2004 Green Pond 2004 Spruce Run 2004 Lake Hopatcong 2004 Highland Lakes 2004 Junior Championship 2004 Overall Championship

SANJL@Green Pond
A cold gray day greeted 33 Sunfish Sailors for the conclusion of the 25th annual SANJL Sunfish Championship. The mysterious windshifts of Green Pond set the stage for some intriguing racing as sailors had to again decide between sailing in more air on the right or taking advantage of some large lifts on the left. In the end, it was Steve Manson claiming his 20th SANJL title, but not before fighting off a strong challenge from runner-up Doug Brown. Steve and Doug finished 3 out of 4 regattas in this year's series in points ties showing that the competition at the front was very close. Junior sailor Joe Strumolo claimed the Challenger Trophy capping off a strong season in which he finished 5th at the Mid-Atlantics and 7th at the North American Junior Championships. He also won the 2004 SANJL award for most improved sailor.
See Complete Championship Standings

Derek Jackson easily won the regatta. He showed great skill by tacking to port early and leading the fleet to the right in more air. Most importantly he knew when to dig back and consolidate his advantages. In second place, as usual, Doug Brown and Steve Manson tied, but this time they were joined by Mark Buruchian, all with 26 points.

The Green Pond Yacht Club did a fantastic job hosting the event. It was great to see a large number of their sailors borrow boats to participate! Thank you to all involved.
See Complete Standings


SANJL@Spruce Run
The first leg of the North Jersey Championship series was sailed in brisk winds. Racing was tight with long windward legs and large wind shifts. Race committee chairman Mark Buruchian did an excellent job getting in four back to back races. The fleet (33 boats) was scored in two separate divisions. Steve Manson finished first in the Championship division and Megan Keating finished first in the Challenger division. Check out the complete race results.

SANJL@Highland Lakes
The first leg of the SANJL Championship was sailed in strong breezes at Highland Lakes. Doug Brown showed good speed in the last two heavy air races to take the regatta. Numerous breakdowns and capsizes highlighted a challenging day of sailing as the fleet got in an early season workout.

The Challenger division was won by Dave Hilgendorff. He was followed closely by Nathan Maier the defending SANJL Junior Champion. Both sailors will move up to the Championship division based on their regatta finishes.

A review of the standings shows that 5 out of the top 6 finishers are all regulars in the Wednesday Night Sunfish Series at The Hunterdon Sailing Club. They must be doing something right down there! In fact HSC Wednesday Nighters had 12 sailors racing in the event. If you want to improve your Sunfish racing, it looks like HSC is a great place start.
See Complete Standings.


SANJL@Lake Hopatcong
Day two was sailed out of Lee's Marina on Lake Hopatcong. The weather was outstanding, warm with a strong west breeze. Thank you to Woody and the boys from the Jefferson Sailing Club who did an outstanding job hosting the event.

The racing itself was challenging. Sailors had to make difficult decisions on the long windward legs...go left in more breeze, or go right to catch an inside shift and maybe sail a shorter course. Generally those who opted for the right side did better...but not always. The motor boats on the lake provided quite a bit of chop for the racers to contend with. There was no substitute for experience when it came to picking your way through the lumpy water and keeping your Sunfish moving. The fast boats were powered up and did a lot of footing through the small waves.

Steve Manson won the event followed closely by intercollegiate sailor Bill Betts III with Derek Jackson in third. In the Challenger division, Megan Keating, last year's division winner finished first. Ray Buchanan edged out Byron Hicks for second despite Byron's strong 3rd place finish in the second race.
Check-Out the Complete Standings.



SANJL 2004 Junior Series - Final Overall Standings

Congratulations to Kevin Buruchian of Highland Lakes. He put together a string of first place finishes to claim his 5th SANJL Junior Championship. The top of the fleet is now of a very high standard, including two former SANJL Junior Champions, the 4th and 5th place finishers at this year's Sunfish Junior North Americans, and the 2004 Alcort Fleet Champion from the NAs. Kevin did an excellent job to win over such tough competition. Justin Murphy dominated the Midget fleet and served notice that Highland Lakes will continue to be a force in SANJL for years to come.

The final event of the 2004 SANJL Junior Series at Smoke Rise went off with a bang. The bang of a huge thunderstorm. The weather forecast wasn't good, which kept the attendance down to only a dozen enthusiastic sailors. Of these, 5 were Midget sailors including 3 from host club Smoke Rise sailing in their first regatta.

The first two races were dominated by former SANJL Junior Champion Kevin Buruchian. In the first he did a horizon job on the fleet and won by a considerable margin. In the second race, Kevin Murphy gave him a close race, but at the finish Kevin Buruchian crossed first. The enthusiastic crowd of parents and helpers had a great view of almost all the racecourse except when the racers went behind the island. Is this the only venue where the racecourse actually circles a church?

The third race was started before lunch but was abandoned as the rumbles of an approaching thunderstorm were heard.  Our hosts from Smoke Rise served hamburgers and hot dogs in the rain.  We waited for the first storm to pass but a check of the weather forecast confirmed that more severe weather was on the way, so the regatta was abandoned.

When the scores were totaled on soggy paper, it was confirmed that Kevin B. had won with Kevin Murphy in second place and Nate Maier in third. In the Midget fleet, Teddy Wells took first place followed by Shannon Buruchian and Smoke Rise sailor Taylor Gaw.

See Complete Smoke Rise Standings


SANJL 2004 Junior Series -
Highland Lakes 07/24/04

In spite of the forecast for rain all day, there was excellent weather - no rain, sun in the afternoon, and a brisk wind blowing down the lake from the North with some interesting lefty and righty shifts thrown in just to make it interesting. There were also 4 kids sailing in their first regatta, continuing the SANJL tradition of giving junior sailors their first taste of regatta sailing. We were pleased to welcome our first junior sailor for many years from Swartswood Lake, Becky Hasko; as well as an international competitor, Charles Meriot from France. Brittany Parak and Shannon Buruchian - who usually sail together in the double-handed fleet at Highland Lakes tried out single-handed Sunfish sailing and had a close duel for one of the Midget trophies. (What was that name again? Yes - another Buruchian, 10-year-old Shannon, is starting to add to the family collection of SANJL trophies!) View the standings.

SANJL 2004 Junior Series -
Green Pond 08/07/04
The Green Pond Junior SANJL on Aug 7 was a typical GPYC day. Or at least typical of those days when the wind comes from the West and swirls round the mountain and dumps air in random directions and quantities at unpredictable places on the lake. There were gusts, there were big holes in the wind, there were huge shifts. Sometimes it was mainly from the NW - other times mainly from the SW. The race committee struggled bravely to set fair courses and the sailors struggled even more. At times it seemed like luck played a huge role - but it was interesting to see how the same sailors always seemed to end up at the front of the fleet by the end of the race.

Feedback from the regatta coach at lunchtime and comments from the leading junior sailors after the event highlighted the keys to success in these conditions.

1. Always be looking for where the wind is strongest and sail a course to be in the gusts even if this means major deviations from the rhumb line.

2. The wind will shift and shift again and do it every few seconds. Deal with it. Trim your sail or change your course to adjust to the changing wind quickly. The regatta winner commented that he had his eyes glued to his wind indicators all day.

3. Win the starts.

4. Other things being equal, be on the lifted tack. In such a shifty wind you need to tack often and tack well. Great roll tack technique by the top few sailors.

18 sailors from 5 different home lakes - 14 juniors and 8 midgets - survived the tricky conditions. 6 of these were sailing in their first Sunfish regatta. Kevin Buruchian was in the zone and scored 3 bullets in 4 races to win the Junior Fleet from Nate Maier. Ben Dolci from Highland Lakes, sailing for the first time away from his home lake, had a very consistent day to finish third in the Junior Fleet ahead of some very experienced competition. In the Midget Fleet, Justin Murphy and Justin Chang once again finished first and second, with Jeff Thomas of Green Pond, sailing in his first regatta, taking third place. See the complete standings.

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