Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Puma Bite: Chatting With Glenn Raphael

From Our PR Puma Peeps:

In preparing for Moth Worlds, we had a chance to chat with Glenn Raphael, who will be sailing one of our PUMA Moths out in Oregon next week.

Let’s start off easy…what got you started in sailing?

G: I was introduced to sailing at about five years old when my father purchased a small sailing dinghy for my older sister. Although barely being able to swim I would kick her off and sail it. My father was a competitive sailor as well as a lot of my family. I grew up at yacht clubs, so it was pretty much a sure thing.

Why sail a foiling moth? How does it compare to other boats you’ve sailed?

G: If not for the speed and excitement what else? The Moth class is growing at such a rapid rate, and after moving to Dubai, it was the obvious choice for someone who is into skiff racing. You don’t have to worry about a crew and you can rig up and head out sailing in less than 15 minutes. It is extremely difficult to compare to anything else I have sailed and the acceleration and silence when foiling is unreal.

What do you think the Moth brings to the sport of sailing?

G: High performance, single handed racing that is interesting to watch.

With Moth Worlds two weeks away, what are you doing to prepare for the events? Any special training routines?

G: My routine has been a combination of circuit training and on water sessions. In Dubai now with air temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius and water temperature currently about 37 degrees, on water training has been very demanding for the last month. Chris Graham and I have been training together a lot over the past six months.

Just before Moth Worlds, there is the Dash-4-Cash. Can you explain this event?

G: I’m not sure on the exact format of the race yet. Imagine it will be a downwind race from Cascade Locks. First place takes the Cash!!! A similar event is scheduled for Dubai known as “Around the World,” around the World Island Development.

Glenn, what is happening on the sailing scene in Dubai?

G: Dubai in terms of Moth Racing is developing really well with the World Championships there next March. We have around 13 Moths racing in the UAE and more on the way. In addition to the Moth Sailing, there is a reasonable size Laser fleet and a strong IRC racing scene. The two Dubai based professional teams (Sea Dubai – RC 44 and Team Aqua - RC44 & Extreme 40) do very well in helping to promote sailing in Dubai on the World Stage. There is always plenty of talk around town about the America’s Cup, due to Emirates Airlines’ involvement and potential Volvo Ocean Race Stopovers as well, let’s see.

Question for both of you, other than sailing, what sports are you a fan of (either playing or watching)?

G: When I have time I like to enjoy the beach or any sport on the water. Luckily in Dubai you can do this almost all year round.

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