I was under the mistaken impression that there were only two singlehanded dinghy design competitions over the last fifty or so years; the three IYRU singlehanded trials in the 1960's that would select the Contender to replace the Finn (NOT!), and the more informal singlehanded trial weekend in 1970; the American TeaCup regatta sponsored by the One-Design and Offshore Yachtsman magazine in which the Laser, and the cut-down Flying Junior, renamed the Banshee were introduced.
It was up to a transplanted Frenchman on the Left Coast, Dominique Banse, to correct me. He sent along a 2001 article from the French traditional yachting magazine, Le Chasse Marée which reported on a singlehanded design competition they hosted for Classic Moths. The regatta was run by the sailing club, ASPTT Voile de Nantes, and over twenty Moths showed up; some old, some new. Eighteen different Moth designs had been submitted to the magazine but only six new Classic Moths actually showed up to test their designers thinking on the race course. Unfortunately several of the new ones were not ready when they rolled in on the Friday and it took the midnight oil to get them on the water. Not the best way to prove your racing mettle!
Two of the designs, Mariposa and Francois Vivier's Moth Grand Largue were aimed more at being a lively daysailor rather than an all-out racer.
Below are some of the photos taken by Marc Morell during this Classic Moth regatta.
The French vintage Moth Nantais is very similar to the American Dorr-Willey and Ventnor vintage Moths. The red hull Nantais has an enormous bubble-deck (which was one way to keep these small dinghies dry before the invention of bailers and double-bottoms). Mariposa, which was featured in a blog post on Earwigoagin is the blue hull on the right.
The purple, transom-bowed, plywood, V-shaped Bilbon (foreground, designed by Christophe Couton) was the best of the new designs at the competition but I'm guessing it was still off the pace compared to the Olympic Europe Dinghy (leading to the left).
The transom-bowed Swiss Fragniére was the most popular French Moth of the late 1950's to mid- 1960's. Here is one with a wooden mast approaching the finish line. A 1960's video short featuring some Fragniére's can be seen here.
On shore before the racing, from left to right;
- The older, 1960's Swiss Fragniére,
- Julia, the yellow Moth modeled after the Laser shape, designed by Didier Laveille.
- The purple Bilbon from Christophe Couton.
- Another new design, the black hull Berga' Moth put together by Jerome Amouraben from the Nantes School of Architecture.
Julia, the Moth with Laser-like hull sections.
The English translation of the Chasse Marée article on their Classic Moth design competition. (Again, many thanks to Dominique Banse for working hard to get this one right!):