Bladerider News - December 2008
2008 Sail Sydney Regatta
A fleet of 18 Foiler Moth's assembled for the annual Sail Sydney Regatta at Woollahra Sailing Club. Three Bladerider sailors from the United States flew out early for the event and all three finished inside the top four overall places.
Charlie McKee from San Diego launched his brand new Bladerider X8 in Sydney and ended up first overall thanks to sailing an extremely consistent regatta. Local Sydney Mothie Scott Babbage finished in 2nd place overall while Bora Gulari (Bladerider X8) from Detroit ended up in 3rd after rounding the wrong marks in heat one. The big highlight however was 16 year old Hans Henken (Bladerider X8) also from the San Diego who finished an outstanding 4th overall, beating some of the fastest Mothies in the World.
2008 World Champion John Harris also competed in his first Moth regatta after a five month break in a borrowed X8. John obviously had to dust off the cobwebs from himself and the boat, but still managed to finish an impressive 5th overall. Not bad considering he missed two heats due to a broken batten and broken vang block and then missed another race to sail his 18' skiff. He showed improvement throughout the regatta also to win the last two races.
16 year old hot-shot flyer Hans Henken all the way from the USA.
Photo: Christophe Launay. www.sealaunay.com
Geelong OTB Regatta
On the weekend of the 6th and 7th of December, Royal Geelong Yacht Club on Corio Bay, held an off-the-beach regatta and practice race for the up and coming Australian Moth Championships.
Saturday was extremely windy with the fleet of seven Foiler Moths waiting on shore watching +30 knot gusts go through. The race committee decided to go out and hold racing for the other boats, but the cautious Mothies decided to sit it out. This turned out to be a wise move, as when the first race commenced, there was carnage in the enclosed harbour. Martin Gravare however, decided to head out anyway before flying off to India and put the FX through its paces with a new prototype Puma sail.
Martin Gravare on the new Bladerider FX and Puma rig. Photo by David Tyrrell.
On Sunday, only four Moths decided to compete in the final day of racing. The fantastic 10-15 knot sailing conditions for three of the four races, saw junior Bladerider X8 sailor Lochie Byrne claim all three wins. The fourth race was 2-7 knots of shifty wind. Lochie unfortunately missed some wind on the last leg, letting Mic Boode (Bladerider X8) and Greg Wise (Bladerider X8) through. However, Lochie still had enough good results to claim an overall win.
It is one thing to improve on our boat quality and preformance for 2009, however sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference as any long time Mothie would know, for example the trolley.
The new 2009 range of boats will be shipped with a brand new all alloy trolley (ie no fiberglass parts anymore), so it will be substaintially stiffer and stronger than the previous X8 trolley. The front cradle is also designed in a way as so sand does not get stuck up in the bow cradle and grind into the boat finish. We have also increased the padding in both cradles as well, so your boat will fit tightly and comfortably into the trolley from now on.
The deliveries of our new 2009 range are beginning to make their way to some kids who have been good this year. If you have not got your order in yet, you better hurry up, as we have had a Christmas rush in the last few weeks and our January/February shipments to Europe and the USA are selling fast!
What's Santa bringing you for Christmas?
Important: Updated Pre-Flight Check List
We have had a few instances recently where some mainsheet bridles do not have the correct knot tied, or are using very soft ropes. This means the knot is either too small or the knot shrinks in size and has started to pull through the hull laminates, consequently loading up the deck in a potentially dangerous manner. In one serious case, the deck has ripped completely off the hull and is not covered under the warranty. Therefore, please check your bridle ropes before each sail to ensure that the knot is not pulling through the hole, and if so, use a bent washer above the knot, or tie a bigger knot.
Constant checks of all fixtures and fittings on your X8 will prevent any serious damage.
In a few other cases, removing the 1/4" hydrofoil fixing bolts a few times can wear the carbon thread out if it has not been sealed correctly with sikaflex, as mentioned in the assembly guidelines. Previously, we have been recommending the insertion of a helicoil into the carbon thread if the thread is stripped, but recently we have found that the helicoils have also pulled out due to unknown reasons.
Carbon thread in rudders can wear quickly if not sealed correctly, or if the bolt is over-tightened.
We are now reviewing our manufacturing process on the centerboard and rudder to increase the carbon thread life span, but in the meantime please check your foil fixing bolts for thread stripping and contact us for advice if they need attention. Otherwise, we will be uploading a new support document on how to address this issue more permanently as soon as possible.
In addition, please ensure that you have downloaded, read and religiously follow all the latest pre-flight checks we have recommended in our Maintenance Schedule.
What to do after the Olympics?
Nathan Outteridge, Australia's 2008 Olympic 49er helmsman has now turned his hand to racing a Bladerider (in between 49er commitments) over the next two years with the goal to win the 2011 Moth Worlds at Belmont, NSW, Australia.
Straight off the back of his Olympic campaign, he has wasted no time in foiling around Lake Maquarie and Sydney Harbour. Nathan also intends to buzz the Australian National Sabot Championships at Airley Beach, Queensland later in the year too. So watch out Sabot parents, as we think your kids might be wanting an upgrade on their Sabot pretty soon...
Nathan Outteridge in training for the 2009 Aussie Nationals at Geelong.
From Winsurfing to Bladeriding
"My sailing has been on cruiser type boats. Somehow, I skipped the dingy thing. But, I have been interested for awhile. And I do windsurf.
I sail with Bill Beaver and Guilluame Vernieres. Joe Hidalgo comes out sometimes too. Bill was so kind as to let me demo his homemade moth last Fall and I decided to go for it. Both he and G have been helping me along.
I went to the HPDO up in Rye, NY in October... My goal was to make it out onto Long Island Sound on my own steam, around the course and back without getting in anyone's way or requiring a tow. I succeeded!
So, I think I am improving. Yay! And I'm having fun, most importantly! We'll see what the future brings!"
Mothing on the Chesapeake. "This is my first sailing dingy experience, so I had to practice a while to get
there. But, I am having fun! And flying!" Joe Cummings