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50 Years of Sunfish Racing

by Holly Hanselman on 7 Jun 2012
Sunfish on Lake Michigan 1963 - 50th Sunfish North American Open Championship unknown unknown
This summer the Lake Bluff Yacht Club in conjunction with the Waukegan Yacht Club will host the 50th Sunfish North American Open Championship.

The regatta will be sailed in the fresh waters of Lake Michigan off the beach in Waukegan, Illinois from August 2 to August 4, 2012. The Youth North American Championship will also be sailed in Waukegan from July 30 to August 1, 2012.


While we all remember Sunfish as the 'camp boats' with the colorful lateen rigged sails, they have been raced since their inception. In Waterbury, Connecticut friends Alexander 'Al' Bryan and Cortlandt 'Cort' Heyniger (the Al and Cort in Alcort) put a sail on a surfboard and by 1951 achieved the Sunfish akin to what we sail today. The first Sunfish North American Championship was held in 1963, making this the 50th regatta. By the early 1960’s the Sunfish had reached Lake Michigan. The Sunfish sailors in Lake Bluff, Illinois wanted organized racing so in 1962 they founded the Lake Bluff Yacht Club making this the 50th anniversary of the host club.

To all committed Sunfish racers, we are anxious to see you again. We also would love to see those of you who raced Sunfish once upon a time, and those of you who hold a warm spot in your heart for the boat whose fun-to-work ratio is perfect.

Waukegan is approximately 40 miles north of Chicago and is known as terrific destination for your entire family. An October Forbes.com article listed Chicago as the best of 'America’s Best Downtowns'. Waukegan also is close to a Six Flags Great America and Illinois Beach State Park.


The Notice of Race can be found on the LBYC website, lakebluffyachtclub.org/na2012. There is information regarding charter boats and lodging in the NOR.

Please contact us at regatta(at)lakebluffyachtclub.org.

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