Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops 2022 May LEADERBOARD

An interview with Robert Saylor on the 2022 Foiling Midwinters #2

by David Schmidt 9 Feb 08:00 PST February 11-13, 2022
International Moth Worlds 2021 day 4 © Martina Orsini

Foiling. Even the word sounds cool, and that's to say nothing of the optics. There's no question that the level of play ratchets up several clicks when foils are involved, and an opportunity to get in some mid-winter flight time can pay dividends throughout the season (in addition to being a lot of fun). Enter the 2022 Foiling Midwinters #2 (February 11-13), which will take place on the waters of Buttonwood Sound, off of Key Largo, Florida.

As its moniker implies, (and as the NOR literally states), the regatta is open to: "the International Moth Class, the International Waszp Class, and foiling boats of the A-Class Catamaran Association." But, due to some scheduling conflicts, the February event will be fairly Moth-centric.

As its moniker also implies, this is the second of a multi-part series (this year's Foiling Midwinters #1 unfurled from January 7-9, while Foiling Midwinters #3 will take place from March 11-13), all of which are being organized by the Upper Keys Sailing Club (UKSC), as well as the US International Moth Class Association, the International Waszp Class Association, and the U.S. A-Class Catamaran Association.

I checked in with Robert Saylor, UKSC's fleet captain, to learn more about this high-flying regatta.

What kind of entry numbers are you seeing this year? Also, are there any notable geographical concentrations to this entry list?

We are looking for between 10 and 25 boats this year.

Unfortunately, travel complications are limiting involvement from international sailors, as well as those on the West Coast. We're expecting most sailors to be from the Northeast, with a few from the Midwest.

Weather-wise, what kind conditions can sailors expect to encounter off of Key Largo in mid-February? What are the best-case and worst-case weather scenarios?

During the winter and spring, we get 8 to 14 knot winds from the South-East. Every few weeks, a cold front comes in from the north and brings 20-knot winds.

Buttonwood Sound is very well sheltered, so the most extreme chop we get is only one foot or so. As long as we don't get a 25-knot northerly or a calm spell (which usually only lasts for a day), conditions ought to be consistent 10 to 14 knots with negligible wave action.

Do you see local knowledge playing a big or small role in the regatta's outcome? Can you please explain?

Local knowledge isn't too important here in Key Largo. It can be a little swirly at the windward mark depending on the wind direction, but otherwise we have no current, tides, or shallows to worry about.

How many races do you and the other organizers hope to score over the course of the regatta? Also, how are you guys managing the racecourse? Traditional racing marks, or will you use some of the new GPS-guided autonomous robotic marks such as MarkSetBots to administer the racecourse?

Our goal is 12 races, but of course this will be influenced by the conditions each day.

We'll have a traditional windward-leeward course set up, with a signal boat, mark boat, and two safety boats. I don't have any personal experience with autonomous marks, but they seem like an unnecessary complication for a club such as ours.

Obviously organizing and running a big regatta amidst a still-churning pandemic isn't easy. Can you tell us about the biggest logistical and organizational hurdles that you've had to clear to make this happen?

So far, the biggest obstacle we have had is getting accurate counts of interested sailors. For whatever reason, it has been harder to get sailors to register ahead of time this year. This has made it more difficult for us to make arrangements for storage, volunteers, food, etc.

Can you tell us about any efforts that you and the other regatta organizers have made to try to lower the regatta's environmental footprint or otherwise green-up the regatta?

Littering is protest-able, by anyone. On the water, our safety boats will be refilling competitors' individual water bottles in between races. We're also minimizing the use of disposable materials around the clubhouse, at least as much as Covid-19 concerns allow.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add, for the record?

I'm really looking forward to where the new developments in the Moth class are headed. Several new designs have been introduced in the past couple years, and this is the perfect opportunity to see some of these advancements in action.

Related Articles

The utterly brilliant Foiling SuMoth Challenge
Promoting sustainable practices by challenging young naval architecture and engineering students The Foiling SuMoth Challenge is a competition inspired by the need of a more sustainable and efficient sailboat designs and manufacturing methods. Posted today at 11:00 am
What do you get...
...when you cross The Jacksons, Milli Vanilli, and Engelbert Humperdinck? What do you get when you cross The Jacksons, Milli Vanilli, and Engelbert Humperdinck all together? Honestly, I have no idea, and it could get amazingly weird, but I do know we have the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s all covered in that lot. Posted on 23 Jun
A Fine Line
Dinghy historian Dougal Henshall looks at race officers and start lines As the world around us reblooms after the constraints of lockdown, there is plenty of food for thought surrounding the debate as to something of a reset for dinghy racing. Older sailors talk in nostalgic terms of the delights of the 'golden era'. Posted on 22 Jun
R2AK, Newport Bermuda Race, Mac Solo Challenges
R2AK update, Newport Bermuda Race, Mac Solo Challenges The past week has been a big one for North American sailing, with the start of the Race to Alaska, the Newport Bermuda Race, and the Great Lakes Singlehanded Society's Mac Solo Challenges. Posted on 20 Jun
Not just another...
…case of miscellaneous ramblings. You might say that, but you could well have missed the point. …case of miscellaneous ramblings. I mean, yes, you might say that, but you could well have missed the point right there. Posted on 20 Jun
Vortex Pod Racer: fly me to the moon
Or: how the Asia Editor went foiling! “I want to go foiling, so I'm designing a gentleman's foiler..." and he drew it on the back of a fag packet (actually, it was a napkin). Posted on 17 Jun
France SailGP's sustainability and diversity work
Bruno Dubois on the France SailGP Team's sustainability and diversity efforts I checked in with Bruno Dubois, team manager of the France SailGP Team, via email, to learn more about their Season 3 sustainability and diversity efforts. Posted on 15 Jun
Somers Kempe on the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race
An interview with Somers Kempe on the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race Sail-World checked in with Somers Kempe, chairman of the 2022 Newport Bermuda race, via email, to learn more about this classic bluewater contest. Posted on 14 Jun
How high is too high?
Is the price of a new Moth an existential threat to the class? Inflation, the cost of living, energy and travel costs are all weighing heavily on people's minds around the world. Sailing is in no way insulated from the problems in the world at the moment. Posted on 14 Jun
Paul Dierze on the 2022 Sunfish North Americans
David Schmidt checks in with the Sunfish Class Representative Sail-World checked in with Paul Dierze, Sunfish Class Representative, via email, to learn more about the 2022 Sunfish North American Championship. Posted on 13 Jun
Vaikobi 2021 Boots - FOOTERMarine Resources 2022 - FOOTERC-Tech 2021 SnuffAir 728x90 BOTTOM