Moth boats to flit across Pasquotank River today


Moth boat sailors participate in the Moth Boat Nationals Regatta on the Pasquotank River in September 2017.


By Chris Day
Multimedia Editor

Saturday, September 21, 2019

A flitting sight returns to the Pasquotank River today.

The Moth Boat Nationals Regatta kicks off today with a skipper’s meeting at 10 a.m. followed by racing at 11 a.m., according to moth boat sailor Sarah Pugh.

The moth boat — a popular one-seat sailboat — traces its origins to Elizabeth City, where it was created by Joel Van Sant. The boat’s single sail is roughly 75 square feet in size and while the boat is tiny, it’s also quick and nimble. The craft is called a “moth” because it appears to flit across the water’s surface like one, Pugh said.

For competition purposes, a participant’s boat must not exceed 11 feet in length or weigh more than 75 pounds.

There are a variety of moth boat types, and that’s what Pugh said she anticipates for today’s races: several different kinds of boats.

Some boats are made of wood, while others are made of fiber glass, she said. A vintage class moth boat might weigh more and move slower on the water than other classes, while other moth boats are designed as sailing hydrofoils.

Today’s regatta also will include younger participants, which Pugh said is good for the sport.

Pugh, along with her husband John, have been offering the backyard of their waterfront Riverside Avenue home for several years as a launch point for regatta participants.

Residents driving along Riverside Avenue today will see several vehicles, some with boat trailers attached, parked near the Pughses’ home in the 900 block.