The Sunfish Class is a proud participating Class in the Pan American Games. The initail interest in having the Class selected for Pan American Games competition was sought by Venezuela as they prepared to host the Games in 1983. At that time, however, the Sunfish Class was not a recognized International Class. Alcort representative Steve Baker, and later Lee Parks, did the groundwork required to acquire International status, completing it in 1984, too late for the Venezuelan Pan American Games.
The 1987 Games were hosted by the United States in Indianapolis, and while the Sunfish was promoted and considered, it was not selected for competition. In 1991 the Games were in Havana, Cuba, and In 1995 in Mar de Plata, Argentina, two countries without Sunfish activity and representation, which precluded its selection.
At the conclusion of the 1995 Games, new ISCA President Jean Bergman contacted the National Sunfish Class Association representatives in the Pan American countries to have them formally contact their national Sailing Federation representatives to promote the Sunfish as and ideal singlehanded boat for the Pan American Games. These representatives convinced the various Federations that there were many people of all ages and sexes sailing the boat in their country, making it outstanding equipment for the Games.
The appeals worked, as the Class was selcted for its first participation in the 1999 Games in Gimli, Mainitoba, Canada.
The Sunfish is an excellent Class for the Pan American Games. More countries participated in Sunfish that most other classes competing in both 1999 and 2003, an important point to maintaining its status as a Pan American Games Class. Part of the success can be attributed to the fact that the Sunfish is a relatively inexpensive boat, allowing developing countries to establish programs for their youth based in Sunfish. Continental and national championships have sprung up to provide opportunities for sailor development. The Sunfish continues to be among the leading Classes in the world for developing outstanding sailors.