Montag, August 23, 2010

Impressions from the Startline at Silvaplana

Still on the road to do some business whilst down in the south, I can recommend to those who want to know more about the happenings at the Moth EC (with some outstanding top sailors from abroad) to read the blogs of other Mothies. (see link on the right) For my part I can only say, I have never done an event with 14 races in total. Mostly 3 races a day in the demanding Moth. With a few capsizes, usually on the downwind the body felt sore and tired already after day 2. I had given up 2 races when the wind blew over 25 knots and for the first time I stuck the tiller through the sail in one race. Getting back to shore and changing sail for the next race was not a problem.

The one thing that sticks to my mind had been the great sportsmanship and cooperativeness to help everyone who had a breakage. Parts had been lend out, laminates had been done overnight for others who had not done this before so that everyone was able to get back on the startline for the next day. Something that reminds me a lot about the spirit in the DN class. It was also motivating that some of the top sailors cared a lot about us, the rest of the fleet. For example they pushed the race organisers to extend the "open period" of the finish line from 10 to 15 minutes. Which meant that a lot more sailors were able to finish after saling the full 4 lap course instead of being timed after 2 or 3 rounds. (Grand Prix Finish)

As there are only a few sailors with more points on the scoresheet than myself, I have a lot of motivation to improve. I like the class and I just love the foiling. Markus, the top German sailor (placed 13th) analysed his result as being 2000 practice tacks short to break into the top five. For me this could mean that I need to add 2000 jibes to get a result mid fleet. We will see if this is possible.

Dienstag, August 17, 2010

Silvaplana - a lousy Internet Connection tonight

Trying to send a report and photo off to a friend on did not work but maybe this one will do it. A shot of the first start from the far distance. I am sure that those with a good internet connection will have all the reports and results which we, the sailors here at Lake Silvaplana will only see tomorrow. The sailing was great. Even with the cold water. I would not have started a fourth race as already in the third one I could feel a loss of power and concentration. The boom struck my back several times and it took away the cap from my head two times. Tacks were awfully slow and despite a very good start in the third race (who tried to squeeze in at the boat end with no right of way? Could have let you bump into the starting vessel) lost sight of most of "my friends" with and against whom I am racing in this big fleet. But fun it was. I came off the water with a big smile and I am thankful to Carlo who helped me to drag the boat out of the water. Without him it might have stayed there overnight. The Aussies are doing very well despite a finish line deep in the upper bay of the lake with a lot of non-foiling. Easy to win or loose 10 places here. Maybe this will be changed tomorrow.

Edit: Photos do not work today.

Montag, August 16, 2010

Moth EC - it´s real, the snow has arrived

Waking up this morning, there was some blue sky shining through the shades. Got up early and it was cold but the sun came up over the mountains. And there had been snow. Not just a little bit but as you see from the shot a bit more down to abt. 2200m. And we are at abt. 1800 m altitude. Lots of waterfalls and small rivers and all spend their ice cold water into the Lake Silvaplana. No wonder the Dutch Moths ventilated. Mine did not fly but that could have been another reason. Sweet-water kelp. Anyway during the day it started raining again, which made wet sanding easy for some participants with mud and garbage on the rigging area now taking over.

There had been a practice race today. And we had to collect our transponders to carry on the boat. Who in the world wlll know about the tracks of the sailors behind place 10? I was actually thinking about putting mine under the table in the tent (with tape) It would have looked like I am stationary at work here in Silvaplana and not drifting around on a cold, rainy day on some mountain lake. I am not sure who won that 4 lapper practice race. I was told that Nathan was circling around Simon but have no eye witness as I was in the way of Scot some times. Had a good lowriding race with Harald who beat me to the mark. We both had sailed 2 laps after having been lapped. But it seemed that nobody sailed up to the finish line and cared about a result. The official site (see Linklist) will have more information.

Tomorrow the weather will improve. I just heart from Markus that we will have 20kn of wind. Alright for me as I am still flying low. Have to work out better settings on the new boat.

Donnerstag, August 12, 2010

Not Monster, but Moth Garage...

Packing up for the Moth EC at Lake Silvaplana, Switzerland caused some small headache. What goes where, what does fit and how much dismantling is necessary to load the boat on the camper. Decision time. The cat is not yet out of the bag but will be soon.

Looking forward to the road trip with family. "Sind wir bald da???" and other spectacles. I am looking forward to meet with friends and other sailors Entry List from around the World and my personnel goal is to have as few alphabets as possible and to get some scoring on the sheet. Of course fighting hard but not to bumb into anyone. Sailing fair. There is some internal competition between me and my fellow Moth friends Harald and Gerold. Two others from the German fleet have practiced for two full month and we will see how they are doing. Exciting days, I can tell you. Feels a bit like going for your first date.

Montag, August 09, 2010

Talk about Wings, I couldn´t resist

Admiring guys like Adam May, who are not only able to put to paper a great idea but also being able to follow it through and to handle it on the water, I could not refuse myself to put this into a blog entry. There have been drawings of wings before, there have been wing rigs long ago on Russian & German iceboats, but the three most amazing wings for me have been the ones pictured here and designed and built lately. Great times and I look forward to see Adam´s Wing at Silvaplana, CH. The Moth EC 2010 entry list reads like the who is who in Mothing and more like a WC instead of an EC. How comes? More developments to be shown?

I had to nick one or the other photo for this entry and if I have harmed anyones business, I am willing to pay. It is just that I could not discover the origin.

Mittwoch, August 04, 2010

Some foiling and some tinkering on the boat

Oh, this always feels good and brings back memories from winter work on the DN. Going into the workshop early morning before breakfast to have a look if the epoxy cured properly and if the job done is a good one or needs some more tinkering. Found out lately that I had a very sticky connection from the wand to the push rod. Maybe it was the wrong lubricant together with my home made carbon swivel which did not turn around smoothly. Gone back to the original nylon (had a spare one) swivel and had to do some alterations. New, longer wand with paddle to see if the ride height could be improved. With my weight (no way to get it under 83 kg) on the boat this should help to gain some time during the manoeuvres before sinking in and spoiling the jibe.

It already looked good last Saturday when I had two short sessions. The first one just to realise that the hiking straps were too loose and I had rigged the wrong mainsheet. (way too long) This made sailing uncomfortable and after a while I sailed back to the shore to change things. And than it felt good. Really good. I saw Rod (my regular crew on Wednesday night races) with his family out there in the blue Bull going for a holiday trip and I did two "fly by´s". Wow, showtime. Up high, crossing his wake, nearly above his stern deck, nailing, (ok, nearly) a smooth jibe and hiking my ass out as it was windy. His girlies with camera in hand. Rod was sailing with jib only, me with all controls pulled to the max. A great afternoon out on the water after re-assembling the boat.

Yes, this foiling jibe thing. I am glad for Koos and anyone else out there who are managing it after some hard times going for it. I still have to practice more to be able to nail more than 30%. During the German Championship I had the will to do it. Concentration was all right and I nailed the first one on the downwind to set an example...for me and my fellow competitors Harald and Gerold who have played in my league. But it was only one nice jibe I did. Missing the lay-line did not help me and with some frustrations working their way up into my mind I did more mistakes, like not realising that I had been lapped and going for another round before noticing that the 3 boats behind me were already finishing. Does this turn me away from going to the Europeans? No, not at all. Everyone seems so excited. Moth sailors are coming in from the USA and Australia and what else. To sail in the European Championship on a swiss lake, high in the mountains with a thermal breeze called the Maloja. The Silvaplana had been on my agenda already many, many years ago when I was sailing my FD. But is was always the skiing part which turned me off from those great ski/yachting events held in St. Moritz. Still cannot and will not go skiing. Lot´s of other things to do in winter time.

The foto above shows a group gathering of Moth sailors at the beautiful Lake Walchensee during the German Championship.