2019 Sunfish Worlds

California Dude said - There is no way LP would throw money away and make Sunfish in UK. This is that simple. LP ordered boats from China with GB in serial number, and some think that it stands for Great Britain.

Hey California Dude - are you Les? If so, I have moved back east - Glad I got to sail with all of you in Mission Bay while I was out there!

LP stated their intention of moving production of Sunfish to the UK in January. Hopefully this link will take you to the Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=LaserPerformance tariff&epa=SEARCH_BOX But here is the important part for this discussion:
"As a result of the US-China trade war, we have decided to set up our own manufacturing facilities in Portugal with the objective of becoming fully operational by this year end. Manufacturing of all sloops and collegiate sailing boats will be given priority. Our existing resources in China will continue to supply the Asian markets. Laser Sailboats manufacturing in Banbury, UK, will expand to include the Sunfish boat."

They produced some test boats from the UK in 2017, and seem to have switched at least some production there last year. I have seen several boats that have hull numbers starting in GB this year, including the one Conner Blouin sailed at the 2018 North Americans in IL and won the midwinters in this year. The ISCA president, Rich, has a new boat with a hull number starting in GB also.

The hull number is a legal thing, so I have to assume it I would be illegal for LP to claim the Sunfish they are importing came from the UK if they were really produced in China.

Anyway, happy sailing all regardless of where your boat was produced!
Chris, I was hoping that you would take me up on my offer, but it looks like this isn't going to happen any time soon.
At least you have Brian and Will to play with, assuming that you are not too far from New England.

Thank you for chiming in and presenting a smoking gun, so it seams.
It looks like LP is in transition, and sooner or later we will know for sure the final outcome.

I will stick with my outlandish idea because that is what I would do if I were in control of LP and a short term profit was my goal.
It is clear that a possible US - Chinese trade war requires some business adjustments.
Here is my business plan that might be already in use by LP.
1) Produce all parts in China, but leave boat haul parts as separate components. This way all labor intensive work and materials are taken care of.
If HIN is a problem, leave room in gelcoat for final assembly or laser engrave.
2) Pack everything matryoshka style (this way you can ship a lot more boats 3 maybe 4x more) and ship to UK or other country with less costly labor (Portugal, Poland, Lithuania) for final assembly.
3) Use "proper accounting" so the cost of production and material in China is 49% and final assembly 51%.
Someone just posted that LP will no longer install foam blocks in Sunfish.
This will perfectly fit with my idea, but will make boats sail like pigs.
Also, with foam not present, boats will have short life span. This is very good for LP, but not for customers. Old boats are just too durable, and this is not good for business.
Nice story isn't it?


Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #46
The main event is fully booked (72 boats), but the Masters and Youth events still have openings.
Spread the word...

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Picture via the Sunfish Worlds website: Sunfish Worlds

Is this an older Sunfish hull, though?
Why would it already have an inspection port behind the coaming?
And the boat in the video didn't have the long yellow stripe...
My guess would be that the new hulls are needed at the regatta site. Easy to have an extra sail, but an extra new hull not so much.
I’ll be interested to see if the class tries to put national letters on these sails - white letters would fit on blue panels - not much room on the white panel!
A few other places to track as the Worlds gets closer...

Sunfish Worlds Bonaire has been posting some great pictures on Instagram: Sunfish Worlds Bonaire (@sunfishworldsbonaire) • Instagram photos and videos
Sunfish Worlds on Instagram (hasn't posted in quite a while): Sunfishworlds (@sunfishworlds) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo gallery: Sunfish Worlds 2019

Sunfish Worlds on Twitter: SunfishWorlds (@SunfishWorlds) | Twitter
Bonaire Worlds on Twitter (not very active): Sunfish Worlds Bonaire (@BonaireWorlds) | Twitter

I don't use Facebook, but they are posting updates here: Sunfishworlds Bonaire

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the links. I see that Laser Performance (a misnomer if ever there was one) got the last container of boats there yesterday! Organizers were probably nervous!
International Sunfish Class Association

Crazy close at the top... 1st and 2nd with the same total points!

David Hernandez, a 23-year-old sailor from Guatemala, captured the Sunfish World's top honor for 2019 with smart sailing in light-to-medium air for all twelve races over four days. That win wasn’t without its share of anxiety as Hernandez won in a tie-breaker beating out Renzo Sanguinetti of Peru who placed second. Both scored 43 points total. David had two wins in the 12 races; Renzo had only one. But, hey, that’s yacht racing!


Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #60
Some more or less random notes on the 2019 Sunfish World Championship

First of all, Vicki Palmer, (a Sunfish sailor herself and a Class Representative) wrote some really engaging summaries. She also helped on the Race Committee boat (the one that sets the course and controls the start). Thanks!

Here is her report (as published in Windward Leg, the Sunfish class publication). The videos are worth a few minutes as well:

Four days of sailing and a dozen races crowned Guatemalan David Hernandez as the 2019 Sunfish World Champion.

Bonaire, September 20, 2019 -- David Hernandez, a 23-year-old sailor from Guatemala, captured the Sunfish World's top honor for 2019 with smart sailing in light-to-medium air for all twelve races over four days. That win wasn’t without its share of anxiety as Hernandez won in a tie-breaker beating out Renzo Sanguinetti of Peru who placed second. Both scored 43 points total. David had two wins in the 12 races; Renzo had only one. But, hey, that’s yacht racing!

Adding to the anxiety going into the last race was the fact that, ending-up only one point behind David and Renzo was Alonso Collantes, a two-time Sunfish World Champion from Peru. Collantes ended up with an impressive third-place finish, one point behind the leaders.

In fourth place was Simon Gomez Ortiz from Colombia who scored one win in the 12 races and kept his other finishes near the top ten. Consistency paid off!

From Aruba, Eugene Hendrix placed fifth in a tie-breaker, this time with Gomez Ortez. With the top-three so close in points, going into the final race it could have been anyone’s race. So many of these champion sailors were finishing within a point or two of those closest to them in the final scoring. Interestingly, the top-three finished in reverse order for the last race with the winner, Hernandez, in third, Sanguinetti in second, and Collantes in third.

Another long-time champion from Peru, Jean Paul de Trazegnies, placed sixth and in seventh place was the top USA finisher, Eugene Schmitt from New Orleans, LA, (fourth yesterday) who fell out of competition with a BFD in Race 11.

Day 1 recap
Day 2 recap
Day 3 recap
Event website
Photo gallery
Prize ceremony photos

Boat Launching Area
Start of Day 3
Bonaire TV Special
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Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #61
I was present during the last few days of the Worlds and spoke to a few competitors. They all liked the boats, and the pretty color scheme and sail. In case anyone wonders, the red star on the sail is related to the flag of Bonaire.

I didn't hear about any breakdowns, but note that the winds were generally light. The support of Coco (Laser Performance) was great. She was busy, with 72 boats (and dollies) under her wings. Some were sold on site afterwards, but most of them were to be returned to LP's warehouse in the USA and will be for sale. These boats were raced at most twenty times in mostly light conditions and inspected after the racing was over. To wit, I had to pay an extra $20 because of some very slight damage to the tip of the rudder blade.

Because of the big (?) question on the origin of these boats, I include a picture of the stern. Note that the ID starts with GB. No surprise, considering the earlier posts in this thread. But some knowledgeable people claimed that the boats were actually made in China. One sailor pointed out a 'smoking gun' related to this issue (see the writing on the blue tape; is this Chinese?). In light of post 49 in this thread, has the time come for beldar boathead to get some blue spray paint?

Whether these hulls had the 'classical' internal polystyrene support system or a Laser-like system with flotation bags remains an open question. I did see one hull with some serious damage due to a collision, but I forgot to take a peak inside the hull.

Local youngsters from a technical school helped getting the boats in and out of the water on racing days and, earlier on, were also part of a working party for putting the dollies together and getting the boats out of the boxes and onto the dollies. Much appreciated, obviously. It really was amazing that an island with some 20,000 people could get so many volunteers to help out. The organization of the whole affair both on the water and off was excellent.

The (regatta site) Plaza Beach hotel would rate 4.5 stars in my book. One half star off because WiFi was not available in the rooms, but OK most other places on the property. My room was big enough the spread the rig on the floor to attach the sail. AC is so nice! The dinners were also a step up from 'regular' buffets. A lot of choices among salads, meats, and desserts.

A tiny bit of history. At one time, the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) were all together, government-wise and 'associated' with The Netherlands, but they split not too long ago. Bonaire has its own flag and anthem now but still depends on The Netherlands for certain services such as security. Whereas Curaçao uses the Antilles guilder as currency, Bonaire uses the US dollar. The island appears to be doing well with a lot of building going on. For instance, next to the regatta site a development with 100 apartments (or condos) was under construction. The airport is being modernized, but the roads need some TLC.

You may think that this regatta was all fun. Well it was, but the first start was at 9AM and it took about a half hour to sail to the starting line. Had to get up at 7. After three or four races the fleet would get back in the early afternoon. And the weather was hot. The typical breeze around this time of the year is 15 mph, but during the Masters/Youth event we only had about 15 minutes with such breeze (and whitecaps).


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Upside down?
Staff member
Thread starter #65
Some notes on the racing in the Masters/Youth division; perhaps only of interest to the 'hard-core'...

As mentioned, the start was scheduled for 9:00, but once we were out there, we typically had to wait about 15 minutes. This delay was due to at least two factors. The wind didn't come from the 'usual' (for Bonaire) direction, which made setting a proper windward/leeward course difficult. And related to this, the water is really deep in most of the area where we sailed which made setting the marks problematic. The RC solved this problem by having two of the racing marks held by helpers in small boats, that somehow kept their position. So I learned the meaning of the M flag (white cross on a blue background) with the whistles. We sailed either three or five legs (upwind/downwind) and each race lasted about 45 minutes. The finish line was between the upwind mark and a nearby boat.

Back to the start. Once the class flag was raised, the (red and white) U flag would follow one minute later. This flag indicates that you will be disqualified if you are in the triangle between the starting line and the upwind mark in the last minute prior to the start. If one looks at the scores, this (UFD) penalty was not uncommon. The RC also raised the black flag in the Masters/Youth event, but only in the first race. Perhaps, lessons were learned...

On some days, the starting line was very long, again due to the difficulty of anchoring the pin end. Therefore, getting a clean start wasn't too difficult unless one wanted to fight with the hot shots at the favored end (usually the boat). Most of the time though, the line was fair. Several of us decided to take a conservative approach and start towards the middle and away from other boats. But I tended to be a bit late and fell behind almost immediately. Ouch! Tried to get out of the bad air ASAP and sail my 'own' course towards the left side (on starboard tack). Couldn't tell whether the left or the right side of the course was favored, but I think that it didn't make much difference because we were in open water. I did tack when my compass saw a change. Tried to deal with the little (1-2 ft) waves, but not good at that. Once at the windward mark, I would find myself roughly in the middle of the fleet of forty (Youth and Masters were sailing together) when I had a good (!) race. However, at other times, I made mistakes and rounded in the bottom third group. Downwind, not much changed, but rounding the closer mark at the gate did help me a few times. Going upwind again it was possible, with a bit of luck thrown in, to gain a few spots. But most of the fleet had 'settled in' and not much changed during the next leg(s), as far as I could see (from the back!).

Results (Masters and Youth divisions)

2019 international Sunfish Class Association (ISCA) Youth and Master World Championship on Yacht Scoring - A complete web based regatta administration and yacht scoring program

Alex Zimmermann from Peru was the winner in the Masters division. He won five races (out of nine) and had consistently low scores in the others. No doubt about that!
The runner up was Sipke Stapert from Bonaire. It's perhaps interesting that Alex finished 22nd in the ('Senior') Worlds and Sipke 27th (out of 65 competitors). Jason Pigot (USA) was third in the Masters; he finished 53rd in the main event; quite an improvement.

The Youth event was won by Simon Gomez Ortiz from Colombia. He also won last year and will be one to watch in future (Senior) events. Just noted that Simon finished fourth in this Senior Worlds. Congratulations with that result as well!
The trophy for the Youth event is a wooden daggerboard with the names of previous winners inscribed. Too big for most suitcases, I think.

The results from the main event have been covered by Vicky Palmer, earlier in this thread.
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