Saturday, November 16, 2019

The 1957 Moth Nationals

I came across this old announcement from the 1957 Moth Class Nationals while sorting through a box of stuff.  The four day event (two days of racing) was held, just after Labor Day, at the Margate City YC in New Jersey.  To put this in perspective, those born that year are now eligible for social  security:

Sadly, the MCYC no longer exists.  The club petered out about twenty years ago when membership dropped below the level needed to pay the real estate taxes and clubhouse upkeep.  No doubt the site is now either a marina or condominiums.

Racing included separate Championships for the Open, Junior and Women competitors.  One wonders what constituted "proper" identification for the Saturday evening party?  Interestingly, the street address of the club is not provided.  Most of the competitors during this period of the IMCA were local and already knew.

Burt Dowler, the IMCA president from 1942 until 1958, was part of the protest committee.  This event would be one of Mr. Dowler's final acts as Moth Class President.  His health declined and he passed away in October of 1958.  The remaining class officers struggled with the leadership vacuum caused by his death.  One of Burt Dowler's pet projects was the annual Moth Class yearbook which he started in 1950, called Moth Doings.  There is a gap of two years (1958 and 1959) before the class collected itself and finally resumed publication of the yearbook in 1960.  The final issue of Moth Doings was published in 1965 just before the IMCA reorganized itself as a truly international body in which member nations were parts of rather than an organization controlled by just one member nation.

Getting back to the regatta, the winner of the Open division was a young Blair Fletcher sailing a boat of his own design called Dixie Peach.  Blair would go on to become one of the most dominant builders of Moth Boats in the 1960s.  Randall Swan was second and Newt Wattis was third.  In the Junior division, Peter Tuffs won followed by Ricky Shepperd and Danny Mullray.  Didi Adshead prevailed in the Women's division over Paula Holmes and Marianne Wark.  The team award went to the Charleston Moth Fleet over Stone Harbor, Margate and Harbor Sailing.