Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stone Harbor Museum, Take Two.

Both of my long time readers  will recall that towards the end of last summer I attempted to see a Moth Boat which was supposedly on display at the Stone Harbor Museum.  Diarist family was down on the Jersey shore last week and so a second attempt to see the Moth was made.  

The Stone Harbor Museum is located at 235 93rd Street.  It was open this time.

The Moth turned out to be a Shelley Mk I with a self-draining style cockpit.  The coves at the transom are a John Shelley design hallmark.  His International 14 from the early 1960s also has this design feature.

From the bow one can see the distinctive flat Shelley stem above the waterline.  The chine is hard to see in this photo and eventually fades away at about the chain plate position as we view the U-shaped bow.

There is already tree debris laying in the cockpit.  This boat should be displayed indoors!

Another shot of the boat.  At first I assumed that this boat was built by Bill McCutcheon on the Isle of Wight but after discussing the details with Bob Patterson it may be one of the Shelley-design Moths which his brother Tom built.  This particular boat is Nr 3028 and was donated to the Museum by  Stone Harbor YC member Kevin Pain.

With a bit of rearrangement the Moth could be displayed inside this outbuilding which houses photographs, half models and other dinghy racing memorabilia.  At least they have the boat under a canopy.  Hopefully other arrangements will be made before the weather takes it's toll on this Moth. I always have mixed emotions whenever I learn of Moth Boats being used as static displays rather than being raced.  A boat which is raced is a boat that will be maintained in good condition. The Museum has examples of other race boats which are in various states of decay.  This underlines the fact that it's often easier to donate a boat to an organization than it is for the receiving Museum to safely house, repair and display it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Brigantine Moth Boat Regatta

We had 16 boats (two Generation II, twelve Generation I and two in the vintage division) show up for this year's BYC Moth Regatta. We also had a very strong NE wind show up as well.  The fifteen knots steady part was OK, but the fluky and harsh gusts (in the mid-twenties) caught out several skippers and kept the crash boat crew busy.  Roughly half the fleet went for a swim before the day's six races were in the books. On the plus side, the strong wind was a great equalizer between boat designs and skipper weights which lead to closely grouped clusters of boats at the marks and finish line. Walt Collins in particular was very competitive in his Europe giving the two Mistrals plenty to think about. At the end, Joe Bousquet was first in Gen II, Walt crushed the rest of us in Gen I and Bill Boyle took his newly restored Abbott to the winner's circle in the Vintage category. All in all a very enjoyable event. My right wrist is still swollen but it was so worth it even if I couldn't sheet in very effectively!

Mike Parsons (Mistral design) leads a gaggle of Shelleys and Europes around the weather mark during the first race.  Your diarist had muffed the start and so was in the following pack of boats.

Bill Boyle had a good first outing for his newly restored Abbott (Nr 92).

Stephen Ditmore came down from New York with this boat of his own design.  Stephen continues to improve the boat each time we see her but Saturday's stiff breeze left no doubt that she's still a work in progress.

Gen II winner Joe Bousquet demonstrates how to right a Mistral without so much as getting the soles of your boots wet.
Bob Patterson sailed his Bill McCutcheon-built Shelley.   This boat was originally sailed back in the '60s by fellow Sea Isle City YC member Carol Zimmerman.

My son Erik, seen here in the middle of a roll tack, sailed our wood Europa Moth GYPSY.  But where is the old diarist?

Here he is.  Finally, in the fourth race I managed a decent start and led the pack around the first two marks.  This however, was to be the high water mark of my regatta.

Walt Collins (and others) quickly got by me as I continued to blow tacks and had a hard time sheeting in with my right arm.  I managed to finish sixth and out of the money.

At the prize giving, I hand Bill Boyle, from Harrington, DE  his keeper tea tray as the Vintage division winner.

Bill will also get his name engraved on FOX's Cup, the BYC Vintage division perpetual trophy.    Russell Post (worked for Ventnor Boat Works and Egg Harbor Yachts before founding Post Marine) won this cup here in Brigantine in 1935 sailing FOX, the first Moth Boat he built as a teenager.  Russell kindly donated the cup to us in 1999.  Fellow CMBA member William Duffield created the wooden throne on which the cup rests.

Walt Collins from Chesapeake, VA accepts his keeper tray and also the Les Kammerman trophy as the Generation I winner.

Joe Bousquet from Norfolk, VA won the Generation II division and will be added to the South Jersey Trophy. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Visit to Le Cirque du Cyclisme XIV

Le Cirque du Cyclisime is an annual multi-day event devoted to steel framed racing and touring bikes from the late 1930s to the mid-1980s.  The 1930s are looked upon as the start of the classic bike period in as much as this time point saw the beginnings of the production of high quality bikes built from lightweight tubing such as the well known Schwinn Paramount.  But one might ask what's so magic about the mid-1980s as a cut off date?  Good question.  One answer is that Tullio Campagnolo, the inventor of many of the components we now take for granted such as the quick release skewer for wheel hubs, died in 1983 and that his passing is a good defining point as the end of the classical period for  hand-built bicycle construction.  After the mid-1980s bicycles moved away from hand-built lugged steel frames and increasing used aluminum, titanium and most recently carbon fiber in a more productionized environment that stresses output rather than craftsmanship.  Of course opinions are divided on this subject but, never the less, there is a large following of enthusiasts who collect and ride the high quality bikes from this era.  They meet annually for this combination bike show/swap meet and to exchange knowledge via seminars devoted to topics such as wheel building, the history of different brands of racing bicycles etc.  There are also group rides through the surrounding countryside for owners who have brought their bikes for display.  Your diarist still didn't have enough grip strength in his right hand to safely ride a bike,and so was content to go on the final day of this year's meet for the Sunday bike show and swap meet.  Let's breathe in Le Cirque's atmosphere.

The day featured temps in the 90s.  Knowledgeable vendors brought tents.  The display area for show bikes is under the big white tent in the background.

There were many bargain bits to haggle over.

These wood rimmed wheels caught your diarist's eye but at $400 were beyond his pocketbook.

Wood rim  maker's decal.  Why am I always drawn to life's high priced items?

Classic Rendezvous web site moderator Dale Brown was working the Cycles de Oro tent.  It was nice to match a face to a name.
Dale Brown

This interesting twin down tube Colnago frame could have been yours for $750.

Several vendors offered vintage wool jerseys.

Nice Mel Pinto handlebar bag on this Jack Taylor bike.

An interesting front fork on this old La France.

I couldn't figure out the make of this bike with the old lamp.  Note the Alex Singer bicycle behind it.  Tasty bikes for sale were stacked up like firewood.

Need a new pair of cycling shoes?  They had 'em priced to sell.

The same money could have bought you this set of wing nuts.

$300 was the asking price for the red Claud Butler frame. Luckily not my size.

Washington , DC based distributor Cycle-Monkey had Rohloff 14 speed hubs on display. 

I don't even want to think about pedaling this bike--look at those tires and imagine the rolling resistance!

I passed on many tempting items but finally succumbed to this pair of sufficiently scruffy Team Raleigh wheel covers bought for the lofty price of $10.  They will look good on the wheels of my ex-Gerri Knetemann Raleigh Team Professional.

There were many other things to drool over in the vendors area but I took several deep breaths and moved on to the display tent.  Unfortunately my camera was misbehaving in macro mode and so my detail photos of the many fine bikes on display are not all that good, but luckily for you many detail pix can be seen here and here.  What follows are a few of my pix that are worth a look.

This Schwinn Paramount is from 1938, the first year of Paramount production.

I liked the twin head lamps on this J.P. Weigle-built bike.

I believe this nice track frame is constructed from stainless steel.  There was no information next to the stand and I couldn't find the owner.

Gunnar, where have I heard this name before?

A nice Masi Gran Criterium..

The same individual had this very nice Colnago Super on display.

I was taken by this well presented Alex Singer.

Complete with cap--note the absence of panniers; he's ready to go credit card touring--my favorite kind as I'm not much of a camper.

Frame builder Isis Schiffer (works at Bilenky in Philadephia) kindly got this eye catching track bike down from their display so that I could get a decent shot.  She's one of a very few women frame builders in this country.

Another example of Peter Weigle's handiwork.

One of several Chris Kvale bikes on display.

Fork detailing on the Chris Kvale bike.

Towards the end of the day the "keepers of the flame" frame builders where encouraged to gather for a group shot.  I only recognize a few: right side of first row is Peter Weigle; left side of second row is Dale Brown and standing next to him is Isis Schiffer.  The site has a similar photo with almost complete identities of the folks present.

 The day was growing late and I needed to get home in time for supper.  So I gathered up my wheel covers and walked through the hotel lobby to the car park.  There in the lobby was one last surprise:  this Johnny Coast roadster fitted out for light touring.  I think the mid-50s aluminum bidons complete with their cork stoppers, are a nice departure from the ever present plastic drinking bottles found on most bikes.  Traditionally, they are hung from the handlebars.