Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sonar Class Association Newsletter


Just a friendly reminder for those who have not renewed your class membership. Our grace period ends at the end of the month. Beginning April 1, only current 2017 members will have access to the class site, receive the newsletter and be allowed to participate in sanctioned regattas, including the 2017 World Championships.

Please consider renewing today at

Southern Bay Race Week:

The class has added the 2017 Souther Bay Race week to its calendar.

SBRW has grown into the largest and most significant regatta on the Southern Chesapeake Bay...and beyond. With 102 boats distributed among three racing circles, they have something for everyone...and at an amazingly low cost. Click the links below for some information about their racing program, on-shore offerings, and the incredible cost savings they offer...




Fleet 23, Nyack Boat Club, Nyack NY

We race on the beautiful Hudson River immediately north of the new and still under-construction Tappan Zee Bridge.   Our fleet is small, it is only seven boats, ranging from number 408 to 539, but it is seven very competitive boats; most of which are on the starting line every Sunday and are competitive enough to provide an occasional “photo finish”.   Our sailing season runs Sunday’s from mid-May through mid-October complimented by our club’s holiday weekend regattas.  We manage to get in about 70 races a season.  Our 2016 fleet champion was Team 457, Ken Kolkebeck, Gary Tenenbaum, Lou Kalmar.

Our signature event is our annual  Tappan Zee Challenge regatta. Historically the first regatta on the Sonar regatta schedule.  The TZC regatta will be held on June 24 and 25.  Please consider joining us this year.  We will have a full day of racing Saturday followed by apres-sail  party.   Sunday racing will start early and conclude early enough to get you home for dinner.   For over 10 years, as part of the regatta, the Nyack Boat Club and our fleet in conjunction with The Helen Hayes Hospital runs a program, a clinic,  introducing and promoting adapted sailing to people with disabilities, and to rehabilitation professionals.  The program starts with an on-land introduction to adaptive sailing, what is it about, what to expect, how one does it, etc. and concludes with an afternoon of them sailing with us on the Hudson River.  The sailing clinic is the afternoon of Friday June 23.  You are invited to join us for this clinic as well as the TZC regatta.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, Jim Boughton, Fleet 23 Fleet Captain at


Top of mind for all fleets is how to build membership to get more boats out racing. Fleet 1 at Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT is lucky enough to have Bruce Kirby as a member so it is natural that they have a strong Sonar Fleet. In this case, they have 31 boats in their dry sail area and regularly get half or more on-the-line on Sunday afternoon.

Still it didn't just happen by itself. The club made a conscience effort to attract new members and new Sonar sailors through two initiatives... Crew training and team racing.

They run an annual crew training seminar which includes a "chalk talk" in the morning, rigging then fun races in the afternoon, culminating with "Beer on the Pier." All at no charge. The seminar is well attended with about 20 students each year. Normally two or three will come back for more racing with one or two becoming regulars, and eventually, members.

The Sonar is a perfect boat for team racing. Team racing is a form of competitive sailing preferred by many younger sailors, although it is catching on with the more "experienced" sailor as well. A strong team race program will attract new sailors, new club members and new Sonars to the fleet. And, as it is a whole new way to race, energize current members.

Since beginning these programs, Noroton's Sonar fleet has grown by about 50%!


New to our event list:

Independence Cup
Hosted by Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation
Location: Burnham Harbor, Chicago IL
Dates: 7/27/2017 - 7/30/2017
2.4 mR (Singlehanded), Freedoms (Doublehanded) and Sonars (Triplehanded) with coaches/racing clinic.  An excellent fleet of JGASF boats in all three classes available at no charge.   In addition to boats, housing and transportation is available, thanks to our gracious sponsors.  You’ll be our guest at the Annual JGASF Independence Gala, a great barbecue and more.  Join us for a fantastic weekend of fun as we continue our tradition of remarkable Midwestern hospitality.

Registration is now open:


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.


The Calendar tab on the SCA website is a great planning tool. Here you can find dates and contact information for all regattas including fleet racing, team racing and 2-sail events.


Staying in touch with the class is easier than ever. In addition to the our website,, check us out on Facebook and Twitter...

We have a Facebook page we encourage you to "Like.":

A Twitter page for you to "follow.":