Archive for May, 2009

news from Assassin

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Today fastcraft ltd the company behind the Assassin moth send out a press release announcing a new development of foils. The foils will be designed by Nick Holroyd , technical director of Team New Zealand. I actually knew this already 4 weeks ago but didn’t want to spoil the news. I am quite excited about this as Darren has agreed to sell the foils separately after the worlds. So finally home builders like me can get foils other than the aardvark ones. I am quite curious how those foils will turn out and what the price tag will be.

All the best from Los Angeles to all of you ;-) (it is the ugliest town in the world except Seoul)

Here is the press relaese:

Team Assassin is pleased to announce the worst best kept secret. Technical Director at Emirates Team NZ, Nick Holroyd, has come onboard and agreed to design a full set of ‘Assassin’ foils. Nick comes exceptionally highly qualified and has given the Assassin a special edge with highly advanced technology that is undeniably fast. There really is no need for introduction to Nick as I’m sure anyone in the know will know who Nick Holroyd is..

Nick is currently in his forth consecutive campaign with ETNZ. In the 2007 campaign he was a senior Naval Architect and was the design liason in the ‘Balance and Tuning’ group that was responsible for recording and optimising there sailing modes on the yacht. He was primarily responsible for the appendage design and general application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in the 2000 and 2003 Americas Cup defences.

We are very excited about this latest development. The foil design is an integral part of the international moth and we believe there is no better person for the job. Assassin has stepped up and is arguably the most highly spec’d hydrofoiling moth available in the world, with an unbeatable price tag. We thank Nick for coming onboard and supporting Assassin, proudly New Zealand designed and built.

this year’s regattas

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

I am currently in the US on a business trip. We flew in to Seattle, my old hometown (I lived there for nearly 2 years). It was really nice to go back and meet people. I spend a quick visit to Microsoft, went to shee shoal bay where I used to sail T-Birds and played a lot of Squash at Microsoft’s Pro Club. I also discovered that the traffic situation in Seattle is still unresolved. They have been trying to get public transportation into place for more than 15 years now. We drove up to Vancouver and then down to Los Angeles again. On the way we visited more than 20 universities. I hope they will all sign…

On Friday morning Carlo called me up. He was sitting with other mothies at a pizzeria reflecting on the races, I was standing at a Kinko’s in Los Angeles printing marketing brochures for the updcoming conference which will take place from Tuesday to Friday.

It is a shame I couldn’t be at the the Stinietzsee regatta, especially as i now live in Berlin. Apparently the guys had a day with very little wind on the first day while Carlo told me that they had fun foiling on Friday. Unfortunately I still haven’t received the results (please email me to schulte(at) if you got the results so I can put them online).

Carlo also reminded me that Friday was the last day to sign up for the Europeans without paying a € 100 late registration fee. So now I own Carlo a beer at the Europeans. I guess it is official: I owe Carlo a beer or two at the Europeans ;-)

As I didn’t want to stay in LA for the weekend (LA is an ugly city) Lukas and I decided to go for Vegas. Last time I have been here I was 17 and it wasn’t that exciting. Now that I am an adult by american standard (and I don’t need any fake IDs anymore Vegas is a lot more fun). Firstofall the Americans here are very tolerant. You can smoke everywhere, inside and outside. Also you can drink anywhere. If you drink alcohol on the streets Seattle the police would have a word with you. Also in most states you cannot go to a restaurant where alcohol is served with a minor. In Vegas no-one cares. This makes Vegas an awesome place for people like me who just hate stupid rules and regulations.

So while all of you have been sailing awesome moth regattas I went to Studio 54 at MGM Grand:

Bythe way as an entrepreneur I think Vegas has a terrific business model. First of all casinos always win, just by the strict mathematics of it. They subsidize the rooms as they know you will play at the hotel’s casino. If you loose (highly probable) the casino is happy. If you win you are going to spent the money in Vegas on drinks, shows or golf? and the casino is happy once again. (I won $50 at the Roulette and spent $45 to get into Studio 54 in the same casino)
I think money never leaves Vegas it is just flowing in from all over the world.

Think about this business model – I am jealous….

The mach2 article, finally (updated)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Update: I just received an email from Lochli who pointed out one thing I got wrong: The compression struts itself now run into the mast pole so they can actually touch each other inside the pole” they dont touch, they rest in a hole in the plasice fitting, so they have the effect of touching but not! Also the shroud fitting will only be replaced on Lochli’s boat – it will be the same on all production boats.

Since I returned from New Zealand I have been incredibly busy. I managed to sail 2 days, but could only foil temporarily as there was the typical lack of wind. In between I returned to a full desk, loads of unanswered emails, employees who demanded a lot of attention. Additionally I had to do the follow up from the New Zealand conference and I had to find a new apartment.
Today I picked up our new booth and modeled a bit.
Now I just finished up packing my bags (very heavy due to all the marketing catalogues), so now I am prepared as I am going to the US tomorrow. Now I just lighted up a cigar and grabbed a beer. And now I am taking the time to present the Mach2 to you in full detail:

This is the first Mach2 that has been sailed by Si Payne during the Australian nationals. Now this boat was sold to Lochli Byrne who currently works for Amac. So this boat is not the very last, final version, but it is damn close.

Firstofall let me tell you something about the look of the Mach2. It is all clear, bi-directional carbon. So from the distance it looks like pure black, but depending on the light you can see many different shades. it is really cool.

The wing frame is definitely something Amac has put a lot of thought into. First of all the side wingbars are not a straight tube but actually become bigger towards the middle, which is really nice when you sit on them. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture, as the tramps were fastened around it and you couldn’t see it – but feeling it is awesome. Also the side wingbars are attached to the frong wingbars at the joint of the front bar and the compression strut. The compression struts rest in a hole in the plasice fitting, so they have the effect of touching but not.

Lochli told me that the shroud fittings will be replaced with some weird spliced rope in the future…? (update: this is only on his boat, the production ones will come with the metal fitting) The compression struts itself now run into the mast pole so they can actually touch each other inside the pole:

The rear wingbars are now very different from the BRs. First of all they are not in one piece anymore. Instead they are slid into tubes placed above the rear deck:

I also think the way the rear wing bars connect to the side wingbar is really cool:

The gantry is a tube construction that is covered with some carbon expanse to keep the water off. the three tubes now run into the boat which is a real good idea to attach it tightly.

The vang is now attached to the hull with a spliced rope that runs around the bottom of the mast pole. It is really difficult to see. By the way you don’t need any knots on the Mach2 – everything is spliced.

The centerboard case is now glued on to the deck above the deck. The centerboard case and the center board both come with three holes so you can adjust the angle of attack

By the way here is a pick of Lochli doing some splicing. He actually asked me not to take a picture of him – at least I am not showing the ones I took from me and Lochlin while partying in Melbourne. He should thank me for that ;-)

The boom itself is a piece of art. Unfortunately I don’t have a complete pic of it. You just have to believe me. Also note the way Si Payne has put the Zhik sticker on there. You can only read it when the boat is capsized…

and here another one of the way the sheet attaches to the boom. Awesome isn’t it?

Now let me show you some more details about the amazing bow of the Mach2: First of all the new central wand mechanism allows you to have two wands, one on either side. This is also possible with the Assassin. I haven’t tried it but Lochli said that he will always sail with two wands in the future as you can actually come out of the water as high on either bow.

The big hole you are seeing is a spare one so you can run a rope to the front. For example to tighten the forestay while sailing.

Unfortunately you cannot really see the wand mechanism. Well it is centralized right in the middle of the boats axis and the leverage can be changed when sailing in different conditions. Also one thing Lochli really liked is that you can use the mechanism upside down. So in really light winds you can lift the wand up in the air which reduces drag. When the wind picks up you just pull the rubber and it swings down…

To reduce windage you can put a small piece of carbon on top of the whole mechanism which looks awesome (I know you know these pictures, but I took this one ;-) Actually I am really amazed by the whole wave piercing A-Cat like bow. It really works. I tried sailing the Mach2 in big waves (typical for Melbourne) and the big difference is that you get out of the water faster as you are not doing a full stop every time you hit a wave. I love it. It is a big, huge advantage.

So finally we can talk about one of the most interesting parts of the whole boat – its foils. One thing you notice right away is that they are longer than the BRs, roughly 10cm (my guess). The rudder is just like the Assassin’s without a rudderboard case. Instead the bold is connecting the rudder with the gantry directly. Lochli hates it (and so do I) as it is just a pain in the ass to attach and detach it. Of course there are two arguments in favor – it is supposed to be stiffer and it causes less weight. (Also it is cheaper, but you will never hear this advantage from a builder…)

One of the best things Amac has done when designing the whole Mach2 is the following:

Do you see the little bulk on the centerboard? This is where the center board touches the centerboard case. All other parts of the foils are narrower. So sliding it into the centerboard case is easy and you don’t have all these stupid issues like sand getting in between (yak). You can also see that the back of the foil is cut back. This is done so you can change the angle of attack with those three holes I have told you about earlier. Also both foils get narrower towards the bottom both in width and in breadth. They are not the straight ones you know from BR. Lochli told me that there is a lot more carbon towards the top and you can now stand on the middle of the foil ( I didn’t try, as I am still having my weight issues). Here are a few more pics of the foils:

Now the whole winding is taken care of with stainless steal winding molded into the foils – good idea..

The flap is a bit smaller but the up and down movement has been increased.

to make a long story short, the Mach 2 is an awesome boat. It is really good to sail (but that is another article) and has been build to the best standards. Unfortunately the price is also the best (at least for Amac and McConaghy). My personal believe is that you cannot do anything wrong when buying a Mach2.

Oh, and by the way, the Mach2 has got a cover as well:

PS.: If you want more pics from the Assassin or the Mach 2 just let me know. I just think that there are enough pics in this post

Awesome picture (updated)

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Hi everyone, I am back from Australia after a long flight home (Melbourne, Auckland, Singapore, London, Dusserldorf). I still have to put up the detailed pics of the Mach2 and also the videos of Lochlin and me foiling at Sandringham Yacht Club. Unfortunatley my office desk looks like shit and I have to digg thru some more stuff till I get the time to post a new blog. In the meantime I want to entertain you with a picture I have received from Lochlin. Here it is:

I wonder if you find out how this is done… I still believe that this Prowler from Rohan is the best looking moth ever! Unfortunately this comes with a price – Lochlin told me that the stickers on the hull added 2,5kg (updated) to the overall weight. I wonder how she foils….