Here is a complete, and entirely accurate report of the USMMCA Nationals at Brigantine 6/15/02.
Say it ain't so Joe!
Sorry. But after winning the U.S. Modern Moth national championships three (count 'em, three) years in a row (including a three-peat one year in which he won the Modern, Classic, and Mid-Winter titles), Joe Bousquet has relinquished the trophy (read: urn) holding the ashes of the original Moth boat designer Joel van Sant (at least we think it's him in there). After working on his new boat until 11 PM the night before the regatta, and then getting up at 2 AM to drive six hours to Brigantine, Bousquet sailed into Brigantine on an epoxy high, ready to rock and roll. As Joe laced his wing covers on the primer gray hull, nineteen other skippers were dreaming of victory at Brigantine, and in their dreams Joe wasn't holding the trophy over his head.
There was one familiar thing at the event, and that was the shape of the Mistral hull. Scott Sandell won the Modern title with one (1, 2, 1, 1, 1), and Walt Collins took the Classic division with his own take on the Mistral. The light air found at Brigantine favors this very veed shape that has no inherent stability. Joe Bousquet's new boat was built for the new asymmetrical spinnaker which is now legal in the U.S.M.M.C.A, and will premiere at next year's nationals. Not dis-similar to the Bob Ames II design, Bousquet's hull was narrow forward, with a flat aft section, vertical sides, and flares. The next few months will see several new designs built especially for the chute, and the case is already being made for longer reaching legs at Brigantine 2003.
When asked about the speed difference between his old Mistral and the new hull, Bousquet described the difference as "excremental". He certainly won the cool factor with the winged, ultra light foam sandwich hull that was pulled from the mold only three days before. The completed hull and wings weighed less than his spars and sail (no kidding), and there was no sign of structural weakness.
In the junior division, Erik Albaugh aced Per Sandell for the title, while Erik's old man, George, won the Vintage division in his 1946 hull "Blondie". Interviewed after the racing, Erik said "We decided to keep dad on his medication through the regatta, hoping he'd stay calm in the lighter winds. Looks like it worked!".
Whatever it took to keep George running was well worth it, as he and his family put on another fabulous event. Others may hold the perpetual trophies, but George Albaugh is King of the Moths in our hearts! Joe and Judy Courter hosted yet another lovely Moth party at their beautiful home Friday evening (photos will be in the August issue of Vanity Fair, and this year; no arrests!). Anyone who hasn't been to one of their parties has truly missed something special!