2010 Finnish MicroMagic Open

22 skippers with guests from RUS, SWE, and NED, in addition to FIN skippers came to this two-day event in Espoo. For me it was a non-event since I don't own the smaller MicroMagic rigs that were required during the first day with steady 7-8m/s and up to 11-12m/s of wind in the gusts.

At times you hear voices out there who mutter that the IOM sort of "fails" as a one-design because there isn't a minimum fin thickness, and the minimum weight is so low it is really difficult to DIY build a competitive boat on your own kitchen table. In contrast, the MicroMagic seems to do a reasonably good job of "pure one-design" with the hull and appendages, although people do play around with combinations of MkI and MkII fins and rudders.

But compared to the IOM, the MicroMagic rigs are a completely wild jungle! Although the biggest no1 (or should we call it "A"?) rig is limited to the stock size sails which come with the kit, there are little or no limitations on the smaller rigs. When there is this much freedom, people are bound to explore the design envelope, and unlike a pure one-design where everyone has the same equipment it will take some experience, time, and money to converge on rig designs for the smaller sails which are competitive. People seemed to use either no2 or no3 rigs yesterday, and I photographed some of them below. The top NED and SWE boats led the field along with FIN-111 who had obviously invested in the right kind of carbon-sticks, ball-bearing thingys, and sails. It looks like it is advantageous to get both the main and jib booms as close to the deck as possible.

All of this leads to a slight illusion then when you gladly advise the newcomer that the class is cheap and uncomplicated, "you get the kit for 170eur and you are done", when in fact the competitive people swap out fins and rudders right away, and spend 4-500 euros on a set of the latest carbon-ballbearing-super-mainsail-roach-rigs. Anyone with more experience in the MicroMagic class care to comment?

4 thoughts on “2010 Finnish MicroMagic Open”

  1. I agree with you. Sails and rigs in MM is a jungle. First of all, like in many traditional classes, the number of sails in a certain regatta should be limited. For exemple maximum 2 jibs and 2 mainsails.

  2. Hi Anders,

    great you participated! next time bring a pair of scizzors when it starts to blow 🙂 At least that is what we did in the beginning. The MM has a quite big standard rig and combined with the short and light keel it is essential to lower your rig to keep VMG upwind and prevent digging downwind. My standard A rig is 20 mm lower, I just cut that out of the top.

    Your comment is not new. I am personally also not very happy with the appearence of state of the art MM rigs which if you buy them all cost you something. All those ball beared bling bling is not good for the image of the class. One panelled light sails from flowerist foil are still the fastest there are. Icarex just as fast and better viewable.

    One must realise that every new rule or limitation will complicate the class and take some creativity away from the skippers. Every new rule is also a new point of discussion and trouble and that is not what most skippers want. The MM is not a small IOM, but a great agile boat to have fun with, racing.

    To win races you just need to sail well and use all concentration you got.

    That's why I stick to 3 rigs maximum and that is enough. More rigs will only confuse and make you nervous. Hollands best skipper still manages with 2 and he is very hard to beat under all circumstances.

    That is why an extra rule for limitation on rigs is not good for the class, allthough on local ponds it can be a good thing when everyone is just getting the boat out of the box. Then it is just learning to sail this unbelievable good pocket size boat and make some cheap rigs yourself at a cost lesser then the rudder of your IOM.

  3. Hi Anders,

    though I am concentrating on RG-65 sailing, I have some insight to the MM class as well...

    It might look like that you need to have all that ball-raced, carbon fibre high-tech stuff to sail at least somewhere in the middle of the fleet, but that's just not true...I remember Kim Daub from Germany participating in the 2007 European championships (with fairly tough competitors) and finishing 2nd. He started with an (alomst) out of the box rMM, even with the 1-piece sails supplied by Graupner...Kim is just an incredibly good sailor, and I think that counts way more than having the latest toys around...

    regards from Kiel/GER,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.