Bruce Keen. 2010 UK National Champion
is a Q&A that was completed by MPS UK National Champion
What got you into the MPS class?
I had been sailing Lasers for over 10 years and I was
getting bored and wanted a new challenge. There were
a few MUSTO Skiffs sailing at Stokes Bay, so the class
seemed like an obvious choice.
What have you sailed previously?
Laser, Laser II (crewing), a few one-design keelboat
classes, Optimist and Dabchick (a South African single-handed
youth class, with a main and jib)
How old, tall and heavy are you?
(note:completed in 2010)
32, 186cm, 83kg
How much training did you do in
the MPS in the year prior to the nationals win?
In winter one day most weekends. In summer: Wednesday
evenings and one day on the weekend. I also try and
do all the open meetings on the southern circuit.
Did you do any specific training exercises to
improve your boatspeed & handling?
This often depends on what the conditions are like,
who else is sailing and what I feel I am currently weak
- Speed/tuning runs - Line up alongside another boat
(or more), so that you both have clear air. Sail as
fast you can, then stop and compare settings/technique
in order to get the slower person faster. Good for working
on boatspeed and settings by comparing to others.
- Tacking and gybing practice - Practice tacking/gybing
by yourself. You can work on improving your technique
with the freedom to experiment and to get it wrong (unlike
a race situation).
- Match race tacking practice - The boat in front tries
to cover the boat behind and the boat behind tacks to
break cover. The exercise stops when the boat behind
passes the boat in front. You can quickly see if you
are tacking faster or slower than the other boat. This
is pretty good for fitness as it is very tiring after
a few minutes.
- Short course sailing - Find two marks, one to windward
of the other, maybe 200m apart. Sail around them as
you would in a race. Make sure you adjust your controls
at each mark rounding like you normally would. This
can be very tiring after 10 hoists and drops, but good
for working on boat handling and fitness.
- Trigger pulls - Line up alongside one (or more boats)
with your sails out as you would on a startline. The
leeward boat counts down from 10 and you only sheet
on at zero. Good for figuring out what is the fastest
way to accelerate off the startline.
- Holding position - Find a mark and try and stay near
it without drifting sideways or going backwards or tacking.
Good for keeping your position on a crowded startline
- Pin end starts - Find a mark and set your watch to
2 minute count down. Line up in position with 1 minute
to go and try and have a perfect pin-end start. Sail
for 30 seconds then head back to the mark and repeat.
This is good for working on your boat handling and judging
where you need to position yourself to allow for tide/wind
drift in order to get the perfect start.
were your rig settings (Rake, tensions (shroud &
lowers) spreaders (length & deflection))?
Rake: 7255mm (referenced by measuring 6110 to top of
Rig tension: Shroud 29, Lowers 12
Spreaders: Length 395mm (see photos)
Deflection: 100mm spreaders are
set up as in photos. Inner holes for spreader are as
per the defaults on website.
What did it feel like to lift the trophy at
the prize giving?
Do you have any sponsors?
No, but I am open to sponsorship offers!
What other hobbies do you have?
Windsurfing, cycling, consuming coffee and cake
Are you married / have any kids?
I am married to Rachel. No kids.
What is your favourite band/music?
The music I listen to most would be classical flute
music ... not out of choice, but because my wife is
practising for a flute diploma!
What's your favourite food?
Roast Lamb, Dark Chocolate.
What is your day job?
Technical Sales Manager for Ascom. I assist with the
technical side (IT/Telecommunications) of selling software/hardware
for monitoring and optimising mobile networks.
Other sailor Profiles
Henderson 2011 World Champion
Stenhouse Multiple Champion
Keen. 2010 UK National Champion
Rick Perkins. 2007 UK National Champion
Ian Trotter. 2005 UK National Champion
Anderson. 2004 UK National Champion
Gabriel Wicke. 2002 European
Howarth 2001 European Champion