Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sonar Class Association Newsletter


2016 was a very good year for the Sonar.


Highlighting the year were the Paralympics in Rio where 14 countries were represented in the Sonar class, racing for six days, competing for Gold. The Australian team of Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris put in a dominating performance taking the gold with just 26 points in 11 races. 

Silver wasn't decided until after the last race. In the end, taking the gun in the final race, the United States team of Rick Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund took silver with 44 points.

The bronze was decided by a tie breaker. With two bullets, the Canadian team including two-time Paralympic medalist Paul Tingley joined by Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes took the bronze over New Zealand's Andrew May, Richard Dodson and Chris Sharp.

Only 5 points separated the next four teams: Norway, Germany, Greece and Israel. All of which were in striking distance of the podium on the last day of racing.

Congratulations to all the competitors. 

2016 Paralympic medal winners

Prior to the Paralympics, the Para World Championships took place in Medemblik, The Netherlands.

With some foreshadowing for the Paralympics, the team of Rick Doerr, Hugh Freund and Brad Kendell (USA) won the gold medal.

A real fight to the finish, going into the final race only six points separated the top four boats. In the end, one point behind Team USA, winning the silver was the team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas (GBR). And only one point behind them, the bronze went to the Australian team of Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden.


In 2016, the SCA sanctioned six regattas in the US and Canada beginning with the Midwinter Championship held in conjunction with the St Petersburg, FL NOOD. Nine boats raced in nine races over three days. Three points separated the top three boats, Final results:

This was followed in May with the annual Tappan Zee Challenge, hosted by the Nyack Boat Club in Nyack NY. 

In June, the Atlantic Coast Championships took place at Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT. where 19 boats competed in four races over two days. Results:

Next up was the Canadian Nationals which is raced in conjunction with Chester Race Week. Hosted by Lunenburg Yacht Club, last year's race saw eight boats competing over seven races. Results:

The class Midwest Championships took place on September 16-18 as part of the Star of the North regatta, an annual event hosted by Wayzata Yacht Club on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.

Finally, the class held its North American Championship. The regatta was hosted by the Manhasset Bay yacht Club in Port Washington, NY. 15 boats raced in 15 races over three days. Seven different boats took the gun in at least one race.

Colin Gordon (Guilford, CT/NYYC) with TK and Scott MacLeod (Noroton Yacht Club) won the event in the fifteenth and final race. Team 506 was consistent in difficult conditions, which began Friday after a shore postponement due to high winds. Friday’s three races challenged the fleet to keep upright—especially in race two when the winds were NE 20+ with some gusts reaching 30kts. On top of the velocity were the shifty conditions that are common in Manhasset Bay in a northeasterly. While the marks stayed at a consistent 65 degrees, the wind did not. The shifty conditions persisted the entire regatta even as the wind diminished to 3-6 knots by Sunday.

Congratulation to Team 506...

One more thing... Peter Galloway is someone who has been very instrumental in the development of the Sonar as well as the class. He has won many championships including the north american championship seven times. He first won the award in 1985. His Sonar related accomplishments are too numerous to name them all but include:

-Class president
-Class measurement chairperson and continued certifier
-Designer of the Sonar Class association logo
-Proponent and representative of the Sonar class for World Sailing certification and approval.    
-Redesigned and created the keel and rudder fairing templates, and subsequent new specifications for all boats  
-Proponent of the Sonar as the Paralympic class boat
-Coach to the Paralympic team
-Designer of the Harken Ratchamatic block that's standard equipment on new boats.

Given Peter's contributions to the boat and class, the executive committee voted unanimously to rename the trophy awarded to the north american champion the Peter Galloway trophy.

Congratulations Peter!


The class held its Annual General Meeting at the North American Championship. To see a summary of the president's remarks, click on HERE. 


2016 was a good year for new Sonar production. We built and delivered a total of 16 new boats, all in the United States.

The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY took delivery of a fleet of 13 new Sonars, to be used in their adult learn-to-sail and community sailing programs. Using their new Rondar Raceboats Sonars, the WFC held an adaptive match racing clinic and regatta organized together with the Claggett Foundation, Wounded Warriors and Oakcliff Sailing Center.

We also delivered two new Sonars to private owners in Orient Point, eastern Long Island, NY, as they work towards developing a new local fleet.

The Claggett Foundation delivered a new Sonar to the Y-Knot program on Lake George, NY as the first of their boat grants. Expect to see this boat traveling to regattas in the northeast US.

If you'd like to learn more about a new Sonar for yourself or a friend, please contact Dan Tucker at Used Sonars are in great demand, so it's a great time to think about treating yourself to a new Sonar!


Once again the class will sanction six fleet racing and two team race regattas. To see a calendar, click on the 2017 Regatta Schedule tab at the top of the page.

2017 is highlighted by our World Championships, hosted by the Lunenburg Yacht Club in Lunenburg. Nova Scotia, Canada. The event will take place from September 6- 10.

Anyone who has sailed in this area knows just how fantastic this venue is. Weather there in Sept. is about as optimal as you can get. The water temp. is still swimmable, the nights are cool, and the days are shorts and t-shirt worthy.  The breeze is great.  Traditionally it is still sea breeze driven i.e. land heats up by noon and a SW of 10-15 kts kicks in.  It lasts longer into the evening in Sept. The neat part of the Sept. breeze is that they get a gradient in the morning.  Not always but usually.  It wouldn't surprise anyone there to have the PRO get a race in well before noon (breeze coming about 340 degrees), wait a short time and sail the remainder of the day in a very steady 210 degree wind of 10-15 kts. In short, it is one of the best times to sail in Mahone Bay.


Sonar Midwinter Championship.

Helly Hansen/NOOD Regatta at St Petersburg Yacht Club, February 17 - 19.  This regatta is sure to make you smile.  Maybe because you left the cold and snowy north to enjoy the warm sunny south. Maybe you love the excitement of a multiple class regatta; all those boats, all those sailors, all that partying.  Speaking of that we know that the St. Petersburg Y.C. with it’s wonderful facilities will put a smile on your face.

St. Petersburg Yacht Club has charter boats available. If interested, please contact Shawn Macking at

To register go to


The measurement status for (nearly) all Sonars can be found on From the home page, select Measurement Status, then find your boat number - it's that easy! Click on your boat number to download a PDF version of your personal measurement certificate.


World Champs Yacht Scoring site:
SCA Website: