Sailing and Racing Sunfish on Narragansett Bay – Sunfish Fleet
Do you remember sailing a Sunfish when you were young? Do you want to get back into sailing? Have you always wanted to learn the basics of small boat sailing? Are you interested in a fun, low-cost opportunity to race sailboats in Rhode Island?
Edgewood Yacht Club and Edgewood Sailing School can help get you back into sailing, or into sailboat racing, in an easy way with relatively low expense. Here’s how:
Edgewood Sailing School offers adult Sunfish sailing classes on weekends in the fall. This is a great time of year to sail. The water is still warm, the breeze is nice, the Brown University sailors are out on the water, and the busy summer has settled down. For $50 for each of 4 sessions ($200 total), we can teach you the basics of sailing a Sunfish, refresh your skills from years ago, and introduce you to Sunfish racing on the Providence River. The rates are less expensive for Edgewood Yacht Club members (see below). Check out www.edgewoodsailing.org for more information, or contact Catherine White at email@example.com.
Edgewood Yacht Club has an active Sunfish fleet of about 20 boats and hosts racing year-round on the Providence River and has a long tradition of competitive but friendly racing in Upper Narragansett Bay. If you’re interesting in joining you can reach out to our Membership Chair and learn more about becoming a member.
The Frozen Few … or the Frozen Many. From October through April, you can find 10 to 15 boats racing from 11am to 130pm nearly every Sunday. Sailors range in age from their early teens through their 60s, and include both men and women. The “Frozen Few,” which has grown to more than a few, kick off with an annual Columbus Day Regatta, sail on through the cold with a New Year’s Day Regatta and an Up from the Ashes Regatta (commemorating the return to the water a week after the 2011 clubhouse fire), and finish the season as the water and air are warming up. For the 2015-16 season, the fleet was fortunate to have Sunfish champion and Roger Williams University sailing coach Amanda Callahan, http://rwuhawks.com/coaches.aspx?rc=389, come by one Sunday to pass along greater racing knowledge, bringing with her Bill Brangiforte, another Sunfish champion and a long-time proponent of Sunfish racing. The cost of joining the Frozen Few? $50 for each of the three series (Fall, Winter, and Spring), or $125 for all three series, plus boat storage on the dock through any or all of the series. While it’s easy to store your boat on the dock and launch a few feet away, some sailors bring their boat to Edgewood for the racing each Sunday, and there is no cost for that. This is a terrific group of sailors who are always willing to help newer sailors out with tips on rigging, sailing, and race strategy. After sailing, you’ll often find the Frozen Few warming up over a hot meal as they swap stories of the day and hear the Race Committee announce results. Check out https://edgewoodsailing.org/racing/frozen-few for more information, or contact Stuart Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org or George Shuster email@example.com. Don’t believe us? Read a story in the Warwick Beacon article about the fleet, http://warwickonline.com/stories/new-eyc-clubhouse-to-soon-rise-from-bay-ashes,108736.
Summer Sunfish Sundays. Once the regular boating season begins, our Sunfish fleet gears up for Summer Sunfish Sundays, starting with a Father’s Day Regatta. We generally race right off the marina beginning in the late afternoon (see the EYC Activities Calendar for the correct time), with “dock starts” to maximize the potential for spectators. The Summer Sunfish series is limited to Edgewood Yacht Club members, and our summer series attracts sailors of all ages and several sets of parents and children, all competing against each other in good cheer. Members and guests often line the docks at the end of the marina to see the action. Contact Jim Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org or George Shuster at email@example.com for more information about Summer Sunfish Sundays, or go to https://edgewoodsailing.org/racing/summer-sunfish.
Sunfish Beyond Edgewood. You may remember Sunfish as the boats of summer camp on the lake, or the boats that were popular in the 70s and 80s but have been overtaken by newer boats. But Sunfish are by no means a thing of the past. The New England Region of the International Sunfish Class Association, https://www.sunfishclass.org/regions/c/new-england, is a robust organization hosting regattas and offering support to the class. In June 2016, Edgewood sent 5 boats, with sailors from their teens to their 40s, to the New England Regional Regatta in Barrington … while the competition was fierce, it was a lot of fun for “Team Edgewood” to race beyond its home waters.
Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry. Edgewood Sailing School can supply a boat for classes as you learn, and, when you’re ready to buy your own boat, we can help direct you to the best local sources for used Sunfish. Usually you can find a good used boat for between $1000 and $2000, ready to race, if you’re not up to buying a new boat from Laser Performance, http://shopna.laserperformance.com/sunfish/. We do not strictly enforce class rules at Edgewood, so it’s OK if you do not have all class-legal parts, and Intensity Sailing in Warwick is an inexpensive source of spare parts for our fleet, go to www.intensitysails.com.
Don’t think you can sail in the winter? It’s all about what you wear. We are happy to let you know the range of gear used by our sailors in all conditions, so you can prepare adequately for your time on the water. While we have a safety boat on the water in the winter, there are some days when it’s just too cold or too windy to sail—but there are also some sunny January days when being out on the water is the perfect antidote to a long winter!
Come Join Us to Sail and Race Sunfish!