From the editor:
The U.S. Modern Moth Class exists as an arena for the imaginations of high performance sailors. Here, unlike anywhere else in the sailing world, designers and builders can audition ideas in competition at a relatively low cost. Our class is the home to floating soapbox derby racers, and high tech works of art that rip up the race course. Our regattas are part show-and-tell, part cutthroat competition, and always inspiration for the Next Big Thing. This issue of Mothballs provides a window into what the 2006 season will look like. There are already many new boats in construction (you'll see several future winners right here), there will be fleet racing on a weekly basis in Sag Harbor, there is a great deal of buzz about foiling, and racers up and down the East Coast are planning to attend the nationals at Brigantine.
This issue also contains an insightful interview with one of contemporary sailing's super stars, Steve Clark. Clark holds the reins of Vanguard Sailboats, but rather than count how many Lasers are being packed off to Portland, Clark tends to spend his energies in especially creative endeavors such as his campaign to win the Little America's Cup. The guy is a sailing genius. Lately you'll find him at the helm of a speeding A Class cat, or his International Canoe. According to Clark, the International Moth is next on his agenda. Note that I said "International Moth". Clark makes some interesting observations, but I did find it curious that he bristled when reminded of Paul Elvström's comment that the Laser was "antiquated", yet felt comfortable calling the wide skiff Moths "old fashioned" (business, I guess). Will Clark be the one to spark life into narrow boat sailing in the U.S.? Joe Bousquet says maybe, but only if boats are actually built, and pilots are found to fly them on foils. Bousquet uses his Mothballs column to define what is a Mothboat, and why the two wings of the class satisfy different needs.
Satisfying the need to get upwind is Phil Locker, the foil guru behind Phil's Foils. Last year Rod Mincher showed up at Brigantine with one of Phil's daggerboards, and not only did Rod impress the crowd with a beautiful blade, he also impressed the fleet with his fast upwind legs. When we think of building a boat, the blades are often the last thing we think about. Phil is going to change all of that, and his recent creations will inspire the entire fleet.
Speaking of the fleet, it is much larger, and some of the new boats are illustrated in this issue. One of the reasons to love this class is the wide spectrum view of design we put on the water. Phil Locker's carbon skiff provides one impressive approach to design and construction issues. At the same time as Phil is fairing the bottom of his boat in Canada, Chris Hale has carefully crafted his Bunnyip scow at Week's Boatyard on Long Island. Last I heard, Chris had the hull at 28 pounds. Awesome. I have to admit to mixed emotions about being passed by a flying "Bunnyip."
A flying Bunnyip does sound like something from Joe Hanna's contribution to this issue. Musician, humorist, designer, architect, and Mothist are just a few of the credits in Joe's sailing hat, and we are lucky to have him in the fleet. My guess is that Joe will take no prisoners, bunnies or otherwise, when he makes his next observations on the state of Mothing. Mothballs also is interested in your comments and observations, and welcomes letters to the editor at email@example.com
I look forward to seeing all of you at the nationals in Brigantine, New Jersey on June 17th. George Albaugh puts on a fabulous regatta that is both comfortably low key, and seamlessly run. For those of you who haven't been there before, Brigantine is just over the causeway from Atlantic City, maybe two hours south of New York City. Racing is on the flat water bay side, and you needn't worry about a sudden structural failure taking you and what's left of your Moth to Newfoundland via the Gulfstream. The spring issue of Mothballs will detail expected racing conditions, schedule, accommodation options, and lucky numbers at the casinos.
CMBA President Bill Schill greets the Modern Moth and the 2006 season.
Message from the President:
Now that 2006 has begun and the 2005 racing season is but memories for enjoyment during the remaining "cold" months, at least until we Mothies begin putting the boats into the water...
For some, memories or trophies or participation 'gifts' are enough to sustain until the begining of the 2006 season. But for the rest of us, it's building! And, of course this could be either the repair of an existing boat, or the minor/major alterations to riging, foils, or other miscelaneous parts, or it could be the building of a new boat!
What ever your situation, I would encourage you to begin NOW! Don't put it off until the weather is hot. Most of us have some indoor space where we can work on some aspect of our boat, DO it!
In June, the Brigantine (NJ) Regatta will once again feature both the Classic AND Modern Moth divisions. I want to encourage each of you on the Modern side to seriously consider participating at Brigantine. Once again this will be the venue for the Modern Moth US National Championship, so that's an additional incentive to attend, not to mention the great pre-regatta dinner/party on Friday evening and the good food following the racing on Saturday! As in previous years the serious racing will be on Saturday and, depending on the weather/wind some may stay around fora little informal racing on Sunday. Most of us use that part of the weekend to travel home & rest, before going back to work (on our Mothboat!).
As other regatta dates are firmed up, they will bemade available on the class Website (www.mothboat.com) in newsletters and by word-of-mouth. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of as many regattas as possible and, in between, talk up the class - loan your boat if you can't make it to a regatta, arrange for the loan of a boat if you know someone who is interested. Let's move forward in 2006 and build the class and have a great time while doing it.
Have a great and enjoyable racing season in 2006 on either/both the Classic AND/OR Modern sidesof the race course.
Bill Schill, JR. President, CMBA
A Few Words on Foils
by Phil Locker
Scott asked me to put together a few words on the state of the art of foil fabrication – a rather broad topic. I’ll just touch on a few items, while keeping it relevant to the Modern and Classic Moth.
To begin with, I wouldn’t say that my shop works in “state-of-the-art”. I use what I like to refer to as a “medium-tech” approach. My high end products are laminated in epoxy, using carbon fiber laminates where appropriate, vacuum bagging the laminate over cores shaped on a CNC milling machine. This applies both to molded and one-off products. No pre-preg or autoclaves here, but they really aren’t necessary at this level.
There are a few approaches to engineering these things. You can use a high strength core (typically wood) that has just enough laminate over it to ensure that it remains watertight. An old fashioned approach (think varnished mahogany centerboards) but it works. At the other extreme is a foil where the skins carry the entire mechanical load, with a lightweight foam core that simply provides the shape (or possibly no core at all, if molded). I’ve actually done some neat things with seamless hollow foils molded over an inflatable bladder. The drawback is that the skins have to be considerably heavier than if there were a lightweight core. A core not only helps the skins maintain their shapes, but also transmits the loads from one skin to another. What I often try to achieve when engineering a foil is a balance between the load carried by the skins and the load carried by the core. As loads go up then not only will the thickness of laminate increase, but I’ll also choose a denser core as well. If a foil is going to fail, it often fails in compression, when the core buckles due to a localized load (such as the edge of a daggerboard case) and then the laminate goes out of column and its “game over”. So what weights can be achieved using my “medium tech” approach? A Moth-sized daggerboard of less than 2 pounds is not unreasonable, with even lighter rudder blades being possible.
For years Steve Clark has been in the forefront of contemporary sailing. Not only does he own Vanguard Sailboats, competes in the International Canoe Class, but also designed and built "Cogito" (see below) that went on to win the Little America's Cup. He is the imagination behind these projects, and arguably the architect of contemporary sailing in the U.S. Clark draws on his experience with development classes to reflect on where the Moth is in the U.S., and where he thinks it should throw a fast tack.
Mothballs: The U.S. Modern Moth Class is establishing itself as an arena for designers and builders to test new ideas, realize their imaginations, and float almost anything eleven feet long. Our nationals is the best aquatic show-and-tell going. What can we as a class do to promote ourselves, encourage people to experiment under our tent, and keep the show playing?
Steve Clark: Well, let me start by pissing you off. I think the “US Modern Moth” which is an old fashioned 1970s Moth with a kite out the front is a complete waste of time. I think the action is with the International Class and that we need to foster the creation of International Moths in the US.
I have been rabble rousing for this for a little while and will probably make something happen with David Clark (14) and Will Clark (17) this summer. There are some other potential victims on the Bay and maybe we can start a bit of a revolution. Young kids building boats and getting wet is my kind of action.
The hydrofoil thing is really evocative, and most have been willing to accept that you have to learn to sail a lowrider before you can foil. So there is a pretty big carrot. Certainly if I was 12 years old today, I would have a picture of Rohan Veal on my wall and would aspire to “being that guy.”
"Paul Elvström can bite me!"--- Steve Clark
Mothballs: Drawing on your experience in the Little America's Cup, as well as the very adventurous International Canoe fleet, what technical advances do you see in the future of performance dinghy sailing? The IMCA Moth developed foils. You seemed to have perfected the ultra light solid wing sail. Asymmetric chutes are ubiquitous. What's next?
Steve Clark: Reliable construction of light boats has gotten much much easier with the advent of advanced processing and materials. So expect the new boats to be lighter and stiffer than anything that has gone before. There will be a limit to this, but the new standard should be 30% lighter than the old standard. The International 14 has incorporated big weight reductions, I am trying to get the ICs to move to a 50 Kg minimum weight, the Moth, with no minimum, has achieved quite a lot and has less to go. A30 kg Moth is an impressive beast.
The biggest “next set of gains” will come in the dynamics. Some is coming from hull shape, some is coming from foiled rudders and active systems to control how boats pitch and move through waves.
Similar things are happening in rigs, but there is only so much blood in that stone before you bite the bullet and build wings. The problem is that you better not stick one in the drink!
Mothballs: Perhaps this question will draw on your answer to the previous question. Given your experience and extensive knowledge of what's possible, what's fast, and what's next, and with the resources available to you, if you were unexpectedly locked in the Portsmouth factory by radical Moth sailors, and had to produce a winning US Modern Moth* before you were released, what would you build, and what would it look like? *The rules of the US Modern Moth are basically that it's 11', singlehanded, the chute is unmeasured but the bowsprit cannot exceed 5' from the stem, no sliding seats, no trapeze, no jib.
Steve Clark: BAD QUESTION.
Mothballs: Any chance we could actually get you in a Moth any time soon?
Steve Clark: I will probably have a Moth experience this summer when we get the boats built. Unfortunately I have a conflict with the dates of your fete in Brigantine, ( A Class Cat regatta in Bristol).
Mothballs: Do you see the narrow and foil borne IMCA Moth as a dinghy? Or has it morphed into some other type of sailing like windsurfing and kite sailing?
Steve Clark: "Frankly Scallop, I don't give a clam." The International Moth and foiling Moth are pretty remarkable sailing machines. I don’t really care what you call them. But from one perspective they require the “dinghy sailing” skills and not “kite flying” or “sailboard skills” which are distinctly different. You steer with a tiller. You trim with a sheet. You move your ass to stay upright. So they are more like "dinghies" than any of those other things.
Mothballs: The Laser is often pointed at when people discuss the 1970's demise of the Moth class in the U.S. Bruce Kirby and Ian Bruce had an unexpected winner with the boat when it was first released (and most everybody still loves it), but how did it become an olympic class, particularly when Paul Elvström accurately called it "antiquated", and as a follow up, what can the Moth class (both wings) learn from the Laser about perpetuating itself?
Steve Clark: Paul Elvström can bite me. I’m not going to bad mouth Lasers, they are my bread and butter. But consider that the quality of the sailboat has very little to do with the quality of sailboat racing. Laser racing is great sport, the class is large a well run, there are big regattas all over the place and you can participate with very little attention paid to your boat. Those of us who like to build things can’t understand it, but most people want to recreate without having to put any advanced work into it. They want to race, not fix things. They want to roll tack, not shape a new centerboard. The Laser provides this in spades, and it’s a much better boat than anything Paul Elvström ever came up with! There were some real woofers in that portfolio.
The Laser became an Olympic class on the strength of its international racing program, which is probably the best there is.
I have a different view of what happened to the Moth after the World Championship in Newport News in 1976 or 77. Ted Causey won, but the rules changed. If I recall this was in order to bring the Australian class (which had more liberal rig rules) into the international fold. The US class folded and chose not to follow, or did not have the depth and resources to remake itself. Possibly the Laser, which offered the performance comparable to a Moth of the day at a fraction the sweat, played a part by being such an easy alternative.
Every class has a unique culture made up of the people, the boat, the heritage, the venues and the events or regattas. The classes that prosper nurture and grow this culture because this is really what they have to sell. Laser racing is the value of the Laser class and ultimately the value of the Laser as a product. You have to sail a Laser to enjoy the benefits of Laser racing. The Moth Class needs to focus on the special nature of sailing and racing Moths and try to attract people who will enjoy it. It's a lifestyle decision. Currently due to the exploits of Rohan and others, the Moth has a pretty high profile, if captured it could do good things for a US Class. Light more candles.
Mothballs: The Harken brothers created a seemingly perfect gem with Vanguard. Since you took over the reins, Vanguard has not only held on to its reputation as a premiere builder, but expanded multiple times, including the acquisition of the Laser and Sunfish brands, and the development and production of boats like the Vector. What could possibly be next for Vanguard?
Steve Clark: Vanguard has prospered in a shrinking marketplace by consolidating a lot of business.
We do a pretty good job of delivering value and being a reliable partner/supplier to small boat sailing. The business is significantly different than when Peter and Olaf were running it in Wisconsin. We are not in the traditional one design game. We do not compete against Nautavela (for example) to sell 470s (for example.) The majority of our business is in the so called Single Manufacturer One Designs. We moved away from the multiple builder classes because their markets typically weren’t large enough to support the competition of several builders. We stopped building Finns ( for example) when Lemeuix and Devoti decided they wanted to slice up the 50-75 boat a year Finn market. We had no protection against this happening and someting like 15% of our business (at the time) was completely insecure.
Instead of fighting them, we introduced the Vanguard 15 where we control the rights to build and market.The development of that class can't be co-opted by anyone.
Mothballs: Let's assume there was a hull design in the Modern Moth that was certifiably fast, and forward thinking enough so that one would imagine boats built to that design would be competitive for some time. How many boats would Vanguard need to sell to make it a viable product, and do you think this would help the class by growing numbers, or would it stall development because an off-the-shelf boat would allow a skipper to be able to compete at a high level without ever mixing a pot of epoxy?
Steve Clark: The answer above should answer this as well. In order to invest the money, time and energy to introduce and support a new class, we would require exclusive rights. I don’t think the US Moth class would want to deliver those rights, and I doubt that they actually could even if they wanted to.
Mothballs: It's a Tuesday afternoon, and it's blowing about 15 knots. Sunny, and warm enough to skip the drysuit if you wanted to. You skipped out of work, and are going for a sail by yourself. You have two hours before you need to be anywhere. What boat are you going to rig up?
Steve Clark: What gets rigged up usually depends on what I am working on. It could be an IC, and A Cat, or one of the various Flying Squirrels, Frankenboats or KozmoKraft that are under development. Figuring it out is the fun stuff. But during Daylight time, I usually race A Cats with 8 or 9 other guys in Bristol on Tuesday nights.
Mothballs: Last question. Forget the Super Bowl, who's going to win the America's Cup?
Steve Clark: I don’t know, and I don’t care.
Check out Olav's website at www.internationalmoth.de.vu
Dunkin' Dough Knots
by Joe Hanna
Everyone knows by now that a boat is a hole in the water you throw money into. That is why mothists try to make a small hole in the water in hopes that it will fill up sooner. And when it comes to racing, you have to be in it to win it, the hole and the money, not the water. And there’s the rub. I like a dry rub myself, but the beloved…ah…
The problem with a little hole is that you don’t have to go very far in any direction to get wet. Up until the middle of last summer I had a big hole (all things are relative and some of my relatives are certainly holes of a different kind, but herein I am referring to a 23 foot boat). The big hole had a keel full of lead shot. When the breeze was up, I could sit calmly on the rail of my big hole and scan the nearby waters for even bigger holes heading my way. Life was sweet, but I had to borrow a skid loader to move large amounts of money over the hole in prep for a fund dump. What I paid the local pirate to haul and store and launch would have kept me in a condo in Boca.
Then Mr. Sandell motioned me over to the (metaphorical) playground fence and said in a sinister tone on the down low, “Want some real kicks?”
“What are you, a soccer recruiter?”
“Keep your voice down. Why are you messing with that jive jib junk? I got something on the roof of my car that will blow your little mind.”
“Well firstly, the beloved tells me I have a fine mind and that size doesn’t matter anyway. And secondly I think that a little Mother’s or Turtle Wax and some elbow grease could have the top of your car looking like new. You live with sea gulls…it rains crap.”
“Oh, that’s some rack.”
“The top of the car is up here Mister, what are you looking at?”
“Oh. I think she crews for Oldak.”
“No. I’ve been with Oldak and that’s no cruise, let me tell you…”
“What’s on the roof rack? It looks like Bigfoot’s shower clog.”
“That’s what I’m talking about. It’s a moth. You want to try it? Go ahead. The first time is free.”
“What does it do?”
“It’s a sailboat. A racing sailboat.”
“I don’t like racing sailboats. I hate being yelled at.”
“No! That’s the beauty part. You’re alone…just like your first time.”
“You never forget your first time…”
“Help me get this down.”
“That’s what SHE said.”
“The Moth, give me a hand.”
“Nothing to it.”
There was something to it. There was a lot to it. Just to get the damned thing to turn was an adventure in vector management. To the vector belong the spoils. After a few minutes of throwing myself from side to side and working the tiller like it was my first time, a warm glow began to spread through my system.
On the shore Scott Sandell, who had been following my progress with the attentive eye a jeweler reserves for a suspected gem stone, said to his entourage, “he’s hooked. My work here is done. Get him out of good boat and put him in the "Red Sled". NEXT!”
Much later at the Corner Bar on the corner, in a table by the window, Scott gently prodded me to satisfy himself that I was still under the influence and hadn’t been sent off to AHAB (rehab for hole owners) after some intense intervention. “Joe. Look what you’ve become! Stealing her Super Bowl winnings out of your sister’s purse and throwing it away on a pint of Interlux! Blowing your rent on a mainsail that rent when it was blowing! You are hanging with Vang Bangers. We know you are chuting up! We’ve seen the paraphernalia; Johnny found your retractable pole hidden under an old rug! We love you and we can’t stand seeing you this way…”
It never happened. I was still hooked.
“Look! Here’s my idea. There are two aerodynamic modes that the sail has to operate in. The light air mode I call pinwheel mode. The heavy air mode I call flying mode. Now the light air mode involves a lot of burble because the air lacks enough energy to conform to an airfoil shape. It breaks away easily and generates a lot of turbulence, swirls really. At higher velocities, it will conform and the Bernoulli principle begins to apply. That’s where you start seeing classic high pressure, low pressure flows and vortices and laminar flows and boundary layers and all the rest. The correct model for high flow rates is the wing. You see that on all high performance rigs.
“But in light airs. The wing model is a poor one. Very few wings operate in airflows less than about forty miles per hour. For light, swirly air, a better model is a child’s pin wheel. A little puff of turbulent breath is enough to make it spin. A pinwheel doesn’t operate by Bernoulli’s principle at all, it captures and directs chaotic airflows almost like a trap. The thing that matters most to a pinwheel is twist! A spinnaker operates in pinwheel mode when it is bellied out and in wing mode when it is asymmetric and flattened down. So, here’s my drawing of a new mainsail shape that can be rigged for light airs…”
Scott nodded slowly and looked deep into the hollowed out eyes of a zealot, me. I used to be a well rounded individual. Now I am a moth schemer. There is a hull shape just beyond my immediate grasp that will revolutionize the way we think about discontinuous fluid flows. There is a fin shape that will….
I am a Mothist.
And so I confront the dwindling winter days and my empty wood shop. Where are my plywood sheets? I had better get busy if I want a ride for the tide. I find myself humming the other moth anthem, “Flame! I’m going to live forever. You’re going to remember my name. Flame!” I got it bad.
Joe Bousquet in his Mistral.
What is a Mothboat?
"It depends on what your definition of 'is' is."
By Joe Bousquet
What is a Mothboat? What is a bicycle? I have built eleven Mothboats over the past30 years and recently have been spending an inordinate amount of time messing with bikes. Scott has asked me to write a commentary on the Steve Clark interview and as I thought about the types of Moths that I have built and sailed, and the type of Moth being promoted by Steve,I kept coming back to various types of bikes.
I own and actively race a "Classic" Moth in which the rules are effectively frozen as they were interpreted in the mid 1960's. This development class is 11 feet long and carries 72 sq feet of sail on a rather antiquated rig (15.5 foot long luff, 9 foot long boom, with four short battens supporting practically no roach to speak of. Picture the Europe Dinghy sail with the top tension batten replaced with one that stops at least 6 inches from the luff.) The Classic Moth rules mandate a minimum hull weight of 75 pounds, effective making exotic material a nonstarter (since a stiff and light hull at minimum weight can easily be built with ply), a max beam of 5 feet, with no hull concavity aft of the centerboard well, effectively prohibiting wings.Since 1997I have built or re-built six Classic Moths so I know what works and doesn't. I have avested interested in the class and am pleased when I see my boats on the line in regattas. My 1997 boat "Try-Umph" isprobablyresponsible for the preponderance of the completed decked over with roll tanks and small footwell configuration that is prevalent in the class now.I've built or rebuilt a Mistral, a Sprite, two Shelleys, a Europe, and a "Maser." Thecompetitive boats are variants of the "Mistral" design and have a sharp vee'd entry, rounded after sections and lots of rocker. When sailedflat they have minimum wetted area and a narrow waterline but carry a beam close to the max permitted enabling them to be driven upwind efficiently. The boats are beautiful: many are finished bright with elegant roll tanks and decks that are gently curved and arched. How's the competition? We have top caliber designers, boat-builders and sailors that are drawn to the philosophy of the Classic Moth. The winner of the last regatta (our mid-winters in St. Petersburg, FL) was Jeff Linton, a former world champion in the Lightning and Etchells classes and a recent nominee for the Rolex yachtsman of the year.Jeff's boat "Mousetrap" (as in "build a better...") was his answer to the Mistral. Hisfirst boat "Mothra" was a wedge design that carried too much surface area and too little rocker to be competitive against the Mistrals in light, choppy conditions.
I also own and race a "Modern" Moth that is again 11 feet long but has no minimum weight andcarries 8 sq meters of sail on a rig that is only restricted in luff length (17 feet.) The Modern class allows a maximum beam of 7 feet4 inches and permitswings (but not multihulls, sliding seats or trapeze.) My "Modern" is a foam-glass-epoxyMagnum design with carbon tube racks/wings. It is what was state-of-the-art in the mid seventies. In fact, I took a glass Magnum to the International Moth Worlds held in England in 1977. Recently, the USMMCA (US Modern Moth Class Association) has also allowed experimentation with spinnakers, so in addition to my upwind sail area, I am using a masthead asymmetrical kite flown off a retractable 5 foot long bowsprit for reaches and offwind work.Sailing my Modern allows me to break out of the routine of the Classic fleet. Is there competition? There is only one regatta a year (in Brigantine, NJ) and the fleet is usually only a small number boats. Still, I look forward to sailing this boat and don't regret building it.It is controllable and enjoyable. With the kite up I have plenty to keep me challenged.
In the mid-1970s I built and raced three different International Moths each of which could have been considered "state of the art" for that era.The International Moth rule has never permitted asymmetrical spinnakers, so my "Modern" is not class legal. The International Moth "state of the art," though, has constantly changed.Development of the class to the rule has continued over 20-30 years and current boats have evolved to minimalist hullsabout 12 inches wide (but with racks extending to the max beam of 7'4")and are utilizing hydrofoils on the bottom of the daggerboard and rudder to enable the hull to lift completely clear the water in even moderate conditions (8 knots of breeze.) These exotic boats are constructed of foam, carbon and epoxy with sophisticatedsystems to control the foiling mechanism. Theycertainly have a gee-whiz cachet and are eye-popping in their absolute and relative performance. Pricesare easily over $15,000 for a professionally built boat.I've looked at these boats, and have sailed (and swum with) Bill Beaver's ultra-narrow "When Bambi meets Thumper," but have decided against building this type of boat. Perhaps it's my age and weight (51, 185 lbs,) perhaps it's my recent operation to havea total knee replacement, but most likely it's my income as a high school teacher that has steered me away from the modern International foil-borne Moth.
After my wife and I completed a coast-to-coast tour on our tandem bicycle in 2004, I've become interested in bicycles, too. I own Jamis Aurora, a touring single. It is made of steel, has a rugged 36 spoke wheelsetand sports fenders, a leather saddle and leather handlebar tape. It doesn't have alugged steel frame like many classic touring bikes, but it is more retro than modern. With the front and rear racks you wouldn't find Lance Armstrong competing on this bike. It's not completely old fashioned: I do have nicely indexed shifters and modern cranks and drive system. In many ways, my touring bike is like my Classic Moth boat. Both do exactly what I want them to do and I feel good when driving them.
Of course modern race bikes are often aluminum, carbon, or even titanium. They sport ultra light wheels (16 count spokes or even aero spokes or solid dished rear wheels) and have narrow seats that are more torture devices than real saddles. Do they go fast? Or course, andmany racers will spendbig bucks to lose that one or two grams in search of the faster machine. Do you see the similarity with the current internationalfoil-borne Moth? I suppose those that ride the most exotic bikes, like those who sail a foil-borne Moth, get a real rush from the experience. Am I looking for that type of ride? Not really. I like the feel of my leather bar tape in my hands. I relish the experience of dipping our rear wheel in the Pacific and 69 days later our front wheel in the Atlantic. Do I read about and watch the video of the Tour de France? Yeah, but I think I'll stick to my steel single.
This summer I'll compete with my Classic Moth and look forward to racing against Jeff in the Moth Nationals. At Brigantine I'll sail my Modern (and hope to see other Moderns, perhaps a foil boat!) When there's no wind, I'll go for a ride.
See ya on the water, or on the road.
James Frey's 12 Pound Moth!
By Oprah Windfree
We in the Chicago Moth fleet welcomed the romantic notion of a 12 pound Mothboat! The rumor of a boat that was almost lighter than air drifted south from the Hazelden Regatta in Minnesota, where reportedly, James Frey had won the cash purse with his new boat "A Million Little Pizzas". As we heard the story, Frey had revolutionized Moth construction techniques with rather pedestrian materials including empty Chap Stick tubes, plastic food wrap, and Lego brix. This news sent our small fleet into frenzy! More than one of us spent the snowy weekend trying to adhere Saran Wrap to carbon fiber tubing in an effort to reduce hull weight! To make matters worse, we discovered after an icy swim in Lake Michigan, that even relatively new Legos cannot take the loads inherent to a Moth rudder gantry! Do not believe it when your friends tell you that your stainless steel shrouds can be replaced by kite string in an effort to reduce weight aloft! The damage we have done to our boats is measurable, and our egos will definitely need to be dry cleaned.
The worst part of this whole thing is that I believed the stories coming down from Hazelden. About how James Frey had filled his buoyancy bags with helium, and that his reputation as a street fighter prevented anyone from getting near him on a port tack, not to mention meeting up in an enclosed protest room! Rumor has it that Frey showed up at the regatta with his drysuit "covered with a colorful mixture of spit, snot, urine, vomit and blood." Wanted by authorities in three states, without ID, any money, or a recent copy of the USYRU Rules of Sailing, his face mangled and missing four front teeth, Frey seemed totally capable of producing a 12 pound Moth, and even if it wasn't 12 pounds, who would want to get close enough to try to weigh it?
The fact is that no one has ever seen the transom of "A Million Little Pizzas", but not because it is light-years ahead of the fleet, but because IT DOESN'T EXIST! When asked to provide his boat for a recent Mothballs photo shoot, Frey refused to deliver the goods! He couldn't! I FEEL DUPED! And I think Frey should apologize to the entire Moth class for being behind this untruth! Furthermore, I would like to stick it to cheap web publications like the Sailing Scuttlebutt who published such nonsense and the fictional scores from the Hazelden Regatta! I have been mislead, and I have been complicit in the perpetuation of a myth, and I feel so bad. Really bad. Bad, bad, bad. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad! But not as bad as James Frey is going to feel after I get a hold of him! No sir! That scum! I'll have him 12 stepping around my bowsprit if I ever see him on the water again! To my fellow fleet members; I am so sorry.
When asked to comment on Ms. Windfree's piece, Mr. Frey responded with the following (somebody hide the damn keg at the next regatta!): "I want a drink. I want fifty drinks. I want a bottle of the purest, strongest, most destructive, most poisonous alcohol on Earth. I want fifty bottles of it. I want crack, dirty and yellow and filled with formaldehyde. I want a pile of powder meth, five hundred hits of acid, a garbage bag filled with mushrooms, a tube of glue bigger than a truck, a pool of gas large enough to drown in. I want something anything whatever however as much as I can."---- James Frey
(I wanna throw up!).
Chris Hale's "Bunnyip" scow!
Mark Webber's double bottomed Mistral!
Matt Reichardt's new narrow boat design!
Phil Locker's all carbon boat!
Steve Ditmore's new boat! (looks narrow to me!).