Last week we had set up a little Moth training on the Schlei, the "Fjord" which is connected to the Baltic Sea where I live. A friend, Peter, came along with his pregnant wife Mellie and three sons (10,12,14 years old), and they brought with them: a Laser, a 29er, a RIB and a Bladerider Moth. You guess it, the Bladerider belongs to the father and the two of us wanted to practice a little bit together. For the followers of the Bladerider story and namely the one who regularly read Rohan Veals Blog you might remember Peter as the German guy who forgot to breath when he was out for the first time on the "flying machine" at Black Rock, Australia. Peter is distributor for RONSTAN and other Marine Hardware. He had been out on the boat for only 2 sessions before and I had 5 whilst the last one (I haven´t reported about it....) had been less exiting. To say the least. It was blowing 12-15 kn, I thought I could handle it but the boat showed me the "middle finger". OK, there was no other one out there that evening, no one to rescue me, just in case and I realized pretty soon that the boat would drift away from me after a capsize, drifting away quicker than I was able to swim. Therefore I might have been a little bit too "ängstlich". Also I had the feeling that the boat was sticky. Did not really want to fly.
OK, came last week with two Bladeriders out in a nice breeze, Peter has shown lots of talent. His airtime was only to be stopped by the shoreline and necessary maneuvers whilst my airtime was limited and my day out shortcut by a broken swivel. No spare part available gave me such frustration in the early afternoon that I was not able to do something about it and I only watched Peter flying past, than Kerstin on Peters boat and the absolute shocker: The 12 and the 14 years old just did it. No fuzzing around. Getting on the boat, taking off and doing some nice runs. Amazing and a prove that the product is a good one. Absolute beginners just doing it! In hindsight I think that the swivel on my boat broke, because some of us, mabye me, might have catched the wand under water whilst swimming around the bow. The wand is fixed in a Teflon swivel and after a while this part broke and the wand could not "get me up". Later that afternoon I took the part into my workshop, found a nice little solid carbon block, flexed it into shape, drilled the necessary holes and back to the boat and fixed it. There was still the Thursday left for two boat sailing. Bladerider also confirmed immediate despatch of a spare part. Thursday there was only very light wind but we were so keen to sail that we got both boats out and did a bit of light air practice. It was fun. It seemed that we both had read Koos Blog: Flying a Moth for starters > who gave the tip to free the daggerboard foil and take the wand out of the water. Lowriding the Moth in these conditions needs concentration and is some kind á fun. Some pumping action, some OK and some bad tacks and than we got stuck on the downwind home. We called for the RIB and each of us put a wing up on one side of the powerboat, set on it and drove home to the club. De-rigging, packing up and a promise to do it again. It is fun with one Moth but it doubles the fun with two! By the way: the picture above shows Peter at his third day out! Click on the picture and look at the GPS speed.