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!