Sometimes the question of what next to post on this blog just falls into your lap. Case in point - Andre' Cloutier of Ravenwood Canoes up in Canada posted last Sunday about a 1980's International Canoe he now owned and was intending to restore. As I perused the post and looked at the pictures I realized this was the last International Canoe I owned, US 132, Rosie Cheeks. Originally owned by Chris Converse, who built the aircraft plywood interior into a single skin King Ferry fiberglass hull, this was one of the top U.S. International Canoes in the 1980's.
Somewhere around 2001-2003 time frame I bought,on the cheap, only the hull of US 132 from Steve Clark. My kids were in college, there wasn't much extra cash kicking around, and I had been out of IC's for about 8 years. I was under no illusion that, as a competitive endeavor, putting US 132 back on the water was probably doomed. A lot of development had gone into the International Canoes in those intervening twenty plus years and what was fast in the 1980's was not likely to be fast in the early 2000's. I threw some experimental stuff on the hull I still had kicking around. (A rotating mast, a wowee-looking NS-14 mainsail; problem was I was under the permitted sail area with this rig.)
As soon as I got on the water, my speculation was confirmed. US 132 was just not up to snuff with the fleet. But the International Canoe is a fun dinghy to just sail, really a neat ride, especially upwind, that I still have fond memories of US 132. I found some pictures of my last travel regatta in International Canoes. Chesapeake fleet stalwarts, Bill Beaver, George Saunders, and I went out to Geist Reservoir, Indianapolis, Indiana for the U.S Nationals. It was intended to support the small Midwest fleet but the turnout was not good. We had, if I recollect, about 9 International Canoes, that sailed the weekend in very little wind. Rosie Cheeks finished somewhere middle but like all road trips there are some great memories.
International Canoe sailors do a lot of standing up between races when the wind is light.
There was some breeze after the racing concluded.
This was typical of the racing. I'm trying to hold off my two Chesapeake team-mates in their two carbon/honeycomb hulls (plus, as I stated above, my rig was undersized). Didn't work for too long.
Most of the fleet scattered over the Indianapolis Sailing Club lawn.
After the racing on Sunday concluded, the wind filled in to about 8 knots, coming down the lake. I went up and down the lake for about an hour, nothing too strenuous, but enjoying the heck out of the daysail (I had crewed a Y-flyer Nationals on Geist when I was in my early twenties, about 1971 - thirty years later the shoreline was now dotted with expensive waterfront homes.)
I came back from this regatta convinced, with some remorse for the International Canoe is a great dinghy, that given the reduced time and money I wanted to put into competitive sailboat racing, the Classic Moth was where I would devote my efforts.