Montag, August 10, 2009

First results from Cascade Locks

The first race has been finished. Follow the action here on the events twitter page: Twitter

Less Moth blogging, more Moth sailing

Two days of practicing with the Moth against my friends in their Fourteen (14)last week might have helped me to nail a second at our Moth weekend regatta in Bad Zwischenahn past weekend. The practice on the Schlei provided me with marginal foiling conditions on the first day and with conditions, which saw both of us being overpowered in the strong easterly gusts. On the first day the Fourteen had a clear upperhand on me when I sank into non-foiling mode. The speed dramatically going down to 3-4kn (I used the Velocitek on both days) and the two boys were still able to hang low on their trapezes and to glide away from me upwind. (see photo) I had "learned" at our training session in Horsens with the Danish friends, that the boat (s) behind should take a shortcut and not go round the mark. This brings the boats back together and the energy and fighting spirit rises immediately instead of dropping when much behind after the mark rounding. This was not build in my mind and at first a bit difficult to adapt. As a racing sailor I am so used to go around the marks that a short cut is a no-go at all means. Flying downwind it was´nt too bad on the Moth whilst foiling but during the maneuvers the Fourtenn gained. Must say: Jan and Sönke sailed like experts. Always on the better side of the course. Gybing on the gusts and beating me regularly. They will be a team to be recognized in their class regattas. A pity that Jan is so busy, working as a sailmaker that he cannot manage to make his own new mainsail for his boat.

Thursday was a different day out on the water. Whitecaps all over the place. Starting with 4 Bft, later 5 Bft gusting a bit higher. Time to pull out the stops on my Moth. And so I did. I could beat them big time upwind, though their speed showed an impressive 12 -12.5kn and same height as myself. My speed clocked upwind between 13.5 and 14.2kn, of course also showing some lower speeds. The weather mark (cardinal mark) which we choose had been in a difficult spot. Traffic and shallow water close by. I did not want to ruin my foils, therefore mostly approached the weather mark in low riding, pointing high mode. Thus we did round this mark not far apart most of the times. Downwind I had a speed burst of course when pulling hard on the rudder and bearing away but once the 14 had set their gennaker they were often able to go lower with the same speed. Thus the results depended on the gusts. Who jibed first and who handled the jibe best. The 14 went into the brink one time, I stuck the mast into the mud once, doing a hectic leeward mark rounding. But it had been the best evening sailing this year. Smiles all over our faces and still smiling when we had a chat about our session the next day at the sailmakers loft. We will do it again for sure.

The regatta in Bad Zwischenahn is not worse much mentioning as all eyes are glued to the Moth worlds. Anyone interested can read about our regatta at Felix Blog entry (english). For the folks who are interested in the Moth Worlds, there are some useful links here on the right side. Read Scott´s blog, Rohan´s or Simon Payne´s or go to the official site. All just a mouseclick away as they say. Sailing Anarchy in their Dinghy Forum section also puts up all the latest info and has some interesting discussions running. Next racing here for the North German Moth fleet (maybe some Danes are also coming???) will be in a fortnight (22/23.8.) in Kühlungsborn Anmeldeformular on the Baltic Sea.

Sonntag, August 02, 2009

Wish I had more time (like most everyone else...)

Though sailing does not have high priority in these stressful days, I was able to do some Mothing and a week of cruising with my family and the little Bull7000. This brought my sailing days counter up from 33 to 44 days within one and a half month. In my head, during this time, there were a few posts taking shape but at the end other things became more important. Thus, before rambling about the OCS and DNF point system at an international regatta, I thought that I have to have a deeper look into the current ISAF rules and subsequent SI´s from the event organizers. The funny thing is the head game. Driving to a regatta e.g. there are always a couple of headlines coming into my mind. Difficult to stop them when you are cruising along on the motorway, cruise control set and just looking ahead to a sailing event. Same on the way home. Even when it was frustrating like in the Moth EC in Horsens, DK, with too much wind and waves to handle for me. OK, I did sail two days but was only able to put in one result. In hindsight, I should have been able to let myself get lapped two times and then sail through the finish but those are thoughts which only come in hindsight. Once you are out there, mental and physical strength "broken" from tumbling with the boat on the downwind and unable to sail (fly) for longer than a few hundred meters, all I wanted to do, was to bring the boat save home without major damage. And that is what I did. Only more practice and a better fitness regime can help me to better my results in those conditions.

After the Moths EC we decided to cruise with our little one on the Schlei Fjord and that was a very nice experience. So close with the family on this 7,50m boat, going to nice, cozy places with the ability to lift the keel, we certainly will do more... when there is no racing in the way. I should mention here that we even did 3 days of sailing with the jib alone. Downwind of course. There is so much more to see when only going 4-5kn instead of the fast and often two digit 3 sail runs we would normally do with our sportsboat.

On the last July weekend I had committed myself to go to Horsens, DK again, to practice with Søren and friends with our Moths. This time the wind was offshore with less waves, still white caps but nice sailable conditions. Only the water felt much colder than 3 weeks before and I had do give in after 3 hours because I was freezing and feeling uncomfortable. On Sunday morning Sven did some dry training for the foiling jibe with me, more or less asking, how I am approaching the maneuver and one of my biggest mistakes during the jibe had been discovered. Thanks to Sven there is an improvement now and I only hope for more practice time. The past weekend had light wind and only some foiling time on Saturday. Having learned much about the set-up´s and subsequently having done some work on my foils the boat flew early and high. If it was fast and high only the next racing with tell. Therefore I do hope for some wind on the coming weekend at Zwahn. And of course competition. Do not let me sail alone with Sven. He will take revanche for last years regatta, I am sure. Oh, and I am trying to read those blogs about the Moth Worlds at Hood River, Cascade Locks, USA taking place in 8 days. This will be one exciting event with all those ex-Olympian sailors, with the much trained Swiss squad as well as Rohan Veal and Aussie friends coming to the event and some people who think they may have a technology advantage. Many Moth links on my page here. Stay tuned.