Sunfish Class Having a Youth Movement

Published on May 7th, 2017

The Sunfish, a singlehanded boat equally adept at daysailing and international competition, is having a youth movement. The United States Sunfish Class Association has established the Sunfish Youth Foundation (SYF) to help introduce young sailors to the Sunfish and encourage more Youth to sail Sunfish competitively.

As the boat is equally adept at casual sailing and world championship competition, the US class is eager to secure its future. While the Laser gets a lot of the attention, the Sunfish offers an established alternative, and the mission of SYF is to provide financial support for youth sailors who wish to attend local, national and world championship regattas.

Some forward-thinking Class members at the 2014 Sunfish North Americans in Mississippi started a Pay It Forward tradition of collecting cash in a jar to be used to help offset the cost of Youth registration fees at the next year’s North Americans. At the North American Championships in Dallas alone, over $600 was collected.

These funds have been used to pay entry fees for youth sailors to participate in recent nation and world events. So the concept has been tried, tested and proven to be successful.

Donations made to the SYF will allow the US class to sponsor more activities that promote Sunfish sailing such as on- and off-the-water sailing clinics, rigging and go-fast seminars, youth travel subsidies to major competitions and publish/mail promotional materials to Clubs with a Junior Sailing Program to name just a few possibilities.

Along with establishing the SYF to help fund these additional activities, the class is encouraging its members not only to donate but to also help organize Youth activities at their sailing clubs. It is an important initiative for one design classes to secure its future, and the Sunfish class is rolling up their sleeves.

For the competitive kid, the class is very enticing. From the annual World Championship to the Pan American Games, which the Sunfish has been an event since 1999, the opportunity is there to compete at a high level. And what’s not to like about a boat that doubles as a casual cruiser? The class hopes that kids will dig the alternative.

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