“Sonar month” at the Noroton Yacht Club

Author:
Publish date:
Nearly 40 boats took part in this year’s nationals

Nearly 40 boats took part in this year’s nationals

It was “Sonar month” at the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, Connecticut, this past September, as it hosted not only the Sonar North American Championship regatta but the class’s team-racing Kirby Cup. Both events were also attended by famed Sonar creator Bruce Kirby, who is also a Noroton YC club member.

Sonar creator Bruce Kirby checks out a boat that got a bit too close to the competition

Sonar creator Bruce Kirby checks out a boat that got a bit too close to the competition

Winning this year’s nationals was the Noroton YC’s Karl Ziegler at the helm of Spitfire, making it his third time taking the title. Ziegler also won the Sonar world in 2015. Nearly 40 boats took part in the 2018 regatta.

Winning the Kirby Cup was a team from the New York Yacht Club, with Vineyard Haven coming in second and a pair of teams from the Norotan YC coming in third and fourth.

Just as interesting as the racing, if not more so, was what Kirby, now in his late 80s, had to say about the current state of naval architecture in an interview with the regatta’s sponsors, Jaguar and Land Rover.

According to Kirby, who also created the Laser and the Ideal 18 sloop: “Builders seem to be in a mad dash for speed. A boat is only better if it’s faster, like the new super multihulls and all the foiling hulls. I’d like to see new designs that don’t put owners lives at risk! I’m not sure the broad consumer market really values speed as much as current designers think they do. I don’t want to sound like a stick-in-the-mud, and I’ve always tried to stay abreast of modern concepts. I just wonder if flat-out speed adequately replaces the splash of the bow wave and the gentle heel of the hull. Do we really want boats that require crash helmets and flak jackets?”

All you other naval architects out there, take note! For more on the two events, visit norotonyc.org

Photos courtesy of Dan Tucker

December 2018

Related

02-'17-Trans-Atlantic_Downwind-Schralpin

At The Helm: Man Overboard!

Imagine this simple scenario: the boat’s powered up, sailing close-hauled in a building breeze under full sail. I come on deck as the skipper during the watch change to make sure the new crew is comfortable and the boat is properly set up for both the current conditions and ...read more

Promo-01-LEAD-MGR00321

Contrasting X-Yachts & Moody Cruisers

One of the most fascinating things about sailboats is the different ways that sailors, naval architects and builders will approach a single design problem. The result has been a bewildering array of rigs and hull forms over the years, and in the case of the two boats we’ll be ...read more

04-Yacht-anchored-in-front-of-one-of-Lastovo's-gunboat-tunnels-(3)

Cruising Charter to Croatia

As is the case with so much of the Mediterranean, to sail in Croatia is to take a journey through time. Centuries before the birth of Christ, Greeks traded amphoras of oil, wine and grain across these waters. During the first millennium, the Romans built lavish palaces and ...read more

m123728_13_01_171012_PMA_02901_9999

Alicante Announced as an Ocean Race Europe Stop

The Ocean Race Europe, a new event in offshore sailing, will include Alicante as one of four stopover cities. This European offshoot of the former Volvo Ocean Race will include the biggest change to the racing rules under the new title—fully crewed IMOCA 60s will join the ...read more

01-LEAD-doublehanded2

Preparing for a Doublehanded Race

A few months ago we took a look at the development and attraction of doublehanded racing (Two to Tango, June/July 2020). Hopefully, that served to whet your appetite. If so, the question becomes: “How do I get started? The good news, as we explained in Part 1, is that if you are ...read more

01-LEAD-Day-three---dolphins.-300-dpi

A Key Approach to Passagemaking

How you approach offshore sailing is key to the success of each passage. In addition, some of the most valuable, even crucial attitudes and skills may not be either learned or valued in everyday life on shore and may even fly in the face of talents that are greatly admired and ...read more

OceanVoyagesInstitute-2048

Point of SAIL: Mary Crowley of the Ocean Voyages Institute

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of the Ocean Voyages Institute, a not-for-profit based in California that has been both educating sailors and working to preserve the health of the world’s ocean ...read more

01-Ocean-Voyages-Institute_PHOTO-READY_1_pg

Tracking and Catching Plastic Waste

Plastic waste—in the form of everything from plastic soda bottles to abandoned fishing nets—constitutes a major threat to the health of the world’s oceans. Giving the immense size of an ocean, though, actually finding all the plastic floating around out there in a time-efficient ...read more