Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The 2020 Nationals--The Regatta that almost wasn't

The Classic Moth Boat Nationals, by tradition, follows on the 3rd weekend in September.  The combination of Covid-19 restrictions and hurricane remnants almost derailed this year's regatta. Even delaying the regatta from the traditional date to the Columbus weekend in October didn't get us completely out of the cross hairs of this year's hurricane season. Winds were predicted to be on the light side of the spectrum for Friday and Saturday. Sunday was billed as a probable day of steady rain. Whenever one changes the date of an event, there are winners and losers due to unmoveable obligations and other commitments. We were happy to have sixteen boats assemble for the regatta. What follows is a collection of photos taken by Greg Duncan and/or Lloyd Griffin during Saturday, the single day which we sailed. Racing was abandoned on Sunday.
Joe Bousquet brought four boats.  He was uncertain as to how many student sailors would be free to sail in the morning but he rigged them all anyway.
After getting the boats set up, Joe pulled them over on their sides for the night.  Very light wind were predicted overnight.
He placed the blades on the sails for a bit of weight against the odd puff of breeze.  The boats were fine the next morning.
Bill Boyle's vintage division Abbott Moth.Add
Jay Yerkes did a lot of structural and cosmetic work to his Mistral since the last time we saw her.
The same can be said for Donald Hewitt's Mistral.
Mike Parsons' Mistral. 
For the  sake of comparison here are the bottoms of  the four boats which Joe brought down from Norfolk.  First his Mistral.
Next we see the  lines of the Lane Reeves designed "Savannah Mistral".  Lane wanted to make the Mistral shape a bit more user friendly.  He did succeed but at the expense of the amount of skipper weight which the boat will accommodate.  This would be a great boat if one weighs 90 lbs. 
The bottom of the  Fletcher-Cates.
The bottom of the Fletcher-Swiss.
Here we see Joe Bousquet in the blue Mistral leading Parker Purrington in the Swiss Moth (Nr 2739) at the weather mark.  Matthew Panek (Nr 71) and Bob Patterson (Nr 217) are keeping the Gen II boats honest.
Here, your old diarist, sailing his wood Europe, Nr 151, rounds just after Joe's Mistral proving that in light air most logs drift at about the same rate.  I was sporting a new sail, stitched up by Justin Ailsworth (Evolution Sails, Chesapeake).  This sail gave me more boat speed than I've seen in many a day.  I hope the shape works in a breeze as well!
A sign of the times.  Bill Boyle is that masked man.  We all wore masks while launching and retrieving and some forgot to remove them once away from the dock!
Jay Yerkes, Mistral.

Maggie Mayer, one of a pair of sisters racing at this regatta, is a summer sailing student at the community sailing program.

The Abbott.  Bill was the default Vintage Champion since he was the only  Vintage division boat competing. 

Donald Hewitt's primary objective was to complete the course in the tippy and new to him Mistral.  In that regard he had a successful day even though he slipped in the boat and put a foot through a side tank panel.

Generation II and overall winner, Mike Parsons (nr 79)/

Bob Patterson (Shelley, Nr 217) and Logan Weeks (Europe Nr 99).

The new sail has a loose foot rather than the more familiar bolt rope foot, so I'm sure there's lots for me to learn about proper adjustment.  Additionally, the top batten is full length, and although fairly soft, the batten, at least in this wind range, had the annoying tendency of staying inverted after a tack and requiring a smart snap of the boom to get it to pop over.  So much for "attached flow"!  This was so even with no tension on the batten.  I'll need to seen if RBS has a softer tapered batten.

Glassy.  The wind ranged from zero to about 2 knots.

We get our due in the Daily AdvanceAfter over thirty years of holding this regatta in Elizabeth City, Moths are still newsworthy in this small northeastern North Carolina town.
One last look at 2020.  The remnants of Hurricane Delta were pushing rain up from the gulf and so racing was abandoned for Sunday.  In hindsight, we could have probably gotten several races in before the rains came, but then we would have been loading boats and driving home in the rain.  All in all I think the RC made the right decision.  With no regattas on the schedule until the Mid-Winter regatta down in Gulfport, Florida, we bid adieu to the pandemic year and hope that the virus doesn't cost us more lost regattas in 2021.