Dan Norton wins 2016 Sunfish US Masters Championship

Posted August 08, 2016
2016 Sunfish US Masters Championship
Gull Lake Yacht Club, Richland, Michigan
August 5-7, 2016
The heat wave broke to provide an incredible August weekend of sailing and racing under sunny, 80 degree conditions, to name this year’s five age group champions: Joe Kaukeinen—Exalted Masters; Dick Tillman—Great Grand Masters; Ron McHenry—Grand Masters; Doug Kaukeinen—Masters; Dan Norton—Apprentice Masters. Norton is also the overall event winner and earns the berth to the 2017 Sunfish World Championship scheduled to be held at Brant Beach, New Jersey, USA. Friday featured a clinic where boat set up and the modern depowering rig were demonstrated to 17 participants, followed by on the water practice starts applying different methods described to improve sailor’s skill. The clinic was presented by past champion Rich Chapman. Welcomed Alan Block of SailingAnarchy.com to his first Sunfish regatta and great visibility for the Class. Saturday’s races were in winds that were somewhat a bell curve, light to start and finish, but as high as 12-14 so the last two races Saturday featured triangle courses instead of windward-leeward. Many of the 38 competitors were thrilled to have the triangle courses and enjoyed some planing as part of the experience. Sunday morning dawned with a nice breeze that was fading. Only one race could be completed before the time limit ran out. Sunfish Masters are known for having fun—Marco Polo for furthest traveled to George Sechrist; Classic Champion—Martha Croasdale; Spirit Award—Kennard Wright; Sassy & Classy Award—Charlie Rush. Race Committee was made up of Melinda Titus, PRO; Judy Maier, Gail Thompson, Elliot Klose, David Johnson, Jr., Tom Lechota, James Chadwick, Alec Borden, Max Doolittle, Grant Moore, Tom Belco, Andrew Belco, Kat Belco and Linda Buddemeier. Special volunteers included Pat Doran, Lora Swenson, Donald Parfet, Ann Parfet, Fred Einspahr, Gail Thompson, Rhonda Beatty, Faith Wicklund, Steph Goldsberry, Joe Goldsberry, Emma Mitchell, and Liz Vandenheede.—Story by Gail M. Turluck

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