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2000 Moth Nationals Report
by Mark Saunders

Craig Saunders dominated this year’s National Championship with excellent mistake free sailing, winning four of the six races making him the 5th new champ in five years. He also repeated as Museum of the Albemarle Champ on Saturday. Mark Saunders, last year’s National champion was second winning the two other races. Joe Bousquet, the champion two year’s ago, attempted to disprove the growing myth of the Mistral’s speed by sailing Susan’s modified Shelley again this year. It’s been rumored that he’s giving up this quest next year, and Susan has been heard to say, “Not again, it’s my boat!”. Walt Collins, National Champ four year’s ago, tied with Joe for fourth place.

This year’s festivities started on Friday with the arrival of over 20 boats. Walt Collins, our tireless Class Measurer, spent a good part of the day measuring the new boats revealing how important it is to check the length measurements while constructing the boat. Two boats, both to remain un-named, were 11 ft at the waterline, but too long at the stem (one was 1 1/2 inches too long!). Oops!!

Late Friday afternoon, 5 Vintage boats went out to mix it up on a short course just off Erky’s dock. Randall Swan, George Albaugh, George Bailey, Erky Gregory and Ed Steelman headed out into a dying light and shifty Northerly breeze. Randall Swan adapted well and won the Vintage event in his Connecticut moth.

Friday night had the Moth crowd at Erky’s enjoying a beautiful evening of food, beer and great companionship. As always, the Gregory’s did a superb job putting this together, and we all appreciated the great hospitality. The class held it’s annual meeting at this time, and a number of new class changes were presented including the newly approved rule change on boom height. Also discussed was a change to the trophy system for the Nationals to allow a broader distribution of trophies. This suggestion was deferred to discussion during the coming year in preparation for next year’s Nationals.

We had 20 mothists competing (26 registered) for the Museum of the Albemarle Trophy and the National Championship on Saturday and Sunday. Despite Craig’s strong finishes, the racing was very tight with the lead changing numerous times in each race. On Saturday, the weather was overcast with puffy and shifty winds from the NE ranging from around 5 knots up to 15-20 knots in the gusts. The race committee got in four solid races with the first three races designated for the Museum of the Albemarle trophy, which was awarded on Saturday night at the city’s barbecue dinner.

In the first race the race committee laid out the longest course of the regatta - a double triangle, followed by windward, leeward and short windward to the finish. The racing was tight with Saunders brothers, Joe Bousquet, Walt Collins and Randall Swan rounding the windward mark in a tight group. Mark and Craig swapped the lead a couple times but Mark got by on the third windward leg and led the rest of the way. Craig finished second, followed closely by Walt, Randall, Joe and Charles Bonner (Junior). The shifty breezes caused a lot of trouble, and it wasn’t unnatural to end up swimming (at least two of the top 5 were in this group). Nancy Swan and Susan Bousquet started their dual for the woman’s title in this race with Nancy edging out Susan for a two-point lead. Charles Bonner showed great speed for his first Moth regatta, and we can expect to see his transom a lot in the coming years.

The second race (as well as the remaining races) was a modified gold cup race (triangle, w, l, and w to finish). Craig had a great first leg rounding in first, followed by Joe, Mark, Randall and Walt. Mark hit the mark, did his 360 and enjoyed joining the rest of the fleet watching the transoms of the leaders in the distance. By the end of the last downwind leg, Mark and Walt had closed on Joe who made the finish exciting by executing a beautiful unplanned doughnut 25 ft from the line making for an exciting finish with all three boats overlapped. Finishes were Craig, Joe, Walt, Mark, Randall and Charles. Nancy again edged out Susan by one point giving her a 3-point lead.

The third race saw Joe having a super first windward leg and leading at the first mark, followed by Craig, Walt and Randall. Craig got through Joe on the second reach and led the way through rest of race. Joe held on for second followed by Randall. Nancy and Susan’s duel took a new twist when Susan was DSQ’d (probably for going through the starting line) putting Nancy well up on Susan.

The fourth race was also for the South Atlantic Championship. Randall had a great windward leg and rounded in first, followed by Craig, Walt and Joe. Randall led around the triangle with Craig on his heels. On the second windward leg Randall and Craig changed leads with Randall nipping Craig at the windward mark and retained his lead around the leeward mark. On the short beat to windward, Craig got a great shift and snuck by Randall for the win. Randall was second followed by Walt, Joe, Mark and Charles. Joe gave us all a thrill by capsizing on the finish line and towing (swimming) the boat out of the way to avoid any possible DSQ (remember 3 years ago?). Nancy and Susan again dueled it out with Nancy just taking Susan for the fourth time.

Sunday was a beautiful day with the winds out of the North between 5 and 10 knots. Craig had a commanding lead for the Championship, but the race for second place was wide open. Only 2 points separated Walt, Randall, Mark and Joe so it was anyone’s guess how 2nd and 3rd would be decided. Race 5 was designated as the North Carolina Championship and got off on time with Mark getting to the windward mark just in front of Craig. Mark led through the triangle. After rounding the leeward mark and heading up the second windward leg, Mark stayed toward the middle while Craig went right. Craig caught a bit more pressure on the right and went on the finish 1st sealing his National Championship without having to worry about the how the last race turned out. Mark was second, followed by Walt, Randall and Joe. Susan finally got even with a great race, finishing seventh. Nancy finished four boats back, but inadvertently crossed the finish line and was DSQ’d leaving Susan in the lead with just one point between them.

In Race 6 Mark, Joe, and Randall and most of the fleet took the left side while Walt, Charles Bonner and Bryan Gregory went up the right side arriving at the mark before Mark who was leading the left side contingent. Mark sneaked through the leaders on the reaches and rounded the leeward mark in front followed by Walt then Charles Bonner. Walt wasn’t watching Charles on the second windward leg and let him get past. On the run, Charles closed on Mark, but couldn’t quite catch him before they headed for the finish. Charles did a great job getting a second and sealed up a fifth in his first Moth Nationals. Congrats to Charles on a superb regatta and first Junior!!! The Woman’s finish was equally exciting with Nancy just beating Susan again leaving the two tied for the Woman’s Championship.

Charles Bonner was awarded the first place in Junior’s, with Eric Albaugh in second with his crew Kate Saunders. Randall Swan won the Master’s Trophy with Walt in second and George Bailey third. JJ Tirak won the coveted Turtle award for his superb recoveries from 6 capsizes.

Special thanks go to Erky’s daughter who did a superb job again on our beautiful trophies. Thanks again!!

Place

Name

No.

R1

R2

R3

MoA

R4

R5

R6

Total

Other

1

Saunders, C

63

2

1

1

4/1st

1

1

9

6

 

2

Saunders, M

54

1

4

4

9/3rd

5

2

1

12

 

3

Swan, R

4067

3

5

3

11

2

4

4

16

1st Master

4

Bousquet, J

2681

4

2

2

8/2nd

4

5

6

17

 

4

Collins

3193

5

3

5

13

3

3

3

17

2nd Master

5

Bonner

2418

6

6

7

19/3rdY

6

8

2

27

1st Junior

6

Bailey

59

7

9

6

22

DNS

6

11

39

 

7

Gregory, B

52

8

13

10

31

8

9

5

40

 

8

Albaugh, G

69

16

10

8

34

7

11

7

43

 

9

O’Dell

21

9

8

9

26

11

10

8

44

 

10

Michaelson

77

11

7

11

29

13

12

10

51

 

11

Bousquet, S

48

12

12

DSQ

51

15

7

13

59

1st Woman

11

Swan, N

55

10

11

12

33

14

DSQ

12

59

1st Woman

12

Courter

40

14

14

13

41

9

16

14

64

 

13

Fewres

62

12

17

14

43

10

15

16

67

 

14

Duncan

42

15

16

15

46

11

13

17

70

 

15

Atkinson

37

DSQ

18

16

61

DSQ

14

15

90

 

16

Steelman

31

17

15

DNF

59

DNS

17

18

94

 

17

Tirak

10

19

19

DNF

65

16

DNF

20

101

Turtle Award

18

Albaugh, E

10

18

DNS

DNS

72

DNS

18

19

109

2nd Junior

19

Westcoat

 

DNS

DNS

DNS

81

DNS

DNS

DNS

135

 

19

Carter

64

DNS

DNS

DNS

81

DNS

DNS

DNS

135

 

19

Weatherly

 

DNS

DNS

DNS

81

DNS

DNS

DNS

135

 

19

Gregory, E

311

DNS

DNS

DNS

81

DNS

DNS

DNS

135

 

19

Stevens

22

DNS

DNS

DNS

81

DNS

DNS

DNS

135

 

19

Loeb

11

DNS

DNS

DNS

81

DNS

DNS

DNS

135