Sunday 7 December 2008

Speed Sailing.

If you have not seen this yet check it out:

The boat's concept is really clever and different. Maybe the idea of removing all the heeling moment rubbish is worth pursuing in the Moth...

Friday 5 December 2008

You can prove anything with statistics.

A month ago I integrated Google Analytics into the IMCA site. This was a tip from Bruce and Tom. It gives a nice report of the website usage and hits etc... One thing that it shows is that the UK is wining the internet Mothing race with Australia in second. (one up for the poms at last.)

We get about 300 visits a day form all over the world and most people just check the blog and news lists. So it does not really surprise me. However I am surprised that I am not the only Internet Mother in Austria!

2% of the visitors are from iPhones. At the worlds John Harris complained that the site did not work with his iPhone. I blamed the iPhone for not having an XSLT parser built into the HTML rendering engine. (If anyone complains about my software I can normally confuse then enough so they leave me alone.) However I have changed the way the site is rendered (I no longer use client site xslt...) so this should work now. However if anyone could send me an iPhone so that I can test this properly for a year or two that would be great, and I promise not to microwave it.

If others want to click thought the Google Analytics reports then send me your blogger username/email and I should be able to add you to the list of people that can view the report.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Keeping Whisper quiet.

"the first the carbon fibre wing mast for the 'whisper' International moth class project"

Somebody is busy and keeping quiet about it but I have spies everywhere.

Saturday 29 November 2008

3 Boats in 12 sqm.

We got 3 moths in the workshop today for some small repairs and modifications etc... It is a bit of a squeeze but it work out great.

The plan is to get all 3 in super working order so that next season we can concentrate on sailing and doing regattas. Not messing about with boats and rigging and trailers and covers and plodders and trolleys and wands and foils and ropes and....

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Blog worlds update on behalf of Andrew (No Blog) Brown

Well we have been asked to do an update on the blog worlds...

The new every exciting blog site on the IMCA page has made our lives
easier as judges and by this fact alone Doug is ranking high on the

Luka is doing awesomely and we are just waiting for him to "rark" up
Bora about the AUS nationals then scores will go through the roof!!!
Pity about that music - starting a new job sitting near the IT
department with the music going full on still isn't a good thing - but
it is all in aid of research I suppose.

The recent spat about elitism within the Sydney sailors is a good story
and leading the charge as usual is Scott, Scott is a master of stirring
the pot just the right amount...

Bruce has been doing some amazing things and am loving all the ideas
that Phil has on his site.

Then we have the little man in England Simon, I have a little offended
of late with all the photos and renderings of his Penis and Nose

Chris over there in Dubai is still ranting and raving - very
entertaining especially when he's forgotten to take his medication it
adds to the whole "madness"

The Moth Chronicles by Karl have gone a little quiet lately and only a
ting post of late so looking forward to more effort from this area.

This has left Joe and his History, Geography, political and life lessons
blog - very in depth and lots of it

The scoring right now is very close and in true Hollywood style no
scores will be let out until the final whistle the second to last day of
the Moth Sailing World Champs

Andrew Brown

Monday 17 November 2008

Shameless plug

I do not believe in shameless plugs but here is one that is worthy. A mate of mine has set up this site and frankly it is damn good. I gave him some advice which luckily he ignored and the result is impressive. It is a database of days out for animal lovers. So check it out:

I especially love the map that you can zoom in on. I told him it would be too complicated but as I said luckily he ignored my advice.

Fat boy slim

Check out my girls:

They are both getting fixed up for next season. One however is a bit heaver than the other. After 15 years of development less is definitely more.

I am very happy that the Flashheart has gone down under and that Nick Flutter will hopefully do the next iteration of the design. This is why I wanted to do a GPL boat so that the design can evolve and bounce around. I hope to build the next iteration of Nicks design one day but for now I just want to get my girls in shape.

Friday 7 November 2008

Moth Training.

There was the idea to make a Moth training video DVD but it never happened. Rohan proposed that we should do a Training page on the IMCA site and embed YouTube videos. This I think is a great idea but unfortunately no one has got round to implementing it.

I will post up a Training page on the IMCA site but I need content. So if you have a video or some text that you wish to contribute please send me a mail. Training can be sailing techniques, rigging, launching, repairing, building your own CNC machine, how to down the tiller of doom, how to set up a blog... Content can be YouTube video, pictures and/or text, and without copy right complications.

You do not have to be an ex-world champion to contribute because the training should be for different levels from first low riding experience, to advanced racing and boat tuning. I am not going to set up a predefined table of contents because I will publish whatever I get (within reason), so please contribute what interests you, and I will try to pull it together in to a structure, so short videos on one point will be easier to structure and merge than a 10 min video trying to cover everything.

So lets see what evolves.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

Blogs, Press, Sewing machines and bits.

My people have been inundated with feedback about the new Blog Aggregator, which was 100% positive. I have fixed the network performance issues by making it update every hour so it should mostly be fast. Therefore my people have advised me to go live ASAP which I have done. Although it is hard for me to thank all the people personally for their feedback I will do it: Thanks Alan and Joe.

The Moth site did get 2700 unique users a day during the last worlds so there is a lot of users out there, however with all the rss feeds most of them are probably now computers. Unfortunately the log file is too large to download and analyse at 1.3 GB so I do not know.

I will not be writing about Austrian politics any more. There are well known Austrian comics making light of Haiders death and they have had to cancel their tour due to the threats made against them. As far as I am concerned Haider was a great man on the way home to his family after being in a cool night club when he tragically died in an accident as reported in the press here. He was certainly NOT pissed out his head driving at twice the speed limit when he overtook an car and smashed himself up in the tax payers car he was driving on the way home for a gay night club having been in a fight with his toy boy who happens to be the number too in his political party. This information as reported in the foreign press in incorrect.

I am really disappointed that some people "now" misunderstand that he was maybe gay friendly as he will me remembered as this and not for his responsible well thought through policies to the difficult issues of cultural integration.

One problem with my political misunderstandings is they have little to do with Moths. So for those Haider fans that are still reading I got very disappointed today because I visited a sewing machine shop and showed then bits of an old windsurfing sail and some sample sailmaker thread. The idea was their 600 EURO heavy duty domestic machine would handle this and so I could make covers tramps and foil bags for the 2 moths I own. However the guy there said no way and I am looking at 2000 EURO for a second hand machine if I am lucky. So my plan to kit out 2 boats, cut down an old Moth sail for a storm sail, and make the boom end loss stopper thing this winter are over.

I had a great sail on Saturday as Niki and I enjoyed a force 2 to 4 warm wind. It was beautiful flying around an empty flat lake. However I decided that was the was to end the season and packing up my boat I saw that the rudder, that was broken by the delivery monkeys, has cracked again. This is probably a result of the contact with the ground and the fact that it is had to get the core glued back together again once it is cracked. So I think I have a to stick a new horizontal on the rudder this winter.

Moving into winter mode I spent most of Sunday de rigging 2 boats and storing them in the workshop. I will spend the winter getting then in good working order for next season and then I hope to sell my old boat so we have another sailor here and I can get rid of some of the huge number of Moth bits I seam to have.

Monday 3 November 2008

Not sure if this is a good idea.

I have been playing and got a Blog Aggregator sort of working. Please go easy on this page and give me feedback. I am not sure if I will link this in as it is a bit network resource intensive.

Got google maps integrated into a very empty event page. Event detail pages should get more detailed later.

I am tired having spent 1 hour fixing a problem I created for myself.

Note to self: do NOT upgrade libs if you do not need to. Still it is better than the time I got pissed and deleted the whole database by mistake.... woops I was not supposed to tell anyone that.


Friday 17 October 2008

No faith in democracy only Darwin.

I has been a bad political month in Austria. The 2 far right parties managed to get a third of the votes (luckily they had so much in-fighting that they spilt a few years ago into two parties or they would be very powerful now). Their Nationalistic Social campaign and message that they would fight for Austria and Austrians was very popular and attracted a lot of voters that were feed up with the the 18 month old failed coalition. Then a week ago Jörg Haider, who has been a key figure in far right Austrian politics for many years, entered the Darwin awards.

Jörg was supposed to be clever and the original National Social leader but I think Hitler beat him to it. He got pissed and drove over twice the speed limit at 3 in the morning on a foggy night which does not really strike me as that clever or even original. Luckily he only killed himself and did not take out anyone else, when he crashed.

The last time I heard Jörg talk it was on the radio and he was explaining that there was a court case in his home town where a male Muslim teacher would not touch a girl because she was dirty. So he made the point that this is not the kind of culture Austria should tolerate, and I totally agree, but it was obviously not tolerated or there would not have been a court case. I assume that if this Muslim had imprisoned the girl in a cellar and repeatedly raped her over a period of decades, like 2 Austrians men that there are court cases about in the last year, then there would be not course for cultural integration concern and fear.

Speaking as an foreigner in this beautiful land it is hard to feel like the root of Austira's problems. I pay my taxes here and the UK paid for the education that Austria profits from. However there are other non Christian (for the record I am a Jedi Knight) foreigners that are having a negative impact on Austria apparently. All I know is this cultural diversity has lead to my favourite food: Kebab Pizza.

It is interesting to watch politics in the US where anyone can be president (but it seams to help if your Dad or husband was once president). It looks like Gorge Bush may go down in history for the biggest positive impact on the environment by sending the world into global recession. The hard fact is that we are a parasite on this planet and doing stuff cost resources. If we want to preserve resources then we need to stop doing stuff. This goes against all our principles of day to day living and the only thing that will slow us down is lack of credit. So maybe Gorge is the ultimate Hippy, and not just some dumb cowboy.

So democracy seems like the worst form of government apart from all the rest. I am angry and frustrated that such stupidity can be tolerated as main stream politics. However there is a greater force that Democracy called Darwinism.

Thursday 16 October 2008

Releasing the IMCA website Editroial Power (only slightly).

There is a new feature on the IMCA website, that allows Members to submit news links to go on the home page. You must log in and if you are an active member you get a link in the Members tool bar to "Add News". You then enter a country, title and Website URL and hit save. I then get an email and will approve the item to go on line, unless it is really not appropriate.

The idea is to let IMCA members suggest new links so it is not just down to me and my opinion about what is news. However I want to retain some kind of editorial control and so I have introduced an approval step in the process. Maybe I am being uptight but there is so much SPAM on the web that I think it is a good idea to start with atleast.

I still intend to spend every waking moment trawling thought the internet to give you the latest and greatest Moth news highlights, but I also want to try to introduce a bit of power to the people so that the website becomes more than just my personal view of the Moth sphere. This is something I will no doubt later regret.

Coming soon will be the ability to add new Moth events. These then go in the events database and are available in the iCal files and Google Calendar etc... At the moment this works (sort of) but I need to think about who can enter new events, Members or Committee members? Can you edit the event after it has been created? etc...

Also there will be a boats for Sale database integrated in to the site at some point but I need to again think about data management and control... Erwan has set up something at so the pressure if off to get this on-line ASAP.

I also want to make the event pages and data management better. This will tie in the people, boats and events with results. It then should be possible to build up personal profiles (and maybe a seeding) for each sailor (and boat) based on their results. Again this is something I will no doubt later regret.

Friday 3 October 2008

Class War.

I am as middle class as they get, because I always finish in the middle of the fleet although each time I have done an event I have improved my boat speed dramatically.

I started in the middle class when I was 18 in a Magnum 5 that was twice as wide as everyone else narrow boat. I got beaten by kids my age in new Magnum 9, and Axemans etc... OK they were good sailors but how could I compete with their hardware? (Interestingly 20 years later one of these kids was complaining about a kid who had been bought a brand new boat by daddy.)

I had out growen the Magnum 5 so got a second hand Gentleman Jim and then I begged and borrowed to build my own modern Moth. I used both these boats to come in the middle of the fleet again in the early 90s. The boat I build in 93 I got back into to come in the middle of the fleet in 2005 in a lowrider and then in the middle of the fleet as a foiler 2006. I dramatically improved the set up and reliability to come in the middle of the fleet again in 2007. I built a brand new boat to come in the middle of the fleet again this year. Some people are born winners, some loosers,
I am born to be middle class.

I would love to be World Champion, however as the Moth stakes rise the commitment to win does too. You need Money, new gear, to travel lots, training partners, a coach, spares, shore based boat repair and support crew and you have to spend hours and hours on the water no matter what the weather is. Whether the guys that are putting this level of commitment together are professional or not is hard to say but for sure they are putting in am impressive performance.

All I know is that in my line of work it is important to have fun, and that is why I am in this fleet. To me that means some good racing, building some cool boats and some good mates to play with. It is fun to be part of the Moth fleet and to meet up (in reality and virtually) with
old and new friends. After all the boats are the star of the show not some ego that just won a race (unless I win a race of course).

So since I am bound to come in the middle of the fleet I can only hope that the standard of the fleet continues to improve, so that I can too. I do not think a 2 tier system is good for the racing or atmosphere and how do you split the the professionals from the amateurs, and the rich from the poor, and the young from the old and the fit from the unfit and the people that have done some training from the guys that launched the boat at the event.

The fleet is a group and there is more than one star. Without the crazy prototypes that turn up, the new ideas, the hard working committee members and event organizers, the tiller of doom, saluting the squadron leader and top gun quotes it would not be so much fun. If the only thing we as members can appreciate, is the guy that won, then we are reading too much of our own publicity and should go to an event and have a curry, beer and laugh with the Middle class because that is what it is about for the majority.

I think every Moth sailor has to know what they are wanting to archive in the Moth fleet and set their own realistic personal goals and ambitions. If you are frustrated because you get beaten by some dick that has bought, or got given a new boat that is faster than you then "Harden the Fuck up". In this world money and success are closely linked. Being talented and hard working is not enough, and life aint fair. If you really want to win then you need more commitment, talent and resources than everyone else or you need to make sure you have a smile on your face at the end of the day.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Electronic Foil Control Systems.

I was one of the teenagers that used to read about Clive Everest and his Ghoul Moths in sailing magazines. I sailed a UK Moth Nationals against him in one of them once when I was 18 and in a Magnum 5. However this was many moons ago. Anyway Clive has got a Electronic Foil Control Systems working. I found out on this on the Sailing Anarchy Dinghy forum.

Why is this worth blogging about? Well I always thought the idea of electronic control systems would be good because you can easily get the acceleration of the system in to the control and not just a proportional control. I think electronics have the potential to really push the control to the next level. They have the ability to know if the boat is going up or down and how fast. The present systems just know how hight it is now. The cost of such systems is potentially high but the complexity of them is nothing compared to the electronics in everyone's car, video, lift, wrist watch, fridge or electronic toothbrush.

I have done fuck all about developing this but Chris Miller produced a nice paper on it and there has been a few forum posts about it.

It is also not legal in the Moth but who cares, as I think this will be the future. You can configure a easy to control system increase righting moment by moving lift down to leeward, have sport or learner modes....

Anyway watch this space... as I think it will be interesting.

Sunday 21 September 2008

Nature 1 - Moth Sailors 0

Both Niki and I very disappointed with our show down yesterday.

The water level in the lake dropped 20 cm in the last 2 weeks. So that is 16000 * 3000 * 0.2 = nearly 10 million tons of water gone somewhere and no one seams to know where! This meant there was contact with the ground launching, tacking and nosediving.

It did not look that windy with the offshore / cross-shore wind but it was and gusty. It was too windy to tack without capsizing and we were nosediving down wind. It was 10 deg so it was also cold.

So Both Niki and I did not take long to bail out and head for shore. Staying out till something broke or got hurt seamed massachistic. We whimped out and showed that Moths are silly boats to sail. This is the wrong message to send and we should be able to sail round the course and could have had fun doing so. However it was not fun and with the boat hitting the ground regularly it could have been very expensive. If there was 10 knots less wind then it would have been easy with no ground contact, and we could have had a great day racing each other and a fleet of F18 cats.

So that was another year of Moth racing in Austria without starting a single race in Austria (half the races at the worlds and half of them at Ammersee). So next years target is to try and get local racing working. On a positive note the target of less time in the workshop and more on the water is meet this season for the first time since I started Moth sailing again in 2004.

Building a fleet here means building infrastructure too. We have the workshop sorted and nearly got the Moth trailer sorted. We have sorted the training and had a great time doing short races. We have 2 sorted boats that do not break after every sail. The next stage of Moth development in Austira is to get the racing sorted and help a bigger fleet develop.

So maybe that was the end of this season. Now I am starting to focus on the workshop and getting 3 boats in good racing condition for next season. I will then hopefully find a buyer for Tomahawk so that we have 3 boats in the area.

I am not sure if I will do the worlds next year as I think I would rather use my money for travelling locally to do events in Germany, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland and maybe even finish a race in Austria.

Thursday 18 September 2008

The show down.

I guess I should blog about the Mach 2, Prowler, Raptor, Aardvark and the new Bladerider series and builder but I do not know too much about any of them. However I think that each will offer different stuff to different people and the amount of interest in the Moth class at the moment means there is space for all, so the more the merrier. I wish good luck to them all, but there can be only one winner, if you measure the boat on world championship results. However I did not buy an Opal Astra 1.6 Estate because it won the F1 world championships, so I guess people should choose what is good for them. The only problem is working out what is important to you. However right now I feel really good about my Lord Flashheart.

Been hacking away on the IMCA website. I have imported data on 179 boats which members can now search. I am trying to build a replacement 2nd hand boat market which has died. If I get it right it will feed the database with data on boats and provide a real benefit for membership to the IMCA and its paid up members. So I have data structures to worry about and can build something that will be totally logical to me. However I did this with membership and no one gets it... I will write a HowTo at some point but first I want to help provide an answer to why. I am trying to get Phil to present my chaos in a way that users will get so we will see what is the result is...

I managed to fix my flap by cutting up a shackle pin to make a new barrel and going to 4 shops to get a 2.5 mm thread tap. I had no filler and carbon at home so in the attitude of Gui I used cotton wool and a lolly pop stick. The repair worked great but there is a lolly pop stick stuck to my flap which is not too fast. I tested it 2 weeks ago and it was fine. However I was out alone on an offshore wind that built to much so I bailed out and had to carry my boat 200m back through the shallow waters.

This Saturday is the big Austria Moth Saturday. Niki and I are going to do the MultiHull Cup race at Weiden YC. This will hopefully be the first proper foiling Moth Race in Austria that I know about. We both have a hull and so that makes us multihulls if we team up. There will be a few F18 cats to try and beat and a party afterwards. Perfect.

It will be a show down between old Moth experience and new Moth talent. I have never been beaten by Niki in a race that I have finished. However he has finished more races than me due to his determination and because he hides my car keys. Therefore he has beaten me in the 2 Moth regattas that we have done in Germany and the UK. This is my chance to show that the old Moth experience is worth more than the young upstart talent. So I will be taking a spare car key, but I hope this is my last realistic chance at the title of Austria Number one and that the Austrian fleet grows.

Monday 15 September 2008

Alp Dream Team

Albtraum is nightmare in German. So we dressed up as the Dream Team from the Alps for the Sergio Fonseca Touch Rugby Tournament.

We won the important fancy dress competition and all our games so we drew level overall with the Mexican bandits. They also won all their games and won the team spirit award. (So Tequila is a better spirit than schnapps)...

Heidi lost her rag (must be that time of the month) with Kletter Max when he would not sub off, but we managed to make friends again. Heidi was very proud of her son when he hung in there and scored an awesome try against the Mexican bandits.

All and all the tournament can only be described as an amazing sporting spectacle.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Big Moth performance gains are obvious.

One area where there must be a huge drag and potential performance gain is the vortex under the sail. I have not done the maths but ... we twist the sails and so the grunt comes from low down in strong winds. Sails are nice elliptical profiles on the way up but the bottom is definitely not. We use loads of downhaul to flatten and feather the top like a windsurfer, but that does not help the bottom which is doing all the work. So there must be a huge vortex under the sail and around the boom that is pure drag. Our smart windsurfing friends who have similar sails rake the rig back to close this gap.

So we have a 3.3 meter long boat and 2m wide sail so there should be room to cross the boat International Canoe style with the sail on the deck but we need a radical configuration change. Maybe we can do a tramp that goes between the sail and boom from wing bar to wing bar but then how do you tack....?

Also it is a bloody stupid idea to have the centre of lift in the centre of the boat. Why hike so hard when we could double the effective width of the boat. Once we are up we only need a small foil to stay up and why not put that down to leeward as there is plenty of power in the rig?

So while the corporations are working away on the next generation of Moths that will be faster (and bloody good luck to them), I thought it was time to try to see if it was possible to see if an open community discussion could work to get the boats to the next level. Moth performance has always been boosted by bloody obvious ideas like:
- Why not make the boats lighter by using materials with better structural properties.
- Why not make the boat wider with simple hiking racks.
- Why not make hulls lighter and less drag by making them narrower.
- Why not fly above the water on hydrofoils.

So why not move the centre of lift to leeward and reduce the vortex drag under the sail? The only problem is how and how?

Real Moth Sailing,

I have not been blogging about sailing a lot recently manly because I have been too busy doing it. I guess that Moth sailing is like sex. When you have not done it for a long time you can not stop talking and think about it, after you have just done it all weekend you are more relaxed about the topic... ;-)

Niki has posted some pictures of one of your training sessions. We did short courses round a windward and leeward mark.

Having done a lot of sailing (most weekend since the worlds) my maneuvers are no longer embarrassing and now I am moving on to other aspects of my sailing like boat speed. Niki is really fast and hi upwind and I am trying to work out why as he has the edge on me. I think it could be to do with the sail. I get out the water first in low winds but he is faster when up. I have pulled the downhaul hard to flatten the sail but I think the Hyde sail is just more powerful than his KA.

The really cool thing is that we are close and so racing and adjustments are critical, and results are clear, and learning curve very steep. If one of us gets away from the other then the guy behind does a shortcut skipping a mark and then it is back on again. This is so much fun.

My boat is now totally trashed from all the sailing and from ramming it into the bottom of the lake... I even split open the bow by hitting the bottom hard, however it was very windy at the time. So winter will be refurbishment time. For now it is a case of keep the thing on (or above) the water as much as possible as sailing time is where it is at.

Getting to this point has taken me since the 2004 Euros in Garda so it was a long trip but now it seams worth it. With growing interest in our fun and games there will hopefully be more Moths joining in next year. So the other winter job to do is get Tomahawk in a sailable and sellable state, because at the moment I own half the boats in the Austrian fleet.

IMCA News RSS Feed fixed (again) and Google Maps

The IMCA News RSS feed is now working properly. I do not know if anyone is using it apart form me and one Google Reader subscriber but at least the news with relative links on the IMCA site will not be always new now.

I have also added links to Google Map in the events list on the IMCA site so you can look up where the event is.

Joe I have not forgotten your updates and I will get round to it, but the google maps was too cool not to do first.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

World Championship Moth Blog: Third and final Blog Judge appointed.

Bloody Check.

Andrew Bloody Brown has no Moth Blog and so I have to post his Blog Championship Press releases.

I better win the prize that is all I can say.

Italian Nationas Cancelled

marco wrote:
Hi Doug,

I feel obliged to write a few words in defence of Peter and Umberto, the Class Secretary. In good faith they took on their shoulders the burden of the tedious and unrewarding chore of talking, discussing, trading E-mails back and forth, contacting the Torbole Sail Club,spending time and money of their own to organize the Italian Nationals only to discover that only three Italian competitors would have raced. This would have been a shame indeed.

They simply were compelled to accept a verdict that came from the lack of interest in the Class that the Italian Moth owners show. I told this already ( as I could ) at the AGM in Torbole: the boat is perceived here as a play tool not a racing machine. The boats that were sold in Italy did not automatically translate in an increase of subscribers to the Class. And this doesnt depend on Peter or on Umberto.

All the best,


I am disappointed that the Nationals are Cancelled but not upset with individuals. I know it is hard unrewarding work to organise stuff for the IMCA but I was hoping to travel to Garda to do this event. One because there would be a fleet of other Moths and 2 because Garda is the best place I have sailed and I am in Love with the place.

I hope we can get some (South East Europe) Moth events off the ground in future but to do this I think CRO, AUT, SUI, Southern DER and ITA my need to team together to start with.

So the next event on the Calendar is the Swiss Cup in Geneva. A bloody long drive for the weekend but if you win you get the Americas Cup to take home.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Releasing StatSCM 1.2.0 is just too easy.

> mvn release:prepare
> mvn release:perform

2 commands and StatSCM 1.2.0 is tested, packaged and distributed to all its users. They automatically get the new version, the source code repository is tagged and the project website it updated.

What does StatSCM do? It makes source code statistic reports like this. It does it by wrapping up 2 other projects (StatCVS and StatSVN) and extending org.apache.maven.reporting.AbstractMavenReport. Bloody easy and nearly a no brainier to manage.

Maven is such a great bit of software and gets the coveted Doug Culnane bloody elegant well designed software award. It is an inspiring example of how to take complex problem (like project management) and reduce them to a simple intuitive transparent easy to use model. If you do Java check out Maven.

Thursday 21 August 2008

IMCA Events get HI Tech.

OK I have a lot to catch up on the IMCA site thanks to Joe and his history update and Russ digging out the 1995 worlds result sheet. However I had to do this first because it is cool.

There is a new events listing page here:

These come out of our on-line database. The ical logo has a link behind it containing the list of each table in ical format. So you can import them into your favorite Calendar software. If you have good Calendar Software (not SM LookOut) then it probably supports ical files on the network. This means it is updated automatically for you. There are all sorts of other public calendars you can have added to your calendar eg: School Holiday, Public Holiday, Vienna Touch Rugby Calendar etc....

If you do not have a cool bit of Calendar software like the above plug in for Thunderbird the use Google Calendar.

On the Event Page there are links to ical files of the Worlds, the Euros, and All Events. There are also ical files for country events on the National pages eg: UK events

So you can import you can import the events for your local countries into you calendar. Cool or what?

Does it work? Not sure about that so tell me if you have problems.

OK assuming it works the problem will be to maintain the data in the database.... this will be done by the national committees and me if I get round to it. For now it is done by me but I will add links to the "Committee Menu" so national Committee members can do this in the future.

Sunday 10 August 2008

Windy sail yesterday: I blacked out.

I went out twice yesterday and each time the wind gusted up to a level where I was not sure if I could right the boat and make it back to the beach. I did twice with no real damage to the boat, but I want to coin a new phrase. If you wipe out you crash. If you black out you crash and have no recollection of what really happened. The boat is at some strange angle and some distance away and your shins hurt thanks to the cheese wiring they got. It all happened so fast is was like it did not really happen.

I blacked out a couple of times and once I had about 1 kg of mud stuck to the bow. At one point had the thing going downwind fast and in control. I was hiking not so that I would go faster but so that less of me would get cheese wired and was starting to enjoy it when I hit a fish and the rudder was nearly torn from my hand. I saved it but my short glimpse of self confidence was gone.

So I can not say I really learned much but at least I tried and had about 30 mins where the wind was low enough to actually sail and drive the boat rather than trying to slow it down.

I had reduced the lift on the rudder more and that made it much easier to drive the boat hard downwind, my maneuvers are getting better slowly and I am getting back in to the sailing routine but I till need a lot more time in the boat so I do not fall out of it so much.

There is no wind today so I do not want to spend 2 hours in a car to go lowriding on my own. So I will catch up on a few tasks at home. One of which is to sort out Tomahawk so that I can sell her. Hopefully this will lead to another Austrian Moth sailor as it is much better and more fun to have a group dynamic for training.

I have been playing with Goolge Calendar and it is so cool. I plan to make the IMCA events a remote ical file so that you can view them in your calendar software dynamically. This could be really cool but I am not sure if I should make this a members only service. What do you think?

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Bladerider FX and sailing on my own.

In Rohan's blog he states the X8 is selling well but he expects the FX to start out selling it...

Now I know nothing about Marketing but that is not going to stop me blogging about stuff I do not understand.

If I was going to buy a Bladerider I would buy and painted X8 hull with FX wingbars. Here you save a good deal of cash for not much penalty.

At the moment it seams that all the Olympic sailors are ordering so they have a new toy for after the games. This is going to create problems when they have to get back in their bath tubs for the next games. (poor bastards). Theses hot shots all want the best boat, so that means X8.

Not sure if we will see a shift to budget foilers but it could well happen, and the FX lowers the barrier to entry by dropping the price, so that is great. And there is no end of people fascinated by the boats and the fun they see you having in them.

I also believe that the difference in speed compared to the difference in sailors ability is negligible, and that even my old Tomahawk would be at the front of the fleet in the right hands. However if you are lowriding and others are flying then it is a sole destroying killer. I think the board windsurfers, who may be interested in the FX, will soon realize this and want the light weight boat. They all buy expensive windsurfing gear to be their first on the plane and not left floundering around while others shoot around them. I can see them buying an FX for the days when there is not enough wind for windsurfing, and then getting a lighter boat later, as they will be sailing in this marginal conditions a lot and notice the weight difference.

I hope the FX does sell and that there are more moths out there, as I have been sailing on my own for the last 2 weekends.

Managed to get my boat fixed up with a rebuilt foredeck, and even had a chance to fit an adjustable outhaul. Which is one hi tech gismo I have not have for the last 3 years...

I went out on Saturday and there was no wind at the lake when I got there, but I could see a storm coming. Going out into a storm is stupid and irresponsible but very Flashheart, so I rigged up. The storm feed me with 2 hours of force 2 to 5 winds and a great sail (or be it on my own apart from Yachts sailing back to the marina and windsurfers looking for gusts). I bailed out when the lightning got a bit too close and I was the only one left out there to get hit by it.

Sunday 27 July 2008

The Men from the Boys

I think I have caught up with the backlog of Moth Website updating (thanks for the help Scott) so I can now blog about my worlds.

I was whining and whinging about not being prepared for the Worlds before the event and so when I got there I was keen to sail but really unsure about the boat and if she would hold together. All those guesses about how much carbon goes where where not really tested.

We arrived there on the Thursday and I managed to get a sail on the Friday before the event. It was more wind that day than I had sailed the the boat in before but it was manageable. I did however rip a jammer off the deck which lead to the tramp getting ripped... I also realized than I did not really know how to turn corners and I was capsizing all over the place. The lack of buoyancy in the wings was clearly a bit optimistic and so I think I at least need to close off the wing bar tubes to get some help. However the sun was shining and I was blasting around trying not to crash into someone and had a lot of fun.

Due to the shocking weather Kati got some Kite Surfing in. She started to make it look easy so I persuaded her to let me have a go. I of course lost control of the kite and panicked as it started to lift me. I panicked and grabbed the only thing I had for security, a bar thing. 4 meters up in the air I realized that I should let go of the bar thing unless I wanted to continue my assent...

The next opportunity for a sail was the the speed challenge where I quickly realized I had too much lift on the rudder and Mike Cooke advised me that my wand was too thin. The result was I could not push the boat hard as she would disappear underwater.

Then my tiller extension detached form the tiller. So I lashed this together and got an escort back to the beach. (Beach? More of a wing a tramp destroying concrete...)

So it was with little confidence that I went out to race one. The new wand and reduced lift rudder were working better and the boat held up well. I was having a great time, However I was exhausted after about 5 mins and we had 4 races to go. However after lunch I sailed out for start 3 and the wind had built more. I decided that I was too tired and capsizing too much to really enjoy sailing and sailed home with a bent push rod. Swimming round the races just for a finish would have been a masochistic.

However Niki was determined to get finishes (or maybe to beet me overall) and so he managed to finish all 4 races. This was an impressive display of masochistic determination that has earned him the title "Number one Austrian Moth sailor".

Friday was the same deal I cruised round 2 races and Niki and I both did not have the energy for the third.

So yet again I finished around the middle of the fleet which is respectable. It is clear that this weather sorted the men from the boys and I was in the boys class. I need more fitness and more practice so I can tack without capsizing. Basically I need more sailing time and a more aggressive attitude. The boat was up to the challenge with only small breakages but I was not.

So "go sailing" was what I took from the event. Which is good as that turns out to be a lot of fun. So last weekend Niki and I got a couple of hours racing each other around short courses in a sunny force 3. Wow was it fun. I learned lots and sailed with the right aggressive concentrated attitude. I think it was Niki constantly referring to me as number 2 that helped. The boat had no issues it was just fun fun fun...

Yesterday off I went on my own to get some sailing in. It was gusty off shore and windy. Time to get the aggression. Come on Doug get your ass out there and go sailing the boat is fine and you need to learn to sail, your boat is call Lord Flashheart for fuck sake.

I can not say I sailed, I sat nervously on the boat waiting for it to throw me off randomly. So again I felt like a boy. I had no wing man, no rescue cover, and no idea what this thing was going to do to me next. I was more nervous than the boat.

I heard shouts of hilfe Hilfe HILFE HILFE HILFE coming for some kids in a blow up boat that was getting blowen out. I sat on my boat as it throw me in the direction of a Yacht that I asked to assist them, as it was going to be tricky to tow them in my Moth. I then sat on my boat as it flew, submarined and sailed past them and shouted "Yacht Commpt". They had stopped shouting and panicking and sat there with open moths trying to work out what the fuck I was sat on. They went from Panic to Shock to relief as they finally understood that they would get help. Then more relief when they realised the help was not going to be from me.

I was wondering if I should give up and go home while I still could and then I noticed that the front compression strut had pushed the V deck down about 5mm, like a 10cm diameter button had been pressed. OK at last I have a good excuse, I am going home, or rather to the workshop.

As for developing into a Man. Well I think this is going to be a slow maturing process.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Vs are in Us are out.

V hulls are in fashion. Check this new French boat.

There is more info here .

I am not sure about the step in the hull but the front is a lot like the Flashheart which I think is the way to go.

I was chatting about V hulls with Adam at the worlds and he said the same as me. He also found the V hull of the Raptor make the transition to foiling a lot smoother. You also get a foil assisted mode of sailing where the weight of the boat is shared between foil and hull. The shedding water with the hard chines seams to work well.

So I reckon V hull are the way to go but it will take a while for the big builders to do this as retooling is quite rightly not a priority for them now, and the reals speed advantage comes from being able and fit enough to sail the boat...

So (as the Flashheart project hoped and was designed to capitalize on) home builders have great opportunity to experiment with hull forms and build boats out of flat panels.

Wooof Woooooof...

Monday 14 July 2008

Back home and back on-line.

I have just finished updateing with all the press releases and links to stuff form the worlds etc... There is loads of stuff out there to read and if I have not got it all sorry send me a mail.

Alex did a fantastic job of the media officer and i want to thank her publicly for her work. The Moth class is a growing monster and if we want to feed it we need a full time media officer that is not a competitor at the worlds and other big events. Alex did this job perfectly.

I however did a shit job of updating the site but I warned you this would happen so if this a problem for you then get a subscription to The Daily Sail and piss off. I was on holiday.

I still have to update the results page ( so send me your favourite picture from the event cropped to 500px wide, named with your sail number (eg. AUT 3202.jpg) and with permission to use on this page. You can also send me boat and equipment details. This will save me loads of time.

I will do an update about my worlds soon, so watch this space for the news you have really been waiting for.

Tuesday 24 June 2008

Tomorrow the pilgrimage starts.

The rig is loaded with the Austrian Moths. I have sorted a new spare wheel.
The ferry is booked. I have nearly packed etc....

I will spend the next 2 days driving to the UK and hope to get there in time to meet Kati and Max who fly in on Thursday evening. My sister is getting married on Friday so there will be a big family party for 2 days after that. Then it is down to London to show Max where he was born and try to impress Kati with my cockney charm (wot I got wen I woz livin in Gwenich, init).

After being a tour guide and making up lots of stories about London. It is back up to Cambridge to pick up Niki and Ozren from the Airport. Then we all travel down to Weymouth on Thursday Morning. Kati will be there for a week before she goes off to play in the touch European Chanpionships in Paris, and Max will stay with Granny and Grandpa for an English holiday. If the logistics of this all work out it will be a bloody miracle.

So that gives me about 9 days of training, boat testing, repairing and tuning in Weymouth so I should be ready to start competing when it is time to pack up 3 boats and drive home at the end of the worlds. So I am not expecting to win the worlds but I am expecting to have a lot of fun.

So this is me going off-line as the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a laptop when I am on holiday. I will however try to keep the IMCA site up to date, but as I understand it there is free beer at the wedding and at the worlds...

Thursday 19 June 2008

The new rig,

Team Austria were packing our new rig till midnight last night.

The trailer that we got on ebay has been rebuilt for Moths and is really cool but does not fit Moths with wings on....! The guy that made it is a brilliant trailer builder but the result, although beautiful, is impractical when the boats have wings on. So the frame needs a re-think and the back cross bar needs to be removable or something. So we have a trailer redesign project for the light wind days at Weymouth, if you have any cute ideas....?

On the way back from the UK we will bring 3 boats so again we may need some cute ideas about how the 3rd boat and it's bits can be lashed on the frame or it will have to go on the car roof rack.

So finally we got 2 boats on the trailer and its box full of foils, toolboxes, epoxy, carbon, prodders, spare prodders, trolley wheels, covers, kite surfer, Bladerrider rigging mallet, wingbars, tramps.... This was a great relief, but not for the tyres, one of which relieved itself or air.

I wanted to take a picture for the blog but is was dark and very late so I will have to do this on Saturday, when I run around trying to get a flat tyre fixed.

Monday 9 June 2008

Ammersee skiff regatta

So the big Moth event of the weekend is of course the Ammersee skiff regatta near Munich. I was uming and aring about going then I decided sod it lets go, and I am so glad I did. Niki also decided to come which I think he also thinks was a good decision.

Here is a very quick report on my weekend:

Saturday was great but on Sunday there was no wind, which since I was so knakered from the day before I was not too disappointed about. On Saturday we were foiling in the gusts but mainly low ridding. My boat went great but I broke the prodder on 3rd lap of the first race. Then spent 2 races trying to find car keys to get the old prodder out my car but could not find them dispite sailing out to ask Niki where he hid them.

I sailed the 4th race with no prodder and no rig tension, kicker or cunningham so he mast would survive and I would get some more flying time. I was very slow upwind, then I sailed the wrong course and got DSQ. So I came last overall in the four race series with a RTD, DNS, DNS DSQ.

On the negative:
I had no watch for the start. I sailed every shift in the wrong direction. I got the course wrong. My wand jammed up just when I had the chance to take the lead at the leeward mark resulting in 2 crashes and a capsize at critical moment. Broken prodder, and tramp lashing rod. Cramps in the arms and sore everything. Chasing around trying to find car key for half the races. The wind was horrible. All in all I have a few things to improve on.

On the positive:
It was great to meet some "local" moth sailors. It was great to see some old familiar boats again. I learned lots and lots and lots and lots. My boat is fast, and flys well. The German fleet were great and we had a really nice atmosphere. Michi's holiday house was a amazing setting for a barbecue, breakfast and beers. The other skiffs (int 14, 49er and 18ft skiffs) were cool boats to be out sailing with. The sailing club was great. I now have 4 times as much flying time in the new boat.

The Flashheart is an awesome shape. I was taking off as early as or earlier than
Bladeriders with the same weight helms. The transition from lowriding to
flying is not noticeable. I have yet to crash in strong winds but the fine
bow and bouncy aft really works well in flat water. The V forward sheds
water like we wanted. Adam May did a great job on this hull design.

Felix and I met and exchanged boat building tips. He broke a push rod before the start of the first race so we could not get a picture of us both foiling. So here is my 2nd place in the build race pic.

Harald won low-riding Si Payne old Skippy. I will post the results up later.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

The German Job.

- Our trailer is not going to be ready to use.
- Niki's new centerboard has not arrived yet.
- I have done 2 flying hours and not really tested the boat.
- There is no wind forecast for Ammersee (5 hours drive) and a force 2-3 for the local lake (1 hours drive).

There will be a Moth regatta at Ammersee this weekend in Southern Germany and I really want to go to meet Moth sailors in person and get a weekend of Moth racing, beer drinking and barbecues. Carlo has done a great job organizing this and I really want to go and support this "local" Moth event. However Niki is reluctant to borrow gear which i understand and I do not want to miss out on training to sit by a windless lake. I also do not want to drive on my own for 10 hours when I could use the time finishing jobs on the boat sailing in more wind in the east and not spending a fortune on petrol.

I picked up my boat from the sailmaker yesterday. I have dismantled all the wings so it sits on half of my roof rack waiting for Niki's boat to join it. I just want the wind forecast to improve, and Niki to get his bits then it will be all systems go. Our fate is in the hands of the Wind Gods and the Delivery Monkeys.

The Italian Job

Last weekend we went down to Italy for a friendly Touch Rugby Tournament. Camped out by a lake in Southan Austria on Friday night and then visited Venice on Saturday.

Venice is amazing and well worth a visit before it sinks. It is a city with no cars only boats and river traffic congestion, and tourists.

So after a day and a half of tourism we get to the Tournament on Sunday mid day but the German Touch Rugby refs have pulled out. So there were 2 Italian touch rugby teams that new the rules and one non playing Touch Ref. We were the Austro-Irish team consisting of some Vienna guys and 2 Irish guys. There were 20 Italian Rugby teams, Rugby Refs, and 6 fields to play the 15min long games on.

So we explained the rules to the stand in rugby refs and started to play. Now do not get me wrong Rugby is a great game and these guys were good at it and there were even 2 guys that play for or have played for Italy, BUT Touch Rugby rules have evolved from Rugby training into a new sport where fast team work by mixed teams have fun. The rythum and tactics are very different to Rugby.

So we were frustrated that we could not play properly because the Rugby players did not know the rules. They were constantly committing pentaties. The Rugby players got more and more aggressive because they were getting beaten by a bunch of whimps and girls.

At one point a Rugby player did an instinctive Rugby full body check on me. I was so angry, not because he was trying to knock me out but because it was like playing tennis and someone running off with your racket. So I was ready to take a swing at him when I was wisely told to clam down and let the ref handle it (which he did).

Note to self. Do not pick a fight with an angry rugby team.

Anyway needless to say it was not the best tournament. We had a great close game with one of the Italian touch side who luckily beat us, so we could get out of there and start the long drive back. Some of the other Vienna guys stepped in and did some reffing which was brave...

This is not the last time I go to Italy to do a touch tournament because I like Italy a lot and the 2 touch teams down there were great. However it is the last time I play touch against a rugby team as it is a waste of time. This is a shame because these rugby guys were very skillful and have some great moves, but it is like playing table tennis on a volleyball court, it just does not work, unless you can agree on some rules and play to them.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

IMCA On-line database update.

There is a new version of the IMCA online database deployed to the live server. In this version:

- I have fixed the sailing club data.
- There are French translations from Jean.
- Active IMCA Members can search the contact database.

Please log in and report any problems to me.

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Results from the first foiling Moth Race in Austria.

Niki and I were on the water early. I had my newly repaired tramps and new Hyde sail. I had spent the morning rigging and sorting out the boat. The sun was out the wind was light but forecast to come in up to a force 6. There were loads of day sailors and a few cats as we sailed out the the start in the building breeze. There was loads of interest in our boats and we needed a little more wind to fly and take on the Hobbie Tigers. As we got to the start boat it was looking like it could be an awesome debut for the foiling Moths, in this 2 race regatta.

5 min later the wind had fucked off totally and then after one and a half hours of sun bathing the race was abandoned. So I drifted in only to find my prodder from the old boat had collapsed under the pressure from its wrong angle. The wind came after I de-rigged but I was to disappointed to get motived to try and go out again with a splint round the prodder. Niki launched and destroyed his centerboard after loosing his flap.

Bit disappointing all round.

So I have some more boat work which is no big deal but Niki has more. I am not sure when i will have the next opportunity to test the boat and get her more sorted... So worlds preparation is looking characteristically poor... Could this be the model for surprise win against the guys who get nervous when they go 2 day in a row without training? I suspect not.

Moth sailing can be like that at times so you have to make the most of the good days and shrug of the bad.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Chocks away Woof Wooooof.

I name this ship Lord Flashheart, may the winds good bless her and all that shall fly in her.

The grin is still on my face after a fantastic weekend. Max and I had 2 days of boat basteling and pimping. I wanted to put a double black stripe down the hull to add a touch of class but they had run out of black stripes at the car accessories shop and so I took pimping advice for my 7 year old son. He could not convince me that the dragon tearing its way out of a Carbon Fiber petrol cap sticker was very Moth, so we settled on flames. He is convinced they are cool so at my age I have to seek the advice from the younger generation on such matters. (Flames are also very Flashheart and a nice reference to "Nemesis" which was the basis for her design.)

The new Hyde sail had not arrived last week so I rigged up the old sail on Monday. We weighted the boat (on a grass surface so it is not an accurate number but it is fair to say) she is under 30 KG. This is surprising and a very competitive weight. (We did not get round to weighting Niki's Boat but I do think it is lighter...!...)

We launched the boat into a very light wind, which gave me the chance to gently test things. However although she is much nicer and easier to sail than the older low-riders in light winds, there is no escaping that Moths are not fun in light winds and the Laser Pirate school is better use of the time and more fun.

After schnitzel we went out on the Laser for more pirate school. The wind had built a bit so I had to try the Moth again. Pirate school went a bit too well as it meant I lost my camera crew to the call of the sea (or See). Therefore I have no pictures of Lord Flashheart flying, for the build race with Felix, which is now a who can upload a picture race.

When a Moth launches it is a crowd puller. These boats are cool or maybe the crowd just want to see a car wreck, however half of them seem to want to buy one until you tell them how much they cost. I even got asked if I would build one to order so the paint job on Flashheart can not be that bad.

I had to set the rudder angle of course which I got way wrong and had a bow down flight attitude to start with. But with that sorted she was awsome. She takes off easily low rides well and nothing looked like breaking. I was one happy chap. I even pulled of my first foiling gibe.

Niki rigged up and we did some formation flying buzzing the various stationary boats out on the lake. Both Moths are well matched and we had some fun drag racing which really shows that small mistakes lead to big looses. Unfortunately the low windage mesh tramp material turned out to be low strength as well so I was slowly going through it.

I swapped boats with Niki just as the wind was dieing to lowriding only conditions. The Bladerider seamed huge. It is not really that big but the Flashheart is really an arrow and all the buoyancy if aft with pinched pin tail. This is really a radical step away from the Hungry Tiger standard and so far I would say it is a good one, or at least it is definitely not a disaster. Full credit to Adam May for the lines of this machine they look like the mean business and they seam to do the job well. He had the courage to do a flat panel design with rocker and I think it works well.

So the conclusions are she is light fast (drag racing she matches the World Championship wining Bladerider). She is easy to sail and behaves well. (my control cable mounting on the wand being at a different phase to the normal boats I think is a winner.) The small rudder horizontal from Aardvark seams to make the boat less critical to rudder AOA position and I never changed it other than the gantry strut length to set up the right amount of lift. Her paint job is a bit rough and lines are a bit wobbly if you look close but to get this right I would still need a couple more weekends to finish her off and be launching her at the worlds.

So now the job is to learn to sail. This is the really fun bit. Of course I expect a few problems and jobs as she is a prototype really but so far so good. The tramps are at the sailmaker's and will get a new stronger mesh fitted this week (I hope). I have measured up the correct prodder dimensions, and laminated up some airfoil sections so I hope to get this glued together soon. There is a handicap race on Saturday at Weiden (where the boat was launched) and so Niki and I will do our first race. Niki tells me that we will use the official Austrian handicaps for the Moth which have not been updated in 40 years. So if we can beat the Lasers round the course we should do well... Maybe a little chat with the race officer is a good idea or we will not make too many friends.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

Never ending job list.

I picked up the boat from Maletschek on Friday before my Touch Ref course started. I was busing on Saturday with the Ref course practical so it was Sunday before I got to finish of the boat so I can sail her.

However the end of the tunnel keeps moving. The tramps look good and should let air through nicely, and most of the fittings are sorted. However the rudder stock is still not laminated and the wand control rods are not working well enough and so I will try to scrap them and use a cable instead.

So again I have at least one day of boat work before she can launch...

The sail should arrive this week and I have a 3 day weekend next weekend. So it should be realistic to launch the Flashheart next weekend.

Luckily my stays from the old boat are the right length to use, however the prodder invokes inverse bend in the mast. This should be OK to launch the boat but I will have to make a new prodder before the worlds.

The job list is:
Laminate bottom gantry strut to gantry.
Spray gantry
Laminate tiller to ruder stock.
Fit rudder raking mechanism in tiller
Fit tiller extension.
Get Cable for control linkage.
Cut out old control rods and fill holes.
Fit anchor points for control cable.
Swap tramp lashing rods for smaller ones.
Check new sail fits.
Set kicker length.
Fit protectors on mast.
Rope out.

Check everything works on and add problems to new job list.

Make new prodder.
Help sort new (second hand) trailer for worlds trip.

It is frustrating that the launch date keeps slipping but it is a lot of fun doing the last bits. These bits are worth getting right because they make a big difference to the boat on the water. So long as she works well an holds together I will be happy, the build finish is not so important. That is why I will rethink the control rods rather than lash together the half working system I have now I will fit a more solid cable.

The build quality is not great as I should have used more than 40 grid to sand her before spaying... However I need her in the water now and she look good from a distance. I can always spend a few weekends sanding down next winter to get a good finish but right now it is time to sail.

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Touch and Flashheart

Last weekend was the first International Touch Tournament in Vienna. We hosted a tournament for 8 teams from 6 countries. My Vienna team ended up 2nd and we played great.

I however am really disappointed with my performance. 2 Italian guys stayed with me so I took them out the night before the tournament to get them drunk so that they would not be on form at 9am the next day ;-). The plan backfired a bit. The next morning I was running like a scolded cat and soring tries in the first two 25min long games. Come the third my legs hurt and I was struggling. I sat out the semi final and the team played a blinder to get through to the final. So I had to play the final and had rested, re-hydrated and feed my body with all the modern energy sweets and drinks you can imagine. However running was nothing sort of increadably painful. The match adrenalin I hoped would act as a pain killer was not strong enough. So I was slow and a liability and spent most of the game subbed off. This is all a bit frustrating and a reminder that i am no longer 18.

So the last 2 tournaments I have ended not being able walk off the pitch. Time to start looking after myself a bit and getting fitter.

In order to restore my ego here is me scoring.

Our Mascot:

The players:

It was a really great day and big success so I hope the teams that traveled to play will come back again next year.

So back to the Flashheart. I have Thursday off so I hope to get some work on the boat done. Unfortunately the boat is still at the sail makers. So in an ideal world I will get my boat with tramps and a new sail from Hyde on Friday, do an evening Touch Ref course. Saturday is the Ref course practical and Sunday is rig and launch day. However the chances of the boat rigging up really easy without messing about are zero so the launch date is hopefully 10th or 11th of May. Maybe tomorrow Tomahawk may get another outing..?

There is a new skiff designed and built for foiling, rather than strapping foils on to an existing boat. I think it is an awesome project. Check it out.

Off to touch training now to see if my legs will work again.

Apache and Steam Engines: the magic of collaborative innovation

There is a very interesting presentation here . It relates a lot to open source programming but the beginning describes steam engine innovation and Patents. It turns out Patents were bad for the steam engine innovators and good for the lawyers of the time. When patents expired development ideas were shared and as a result innovation and steam engine efficiency skyrocketed.

If you want to understand how and why open collaborative development works then it is very interesting so check it out.

Thursday 24 April 2008

Moth prototype Sphinx-colibri

The Brits do not tend to like the French which is why some years ago we dug the English Canal to stop them coming over and laughing at our bad weather and crap food. But check this out. This is a collaborative French project to build a Moth, and she looks great. They hope to launch her soon and take her to the Worlds but here is a sneak preview of the project.

I'm very pleased that you hear about our project.

I worked on this project with Tristan Pouliquen. Each of us has his own society specialised in naval Architecture and building:

Sabrosa (Olivier Gouard) and Diben (Tristan Pouliquen).

Just for a brief history of the project, in early 2007, we were both in contact with Nicolas Bessec (French IMCA president) and working on a Moth project. We met finally in July 2007 at the French Moth Meeting in
Noirmoutier, thanks to Nicolas.

Each of us has worked on different part of the project, Tristan had a Hull/deck moulds made of his design and I had Foils moulds of my design, so we decided to join forces to achieve a new Moth prototype. We have also benefited of a great support from the ISMANS (engineering shool) of which I’m a old student.

Tristan built the boat in the Sabrosa’s workshop with the great help of Anthony Rezzoug (Moth sailor and Professional boat builder). We brought the boat, partially finished, at the Paris boat show in December. Back to the yard, the foils had been built and we delivered the boat to Philippe Lejeune ( 15 days ago.

Philippe has not yet find a solution for the rig/sail, so we haven't tested the boat. Hope it will be OK.

Design brief Moth prototype Sphinx-colibri:

Tristan designed the hull in early 2007, the shape is not extreme (big aft rocker and quiet a lot more freeboard than the last generation). He built it in a female mold (owned by Franck Cahagnier) in Carbon/PVC sandwich with a great finish.

I worked with Gerard Bouteau (former designer at the Marc Lombard Design office) for the design of the foil also in early 2007. We made an intensive work on the Hydrodynamics and chose to go for a Karman style blending to join the 2 parts Foils. There's a small recess on the Extrados of the foils on which the rudder/centerboard foot is bolted with 2 M5.

Builder: Diben Sarl
Hull/deck design: Tristan Pouliquen
Foils: Sabrosa Sarl and Gerard Bouteau
Shipyard: Sabrosa - 44 avenue FA Bartholdi - 72000 Le mans - France

We are very new in this class, and very impressed by the spirit of it. Nicolas Bessec has done a huge work in France to promote the boat and David Balkwill was perfect too.

Hope we can meet very soon, may be at the Moth World.

Best regards,

Olivier Gouard
Ingénieur architecte naval