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,
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