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Forum member meet ups!

joe c

banned
Met up with @Helme1el yesterday for about a 4hr cruise around the cove..wind was light and the usual shifty. Learned a bunch more about my boats handling etc.. it was cool having 2 of the same weird boat out there but his boat is gorgeous! The rub rail isn't even scratched. Here's a couple of pics from the day. Great meeting you and looking forward to doing it again.20220615_155153.jpg20220615_161344.jpg20220615_175642.jpg20220615_155153.jpg20220615_161344.jpg20220615_175642.jpg20220615_175642.jpg
 
Nice!!!

I'm on a specfic guitar brand forum and there are a number of informal meet ups and there were factory tours a few years back as well prior to their move to the west coast. Rare to find this kind of camraderie.

I may have to pester a certain someone in my area when I'm ready for the initial shake down cruise.
 

joe c

banned
Nice!!!

I'm on a specfic guitar brand forum and there are a number of informal meet ups and there were factory tours a few years back as well prior to their move to the west coast. Rare to find this kind of camraderie.

I may have to pester a certain someone in my area when I'm ready for the initial shake down cruise.
Hmmm....haha....and yeah, it's always cool to see what other people have etc. It's difficult to randomly run into people with the same little boats randomly..and it's way more fun to have the same boats out and a great way to learn new stuff.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I thought it would be good if the Class Association promoted recreational regattas, and maybe had a few racers handy to talk about rigging, rules, etc...but mostly have a loosely organized mess about.
 

joe c

banned
I thought it would be good if the Class Association promoted recreational regattas, and maybe had a few racers handy to talk about rigging, rules, etc...but mostly have a loosely organized mess about.
In roadracing we have track days that get people interested.. there are usually racers there working on things and it's a great way to get info on setups and prep. The problem there is getting people to.make the jump from.track days to racing..dedicating thier bike to full blown racer..I think here the other problem would be the issue. Finding recreational.reggatas..but you gotta start somewhere..iknow a lot of people who sail who have never considered racing..it was the first thing I started asking about. Yet still haven't managed to grid up with the l2. Finding a consistent crew is way harder than I thought. Haha. But I like the way you think. Im taking the sunfish back out on Thursday and the forecast is good for the Thursday night races. So hoping to say hi to those guys and touch base again. Maybe do some shadowing and get some times too..;-)
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Before I forget that is a beautiful photo, and it deserves to be duplicated.

The idea I'm trying to formulate is what y'all did the other day, a gathering of boats and Skippers, not to race but to day sail in the same local area. Of course we know that if there are two boats in the same vicinity.... From there some gatherings may develop into two or more days, with planned routes or destinations, and on the extreme end there are small boat raids or challenges. The Drascombe Association calls it a Rally. There is not a focus on "One Design Class sanctioned races" at regional/national/world levels. Cedar Key Festival is an example, and the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival in St Michaels is another, although it is a very large event. The Class Association/Manufacturer used to sponsor the Connecticut River Race, and it would be nice if the sponsored a few more events with some parts and swag to promote the Sunfish and reps to answer questions, Ambassadors if you will.

We already know 5+ people in our new stomping grounds who sail or are interested in recreational Sunfish sailing, so we could pick a beach and a day and say see you there, come and go as you please. And for those that get bit by the racing bug, there is a very active group at Grandview Island in Hampton VA, at least a couple of them are out every weekend and they have an annual Round The Lights race with boats of all sizes.

There are close to 500,000 Sunfish out there, yet the Class Association currently focuses on the top few thousand racers in the World. Last I knew there was just over a thousand folks registered in the Class. The Class could make beaucoup dollars by bringing in recreational folks and starting off with Learn To Sail knowledge exchange. Help new Skippers with parts, repair methods, upgrades, good spots to Sunfish, swag, etc... Harley Davidson figured it out, and AMF tried in the 70s by selling Sunfish gear. Our favorite items were the "wind suit" and scuttlebut sailing shorts.

The hardest stage is developing an idea. The idea is to promote inquiry, inspire and inform skippers about the Sunfish, and to get Sunfish out in their natural habitat.

The Forum is a great digital venue. Time to find some Sunfish venues where there is a chance of getting wet.

Thank you joec and Helme1el for provoking this idea.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Casual meet-ups are great of course, but the Class does support rather informal affairs as well. Or perhaps it's better to say that there are clubs (or individuals) that run them. For instance, in the Mid-Atlantic area,
International Sunfish Class Association
In the past there used to be two divisions; one for the 'hard core' and one for all others. I haven't seen the Notice of Race, but as I recall, there used to be two divisions, one for the 'hard core' and one for all others (legal or not).

A long-distance race that is casual AFAIK:
International Sunfish Class Association

LaserPerformance used to sponsor the Connecticut River event, but I don't know if it still exists.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Wavedancer those words Race and Challenge scare me. Mess About sounds more my speed. I must applaud the Class Association, because without their commitment to the One Design philosophy the Sunfish might have gone away years ago, despite the fact that it is the World's Best Sailboat.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
More in general, when I go to a regatta, I do hope to do well, of course. But I rarely do. :(
What keeps me coming are the social aspects of it all. Meeting generally nice people with similar interests (at least as far as boating is concerned). Having a 'beverage' after the racing is over and some reasonably nice food.
I also like to attend regattas because the racing teaches you to sail the boat at its best, while using my brain (what's left of it) to work on strategic skills.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Wavedancer, 266 was my record, Boeing 777. The scary stuff was helicopter night vision goggle flights off of Navy boats. I used to be mostly fearless and roguishly handsome. That's me way in the back, front right seat.

Kent Carl Duluth 1989.jpg

I was Marine Corps, interesting that most of my service friends who sailed were Marines, only one Navy guy. Seems they would have known how to sail :) There was nice Sunfish sailing down in Corpus Christi, you could set your clock by the wind, nice breeze at 0845 and built to around 16 knots by noon.

Our new sailing buddy up here is a Coastie.
 

joe c

banned
i actually think more of a jamboree. or what they call 'raiding" in other places. lots of similar or the same boats show up. an overnight someplace works. dock, anchor, beach. some cold snacks, bonfires and benchracing as we call it. you get a day of sailing in. maybe some casual racing if someone can setup a course, and some cruising. it would be simple. and youd probably be doing it with the same 4 people the few times before it caught on. but i think people with small boats especially sunfish, snark, even lasers are always looking to co conspire with others. i wouldnt say no to capris, hobies etc. go with a general year designation or an of similar design. you could see some fun stuff.

im looking up the thing in st micheals now. have been down there in 30 years easily.

oh wow...that looks amazing! i wonder how many composite sunfish show up for that though. haha
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I like Raid, some of the small boat challenges are also called raids.

1) Down in NW Florida there is an annual event, the week after Mother's Day essentially, called the Florida 120. Starting near Pensacola, a 120 mile circuit is laid out and people can try the course, or parts of it, on their own schedule. Most go same day-same way, but a few come and go for bits of the raid. Very few complete the entire course, and the course can change based on weather. It used to be a very small boat raid, focus on sail and oar, but lately is it a cabin cruiser sailboat raid.

One stop that most all boats make is Juana's Bar and Grill on the Santa Rosa Sound side of Navarre Beach. It used to be a sleepy bit of Santa Rosa Island but Hurricane Michael and pandemic sent a flood of people to Navarre (our previous homeport) and Navarre is no longer sleepy. During the off season, if there is one anymore, there is a great parking area and ramp next to Juana's, and a convenience store. There are dolly launch spots on the sound and Gulf for small boats. Used to be lots of beach cottage and condo rentals, and Navarre Beach was steps away on the Gulf of Mexico. Here's Skipper, her Dad Capn Jack and our pirate friend Aubrey recovering ONKAHYE.

ONKAHYE at Juanas Ramp.jpg

2) The Florida 120 group expanded to add a Mississippi 110 raid in the Fall, raiding the barrier islands off of Biloxi, MS. Our Brit friend Murray was the Mayor of both events, he sailed a variety of his boats, from a sprit canoe up to a Venture 21, bringing his cat some years.

Murray canoe sprit 2.jpg

Murray Polly WILDFLOWER 2018.png

Our favorite was his Viper 15, that he extensively modified with a laser Radial M sail, velcro loop luff rings, bamboo spars, and a pop up rudder.

IMG_0282.jpg

As for the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival, the name says it all, open to small craft enthusiasts and builders. A sunfish would do well there.
 
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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Any small craft would be welcome, esp sail and oar. Motors are cool too. Another friend of ours takes his Welsford Pathfinder up there often, along with all of his other cruising: SPARTINA
 
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