2004 Sunfish Worlds report

In a variety of conditions at the Hyannis Yacht Club, Venezuelan Eduardo Cordero held on to his first place after eight races at the 34‘h Sunfish World Championship.
Held September 18-24, 2004, 98 sailors competed for the Sunfish World Championship against the seven-time winner.

Racers braved a cold and rainy Saturday to receive the boats they would race in the coming days. Many sailors assembled their equipment under awnings and inside the clubhouse. Sunday’s practice race was cancelled due to high winds.

Race Day 1 (Monday): The day dawned sunny and cold, and the northerly was still blowing at around 20 knots. On the racecourse, the northerly dissipated during the day. Primary Race Officer (PRO) Tom Duggan had his hands full with a shifty northerly and a current running across the course at better than a full knot. After two start attempts, the fleet was off to their first race of the day on an Olympic course. Reaching in 15 knots proved to be fun for Cordero, who notched two firsts in Monday’s races. The second race was sailed in a great deal less breeze as the wind continued to diminish throughout the entire day. Jeff Linton (USA), Diego Zimmermann (Peru), and Malcolm Smith (Bermuda) rounded out the top four after Day 1.

Race Day 2 (Tuesday): Day two’s prospects looked grim. Light northerly winds were forecast and the current just would not let up. After one start under the Black Flag, and subsequent dismissal of a few competitors, the first race was away at 1:00pm in light northerlies. The race proved to be a long one, with Greg Gust (USA) winning, followed by Donny Martinborough (Bahamas), and Mike Gable (USA). The overall leader, Cordero, finished twelfth to remain on top of the leader board. Linton and Martinborough followed.

Race Day 3 (Wednesday): We were sure we would get some wind today, as the forecast was for WSW at 10 knots plus. As we arrived on the racecourse, all we saw were light southeasterlies, not a good direction for Nantucket Sound. We waited a bit for wind, and a very light southerly filled in. Race four got underway as the wind was dying. Nearly an hour later boats were just getting to the first leeward mark. The direction held and we shortened the race at the top just as wind went out. Donovan Brennan (USA) won race four of the series. After much patient waiting, the wind filled from the south again, and we got in another race that was won by Malcolm Smith. Cordero was still leading after the third day. In one of the unusual events that occurred during race one, Don Bergman (USA) lost his hat during a mark rounding in which he was in second place. Instead of continuing to race and hold his position, Bergman went back for his hat because of the bright sun, and only lost four boats in the process.

Race Day 4 (Thursday): A strong north wind was a welcome sight. With diminishing winds forecast, the PRO called an early start. Cordero earned the title of 2004 Sunfish World Champion with finishes of 1-6-1 in the three races for the day. Although he had a tough day on Thursday, Linton held on to capture second place for the series, with Paul-Jon Patin (USA) finishing strong on the final day to secure third place.

Friday was warm and sunny as the sailors packed up their boats and equipment. Following the traditional awards banquet, prizes were awarded to the top ten finishers. Award presentations ended with the traditional “dunking” of the champion.

Another highlight was the gathering of former World Champions. Champions present were Gary Hoyt (1970, first Worlds winner), Cor Van Aanholt (1980), Donnie Martinborough (1983, 1985, 1988), Bruce Sutphen (1987), Stephen Smeulders (1991), Paul-Jon Patin (1992), Eduardo Cordero (1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) and Malcolm Smith (1994, 1998, 2003):

It was wonderful to see friends from around the world, kids of friends who are now sailing or who will be sailing someday, first time Worlds sailors, and the team from Martinique campaigning for next years Worlds. Congratulations to all who competed and attended another great Sunfish World Championship!

In addition to the race winners, special trophies were awarded to:

Youngest sailorKrysta Rhode (USA)
Top MasterJeff Linton (USA)
Top WomanElizabeth Clinton (USA)
Top YouthDiego Zimmerman (PER)
Marco Polo Award
Sportsmanship award
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