A CHAT WITH ANDY MCDOUGALL

by | Aug 1, 2017 | PORT OF CALL

I am taking part at the first WASZP Worlds in Campione del Garda… well still unofficial as the WASZP isn’t a World Sailing class yet!

Me and my brother David had the immense chance to have Andy McDougall (AMAC) sitting with us to share a beer and then continue our friendly chat over dinner. As you probably know, AMAC is the designer of the WASZP, and previous to it, he was involved in the design of the Bladerider and MACH2 boats, all of them variations of the International Moth class. In fact, he has just come back from sailing at the Moth Worlds just accross lake Garda in Malcesine, and he did a tremendous race ending in the Gold Fleet of the most competitive collection of sailors anywhere in the galaxy!

So we took the opportunity to chat with AMAC to get to know a bit more about the beginnings of dinghy foiling in Australia, and also about his vision for the next most popular foiling dinghy in the world: the WASZP.

It all started in Perth in the ’90s, where a designer (I think he said Bret, but I had not fully decyphered the australian accent yet) designed a foiling catamaran for a private customer following the same design principles as the Hydroptère. And then he dicided to test that design on an International Moth, a very popular class in Australia. We must reckon we don’t have that class in Spain, although apparently it has some followers in Europe (The Moth Europe is an offfshoot of the International Moth, which is a development class). The thing didn’t quite work. And it wasn’t until a

 

sailor by the name of Rohan Veal, whom AMAC was coaching at the time, all of a sudden called AMAC to ask him for help to mount a set of foils on his Moth. This was a T-foil configuration for rudder and daggerboard. AMAC tells us that there was a lot of literature about this foiling configuration at the time. And Rohan had a lot of faith in that proposition, even against the will of his coach, AMAC.

Rohan disappeared from the radar. But apparently he had been training on his own with the foils. And learning the ways to make the system work. Then he went to the Moth Worlds Championship in 2005 (in France?) and he won by huge margins. At some races even lapping the second classified! There was no way back…

And here we are today at the first WASZP Worlds (unofficial). We have 52 boats from 17 countries. The lightest contestant barely weighting 40 kilograms, while the heaviest sailor just topping 100 kilograms. From under 14 years old until 60+ years old. Average fleet age: 31 years old. We have 3 ladies also taking place and with the widest smiles. Take a look at the full report.

The view of the boat park certainly causes AMAC a great sense of accomplishment. The picture above shows the view of the boats that are going to race from tomorrow
in the WASZP International Games.

The spirit of the class is to be as inclusive as possible. Amongst the saliors there are beginners and Olympic medallists. All looking forward to having fun. The kids that form our team are real speedsters. And they put their TRACES to charge even before they charge their mobile phones. The championship has many different disciplines. Normal Windward-Lewards, a Slalom, Reverse-Grid Starts to have handicap racing, and of course, recognition to the fastest sailor every day. We hope Joan can take at least that trophy at least once. But Marçal, Ruben and David also have their chances as they are also very fast WASZP sailors.

But going back to our delightful dinner with AMAC. He is showing the way forward by example. He was very open to answer all of our questions (I can’t even reproduce all of them here). And certainly attending the kids questions as well. To us, this is really the future of sailing. Being open, being transparent, and making sure everyone has a blast.

AMAC, thanks for the example. We will follow it loyally.

I am taking part at the first WASZP Worlds in Campione del Garda… well still unofficial as the WASZP isn’t a World Sailing class yet!

Me and my brother David had the immense chance to have Andy McDougall (AMAC) sitting with us to share a beer and then continue our friendly chat over dinner. As you probably know, AMAC is the designer of the WASZP, and previous to it, he was involved in the design of the Bladerider and MACH2 boats, all of them variations of the International Moth class. In fact, he has just come back from sailing at the Moth Worlds just accross lake Garda in Malcesine, and he did a tremendous race ending in the Gold Fleet of the most competitive collection of sailors anywhere in the galaxy!

So we took the opportunity to chat with AMAC to get to know a bit more about the beginnings of dinghy foiling in Australia, and also about his vision for the next most popular foiling dinghy in the world: the WASZP.

It all started in Perth in the ’90s, where a designer (I think he said Bret, but I had not fully decyphered the australian accent yet) designed a foiling catamaran for a private customer following the same design principles as the Hydroptère. And then he dicided to test that design on an International Moth, a very popular class in Australia. We must reckon we don’t have that class in Spain, although apparently it has some followers in Europe (The Moth Europe is an offfshoot of the International Moth, which is a development class). The thing didn’t quite work. And it wasn’t until a sailor by the name of Rohan Veal, whom AMAC was coaching at the time, all of a sudden called AMAC to ask him for help to mount a set of foils on his Moth. This was a T-foil configuration for rudder and daggerboard. AMAC tells us that there was a lot of literature about this foiling configuration at the time. And Rohan had a lot of faith in that proposition, even against the will of his coach, AMAC.

Rohan disappeared from the radar. But apparently he had been training on his own with the foils. And learning the ways to make the system work. Then he went to the Moth Worlds Championship in 2005 (in France?) and he won by huge margins. At some races even lapping the second classified! There was no way back…

And here we are today at the first WASZP Worlds (unofficial). We have 52 boats from 17 countries. The lightest contestant barely weighting 40 kilograms, while the heaviest sailor just topping 100 kilograms. From under 14 years old until 60+ years old. Average fleet age: 31 years old. We have 3 ladies also taking place and with the widest smiles. Take a look at the full report.

The view of the boat park certainly causes AMAC a great sense of accomplishment. The picture above shows the view of the boats that are going to race from tomorrow in the WASZP International Games.

The spirit of the class is to be as inclusive as possible. Amongst the saliors there are beginners and Olympic medallists. All looking forward to having fun. The kids that form our team are real speedsters. And they put their TRACES to charge even before they charge their mobile phones. The championship has many different disciplines. Normal Windward-Lewards, a Slalom, Reverse-Grid Starts to have handicap racing, and of course, recognition to the fastest sailor every day. We hope Joan can take at least that trophy at least once. But Marçal, Ruben and David also have their chances as they are also very fast WASZP sailors.

But going back to our delightful dinner with AMAC. He is showing the way forward by example. He was very open to answer all of our questions (I can’t even reproduce all of them here). And certainly attending the kids questions as well. To us, this is really the future of sailing. Being open, being transparent, and making sure everyone has a blast.

AMAC, thanks for the example. We will follow it loyally.