Sunfish Worlds 2012 report

by David Mendelblatt

The St. Petersburg Sailing Center was the launch site with races held on Tampa Bay. For the first time, competitors were responsible for bringing or chartering their own boats. Many sailors whose journey prevented them from bringing their own boats were fortunate to find local Sunfish owners willing to charter or loan boats. Two vendors, The Dinghy Shop, of Amityville, New York, and Tackle Shack, of Pinellas Park, Florida, were very helpful by transporting a great many charter boats to the event and supporting sailors at the venue with parts and service. The regatta would not have been possible without their contributions. Three days of measurement and registration were required to ensure fairness of competition.

2012 Youth World Championship

The Youth World Championship was held first, with three days of racing. All Youth sailors were under 19 years of age.
All in all it was an excellent Third Youth World Championship with perfect weather conditions and great winds that increased each day. The races were very long and exhausting. The strong currents really affected the end results each day due to the fact that the current changed around the middle of the second race each day making it quite difficult to know what to expect. Rhone Findlay seemed to do very well in the first two of the upwind legs each race with all excellent starts and often one of the first three to reach the windward mark, but he seemed to have problems with
the downwind runs and slowly lost positions to the three local Americans who really appeared to have the superior knowledge to use the currents and dominate the regatta. Amazingly three of them tied for first position, with Addison Hackstaff on top, with the Peruvian Alonso Collantes de Riglos – an excellent sailor – also enjoying 2 bullets, in 4th place. Findlay and American Patrick Shanahan tied for 5th place.

Invitational Worlds

As the Youth World Championship came to a close, the World Championship sailors were arriving at the venue and preparing for their event. Conditions were much more difficult for the World Championship sailors, as well as the Race Committee, which was Chaired by Pat Seidenspinner, and scoring by Beth Pennington. Very light winds and strong current predominated, with only three races completed after two days of racing. On day three, with no wind on the bay, the decision was made to postpone ashore.

This necessitated the planned lay day to be used for racing. Racing resumed on Thursday and Friday in light winds, and an additional five races were completed within Friday’s time limit. Closing strong to take the title was last year’s runner-up Alexander Zimmerman from Peru, Winners of the subgroups were: Female-Amanda Callahan; Youth-Jean Paul de Trazegnies; Grand Master-Ronald Mchlenry; and Master-David Mendelblatt.
The St. Petersburg Yacht Club provided an excellent venue. Management of racing and activities both on and off the water were superb and was coordinated by David Mendelblatt. The St. Petersburg Sailing Center staff is to be thanked for their professionalism, courtesy and competence in assisting and accommodating a great many sailors and the equipment that came with them. It was a huge success for the Sunfish Class to have this regatta and so many top sailors involved in the competition.

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

Youngest sailor
Top Master
Top WomanAmanda Callahan (USA)
Top Youth
Marco Polo Award
Sportsmanship AwardJim Koehler (USA)
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