sunfish regional – pictures

so, I was able to make it for day 2 of the sunfish midwest regional #2 race that was held at Devils Lake Yacht Club.  the race was going to be a combined race – with both Sunfish and Lightning sailboats racing on the same course (not against each other, but at the same time).  I arrived at the yacht club right about 10am on Sunday morning just in time to see the last of the Sunfish sailboats leaving the shore to head out for the race course… I was a little disappointed, having hoped to maybe catch a ride out with the race committee boat or something of that nature.

my ability to see the action from the dock was pretty limited – even zooming my lens out to 300mm (similar to 450mm on film due to the DX sensor crop factor), I still couldn’t get very close to the sailboats.


as I stood there on the dock, though, a couple from the yacht club started getting their powerboat ready to go out on the water – and they kindly asked me to join them! they also told me to go ask another couple standing out on the docks to join us – so the 5 of us set out in the powerboat to get a little closer to the racing sailboats.


um, yeah, that was a bit closer!

as I sit back and remember the day, I don’t think it could have worked out any better.  the 5 of us in the powerboat were able to cruise outside of the sailboats racing paths, but still be close to the action.  our skipper knew the lake well, and would position his boat superbly – we’d sit and idle near the start line to watch the boats start the race, and then zip up to the 1st turn (the windward mark) to watch the sailboats make the turn, and then zip down to the next turn (the leeward mark) ahead of the sailboats.  we continued this pattern for the 3 hours or so of racing – each time being positioned nicely to see the sailboats make their turns at the marks and then the finish line.  I think that both the Sunfish and Lightning classes were able to get (3) full races that morning.

the results of the Sunfish races are posted here over at the Sunfish Forum.

Devils Lake Yacht Club hosted the 2009 Midwest Regional Championship #2  Sept. 19-20, 2009. Winds were from the East plus of minus 60 degrees of direction.  Wind speed was 2 mph to 10 mph.
Here are the results.

1. Dan Norton………… 1 – 3 – 3- (5) – 1- 3… 11
2. Chad Coberly……… 5 – 4 – (15) – 1 – 2 – 2… 14
3. Linda Norton………. 4 – 1 – (9) – 2 – 4 – 9… 20
(more results at the link)

while cruising around the lake taking pictures and enjoying the morning out on the water, the 5 of us on the boat had some great conversations and I was once again struck by how small this world can be.  as it turns out, the other couple that had joined us on the boat were visiting from Wisconsin. they were there that morning to watch their daughter (who attends one of the local colleges) race as a crew member on one of the Lightning sailboats.

now here is where it gets wacky… we asked how a girl from Wisconsin had chosen a small college in Michigan, and they explained that they both had attended Central Michigan, and they were both originally from Michigan – she was a Yooper, and he grew up in Ludington.  so I mentioned that my father had grown up in Scottville, which is right down the road from Ludington.  so he then replies, “well, I actually grew up in Scottville, but usually just say Ludington, because more people know it.”  I asked if he knew my father, but he didn’t…  so I thought to myself, dad hasn’t lived up there in a long time, but maybe he’d know my uncle?  so I asked if he knew my uncle… turns out his father lives right across the road from my uncle!  in fact, he then recalled that my late grandfather (he passed away 12 years ago) had helped his family plant their fruit orchard.  isn’t that just bizarre!

all told, I think I took over 150 pictures, so once I’ve sorted through them all, I will post more pictures.  I also took a lot of pictures of the Lightning sailboats, as we were mostly following them out on the course, so I’ll post a bunch of those as well.

after the race, I did spend a short amount of time talking with several of the Sunfish racers, looking over their boats (one was brand new – only 1 month old – it makes my 40-yr old boats look like dinosaurs!), and inspecting the way they rig their sails, etc.  they encouraged me to just start racing – to join the Sunfish class and do it for real (except everything on my boat would have to be class-legal), or maybe even just test the waters, so to speak, by starting with the more informal club races at the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club.  since I’m pretty sure my old sail isn’t class-approved, I’ll probably start out doing the club thing.   and, since the season is just about wrapped up here in Michigan, I’ll probably have to wait until the spring.

overall, it was a great day!  I’ll post more pictures in the next few days.


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