|Click on picture to enlarge it.|
Eagle eyed CMBA member, Chandler Owen spotted this old postcard on flea-bay. As can be seen, the card greets us from Painesville, Ohio. However, of the boats which I can identify by sail number, I'm led to believe that the venue isn't from the "buckeye state", but instead somewhere in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Perhaps Mount Pleasant?
The boat on port tack, closest to the camera, is Randall Swan's Connecticut design Blue Moon II, Nr 1149. I don't know if Randall is at the tiller or not but the ID of the boat is not in question. Interestingly, this boat and several others are being sailed two up which tells us that the young skippers were too light to keep their boats flat with the available wind at their disposal. Now that we're adults this is no longer a requirement!
Randall's father bought this particular boat from a display at the 1949 New York Boat Show, directly from her designer/builder, Skip Etchells. At the time, Etchells operated a business called "Old Greenwich Boat Works", located in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Connecticut was the rig. Etchells is probably better know as a Star boat builder and competitor. As such he was largely responsible for introducing the Moth Class to "bendy" masts. Randall once told me that the young sailors with Connecticut Moths didn't quite know what they were doing when they sheeted in hard and bent the mast, but they knew that the boats were more controllable and thus faster in a big breeze.
The boat with sail number 1202 is, I believe, Rob Johnson in Gremlin. I'm fairly sure that this boat and Nr 1103 are Darby-built Ventnor Moths. The old records in my possession indicate that Nr 1203 was owned by Gordon Darby. Gordon may well be in this picture. As is the case with many pictures, the more distant boats defy identification and so their designs and skippers remain a mystery. A mystery which perhaps some reader can partially elucidate with a comment.
In closing, here we have another interesting old postcard featuring Moth Boats on sunny, sparkling waters to ponder over a chilly winter night--even if I remain unconvinced of the venue. It's a pity that modern postcards so seldomly feature scenes with boats or yacht clubs or races any more. That makes ones like this one, which I think dates to about 1952, all the more interesting to find.
Added after posting: I just rec'd this input from Randall Swan:
You are right about the location of the race being Mt Pleasant.Photo shows Castle Pinckney to the West and the only regatta in that location would have been the Mt. pleasant regatta. I believe the dote is 1951, as that was the last year I needed a crew for ballast in most conditions.
Thanks for the photo. Those were the days!
Thanks Randall! I was off a year!