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2 October 2001, 10:43 am
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Oliver Laing - Moth Class President

New Moth Class Website Launched

The International Moth Class Association have a new website. The address is www.moth-sailing.org. The updated website is in time for the Moth World Championships that will take place from 4-14 October in Chosgi Marina, Japan.
History of The Moth

The International Moth holds the current world record for the furthest south a sailing craft has ever ventured. A photo of the Moth, designed by Hal Wagstaff and built by his brother Gary in Wellington NZ, hangs even today in the Antartic base at McMurdo Sound. The King of Siam once sailed the Thai Moth he built and designed himself, in a Moth regatta in the UK.

It all began in 1928 when the late Len Morris built a cat rigged (single sail) flat bottomed scow to sail on Andersons' Inlet at Inverloch, a seaside resort, 130km from Melbourne in Australia. She was hard chined, was eleven foot long, and carried 80 sq ft in single mainsail. The craft was named Olive after his wife. The constuction was timber with an internal construction somewhat like Hargreave's box kite.

"Olive's" performance was so outstanding, that a similar boat "Whoopee" was built. Len Morris then sold "Olive", and built another boat called "Flutterby", and with those three boats, the Inverloch Yacht Club was formed. Restrictions for the class know as the Inverloch Eleven Foot class were then drawn up.

At much the same time, 1930 in fact, the American Moth Class was started by captain Van Sant of Atlantic city. The American Moth, so it turned out, was of similar dimensions to the Australian Inverloch class. News of the American boat came to Australia in 1933 when it appeared in the American yachting magazine "Rudder". The name for the American boat seemed appropriate, so the name of the Inverloch Eleven Class was changed to Moth Class.

In 1936 the Victorian Moth Class Association was formed, but it was not until after WWII, that the NSW Moth Class Sailing Association was formed with foundation members coming from Seaforth Moth Club and Woolahra Sailing Club. During this time Australian Moths were using pre-bent and wing masts in the 1950s.

From 1956 to 1961 all other states formed Moth Associationsa and in 1962 the Australian Yachting Federation (AYF) recognised the Australian Moth class as a national class, the FIRST small boat class in Australia to be granted national status.

Over much the same period as the Moth class was becoming established in Australia, the International Moth spread from the USA to England and Europe. Modications to align both the Australian Moth and the overseas Moth were made over a period of time culminating with the establishment of the International Moth Class Assocation (IMCA) by the IYRU in 1972 bound by the restrictions of the class (with metric measurement conversions) operating today.

The one-design offshoot of the International Moth, now known as the Europe Dinghy, was selected as the womens' class for the Olympics. The International Moth was also selected as an official training class for the Japanese Olympic sailing team, to hone their balance skills. Marie Claud Faroux was the first woman skipper to win a World dinghy racing title - in Moths in 1967.

For more information go to the new website. The website for the upcoming Moth World Championships is posted under Regattas Online.
Rohan Veal/News Editor
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