Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sailing Season is over, Long live the sailing season!

For us diehards, the Christmas parties are over, the presents unwrapped, and the Sunfish season has drawn to a close.  Now it is time to reflect on the past season, and to see what we can take forward into next season.   
  • Twelve Sunfish skippers have re-established the Sunfish fleet as an active and viable fleet at Massapoag. We ran a series of 66 races over the summer. The racing was so close at the top that we had to resort to multiple tiebreakers to determine a winner.
  • The competition continued into the fall, where three MYC skippers participated in an additional 84 races at the Barrington Fall Frostbite Series. This series hones everyone's skills, because it is where the best of the best, including several former North American Championship winners, sail on a weekly basis. MYC members took 4th place in the A fleet, and 1st and 2nd in the B fleet.
  • We set club records for the number of Sunfish participating in both the Spring and Fall regattas.
  • We've sent representatives to regattas at different clubs, and to the regional championships, and learned a lot about how other clubs run race series.
  • We've impressed the National Sunfish Class Association, who direct people to MYC as an active program for people looking for Sunfish racing.
  • We've even converted a couple of Laser sailors (or at least got their attention).

Looking to next year, we're planning on tweaking the Sunfish Series a bit, extending the season both earlier in the spring and later in the fall, introducing some new courses, possibly some new formats, and adding some off the water elements that didn't come to fruition last year. We are also investigating building a set of storage racks so that we can get most, if not all of the Sunfish out of the top circle and onto the beach. It looks like next year will be as busy as this one. Let's hope it is as successful.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

MYC@BYC Week 8: The Curse of the Camera

Word is getting around that the BoatCam brings bad luck. We see no evidence of it whatsoever.

Today was the last day of the fall frostbite season at the Barrington Yacht Club, and the late season turnout was as strong as ever.  Eleven boats took part in the racing today in the fog and murk that blanketed the Barrington River near the clubhouse.  At some points skippers in the middle of the fleet couldn't see the boats at the front.  There was never a point where the whole course was visible at one time.  A shifty 12-15 mph south wind pushed some big waves up the river, making downwind legs more like toboggan runs than sailboat races, and making for interesting mark roundings.  The current caused at least one general recall, and an unusually large number of individual recalls.  Eventually the fleet lined up 10 or so boat lengths behind the line at the 10 second mark, and even then, some boats were over early.

Ken Charles was the force to be reckoned with today in the A fleet with three 1st's, two 2nd's and a 4th. Bill Brangiforte took 2nd and Scott Greenbaum took 3rd.  Mark Stoughton took the B fleet ahead of Alan Silk, Mark Amaral and Erin Abbot.

Overall for the fall season, The A fleet sees Andy David finishing in first place, Bill Brangiforte in 2nd, Ken Charles in 3rd, and MYC's Gary Werden in 4th.  MYC's Mark Stoughton and Bernadette Levesque have continued their summer rivalry right into the fall season, finishing a close 1 and 2 in the B fleet, with Alan Silk riding a late season surge into 3rd place.  The full fall season results are available on the Barrington Yacht Club web site.

This week's BoatCam sailed with Scott Greenbaum this week, and he graciously provided posed for the picture at the top of this entry. Some skippers are complaining that when the camera is mounted on their boats, their performance suffers. We at MYC Sunfish Fleet News say Balderdash, because we are getting some great shots for the blog, like the one above, and great videos for our You Tube channel. The BoatCam couldn't be a better tool!
You can judge the efficacy of their claims for yourselves in this weeks BoatCam video featuring Scott Greenbaum:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

MYC@BYC Week 7...What Week 7

Idyllic Scene...but the Sunfish are missing.

Once again, Mother Nature has wreaked havoc with our frostbite season.  Like a bad party guest, the snowstorm arrived late, and stayed too late, and left a mess, and the fleet decided that discretion was the better part of valor.  Travel to BYC proved to be the dealbreaker. A headcount by the BYC race Committee this morning showed 9 no's and 1 maybe for racing today. Since you can't run a race with maybe 1 boat, the Race Committee cancelled racing for today.

We've dug into the archives for a Sunfish repair tidbit from a boat repair seminar put on by LaserPerformance a few years ago.  In this clip, Joel Hanneman explains how to fix a puncture hole in the hull.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

MYC@BYC Week 6: Current Events

Beware: Turning marks are farther away - much farther away,  than they appear

Two weeks ago, racing was cancelled because the Wind speed exceeded the temperature by double digits. This week, the current speed exceeded the wind speed, making for maddening mark roundings and an abandoned final race. Extremely light air was the order of the day, allowing the current to wreak havoc, particularly on the B fleet, giving them plenty of opportunities to practice the boat handling pointers that Bill Brangiforte had given them back at the dock earlier in the day.

The dying, shifty North wind combined with the current to push competitors to the brink, even pushing them backwards sometimes.  Skippers who were 5 feet from the windward mark sometimes required three or four long tacks to make it around because of the lost ground due to the current. The final race was abandoned when it proved impossible for any skipper at all to make any progress at all.

Ken Charles took the day in the A fleet. Alan Silk put in a stellar performance to take home his first 1st place cup of the season.

This weeks' BoatCam features Andy David, who graced last weeks post with his insights into light air racing.  This week you can see Andy in action, putting his money where his mouth is.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

MYC@BYC Off Week: The Week That We Let Others Do Our Work For Us

This week is an off week for the frostbite racing at BYC. Rather than show you all another version of "a Race with Bill", We thought that we'd let other people do our work for us and made a visit to the copious sailing archives on YouTube for some Sunfish-related tidbits. We found this excellent interview from 2009, by Bill Brangiforte and Eric Woodman, featuring the Barrington Frostbite fleet's own Andy David, talking about racing in Barrington, although given his attire, the "frost" part of frostbiting must have been understated that day.  He talks about light air sailing, and how to handle the current in the Barrington River where we race. 

Andy is an exceptional sailor, and provides some excellent advice here. Any given week, you can find him at front of the frostbiting fleet. He won last year's frostbiting series (fall and spring), and currently he leads this fall's series.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

MYC@ Barrington Week 5: The Weather System Used at the Worlds Comes to Barrington

A Sunfish racer trying to make his way to his boat this morning

The wind conditions that caused four days of postponement at the Worlds has decided to make a road trip to the Northeast.  A cold 30mph northeast wind (with gusts to 45), have descended on Barrington, making it impossible to sail safely.  An email went out from the BYC at 8:12 this morning cancelling racing for today.

We're not the only ones deprived of a day on the water. Word comes out of New York that the Wet Pants Sailing Association has had their frostbiting blown out too.

Next week is a built in off week for BYC, so racing will resume in two weeks. Now to think of something to post next week!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

MYC@Barrington Week 4: Even a Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut now and Again

Mark Stoughton crossing in front of Bill Brangiforte. This is something that Never, Ever happens. 
Conditions were a bit wetter, and a lot warmer but a lot less blustery for the thirteen hardy souls who braved the rain for the fourth week of frostbiting at Barrington. Light winds and friendly tides were the order of the day, and there was a lot of close racing.  Five races were run today in winds that ranged from light to nonexistent.  Huge leads were gained and lost over the course of a leg as people sailed in and out of puffs.  Overlaps were all the rage at the marks, generating some spirited on-the-water debate about the racing rules among the skippers.

Bill Brangiforte took the day in the A fleet, while Mark Stoughton built on a personal best 5th place finish in the first race to take the B fleet.

Here is this Week's BoatCam video:

We tried a little something different this week. We had two BoatCams on the water today.  We also have some special plans for the BoatCam later this year, so stay tuned. Same Boat Time, Same Boat channel!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

MYC @ Barrington Week 3: Now you see it, Now you don't. Then it comes and clubs you in the Head

Bill Brangiforte coming to the finish line in the race with gentle breezes.

Today was a weird one.  It started with sailors unable to make headway in the 2 knot southerly against the 3 knot current.  Some skippers passed the same channel marker no fewer than 7 times as the wind blew them past it one way in puffs, then as the wind died, the current pulled them back past it the other way. Most skippers ended up being towed out to the race course so that racing could get started.

The RC managed to get 1-1/2 races in before the light, fickle winds became the extremely heavy, fickle winds.  Within a few seconds, wind speeds went from less than 10 mph to over 30. The B fleet got caught in the squall at the leeward mark. Mark Stoughton got around just before the squall hit, and he got on a plane and covered the entire upwind distance to the finish line in about 30 seconds. The rest of the B fleet was unable to round the mark at all until the worst of the squall had passed.

The consensus among the fleet and the RC was that it would be too dangerous to continue racing, so the third race of the day was back to the dock.  The wind had abated somewhat for the first half of that race, but then came back with a vengeance, blowing 20-25 and shifting 20-30 degrees, making the race a workout for everyone involved.  The tide had changed too, so the current that was against them going out to the race course was against them again going back in. Sailors got stuck in irons and couldn't get out. Some kept getting pushed back downwind. Others were pushed into the docks that line the right side of the channel. A couple of sailors capsized, and a few had to be towed in.

Out of the carnage that was racing today, Scott Greenbaum took 3 firsts in his first day of Frostbite racing this season.  Bill Brangiforte (this week's BoatCam victim) took 2nd and Eric Woodman took 3rd.  Mark Stoughton got 1st in the B fleet, followed by newcomer Steve Boyajian and Bernadette Levesque.

The BoatCam makes its return this week. Bill Brangiforte is the victim today:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MYC@Barrington Week 2: A Fine Welcome for a New MYC Skipper

Bernadette Levesque (sail #1) joins the MYC@Barrington fleet, bringing the total to 3 MYC frostbiting sailors so far.

We want to welcome another MYC skipper to the MYC@Barrington ranks.  Bernadette Levesque has joined Gary Werden and Mark Stoughton for the fall festivities. Coming fresh off her "Most Active Skipper" and "Most Improved Skipper" awards at the MYC banquet last night, Bernadette started with a bang, adding a BYC first place trophy glass to her collection by taking 5 out of 6 races to lead the B fleet for the day, and 7th place overall, just behind Gary Werden. Mark Stoughton volunteered to help out on the shorthanded Race Committee for the day, so was given average scores for the day.

Bill Brangiforte standing around
waiting for the BoatCam to start working
Bill Brangiforte had the BoatCam on his boat for the day, but technical difficulties caused the camera to record only the single shot that we've posted here. Hopefully we'll have better luck next week.

The day was chilly and breezy, with 12-15 mph winds coming out of the north, almost straight down the river. The tide was flowing out for most of the day, shifting only during the last race. Bill Brangiforte took first for the day, Beating out Doris Aschman, Ken Charles and Andy David.
Gary Werden got his first 1st in Race 4, taking the pin end all by himself at the start and going left when the rest of the fleet went right. He gained a big lead at the windward mark and never looked back. Doris Aschman and Ken Charles also took first 1sts today.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

...And Another Begins! Massapoag@Barrington Week 1

Two guys from MYC walked into a sailboat race...

The Barrington Yacht Club's Fall Sunfish Frostbiting Season got off to a solid start this afternoon, with 9 boats showing up for the first day of racing. Most of the skippers from last year returned, and there was also a newcomer.  It turned out to be a beautiful day for racing, with a shifty 10-12 mph breeze out of the east. The shifting winds and the change of tide in the middle of the races made for a wide variety of layline choices at all of the marks.

Andy David took the day with four 1st's and two 2nd's, Bill Brangiforte took 2nd, while MYC's Gary Werden took 3rd. John House (Not to be confused with MYC's John Houstle) took 1st in the B Fleet while MYC's Mark Stoughton took a close 2nd, and Alan Silk took 3rd.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

One Season ends...

The leaves are falling, and the Sunfish are leaving
It's that time of year again. The mornings are cold, the days are short and the mooring field is empty. MYC held it's annual fall Work Party this morning and closed up the club for the season. Most people packed up their boats and brought them home. The remaining Sunfish and Lasers were packed into their winter storage areas to make room on the beach for the docks to be stored. The club is in hibernation until April.

But all is not lost. Several MYC Sunfish racers are planning on participating in the Barrington Yacht Club frostbite season, which starts next Sunday. We will be running the MYC@Barrington coverage again this year, so stay tuned!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

We're a Year old!

About a year ago, The Massapoag Yacht Club had a lot of Sunfish owners, but almost no racers. Our fall Annual Regatta attracted a lot of Sunfish racers, but we had only one club member racing.  We decided that we needed to do something to build up our club Sunfish fleet. Part of that effort was to create a blog where information could be disseminated quickly to members of the fleet.

Now, starting a sailing blog in New England during October isn't the brightest idea, and starting a blog the day that the club closed for the season is even dumber. We were stuck for content, so we started covering the Barrington Frostbite Fleet, where two MYC Sunfish owners were racing.  We figured that as long as MYC members were racing, it was fair game.  It would give us practice so we could shake out the bugs and would hit the ground running in the spring. We posted photos, race recaps, and stories. We hit paydirt when we started posting BoatCam videos. By the spring, we had a small following, both inside and outside the club.

By the time the racing season started, we had shaken out most of the bugs and were posting race recaps and original photos each week. We were also covering outside regattas and news of general interest to Sunfish sailors.  Our spring regatta attracted the more MYC members than it had in years, as did our Fall Regatta. Now that the MYC Sunfish season is over, we have five or six members talking about going to Barrington for the Frostbite season. Not bad for a one year old.

In celebration we've gotten a new look.  The original layout had gotten tired and cluttered, and it needed a refresh. We're making it match the MYC colors a bit more closely, and cleaning up the layout a bit. We're looking forward to another year of coverage, beginning in two weeks with start of the Barrington Frostbite season. We hope you'll come along.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Carnage at the Sunfish Worlds II: The Calm During the Storm

Sunfish aren't supposed to launch like rocket ships are they? Hopefully things will be calmer tomorrow.
Photo by Sue Ingram Keller

After two days of no racing due to the remains of Tropical Storm Karen, news out of the Sunfish Worlds has slowed considerably over the past 2 days. That changed early this morning with an update by Sunfish Class President Paul-Jon Patin:

We accepted a bid from Camp Seagull (near Oriental, NC) to do the 2014 Worlds and likely the Youth Worlds the Thursday-AM Saturday before. Unconfirmed but the hope is to have the dates fall about the second weekend in October. There is a plan in place to have a large amount of charter boats or potential for a "supplied boat worlds." The facility and sailing venue is extraordinary for Youth and a World Class event.
*DO NOT COUNT ON A WILD CARD LIST, the World Council all agree and will work to properly reorganize the registration and entry process for 2014.
Peru looks to do the South American Championship in November 2014 at the tail of the J24 Worlds for Jury consolidation. We are in the final stages of figuring out logistics but far along on their bid to do the Worlds in Paracus, 2.5hrs South of Lima in Mid October 2015.
Lastly We have interest from Colombia for Cartegena in 2016 as well as Jonathan Martinetti (2010 World Champion) last night expressed interest in Ecuador producing a bid as well. I will speak to Laser Performance in a few weeks in Portsmith to discuss their involvement moving forward (as they are the manufacturer and copyright holder of the Sunfish) and we will discuss previously mentioned potential interest in Europe.

The return to a "supplied boats" worlds is big news.  South America has long been a hotbed of Sunfish activity.  Our local superstars, some of the best in the world, scratch their heads when trying to explain how the South Americans manage to win so much. Having a Worlds in South America is a great thing for the class.

It is also encouraging to hear that boats may be supplied for the next Worlds. Up until very recently, the Sunfish Worlds were run using brand new charter boats supplied by LaserPerformance. The past two years or so has seen a pullback by LP, and boats have not ben supplied for the last two years.  The 2011 Worlds saw almost no support from LP, meaning that racers were forced to haul their own boats or borrow boats.  This made it very difficult for participants from abroad.  Attendance was down considerably this year, which may be attributable to the lack of available boats or the difficulty of bringing your own boat.  LP is involved in a messy legal battle over the Laser, and have been shifting their attention to some of their other boats lately. They have been making waves recently with a new version of the 420, and they supplied sails for this year's Worlds, and maybe some Sunfish promotion will be in the works in the future.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Carnage at the Sunfish Worlds

The Sailing Instructions for the 2013 Sunfish Worlds

The 2013 Sunfish World Championships have been blown apart, almost literally, by gale force winds and huge waves.  Various Twitter feeds, web sites and FaceBook pages tell tales of  bent and broken masts, broken spars, snapped tillers, torn sails, damaged hulls and a wayward daggerboard found far down the beach. The Sunfish measurer and race officials have apparently effectively waived the rules about replacing parts because there have been so many boats damaged. Only about 45 out of the 71 registered boats made it off the beach today. DNF's are littering the scoreboard and a number of racers have not completed a single race.

The Sunfish class web site has a collection of photos of the perilous launch this morning.

So far there have been no injuries, and we can only hope that everyone stays safe.

Local Sunfishers are far down in the standings. DNF's due to equipment breakdowns or safety reasons are killing everyone's point totals.  MYC's Kevin Buruchian is sailing well, but is in 35th after getting 2 DNFs this morning. Bill Braginforte is in 23, Brian McGinness is in 30th, Doris Aschman is in 47th, Scott Greenbaum is in 50th, Eric Woodman is in 64th and David Nielson is in 74th.

Complete results to date are posted on the Sunfish Class web site.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Season is Over, or is it?

Getting ready for the MYC Sunfish Road Show
The MYC Sunfish season has come to a close, though not through lack of interest. Fall schedules have claimed several Sunfish racers and prospective Race Committee people, making it impossible to continue racing for the remaining two weeks of the season.

I want to thank everyone for a Sunfish racing season that succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. We've gone from essentially nothing to a vibrant Sunfish racing program in a single season. The best part is that lot of wonderful people show up each week making it a pleasure to race. We had 14 different skippers race at least once, with a core group of 6 or 7 who showed up almost every week. The racing was close too. After 66 races, we have a tie for first place, and the third place finisher is only one point behind. That is an amazing finish!

We have a bunch of great skippers too.  Kevin Buruchian started the season with a great seminar on boat rigging. Bernadette Levesque took to Sunfish racing like she was born to it, going from a newbie to a tie for first place in a little over a season. Alan Dimson-Doyle took up racing for a first time on his old boat, and spent the summer refitting his boat, asking a million questions and honing his technique, and the work shows. He's improved a lot over the summer. Skip Arnold took up Sunfish racing for the first time. John Houstle dug his 40 year old old Sunfish out of storage and put a lot of work into it to make it competitive.  Former MYC Laser fleet captain Gary Werden bought and refurbished a Sunfish just so he could race. He also helped the Sharon Recreation Department outfit its sailing program with several Sunfish. Even dedicated Laser sailors like Dan Abram and Dave Ryan were racing with us toward the end of the season. Thanks to you all for making is a great season

Though the MYC racing season may be over, there's still plenty of Sunfish racing left. On October 27, the new fall frostbite season starts at the Barrington Yacht Club. Several MYC racers are planning on travelling down to the Barrington to take part. Last year two MYC racers participated. This year it may be as many as five!  We will be reviving the MYC@Barrington byline as we post news about MYC sailors on the road. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

If You Set the Course, They Will Come

These guys finished in this order almost all day long

There's a chill in the air, the days are getting shorter, and the water is getting colder, but the Sunfish racing is still hot.  Six intrepid souls showed up to race on a nearly perfect day. Consistency was the order of the day, with the finishing order virtually carved in stone from race to race.  Out of the six races held today, Gary Werden took 5 firsts, Dave Ryan took 5 seconds, Mark Stoughton took 5 thirds, Bernadette Levesque took 4 fourths, John Houstle took 4 fifths (and finished second to last in every race), and Alan Dimson Doyle took a third and 3 sixths in the four races he took part in today.

For the season, ONE point separates first, second and third places overall. Mark Stoughton gets first place via a tiebreaker, because he and Bernadette Levesque are tied for first with 70 points each.  John Houstle is in 3rd with 71 points. Talk about a close series!

After the racing, a bunch of racers stayed on the beach, enthusiastically talking about the races and exchanging stories and tips until dark, and lamenting that the season is soon coming to a close. Or not.  Three of MYC's Sunfish racers have already committed to visiting the Barrington Yacht Club for their frostbite series, which starts on the very day that we are closing up the club for the season. Two more racers are seriously considering racing there in the fall as well.

Thanks to Michael Ganshirt, who served as Race Committee for the day. He set up a perfectly square course that held up for all of the races.  Not bad for a first time out!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The America's Cup comes to Lake Massapoag (Sort of)

Match Racing, America's Cup Style

They say that things in the America's cup eventually make their way down to us average sailors.  Well, the trickling has started.  Our PRO today, Roger Sharp had the terrific idea to honor the America's Cup by running our races on an America's Cup course. Roger set up a course with a reaching start, with the first turning mark in the middle of the course, and gates at the end of each leg. The wind obliged by blowing at the high end of the range, and John Houstle and Mark Stoughton turned the days races into a match race series by being the only two skippers foolhardy enough to sail in the 20+mph breeze.

Keep dreaming Skipper
Like their 72 foot counterparts, leads changed frequently and the racing was close. In Race 1, John took the start,  rounding marks 1 and 2 by only a few seconds, but by the third mark, his lead was insurmountable and he won by about 30 seconds. In Race 2, Mark forced John over the line early, and never looked back. Race 3 proved to be the best race of the day. John took the start, but Mark turned inside him at the 2nd mark to take the lead.  John led again at mark 3, things were pretty much even at mark 4, when the racers split, and Mark took the finish. Race 4, like so many America's Cup races this summer, was decided by an equipment breakdown. Both boats were within inches of each other on a screaming run, when a strong puff hit. John's boat capsized, breaking his halyard cleat and ending the racing for the day.

John's sail isn't supposed to be on the back of Mark's boat!

Thanks to Roger Sharp for coming up with the wonderful idea of running an America's Cup course, and the luck of having only two skippers, making a match racing series possible. It was just like having the America's Cup right here in Sharon!

Mark and PRO Roger Sharp both showed up with GoPro cameras today, so there are a lot of photos and videos that we are still sorting through.  We'll have them posted on the MYCSunfish Flickr page and YouTube channel as soon as we can.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bobbing for Race Committees

Rick wasn't alone for long!

The Extended Saturday Sunfish Season got off to a good start with 4 boats showing up on what proved to be a sunny, if sometimes windless day. Since the Race Committee duty roster was made up in March, and the Sunfish season was extended just two weeks ago, nobody is scheduled to serve RC duty.  That makes it interesting rounding up a Race Committee. A big thank you goes this week to Noah Levesque, who gamely stepped in to act as PRO so that his mom would have more people to race against.

The wind was light to nonexistent. Gusts and lulls combined to create leg length leads only to see them disappear on the next puff, and no lead was safe. In Race 1, Rick Schlosser rounded the windward mark an entire leg behind the rest of the fleet, and clawed his way back, riding the puffs to a second place finish. In Race 2, Mark Stoughton was the first to arrive at the first upwind mark, only to be the last person to complete the rounding.

The day belonged to John Houstle and Bernadette Levesque. John put a lot of work into his boat over the last week, and it showed, taking 3 firsts and 2 seconds. Bernadette continued her consistent series sailing, taking 1 third, 2 seconds and 2 firsts. Rick had mixed results with a second and two thirds. Marks hot streak came to a crashing halt today as he came in dead last in every race.

The leaderboard had some changes this week, as John  Houstle claimed 2nd place, and Mark and Rick are tied for 3rd. Results are on the blog's results page.

Several members of the Sunfish fleet have offered to swap race duties with people who are scheduled for Sunday duties with the Flying Scots, giving Scot skippers the opportunity to race instead of serving race duty. Thanks so far to Roger Sharp and Jay McNeff for offering to swap!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

MYC 4th Annual Regatta - Day 2 "Blow me Down!"

Anyone who has ever sailed on Lake Massapoag knows that it is a mixing bowl for the wind, and gusts can come from any direction at any time. The weather prognosticators called for building gusty winds, so we expected carnage. In the morning it looked like the weathermen were going to be wrong.  It looked like there were going to be gentle breezes  out on the water, making it a light air day. Mother Nature decided to cooperate with the forecast, and the wind rose from a nice 10 mph westerly in the first race to 15 in the second, with gusts coming from random directions, of course, up to 26. Autotacks were in fashion out of the course today, as was a maddening tendency for the wind to decide on occasion to shift seriously to the left at the windward mark, forcing half the fleet to have to overstand the mark in order to make it around, while the others could comfortably ride a starboard tack right up to the mark and sneak by.

This year's regatta turned out to be the Ken Charles show.  Ken got five firsts in the ten race regatta, and his worst finish was a 9.  He beat Alan Beckwith and Kevin Buruchian for first place by 4 points. The rest of the top finishes in every race were spread pretty evenly among Alan Beckwith, Kevin Buruchian, Scott Greenbaum, Gary Werden and Eric Woodman.

Mark Stoughton continued his domination of the B fleet, taking all of the days races. Next year he will be graduating to the A fleet and get his comeuppance.

Full results will be posted on the MYC Web site

Saturday, September 7, 2013

64th MYC Annual Regatta - Day 1 "My God, It's Full of Sunfish"

The whole lake was full of these!

The 64th Massapoag Annual Regatta got off to a roaring start start today, with 24 Sunfish (a new club record), on the line for today's racing. The weather cooperated beautifully with sunny skies and a west wind blowing about 10-12 miles per hour. In the A fleet, there was plenty of pressure on the course, both from the wind and from the competition, as leads changed several times, and top prizes were pretty evenly spread. The winds got squirrely and light as the day wore on, making windward mark roundings a definite challenge, especially since the Sunfish shared the course with the Flying Scots and Day Sailers adding their own special brand of confusion to the mix. Sometimes the lake looked more like an obstacle course than a regatta! At the end of the day, MYC's Gary Werden sat atop the A Fleet leader board, and Mark Stoughton continued his late season hot streak to dominate the B Fleet with 6 firsts in 7 races.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunfishers to Club: More Racing, Please

Praying for wind - and more racing.

More Sunfish sailors turned out for racing today than at any other point this season.  There were 8 boats on the line for the first of five races today in what turned out to be maddening winds. A half hour before racing started, there was a gusty 12 mph wind from the north that had some sailors wondering if they should go out.  By race time, the winds had lightened to about 10 mph. then 9, then 8... Then the shifting started. The North wind became an East wind. Then a South wind, then a North wind again. Then it died completely. Then it filed in from the north at 10 mph, then it died again.  A mark rounding took 15 minutes, followed immediately by a run that lasted about 10. You get the picture. A typical day at Massapoag.

Results were pretty evenly spread about the fleet.  The east side of the course, toward the center of the lake was heavily favored, and anyone who headed inland met with almost certain disaster. Leads and positions frequently changed by the leg. There was actually a mark rounding where the fleet almost completely reversed itself. The first boat to the mark was the last one to complete the rounding, and the last one to make the mark finished the rounding in third. The only skipper to have multiple firsts was Mark Stoughton, who had 3. Dan Abram, in his second Sunfish outing, took one and John Houstle fended off late attacks from Mark and Alan Dimson-Doyle to take a first in the last race.  Sunfish racing rookies Skip Russell and Alan Dimson-Doyle each had strong showings today, continuing to show marked improvement over the course of the season.  In the opening race of the day Skip took a second and in the finale Alan Dimson-Doyle took a very close third.

There have been 50 races run so far in the Summer Series. Two points separate the first three places. Bernadette Levesque leads the fleet with 52 points, Mark Stoughton is one point behind with 53 and Rick Schlosser is in third with 54. John Houstle is in fourth with 61.  Full results are here.

What was to have been the last week of Sunfish racing turned out to have the best turnout of any week this season, and culminated with a request by many of the sailors to continue racing past today's end date and continue on into September!  Skippers agreed to take turns service as Race Committee each week. So we will take next two weeks off because of the club's Labor Day activities and the 64th MYC Annual Regatta (You're all coming, right??), then the Saturday races will resume!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

One More Week

One more week plus one regatta and it all disappears for another year
There is just one more week of racing left in MYC's Saturday Sunfish Series. It will be your last chance to take part in the close exciting racing before the Labor Day break and out Annual Regatta the week afterwards.  The racing has gotten closer all season long as the newbies are improving, and the second year sailors are showing that they've got the chops to compete with the leaders.

So come on down next Saturday for the grand finale to MYC's regular Sunfish season!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Shifting Winds, Shifting Leads

Close racing and shifty winds

With only two more weeks of racing before the MYC Sunfish season finale Annual Regatta, the Sunfish racing is as tight as ever.  This week saw Rick Schlosser, Bernadette Levesque and Mark Stoughton jockeying for leads in every race in extremely shifty and puffy conditions. Winds ranged from 3 to 15 mph, and 30 degree wind shifts were common. Leads changed by the leg, and occasionally by the wind shift. The person who was ahead at the first mark was not necessarily in the lead at the second mark, and places frequently changed within boat lengths of the finish line.

We've got two more weeks of racing, then a break for the Labor Day holiday weekend, and the season finishes up with the 64th MYC Annual Regatta on Sept 6-8.

Monday, August 5, 2013

We've Poached Another Laser Sailor!

We have the guys on the blue boats sailing Sunfish. now all we need is the people on the white boat

The man in the foreground of the above photo could be seen at any given race perched aboard his Laser.  He had over 100 Laser starts last year. It's rumored that he's never sailed any other boat. Until this past Saturday, that is.

Dan Abram abandoned his Laser and was seen aboard a Sunfish, possibly for the first time ever. He was one of 5 skippers racing. The other former laser sailor, Gary Werden, took bullets for all 8 of Saturday's races.  The seconds, thirds fourths and fifths were all pretty evenly spread around the rest of the fleet.

There are only 4 weeks of Saturday racing left before the Annual Regatta. As Dan has demonstrated, it's not too late to start racing your Sunfish!

Where O Where Have our Updates Gone?

Sorry for the lack of an update. Our intrepid reporter has been AWOL since Friday. We're readying the flogging station for his return.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Massapoag @ Wequaquet

Sunfish Ruled the roost at Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club this weekend

This week, MYC's Kevin Buruchian and Mark Stoughton visited the Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club in Hyannis for their 50th Annual Sunfish Regatta, which also served as the second 2013 Sunfish Regional Championship Regatta. A total of 31 boats showed up on the line in the open division, plus about 15 Sunfish competed in a large youth division for two days of racing.

The weather cooperated nicely, with a sea breeze filling in on both days, Saturday from the south, and Sunday from the north. (After all, it's Cape Cod, where every breeze is a sea breeze.) Racing was close among groups of competitors, which allowed small rivalries to develop among sailors who don't normally race together.

The field was strong and deep, with almost all of the competitors on the Northeast Sunfish Circuit showing up, plus a few competitors from as far away as New York. Bill Brangiforte took first, while Massapoag Yacht Club made good showings in their respective areas, with Kevin Buruchian took 4th in a tie-breaker, while Mark Stoughton bested the local non-circuit WLYC talent in close racing.

Kevin Buruchian is all smiles                                                Mark Stoughton wins a close one

More photos are available at: The MYCSunfish Flickr Site.
Thanks to Corey Charles for photos from the RC boat.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thor Has Terrible Timing!

The God of Thunder visits Lake Massapoag

Racing was called off today because our week long heat wave decided to fight it's last stand with the cold air coming on from Canada at Lake Massapoag during the first leg of the first race.  It was 94 degrees and mostly sunny at race time with wind appearing to come from straight up.  To say the wind was squirrely would be an improvement. The intrepid Race Committee struggled to set a square course, and finally gave up, leaving us with a triangle course that was sometimes square, sometimes heavily favored on the right, sometimes favored on the left, and even sometimes downwind. Then Thor arrived, putting an immediate stop to the proceedings. Everyone scrambled to shore and abandoned their mobile aluminum and fiberglass lightning rods to wait it out in the clubhouse.

The battle was over and weather cleared up just about when racing would have finished for the day.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This Thing is Getting Popular

Sunfish are starting to gather on the lake
The Saturday Sunfish Series is getting more popular and the competition is heating up. Three new racers showed up today to help create the most crowded Sunfish line of the series. Mike Goldstein, Gary Werden and John Houstle came to race today, bringing the total number of Sunfish Sailors entered in the series to 12. The competition was very close all afternoon, with Mark Stoughton, Gary, Mike, and John all taking firsts.  A lot of the races were decided in the last 40 feet, and often the first second and third place finishers were separatated by less than a half boat length. Gary took 4 firsts, Mark 2 and John and Mike took 1 each.  To show how close the competition was, Mark hit for the cycle today, with 2 firsts, 2 seconds, 2 thirds and 2 fourths.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hearsay Racing

On the sidelines this week.

Your intrepid MYC Sunfish reporter was not at the races yesterday, so this weeks report is a bit sketchy.  Reports are that the racing was close with first place finishes going to at least three different people.  Alan Silk, of the Barrington Yacht Club is the first non MYC-member to make an appearance at the Series, and took a couple of firsts in tight races.  We have confirmation that he will be back racing with us later this summer.  Welcome Alan!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Bet You're Wondering Where This Week's Post is

Where did all the Sunfish go?

I'll bet that you're looking at this picture and saying "Where are all the Sunfish?  The answer is that there weren't any this weekend because there was a Laser Team Racing regatta.  If sailboat racing is Soccer, Team Racing is like Rugby.  They run races on a "Z" shaped course, with he start and finish in the middle.  Sailors on each team cooperate with each other to block sailors from the other team.  It's almost like a bunch of match races all run simultaneously.  It's confusing to watch, and more confusing to sail in.

The Sunfish (and the sanity) will return this coming Saturday. At least one new Sunfish sailor has committed to join the rest of us, he'll be guest skipper on Sunfish 3929, since Mark can't race on Saturday.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Great Racing, and New People Every Week

Close Racing (Photo by Bob Gaffney)

The second Saturday Sunfish Series featured two new competitors and more close racing.  The day turned out to be perfect for Sunfish racing, with 10-15 mph winds from the southwest.  Rick Schlosser and Bernadette Levesque joined Mark Stoughton and Skip Russell for week two.  This makes a total of 7 different Sunfish skippers who've taken part in the two weeks of the series.  Rick took all five races, in some cases by closer margins than he won last year, while Mark and Bernadette took turns for 2nd place honors all day.  We're hoping for one and possibly two additional new skippers next week.

Results are on the MYC club website.

Sailwave results for 2013 Saturday Sunfish Series 1 at Massapoag Yacht Club 2013

2013 Saturday Sunfish Series 1

Massapoag Yacht Club

Results are final as of 22:03 on June 24, 2013


Sailed: 10, Discards: 2, To count: 8, Entries: 7, Scoring system: Appendix A
SailNo HelmName Nett R6
18037 Rick Schlosser 8.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 10.0
3911 Kevin Buruchian 8.0 1.0 DNC 1.0 DNC 1.0 DNC 1.0 DNC 1.0 DNC 10.0
3918a Andrew Kline 16.8 (2.2 DNC) 2.2 DNC 2.2 DNC 2.2 DNC 2.2 DNC 22.0
1 Bernadette Levesque 18.0 2.0 (3.0) 2.0 (3.0) 2.0 24.0
3929 Mark Stoughton 21.0 3.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 3.0 27.0
3901 Skip Russell 32.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 42.0
None Alan Dimson-Doyle 36.0 4.6 DNC 4.6 DNC 4.6 DNC 4.6 DNC 4.6 DNC 46.0
Sailwave Scoring Software 2.9.7

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Sunfish Series Starts!

Kevin Buruchian Demonstrating the proper rigging of a Sunfish.
The Flying Scot in the background passed out from the depth of Kevin's knowledge
The Massapoag Saturday Sunfish Series kicked off in style this afternoon.  Kevin Buruchian started the events by generously volunteering to lead a Sunfish Rigging seminar.  He used two boats to demonstrate heavy air vs. light air rigging differences. Then he personally inspected the boats of every Sunfish competitor, offering tips and suggesting rig improvements.  His instruction didn't stop on the beach either.  On the water, he spent time with every Sunfish sailor, giving tips, pointers and critiques to the rest of the fleet.

On the water, the racing was spirited.  Kevin did horizon jobs on all of us, including the Laser sailors, but there was close competition betwen Mark Stoughton and Andrew Kline for 2nd and 3rd places and between Alan Dimson-Doyle and Skip Russell for 4th and 5th places.

Today's results are below. Full Series results are here

Sailwave results for 2013 Saturday Sunfish Series 1 at Massapoag Yacht Club 2013

2013 Saturday Sunfish Series 1

Massapoag Yacht Club

Results are final as of 21:40 on June 15, 2013


Sailed: 5, Discards: 1, To count: 4, Entries: 5, Scoring system: Appendix A
SailNo HelmName R1
Total Nett
3911 Kevin Buruchian (1.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 5.0 4.0
3918a Andrew Kline 2.0 2.0 (3.0) 2.0 2.0 11.0 8.0
3929 Mark Stoughton (3.0) 3.0 2.0 3.0 3.0 14.0 11.0
3901 Skip Russell 4.0 (5.0) 4.0 4.0 5.0 22.0 17.0
None Alan Dimson-Doyle (5.0) 4.0 5.0 5.0 4.0 23.0 18.0
Sailwave Scoring Software 2.9.7

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sunfish Racing Begins with a Clinic

What we hope the beach looks like tomorrow!

The MYC Sunfish Racing Series begins tomorrow!  Festivities are going to start at 1:00, when MYC's own Sunfish champion, Kevin Buruchian, is going to conduct a Sunfish rigging clinic.  He will demonstrate a standard Sunfish rig and a customized racing rig, pointing out the differences and improvements that can be made.  Plus if you'd like he will inspect the rig on your boat and help you tune it to make you faster on the race course.  Bring your questions!

Racing starts at 3:00pm, and we will get in as many races as time allows and we will finish up at around 5:00.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Massapoag Capsize Club Part II

Sailing like this is slow.
(Photo by Bob Gaffney)

This year's Spring regatta picked up right where last year's fall regatta left off. Nearly 30 intrepid Sunfish and Laser sailors braved heavy winds and 30mph gusts at the 6th annual Sunfish/Laser Regatta.  Capsizes and difficult shifty conditions were the order of the day. A lot of people found out just how slow sailing upside down really is.

In the Sunfish B fleet, Mark Stoughton put up 3 firsts and 2 seconds to take first place in the B fleet.  The score doesn't show how close the racing was between Mark, John Houstle and Harvey Davidson, with all three of them trading the lead throughout the races.

After leading at the A fleet at the lunch break, Kevin Buruchian waged a close battle with Amanda Callahan and Bill Brangiforte.  Bill won the day by just two points over Kevin and Amanda, who were tied, with Kevin taking the tiebreaker for 2nd.

John Eckart bested the 14 boat Laser fleet, putting in a solid performance throughout the day.

Diane Kampf has created a Flickr page with a series of excellent photos of the regatta, including some outstanding shots on the water taken by Bob Gaffney.

Sunfish Fleet Results are here:
Full results are on the Massapoag yacht Club web site:

Monday, May 13, 2013

20 Days to the Sunfish/Laser Regatta

Wake up and go racing!
(Photo by Diane Kampf)

The Massapoag Yacht Club 6th annual Sunfish/laser Regatta is only 20 days away!  The NOR and Signup Sheet are available here.  It's an excellent day of racing!  Lunch will be on the menu, plus Burgers and Chicken for after the racing is done.  Good racing and good food, what could be better!

Massapoag Yacht Club web site

Friday, April 26, 2013

The New Sunfish Class Web Site is Online

After several months of effort, the International Sunfish Class Association has unveiled their new web site.  The site is a huge improvement over the old one, and should make life easier for everyone.  

Eric Woodman, the New England Class Representative, and Rich Chapman, Class President both deserve a big thank you and round of applause from the entire fleet for spearheading this site redesign.  

Eric wrote the following note to class members:
Hello everyone,

I’m thrilled to announce that the new Sunfish Class website is live at the same old URL:!
Getting this site created has been a multi-year effort and something of a personal crusade for me. It was designed and built by WebWorks CafĂ©, a San-Diego based company that the class contracted with at the end of 2012. I think you will find that it’s a significant step forward for class communication, branding and general well-being.
 Among the things the new site enables is joining the class online/renewing membership. It will also be self-sufficient, via the sale of online ads. I think you will find it visually exciting and a reflection of what makes our odd little boats so much fun to sail and what makes the Sunfish Class unique in the sailing world – that’s what we were going for anyway!
 The site includes pages for each region. Here you will find the racing calendar, news, events, words of wisdom, etc. Bookmark this page!
 I urge everyone reading this to visit the site, take a look around, provide feedback (we are well aware that the content is a work in progress and will be only improved by contributions from people like you), join/renew your Class membership and visit the sponsors. It’s important that you not only support advertisers on the site but do so by clicking on their ads from the class site (they will know if people are doing this and it will help reinforce that advertising with us is a wise investment).
 Let me know if you are interested in advertising on the site (we can have your ad limited to New England, if you want).
 Credit should go to USCA President Rich Chapman, who since his election last summer has managed to push the rest of the Class Leadership to support investing in online communications.
 Now that the site is done, I can get back to being more involved with keeping you all up to date on what’s going on. It’s been a lot of work!
 Eric Woodman
New England Rep to the USSCA

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Partying Massapoag Style

Putting the dock together

Sunday was the 2013 annual Spring Work "Party".  All of our intrepid party goers participated in such fun activities as "Pin the Tail on the Dock", "Pick up Kayak Rack Sticks", Hide and go Seek the Leaks" and "Bobbing for Moorings".

And unlike most parties, the club was left in ship shape and there was nothing to clean up at the end!

It was so successful that we're planning to have another one in the fall.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

B Strong

Pretty much anyone you talk to around here knows someone who was directly affected by Monday's bombing of the Marathon.  Massapoag's own Dave Ryan was 30 yards away from the blast.  Many MYC members who I've not been able to talk to yet work in Boston. There are three people who live within 100 yards of my house who were there.  One Boston Police Officer, one ER Nurse and one runner.  I know two more people who were in the crowd at the Finish Line.  Luckily they all escaped injury. They saw things that nobody should ever have to see.  They did things that nobody should ever have to do.  

My heart goes out to all of the injured and my condolences to the families of the dead. Nobody should ever go out to a fun event and end up a casualty.

Thanks to everyone who's shown support to us.  We're a big city, but a small community.  Everyone here is pulling together, and we'll get through it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Looking for a Few Good (Well, almost Any) Sunfish

The Sharon Recreation Department is looking for a few good Sunfish. Their current mixed fleet is in disrepair and is not conducive with their mission to get as many kids on the water as possible.  They have decided to standardize on a single class of boat, so that they can maximize their teaching time, and allow the kids in the program to spend their time on the water in a simple boat, without having to learn the intricacies of several different boat classes.  They have selected the Sunfish to be their sole class.  Sunfish are the most popular sailboat in the world, with over 200,000 built.  Used Sunfish are generally available for less than $1,000, and frequently people are willing to donate their older unused boats to a program.  Gary Werden has volunteered to refurbish any boats acquired by the department, and the Massapoag Yacht Club is lending a hand in soliciting donations, and will welcome the young sailors into their regular Sunfish racing program.

So, if you have any old Sunfish lying around, and want to give it a good home where it will be used by happy kids, please consider donating your Sunfish to the Rec Department.

If you are interested in donating your Sunfish, please send an email to us at

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Red Sox Have Truck Day,We Have Dock Day!

It's getting to be time to put these objects in their proper positions

Dock Day is coming!  The Club Spring Work Party is coming up on April 21.  This is when we put the dock into the water, dig the Sunfish out of the snow, and put the generally put club back in working order for the summer.  Racing for the Flying Scots start a week later on April 28th.  

The Board held its walkthrough today, and the club grounds actually survived this crazy winter pretty well.  There's going to be a lot of brush clearing, but almost everything survived intact.

Old man Winter isn't giving up just yet!  He still has a grip on our Sunfish!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New England Spring

This is normal behavior for New Englanders once the temperatures hit 40

Here in New England, the sailing season begins as soon as we can punch our daggerboards through the ice.  Six intrepid souls took to the water at Barrington Yacht Club's spring frostbite series under light winds, cloudy skies and a ripping current.  Racing was close, with only three points separating the top three boats.

Hypothermia be damned! This is perfectly normal spring behavior for New Englanders
There are lots more photos of average, normal New Englanders Here in the MYC Pressroom

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spring is here! (Really?)

An intrepid Sunfish Sailor stands at the ready for the BYC Frostbite series
Spring is scheduled to arrive next Sunday, when the Barrington Yacht Club Spring Frostbite Series begins.  It will run every Sunday from March 3 until April 26.  MYCSunfish will be there as soon as I can get my boat dug out from the Pleistocene ice pack that surrounds it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Looking for a few good Sailors

Just in time for the start of the new Sunfish racing series, the Massapoag Yacht Club has announced that it is looking for new members.  The club is home to the MYCSunfish fleet, as well as vibrant Flying Scot, Laser and Day Sailer fleets.  We run races 4 days a week, plus we offer "How to Sail", "How to Sail Better" and Racing courses during the year.  It's really a great club.  Give us a try!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sunfish Racing is on!

Last night, the MYC Race Committee finalized the 2013 racing schedule.  Sunfish Racing will start on Saturday June 1, kicking off with the 6th annual Sunfish/Laser regatta.  Regular series racing will begin two weeks after on June 15 at 3:00pm and will continue every Saturday, concluding with the two-day 66th Annual Regatta on Sept 7-8.

The regular Saturday races will consist of 2, 6 week series.  The format will loosely follow the same format as the Barrington Frostbite series, with the Race Committee getting in as many races as possible each week.

We will publish the full schedule here as son as it is available.  Stay Tuned.