1928 /2018 : Happy Birthday Moth!
As you probably know, Moth celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2018!
The current International Moth is a result of merging two separate but similar historical developments:
-It all began in 1928 when 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. This craft was eleven foot long, and carried 80 sq ft in single mainsail. The craft was named “Olive” after his wife. The constuction was timber.
“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.
-In 1930, 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.
The Australian Moth was an instant success and spread to every state. The Victorian Moth Class Association was formed at Inverloch in 1936. In 1966 the Moth became officially recognised as a national class and moves began to merge with the international organisation, which was achieved in 1972.
In 1966-67, The King of Thailand was involved in the building of three Moths and sailed them on the pond at Chitrlada Palace. The King raced for almost 20 years on his second moth called “Super Mod”.
With the addition of wings, the hull became much narrower and evolved into the current foiling boats with their light hulls. Moths have always been at the forefront of sailing development and no doubt will continue to be in the future.
And what about the future?
Undoubttedly the Foils and our great Shadow I Moth!
What amazing changes in 90 years, but the Moth spirit remains the same!