world’s longest sunfish race

Wavedancer over at the Sunfish Forum tipped me off to this:

From the Suffolk Times (link to article), an 84-yr old has won the 24-nautical mile race around Shelter Island, NY for the 4th time:

Three elements made his victory special. First, Heinl became the only four-time winner in the history of the event. Second, he accomplished the feat at the age of 84, two months shy of his 85th birthday. Third, after leading the race for approximately 18 miles, he was overtaken, but came from behind to cross the finish line first.

Photo Courtesy of Bridget Walter (Suffolk Times article)

Photo Courtesy of Bridget Walter (Suffolk Times article)

Further into the article, it mentions many feared they wouldn’t complete the race in the 6-hour time limit!  That’s crazy to think the race could potentially take that long.

The race itself was one of the most challenging in the event’s history. Just before the start, a zephyr came in from the southwest, giving the fleet a desired downwind start. Within two minutes, however, the wind shifted to the north and the sailors were soon tacking to windward in two to three knots of breeze and wondering if any of them would cross the finish line before the six-hour time limit had elapsed.


2 Responses to “world’s longest sunfish race”

  1. 1 Bridget Walter September 25, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hello Everyone. I’m the photographer who took the picture above of Dr. Heinl winning “The Worlds Longest Sunfish Race”. There are more pictures of the event at: . Come see.

  2. 2 my2fish September 25, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Bridget – thanks for stopping by! I browsed through most of your photos from the race… you must have a pretty impressive zoom lens (or a good speedboat) to get that many close shots of each of the sailors.

    I recently took photos at my 1st Sunfish race – I was lucky enough to have a yacht club member give me a ride in his motorboat and was able to get some good pictures – I’ll post about it in a few days once I’ve selected some of the better pictures to include. I was using a Nikon D70 with a 70mm-300mm lens – what about you?

    thanks again,

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