Foiling World welcomes Rob Andrews to the Team!
Although the news has just been released that I have joined Foiling World, the reality is that I have been working on the F101 since August. Having had a sail on the F101 earlier in the year, it was great to have the opportunity to contribute to the process of getting the boat from pre-production prototypes to the full production boat. It was a similar role that I had done on the SB20 and I just love the attention to detail aspects and trying to think of the ways that people will use the boat and make sure that we have the very best production solution. As I had worked with Alan back in the nineties, when we sailed together and ran the Team Unlimited holiday company, it was very easy to pick up the concept and contribute to the project with Alan and Jerry, and it’s become a fascinating project. The fact that it was a foiling project has just made the decision easier and when the opportunity came to join as a co-director I jumped at the chance.
Rob and Foiling
My first foray into foiling was on the Moth at Pro Vela, the sailing school in Spain that Alan started after we sold Team Unlimited to Thomas Cook and the Neilson sailing brand. I guess since then I have become more fascinated in foiling boats with my job at Land Rover BAR, where I project manage the Academy competing on the Extreme Sailing Series in the 5 person foiling GC 32. For me foiling has brought back all the excitement and enthusiasm that I had as young sailor following his early passion into what has been a life long journey surrounded by water and boats on it. Just being part of the Land Rover BAR team for twelve weeks in Bermuda, in the run up to the 35th Americas Cup was an amazing experience and opportunity to learn and all topped off with the young Academy sailors winning the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup for Great Britain.
Rob’s role in the first few months
As for the F101, the challenge has been to convert the pre production prototypes, as there have been three, into the production version. That is now available with the first customers trying their new boats in early December in Mar Menor, Spain. It has all been about attention to detail, such as working with Hyde Sails on the trampoline fitting and specification detail. Confirming with Harken exactly which block or fitting will be used in each specific position and which small change are made to the bespoke fittings as they go into production for the first F101’s. I now have a notebook full of numbers and changes as the process has evolved with many changes impacting on others and in early December we will see how the customer views the attention to detail! Small things like being able to take parts apart without tools (The rudder foil and rudder stock as an example). Can we hold the main foil down without a cleat? As all the load of the boat and the crew are on that cleat when the F101 lifts out of the water and consequently the rope tends to get a good grip of the cleat under that sort of load! The answer we hope has been a simple, easy to follow solution that will no doubt be slightly modified in use, as more of the F101 Tribe, as we call our F101 sailors, get to use the boats.
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