Wednesday, September 22, 2021

2021Classic Moth Boat National Regatta

 Erik and I had a rainy slog down 301 and Route 17 this past Friday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Odette  swept to the north, several hundred miles off the mid-Atlantic coast.  The wipers were employed all the way past the Dismal Swamp Canal.  The skies finally cleared as we crossed the North Carolina border and the rain was done and dusted by the time we drifted into Elizabeth City at around 2:30 that afternoon.  I was not looking forward to rigging two Europes in a steady downpour.  Instead we were greeted by stiff NE winds.  Those who rig Europes well know the tedious nature of getting the sail shape control lines just right--especially the outhaul.  

Ah yes, the outhaul.  The one control that is fed down through the mast partner ring from the boom.  A minute's inattention and that line can disappear into the nether reaches of the boom--which is a major PITA.  With the whipping winds plus numerous friends stopping by to chew the fat, first Erik and then myself lost control of that pesky line only to have it disappear!  Mercifully, John Pugh brought us inside the calm of his garage and helped us regain control over the hidden block and tackle inside the two booms and we were able to finally get the two boats rigged.  After a steadying beer, life was good again,

Saturday dawned a bit calmer.  We started the the six races planned for the day with 10 knots out of the NW and a mix of sun and clouds.  We had 16 boats total, with four in Gen II, nine in Gen I (although one boat showed up after registration was closed and wasn't scored as a result) and three in the Vintage division.  I didn't have my daughter along this year.  She usually goes out on the RC boat and gets the great photos which I post.  Instead, I gave the camera to Sarah Pugh, who stayed on the dock, but never the less, got some great shots by using the zoom feature on the camera.  Many thanks to Sarah!  What follows is my usual photo collage from Saturday's races. 

Sunday dawned with near calm conditions, but as the 10am start time approached, the wind started to fill from the NE and quickly built to maybe 5 knots, which was enough to get off three more races.  Unfortunately, no photos from Sunday.


The view from Pugh's back yard looking out at the river.

Milling around before the first start.

Father/son photo op: Erik is in  Nr 69, I'm sailing Nr 151.  I'm sporting my new sail from the Evolution loft.  Since then Joe B. and John Z. have bought new sails from the same loft.  I suspect other orders are soon to be placed.

Obligatory mother/daughter(s) shot.  Carolyn Mayer is in Nr 157.  Her daughters Emma and Maggie are in Nrs 156 and 130.  Sadly, Carolyn was a last minute addition after I had closed registration and launched my boat.  We had several local sailing club members but they only sailed on the first day.
Seooum Sam sailed Craig Hatcher's Mk II Fletcher-Cates.  Seooum is at the beginning of his sailing journey. 
Bob Patterson in his Shelley.  Remember his sail number.  The significance will be revealed  at the end of this post.

Mike Parsons leading John Z.

Quite a crease in Mike's sail.  I can recommend a good tailor...

Joe Bousquet sporting his new Evolution sail on Try-Umph.

Mathew Panek sailed the ex-Walt Collins Europe.

Erik in our Olympic Europe. 

Gary Gowans completely rebuilt Tennis Bracelet several years ago.  In his hands this old vintage boat from the 1940s is quite quick and often beats Gen I boats and occasionally Gen II boats as well.  At the end of the regatta, Gary retained the mast, boom and sail but gave the hull and blades to one of the local E. City sailors.  We hope to see this boat back on the race course next year.

John Waters sailed Greg Duncan's Europe.

Meanwhile, Greg continued to campaign his Vintage division Connecticut.


Another look at Tennis Bracelet.  Not much is known about this boat beyond the fact that she was built by a member of one of the canoe clubs which were popular in Pittsburgh, PA back in the 1940s.

Your old diarist minus his cap.  During a big wind shift, the boom managed to remove both my cap and my prescription sunglasses!  While I was struggling to stay sunny side up I cursed at the thought of $400 glasses getting plucked off my face and tossed into the river.  Luckily, that didn't happen.  Both cap and glasses (with attached "croakie") landed in the bilge!

John Z's new Evolution sail on Y2K2.

Gen II and overall National Champion Joe Bousquet in Try-Umph.

Yep, Gary beat me four out of the nine races.  Good thing we were in different divisions!

Those condos in the background must have a great view of the racing.

Bill Boyle turned this old Ventnor into a new penny with a cedar strip deck replacement.  She looks great!


Here are the final results.   Joe Bousquet won Gen II and is the overall National Champ.  Gary Gowans prevailed in the Vintage division.  After Saturday's races Bob Patterson and I were tied on points but he had the tie breaker if we had not raced Sunday.  But fortunately for me we did race Sunday and although we tied on points again, this time I had the tie breaker for Gen I. 

But whoa, dudes and dudettes it gets way more Kosmic and far out than just points on the board and tie breaks.  Several of us stayed at the same motel.  Look at my room card--I had Bob's number right from the get-go! Can U say "Oh Wow Man!"?