Visit Pensacola

Ziegler Leads at Sonar NA’s

Published on September 14th, 2018

Darien, CT (September 14, 2018) – The first day of the Jaguar Range Rover Sonar North American Championship saw easterly winds at 10-13 knots and strong currents push the fleet of 37 boats to some exciting, sometimes rugged moments of racing on Long Island Sound.

“We have a great boat and an amazing team,” said Spitfire skipper Karl Ziegler of Noroton YC, the overall leader after four races today. “We’ve sailed together for a number of years and have great chemistry.”

Ziegler had finishes of 2nd, 1st, 5th and 1st in the four races, which put him at the top of the fleet. Ziegler’s core crew includes Bill Crane and Greg Stephens (Libby Alexander is the third crew member and is new to the team). He has won the North Americans twice before: in 1993 while sailing for Connecticut College (420s and FJs), and again in 1999. He also won the 2015 Sonar Worlds in Falmouth, MA.

“I’ve never sailed with Libby before,” said Ziegler. “Her calm demeanor and total focus fit right in with vibe of the team and we had a great day out there.”

After a terrific day of fairly consistent easterly wind, the expected weather shift may mean the event will be decided by the best light air sailors on the water, which is forecast for the remaining two days of the championship.

Ziegler feels his team excels in these conditions, and expects challenges from Colin Gordon, Ed Sweeney, Erin Maxwell (Olympic 470 sailor and four-time Collegiate All-American), and Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick (four-time Collegiate All American).

Libby Alexander (then Libby Connolly) crewed for Scott MacLeod in 1986 on Spitfire, the same boat Ziegler is sailing this week (MacLeod is crewing for defending North Americans champion Gordon). MacLeod and Alexander won the Sonar North Americans that year, and Alexander says this is the first time she’s been on the boat since.

Racing for the 2018 Sonar North American Championship is scheduled for September 14-16.

Event detailsEntry listFacebook

About the Sonar Class
The Sonar is a 23 foot (seven meter) one-design keelboat for three to five people. It is bermuda-rigged, with a large mainsail and a 100% jib. World Sailing recognizes the class. The Sonar showcased disabled sailing at the 1996 Paralympic Games where the sport was a demonstration event with only the Sonar boat. The Sonar went on to be the three person keelboat at every subsequent Paralympics through 2016. When being sailed by disabled it is crewed by 3, and sailed without a spinnaker. Instead, when running downwind a whisker pole is used to hold the jib out to windward for maximum exposed sail area. The Sonar is well suited for disabled sailing because of its large open cockpit making adaptations easy.

The Sonar was designed in 1980 by Bruce Kirby, designer of the popular Laser dinghy. Since then, over 800 boats have been built. Most of the fleets are in the USA, with smaller fleets in Britain and Canada. Since its adoption as a Paralympic class the Sonar has spread to many other countries as well. The Sonar was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame in 2004.

Source: Richard Matthews

comment banner

Tags: ,

Back to Top ↑

Get Your Sailing News Fix!

Your download by email.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We’ll keep your information safe.