Racing season is now here. When I was elected President in November, I told you that my first priority was to work on all of the supply issues that we the Class are facing with Laser Performance. I have spoken with both the President and Owner of LP and they have confirmed that despite any production problems that they are experiencing, they are on track to produce a nd deliver 72 Sunfish Class racing sailboats and North Racing Sails, for the International Sunfish Class Association World Championships in Brant Beach in August of this year.
I am also happy to announce that the Class Approved White North Racing sails are now available, with more on the way. Lack of parts and boats are still an issue and the International Sunfish Class Association has been assured that these issues will be resolved by 2018. For the time being we will need to continue be creative, and find some other temporary solutions for parts.
As many of you know, the International Sunfish Class Association is the only Class Association authorized to run International and World Championships for the Sunfish Class boat by World sailing. With that said, I am proud to announce the rebranding of the International Masters Championship as the new “Masters World Championship” in an effort to help project the Class internationally and accommodate a large percentage of class members who are over 40 years of age and find it difficult qualifying for World Championship events.
As a World Championship event, the venue will be rotated among the US, South America, Caribbean, and Europe. The rebranded event will be administered by the International Class Office and will include the same categories as those in the International Class Notice: 80+ Senior Master, 70-79: Great Grand Master, 60-69: Grand Master, 50-59: Master, and 40-49: Apprentice Master.
Inaugural Masters World Championship will be held by Saint Andrews Bay Yacht Club, Panama City, FL, on the third week of March in 2018.
Seas the Day,
Laurence H Mass
December 10, 2016
The 46th Sunfish Youth and World Championships held in Cartagena, Colombia, are now complete. Congratulations to Angelo Giuria of Peru, the Sunfish Youth World Champion, and to Alonso Collantes of Peru, the 2016 Sunfish World Champion. Sailing conditions were challenging due to Hurricane Otto producing light winds and 10-15 foot swells.
Thirty-six (36) competitors from eight (8) different countries competed in the Sunfish Youth World Championship. Notably missing were youth competitors from the U.S. We all need to work on getting more youth involved and interested in participating in as many of our major events as possible.
The Sunfish World Championship, with 63 participants, was well-represented with competitors from 15 different countries -- a very impressive showing that we hope to continue.
I would like to thank everyone who did all the behind-the-scenes work to ensure that the 2016 Sunfish Youth and World Championships had charter boats and adequate parts. Sonya Dean overcame many challenges starting with getting boats shipped to Cartagena from China and then working with the OA and the Dealers, a huge undertaking as well as time-consuming task. Eduardo Cordero and Gena Rodgers, the Executive Administrators in our new Class Office, worked tirelessly to make sure we had all possible countries represented and also handled the registration process quickly after the Class Office was moved from San Diego to Alabama last June.
Last but not least, I want to thank Paul-Jon Patin who quickly secured the last 24 U.S. made boats before boat production was moved to China in the first quarter of the year. This move ensured that we had at least 24 new boats for the World Championships in the event the production facility in China was not up and running in time. Paul-Jon also traveled to China to test the boats earlier this year and to give some technical advice to Laser-Performance (LP) and the factory. While the verdict is not yet out on the new boat production facility in China, I can say that seven of the top 10 boats in this year’s World Championships were Chinese made boats. The winning boat Alonso Collantes sailed in Cartagena was a Chinese made boat. Maintaining quality control and availability of parts and boats are a number 1 priority for me. I am currently working with Laser-Performance to address many of these issues.
I want to add a very special thank you to Paul-Jon for his invaluable leadership and dedication to the Sunfish Class for the past six years. From working closely with Paul-Jon, I know first-hand the countless number of hours he has put into the International Sunfish Class. All too often this is a thankless task that is overlooked. Over his tenure he was faced with challenges that no other President in our Class has had to face. In 2012 Laser-Performance stopped supporting our Class, both financially and with supplied charter boats. He had to scramble to put together a World Championship for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Class Office was moved several times. Paul-Jon was instrumental in helping the Sunfish Class remain a Pan-Am Class boat. This Pan-Am designation is crucial to the survival of our class and his hard work was evident at the World Championships where we had 11 different Pan-Am countries represented. As Paul-Jon passes the torch, I look forward to continuing the momentum Paul-Jon worked so hard to build and maintain for our Class.
Next year’s Sunfish North Americans to be held at the Sayville Yacht Club in Sayville, NY, will be a Pan-Am qualifier. So look for the scheduled dates to be posted soon on our website: http://www.sunfishclass.org.
We have the next four World Championships now scheduled! Next year’s World Championships are scheduled for August in Brant Beach, NJ. In 2018 the World Championships will return to North Carolina and my home Yacht Club, Carolina Yacht Club, in Wrightsville Beach, NC. This is the second oldest yacht club in the United States. And this is a fantastic ocean venue. Next in 2019 Bonaire will host the World Championships. Lastly in 2020 we will sail in Martinique which will be the 50th Sunfish World Championships. If you are interested in hosting a World Championship in the future please contact the Class Office and obtain a bid form. We look forward to having more World Championships scheduled.
Fair winds and following seas,
Laurence H Mass
January 1, 2016
2016 has great potential for Sunfish Class growth internationally. Laser Performance seems to have awakened with the “Force.” Time will only tell if promises start to become reality but we should start seeing things (e.g. part availability) change for the better in the first quarter of the year. Sunfish Class membership is forecast to increase including new faces but also for reasons for those who may have missed a renewal or two in recent times.
2015 Youth turnout, notably female and Juniors were in record attendance abroad as Sunfish have become an inclusive bridge for the post Opti sailor who doesn’t quite fit the Laser mold while still seeking benefits from singlehanded sailing. Pan American competition is alive and thriving in Sunfish where Caribbean and South American countries lead the way in enthusiasm, growth and top end competition. If history serves as "a tell,” these countries, particularly South American, led the way in cell phone communications for the everyday user, (which I find as an interesting parallel to Sunfish demographics and branding). If I'm not mistaken, long before I could afford “one," people to "the south" were chatting on their own phone for years c. mid 1990s. Favorable trends often lend for history to repeat.
Sunfish don’t have foils or the flare of something new, but they do have top level competition between Youth, College age, Juniors and Senior both Male and Female in the most inclusive of sized sailors competing internationally. I’ll sail my Interclub this winter, hopefully my Snipe and Laser in some warmer water but I can tell you I won’t miss the Sunfish Worlds in Categena in October. Hope to see many of you there or read about you along the way! Best in 2016!!
October 16, 2014
ISCA has elected a new slate of officers, all being new to the job (with the exception of me and of course, Rob;) but up to it I can assure you! May I congratulate:
Larry Mass, Vice President
Vicki Palmer, Secretary
Sonya Dean, Treasurer
Rob Eberle, Measurer
That said, we saw the end of an era in 2014 when the Class decided to move the back end book keeping and administrative duties to a professional organization, "One Design Management," and Sherri Campbell, titled Executive Secretary for business and class operations. The Exec Sec is a non-voting position.
Consequently, Terry and Peg Beadle ran the Sunfish US and International Class for over 25 years and were my earliest supporters in the days "I was too broke to pay attention,” and have become dear friends over the years. Although we chose to move in this direction I already miss them dearly at regattas, particularly Peg who was elected a Lifetime Member of the Sunfish Class at last night’s World Council meeting. I personally thank you this one last time and truly hope to see you in the not too distant future as you shared so many special moments in the previous 23 World Championships not to mention North American and regional events.
In this transition, Terry reminded me, "this is not personal," but to me and I am sure both of them it is inevitably personal to be part of something so long and then become separated from duties, the trials and tribulations but most importantly, friends. Last night Pat Manning was not reelected which is one of the most difficult experiences I have had to deal with as a Class officer now for 20 years. In Antigua, Kathy Remmer was elected and amongst some of the opposing supporters I felt friendships were if nothing else, strained. Those relationships have evolved and in the end the change was transformational as Kathy introduced technology that brought us closer to worlds apart, financially speaking of course. Pat Manning served this Class (and still serves the US as treasurer) since Kathy left, doing the book keeping in tandem with Terry's efforts, check writing, auditing, tax returns and many other miscellaneous duties most if not just about all never knew. I am truly thankful for her help and service as those who came before me in recognizing Pat and appointing her a Lifetime member of the Class years ago. It should be recognized that it "is" personal to be separated from duties in something you love amongst people who you love and love you.
Thank you Pat, Terry and Peg. You changed my life in your support for me and your efforts to build and run this organization, and your Lifetime memberships will always reflect how much you meant to us.
*** Late Spring 2014 Update ***
Dear Sunfish Sailors,
In just a few weeks it will be summer and the season will be well underway. The Class has been busy and there are many exciting changes and events in the mix.
In February the executive boards of both USSCA and ISCA voted to move the administrative duties of the Class Office to One Design Management (ODM) in San Diego, CA. ODM is a professional organization that handles many one-design classes including Laser and Snipe. We’re excited to have them handling the duties of the Sunfish Class and are looking forward to a long relationship with them.
As many of you know, for the last 27 years Terry and Peg Beadle have run the Sunfish Class Office and managed Worlds registration. They have been the faces and voices of leadership and set the tone for class camaraderie not only at World Championships but also at the North American Championships and countless US regattas as they served both ISCA and USSCA. Terry and Peg have been a large part of personality the Class since the late 1980s when Terry took over the position of Class Secretary and Class Office from then President Alan Scharfe. They have been at the helm of operations through the days of Pearson, Sunfish-Laser, Vanguard and Laser Performance and helped guide us smoothly through all of these times. Terry and I spoke earlier in the year and, after some thorough discussion, we agreed that this year would be an opportune time to transition the Class Office since the Worlds are in the US in October and then Peru in 2015. Terry has been instrumental in coordinating the move of the office and felt it was prudent to allow duties of the secretary to be part of the Worlds coordination so he resigned his position as class secretary.
Although ODM will handle the majority of the administrative duties, I felt that the position of Secretary for ISCA should remain independent of the Class office. I have asked long-time Sunfish Class member Vicki Palmer to serve as interim Secretary and to be present at the Sunfish Worlds Council in October. In addition, I have asked her to serve as a liaison to the Race Committee at the Worlds and to assist the PRO on the committee boat as a representative of the Class at both the Youth and Open World Championships. I hope to continue having a class representative at future championships to help assist in this manner. Lastly, I have asked Vicki to act as chair to the Youth Worlds as the Sunfish Class representative. Vicki was excited about the opportunities, gladly accepted and I am confident with Vicki’s knowledge of the class, her race committee experience and her exceptional people skills that we are to be well served.
Please join me in reaching out and thanking Terry and Peg Beadle for their many years of tremendous service. I have indicated my desire to have Peg join Terry on our prestigious list of Honorary Class members when we next vote.
Enjoy an exciting summer of Sunfish sailing. Be safe.
*** Spring 2014 Update ***
Dear Sunfish Sailors,
First, may I say Congratulations to Alexander Zimmerman for winning consecutive World Championships.
It’s been a frosty winter here in New York City and I feel like shoveling out cars is becoming a career move here but you know what they say about “free exercise!”
Amongst the snow and signs of an Ice Age pending (as least here in New York and New England) we have been quite busy. Class issues, regattas and plans are coming together quite nicely.
Here are the highlights:
Pensacola Yacht Club in Florida has the International Masters Championship, US Team Race Championship, and US National Championship at Midwinters lined up March 23-29.
Italy has organized the European Championship June 26–29.
The US Masters Championship will be held in Oriental NC (near Worlds site) May 31-June 1.
The North American Championship will be at Bay Waveland Yacht Club, Bay St. Louis, MS: Youth/Junior North American Championship-July 28-29; Open North American Championship-July 30-August 2.
The World Championship, commencing with Youth World Championship October 8-11 and the World Championship October 11-18 at Camp SeaGull, Arapahoe, NC USA)
The South American Championship (also Central American and Caribbean Championship) will be November 17-21 at Paracus, Peru (same venue as 2015 World Championship).
Mary Laurence McMillian, Regatta Chair for the 2014 World Championship is in high gear with race management and jury, full speed ahead in preparations. Larry Mass is in connection with dealer Triton Yachts and has put plans in play to supply 72 boats and recently, Olympic Medalist, Steve Benjamin has taken on the role of bringing together town, state and US Sailing officials to promote the event and help pave the way for a tremendous regatta at Camp Seagull in October. Anyone ever involved in an event Steve plans understands the significance of such and we thank Steve for all he has done already.
The Class has recently involved One Design Management and intends to bring Sherri Campbell and company on board over the course of the next year and particularly to solidify the World Championship entry management process.
Terry Beadle, Pat Manning, Ned Jones (along with several other officials and past presidents) and I have been in discussion about how to best plan and see through the success of the Sunfish Class for decades to come. Terry has been tremendously helpful in working through the various roles he and Peg have managed as the "Class Office" for both the USSCA and ISCA for now over 27 years. The success and personality of the Class events and recreational tone has prospered over the years due to Terry and Peg’s welcoming and friendly leadership. These values we as officers hold very dear and look to uphold.
That’s all for now but as you can see there’s a lot of optimism and positive activity to get excited about and we look forward to building on this momentum, bringing more intrinsic value to members and growing youth membership in this Pan American qualifying year!
As you may know, "the Sunfish is the Open Class of the 2015 Pan American Games," in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in summer 2015.
Forging ahead to fair winds and smooth seas (with waves large enough to surf both ways!)
** Fall 2013**
Dear Sunfish sailors,
We have a fantastic (43rd) World Championship planned for October 5-12 out of Lewes YC in Delaware. Our International Jury and Principalrace officer along with the Sunfish welcoming "Members of the LYC" are set to put on a truly epic regatta and festivities! Many thanks to long time Sunfish sailor / member of LYC, Connie Miller, for taking on and running with the show!
That said there are some important points to mention. Laser Performance has agreed to support and supply custom Worlds sails again. This development is paramount in keeping the Worlds - Sunfish Brand and International One Design perception consistent. This Brand and the features of wide inclusive age, size, and gender along with simplicity have kept the Sunfish the most relevant dual recreation - racing boat sold for over 42 years.
Lastly, WE are looking for a "Worlds" venue for 2014. Our preference would be to take the Worlds outside the US but our hurdles are
a) We need a regatta organizer, a Connie Miller'13, David Mendleblatt '12, Alex Roose '11, etc. That is the keystone to this Event.
b) how many boats can we get in one place, shipped, sold or sent in container back and forth to put on this Event?
c) We need a venue that can accommodate (preferably a fall event) because we can not break down attendance from the US north Americans (run in summer) which is one of our key membership driving events.
All thoughts and ideas are welcome. I would love to have a preliminary plan or options in place for our World Council meeting during the Worlds. A presentation from a suitor would be fantastic. Please Email me if you would like to add any input to the discussion.
Dear Fellow Sunfish Class Members (and those Curious about SUNFISH™)
Our Class has changed, as times (and builders) change we face a different paradigm. The days of the brand new boat at the World Championship may be a thing of the past as economic times change and our manufacturers’ marketing interests shift.
Ned Jones (ISCA VP) and I have not given up hope on the "strict one design" Worlds (concept) nor have we run out of ideas of ways to go about running, "The Worlds," so make no mistake, Sunfish Class and the SUNFISH™ brand, are alive and well!
We look to have a fantastic World Championship in Delaware this Fall, October 5th-12th. Connie Miller and the Lewes YC have been full speed ahead and we are really looking forward to a terrific event!
We have combined the Youth Worlds to coincide with the North Americans to be run at Brant Beach YC, July 14th-20th. One of the most important initiatives begun by my predecessor, Andres Santana, is development of Youth Sailing. The Class has chosen to run the Youth Worlds in the summer per overwhelming sway amongst membership. It is our hope that the timing, sailing conditions and superior organizing /race management at the Brant Beach YC will help give our Youth participation a boost! For those on the fence and from countries outside the United States please consider this event which has all the ingredients for fun and success on Long Beach Island, NJ in July.
At the World Council in St Petersburg we had a stellar youth and young adult presence from the far reaches of Central and South America. We bantered about many great ideas, many of which having to do with the organization of the Worlds. For those of you out there, this is your Class to steer in directions uncharted. We need your voice and your follow through.
Allow me to remind you all that we thrive upon our efforts and our strengths, some of which are listed below:
Celebrated 50 years of affordable, same (One) design fun
Simplicity and competition on an International level for a vast range of
Adults and Youth on the same course
Male and Female
Inclusive age, weight and size
It's not a coincidence this is the "Open Pan Am boat"
Spread the word!
In the meantime, we are working toward revising a bid package for the 2014 Worlds, our eyes and ears are open, ideas and volunteers always welcome!
I look forward to seeing you on the water, until then have a great season sailing!