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.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Thanks for the report.
I can promise you. You will get there. Those guys who had lapped me during Kiel Week were´nt able to do it this weekend in Horsens. And the guy whom I raced with most of the time, got lapped by me in all races. But still big speed differences to Jens and Christian who won in that order.
Your story brought a memory from Sunday, when a lady in a 9m wooden cruiser waved helpless with a rope into my direction, flying past her. What could you do. Give a schlepp?