Tuesday 18 December 2007

Flashheart Research ...

It occurred to me that not all Moth sailors spent their teenage years watching Blackadder. So here is some background research into the great aviator that has inspired the Flashheart Project:

The whole of Blackadder Season 4 Episode 4:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Monday 17 December 2007

Flat panels for Flashheart.

Got another half day at the workshop on Saturday and unpacked my bag of flat panels. I vacuum bagged all the flat panels I needed in one hit laminating carbon on both sides.

I used the cut and fold technique to make the fordeck. The cut bit involves cutting a strip of the inside carbon out with a knife and cutting a V shape in the foam.

Then you fold.

Some bog in the V shape and later a bit of tape and Bod is your Auntie's live in lover. You get a nice radius on the outside, and the join is only on the inside so it does not need finishing.

I weighted the flat panel and calculated a weight per square meter at about 1.2 kg. (aprox. 400g carbon + 350g foam + 450g resin) This is not as good as the pre-preg autoclaved Prowlers which are about that with paint. I will save weight by making the boat smaller and not putting much paint on, but I will need some filler because do not have a female mold. Some may say that this is disappointing and to have a competitive boat you need the latest technology. However: Can wet layup home builds be competitive? Yes.

I my case the extra cost of pre-preg and an oven is better spent on a new sail. The time building a female mold is better spent learning to foil gibe. At the last worlds I was lapped by the leaders but beat new boats in my 14 year old one. Therefore sailing skill and set up is more important than the latest boat building technology. So from a pragmatic view I am delighted with the fact that I am in the right ball park.

The rest of the flat panel was used to make the bulkheads and transom.

She is starting to look more and more and more like a Moth, and my ass is getting sexier...

The next job is tape over the fillets, put the main foil box in, and wing bar sleeve stubs. I hope to get some time in over Christmas but I have just bought a flat so I also have to build a kitchen, fit a shower, build 2 high beds, get some more snowboarding in and move in the next 2 months. I still plan to launch the Flashheart in spring but it is going to involve some heroic boat building to pull it off. However Flahheart by name and Flashheart by nature so smoke me a clipper I'll be back in time for breakfast.

Sunday 2 December 2007

The History of Information Technology.

First there was the Word. This was not too useful on it own, but people played with the idea and developed other words and the idea caught on. The idea spread and the words mutated into different languages. This made some people powerful because they would run around delivering the words and translating them into different languages.

People played with the words idea and developed sophisticated content like song and story. This made content producers powerful too.

Some people invented a way to store the words in pictures and symbols. This made the stores of information powerful as they decided what and how to store the information and who should have access to it.

People evolved the storage of information further into paper and printing which made the information easy to distribute, and reproduce. New methods for storing different information evolved like records and film, and new distribution mechanisms like radio made people distributing and reproducing information even more powerful.

Then computers and networks evolved and suddenly information could be stored, distributed and processed easily. This made content producers powerful again. The distributers used things like copyright and contract law to try to retain their power but it was useless. The content producers where so reliant on their distrabuters for so long it took them a while to play around with the idea and develop new ways to turn their work into power, but it was inevitable that they would eventually succeed.

Then there was so much rich content out there that it was impossible to process it all so people played with the idea and new ways to get computers to process all the information and filter it evolved. The suppliers of quality filtered information then became powerful.

The technology for filtering out the quality information became widespread and then all people had access to exactly the information or rich content they wanted. This became a problem because people were not ready to deal with such accurate information. People we uncomfortable knowing how little money they had, how popular they were and the state of their health.

Then some clever people developed ways to adjust the information to the individual need of its consumer. Now people could watch a football match and their side always won for example.

After a while people got totally bored with life and decided that information technology was not such a good idea after all.

Wednesday 21 November 2007

Austrian Sailing Christmas Party

Niki and I got an invitation to do a presentation of the Moth at the Austrian Sailing Christmas Party. This would have been a great opportunity to rig up a boat and present it to lots of Austrian regatta Sailors. Unfortunately neither Niki or I had time due to previous commitments.

The party is in some brick Gasometers. About 5 years ago these were converted into shops offices and flats but before then there used to be rave partys there...

Hopefully we can plan this in for next year. The good thing is that Niki will have to do the stage presentation to 200+ sailors due to my bad German. I can consentrate on righing the boat and drinking guwein.

Monday 19 November 2007

Tomahawk Hibernates

Kati and I had to dig Tomahawk out the snow so that I could hang her up for the winter. This was not as easy or as fun as we first imagined...

Flashheart is off the frames and feels light and stiff. I am starting the fun jobs now working out how to fit wing bars, fitting the trolley to the boat and car, working out how to fit the the foredeck and bulkheads etc... Doing the arrangement design is fun. There are so many little ideas, options and things to think about finding the best solution takes some time.

I have changed my mind about the wing bars which I was going to have fixed. I will now make them removable so that it is possible to get 2 boats on the roof of one car. This may make traveling to far away events much easier, now that Austria has a fleet. I also had to hack up the trolley which was half finished so that I could change the way the axle was mounted and make it removable.

Adam gave me a tip about how to laminate around wing bars to make sleeves for mounting in the boat. Parcel tape does not work even with a 3 stage layup. I had to cut the bloody sleeves off in the end. This is frustrating, slow and has slightly damaged the wing bar. If the new method works I will blog about it.

Friday 16 November 2007

Check out my bottom Woof Woooof.

I am determined to get some workshop time in this winter in the hope that the Flashheart will be launched in spring. Now that it is too cold for sailing building has started again and Niki kindly helped me to do the lamination of the hull outside skin. The lamination went well apart from the disappointing lack of vacuum in the bag due to numerous holes. (In retrospect vacuum bagging without a proper mold is hard to get working well.)

With Mike Cookes new Axion and the May/Chisholm design the hull shape developments are becoming interesting again. This hull shape is Adam May Flashheart design with a bit of weird flat panel twist modifications by me. See earlier blog.

The shape is radical looking and a departure from the hunger tiger design family. That does not mean it is necessarily good but it is at least there is new experimentation and development happening.

With Moth sailing developing fast in Austria and around the world I want to get this thing on the water ASAP. I hope to post some more build progress blog reports soon.

So what do you think, have I got a cute ass or not?

Another Austiran Moth Video.

The Austrians are competing hard in the BR video competition.

Markus who had never sailed a sailing boat before he bought Rohan's Moth after the 2007 worlds shows that Moth sailing is possible to learn from scratch.

Niki who bought Markus's boat a few weeks ago has already beaten me in the GPS to speed table is now tying to pull off a foiling gibe before me. Luckily he is still having issues staying in the boat.

So the competition is hotting up here in Austria just as it is starting to snow. I had better get a new boat built before it melts.

Thursday 15 November 2007


The ISAF ridicule is getting nasty but they deserve it so check out:


Tuesday 13 November 2007

New Olympic Sports ideas.

So what about some new Olympic sports:

- Gymnastics's for heavy people (>200kg).
- Ironing for women (if they are allowed by their husbands).
- Climbing to take place on children's playgrounds.
- Swimming 10 lengths of the paddling pool.

Then Olympic bath tub sailing would have a chance of being interesting.

Thursday 8 November 2007

No Moth in the Olympics.

So is does not look like the Moth will be in the Olympics, unless the Europe dinghy is reintroduced. So what effect will this have on the Moth class?

I always thought that if the Bladerider was accepted for the Olympics then the sailing that would be going on would be very different form the Moth sailing I have done. Olympic sailing is full time professional 7 day a week 24 hours a day stuff. This is not traditionally the Moth level of competition although Rohan is a full time Moth sailor and promoter now and (I think) Si Payne spent 3 months not working and only Moth training before he won the Worlds. A lot of the fleet are ex-Olympians (3 out of the last top ten at least) or sail in things like 18ft skiffs (another 2 out of the last top 10), or boatbuilders and sailmakers (2 more) so the fleet is no stranger to top level competition. However the Olympics is a different game, where travel expenses make the boat cost irrelevant.

In the Moth class we have a saying, that has been valid for many years, that you can tell who is taking Moth sailing seriously because their boat is worth more than their car.

The Olympics would have raised the profile of the Class even more and meant that there would be a lot of bits around on the second hand market or that could be repaired. This would have been good for guys like me that could collect up broken or "old" bits and build competitive boats out of them. This is a shame but it also means that I have more chance of getting into the top third of the fleet.

The people I feel really sorry for are the Olympic competitors. The poor bastards must now spend 7 days a week 24 hours a day sailing a Laser or a Fin or a ..... This is like asking an F1 driver to steer a shopping trolley round a supermarket. It is also about as interesting to watch as supermarket shopping. I would get to the bottom mark and look up the 1 nautical mile beat, that I have to hike my way up for the next 20 minutes trying to get a fraction of a meter advantage form each tack, and think fuck it do I really have to do this again.

I respect the bravery of the people that support these out of date classes because I would not be able to sit in meeting after meeting discussing how the Fin is the best way to represent sailing and have a good visual completion, and keep a straight face. So is it corruption, stupidity, religious fundamentalists or creatures from another planet that control this. I do not know or care but I will be spending as much time following the Olympic sailing as I spend following Americas Cup legal battles.

So is this an opportunity for the Moth to reinvent sailing events, with a fresh look and without the baggage of traditional views. Maybe, or maybe if it ain't broke then why try to fix it. I will be happy if I get round a mark point the boat, hike, sheet in and blast along looking to gain 100m from each tack or gibe, that is fun and where it is really at.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Check out JavaFoil

Found JavaFoil on the web and it is fantastic. I am not going to pretend I understand all its features but it has loads of data and you can play and compare and optimise different foil shapes.

You will probably have to brush up on your foil theory but it is really a useful design tool. Check it out: JavaFoil

I have been out of the design game for the last 10 years so it is interesting to see that not much has changed in section design in the last 60 years except for the ease of access to data and the ease of its use.

Monday 29 October 2007

Patent Pending

Patent Pending

So the details of the Bladerider Patents have been revealed.

1. A trampoline that uses +-45 bias so it can be tensioned at one end. - Done already by Adam May.

2. A removable hydro foil. - Done already by Phil Stevenson.

These two patents clearly have no ground without even looking outside the Moth class.

I am anti-Patents in general and in particular in the Moth class, so let keep it Patent Free.

I hope the log awaited BR response will be to drop this expensive waste of money. Maybe we just saved the BR investors a few thousand Dollars, so well done us.

Now back to the Moth Sex... Got a personal best on Friday of 20.5 Knots. It was a bit cold and my wetsuit is a bit past it sell by date (literally my arse hangs out of it) so I stopped the heroics after a big splash reminded me that there is no way I want to fall in the water. Was absolutely gutted when I returned to shore to find newcomer Niki had beaten me with 21 Knots... Ego is bused and cold but the grin on my face is still there after a great gusty sail.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Help Required for IMCA Online Database.

I am near to releasing version 1.0.0 of the IMCA online database. This version will allow users to:

Reset their Password.
Edit their Contact Data.
Join the IMCA.
View their memberships and their status.

IMCA National (and International) Committee members can:
Add a new membership type.
Edit Membership Types.
Confirm Membership Requests as Paid.
List Members.

You can help by:
Testing the above use cases.
Feedback on the clarity of above use cases.
Translations into languages other than English and German.
Text corrections.
Graphic improvements.
Getting support for the project in your area.
Java hacking.

If you wish to help send me an email (doug (a) culnane d0t net) and I will send you a mail with access to the online demo. We can spend the next 6 weeks testing and improving the software then I will reset the database and go live.

This project should be a big help for IMCA Committee members. It will centralize data and lower the barrier to joining the IMCA. It will also allow me to greatly enrich the IMCA website with dynamic content in later stages. To make this project work I ask for support and help now because now is your change to complain and influence the project.

It is also an opportunity for Committee members to play around and make sure they understand how the tool works so they can use it more confidently when it is go live time.



Tuesday 16 October 2007

Moth Patents?

I read on the Bladerider site :
Mike McAuley, CEO, says ".the capital has been used to kick start the marketing campaigns in US, New Zealand and South Africa and parts of Europe. It will also be used to complete registration of patents and design internationally and expand the production facilities."

I do not understand Business talk but I wonder what is there in the Bladerider design to patent:
- The hydrofoil system copied from Fastacraft?
- The rudder angle of attack mechanism copied from International 14s?
- The flotation in the wing bars which we did for years?
- The easy pack up ideas which are a collection of ideas?
- That small hull like the M3?
- The rig nearly identical to the all Modern Moths?
- That it is 11 foot long?

It is clearly ridicules to think that the Bladerider is new. It is a bloody good boat that puts together a lot of established ideas and evolves them on to the next generation.

I had a go in a Bladerider for the first time last weekend and I like the boat a lot. It makes me think of copying and evolving some of the ideas in the build of my new boat. But do I need a lawyer now to compete on the IMCA circuit?

It is clear to me that the BR has to protect its considerable investment, and no normal Moth sailor gives a fuck about patents, because it is flattery when you are copied and evolution is the game we love. There is no way that the sprint of the class would survive without the fantastic relaxed attitude to evolution of ideas. Each builder that makes the next design iteration profits from it.

So is this something to get upset about or is this some techy Moth sailor that does not understand the Business talk? Maybe the patent is on the name and Logo which as far as I know are original. Wait a minute Blade and Rider are not new words. There was Bladerunner a film and Lowriders are are term coined to refer to Moths without hydrofoils. Is this a new idea or an evolution.

I do not like patents at all in any industry. They kill innovation, restrict medical care, and hand control from engineers to lawyers who profit from killing innovation in the name of protecting the investment of the the big companies who are the only ones that can afford lawyers. The Moth is growing up fast and maybe this is a part of playing with the big boys and girls, but more likely it is some techy Moth sailor that does not understand the Business talk but can not resist "Stoking the fire".

The above article is all my own ideas and work. I developed the English language, invented computers and build the servers, network and your computer, to enable you to read it. The Moth class was my idea and I invented Internet Mothing and the Bladerider. Therefore any ideas you have after reading this (including "Shut the fuck up Doug") will be subject to royalty fees.

Monday 15 October 2007

RE: Einladung zum UYCNF

Yesterday Niki and I had our first 2 boat flight in Austria. Thanks to Gundi and Klemens we got invited to NeufelderSee, a small but deep lake that is close to Vienna. The wind was light but we got flying in the gusts.

(Picture by Max - Official photographer and rigger for his Dad.)

Niki got his first flight in his new secondhand Bladerider, and Klemens also got her in the air for a very short fly (sort of), proving that Hobie cat sailors can also balance in tricky light gusty winds.

It was great to get the change to sail there and so big thanks to Gundi, the UYCNF and others. I was not sure how the day would work out but I was really keen to get some flying in, and with help we managed to get the first Hydrofoil Moth fleet (2 boats) together in Austria. I thought Max would loose patience with being left on shore but I could not get him to leave. I guess I am not the only kid that like messing around at sailing clubs.

Unfortunately Markus is taking time out from Moth sailing due to work commitments but I hope he will be back in a Moth in the future, and as I understand it that is what he intends. The good news is that his boat (Rohan's the World Champion wining Bladerider) is now based in Vienna so at last I have a training partner, so watch this space next season, this could become Foil See.

More pictures on Niki's Blog

Thursday 4 October 2007

Danish Worlds Pictures

FoilTown posted a link to photos Zac's dad took at the Danish worlds in 2006. To my joy there is a great picture of me.

I spend the winter renovating and strengthening my old boat ready for the new foils which arrived just in time to start fitting them for the Worlds. I had just driven for 16 hours and rigged the boat for the first time with the new hydrofoils. I went out into the prefect conditions to join the high fliers.

My kicker lasted 2 mins and the shroud anchors 5. The swim back through the jelly fish took about 40. I lost the remains of my kicker in the mud and had lots to repair. Then some chirpy Aussie pops up and says that he got the swim back on camera. I was so happy to be alive.

Anyway the next day I got the boat going at 20.3 knots and the pictures remained hidden on some hard disk somewhere. So no worries mate.

Monday 1 October 2007

Moth article in Mainstream Austrian Press.

A Moth article appeared in Krone.

There is definitely interest and activity here in Austria. Markus who bought Rohan's Boat from the worlds has been flying well and describes it as his new passion. There are 2 or 3 guys who are looking for good secondhand boats, which are now starting to come on the market.

Next year could be be the year that there are Moths flying together in Austria. I better get mine fixed after I backed it into a cliff... :-( (Revered up the mad road from Campione and did not spot an over hanging cliff.) I am also determined to start building the Flashheart again, but have decided that she may not be finished for the next worlds so I should hang on to my old boat. I do not want to be sat on the beach watching if there are a feet of boats here.

I definitely have a problem selling my old boat. Not because of lack of buyers but I get can not let her go. I think I have to have a new one before I can let go of the old.

Tuesday 28 August 2007

Veal Heel on a C Class Cat.

Rohan's Blog has an interesting item about a foiling C Class Cat. It thing looks amazing but this picture clearly show a very basic design problem (in my opinion...)

With a cat like this one copying the Moth configuration will not work because the more windward heel you have the less righting moment. What they should do is try to turn off the windward foil. Then they can crank in the powerful solid sail they have. Maybe this is what they are doing but the speed data on Rohan's blog would not suggest this.

Veal Heel works great on a Moth because the more you heel them to windward the more righting moment you get. This has always been the case with moths since they got narrow with wings. (http://www.culnane.net/dc/sailing/moth/wshpaper/transver.htm). With hydro foils you can also use the lift of the main foil to help you get height to windward. Leeward heel on a foiling Moth is about as good a trawling a bucket upwind.

With the next generation of Moths we should also try to increase the instability of the system so that the more you heel the more unstable. This may not make sense but when you travel fast you have lots of dynamic stability so you can control the thing. Instability generates righting moment, which can equate to more power.

Friday 24 August 2007

IMCA website developments.

It has taken me a long time but I have finally moved the IMCA site to the new Java enabled host. This allows me to run the software we are developing that will (hopefully) assist in the administration of the IMCA.

The software is being developed using the SourceForge infrastructure and there is a project website at: http://imca.sourceforge.net/ this makes it easy for others to get involved in the project.

The lines of code are increasing as well as the functionality. At this stage I can import most of the data from the existing XML based website and users can log in, retrieve a reset password and edit their contact data. The next stage is the join the IMCA use case to allow registered users to login and renew their subscriptions.

Tuesday 21 August 2007

Touched in Munich.

We went to Munich last weekend for a Touch Rugby tournament. It was get fun and Vienna did well coming 5 out of 8 teams, in our first tournament, Some Vienna players also helped Köln come 3rd by making up there team numbers. Köln even get gave the 3rd place trophy to the Vienna guys that had helped them which was a very nice recognition of there work.

Luckily someone had a camera during a moment of Doug Culnane Ego glory. I can not let that go un-blogged so here is it for you all to enjoy.

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Give Me Five.

This is where it is at.

Saturday 21 July 2007

Worlds Review.

I had 3 weeks of holiday which started with the Moth Worlds, so I have been off-line for a while. I was unable to update the results on the IMCA Moth site. I am sorry about this because we had 444 visitors a day in June! http://www.moth-sailing.org/statistics/...! I have now caught up with nearly all my email and so I thought I should do a Blog.

The worlds was great. I was a lot windier than I thought it would be. This lead to a lot of breakages as the fleet was not really prepared for the wind and chop. I rigged and went out in the building wind to get some practice in and see if the boat was set up right. After 5 mins the main foil snapped where it comes out of the boat! Luckily I had ordered a new FastaCraft foil for my new boat so I was able to rig this with a few small modifications to the wand and mountings.

My confidence in the boat was very low. In Denmark I had had lots of breakages and problems. I had one windy sail in Austria since then and broke a wing bar. I have just broken a main foil. The wind here looks like it will be lots all week. Some how I was not a pissed off as I should have been because I can not be pissed off for long at lake Garda it is just such a great place to be.

I stated trying to do the races with the new main foil. Due to a total lack of confidence I was not going to try to do anything too heroic, just get round in one bit. The first practice race I did I was lapped by the leaders on my first Lap! The boat was clearly not set up well. I had some help from fellow Mothies and managed to improve the boat so much that I was then getting lapped at the end of my second lap. That makes me twice as fast. I am the Mr 100%.

With the few small modifications to my wand and control system the boat was transformed and I could actually start racing. I was still a bit careful and so I retired if it got too windy or at the first sight of breakage. As the week when on my confidence in the boat grew and I really started to enjoy the racing. I had only minor problems and no further breakages.

In the end I finished 35th out of 63 which I am very happy about. I had a great time as the Moth sailors were really good fun, (saluting at every opportunity...). It was great to chat to other sailors and explain the boat behavior. They gave me tips how to improve it, and so I learnt so much about the foils.

(Picuture by Oskar Kihlborg)

I also had help about what to drink when sailing which eliminated my cramps! This was great because my fitness was not a big problem as I predicted. The biggest problem was sailing the boats which I was learning fast.

As for my predictions about the event.
"The differentiators will be how well the boat is set up which will mean there will be a mix of Hungry Tigers, Mistresses, Prowlers and Bladeriders in the top 10."

This was right but I picked the wrong winner. It was windier than I thought and Rohan is the best Moth sailor in a big wind. I was also surprised how much Andrew had managed to improve the Bladerider. The two together were unbeatable.

I think now the importance of set up is top of the list of all sailors. Having a boat to sail against and test set up with is very important. I am pleased that an Austria fleet is taking shape so I hope I will be able to be better prepared next year. However I hope to finish the build of my new boat, do the IMCA database project, and maybe buy a flat so I will be busy.

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Austrian Fleet is GO! No more underestimations.

It looks like we will have an active Hydrofoil Moth Fleet in Austria after the Worlds. Or two boats at least. The report I wrote 2 weeks ago for Austria was supposed to be optimistic, but it turned out to be very conservative. I am so pleased that sailing against other boats may not mean a drive across Europe.

It seams like the Moth Class is gathering momentum faster and faster than anyone could predict, (and there have been some what seamed like outrageous predictions). Are we seeing the start of a new sport like kite surfing? If we are then it means bringing the Moth to the masses, which is part of what the Bladerider is trying to do. (I think but it is not too clear to me.)

If the masses are to sail Moths then we will have to see if they are ready for it. There is a big difference between a Moth and a normal production boat. The amount of material in the layup is totally different. There is no way to make a competitive Moth as robust as a Laser. So if masses of people are to get into hydrofoiling then they have to evolve to be able to handle these racing machines. Maybe this is what is happening.

Maybe what is happening is the same thing that happened with Asymmetric spinnakers, trapeze boats, planing hulls, aluminum masts, plywood... If it is we will see 20 different one design production hydrofoil boats popping up soon. This will give people the benefit of one design racing, where you can race in a handicap fleet of 20 very different boats, and be held to ransom by your one supplier...

In the mean time the Moth is continuing to show where it is at. Check out the worlds preview there will be around 70 boats from 15 different countries. http://www.moth-sailing.org/worlds/2007_italy.xml There are loads of new boats, and designs. A lot of the boats are very different, I can not wait to go round the boat park with my tape measure, and camera.

If you still do not think the Moth is on a big hype mode at the moment check the IMCA site stats at: http://www.moth-sailing.org/statistics/. These always peak around the worlds but lets see how much they peak around these worlds.

My boat is repaired and I think she is better prepared for the racing than me. I can not wait to go down to Garda at the end of next week.

Tuesday 5 June 2007

Worlds Preview.

OK so everyone is at it so what about a worlds preview. Here are my thoughts leading up to the event.

I think for the first time Rohan made a claim that was an underestimated. ;-) He said there would be 60 boats at the worlds, but there will be around 70. There is a lot of new kit out there too. There are of course the Bladeriders which and leaving the factory as fast as they can but also Fastacraft are knocking boats out at a surprising rate. It is exciting times for the Moth and the Worlds will be a really great event.

As for who is going to win. My money is on Simon Payne. It will be a big fleet of boats with a lot of guys who have a chance to get to the windward mark first off a crowded start line. Therefore transitional big fleet skills could do it. This is where I think Simon is going to have the edge over Rohan. However Rohan's boat handling is amassing and in the big breeze of Torbole his determination could grind down the competition. So It will be very close.

There is also a lot of other guys that are on form and getting close to the top. I think that the first 10 will be racing together not just the first 3 as it has been for the last 2 big events. We could see some surprise performances, as there are a lot of new boats and riders.

Which boat will prove to be better? The Prowler will be more reliable because this is a refined bit of kit and very well made. I think the Bladerider will be close on quality but does not have the maturity that the Prowler has. The Bladerider is a newer design and does not have the "old fashioned" prowler freeboard but I suspect the difference in weight is neglagible. The differentiators will be how well the boat is set up which will mean there will be a mix of Hungry Tigers, Mistresses, Prowlers and Bladeriders in the top 10.

The middle of the fleet will be getting lapped before they complete the second lap showing that there are big gains in boat speed from small setup and skill differences, and for most of us it does not matter what boat you have.

A lot of beer will be drunk and it will be windy and sunny every day with the wind changing direction at midday.

I will leave Trobole having had a great sail and frustrated trying to compete with boats that are 10 younger than mine. However I hope to get a few bits of racing in before my body and/or boat say we have had enough for the day.

I have 3 free days before I leave for Garda to throw carbon at the boat and pack it and my windsurfing gear on to the car. I can not wait to get there.

Monday 21 May 2007

What was going through my head when it broke? Nearly the rudder!

Saturday was an interesting day...

The forecast was for yet another light wind drift but there was a chance of a force 3 in the morning. So we made an early start to try to catch the wind before it died. After rigging etc a solid force 4 gusting 5 was blowing and the sun shone. Perfect Garda training conditions...

I launched and sailed out very slowly and very upright because if the boat healed too much I hit the bottom... Once far enough from land 200m I started to sit out, sheet in bear away to see if I could get the first flight in Austria.

She flew. I had her under control but I needed to really fight to keep the upper hand. After a minute of reaching I had to stop to have a rest. Wow this was hard work. I have worked on my fitness with squash and touch rugby but I need to work on my upper body strength. My arms we starting to cramp after 15 mins. This was a battle that I was not ready to fight for 6 hours so I realized that Garda is going to be hard at best.

I was not really confident to sheet in and go for it but trying to keep the power steady and the boat in a straight line. Delicate smooth and nothing aggressive. There is so much power in the rig that it was hard to use it. This is where the modern Moth floppy headed sails mush have an advantage, because they seam to lock in to the wind and provide drive for low drag rather than exponential power, and drag.

Maybe the boat is not set up right, maybe it is my technique, probably it is both. I am a long way from ready for a World Championship. However the sun is shining and the camera boat is there so it is time to show off.


Amazingly Kati caught this moment when the rear wing bar went. The load on the boat is much higher than in the lowriding days due to the dynamic loads which I had underestimated. A joining collar that Adam and i had improvised in the Garda boat park at the Euros 2005 had split and gone.

Waiting for rescue I had time to contemplate my situation. I was a long way from being race repaired at Garda and have one free weekend before I leave. This free weekend will be spent throwing carbon at all possible breakage points of the boat. The Garda worlds looks like a repeat of the Denmark worlds where I will not complete half the races due to boat work issues. Getting a fleet going in Austria will be hard because I am the only one stupid enough to sail on a lake shallow enough to destroy the boat. Without a fleet to train with it will be hard to ever get out of this isolated no mans land where I have to reinvent every thing. The cost per fighting minute is about the same a Concorde. I have one old uncompetitive boat, an other with the build started and a pile of expensive materials. I still need to spend a lot of cash to finish the second boat. I have a workshop fitted out for building Moths with a Monthly cost. Going to Moth Events means driving to the other side of Europe. Meanwhile others train every weekend or full time in new boats from builders who have refined their construction to near perfection. I put so much into this and I am not getting close to getting much back. I am cold I have cuts, bruises and I am about 1 km away from dry land.

Basically Moth sailing is hard and it pushes the limits. If you push the limits you have to be prepared to find them. Maybe this is where i should say stop the madness and kick this bad habit?

On the positive side I think that Kati got one of the most amassing Moth pictures. I can fix my boat relatively easily. My Garmin is one of the only water prof ones (as it was underwater for over an hour) and it showed a matched personal best of 20.4 knots. I it great fun to go an splash about and it was fun flying while it lasted. I have meet some cool people thought Moth sailing and Thanks to Martin, Niki and Kati for their support and help.

I will get back on the horse and ride again, even if it is a bucking bronco. Maybe I can learn to set her up and sail better so than I can fly more consistently upwind. Maybe then I can do a bit of racing at Garda. There are possible technical solutions to the water dept problem.

I would not miss Garda for the world, and I am looking forward to a great event and meeting up with some great people again. I think I just have to lower my expectations about competing. It is the taking part that counts as many losers say but Moth sailing is a part of me.

Friday 18 May 2007

The Winds Gods are laughing again.

Last weekend the was a 4bf-6bf all weekend and all week the wind has been good, unfortunately I had no Moth time. Thursday was a holiday and it was blowing 5bf in the morning. Finally some flying time looked likely. So Martin and I headed to Weiden to hook up with Niki. As we arrived the wind started to drop and by the time we launched there was none.

Niki is a cat sailor so I was not expecting much light wind Moth balancing skills from him. However I quickly realized balancing is his thing as he rode 200m on one wheel of his mountain bike and showed me his model helicopter that he flies upside down...!

The wind filled in a bit and there were a few nice gusts so we all got a bit of a sail. However unfortunately there was not quite enough wind to get the boat up in the air.

Launching at Weiden was easy as it gets deep(1.4m) fast so we could carry the boat in with the foils locked in position. There is less silt so the bottom is harder. I am not sure if this is good or bad yet...

It was a fun day but that first flight since Denmark is still escaping me so my Garda preparation is about as good as my preparation for Denmark...

On the plus side it gave Martin and Niki enough practice to are able to sail around in light winds with no real problems so they should be able to control the boat when the wind Gods stop pissing around. Of course I am back a work today and there is a steady 4bf...

JPA Maven 2 Hibernate HSQL Test Database.

whatadorkiam posted exactly the article I wanted but it did not work with JPA. After some messing about I got it to work so here is HowTo set up your Maven 2 JPA Hibernate projects so your unit tests run on the test (in-memory) HSQL Database.

Why is this a good idea? Because your test database is always rebuilt for your unit tests but your configured hibernate connection for you installation is left alone. You can build the project and run all tests without installing a database server.

cat src/main/resources/META-INF/persistence.xml
<persistence-unit name="MyPersistence">
<description>MySQL Database<description>
<property name="hibernate.connection.driver_class"
<property name="hibernate.dialect"
value="org.hibernate.dialect.MySQLDialect" />
<property name="hibernate.connection.url"
value="jdbc:mysql://localhost/myDataBase" />
<property name="hibernate.connection.username"
value="myuser" />
<property name="hibernate.connection.password"
value="mypass" />
<property name="hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto"
value="update" />

cat src/test/resources/META-INF/persistence.xml
<persistence-unit name="MyPersistence">
<description>HSQL Temp Test Database<description>
This is not good but the only way I got JPA Annotations
to work. YOu have to list your Entity Classes. :-/
<property name="hibernate.connection.driver_class"
value="org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver" />
<property name="hibernate.dialect"
value="org.hibernate.dialect.HSQLDialect" />
<property name="hibernate.connection.url"
value="jdbc:hsqldb:mem:MyDataBase" />
<property name="hibernate.connection.username"
value="sa" />
<property name="hibernate.connection.password"
value="" />
<property name="hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto"
value="update" />

cat pom.xml
<!-- Hibernate -->
<version>5.0.5 </version>

Touched Up on the Radio.

Hi! If you have time to listen to Fm4 at (roughly) 13.40 today there is a short feature about touch rugby. The frequency is 103.8 and you can listen on-line http://fm4.orf.at/ if you click on "stream" right at the top of the page.

Chris has also done an FM4 Website Article

Monday 7 May 2007

Touched Up in Munich.

Went to Munich last weekend to play our first international friendly touch rugby match. We knew we would get hammered by Munich but we needed to get some playing experience at a competition level. It was a big suprise to find we were leading 4-3 at half time. This lead did not last long in the second half when they came back and won 9-5.

Touch is great fun and this was the first match where we really had to run and run. I lasted about 4 mins on the field before I had to sub off for someone with fresh legs. A few min rest and you are back on for the next sprint. Our team was great and we worked well togther considering it was the first proper game we have played. Our defence formation got dismantled in the second half and that is where we need put some to work in. We also had between 7 and 5 players on the pitch at time due to subbing confusion but the refs we quite leaniant on us.

It was a great boost to my ego to get 2 trys from 2 interceptions, which got me my teams vote for man of the match. The interceptions were a bit of a risky move but I got lucky twice.

Munich were great hosts and it was a reall fun weekend although most of it was spent in an over heating car. I have to ask my mate who knows a lot about cars how to cool down a 1.6 estate car so it can keep up with a powerful Audi and BWM...

Wednesday 2 May 2007

Another no wind Moth sail

On Saturday Martin and I had another go at sailing the Moth. Again there was not wind but at least we managed to sail about a bit more and get a better idea of the depth of the lake, which seams OK.

Getting some practice at loading transporting and unloading of the boat. It is sort of fun being a "Circus Freak".

Thursday 26 April 2007

I am Famous

I made it into derStandard.at/Karriere.

This is a newspaper's career section, and I am a great career minded example to follow. (That reminds me I must learn to read and write German.)

Wednesday 25 April 2007

StatSCM Version 1.0.0 is Released

I have released the first stable version of my StatSCM Maven 2 reporting plug-in. My project was to program a Maven plug-in that wrapped around StatCVS and StatSVN to generate reports as part of the Maven project site generation.

This allows easy generation of source code metrics for Maven 2 built projects. Which means you can browser the statistics for lines of code, developer statistics and commit log reports etc...

The plug-in is automatically configured from the Maven 2 POM as 90% of the information it can use is already documented there.

For more info check out the project website.

The latest Moth Accessory.

Easyrigging have developed a set of PBO stays for the Moth. Theses look very nice and are generating a lot of Blog Space. So how good are these new stays?

I chatted to Adam who has accurate actual data and he said his shrouds are 400g. These PBO stays are supposed to be 70g. Therefore you can save about 300g in your Moth rig! Another cool thing about them is the diameter is also small so windage is even improved!

This is clearly an good investment but at about €150 more than wire shrouds I shall not be ordering in a set for my old boat but I think they may become a must have for the new one. I look forward to seeing if someone brings a set to Garda so I can check them out.

Monday 23 April 2007

Flashheart hull panels are now on the frame.

As Europe seams to lack wind at the moment I decided to spend Saturday in the workshop rather than drifting around. I used my new €4 glue gun to hold down the panels where the double sided sticky was not holding well, and got the last hull panel on the frame.

The build technique is fast and easy but the hull is not as fair as I would like. Partly this is because there is not enough timber in the frame, and partly because the twist in the panels induces stresses that comes out as panel waves. I think a future version 2 should address both these issues if the build technique is to be the same.

I think I will have to glue on bits of foam to help fair out a couple of hollows. I am not sure how well this will work because the foam is very delicate, but at least it sands very well. I could just laminate on the outside skin and then add lots of filler but this would be heavy. Therefore I have to invest some time in shaping foam.

It is hard to build a boat in a couple of weekends and then compare the build quality to a female molded boat. The effort involved in building a female mold is too much and it is too expensive for my one off home build. It also does not allow you to alter the design between boats without lots of cutting shutting and filling. I should be able to get a reasonable build quality in a fraction of the build time, therefore I have to learn to turn a blind eye to the slight fairness imperfections that will not slow me down, especially as the boat is supposed to be in the air.

Monday 16 April 2007

New FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) Economy.

I have been involved in testing some new features of the SourceForge site. They are trying to help developers make money from FOSS projects, and users of FOSS get commercial support. It is a very simple but cleaver development and I am interested to see how well it works and if it succeeds in building a new FOSS economy.

I think that the developers will love it but the majority of users and project managers will take a while to understand the new world order.

For those that do not know, FOSS is Free and Open Source Software. This is software that is delivered with the mechanism and right to make changes to it. It is often referred to as Free Software but that is confused with cost free. So it was "Free as in Freedom, not as in free beer" for a while. This is not very catchy so the term Open Source was started. Open Source implys the mechanism to change but not necessarily legal right to chance the source. So the name debate raged on and the term FOSS was invented to not upset anyone, and get on with the job of communicating the benefits. However FOSS needs to be explained, because no one outside the name debate understands it.

I can not help thinking if they had called it Freedom Software from the start it would have saved a lot of trouble.


My sister is getting married...! and Tomahawk's sister has appeared back in the fleet GBR 4021. GBR 4019 and GBR 4021 where built together by Adam and me in his garage when we were students. I and my sister were built one after the other by our Mum in her workshop.

Wednesday 11 April 2007

First Moth Sail in Austria

Last Saturday I launched my Moth (GBR 4019) on Neusiedler See. It is a great lake but a bit shallow (max 1.8m deep). The day was really a test to see if it is possible to sail a moth there, without the risk of destroying the boat if you hit the bottom at speed.

Martin (a Austrian Sailmaker) and I launched the boat from Breitenbrunn on the North West side of the lake. This is a great spot with a nice grass lawn, camping, playground and resterant. It was a beautiful spring day but there was absolutely no wind. This meant that there was no danger of hitting the bottom at speed.

I had modified my boat so it was possible to sail with the foils pushed up into the boat. Meaning that the normal 1.15m static draft was now about 80cm. This meant it is possible to sail out to the deeper water and then capsize and lock down the foils.

There was so little wind that by the time I had gone out 200m I wanted to turn round and go home. I capsized and did a dept test. It would have been OK to lock down the foils as the bottom (or rather silt) started at about chest height. Assuming that it does not get shallower out towards the middle and that the bottom is slit I think it would be fine to sail there. The silt is so soft that the foils would cut into it rather than the boat.

I have to test this theory a bit more and the lake water level can drop especially at the end of the summer but I think is is worth trying. I need to get to know the lake too to make sure I stay away from a sandy bottom and shallows etc...

Once I got back to the shore I let Martin have his first go in a Moth. As all Moth sailors know sailing a moth in no wind is one of the worst and most uncomfortable sailing experiences but he seamed determined to sail the boat at least 3m. It was not until after a big schnitzel lunch that he succeeded. He then started to get the balance right surprisingly quickly and drift about a bit.

Martin Drifting.

So the boat was not destroyed and Martin and I are keen to go again. Therefore it was a successful day, but next time we need more wind...

Friday 30 March 2007

Join in the Blogging Game

Every Moth sailor seems to be blogging so I thought I would join in the game. I hope this will be of interest and add to the Moth Blog community which is really strong and getting stronger.

I think that this will be an easy way to post short update messages about International Moths, boat building projects and computer stuff. I will try and consolidate blog posts in my website www.culnane.net but the turn around of news here is much quicker than an update of my site.

I was thinking of programing something myself but the facilities you get on blogger.com seam to do most of it for me, so I will use RSS feeds to diplay links on my home page to the posts on blogger. Seams like a nice easy solution so lets see if it works...