1980 Sunfish Worlds report

Cor Van Aanholt, 21, of Groningen, The Netherlands defeated the defending champion, Dave Chapin, 20, of Springfield, IL, USA, to win the Eleventh Sunfish World Championship sailed April 28 -May 3 on the multihued blue waters off the Dutch island of Aruba, in the Caribbean. 104 sailors from 16 countries participated in the six-race, one-throw-out series. With trade winds blowing from 20-35 knots, most competitors used a heavy-air adjustment known as the Hookanson rig throughout the series.
Van Aanholt started strong winning the first two races, then Chapin came back to win the third, fourth and fifth races. But Chapin’s fourth-race win was nullified because he was over the line early at the start.

In last year’s highly competitive World Championship series sailed in Medemblik, Holland, Chapin outsailed Van Aanholt for the World title. In Aruba, the battle again came down to the end as Chapin held a slim advantage (1.3 points using the Olympic Scoring System) over Van Aanholt going into the final race. As Chapin and Van Aanholt match-raced the last race along the far edges of the course, they nearly allowed Raymond Marsolle, who won that race, to take the Championship. It was during the final weather leg that Van Aanholt overtook Chapin and finished fifth. Chapin, because of his fourth-race disqualification, had to count his seventh place finish, his poorest of the series, losing the Championship to Van Aanholt by 1.7 points.

Van Aanholt, a dental student in Groningen, is the first World Sunfish Champion from Europe. During the sailing season, he also runs a sailing school and has recently become a Sunfish dealer.
Trophies were awarded to the top twelve finishers. It was interesting to note that no single country dominated the series as these twelve represented ten different countries. Jean Bergman, of Hubbard Woods, IL, USA, current North American Women’s Sunfish Champion, was awarded the women’s trophy for the series.
Competitors agreed that the Aruba Sunfish Club and the many other volunteers did an outstanding job organizing this Championship. Accommodations for most of the competitors were arranged at the base of operations, the Aruba Caribbean Hotel, which, with a full schedule of social events for competitors and families, its superb beach used for launching, and its friendly and helpful personnel, was an ideal regatta location.
Possible sites for next year’s Championship include California and Sardinia, Italy.

Portrait of a champion: Cor van Aanholt

Cor Van Aanholt, Sunfish World Champion, started sailing in 1971 at the age of 12. He and his brother began racing in the Flits class (an 111/2 foot wooden two-man boat popular in northern Holland for juniors up to age 18). They won the Flits National twice in a row when Cor was 13 and 14.
The next year, Cor crewed for his older brother Peter in a Flying Junior. Cor was tactician and Peter handled the helm and keptthe boat moving. Corwas impatient crewing so looked around for a good singlehander. He said that although he didn’t particularly like the looks of the Laser, he sailed one anyway because they were popular
At age 17, he won the famous Kielerwoche in Kiel, W. Germany (Kiel Week is being used this year by the nations boycotting the Olympics as a substitute event). This qualified him for the 1976 Laser Worlds in which he finished sixth. Since then he has placed very well in several major Laser championships and placed second in the 1979 Sunfish Worlds sailed in Medemblik, Holland.
He arrived in Aruba for the 1980 Sunfish Worlds two and a half weeks prior to the event. He said that he often does this to acclimatize himself to the differences in time, weather and food. He only sailed three times on a borrowed Sunfish — he
said that he doesn’t think sailing is the best way to psyche up for a regatta. He prefers to see the area or country he is visiting. This sightseeing gives him plenty of time for relaxation which he considers essential to good sailing.
Like most good sailors, Cor always arrives at the starting area at least ten minutes before the start. He checks the wind and wave conditions and makes last-minute adjustments to his rig. He starts at the favored end of the line, but never starts too aggressively. He is careful not to be disqualified for starting early or fouling another boat.
He claims that his tactics are the key to his success and that his boat speed is secondary. But on the reaches he felt fast. He uses wave steering to his advantage, but makes a point of steering toward the mark as much as possible.
In heavy air, he feels that the Sunfish needs a lot of vang. In order to foot off, you must vang in your sail so that the boom does not go up when easing the sheet. He feels he needs as much power as possible.
Cor plans to continue sailing the Sunfish especially since he is a dealer. His next major championship will be the European Sunfish Championship which is being sailed in early July in France.

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