Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

Sunfish 2010 Season Starting Soon


The prime objective of our racing series is to have fun and encourage us all to leave our lawn maintenance, desk work and other chores and spend some time out on our beautiful Truesdale Lake.

A summer Sunfish series of 20 races will be held, with 2 races each Sunday, the first beginning at 1:30 p.m.  Practice & fun races will be held in June. The regular series on the 10 Sundays from July 4- September 5. (“President’s Cup special race on 9/6) Since we only count your best 10 races, you can win the series, and still miss 1/2 the races. If sufficient boats participate- two fleets will compete allowing beginners an easier learning experience otherwise beginners will also be given early starts and minimal rule enforcement.
Summer Sailstice fun races & warm up Sunday June 20: 1:30pm; non-racers welcome
Sign up at for a chance to win prices and/or buy T-shirts etc.
Full Moon regatta Saturday July 24, 8:45pm (all boats welcome – put a lantern on your dock)

The winner keeps the fleet trophy for a year.

Two official races will be run each Sunday.  A race will be canceled if no boat finishes within one hour of the start. The winner of the series will be determined by adding up the scores for each boat’s best 10 races out of a possible 20. Ties will be broken by counting the number of firsts.

1 point for starting  (register with race committee),
1 point for finishing
1 point for each boat you beat, 1/2 point for first place finish
Results posted at:

“The Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012” and Sunfish Class rules apply.
See If you want a good guide to racing rules, I recommend Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012) which is $21.45 on Amazon. It discusses most of the typical situations and uses illustrations to explain right away.

Summary of rules follows.
STARBOARD is the right side of the boat when you are looking forward
PORT is the opposite side of starboard – the left side.
STARBOARD TACK is when the wind is coming over the starboard side & the boom is on the port side.
WINDWARD is the side the wind is coming from; LEEWARD is the other side

Primary RIGHT OF WAY rules:
“Starboard”: A boat on starboard tack has right of way over a boat on port tack.

When Changing Tacks such that you will get right of way, the other boat must be given room to get out of the way and is not required to anticipate your getting right of way.

“Windward keep clear”:  When two boats are side by side on the same tack, the downwind (leeward) boat usually has right of way unless it overtook the windward boat from completely behind it or is too close to a race buoy. The leeward boat can come up into the wind. This applies at the start and a windward boat may not “barge” between a leeward boat and the windward starting buoy. The leeward boat can force the barging boat to take the wrong side of the starting buoy.

“Mark room” (formerly buoy room) Is a special rule that applies when sailing around any race buoy except the starting line buoys. There is a zone around each mark with a radius of 3 boat lengths. A boat enters the zone when it crosses into the zone. If two or more boats are overlapped when either boat’s bow gets within three boats lengths of a race buoy, the outside boat must keep clear of any overlapped inside boats. A boat establishing an inside overlap after the lead boat is into the 3 boat length area, does not get any right of way rights and must keep clear. One exception to the buoy room rule is when boats are on opposite tacks and one boat has to tack (as opposed to jibe) such as at the windward buoy; then the boat on starboard tack has right of way even within three boat lengths of the buoy.

Boats should avoid collisions. Rule 14 states: “ A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room (a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and (b) shall not be penalized under this rule unless there is contact that causes damage or injury “– Communicate: shout your intentions or ask questions to avoid a crash.

Penalty Turns:   if you foul another boat you must sail around in two complete circles (any size). If you hit a buoy you must make one circle (360 degrees). Turns should be done as soon as you are clear of other boats.

SAFETY Considerations:
Under NY law, one life jacket/person  should be on board each boat and children under age 12 must wear them.
And as stated in the official racing rules:
“1.2 Life-Saving Equipment and Personal Flotation Devices
A boat shall carry adequate life-saving equipment for all persons on board, including one item ready for immediate use, unless her class rules make some other provision. Each competitor is individually responsible for wearing a personal flotation device adequate for the conditions.”
The responsibility for a boat’s decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone.”

Disclaimer of Liability:
Competitors participate in the sailing races or regatta entirely at their own risk. See “Decision to Race” above. The organizers of the races will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with, prior to, during, or after the races or regatta.

CREW:  Adults may race with or without crew. Crews are highly recommended for children.

Need Parts? Check,; For hints, other races etc join the International Sunfish Association -248 673-2750, check

The regular weekend racers would be happy to help you learn to sail or to help you learn the racing rules. We can often provide a spare boat for those who would like to try out racing or for those who have weekend guests who know how to race and want to join in.

If you have any questions, please call  Mark Patek 763-8078, Jack Fles 763-3477, Ray Morse 763-5695


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