can the speed of the boat be increased with a regular pattern of moments? Air rowing if you like. For sure it helps short term which is what all the fuss is about but I think the problem is really the continuous all the way round the course stuff. However you have to wobble about when there is no wind so if someone can control this wobble good on them. When up on the foils is there an advantage to continuous bouncing? I am not sure. Also getting up on the foils first often means going in totally the wrong direction. It would be interesting to sea trial some races with an unlimited pumping rule to find out what it means, or at least work out what exactly we are trying to ban.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Moth Blog Mojo

I kind of lost my moth Blog Mojo recently. It is not the fact that I have not had anything amusing, insightful and relevant to say because that has not stopped me in the past, I just kind of been in hibernation here. So here is my attempt to get in to summer mode by rambling on about various stuff.

Thanks to Dion and Dirk who joined the IMCA Direct. Sorry guys that you did not get emails from the website (because I forgot to change the email server when I changed to a hosted server.) However I think I have fixed that problem now. (Please note if this is working you will probably find email in your SPAM folder if you request a password reminder or go through the Direct joining process).

I am the 3rd confirmed paid up direct member of the IMCA and I have a Blog (which is part of the rules: 14.3) so my name is in the menu list of Members Blogs & Sites. So if you are a paid up member of your national IMCA and want your name in the list then get your National committee member to send me a mail confirming this and I will add you to the list.

So what news is there from the Austrian Moth sphere! Well I have designed and built something I am very proud of. It is largely built out of recycled materials and been something I have been planning to do for a while. It is 3.8m by 2.5m and solid. Is it a solid wing sail? NO it is better than that, it is a huge high bed/platform for Max. It is so cool and it is a bit Wallace and Grommit, with its secret trap door etc...

What does it have to do with Moths? Nothing, but it does remind me that design and build is something I have to do each winter in some form or another. However with the lack of local racing last year (1 race) and 3 moths in the workshop at the moment it is hard to really get motivated to try and build new stuff. Testing it against Laser 16's is not really helpful, so each event I go to with other Moths I learn so much basic stuff so that is what I am going to concentrate on. Therefore I have hopefully fixed the adjustable kicker and downhaul so that I can change these during the race not just between races. There are plenty ideas but for me it is important to get the basics right and some kind of routine where I can evaluate changes within it.

We had our first Historic Moth Beer evening at the Pad with all 4 Moth owners that I know of in Austria. Where Niki presented info about his new boat and the CNC milling machine work he has been doing with Clemens. I presented Max's high bed... We looked at the list of events we could do and if we could find a common training time. The conclusion was that with the various commitments in peoples lives it was not going to be easy. However the plan to get lots of sailing in together. With some help from the wind gods it could work. There will be 3 (maybe 4) boats at the Euros from Austria and there are a lots of great events "near" us so it is all developing slowly in the right direction. All we need now is the ice to melt.

Talking of ice I read that maybe Manfred is zooming around our playground now. There is a party at the pad on Friday so if you are passing through then I always like to have an International International Moth VIP at the Pad Parties so Manfred let me know if you are around Vienna on Friday evening.

The reason for the Party (This all links together as if I planed it! Mojo or stream of conciousness? I think is is just me rambling on because I have gone of topic again.) I get my Fiancée back! Kati has been away in Spain for 5 months studying. I had a great Christmas in Galicia but the rain in Spain does not fall mainly on the Plain. It falls all the bloody time. I no longer will accept any racist jokes about England and rain. So I have been living on my own for the first time in my life. I would like to dispel the idea that people living on their own go slowly mad, but I can not, they do. So if I invent some second personality to comment on my own blog it is not me copying NakMarkLark it is probably genuine mental health issues.

I think that is a good point to stop.