Rich Mason

Introducing Rich Mason

6/2/2017

Whether he's sending it on foils on a GC32 or Moth or going toe-to-toe with the future stars of the solo offshore world in a Figaro, Harken Ambassador Rich Mason (GBR) trusts Harken to keep him at the front.

Like many top British sailors Rich first started sailing in an Optimist at the age of four on the Salterns near Lymington. From there he made progress through various dinghy classes including the 470, 49er and F18 catamaran. He achieved a string of top results including a gold medal at the under 21 European championships in the 49er 2010, a silver medal at the 470 European championships 2012 and a silver medal at the F18 World Championships 2013.

Training with the Phantom F18 team (which included François Gabart) out of Port le Foret in France spurred him into applying for the Artemis Offshore Academy trials. After being selected for the academy in 2013 and training with some of the best in the business, Rich qualified for and competed in the highly competitive Solitaire Du Figaro. 

After completing the La Solitaire Rich turned his attention back to performance sailing, taking up the foiling International Moth and becoming part of the Monaco based team Malizia crew competing on the GC32 Racing Tour. He was recently announced as  bowman for the the SAP Extreme Sailing team.

Fresh from the 2016 MS Amlin Moth Regatta in Bermuda, Rich Mason paid Harken a visit at our UK HQ in Lymington.  Fortunately, repairs to his Moth from the previous week's hard racing weren't on the agenda. Instead, Rich shared with us a stirring account of how he, and his Harken hardware faired. "We had some pretty windy days that were at top-end for Moth sailing. Thirty knots wasn't unusual.  The racing over the week was run in really interesting format with the first day being a Dash-for-Cash in the harbour with the course set as a figure-of-eight loop.  Given the conditions, only about twenty guys rigged up and made it out. All my hardware held-up but the boat didn't. I "fell" into something and that was the end of my race.  Many of the fleet had trouble turning downwind. In such strong gusts, a lightweight hydrofoiler like the Moth is easily blown over its bow. The wipe-outs were spectacular!  That was my first day taken care of.  After that, it was all good for the week with loads of wind. Bermuda was great sailing.  Moth technology has come on leaps and bounds so sailing a Moth in a 20knot breeze is now perfectly acceptable. A bit scary, but otherwise - OK."    

Keen to press Rich on his move from multi-hull to mono-hull foiling, we asked him what you should expect.  "In a monohull, you're by yourself. On a GC32, you have to work as a team.  That's just the beginning.  There's a lot more noise and a lot more stuff going on. The GC32 is so much faster, and everything is happening much, much quicker. All of the comms and crew work has to be top-notch otherwise, you make a mistake, you fall off the foils and, that's it!  In a small more conventional boat, your make small mistakes don't get punished as much"

 

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