Red carpet for Sonar North Americans

Published on September 11th, 2018

New York, NY (September 11, 2018) – The Jaguar Land Rover Sonar North American Championship on September 14-16 has attracted nearly 40 teams to Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT.

“We’ve got the best in the class here at the club where the Sonar was born, and the new clubhouse will really make for a great experience all weekend,” said Event Chair Scott MacLeod.

The event will showcase the beautiful new 10,000 sq. feet clubhouse to the Sonar fleet and the public. The project started in January of 2013 with careful evaluation, planning and design process. Building commenced in the Fall of 2016 and finished in May of this year.

Longtime club member Bruce Kirby, an internationally reknown yacht designer, created the Sonar at the request of the club in 1980. “We wanted a racing keelboat boat for the club that was family-friendly and comfortable, but also fast and easy to maneuver,” Kirby explained. “You can sail it alone, and it’s also ideal for a crew of four. It’s versatile, and over the years elite racers have found there a lot of tweaks and adjustments you can make in competition. It’s really a first-class racing boat.”

The North American Championship is held every other year in even numbered years, and the World Championship is held every other year in odd numbered years. Colin Gordon of the New York Yacht Club and Guilford, CT, won the event two years ago with a crew that included MacLeod and Tom
Kinney of Quantum Sails.

Many top sailors will be challenging the defending champion, including Noroton YC members Paul Steinborn, Karl Zeigler, and Noroton Fleet Captain John Bainton, as well as visiting sailors that include current Sonar World Champion Eric Voss of Rochester, NY, Brian Doyle from Hanover, NH, and 1976 Canadian Olympian and American’s Cup sailor Andreas Josenhans from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada.

There are also a number of top former college sailors, including 4-time All-American’s Erin Maxwell (Dartmouth ’01) and Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick (Brown ’17), as well as former Paralympian Rick Doerr (Silver Medalist at the 2016 Games in the Sonar class), all of whom are Noroton YC members.

“I’ve sailed on a lot of other large and small racing boats,” said Bainton. “What draws me and other top sailors to the Sonar is a combination of the very manageable size (23 feet), and the control and maneuverability you have on the water. You have great control of the boat, which makes for tighter, more exciting racing.”

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Source: Richard Matthews

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