Saturday, March 5, 2011

The 2011 Classic Moth Boat Mid-Winter Regatta.

Wow, last weekend was so busy it's hard to figure out where to start with this blog post.  Elisabeth and I did get on the road Thursday morning at 4 am and we did arrive at Merv and Barb Wescoat's home in Ocala, Florida around 5:30 pm after a relatively uneventful run down I-95.  Merv turned 84 this past January and still occasionally races with us.  I hope I can still climb into the cockpit of a Moth when I'm 84.  Merv didn't race this time around since he's having problems with his blood pressure meds, but he and his daughter Barb always take in racers traveling down to Gulfport each year.  This not only breaks up the drive and saves all of us the cost of a night in a motel but it gets us into party mode a night sooner.  The next morning we hit the road and arrived at the Yacht Club around noon.  Friday is generally spent putting boats together and going for a test sail to make sure all the bugs are sorted out before racing starts in earnest.  One bug that I didn't count on was the inner tube in one of the wheels on my boat's dolly.  Before loaded up in Maryland I checked the tire pressure and the side wall called for 30 psi cold.  Well, it was 28 degrees in Maryland so I figured that was sort of cold.  Florida was 50 degrees warmer and as I was rigging the boat there was a loud BANG!  Guys looked around wondering what caused the "gun fire".  It finally dawned on me that the source of the noise was the tire on the sunny side of my own boat dolly!  I quickly bled some of the air out of the tire on the shady side of the boat.  Luckily a fellow competitor had a spare wheel so I didn't have to carry the boat down to the launching beach.

The infamous inner tube incident.  The force of the tube exploding almost blew the tire off the rim.  The "report" sounded just like gun fire!

Saturday racing conditions:  Air temp mid-70s, winds 5 to 10 knots from the south west--eat your heart out!  Sixteen boats, evenly divided between Generation II (faster designs) and Generation I (slightly earlier and slower designs) lined up for the start.  The first warning signal was at noon and the Race Committee posted course 2 (an Olympic triangle with a windward-leeward-windward finish).  We raced 7 races back to back and came ashore around 4 pm.

Milling around before the start, waiting for the clock to tick down. Photo credit: Amy Linton.
One of my better starts!  I'm sailing boat nr 64. Photo credit:  Amy Linton.
Although the winds were a tad on the light side, the water was choppy.  This offered many opportunities to work the waves and surf downwind. If done correctly, catching a wave yields significant boat speed gains. Photo credit:  Amy Linton.
Working GYPSY up wind toward the first mark, which is just off camera to the right.  The other boats are in front of me!  Photo credit: Amy Parker.
Later during the same race I'd recovered a few boats.  Photo credit Amy Parker.
Tomorrow I'll sort though more of the photos and post pix of some of my competitors.  Stay tuned.


  1. I don't know how you placed, but obviously you were a winner.

  2. Yes! After a total of 11 races over two days I clawed my way up onto the podium and took 3rd place in the Gen I division. During a few of the races I even managed to beat some of the faster Gen II boats which is always satisfying! Overall Gypsy had good boat speed but not great boat speed but I've got ideas on how to improve that and yesterday did a bit of rig tuning and sail shape testing in the backyard. I'm already looking forward to our next regatta in North Carolina but that won't happened 'til the end of April so I have some time to tinker.


  3. Why does it take a Dutch delegation to fly across the Atlantic Ocean to get a bike lane installed in Florida
    Tires Florida

  4. prolix: That indeed is a good question. However I'm afraid it isn't that simple. Indeed if all it took to fly a delegation across the Atlantic to get bike lanes installed, a number of us would chip in to pay for their tickets. The only thing that might get bicycles out of garages and in use as commuting vehicles is a gasoline price that puts driving out of the hands of most people. So far that hasn't happened and sadly even if it does most peeps will turn to alternate fuels or e-cars before they expend their own energy and ride bikes to work.

    My question to you is what does all this have to do with a post about racing Classic Moth Boats in FLA??? Should I have towed my boats from Maryland to Florida with my bicycle?