Simon Collyer

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  1. Simon Collyer

    Dave 'Whitey' White

    My thoughts are with Dave 'Whitey' White who had a stroke in Mauritius. Dave is the late Reg White MBE (Tornado Gold Medallist) second son and a board sailing ace (Production Board World Speed Record holder) and excellent 'sailboarding/kite surfing/paddle boarding photographer. Dave is in hospital and recovering, though it may take some time before he is back on the water. Do visit his Facebook page: white k63 He lives to be on the water. A friendly post might cheer him up.
  2. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    Goodbye Ben Ainslee. BAR needed more time to work the boat up, but the New Zealanders are a pretty hot bunch, let us be fair. Been doing it a long time. Looked at as a first effort there was no disgrace in the way BAR sailed. Just getting a well funded team together in the UK is a remarkable effort. We will be back....!! My thoughts are with Dave 'Whitey' White who had a stroke in Mauritius. Dave is Reg Whites second son and a board sailing ace and excellent 'sailboarding/Kite surfing/paddle boarding photographer. Dave is in hospital and recovering, though it may take some time before he is back on the water. Do visit his Facebook page: white k63 I don't have a tankard in the 'Cherry Tree' pub at Brightlingsea, I have never seen the blue films shot in the beer cellar either...!!! That's what you call a 'lock-in'...! . Election night here...Zzzzzzzz... Actually quite exciting.
  3. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    There you have it. My grandfather worked for Fairey Marine after the war they moved into boat building. Firefly, Swordfish. However Nobel (inventor of Dynamite) invented plywood and that was cheaper and lent itself to kit boats. My father was a navigator in Lancaster Bombers and would have gone to Cambridge University as a Mathematician but after the war he worked for a traditional chandlers. On his death my mother took over his job and the chandler became more of a yacht chandlers. My mother married a boat builder. He raced Flying Dutchmen and later went into cruising. In fact they recently bought a Westerly Griffin. In fact I am taking a bunch of students on a sailing adventure up the River Colne to the Anchor Pub, Rowhedge and back. June 12th.
  4. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    That's rubbish!
  5. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    The lift and drag part is. The Rotary engine part is not...but I am just explaining the whole issue. I travelled along the lines of WW1 in 1916 from Switzerland to the Belgium Coast with Sir Anthony Seldon last year. The Via Sacra Walk. I am interested in flying also in Radio Model plane flying. Look at rudders - continuous leading edge, such as on the Albatross wing. Wire and bottlenecks were even used to keep the fuselage straight. The term aircraft rigger comes from this. Tommy Sopwith raced in the J Class. The Hurricane was mainly wood and so was the Mosquito. The Hurricane could take more battle damage than a Spitfire. There is a huge cross-over.
  6. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    I am trying to help people understand the points I am making. I have written for yachting magazines and worked in the industry. I have won races in the Olympic 470 Class at national level Ii narrowly missed winning the Spring Cup one year) and represented the UK in many major regattas and sailed very successfully in other classes. Without me going into detail and sounding like I am a big 'I am'. I am just trying say know what I am talking about and just trying to give a bit of background information. 1) I don't think that that one line entry's with a slew of four letter words add anything interesting. If people can only express themselves that way they are uneducated. Its not about exam passes, it is whether you can express yourself. 2) I am glad we have Ken Read doing commentary. I think there are people like me who would like a bit of detail. At the last AC the Americas Cup organizing committee actually paid the networks to air the event. There is more interest this time. We are stack with terminology like 'The Play-offs' and terminology like that for a non-sailing audience and I accept that, but I find the questions posed at some of the press conferences, pretty bland and the answers just the same. I think that is one area that could be made a lot more interesting. 3) So I have tried to juxtaposition myself and give a bit of detail of why i hold my views. I hope that helps.
  7. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    A planes outer wing must travel further in a 180-degree turn, and in turning the airflow over the outer wing speeds up. This in turn creates more lift on the outer wing so the wing rises. The inner wing being already close to stalling speed, stalls and drops. WW1 planes has very low powered engines. Just 80hp early on in WW! from memory The French Gnome engine) but they were light. So you could not power your way out of trouble. In such circumstances, the plane spins into the ground. You were told to land 'forward' but of course people naturally tried to turn back. A (sputtering) rotary engine would have a significant effect due to torque. The Sopwith Camel was very difficult to fly, as the centre of gravity was tightly centred with all the weight in a few feet (6 feet) and the Rotary engine made it easy to roll. Good fighter planes are unstable. Tom Blackaller tried a canard on his 12 meter and he could spin the boat on a dime. Sailing in a straight line in waves was trickier. He had to get two rudders and keel working together. It he had more time he could been a strong AC contender. The Eurofighter has a canard... its angle of attack has to be controlled by a computer because the pilot cannot maintain stability. It reminds you of a flapping flag where the high and low-pressure sides swap at an incredible rate. That is not the issue regarding the AC. Going back to BAR tight turning: to avoid the Kiwis the inner foil stalled or lost significant lift, and this caused the windward hull to drop, yet the leeward hull accelerated due to more lift and as a result the leeward hull popped up. Lateral resistance disappeared as the leeward hull rose and Ben Ainslee was left 'over steering' to use a motor racing term. Drag a butter knife through water and you get a feel for how little resistance these boats must have foiling. The Rotary engine has a high power to weight ration. The problem is as you increase the engine power this creates a larger frontal area and more drag. The answer is the in-line engine. The Spitfire Rolls Royce Merlin engine had a gravity fed carburettor and that could cut-out in a roll or dive. BMW developed the V Cylinder engine. They had to decide to buy Rolls Royce. They had overcome a problem called 'Harmonics' with their engines. Was a Rolls Royce really a Rolls Royce if it had a BMW engine in it? Eventually they did buy Rolls Royce. A friend of mine (a sailor) was on the committee. Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing was written by Czesaw A. Marchaj , Charles Curry (International 14s) and Frank Bethwaite DFC, OAM were also major figures in the more theoretical side of aerodynamics in sailing. I grew up learning about Reynolds numbers and gybing centreboards and cavitation. I have been to three Extreme Sailing Series events. Ainslee was consistent but not exciting and you have to remember that Jimmy Spithall won his ESS season. I hope that helps.
  8. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    Well that was fun! I stand by all the points I made, including those on aerodynamics. Forget the engine part, just think of the point I made. My grandfather actually worked for Fairey Marine that built the Supermarine Spitfire and after the war boats like the Firefly: Nobel (of dynamite fame) invented Plywood and that construction was a lot cheaper and that and the Marshall Plan economic boom 'exploded' sailing for the masses. The Mirror, GP14, Enterprise and others backed by National Newspapers!! A little of respect on this one. This is Reg's memorial and an image from the day thousands turned out to celebrate the Gold medal victory, with Reg and John standing shown here on the trampoline of a Gold Tornado (1976). Robert (White) is on Reg's left and I think that is Derek Clark (470 crew with Phil Crebbin) half shown. Clark brought a strange new craft back with him called a Windsurfer!! Few people (even sailing Gold Medallists today) attract the sort of crowds Reg and John did on that day. It was more like an FA Cup victory. At least you know a bit about Brightlingsea from my efforts...!! I think Big Ben is really up against it this time. He did phenomenally well to put together a UK challenge. Time to move on and hope our man can find his mojo! Thanks folks.
  9. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    Good manners are about consideration for others. Being able to express yourself well and to present a counter argument without lots of swearing or being abusive has more impact than a stream of profanity in my world view. I don't expect all to agree. People can say what they like, but the Manchester bombing is an example of people who are fundamentally selfish and feel that only their view matters. Good manners starts with the idea of respect for other people and for learning tolerance. In the US lots of young people do not know how to behave and that came out after Trump won the election. You saw young people with a complete lack of respect for authority committing vandalism, crying uncontrollably, or needing safe spaces. In the UK we have elements of this but you look at some of the young people who commit murder in court the US. They have no respect for authority whatsoever, NONE. It comes from poor parenting, or lack of parents altogether. To me these things are all connected. I entered into sailing as a cadet to be socialised well as much as anything else. i see the power of sport and the power of sailing as a force for good in society. For the Nautical Channel, I helped set up the Bart's Bash coverage.I hope to work again with the Andrew Simpson Foundation with a not-for-profit I founded. Today many young people have all the material goods (in the developed world) but in some ways society and its values have not made the same progress. I have been a Sailing Anarchy fan from the early days, but have only felt motivated to post anything due to the current interest in the AC. I dabbled in selling AC hospitality and that included a breakfast opportunity with Team Dennis Conner in San Diego. There was very little interest in sporting hospitality in those days. I set up an opportunity with the largest hospitality company in the UK. At the Dennis Conner comeback Western Australia event they had sold 25 packages!!. Brightlingsea Sailing Club has a host of sailing champions. The late Reg White MBE and John Osborne MBE won the first Tornado Olympic Gold Medal in Canada 1976. Reg's firm Sailcraft grew from a small start. The joke was Reg could not even spell his own name. A local myth, but Reg was a shrewd businessman although Robert (his eldest son) once told me they had spent over £100K on sails during their Olympic campaign and that was back in the early 70s!! I was friends with Reg, Robert was twice Tornado World Champion and winner of much more. Dave White his next son is prominent in sailboarding. David is also an accomplished photographer. I have attached a shot David took at the weekend of Brightlingsea. Reg and Bob Fisher were very involved in the C Class catamarans and the Little Americas Cup. Also the Hornet Class which had a wild social scene which makes things seem very tame today. Very tame indeed...!! I have sailed around the world from a regatta in Enoshima in Japan as a guest (Ben Ainslie was taking part in an Optimist World Championships nor far away - each boat had its own garage) to a pre-Olympics in the 470 Class in Los Angeles. I have lived in Australia, covering the Skiffs and the Sydney Hobart for an Australian magazine and Fast Boat, a publication that failed in its attempt to replace Yachts and Yachting. Y&Y came out bi-weekly (unusual) and had all the dinghy racing results. I worked in the marine industry for a top notch Company, one of the directors James Flynn founded Navico (Simrad Navico) and was awarded an OBE and my with parents ran a well known chandlers. The previous company to Navico (Channel Marine) developed and supplied a lot of RORC safety kit especially after the 1979 Fastnet. We also sold the Aqua Signal navigation lights when IMCO regulations required every pleasure vessel to upgrade from fairy lights, and my first trip on a plane was to go to the factory in Bremen, Germany. We had a really hairy landing in high winds. I loved it and thought that was the norm but I then saw my director Richard Webb's face looking distinctly white! I took part in 12 London Boat Shows. Going to bed at 5 am getting up at 8am and doing from 10am to 8:30pm after a night 'on the lash' with the water ski demonstration team (Mike Hazelwood and Luck Lou who had his shirt ripped off every night it seemed) and the promo girls. I would last about two days (not ten) now! So many stories from a Boat Show where an IRA bomb in a toilet blew the deck off a boat, but left the toilet intact(!) to organising and setting up a stand on Waterloo Station to help Time and Tide, the first Disabled crew in the Chay Blyth BT Global Challenge. I visited the Robin Knox Johnson Clipper organisation a couple of years ago for the Nautical Channel. It was a very blustery day and by mistake I was directed to a room with a crew in it getting dressed to go afloat. I had come to sell them some advertising! That caused a laugh in the office! Luckily the error was spotted or i would have been doing a pitch mid-Solent! I started as a kid in a sport that people did in old clothing and perhaps a divers wetsuit and with a sailing club that was a Nissen Hut, to the sport at it is today. I was running my own sailing school (age 14 ish), selling boats for a local chandlers and then the sailing lessons. You used to win money in those days and my Mirror Dinghy was quite a profit centre looking back. I was very determined. After staying out to 7pm to round a buoy, called Mersea Wreck in flat calm against a foul tide, the sailing club introduced a time limit after I finished with only the OOD still present. The sailing club locked up and everybody had gone home. Sailing in the 470 Class I encountered may famous sailors, like Lawrie Smith, Chris Law and Eddie Warden Owen plus the international crowd. The competition was incredible. One race at the Spring Cup, South of France, Steve Benjamin and crew finished last in one race from memory. They were struggling with a Pajot boat compared to their Vanguard, but you had to be 'on your game' just to survive. Today top sailors are good, but the middle of the fleet is missing compared to the old days. Young people do not have the income to do week after week of open meetings and Olympic indicators to get that good. In the UK we had one 470 Olympic indicator with 43 entries but 16 of those teams had won significant dinghy championships i.e: 70 boats upwards. Only two boats went to the 470 Worlds. You could count AC (future participants) down in 70th odd place surrounded by other top sailors. The Fireball Nationals would have 180 boats, the Enterprise could top 200 boats for a big event. Everyone had jobs in those days. the average wage in the late 70's for example in the UK was worth about £800 per week today. If you were a sales rep living at home, you could compete in Olympic sailing. To do a 470 Olympic campaign today you would now need £100K+!!! I met others involved in the AC like Derek Clark and Andy Clayton on the design side. John Oakley offered to lend me his Soling but it was out of date in an a poor state, but it was a nice gesture. I met Hans Fogh at a bus stop in Amsterdam by pure chance in the last few years and we talked about Elvestrom on a tram (magical). Rodney Patterson and Ian MacDonald Smith both attended the absolutely brilliant Yachting Journalists Association dinner in the Sir Max Aiken museum in Cowes . I went to that after the Abu Dhabi Volvo launch and being photographed with hunting Falcon that looked stuffed! Sailing has taken me round the world but in the end you gravitate back to 'home' and for me that is Brightlingsea, well nearby Colchester in fact... I hope you don't mind me sharing a few experiences. Being trained in concrete technology was great to fall back on. If ever the Mafia need a specialist, I might have something to offer!
  10. Simon Collyer

    Little Americas Cup

    This is the late great Reg White MBE, who with Bob Fisher won (or won and defended) the Little Americas Cup in the C Class. Lady Helmsman was the most famous boat among others. Its late and we are due a thunderstorm because of the heat. Sorry Bob!! Reg won the first catamaran Olympic Gold Medal in Canada in 1976 with John Osborne MBE. The pair reached the windward mark 15 minuets in the lead in one race. Regs' firm Sailcraft built several C Class cats (and many other boats) and of course world speed record holders Crossbow One and Two, which appears to be be sporting foils in the shot below. The wing masts as they were called, look surprisingly up-to-date considering the technology and materials available at the time. Austin Farrar was one of the contributors on the technology side. Had Reg been in his prime today, it would be difficult to imagine that he would not be involved in the Americas Cup somehow? I went to school with Robert White, Reg's son, who has two Tornado World Championships under his belt, two Olympic appearances and much more. I won my first race (I believe) sailing with Robert in a schools regatta in a Torch dinghy. The local 'hard nuts' used to throw stones at us from the Rope Walk. Not something Sir Ben has to deal with! Roberts firm is building the innovative Whisperer foiling catamaran. There is a memorial to Reg in the shape of a polished stone sail or wing mast on the 'hard' as it is called. He died of a massive after coming ashore from a Brightlingsea One Design race after leading a very full life. Images courtesy of Alamy.
  11. Simon Collyer

    General Thoughts

    I represented the Nautical Channel in the UK and went to the Americas Cup launch at the Renaissance Hotel, UK. The sailors are an impressive bunch, but the AC is Lala Land compared, to the real world, and I am not losing any sleep worrying about any of it! Sir Ben Ainslie is a brilliant sailor and an all-round British sporting hero of course. Ainslie was brilliant in the Finn and Laser but he is a ‘gym boy’ and in classes with a team dynamic, he has not always shone quite as brightly (not quite). He certainly has not out classed those around him. Both Percy and Ainslie are from pointing up boats. It seemed a better idea to bring in helms from multihulls or footing off boats! The Synergy syndicate certainly grasped that. When the chips are down, Ainslie 'ups' the aggression, but the AC is a game of strategy (ask Dennis Conner) who brought in the business experience that Ben Ainslie simply does not have. You need to follow the wisdom of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the Daimyo and War Lord who united medieval Japan at the Battle of Sekigahara, and who was known for his patience. He would wait patiently for the right moment - years if necessary. Ainslie had a nice points lead, he did not have to go in to the competition fists swinging. He could have done better to ‘conserve his powder’ and use the first few races to observe the competition and their strengths and weaknesses. Instead the teams energy has been spent on patching up the boat. He starting to look like a future ambassador for Plastic Padding…!! Sir Ainslie I guess, would have felt under a lot of personal pressure. That is understandable. Going into an event like this feeling slow must be 'gut-churning' however...if you name a business after yourself, and you are the CEO and the Chief Producer - when things do not work out it can be a huge strain. Ainslie is used to winning, he would also do better to show a bit of humility if he does not want to alienate his fan base. Especially to Dean Barkers team - where are those beers!. Ben is not arrogant but, in the UK media you have to be humble if you stuff up. I remember Colin Chapman (Lotus) who died young and who was under huge pressure at the time. Ian Percy’s route is better, distributing the responsibility and not being the ultimate chief. He has good people around him like business manager David Tyler and of course the main Syndicate financier. His syndicate wants results, but at least you are not trying to hold full responsibility for everything simultaneously. I have never been convinced by motor racing people who come into sailing. The best people to design boats are boat designers. I saw one very successful cruising catamaran manufacture sunk by an expert manager from the car industry. He just did not talk the same language. I am sure the F1 guys have made a great contribution, but they have not outshone the so called ‘cottage industry’ boat builders from places like Australia and New Zealand. On the danger from boats rounding up on the start-line, you have the same problem in WW1 aircraft. If the engine stalled and you attempted to turn back to the airfield, the inside wing lost lift and dropped and the outer wing sped up and gained more lift. The plane would roll into the ground, especially if it had a rotary engine like the Sopwith Camel. The only solution might be to have separate vertical dagger boats in future like the ones on the IMOCA boats. Dean Barker did not luff excessively, Ainslie in a split second was caught out. He corrected more and more but it was too late. He was in a 'skid'. Even WW1 aces were killed by the manner described. Lastly, could we have less swearing on these bulletin boards. Children read them and in the UK if you must swear to make a point it makes you look uneducated? Try using ‘Oh Gosh’ or ‘Cripes’:-) Sailings become a sport of the upper classes, once more. I am not particular thrilled about being reduced to a flag waving fan. Brilliant event however. There is one winner this time for a change, the Americas Cup itself.