First Sail of the season, Sunfish Race May 20-21


Well-Known Member
Needed to get the Sunfish ready a bit earlier then normal. My oldest son is going to try racing his boat at a race that leads to the Sunfish Nationals. It is May 20-21 in Brigantine (Brigantine Yacht Club is sponsoring).

My first sail with a racing sail on my boat. Mild winds 7 to 12 or so. A couple of time I had a strong gust that put my edge into the water. I did not feel the boat trying round up and needing a lot of rudder. Also I was keeping pace with the other boats with racing sails, before they would always gain on me slowly.

As much as I really liked the multicolored sail, I am now really interested to see if I am competitive in the evening fun races at the club. You know going against people who are in their 60's and racing since they were 8. In the past I have been mostly last between not knowing how to start and their boats being a bit faster.
I am one of those people mentioned above, just a hair over sixty :).
I have been racing for about 40 years, but I started late (no college sailing). Nevertheless, I am still learning and trying to get 'better'. I find that stimulating and FUN. When I end up in the back of the fleet, I try to take a deep breath and tell myself not to look back.
To give an example, I get a good/great start maybe once out of five. But when I do get that great start it's easy to lose my advantage on the first windward leg by missing a shift or making a poor tack.

In summary, although having a boat in optimum shape is important for one's confidence, there's a lot more to being successful on the racecourse than having a new race sail for club racing.

Practice, practice and practice some more...

Go out there and mix it up!

Afterwards, don't be afraid to ask for advice. Almost all Sunfish folks are quite willing to share.