|Welcome to the world of R/C Yachting
|Hi and welcome to all the R/C yachting enthusiasts out there. My name is Alec
Newald and I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you and give a
little of the background that lead me to an interest in R/C yachting and making
sails for same. I guess first off I have Martin Firebrace to thank for lending me
one of his R/C yachts many years ago and so hooking me into this fantastic sport.
On a personal level I'm a Kiwi sailmaker with many years of experience in both
the trade and in racing yachts of all sizes and classes. I consider myself extremely
competitive and love most sports that involve racing of one kind or another. I'm
always looking to increase my knowledge in this sport or in any domain and so
move forward, because of that I'm not one to dwell on past deeds or
achievements, but for those that are interested in credentials my serious yachting
started with a sailmaking apprenticeship in New Zealand under Chris Bouzaid who
was a trail blazer in early keel boat achievements for NZ yachtsmen and really put
us on the map internationally, starting with One Ton Cups etc. and knowing we
could succeed at that level eventually lead us into the top end of the sport and
America's Cup racing success. I'm very proud of what such a small nation as NZ
has achieved over the past few years with very limited budgets.
Getting back to the personal stuff I raced most of the early Kiwi dingy classes
including, Moths, both NZ and International, Z class, Cherubs, trailersailers, and
most Keelboats. I was lucky enough to have starting racing these classes when
you could still build them yourself and not have to buy plastic boats off the
production line. I feel designing and building some of these small classes with your
own hands gave you more feel for the sport and sailing in general. I was lucky
enough to place in the top three Nationally in all the classes I sailed except the
Cherub which I raced in the early days before becoming involved in sailmaking.
My apprenticeship was served with others the like of the late Jim Lidgard...A top
dingy sailor and foreward hand of his day and perhaps better know for his
involvement in the top class sailmaking firm of Halsey Lidgard Sails. With the
help of Jim and Chris I had the good fortune to be involved in and try many sail
and rig innovations including the first ever pocket luff sail fitted to a racing dingy
in NZ. I opened my own sail loft after leaving Bouzaid Sails in the 70's which by
then had changed it's name when taken over by Hood Sails.
More recently, since 1999 infact, my attention has been focused on the world of
R/C racing and sailing. Although I have sailed several different R/C classes over
the past few years most of my attention has been focused on the one metre class.
I have spent much of my spare time racing and making sails for these small
yachts, as well as working with other top skippers in the class developing and
testing sails until I considered I had a product that was world class, and that a
good sailor in any class could fit a suit of my sails to their yacht and if they did
everything else right on the day could expect to win.
I have now reached that point in my development and feel I can offer to the
world, top class sails at reasonable prices. Of course testing and development will
continue but I now have a base line product that I feel is as good as any you can
buy in the world. What I would like to do now is share with you some of the
things I have found, not only after these intensive years of R&D on small sails,
but also what I have discovered after years as a professional yachtsman, sailmaker.
Hopefully there will be something for everyone here, both expert and novice alike.
I would also like to use this space to introduce the world of R/C yachting and
yachts to those that are curious to what the sport is like and have not yet
connected in full with it.
I hope you have some fun here reading about this exciting and inexpensive sport
or hobby and maybe I'll see you out there on the lake enjoying yourself, till then
good sailing. Alec Newald