It’s been a long and cold winter for many sailors, especially those in the northern regions; but it’s finally time for us to polish our hulls in preparation for spring sailing. Whether you have been sailing through the winter someplace warm, are kicking off your season with frostbiting, or are still getting ready to begin your season, I hope you are looking ahead to this year with as much enthusiasm as I am. We already have many exciting regattas on the calendar for 2019, and I encourage you to check out the schedule. https://www.sunfishclass.org/regattas/2019-regattas/01/2019/January/01
Our championship circuit begins with the USSCA National Championships at Midwinters on March 28-31. We are very fortunate to have Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa, FL, hosting the event. They have a fantastic venue and the regatta should be a great time on and off the water. he top U.S. finisher qualifies for the 2019 Pan American Games which will be held this summer in Lima, Peru. As many of you know, Pan-Am qualifying events can be competitive; but that challenge creates great opportunities for improvement. If you're looking to get away, there is still time to register for a weekend in beautiful, sunny Florida. Please sign up as soon as possible for the USSCA National Championships HERE.
Sunfish North American Championships are being hosted this year from June 13-16 by James Island Yacht Club, located just outside of Charleston, SC. I am looking forward to traveling to the area for this event, and I cannot wait to see some of our top sailors in attendance. As usual, we will also be holding our annual class meeting for anyone interested in joining us. Please sign up to race HERE.
USSCA Masters Championships will take place August 16-18 at Lewes Yacht Club, in Lewes, DL. Lewes is a centrally-located venue with great sailing conditions, and the club has done a phenomenal job hosting many regattas in the past. For more information on this event, https://www.sunfishclass.org/regattas/regatta-details/2204/.
The last major championship on our 2019 calendar is the USSCA Women’s North American Championship on October 4-6. This regatta will be hosted by Niantic Bay Yacht Club in Niantic, CT. As the first Women’s Championship held in New England in over 20 years, and the first major Sunfish event in Connecticut in decades, this event is highly significant for the region. I invite each and every one of the women in our class to join in for the experience. You can find out more details at https://www.sunfishclass.org/regattas/regatta-details/2196/.
As we sail into the 2019 season, keep in mind that bringing FUN to our regattas helps build a stronger class both on and off the water. Social events are just as important as racing and promote continued participation by fostering lifelong friendships. If you are planning a regatta this season, think of ways to make it memorable. On that note, if you have an event planned, send your regatta schedules to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get them on the calendar ASAP. If your club is interested in hosting a Regional Championship for next year, reach out to your regional representative.
Finally, I want to acknowledge Victor “Pete” Bethge, Commodore of the Menantic Yacht Club. Bethge was presented the National One-Design Leadership Award for his success increasing Sunfish sailing on Long Island. He “bought boats, found abandoned boats and accepted donated boats from people who no longer wanted them” with the intention of loaning them out and growing the fleet. This is a great mentality that we can all use to help grow our class. If you have extra boats that you can take to regattas, reach out to local sailing programs and see if there are sailors looking to race. Furthermore, if you know anybody who is interested in racing Sunfish but is not sure where to begin, try to build those relationships. The future of our class lies in junior sailors and new members, and hopefully we can all be like Mr. Bethge and eliminate barriers to entry. Congratulations Mr. Bethge and thank you from the Sunfish class!
Sail Fast, Sail Fun, Sail to the Future,
*** Summer 2015 ***
Happy summer! I hope that all of you are enjoying a wonderful sailing season. So far we have had a great year with our early regattas, the International Midwinter Masters and the US National Championship at Midwinters being held last March. Turnout was good and there was some great racing! Several Regionals have been held around the country with many more to follow. I’d like to extend a special tank you to all of the folks at Rush Creek Yacht Club for an outstanding NAs. The club and race organizers ran an excellent event getting in 11 races and providing top notch on-shore activities. 59 sailors competed including 8 who represented their countries at the Pan Am Games in Toronto. Conner Blouin represented the USA at the Pan Am Games and placed 6th. The Women’s North American Championship will be held in September at Rehoboth Beach, DE. Check the schedule for an event in your area.
One of the goals of the class for this year is to increase membership. Our membership numbers have been dropping over the last several years and we’d like to reverse that trend. If you know of someone who is sailing a Sunfish and is not a class member, encourage them to join. Dues are reasonable and they would be supporting a great class and a great group of sailors. We are continuing to work with some of our vendors to provide discounts to class members. Watch the website for more information.
There’s still plenty of time to get out and go sailing. If you haven’t had your boat out in a while, dust it off, kick the mice out of the cockpit and get out on the water!
*** Spring 2014 ***
Dear USSCA members,
Well, summer has finally arrived and, after one of the worst winters I can remember, I’m looking forward to a great season of sailing. I’d like to thank the Pensacola Yacht Club for hosting the International Masters and the Midwinters back to back last March. It was great to be able to go to one club and sail two regattas. (Especially since it coincided perfectly with my spring break!). This summer looks to be another great one with the US Masters in North Carolina, the NA’s in Mississippi, the Women’s NA’s at my home club near Chicago and the Worlds in North Carolina. Of course there are many regionals and local events all over the country for you to attend. Why not get out and enjoy some of these fun events?
This winter the class made a change in the Class Office. All class business is now being handled by Sherri Campbell at One Design Management in San Diego, CA. Sherri has done a great job of transitioning into the new role and I’m excited to have her on board. See PJ Patin’s ISCA letter for more details.
If you haven’t joined the Sunfish Listserve on Facebook, you should! There’s a lot of activity there and it’s fun and interesting to see what other clubs are doing. Sign up and post your stories and photos! Let people know where you are and how to join your fleet.
For those of you who have a boat that hasn’t been used in a while, why not dust off that old boat, find all the parts and get back out on the water? Get the kids in the boat and have some fun! Isn’t that why most of us started sailing anyway?
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in Bay-Waveland this summer for the NA’s or in North Carolina at the worlds. Both regattas promise to be awesome events as the organizers are working very hard to make them the best that they can be.
I hope you all have an enjoyable summer filled with sailing fun.
*** Spring 2013 ***
Dear Sunfish Sailors,
It is with great pride that I represent you as the president of this great Class and great group of people. I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and hope that I can help to lead the Class into a strong future. The Sunfish Class is entering a new chapter in our history.
The board has been hard at work with some great projects to help your Class grow.
The resurrection of The Windward Leg Newsletter (the first in almost 3 years!) - a great resource for race results, tips and tricks and upcoming events.
A new and dynamic website (you are looking at it) - Instant access to all of the information you need to make the most out of your Sunfish sailing experiences. Please take some time to explore the new site and book mark your region's page, the calendar and any other pages that you might find helpful! You can also join the Class / renew your membership right here on the site.
Increasing membership in the Class - Why should you be a member of the Sunfish Class and what benefits will you receive?
Very affordable sail boat racing,
International competition at the highest level
A gender- and age-inclusive activity
A very friendly and family oriented group of people.
Beyond personal reasons for membership, sailors should be aware the their Class dues also support an organization of committed individuals who organize regattas, oversee Class functions, develop and enforce Class rules, publish the Windward Leg and maintain the web site. Most of these individuals are sailors just like you who want to do all they can to make the Class as great as they can be!
Interested in racing your Sunfish? There is a very full slate of regattas already planned for this summer including:
US Masters at the Rochester Canoe Club
Youth and Open North American Championships at Brant Beach, NJ
Youth and Open World Championships at Brant Beach, NJ
Regional events all over the country for your enjoyment
Why not get out and sail with some old, or even new, friends!
The Class is also making a concerted effort to include more youth in our events. I’d like to encourage all of you to connect with the young people in your area and get them in the boat. Teach them the basics of sailing or even racing. Why not bring them to your next regatta? How about a special division in your local club events? Got a hotshot in the group? Bring them to the Youth NA’s!! Try to remember who it was that introduced you to sailing or brought you to your first event. Would you still be sailing today if it weren’t for them? This is the future of the Class, let’s get them excited about our great sport!
Finally, I’d like to encourage you to get involved in the Sunfish Class Association. What can you do to help?
Rejoining the Class if your membership has lapsed. Your dues are our only source of income and if we don’t have you, we don’t have a Class!
Start a new fleet at your club or get your old one back on it’s feet.
You could even do something as simple as show up at a local or regional regatta to see what they’re all about.
Volunteer for a board position and help guide us into the future. Great people with great ideas are always needed.
Again, it is my pleasure to serve as your Class President. I hope that together we can make this a great season with many of you being active locally, regionally and even nationally. What can you do to make us better?