IN THIS ISSUE
- Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Champions
- Bill Brangiforte’s “Observation #2”
- PanAm Games
- USSCA Holds a Special Elections for Regional Representatives
- Peter Franker, Southeast
- Scott Shirley, Soutwest
- Clinton Edwards, Gulf Coast
- Marco Teixidor, Puerto Rico, Wins FL Regionals
- Seven Tips to Rig a Sunfish Sailboat for Heavy Air with Coach Mike Ingham
- 24th Annual Lilly Kaighin Memorial Regatta
- Bob Findlay Wins 2022 Lake Michigan Championship
Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Champions
Dear Sunfish Class Members,
We’ve been given a challenge, a never-ending challenge that we face every day. Are you up for it? I know I am! To keep our Class alive and thriving, we have to think about what we can do to bring more youth sailors into our Sunfish “family.” We know we’re a fun Class. We know we’ve got a “Best Boat Forever” kind of design that appeals to both young and old racing champions and young and old sailors who just want to enjoy a day sail with some of the nicest people on the planet!
We know Sunfish Class members have all the “right stuff.” Now we have to set that “right stuff” into action wherever we can. Growing our Class and getting youth involved takes a 24-7 kind of mindset. Need some ideas? Mentoring a youth. Sponsoring youth sailing clinics. Bringing a youth sailor with us to a Sunfish event. Doing a one-on-one coaching session! Encouraging their parents to participate in the clinics and one-on-one coaching with you! Speaking at a Show and Tell classroom demonstration at a local school. The ideas are endless.
But we’re not going to stop here! You can encourage your family and friends to donate to the scholarship fund so that it continues to grow to benefit youth sailors for years to come. You’ll find a DONATE HERE link at the Class website. No donation amount is too small and can be paid with a credit card.
To help grow our Class while benefiting youth sailors, the Sunfish Class Association is offering youth scholarships. We’ve had this program all along, but you’re now going to see it set into action at the highest level possible! You’ll read about it in every Windward Leg. You’ll learn all you need to know about it on our website -- www.sunfishclass.org. where you can complete an application for a youth scholarship. Imagine being able to sail a Sunfish in a foreign country or at a major world-qualifying event in another state here in the USA with a scholarship to help cover expenses!
A Youth Scholarship Committee – Vicki Palmer/Chair, Lee Parks, Sonya Dean and Lyndsay Kresic – will review every scholarship application and will reply quickly with a status so that the youth and their parents can move forward with plans to sail in a Sunfish event.
What are some of the basic requirements?
- The youth has to be a Class member and has to have sailing experience on a Sunfish. The age requirement is 18 or younger. If the youth turns 19 on January 1 or later of the year of the event, he/she exceeds the age limit. So, designating the date of birth on an application is important.
- The youth will have to compete in a world-qualifying event the year before a Youth World Championship in order to qualify for a scholarship. To sail in any Youth Worlds Championship, the Youth will have to qualify for a berth thru the official qualification process.
Don’t forget the best side benefit of all! Today’s Youth and Tomorrows Champions in Life has a special meaning. Place a young adult in a “fun” setting erases all the inhibitions they might experience under a tighter learning environment.
In a sailing “fun” environment, our youth begin to understand and develop skills such as leadership, setting goals, making good decisions, building self-confidence, following rules, the importance of honesty and fairness and so much more. We’re helping to empower them to prepare for adulthood. I can’t think of a better way to make a difference in the life of a young person who will have to meet many challenges along the way to adulthood. – Vicki Palmer, Sunfish Youth Coordinator
Bill Brangifortes Observation #2 from the 2019 Women's North Americans at the Niantic Bay Yacht Club, Niantic, CT
(Editor’s Note: If you remember from the January 2023 Windward Leg, Bill was asked by Will Kresic to do a clinic at this 2019 Women’s North Americans. In Observation #1 Bill was surprised that knot tying was a challenge for some of women sailors! Below is Bill’s Observation #2.)
“Speaking of computers, the Wind Alert App is cool and is surprisingly accurate, but don’t follow it blindly. Wind does not always do what a computer says it is going to do. On Saturday morning [in Niantic], it seemed like everyone was talking about the breeze going right throughout the day. However, with a dying northerly coming off a shore, the wind is going to oscillate dramatically. In the first race, most of the fleet headed out to the right early and found a big right-hand shift. But it was temporary. Liza Clinton played the leg beautifully. She came off the line in the middle, held her lane and patiently stayed on the lifted starboard tack. Half-way up the leg, the breeze backed almost 30 degrees. Liza made a Robert Scheidt-like* roll tack, crossed the boats to the right and rounded the weather mark first. The lesson here is always treat offshore breezes as oscillating and sail appropriately - stay on the lifted tack. Tack back after a gain, cross when you can, etc.” – Bill Brangiforte
*Robert Scheidt is a Brazilian sailor who has won two Gold medals, two Silver medals and one Bronze medal at five Olympic Games and a Star Sailors League Final.
USSCA Holds a Special Election
(Editor’s NOTE: Three Regional Reps have joined the USSCA Board of Directors, filling VACANT positions. We LOVE our volunteers who do so much for our Class! Now we have three more volunteers to appreciate!) WELCOME …
Peter Fraker Southeast Regional Rep
Peter was nominated for this position by the outgoing Southeast Regional Rep, Alex Dean, who had to resign due to job responsibilities. Peter is filling some difficult shoes. Thank you, Alex, for helping bring the Southeast Region alive! Your wonderful Windward Leg articles and photos were enjoyed by us all. And your dedication and hard work has set a high bar for Peter.
Having lived in Aiken, SC, for more than three years, Peter met Alex Dean at a Southeast Regionals at the Columbia Sailing Club. When Alex asked if Peter would like to become the Southeast Regional Rep, the timing was perfect. Peter was ready “to give back” to the Class.
Peter has sailed a Sunfish on and off for over 50 years including 3 or 4 Sunfish World Championships. For a number of those years, he sailed a Hobie 16, Hobie 18 and Hobie 20.
For various reasons, Peter dropped out of sailing for about 12 years. But late in 2021, Peter got his Sunfish out of storage and started sailing it again. In 2022, Peter sailed at the Midwinters in Clearwater, FL, an event he said, “… was an experience!” We know Peter will experience many more Sunfish adventures as the newly elected Southeast Regional Rep.
Welcome, Peter! We are so glad you decided to “give back” to the Sunfish Class! – Vicki Palmer
Scott Shirley Southwest Regional Rep
Scott Shirley refers to himself as the “Rip Van Winkle” of the Sunfish Class. He set aside his Sunfish for lots of years (too many in his opinion) but decided to sail his restored 1973 Sunfish that his sister found in a Texas barn and, after 33 years, returned to his roots at the Fort Worth Sailing Club. That’s where he met Annie Lancaster he calls, “a force of nature!” Yup, that’s our Annie.
She didn’t hesitate to recruit Scott after learning that Rick Keffer had to resign due to a family illness. Rick was only with us for a year serving as the SW Rep but accomplished a lot in such a short time. He opened up a new Regional world-qualifying sailing venue by getting the event scheduled on a beautiful lake in Nebraska! Thank you, Rick, for all that you did for the Sunfish Class in such a short time. What you accomplished has already helped Scott move forward with venues to contact for 2023 world-qualifying events.
Scott has already participated in the legendary Texas Wurstfest Regatta, followed by five Texas Circuit regattas in 2022 and the US Masters at Bay-Waveland Yacht Club where he met Lee Montes, Bob Findlay, Eduardo Cordero, Eugene Schmitt and other notable Sunfish sailors.
Scott’s goal is to revitalize the Sunfish Class in the Southwest region with an organized Circuit and good communication. He also wants to place an emphasis on getting more young people into racing Sunfish.
On a personal level, Scott is a member at the Lake Worth Sailing Club in Fort Worth, TX, area, has been married for 38 years, has two grown daughters and works as a Business Expert for Apple. Scott also has a side entertainment business.
Another “force of nature” from the Southwest region! Welcome, Scott! – Vicki Palmer
Clinton Edwards - Gulf Coast Regional Rep
Clint is no stranger to the Sunfish Class. There’s not much he hasn’t done for the Sunfish Class the last few decades! Let’s see, Gulf Coast rep for a lot of years, USSCA President for a term or two and, most notably, a PRO for more world-qualifying Sunfish events than we can count.
Always ready. Always willing to help when he knows we need help. His Race Officer experience and knowledge are unequaled. And, to top it off, he always looks like he’s having a good time standing on the Signal boat with a compass in one hand and a magnetic tape wind reader in the other. Oh, and let’s not forget the dreaded U flag and Black flag! He knows how to use them and when!
Welcome, Clinton. Thank you for agreeing to take on the Gulf Coast Regional Rep position again.
Marco Teixidor of Puerto Rico Wins the Florida Regionals
Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, FL -- February 11-12, 2023
Here’s what we learned about what happened at the Florida Regionals with 80 registered competitors … It blew like stink (20+ mph). Boats broke. One boat got stuck in the muck. One boat got crashed into resulting in a broken tiller which was later handled fairly in a redress hearing with the Race Committee. Many competitors either sailed in after the first start or just didn’t go out. And Race Day Two was cancelled because the heavy winds didn’t die. Mother Nature ruled. But no one complained; everyone had a good time anyway! The Sailing Clinic held the day before the Regionals with Mike Ingham sharing his sailing and rigging wisdom was well attended with much learned by all.
Marco Teixidor of Puerto Rico was the winner with two bullets. Marco is someone new to our Class, someone we hope continues to sail with us so we can watch how he sails so fast in heavy air! And there was Conner Blouin not far behind finishing in second place overall with Doug Kaukeinen finishing with a solid third place. Gail Murphy-Heausler braved the heavy air for the two races sailed on Day One resulting in the Top Female award. Way to go, Gail! Congratulations to everyone who braved the challenging conditions.
Seven Tips to Rig a Sunfish Sailboat for Heavy Air with Coach Mike Ingham
In this Video, Sunfish Sailor, Lee Montes, attends a Clinic held by Professional Sailing Coach, Author and Champion, Mike Ingham. Lee summarizes Mike's clinic for beginner, interemediate and advanced sailors. Lee is not sponsored by anyone.
24th Annual Lilly Kaighin Memorial Regatta
The Luffing Lassies, a premier women’s sailing organization that has sailed and raced out of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron for the last 50 years, held its 24th Annual Lilly Kaighin Memorial Regatta on Thursday, January 12, 2023 in honor of its founder, Lilly Kaighin.
The long awaited race day was welcomed by the group of women sailors with open arms after the regatta was postponed several times due to weather and unfavorable conditions. The regatta was originally scheduled for Thursday, November 10th, the same day that the Luffing Lassies held its 50th Anniversary Celebration. Unfortunately, Tropical Storm Nicole paid a visit to the West Coast of Florida that same day. The Lassie’s 50th Anniversary Celebration was held; but the regatta was postponed. It was rescheduled twice more due to high winds and red tide. When the conditions on January 12th were favorable, the competitive group was anxious to get on the water to race. Race day started out with light winds of 6 mph coming out of the southeast and gradually built to ideal conditions with fair winds blowing 9 mph with gusts to 13. Three races were scheduled and the Race Committee, led by the amazing PRO Ron Pletsch, quickly took action to adjust the entire race course to get the third race in before the time limit when there was a 45 degree wind shift south.
It is tradition that the following three fleets participate in the regatta: 1) The Sunfish, the main boat of the Luffing Lassies and the biggest fleet with about thirty boats. 2) The Clearwater Pram, the “boat of honor” for the regatta as this was the original boat of the Luffing Lassies 50 years ago. 3) And the 420, the crewed boat and the newest fleet of the Luffing Lassies.
|1st Lisa Ehrhart|
2nd Mary Ellen Brown
3rd Susan Mallow
|1st Katheryn Ferry|
2nd Margo Schneider
3rd Cathy Darilek
|1st Jennifer Means & Barbara Sylvester|
2nd Penny Durham & Brenda Scanlon
3rd Lorri Kaighin & Kimberly Duplissey
The first place winners received a large perpetual award made of wood with the half hull of either the Sunfish, Pram, or 420 on it which was handmade in the Bahamas by Jim Kaighin, the founder and Lilly Kaighin’s oldest son. The top three finishers in each fleet also received a keeper trophy handmade by Lorri Kaighin, long standing member of the Luffing Lassies and Lilly Kaighin’s daughter-in-law.
The regatta concluded with a surprise recognition for Lorri Kaighin by the Luffing Lassies for her 24 years of service to this regatta as the chairperson, for her years of honoring the Luffing Lassie founder Lilly Kaighin, and for celebrating the Lassies history of its three fleets - the Sunfish, 420, as well as the Clearwater Pram, the original fleet of the Luffing Lassies. It was a touching moment when the recognition was given by long standing member Ursula Olson.
It was a perfect day for the Lilly Kaighin Memorial Regatta! A great day of good competition, good camaraderie, and good times - exactly what the Lilly Kaighin Memorial Regatta is all about. – Lorri Kaighin
2022 Sunfish Lake Michigan Championships
When I acquired a brand-new Minifish dagger board, along with a bunch of Sunfish equipment from a dealer who had gone out of business decades ago, I knew I would want to contribute the board as a perpetual trophy. But it took me six seasons since returning to the class to figure out the structure.
I grew up sailing on Lake Michigan at Winnetka Yacht Club. Every suburb (of Chicago) on the North Shore, between Evanston and Lake Bluff, had a Sunfish Fleet. Most had a junior sailing instruction program as well. The only two fleets left are at Lake Bluff and Highland Park.
I don’t have to tell folks who sail these surfboard-type boats that it’s a lot of fun to be out on the open water in a small dinghy. In the Midwest the options are limited. And in an effort to promote additional competition, going forward, I will score every regatta (with the help of Leland Brode and Racelog) held on the big lake.
As usual in 2022, both the Shepherd Memorial Regatta in Lake Bluff and the Summers End Regatta in Highland Park were well attended (23 boats each) with hot competition.
At the Shepherd, Bob Finley and Scott Schappe mastered the chop decisively to take first and second respectively. Rich Chapman and I were tied for third going into the last race. It was the first regatta Rich was competing in after a catastrophic orthopedic injury over the winter and he sailed quite competitively until he wasn’t up to racing in the last heat. A stellar performance given his unfortunate handicap.
At the Summers End I came out on top with a first in one race that turned into a drifter (Tip: Always head your boat in the right direction if you can figure that out) and won the heaviest race of the day, probably pushing the low 20s with aggressive waves formed. Rich was in better physical shape going into this regatta and finished second, one point behind, winning one of five races. Bob finished third with Matt Glover in fourth, after Matt’s bullet in the first race. He edged out Gretchen Seymour, who was on fire, including a first and second, after her recent competition in the Women’s North American Championship.
When the dust settled, after nine races, Bob Findlay (former Masters, Midwinters and North American champion) beat yours truly by four points in the inaugural running of the Lake Michigan Championships. Rich finished third and if there had been a throw out at the Shepherd, he would’ve been just one point behind me for the series.
A special commendation for a very consistent series to one of my good friends and heroes, Mike West. He finished 13th in the first race at each regatta, had a DNS in the second races and, as things got more intense in terms of the weather, decided that discretion was the better part of valor and, as one of our two Midwest senior Masters who are still quite competitive (Shapoor, we hope to see you back next season), decided to get an early start on the post-race refreshments. Since I get to make the rules, at least for this one series, any senior master competing will be awarded average points for any race they feel compelled to miss (a format I would recommend other regatta sponsors to consider).
Considering average points Mike would’ve finished 14 out of 23 boats at each regatta. Not too shabby for an old duffer. We should all be blessed to still be doing what we enjoy in our 80s. – Mark Kastel
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