Twelve teenagers representing seven nations set sail from Lake Bluff's Sunrise Beach this morning. They are taking part in the first-ever International Junior Sunfish Championship, an event sponsored by the Lake Bluff Yacht Club.
Competitors launched their boats Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, racing a 50-minute triangular course several times each day. As of 9 a.m. Sunday, only eight points separated the top five competitors with two or three races to go. "There's no runaway winner," said Fritz Hanselman, commodore of the Lake Bluff Yacht Club. "These are serious racers."
The event's website is providing race-by-race coverage. Click on: sunfishclass.org for specifics on weather conditions and who's ahead and who's behind. Link over to YouTube for a video promoting the competition, which will make you want to head down to the beach. And for more GazeboNews photos of Sunday's launch, hit the continue reading spot below.
The regatta includes nine boys and three girls ranging in age from
13 to 17 and representing Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican
Republic, Columbia, Venezuela and several states within the U.S. A
teenage boy from the Highland Park Yacht Club is the only local racer;
Mr. Hanselman said many U.S. junior sailors are racing for their high
school sailing teams this weekend.
The course varies according
to wind conditions (and wind conditions along Lake Michigan vary a
lot). While Friday brought little wind and lots of swell, things were
looking up for the sailors by Sunday morning even though it didn't seem
there was much of a breeze on the beach. "The bluffs protect the beach
from the wind," Mr. Hanselman explained. "You go out 800 feet and there
is a very good, steady wind with flat water."
In the photo below, a teen from Highland Park Yacht Club prepares to sail off.
The race is tight
And off they go…