eastern air force

eastern air force

Another newbie Moth sailor wins a one-design event, showing just how much new talent continues to flow into the world’s coolest dinghy. Keep your eyes out for some exciting news on the design front later this week, and we’ll have a more comprehensive write-up of a truly awesome Heineken HPDO regatta later this week as well. This story from Newport’s Matt Knowles, and a pile of great photos are at the event Flickr site as well as at Photoboat.com for those who want to get prints.

The East Coast division of the US Moth Fleet just finished a great weekend of sailing at American Yacht Club in Rye, NY. For the third year in a row the US moth fleet invaded the High Performance Dinghy Open with the highest performance dinghy around. The HPDO absolutely lived up to its reputation as a superby run event by friendly people who understand fast boats and us weirdos who sail them. Among the absurd collection of vessels persent were Vipers, F18s, 49ers, Fireballs, 5o5s, FDs, International Canoes, Tempests, and probably some more I’ve forgotten.

We were treated to great conditions both days. Saturday opened with a light air, mostly low riding race, but the breeze built to a very stripey 10-14 knots for the middle of the day, and then up close to 20 at the end of the day. 4 race sailed, a combination of W2s and W4s on a 1.0m course.

Equally sunny but windier, Sunday was quite a bit colder. I’m pretty sure my skiffsuit had frost on it when I put it on this morning. Nonetheless, we had 4 more great races in breeze that ranged from 14 to 20+ knots. The waves were manageable, thankfully. We sailed a shorter 0.7m beat with a combination of W4s and a Gold Cup at the end. At one point the RC called me over to verify that I actually sailed both laps; they couldn’t believe we’d finished a race in 17 minutes. Yea, these boats are fast. Sorry 49ers and F18s.

Traveling all the way up from Florida, Allison Jolly (Bladerider / Bladerider KA / CST) and Andrew Sumpton (Bladerider / North prototype / Southern) showed great improvement. Allison had batten trouble at a few points, but her significant talents absolutely showed through. Andrew was in the mix for nearly all of both days, with a few minor breakdowns. They are keen to get some more moth sailing going in Florida.

Peter Becker (Bladerider / KA 13 / Southern) reminded everyone that he
is a moth veteran and one of the toughest sailors around when it’s breezy and cold. Bill Hall (Assassin / North V10 / Southern) was quite fast in the lighter air and made solid tactical calls, and did a great job getting his boat back together in time to race. Racing in his first moth regatta, John Zseleczky (Hungry Beaver / Hyde/ ?) showed that home builds can hang, especially the light stuff. A 2,1 scoreline in one’s first two moth races is nothing to sneeze at. Although his gantry exploded when the breeze came up, he was able to repair it and sail again on sunday. Something tells me we’ll be seeing more of John!

Pat Mauro (Mach 2 / KA 13 / Mach 2), on his 4th day sailing a moth, made it out to the course but was unable to complete a race because his pushrod sheered off at the bellcrank. Apart from the breakdown Pat is keen to keep racing. He is also the current record holder for big air moth sailing, having lived to tell the story of being out in a moth when gusts were clocked above 60 knots. Had he been able to right
his boat during said squall, Bora’s speed record would have surely been obliterated.

Finally, my loaner Mach 2 / North V6 / Mach 2 combination showed major league wheels, especially upwind. However, I frequently used those wheels to drive to strange places, such as irrelevant marks, extra laps, and so on. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to get a new boat to rejoin the class fulltime. I am currently keeping a lookout for good banks to rob.

Full results are here.