“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

Beneyteau-Excess12

Boat Review: Excess 12

Groupe Beneteau, builder of Lagoon catamarans, has introduced a new multihull line called Excess. The first of the boats to reach U.S. shores at the Annapolis boat show was the Excess 12, a 38ft 6in design based on the popular Lagoon 40. The thought process behind this new boat ...read more

Spindriftracing

Extreme Sailing: No Piece of Cake

It can be easy to take for granted the incredible performance of today’s most cutting-edge grand prix racing boats. The latest crop of full-foiling 75ft America’s Cup monohulls, for example, were all up on their foils and even successfully tacking within hours of their first ...read more

Solar-Dinghy-pump-photo

Gear: Solar Powered Dinghy Pump

Tired of forever finding your dinghy or open daysailer filled with water when you arrive to go sailing? For years, sailors and engineers have sought a solution to this seemingly eternal problem, and now it appears the folks at Sea Joule Marine may have finally found it in their ...read more

BestBoatPromo-03

Best Boats 2020

How’s this for a thought experiment: imagine setting a diminutive Tiwal 2 inflatable dinghy alongside a Catalina 545 cruiser? It would be hard to imagine two more different watercraft, and yet they are both still very much sailboats. They are also both winners in this year’s ...read more

Hanse-675

Video Tour: Hanse 675

This past fall at the Annapolis Sailboat show, we had a chance to catch up with Hanse’s  Maxim Neumann, who kindly provided us a tour of the company’s new flagship, the Hanse 675. An impressive, well-built production yacht that boldly ventures into maxi-yacht territory, the ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Be thrifty with propane  If you like to cook on board, the propane tanks supplied as standard with many modern yachts won’t get you far. Whether we bake bread or not, the one thing we all do is boil ...read more