Thursday, September 15, 2016

Throwback Thursday - 10 Years Without a Sunfish in My Life

Enough of all the talk of RS Aeros and photos of RS Aeros and videos of RS Aeros.

Looking back in the Proper Course archives I see that it is 10 years ago this week that I sold my Sunfish and wrote about it at Sold.

It's hard to believe that I was such an enthusiastic Sunfish sailor for so long. I raced it on my local lake and in the North Jersey Series. I went to Sunfish North Americans and Sunfish Midwinters. I was even on the US team at the Sunfish Worlds a few times.

Me (in the middle)  at the 1996 Sunfish Worlds

A better picture of me at the 2000 Sunfish Worlds

I eventually grew tired of the Sunfish after about 16 years and decided to focus on Laser sailing.

Just as I eventually decided to move on from Laser sailing and focus on the RS Aero.

Talking of my last Sunfish which I sold in 2006, strangely enough a sailor at the regatta at Massapoag YC last weekend brought me some news of it. It is now back on Spruce Run Reservoir in NJ being sailed by someone at Hunterdon Sailing Club.

That's good to know.

Better than ending up like this Sunfish.

Sailing is a small world.

At least two of the Sunfish sailors in that 1996 photo of the Sunfish Worlds in the Dominican Republic were sailing Sunfish in our regatta at Massapoag YC last weekend. Good for them. Some people are so dedicated to the Sunfish that I am convinced that they will eventually be buried in their Sunfish.

It's also true that two sailors who finished in the top 10 at that Sunfish Worlds, Ash Beatty and Hank Saurage are now RS Aero owners.

Hank Saurage (on left) 
winner of RS Aero USA Speed Challenge 2016

Perhaps even more strange, of the ten or so sailors in that black and white photo at the top of this post which depicts Sunday morning racing on a little puddle in New Jersey in the 1990s, two of the sailors were racing RS Aeros at Massapoag YC last weekend and a third sailor in the photo is also an RS Aero owner.

Chris Stow (on right)
former Sunfish junior champion and now RS Aero sailor

Oh sorry!

I meant to write a post about Sunfish for a change and still ended up talking about RS Aeros.

I just can't help myself.


torrid said...

So how much are you going to ask for your Laser?

Tillerman said...

Good question. Not sure I will actually get rid of it yet. Depends partly on whether we can get agreement with a local club to support RS Aero frostbiting this winter. If they don't I will probably keep the Laser to do frostbiting for at least one more season.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Aero is a terrific boat. It looks a lot like what a carbon fiber Force 5 would be (very similar rigging) with a mylar sail. :-) And it's cheaper than a Melges 14 with its ridiculous mainsheet bridle. Having said all those good things, the $8K price tag is a hurdle for many. I recently got back into the Sunfish class after a 40 year absence and found the racing version to be a huge improvement. And based on my exp at the NAs in Delaware, the class is populated by a really fun bunch of wild & crazies. My new/used pristine fish was $2500, a much smaller pill to swallow. I'd love to take a spin in an Aero, but I'm afraid I'd get hooked.

Tillerman said...

Good for you Anonymous. You make good points.

For the most part I enjoyed my 16 years in the Sunfish class and 35 years in the Laser class. But eventually I found myself wanting to sail a boat that is more exciting and more fun. Plus it's a whole different experience to be involved in a totally new class as an early adopter which is also very rewarding.

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