thanks very much to Thierry Martinez for the shot. www.thmartinez.com
Without going into too much detail, I had a great time at Belmont. It was especially good to meet so many moth people for the first time. Thanks to John Harris and Clive Watts for helping me get set up with a rig that worked, and cheers to the guys like Andrew Stevo, Bruce Gault, Bill Olsen and Al Goddard who generally hung around the repair shed and were really generous with their advice and bits of carbon. It was also cool to meet Dave Lister and check out some of his genius carbon work on the 'monstro' and likewise Luka with the scalpel and John Ilett with his latest prowler. All three are lovely looking boats with great ideas and top blokes behind them.
So anyway I didnt do very well on paper - 34th in the silver fleet and I think over the regatta i had as many DNFs and i had places. In one race i did manage a 15th in silver, which I was quite happy about in breeze. Also i logged a new top speed on the speed puck of 27.2 knots. I was really pleased, but I heard later that the fast guys average that on a downwind, so again i need to find another gear.
The boat performed reasonably. I cant say I had it right on its game because I was stuffing around with the foil angle of attack the whole regatta, and never quite got it right. I noticed after the first day's racing that my boat was sailing around with the flap fully down, which cant be fast. The refinement process was complicated when I snapped the strut in one very windy race, after the gudgeons on the gantry came apart and the rudder parted company. I could say I was a victim of the weed clumps, but the reality is that I needed a carbon spar in the strut. On Bruce's advice I hollowed it all out and glued a stack of carbon rods in the break, then scarfed the laminate back over it and she's probably stronger and stiffer now than before.
for reference, A good angle of attack for my main foil design is 2.0 - 2.5 degrees from what I have seen and what people suggest.
I got more DNFs for other stupid things - my vang strop came undone at one point and I had to sail in to fix it. The sail got chafed on the concrete and wore through the webbing strap at the top, causing it to fall down the mast and I lost 3 races I think. Angus had a similar issue and we were both at the sailmakers on the same day. Probably the dumbest was when I went out after racing was cancelled in a gusty 25 - 30knots, and blew up the vang, causing the sidestay to get overloaded and rip the front wingbar off the boat. the rescue was a bit difficult and I felt a bit bad for going out and causing drama when I should have stayed on shore. the wingbar will be sleeved together in good time, but after that I called it a regatta. It was actually pretty fun sitting in the club on the last day watching the racing. probably the best spectator sailing ive ever seen - and ive watched a lot of match and team racing!
So as a way of capping off this post, heres a diagram of something I was keeping a bit secret. Its my integrated hinge concept. It has never worked in the past, but I fixed it I think. It survived the nationals and worlds anyway. The trick is to make the centre 70mm or so a standard sikaflex hinge like a bladerider, and then have a couple of narrow points, about 5mm wide (section a) along the span to stop the hinge going 's shaped'. section b shows the normal 10mm gap to allow the carbon surface to bend around a decent radius. A few people mentioned that it might work better if the seamless surface was on the bottom, which is fine, as long as you keep the hinge dead straight so it wont bind up.