SUNFISH FLEET 532 NEWS
THIS BUSY SO SOON?
It sure seems like a very busy off-season and I have a lot of important things to share with you. Be sure to see the attached photos.
I started sailing Sunfish way back in the early-70s so there has never been any doubt in my mind about its popularity and how its success grows from its strengths: As they say; “the proof is in the numbers.”
Back in September of 2016, when I took my camera and walked the grounds and got a photo of every Sunfish on the grounds the only question in my mind was if I could somehow get people energized to the point that we might actually gel as a fleet and share enough enthusiasm and energy to move forward toward..... whatever....
Now, as we start the second season of our “renaissance” I look back on the past year and there are some awesome highlights including a super turnout for Junior Sail Camp and an overall increase in Sunfish sailing and interest throughout the club that culminated in our being chosen to provide the boats for the Hewson Club Championship. None of this could have happened had it not been for each and every one of you who played a part in it, large or small.
So yeah.. here we go again. We can’t rest on our laurels because we still have so far to go, starting with some lichen-covered hulls that will be back on the lake this Spring.
Last year we had a boat on The Lawn at Commissioning: this year we’ll be featured in the LNYC booth at the Charlotte Boat Show February 7th - 11th.
If you have not received the email on how to sign-up to volunteer to man the booth, please let me know. It would be great to have some Sunfish people there to spread the gospel. Come on down and visit. It’s a great place to people-watch and talk to strangers about Sunfish.
I spent quite a bit of time there last year and found out that a lot of people mention that they once sailed a Sunfish, and there are a lot of young professional families who say that they want their children to learn to sail. Even I can add that: 2 + 2 = New Sunfish Family at LNYC.
RACE COMMITTEE 101 AND MORE RESPONSIBILITY
LNYC has asked that Fleet 532 Adopt-A-Boat and help keep it up over the course of the season. We will be joined by the Ensign Fleet in caring for R/C Chase Boat Rescue-7.
I’ve attached a photo below. I think the way to go is to do a very thorough initial cleaning and spruce-up, and then follow-up with regularly-scheduled cleanings. I would like to get the “big one” done during the month of February. Can you respond on short-notice? If I see a window of nice weather I’d like to send out an alert and hope that three or four people would show-up? If you will help out on this project please let me know by email. Watch for an email Alert.
Ken Gorni, who has graciously accepted my invitation to PRO the 2018 Board Bash, will host his annual R/C 101 Seminar on Saturday February 10th from 9:00 a.m until 12:30.
I strongly urge everyone to attend. This is another opportunity for our fleet to shine by being prepared for our mandatory R/C duty.
I have witnessed the chaos when people don’t know how to perform even the most simple R/C tasks (and yes, I am guilty myself of the most amazing lapses of intelligence!) .
I also feel that if you don’t know how to play the traditional “around the buoys” game, or maybe you’re intimidated, then R/C duty is the best place to observe and learn the basics. Personally, I feel that it’s my responsibility as your Fleet Captain to ensure that Sunfish people show up for R/C duty ready to do the job, so please come and take advantage of Ken’s class.
Following R/C 101, Ken and Jim Hill will host a Seminar “Advance Mark Boat and GPS Mark Setting. That will run until 4:00 p.m. It says “bring your GPS!”
Please see the LNYC website for more information and registration on these two events.
THE SEASON AHEAD
The LNYC Calendar is in the final stages of completion so we’ll soon know the details. One thing for sure it’s going to be another great, very busy year and especially so for Fleet 532 as our slate is filled with possibilities for everything from a Fun Day Event to the Sunfish World Championships out in Wrightsville in October.
We still have plenty of time to talk about that and I don’t want to overwhelm you with the blah-blah-blah so we’ll leave it for later except to say that I am the Regatta Chairman for the Board Bash in September and we also have the First Annual Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner that we will host at some point in the year.
THE “BIG IDEA”
The 2018 Sunfish Youth World Championships will be hosted by Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach, NC on October 3rd through 6th. The event is open to the first 50 registrants and I think it’s an excellent chance to boost our 2018 junior participation. The registration fee is $200 and there is a $100 sail-damage deposit. I propose that the fleet could raise funds to cover the entry fee for one or more LNYC junior Sunfish racers based on some sort of season-long competition based on any number of possible events. I would love to see a bunch of our kids out in the Atlantic for the event of a lifetime for many of them.
The fund-raising begins with Junior Sail Camp where charters bring a good price so I am going to put two of my boats out there with the idea of the money going toward Wrightsville. We have other boats that could be chartered-out and we can keep this money at LNYC. I’m open to ideas. Help me with this. Registration opens March 1st. More info at Sunfishclass(dot)org
DRY STORAGE NEWS
As you know I am responsible for the Dry Storage at the club and at the moment I’ve got Sunfish scattered all over the place. That will soon be made right. Until then, thanks to Junior Director Scott Olson for doing most of the work as he and I put up a new Rig Rack in the Pavilion Storage Room. Check out the photos. Please! Label your Rig and Equipment!!!
LNYC SPRING WORK DAY - Saturday March 3rd.
I need volunteers for a bunch of Sunfish-related projects. Watch your email for more info.
May 19th and 20th with Mike Robinson is our way of introducing neophytes to the joy of sailing. I participated last year and found that it’s a great program for bringing prospective members to the club and showing them what it’s all about. Contact Mike if you’d like to volunteer.
WINTER SOCIAL - NEW MEMBERS
I hope to see everyone at the Winter Social. I’m excited to tell you that some new Sunfish people will be there as our guests: Don and Judy Wiesner who have moved to the Charlotte area and will soon be joining LNYC. They are Sunfish veterans with many years of experience, many with various Junior Programs. You’ll meet them soon!
YACHT CLUBS AND FLEETS
I see the fleet as being the family in the community that we call the “club” and like a family we have far more strength than the same number of “lone-wolf” individuals. We are all Sunfish people at some level and so we share that much in common. By being a part of Fleet 532 our voice in the community is strengthened: last year my efforts to put a Sunfish in the Boat Show were rebuffed, this year they see that we must be there. This isn’t anything special really, just more proof of the strength of the design and the activist spirit of our fleet and the excitement we generate. My only criticism is that we need to try to get out and sail more often. Let’s make 2018 the year that we really get things rocking. Sailing is NOT dying, it’s changing and we’re a part of that now. Sunfish is the perfect vehicle. See you on the lake.
FLEET 532 MEMBERS - I think this is everyone who owns or sails a Sunfish. This is more-or-less a list of everyone who gets this newsletter (I hope!) Please let me know if I’m missing someone. Please pass along to your junior sailor.
Jonathan Alix, David Bradford, Sean Brady, John Butine, Mike Chenard, Chuck Cline, Dene Ecuyer, Jill Ecuyer, Espy Esparagoza, Mark Evans, Michael Fabrize, Ric Ferrar, Keith Hale, Beth Hale, Mark Hamilton, Chuck Hoover, Steve Jones, Gwen Jones, Jeroun Kaisjer-Bots, Tim Kendall, Larry Lewis, LNYC Junior Boat #1, LNYC Junior Boat Funfish, Alicia McGee, Jim O'Connor, John Ong Wendy Papke-Eddinton, John Park, Bob Quinn, Chris Rhodes, Mike Robinson, Eric Rodin, Dave Safirstein, Christy Sammons, Gwen Scot, Ashley Shaw, Claude Summer, Ray Weeks, Don Wiesner, Bob Williams, Diana Young-Paiva.
FLEET 532 FRIENDS - On our Mailing List
Tom Raymond, Pete Marriott, Fred Jones, John Carter, Scott Olson, Jeff Asher, Ken Corsig, Teresa Decker, Maggie Callen, Dick & Barbara Freund, Aneta O’Connor, Kerrie Seberg, Rick Fabrize, Sara Floyd-Jones. Fred Herr, Ken Gorni, Bob McGrath
WOW! Three pages of the chatter. Wait until the season gets here if you think this is bad. Thanks for tuning-in. As always let me know if you want to volunteer for something or have the urge to send me some money.
Fleet 532 Newsletter - Lake Norman Yacht Club
Happy New Year! I have a lot to share with you:
My first observation would be to note what we accomplished in the past year and to ask those of you who played a role in the many events and happenings to find time in the off-season to plan for the season ahead with the idea that we can do even better.
As I write this there are several immediate possibilities, including some Frostbite sailing. While nothing concrete has been announced there are rumors so be prepared. The current sub- freezing temps are not conducive to venturing outside, much less going sailing. We also need to get busy and get a Fleet Flag to fly on the Clubhouse with the other fleets.
We will for sure want to revisit our successes: Our presence on the lawn at Commissioning, the strong Sunfish presence at Junior Sail Camp, our Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner! our strong support of the BoardBash and the epic effort to supply boats for the Hewson Championship.
For 2018 we need to come up with a plan for a Fleet Meeting and Tune-A-Fish Day in the Spring and an All-Ages Sunfish Clinic and Fun Day before Sail Camp. There is interest in Adult Learn-To-Sail with Sunfish that we could do as soon as the water is warm enough to do capsize drills. I still hope that we can work on some ideas for a Funfish Rodeo that we could host as a stand-alone event or in conjunction with the Board Bash. There are so many possibilities if we can find the energy and time.
The International Sunfish Class Association January communication just arrived and there is a lot happening. The Inaugural ISCA Master’s Worlds Championships (ages 40 and up) are March 18 - 20th, hosted by St. Andrews Yacht Club in Panama City, Florida, immediately followed by the 2018 USSCA National Championship at Midwinters at the same venue. Several sailors from Columbia Sailing Club, including Ace David Parshalls have already signed-up.
Ten months from now the ISCA Youth World Championship (Open) will be held October 3 - 6th out at Wrightsville Beach followed immediately by the ISCA Worlds.
I urge everyone to support the Sunfish Class by becoming a dues-paying member. This is especially important now as we face the challenge from Laser Performance over who “owns” the Sunfish, not just the boat, but the class itself which has always been more like family than a business. I will forward the ISCA Newsletter so you can get the links there. Remember: It’s Sunfishclass(dot)ORG.... Accept no substitutes!
LNYC Dry Storage Issues - The dinghy rack area and adjacent dry storage areas are still undergoing “transformation” and many boats are out-of-place. Your patience is appreciated. Rig Storage in the Pavilion Storage Room is still a mess with many still un-marked. Someone’s rig was recently reported missing and then it turned-up again: please respect the property of others. We are all in this together and the only way that it will work is if we treat everything at LNYC as if we personally own it and share responsibility for making it work like it’s supposed
to. There are still many mystery boats, including several unmarked Sunfish that I have been trying to identify for over a year now. The same is true with some rigs and equipment in the storage room. Watch for a video of “Mystery Stuff” that I will post on YouTube in the next week or so. Also, we need to plan another Fleet Workday to add more storage racks and to finish organizing.
Fleet Racing - Club Racing How can we get some racing going? Should we work to become a part of the Saturday Fleet Races? Should we try to come out on Sundays with the Portsmouth boats and lobby to get a separate start (first start in clean air?) With the decline in numbers I think the club would support us if we can get the boats on the line. I am particularly interesting in getting some action going so we can take advantage of the enthusiasm of some of our new junior Sunfish sailors. This is the area where I hope we can make some serious gains in the New Season.
Ladies Sailing - The Sunfish has always been a favorite for everyone who loves to sail and race. There is always talk about “establishing” whatever for “the ladies” and while I whole- heartedly promote that idea, I feel that it should be organized and led by “the ladies.”
With that in mind I will make the following offer: If there is someone (female) who is willing to step-up and be an active leader to establish and promote a (female) Sunfish program then I will lend you one of my boats to use for the season with the understanding that you will love it and care for it as if it were your own. I can think of at least three excellent candidates right now. Further, you will have the support of Fleet 532 and our volunteers. Let’s get this done.
Leaders, Volunteers, Energy - I realize how lucky I am to be retired, to have the time and energy to spend as I wish. I know from experience how hard it is to hold down a job/career, manage a household, and keep up with all of the commitments of parenthood, family and modern life. It makes it hard to find the time for Sailing and LNYC but somehow you do it. I think what it comes down to is we instinctively realize that these are things that we must do to support the means by which we find our way onto the water with the wind magically pushing us along. After so many years away that’s what brought me to LNYC: The awakening to the fact that it was the only realistic way to own a boat and go sailing. I presume that we all share the love of that sensation of being powered by the wind, and I think that we should do more to help those around us make that connection. One of my personal goals for the New Season is to teach some of my LNYC friends how to sail a Sunfish so they can enjoy the freedom that it brings. I also hope to get more of you out for some Extreme Sunfish when the winds are up. Don’t forget that we have new leaders heading up Junior Sail Camp and they’ll need all the help we can give them. I think we had 22 Sunfish for last year and I hope we can make it 30 for 2018. Our support is vital to make that happen.
I hope you’ll join me in renewing our commitment to Sailing and LNYC. Thanks to all of you 2017 was a big success: Sunfish Fleet 532 has re-emerged as a leader and we need to keep it going for 2018.
Thanks for your interest and support Tom Payne
FLEET 532 NEWS - Winter 2017
Tom Payne - Fleet Captain
HAVE A SUNFISH AT THE CLUB???
The big news at the moment is the changes that are happening now in the LNYC Dinghy Storage Racks and Dry Storage Areas L and M where most of our Sunfish are stored. The shabby existing racks are being demolished, to be replaced with new ones in a new, more convenient location in order to allow for more efficient operation for all of the active sailors, junior and adult, who use this area.
There are so many small boats in this area and many are unidentified. Please be patient as I (we) work to get this sorted-out as we will be moving boats around and you may be surprised to find yours in a new spot. If you have a boat at the club please make an effort to get by on Work Day and make sure that we know that it belongs to you. The same is true of any equipment that you might have in the storage room; the rules say that it must be clearly identified.
Here are the Work Day projects relating to Sunfish. Please keep these in mind when you sign-up this Saturday, November 18th.
Assemble, construct and erect new Sunfish/Laser storage racks.
Remove boats and demolish old racks.
Remove Optis from racks, move, level and install racks at new spots, load Optis.
Move and consolidate small boats along the roadway.
Pull out small boats along shoreline, remove junk, rake leaves, replace boats.
SAILING SEASON 2017
Is mostly in the rearview now. There is the fun race this Sunday, the 19th and it looks like the wind will be up. This is also the season that offers the opportunity of the rare day of 15 knot days for those of us who have the skills and equipment to enjoy the thrills of extreme Sunfish sailing.
Many of you may know of the struggle between the legal owners of the rights to Sunfish, Laser Performance, and the International Sunfish Class Association (ISCA), the one-design class that has governed Sunfish sailing since the Class was first organized. This disagreement has now erupted into open warfare with Laser Performance creating a new entity which is found at Sunfishclass(dot)NET, while our Class Association has been at Sunfishclass(dot)ORG for many years now. You can find a letter from ISCA President Laurence H. Mass at this link: https://www.sunfishclass.org/news/article/isca-president-response-to-laser-performance. Personally, I support the traditional ISCA that I first joined back in the early-70s and continues to be recognized by World Sailing.
NEWSLETTER - AUGUST 2017
BOARD BASH - September 23rd & 24th
Mark your calendars for this Annual LNYC event. Steve and Christy Sammons are chairing so stay tuned.
DINNER DUTY - September 30th
This is the Saturday after the Board Bash. We will take the lead on planning for this and the MC Scow folks will help with the chores. Any ideas are welcome as to what we want to eat. I say “simple and inexpensive” is best. Let me know that you will help.
SOUTHEAST REGIONALS - November 3rd - 5th
Columbia Sailing Club hosts. This is a ISCA-sanctioned event so equipment must comply with Sunfish Class rules.
The boat that Liz Elden donated turned out very nice. I put a graphic on the hull that says “LNYC Funfish” as it is sort of the prototype for what I hope could grow into sort of a “community” model where boats are open to those who agree to whatever the rules and/or requirements might be. I welcome your ideas and participation as this evolves.
It blew. Hard. I posted some video on the Sail Lake Norman Facebook page. Congratulations to our own Ashlyn Park, a two-time winner of the event, as she toughed-it-out to come home a strong 16th out of 32 starters. Check out the My Own Bloody Yacht Club’s Facebook page for some great photos of the action.
Also of note was Gwen Scott in 11th. She has been making noise about moving to Charlotte and joining LNYC but I’m not sure where she is in the process. We could use someone to put some heat on John B.
I put the notice in the July Signal and then largely forgot about it until Mary Newman’s grandparents let me know that she wanted to sail. The wind forecast was promising so I decided to go forward despite my lack of preparation. Nevertheless John Butine, Mike Robinson, Mary Newman, Nancy Rhodes and I got out in some very nice conditions, especially when you consider it’s mid-summer on an inland lake. We had some very nice work to windward with John showing some serious speed as he prepares for the Sunfish Worlds at Brant Beach, New Jersey at the end of August.
“CAN WE TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE?” - J. Brown
After a short break Mike, Mary, Nancy and I went out and headed for the Interstate, one of my favorite destinations. We got about halfway there and Mike turned back so the girls and I pushed on. It was great watching them out in the open water in a nice breeze and seeing their confidence and boat-handling skills. Then there’s the fact that every puff put them another two boat-lengths ahead of me. I could not keep up with them. We got up to the Interstate, rounded the “marks” and then headed for home with a quick orbit around the sandbar to check out the party people. Perfect Sunfish sailing.
So we got back to the beach and Nancy told her mama “We went on an adventure!” which is exactly what I had hoped, because it is ALWAYS an adventure on your Sunfish.
SAYRA REGATTA THIS WEEKEND
Best of luck to all of those headed out to Carolina Yacht Club in Wrightsville Beach for the SAYRA events this weekend. The place is famous for some challenging conditions and great sailing.
A huge shout-out to Jenni Rhodes for going through all of the rigs stored in the junior room at the Pavilion. This is crucial to try and figure out who owns the un-used boats that are scattered across the LNYC grounds. If you own a Sunfish or any other boat at the club then you MUST make sure it’s clearly and permanently identified. I am now the LNYC Dry Storage Chairman and I’m hoping that I can finally get everything on the club property identified and in its proper location. I need YOUR help.
Here is a list of the rigs that are in the Storage Room:
Robinson, Tucker, Brady, O’Connor, Weeks, Minett, Alix, Summers x2, Hargis, Bell, Chenard x2, Barger, McGee, Espy, Lewis, Safirstein, Cline, Jones x2, Rutledge, McNeary
There are also several “Unknowns”
Unknown #1: Pale blue and white sail
Unknown #2: Spar Bag with seashell pattern
Unknown #3: Red and white sail
Unknown #4: All white sail
Unknown #5: Orange and yellow sail
Unknown #6: Red, White and Blue sail
Unknown #7: Neil Pryde, Blue, green, and yellow.
That’s it for now. Thanks to all for your efforts for our fleet. We are growing, slowly but surely so keep up the good work. Let’s set an example for LNYC with our energy and ideas. Mostly, let’s go sail our Sunfish. My phone is mostly dead and I’m faced with the expense of going to an iPhone. In the meantime please email me.
June 19, 2017
LNYC Junior Sail Camp has just concluded and it was a very big time for the Sunfish fleet with 22 boats sailing, up from 10 boats in 2016. In fact, it was because of this increased demand that our plans for the Adult Sail Camp were scuttled. Thankfully our friend Sean O’Donnell at the NC Community Sailing had enough charter boats, as most of the privately-owned LNYC boats sat unused.
On the water it was a week of mostly light winds, but we were able to make the most of what we had and got in a lot of sailing.
Sunfish Future Plans
Of course the best news is the surge in enthusiasm on the part of the campers and their parents/guardians and now it’s up to us to keep the ball rolling by coming up with a plan to strengthen our Sunfish presence at LNYC, and it’s going to take far more than my energy to get it done.
Sunfish Area at Pavilion
Here is some big news: I have accepted the duties of Dry Storage Chairman so along with Junior Program Director Ken Corsig I am working on a total makeover of the Dinghy Storage Racks and the adjacent “L” storage spaces that will result in much easier flow and access for our most-active sailors, junior and senior. One of our member/parents has agreed to share his expertise as an architect to come up with some fresh ideas for that space that will preserve the natural contours and greatly improve the looks. We need to replace the storage racks and come-up with a better way to store our rigs.
At the same time the layout and flow of the Laser and Optimist racks will be improved. The club-owned Seitech dollies are also getting attention from a member/parent who is a mechanical engineer, so that issue should be resolved in the very near future.
So now is the part where I remind everyone just how much it matters to have the support of active members and how we are now obligated to create a program that is worthy of their efforts. Both parents that I mentioned above said to me “I’ll agree to help if you can get my child interested in, and active in sailing.” And both of these campers had a great week and are ready for more. I'm seeing great things on the horizon.
Fun and Games
I have been thinking about different games to play with Sunfish. Here’s one that we did at Sail Camp: We paired the kids by experience and size, with beginners with “experts” and they went out for a sail together to get to know each other and to teach each other. Then we came in for lunch and tied the boats on the dinghy docks with the sails down. After lunch we had a “race.” The starting line was the pavilion. The kids ran down to the beach in their lifejackets, they swam out to their boats on the docks, climbed aboard, raised the sails and then sailed out of the cove to a buoy a short-distance out in the lake, as the wind was light. When they rounded the buoy they had to switch positions, sail back to the dock, tie-up, drop the sail, swim to the beach, run up to the pavilion and ring the bell. It was extremely successful as even the last-place kids came sprinting up the hill to ring the bell.
Liz Elden was kind enough to donate her Sunfish to our Junior Sunfish program so that makes two boats so far. This is the beginning of our goal of having boats on hand for the kids who want to sail Sunfish but don’t yet own a boat. Fleet members are encouraged to consider donating their boat(s) that aren’t being sailed. They will play a big part in our plans for the Sunfish presence at LNYC.
FRESH FISH - May 12, 2017
SUNFISH FLEET 532 NEWS
HOSPICE REGATTA: If you haven't signed-up to sail then please do so. This is the regatta that we all support, even if we sail boats other than our Sunfish.
FLEET ROSTER - I am still frustrated that I don’t have a good handle on all of the LNYC Sunfish people. I need the name of everyone at LNYC who owns a Sunfish or has interest in the Sunfish Fleet. If you would like to be included in our Fleet communications then please go to the LNYC website and identify yourself as a fleet member. If you can’t do that then please contact me by email and I’ll get you on the list.
JUNIOR SAIL CAMP SUNFISH numbers are at a record high. Where do we go from here? There are over 20 registered and it’s become obvious that we need to focus our resources on the kids and that is what I have agreed to do. This means that the “Adult” sail camp plans have been put on hold for now. Where does this leave those who had hoped to be a part of that? Why was there pressure/demand for an Adult Sail Camp? How can we best capitalize on this demand?
Here is the MOST important question: We’ve got 20 kids who’ll be sailing Sunfish: what happens AFTER camp? I know of one outstanding young man who owns a Sunfish and keeps it in dry storage, but I don’t think he’s sailed since last year’s Sail Camp. We’ve got to come up with a program that gives these kids more opportunities to get out on the water. MANY parents tell me that their kids are just “not competitive.” I understand that completely, I assure you. So what can we do to put the focus on the “fun” and other non-competitive aspects of sailing? What kind of activities can we discover/create to get and keep them coming back for more? What if we focus on the idea of “efficiency” as opposed to “winning?” I’m hoping the parents will help me with some ideas.
Why don’t we just plan to hold Adult Sunfish Sailing Classes going forward? Why don’t we make the Sunfish kids part of that process and get parents and kids sailing together? I’m asking for feedback here. I’ve got a million ideas but I’m hoping that someone out there is paying attention and willing to step up and be a part of this movement going forward.
If you didn’t read the thoughts of Rathbone DeBuys that I referred to a couple of months ago, then you are missing some excellent thinking that is 100 percent germane to the current situation. I urge you to go and take the time to read this: http://www.fishclass.org/history/history.html
At present there are a lot of folks looking for good used Sunfish: suppose we form a syndicate, and pool our money and buy a few boats and have a “boat-bee” and fix them up and they would be available to sail at any time, by members of the group? I would like to do some rearranging of the boat storage area and end-up with four “decent” Sunfish, sitting on dollies, ready-to-go. Of course you would have to be “checked-out” and qualified, but once you’re qualified you can go sailing at any time you like. Part of the “dues” would be service to repair and maintain the boats. We might also assign days that a member would be responsible for getting the boats rigged and to the beach, ready to go.
These sort of programs require a lot of discipline in terms of respecting and maintaining the community property: could we do it?
SUNFISH DRY STORAGE - LAUNCHING
The Pavilion is the natural place for our activities, with the storage racks and dry storage spaces convenient to the beach, but I would like to improve the layout of that area. Many of the boats in the best spots are seldom-sailed. I would like to move those boats and clean up the area with the priority spots given to those who are more active. I’m sure the LNYC Board would have to approve, but I can’t imagine that they would object to any positive steps to increase the number of boats on the water. This would also be a natural place to stage our Club-Owned Boats, with easy access to the water. Who would be able to find the time to be a part of a total re-make of the dry-storage racks for the Optis/Sunfish/Lasers? Could we actually get that done and end-up with the active boats given the optimum spots and the other relegated to “long-term storage?” Could we have this done by Commissioning 2018?
The Sunfish is a miserable boat in light air, but then so is all sailing. However, when the wind blows it’s a totally different story and that means that you need to be prepared for those days, usually in the Spring and Autumn when the fronts are moving through and we get those wonderfully rare days when the winds are above 15 mph. This is when the Sunfish comes alive; the perfect way to enjoy the very best of the wind-driven experience while sitting comfortably in complete control of a stable, forgiving and easily-controlled platform. Do you look at the 20+ knot days and realize just what you’re wasting? Would you like to enjoy a 25 knot day? The Sunfish can take you there. It is a great way to stay fit and limber and far easier to handle than you would imagine. I recently read that over 300,000 Sunfish have been built in the past sixty years: there is a reason for that success.
Access to the wind and the water is just as easy and convenient as ever. With the Sunfish you reduce the game to a tiller and a sheet. How could it be any easier?
I hope that by the time that the Fall winds start to blow and the water is still bathtub-warm, that we will have a regular crowd out taking advantage of it, building confidence, and making plans for being able to take advantage of the big winds and cooler waters of Spring, 2018.
MYSTERY SUNFISH ID PROGRAM CONTINUES
Thank you to those who are responding. I am removing your boats from this list as I get the information.
There are many unidentified Sunfish at the club. Please insure that your name is clearly marked on your trailer or on the hull itself. Here are the location and serial number’s of the mystery boats. All have been marked with orange duct tape. If you have property at LNYC then you are required to insure that it is properly identified or it could be assumed that it has been abandoned.
Location L23, #00134574D000 - Newer-style boat, great condition.
Location L29, #ODT35636A001
Location M25, No Serial Number found. “JD Michael” written in dirt. Solid Blue Deck.
Rack B-4 - AMF 82420M80E - White deck with blue stripes
Rack F-2 - AMF-05621M836 - No description
Rack F-3 - AMF 51618M77H - White deck with red stripes.
Rack F-6 - AMF 23816M74L - Yellow deck with white stripes.
LNYC RACE COMMITTEE
Sunfish fleet members are reminded that the RC Assignments are due out soon. It is your responsibility to show up prepared and ready to serve. If anyone has any questions about RC then please ask me and I’ll be glad to go over it with you. It’s a lot of fun and very educational.
BORING PERSONAL BACKSTORY
I came to organized "yachting" at the age of 13 after learning to sail at Boy Scout camp. I came home and told my father that I wanted to sail. My parents had been social sailors on Mobile Bay for many years and frequent visits to various yacht clubs for major events (or to get a beer on Sunday) were not uncommon when I was a young child. We joined the Mobile Yacht Club and I was soon part of the regulars who spent the weekends racing the fleet of five club-owned Fish Boats in as many as ten or more races a day. (Yes, we had a wonderful prevailing sea breeze.) I'll be sharing more about this in the future in terms of how it might be germane to what we are doing today and our efforts to reinvigorate interest in sailing.
Nothing about the magic of the wind making the boat go has changed; only the means of accessing it. Again, that's the beauty of the Sunfish; so many barriers are just not there. Make a list of what you need to sail a Sunfish. It is very short.
But I digress! (imagine that..)
SAVING SAILING IN 1919
Please go and read "The History Of The Fish Class" written in 1947 by Rathbone DeBuys, which you will find on the website Fishclass(dot)org. Mr. DeBuys was an Ivy-league-educated architect from an old New Orleans family and very much a renaissance man. He single-handedly changed the course of organized yachting competition on the Gulf Coast with the introduction of his "radical" ideas and his design of the wonderful Fish Boat.
Here is a "teaser" to get you to go and read it. The details might be different and even though it was almost 100 years ago, I think it is very germane to our present dilemma:
“The birth of the Fish Class was something of an accident; the result of a conversation in 1919 while congratulating Commodore Ernest Lee Jahncke on his election. He is well remembered as one of the Southern Yacht Club's finest and most progressive Commodores, whose support was instrumental in making possible the Fish Class. This was it:
"Congratulations to you, Sir, as Commodore of the largest fleet of Jelly Beans and Flappers in existence." "What do you mean?" was his reply with some irritation for which I could not blame him.
My answer was: "Commodore, you well know yachting in our club is practically dead. "There are only a very few racing sloops remaining, plus a motley lot of craft impossible to successfully handicap. "Yachting spirit is at ebb-tide. "Our club life consists of dinner dances attended by hundreds from our large membership and their friends. "The Race Committee for several years has had no control of what little racing there has been and has been dominated by a small clique who do as they please."
Notice that Mr. DeBuys didn’t hold back the criticisms that obviously would have been resented by many. He shook things up. He shared his vision of the problems, knowing that he was stepping on toes and upsetting many, but then he offered a solution. And it worked.
The key to making it work was designing a boat for a program that made it possible for all members of the club to be a part of the action on the water. At a time (1919) when towing a small boat on the road was unheard of, he made it possible for sailors from all of the clubs in the Gulf Yachting Association to come to a regatta at the Mobile Yacht Club where their five boats were joined with the five from Fairhope Yacht Club (across the bay), and the five from Buccaneer Yacht Club (just up the bay) to provide a fleet of fifteen boats for a total of 45 sailors. The events were three races and the usual format called for crew rotation. Many clubs sent nine sailors so there was a fresh team for each race. To keep things fair*, there was a drawing for boat assignments, insuring that everyone had a chance to draw the fastest boat. That was me in October of 1963 when I drew the vaunted MYC#1 (still winning today) and skippered (and won) my very first race because I had the two best junior sailors crewing for me and we were in the fastest boat.
Hold on a minute: Based on that formula: (15 Yacht Clubs) x (9 Sailors) = 135 Participants - None of whom had to own a boat.
I believe that many of the elements for the “Salvation of Sailing” are to be found by looking to things that worked in the past: This is clearly one of those things. Fishclass(dot)org. And while you’re there check out the photos of a wonderful classic design and the historic photos or the crowds watching the action. (I can remember the pier at the Mobile Yacht Club so covered with people that I was afraid of being accidentally knocked overboard.)
WATCH THIS SPACE
I'm working on something totally different. A totally new twist on sailing competition with some crazy things borrowed from my time in the Staging Lanes (like R/C duty) at the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Drag Races down at ZMax. I'm going to throw it out there as soon as I can get it all on paper. HINT: Heavy Air
As the radio commercials say: "BE THERE! BE THERE! BE THERE!"
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I don't care if you think it's silly, folks. I don't care if you think it's silly, folks." F. Zappa
* - "Fair is where you go to eat Funnel Cake." - David Poole - Charlotte Observer NASCAR writer (RIP)
FEBRUARY FLEET NEWS:
As the new Fleet Captain I will start by thanking Mark Evans for a great job and by reaching out to the long-time members of the fleet to thank them for their service and to ask for their continued support as we move forward with renewed enthusiasm and energy.
It is my belief that the “Salvation of Sailing” begins with individuals having fun on their Sunfish and it grows from there. Let’s plant those seeds at LNYC.
LET’S GO SAILING!: I’ve been at LNYC for almost a year now and I’ve met too many of you who don’t sail. I’m determined to change that. If you can swim, have reasonable flexibility and are in decent physical shape then there is no reason that you can’t enjoy what I’ve come to know over forty-five years of Sunfish sailing: There are few things more liberating than the simple pleasures of a tiller and sheet, the wind and the water.
The goal is to teach you the basics and then over time help you develop the boat-handling skills and confidence to venture out on those days when the wind is kicking and it’s just a non-stop rocket-ride. You’ll discover what I know: there is no boat better suited to extreme conditions than the Sunfish. A single non-stop planing reach from the Interstate back to the club makes up for many, many hours of drifting and makes it all seem worthwhile.
FLEET INSTRUCTOR: The first person that I have reached out to is Claude Summers; I had heard too many good things about his natural talents as a teacher and he has agreed that he will be the Head Instructor for the fleet and so this year we will offer an Adult Sailing Camp in conjunction with Junior Camp. Details are still being worked out, but you will need a Sunfish and the fee will be very modest especially for camp volunteers. Thank you, Claude for stepping-up.
SLEEPING SUNFISH: I recently photographed 55 Sunfish or “clone” hulls on the LNYC grounds. It is obvious that many have been abandoned. If you have a boat at the club please be sure that it is clearly identified. Do you own a Sunfish that you plan to sail in 2017? Please go to the Sunfish Fleet Roster on the LNYC website and register as a fleet member. It costs you nothing and you are under no obligation. Do you own a Sunfish that is not being sailed? Please offer it for sale in the Classifieds in the Signal. If you are unsure of its value then let me know and I’ll help you appraise it and set a fair price. There are many Sunfish on Craigslist and other places; if you find one and want an opinion let me know. I’ll be happy to help you find the perfect boat for your purposes and budget. We are discussing having a series of Tune-A-Fish events to help get boats into shape, especially so they’ll be ready for Sail Camp and we’ll not waste valuable sailing time patching-up your boat.
FLEET SECRETARY/REGISTRAR: One of the many reasons for my optimism is the arrival of another new LNYC member, long-time Sunfish racer John Butine. He has agreed to be the Fleet Secretary/Registrar and if this past year is any indication you will usually find him at the front of the fleet. For those of us who love the competition side of Sunfish this bodes well for the possibility of some serious throw-down racing. I had a few tastes of it during the 2016 Board Bash and I’m hungry for more of it.
COMMISSIONING DISPLAY: We’ll have a presence on the lawn at this year’s Commissioning, featuring Claude’s Bloody Marys so stop by and say “Hi!” Look for a Spring Fleet Meeting, date TBD.
2017 SAILING OPPORTUNITIES
April 1 - 2 LNYC Commissioning - Club Series 1
April 22 - 23 LNYC Club Series 2
June 12 - 16 LNYC Sail Camp - Adult and Junior
July 21 - 23 Harker’s Island Regatta
August 4 - 6 SAYRA One-design - Wrightsville Beach
September 23 - 24 Board Bash
November 4 - 5 Sunfish SE Regionals -Columbia, SC - Qualifier for the Worlds.
FRIDAY FUN SAILS: LNYC has added some Friday dates in July and August for Portsmouth racing. Maybe we can get something going there?
WHO ARE YOU?: Please sign up on the Fleet Roster so I know who you are and watch the Signal for monthly reports and more news about Adult Sailing Camp. All creative and constructive ideas are welcomed. How can we have more fun at LNYC? I believe it starts with the Sunfish.
NEW FACEBOOK GROUP: Check out Carolina Sunfish Sailor - It’s a closed all-ages group and all posts will be moderated. Join today! I'm letting this sit for a bit - apply and be patient. I'm looking for good stuff to post.
LET’S DO IT: Let’s find a way to get more boats out this year. How can we make the wind forecasts our friend? Can we find a way to respond on short-notice and be there when the wind is up? It only takes five of us to put five boats on the line. (duh.. that's the beauty of Sunfish - my point is: it should be easy.) The more boats we put out there the more accommodating the club will be in their efforts to provide us with quality sailing. I sailed Portsmouth last year and it was decent at times except for being a Sunfish in the midst of those Scots and U-20s and such. I’ve suggested that if we show up with five boats on Sunday morning then the R/C would give us the first start in clean air. The big boats are going to run over us sooner or later anyway, usually more than once per race. I’m not a big fan of the Windward/Leeward courses anyway because it seems like you're always sailing in bad air, particularly when the "corridor" between the marks is filled with so many boats and all of the wind seems to be disturbed, especially down low on the water where we sit. Just another challenge of sailing on a light-air inland lake. Gotta love it and do the best with what you've got.
Can we promote and get enough boats pre-registered for the Hospice and other Open Regattas so that we can get off the course with the Optis? The “authorities” might be open to the idea if we have the numbers.