Posts Tagged 'sunfish class'

[sailing] anarchy in the UK

trying to ignore the drama and politics that has been going on in the last few months (years?) between both the Sunfish and Laser classes and the official builder, Laser Performance, and instead focus on the positive: Sunfish production has begun in the UK.  hopefully this will improve quality and help with new model and parts availability for the Sunfish sailing class.

here are pictures (all photos by Laser Performance, shared on Twitter and Instagram):

a nice glimpse at the construction process and inner workings of a Sunfish.

a healthy dose of fiberglass and gelcoat.

not sure of the significance – but no sign of the foam flotation blocks.  are they truly being phased out? or just not shown in any of these selected photos?

post title is a mashup of the Sailing Anarchy forum and the song by the Sex Pistols.

sunfish assisted capsize recovery

sailors at the North Shore Yacht Club on Lake Michigan in Highland Park, Illinois have developed some new techniques to help Sunfish sailors assist nearby sailors that have capsized their Sunfish sailboat and are having difficulty righting the boat or getting back out of the water into the boat.  Alan Cohen is an American Canoe Association certified Level 2 Sea Kayak Instructor, an experienced Sunfish sailor, and former Commodore of the North Shore Yacht Club, and he prepared an article discussing these methods and helped with the re-enactment to make the video below to help explain the methods.  Alan’s article can be found here or here (.pdf file).

a few of the reasons this method might be beneficial are highlighted in the article and video, including the following:

  • Sunfish has capsized and/or fully turtled
  • the daggerboard has fallen out, or won’t stay in the daggerboard slot to assist with flipping the Sunfish back over
  • sailor fatigue
  • help getting in the boat

there’s often discussions over on the Sunfish Forum about various ways to help with one or several of the above list, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them summarized so nicely in a written article, and now a video demonstration as well.  the article and video highlight (4) basic techniques to help a nearby Sunfish sailor recover from a capsize:

  • getting a fallen daggerboard back into the boat
  • helping to right a capsized boat
  • using a rope foot sling to assist with reboarding
  • steadying a Sunfish to assist during reboarding

North Shore Yacht Club has been a leader in putting together great videos to help Sunfish sailors, I’ve highlighted some of their previous videos on my blog already:

the future of Sunfish sailing (part 2)?

bucking the traditional thought process that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, there has been some developments recently for new sails for the Sunfish sailboat.

a few weeks ago, an article was published in the Sag Harbor “Express Magazine” called: Local Sailors add a Modern Twist to a Classic Sailboat

Julian Shapiro (L), James Merrell and Gloria Fraze compete in a Sunfish regatta on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in Sag Harbor, New York.  (photo by Lori Hawkins)

Sag Harbor is a small village on New York’s Long Island, and the sailors there wanted to tinker with the sail design for the Sunfish, wanting to improve performance and make the sailing more interesting.

The new sail design sought to solve a few issues common in sailing: weather helm, pointing and deceleration after tacks. Steering a traditional Sunfish sail in stronger winds can require so much muscle to counteract weather helm that a wooden tiller arches. Working against all that force on the boat can make for tiring sailing.

the local group of sailors worked with a local sailmaker, Farrar Sails, in New London, Connecticut, to develop and create these new sails.

Nothing else was altered about the rigging and the new sail was designed to fit onto the existing lateen-style spars of the traditional Sunfish design.

The end results? The sailboat points higher and moves with more zip. The boat accelerates noticeably faster after a tack. On the flip side, the sails require quicker response to puffs and wind shifts, so boat handling skills need to keep up. By switching out the sail, it’s like having two different boats: one that is great to learn on and another that sails faster and requires faster response time.

this certainly seems like a more feasible (and economical) option than the X-Wing sail that came out after a recent America’s Cup introduced the wing sails.

sunfish worlds 2019: bonaire – promo video

ok, I’m sold. somebody book me a ticket.  I’ll just go and watch the racing and enjoy a week or two on the beach.

I don’t even know the racing rules of sailing, but the small island of Bonaire looks amazing.

normally, you have to qualify to race in a Worlds event, but they have opened the registration to any Sunfish Class member:

An Amendment 2 to the NoR has just been posted accelerating the date for open registrations from August 1 to July 15. That means that starting on July 16 anyone interested in being part of this epic regatta in Bonaire can register. We will cap the fleet at 72 boats and there are currently 57 entries.

the official notice of race can be found here (NOR, .pdf file).  additional information can be found at the Sunfish Worlds website.

the 2011 Sunfish Worlds were held on the nearby island of Curacao – which also looks amazing.  I’m sure Bonaire will be similar.

1970’s Sunfish sailing comic

I found this great sailing comic posted on Shoreline Sailboats’ Instagram account:

1971-1973 AMF Alcort Sunfish comic book was a 12 page comic highlighting the AMF line of sailboats along with sailing pointers and selling points.

sunfish adventure raid [June 1-2, 2019]

this will be the 2nd annual Sunfish Adventure Raid – Laser Performance is again sponsoring a 2-day sailing event on the lower Connecticut River near Hartford this summer.

Mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Sunfish Adventure Raid! On the weekend of June 1st 2019, join sponsors LaserPerformance and Maclaren, in Hartford, CT USA for a two-day distance sail down the Connecticut River to Essex, CT. Races on Saturday will be followed with a regatta camp out in Hurd State Park with a barbeque provided by LaserPerformance. Racing continues down the river on Sunday to Pettipaug Yacht Club for post-race festivities for sailors and friends!

and some more details from last year’s event:

Join us for a two-day fun race following the lower Connecticut River from the industrial banks of Hartford, past meadowlands and wetlands, meandering past eighteenth-century seaports, to finish at tree-covered Essex. Up to two people sail per boat, carrying on board the necessary camping gear (tents, sleeping bags), life jackets, clothing and foul-weather gear, lunch and drinks for two days.  Register for two days of family fun and adventure!

sign up/registration information can be found here.  additional details can be found at LP’s Facebook page for the event.

this event has been held annually for the last several years, but had been mainly initiated and organized by just a few Sunfish enthusiasts.  it’s nice to see Laser Performance sponsoring the race again this year, and hopefully they will continue that sponsorship for future years.

historically, the Connecticut River race was a huge Sunfish event, with even reference to it in the Sports Illustrated article “Here She is, the True Love Boat“:

Enthusiasts have been known to enjoy offshore cruising in, and overnight camping from, Sunfish, and have used them on river trips. Every May a fleet of about 100 of the little boats participates in a three-day race down the Connecticut River from Hartford to Essex.

I’m not sure that any of the recent events have come close to that many participants, but perhaps with LP acting as a sponsor, it will help create more interest in getting this back as a Sunfish tradition.

 

greater Detroit 2019 Sunfish race schedule

the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club (GDSC) has released their 2019 Sunfish race schedule (you can find it with additional information posted at their Yahoo Group).  you can also check them out on their Facebook page.

  • May 19th – Watkins Lake
  • June 9th – Watkins Lake
  • June 22nd & 23rd – camping weekend at Muskegon Lake (Muskegon State Park)
  • July 28th – U.P. Island Race (Les Cheneaux YC… details t.b.d.)
  • August 10th & 11th – Gull Lake Sunfish Open Regatta (details & NOR TBD)
  • August 31st & September 1st – camping weekend at Higgins Lake (South State Park)
  • September 14th & 15th – Devils Lake Regatta (Bruce Goldsmith Memorial – details & NOR TBD)
  • September 29th – Watkins Lake

all Sunday races start at 12:30pm [uno], with the camping/racing weekends starting earlier in the day to get extra races in over the weekend.

I said this last year (and the year before… and the year before… and the year before), and didn’t get a chance to sail with this group, but I’m again going to do my best to meet up with them for some sailing races this year.


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