Thursday, September 26, 2019

30th Classic Moth Boat National Regatta

Hard to believe that 30 years has slipped away since Classic Moths resumed racing down in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  I've attended all but the very first event, which featured five boats.  This year's event saw twenty three Moths compete.  The age range of skippers was from 12 to 75--one is almost never too young or too old to race a Classic Moth.

Diaristdaughter was once again part of the mark boat crew and what follows are some of the photos she managed to take in between moving course marks.

Both days of racing featured mostly sunny skies, temps in the agreeable side of 80, and light (4 to 6 knot) wind from the SW.
Due to the continued efforts of Greg Duncan (Elizabeth City) and Joe Bousquet (Norfolk), we had a record (for us) of seven junior sailors (U-18).  I recall one Nats wherein our "junior" was the youngest sailor (aged 34), just to give the trophy away.  That was then, this is now.  Above, we see one of the E. City juniors, David Panet sailing Walt Collins' former Europe, now owned by a local sailing club.
Kale Jones sailed the ex-Joe Courter Europe, also owned by the E. City sailing club.

Bodie Blackford, from E. City, sailed Greg Duncan's Europe

Finally, our last E. City junior, Sam Moncla (leading Bodie) sailed John Pugh's Europe.  Sam is a descendant of Wilbur Van Sant, (Moth Boat founder Joel Van Sant's brother).  Sam must have inherited the sailing genes from them.  His winning ways are impressive!

Pretty in pink.  Down from the Norfolk area is Abbie Kiggans, sailing Joe Bousquet's Maser.  In past years Joe has loaned boats to Abbie's older brothers.  We tend to lose junior sailors to college.  Hopefully some of this crew will return.

Another Norfolk area junior, Chase Brittain, sailed Susan Bousquet's modified Shelley.
Rounding out the junior sailors from Norfolk, Severin Lavarius sailed the Swiss Moth which Joe B. sailed to overall victory in last year's National Regatta.
With the juniors accounted for, we will now list the, (cough), older skippers.  In no particular order we have:

Your old diarist sailing his Galetti-built Europe, Femme Fatale.

Diaristson, Erik sailed our Winner-built Europe, Ooh La La.

Bill Boyle sailed his son's cedar strip Europe.

Zack Balluzzo is seen here in Y2K Bug, his Collins-built Mistral.
John Pugh sailed Wingnut his Gen I, Gregory-built Mint design (sail Nr 20).  To leeward is John Zseleczky sailing his vintage division Ventnor Moth, Tweety.  Tweety  was formerly owned and sailed by the first CMBA President, Ekry Gregory.

Walt Collins was back, sailing his Gen I Moth Feather.

Gary Gowans, sailing in Vintage, is seen here in Tennis Bracelet.  This boat was built in Pittsburgh, PA during the late 1940s.  Gary recently rebuilt the boat and with Gary in the hot seat she is deceptively hellishly fast.

Eric Bellows sailed the Merv Wescoat-built Shelley Lookout.

Don Hewitt sailed Legend, a vintage Connecticut Moth.
Bob Patterson sailed Deacon, his McCutcheon-Shelley.

Ed Salva is seen here sailing his Europe Maple Leaf.

Don Janeway rounded out the vintage division fleet with 3-D, a Ventnor Moth which has been in his family since new.

John Z's son Pete took over John's Mistral Y2K2 for this event.

Another Gen II competitor, Mike Parsons, is seen here in Nr 79, Revolution.

Joe Bousquet reverted to his Mistral, Try-Umph, for this event.
Heading out to the starting area on Saturday morning.  Lots of slack in the Cunninghams.

A bit of breeze here.  It didn't last long

Waiting for a start.
More waiting.
Gary had Tennis Bracelet punching way above her weight, as did Walt in Feather.  Both boats were quite often mixing it up with the Gen II Mistrals.

Down wind legs could be frustrating.  After working hard to eek out a lead, one could often be treated to the sound of a gaggle of boats surging up from behind on a "private" puff of wind.
The light air and random puffs tended to cluster the boats leading to moments of "togetherness" during mark roundings.

The camera lens shortens the length of the leg between these two marks.

Abbie about to get pinwheeled off at the mark.  See next pix.

Europe booms are low!

Very patchy wind.

Milling around before a start.

An old geezer in a wooden boat crossing the finish line all alone.  #So Sad!

Just drifting and drifting.  Hey, that reminds me of a song from the Paul Butterfield blues band...
John Z's Ventnor. 

Walt Collins in a Ted Causey-built Moth from the early 1990s.  This boat had been listed for sale on but found no takers at the initial asking price.  The owner, who was in the process of moving house sent me an angst filled email, two days before the move, indicating that if no one wanted the boat (now offered for free), she was going to the dump.  As can be imagined, the significant price drop caused something of a frenzy within the membership.  Joe B. was closest to the boat and saved her from a ride to the dump.  The boat will soon have a new permanent owner--Joe has too many boats!  The former owner asked that if possible, she'd like a photo of the boat assembled and in the water.  Walt, who knew the owner from high school days obliged.  While sail-able as is, the boat will need a bit of tweaking to bring the hull up to current minimum weight and the sail within current measurement rules.

The winners?  Mike Parsons was the overall and Gen II division champ, followed by Joe Bousquet and Pete Zseleczky.  The order in Gen I was Walt Collins, Sam Moncla and Bob Patterson.  The Vintage division winner was Gary Gowans, followed by John Zseleczky and Don Janeway, Walt took the Founder's Award (oldest competitor) and Sam Moncla was the top Junior sailor.  So, that's a wrap on this year's Nats.