Blogging had been quiet at the Moth front with our Bladerider, though it seems that at present I am the only one to put energy into getting some hours on the boat, GER-3170, lately. Let me sum up the last adventures. The picture shows me on my first day out. Style has improved a lot since than... ;-))
Last week on Wednesday evening there appeared a good chance for sailing though it was already around 18.00h but the breeze was cooperating. Nice 8-10kn of wind on my homewater (if there is such). I blasted around on foils, "impressing" my sailing friends who were doing the "beer can race". Lot´s of fun. Big grin. Of course I tried to sail the race as well but did not want to get into their way as capsizing the Moth is still happening in the worst moments with me. There had been a Europe dinghy and a Formula Board in the fleet of normally X-99s, X-79s, H-boats, Folkboats and others. Going to windward, not as high as the bigger boats and falling into their wind shadows did hurt. Capsizing of course. I avoided the crowded mark rounding and tried to set myself up for a nice downwind run. Got flying but could not make good VMG to leeward. Lowrider jibing still critical and afterwards nearly going into the wind to get flying did not help either. The Formula Board was long gone as well as the fleet under spinnaker. Some lulls cost me more distance and I was neck to neck with the Europe. The wind had dropped and I could not even sail as low and fast as young Adrian did. My lowriding ability not being good enough to match him. I stayed off the race course got back were there was more wind due to the impacting effect on the narrow and blasted around on foils. 16-18kn on the Velocitek not being a problem. Practising my downwind skills.
I went out again on the Thursday full of energy from the day before but it was windy and shifty, wind from the North over the narrow and the fun factor was nearly down to zero. I am not yet able to handle the gusts. I limped home, my ego was broken for the evening due to the many capsizes.
Wednesday evening this week I gave it another try. Fully motivated it was a nice evening out there with some tacks and jibes but all maneuvers need much, much more improvement. I am very grateful for the tips from Koos ( http://internationalmoth.wordpress.com/) as usual. He writes it up in such a nice way. I wasn´t ready to cope with the downwind speed of the beer can racers again as I did not get the BR flying in the dying evening breeze. With maybe 20kg less weight it could have been possible but than, being 190cm tall, I already have to watch to keep a certain weight instead of loosing more. Nevertheless in the narrow I met with my regular Bull crew, Jan, who was sailing his 14 (footer dinghy) and there were times when I could cope with his upwind speed, just about. But it got late already, the breeze died and I had to sail home. Downwind it was another slow go. I undid the wand to increase speed a bit. Being alone at the club and wanting to take the daggerboard out of the boat it was impossible. Really impossible. Some sand must have got in between the very narrow and fitting box. I had to strip the rig from the boat in the water and had to carry the boat with centerboard/foil ashore, where I laid it upside down on the cover into the club. It was getting dark and I had promised to do some household work before going out sailing. Bloody me. Lot´s of water and wash lotion helped me to get the board out next day and I can only recommend to wash or splash water into the slot before attaching the boards. As with any dinghy...I know! Stupid me.
Yesterday I went out again for an hour of nice foiling. I met the youngsters in their 29ers and could match their speed up-and downwind, as long as I was able to foil. Nice! My shoulder gave me problems after some tough hiking (why the shoulder?) and Veel-heel but it was another "happy" evening. The youngsters wanted to give the BR a try but due to the maintenance work which has to be done afterwards, especially when newbies are sailing the boat and maybe hitting some underwater object in the area, I am not fond of this idea at present. It might change with time. Thinking back, nobody had ever let me have a go e.g. on his DN iceboat or his FD and I had to work hard to buy myself into it in my mid twenties. Times have changed and these 17 years old, sailing a club 29er, are just used to ask for (and get?) everything and I hope that they are also used to accept a NO.