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Envelope, Pushed

wheatley’s world

Envelope, Pushed

I remember seeing International Moths on the Lymington River back in the early 1980’s when the likes of Roger Angell and John Claridge were topping the World Championships and just awestruck at how technically advanced they were compared to my Topper and my Dad’s Finn. Back then I thought they couldn’t get much cooler but then I tripped down to Melbourne for Skandia Geelong Week back in the early noughties as a journalist and saw Rohan Veal lifting out of the water on foils and I knew this was what it must have been like to see Springsteen in his heyday or Hendrix at the Isle of Wight festival.

But now …it’s gone ballistic. Rohan Veal reports on his must-read blog that he hit 20.5 knots going upwind, yes upwind, last Saturday! Further on in the blog he reports hitting just over 28 knots downwind!! Now come on, this is just off the scale…but it gets better in Mothland with the following quote that no doubt Andrew Hurst will be picking over for Seahorse next month: "I was sailing upwind in about 15 knots and felt a huge thud!  I looked under the boat and I had a penguin wrapped around my main foil, so I stopped the boat and it started to swim off, spitting out blood and little fish.  It didn’t last long after that. I felt terrible."

Now not being funny and I hate to rake over old ground, but when was the last time you heard comparable stories from any of our Olympic Classes? Or actually from any of our dinghy classes come to think of it? Or actually from any other part or division of sailing? Why ISAF overlooked the Moth for 2012 is just beyond me…there was the opportunity staring them straight in the face to embrace the new, go forward thinking on slalom courses and be on the front cover of every paper in the Western world and they blew it…then Rohan goes and scores six bullets at the Worlds in Garda and who do they give ISAF sailor of the year award to? Ed Baird…say no more!