Tuesday 9 February 2010

Pump it up.

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

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

The arguments against unlimited pumping are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 8 February 2010

Moth Blog Mojo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that is a good point to stop.