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Sunfish Sail-In: A Colorful Bustle at Spanish Waters

Two years ago, on November 12 2005, a few enthusiast Sunfish sailors from “Watersport Vereniging Jan Sofat” (WSVJS) in Curacao realized their wish to bring as many Sunfish boats as possible on the water at the same time, by organizing a Sunfish Sail-In. The goal: fun for both sailors and non-sailing family members, and maybe a mention in the Guinness Book of Records. The initiative got a hearing when 42 Sunfishes showed up at WSVJS’ boat house—some brand new, others found in back yards, and stowaways patched up for the event. It was one big and happy bunch on the water!

Despite the success of the first edition, it was two years before the sequel to the new event on the Curacao sailing agenda. This time the four-man organization was well prepared but a bit disappointed when only 23 Sunfishes came to the start on November 17. It was a so-called Le Mans start, demonstrating the funny character of the event.

For those readers who don’t know: Curacao has many fanatic and skilled Sunfish sailors who score high at the world championships each year. They usually act fanatical when participating in local races, but now it’s only good fellowship. During the Sail-in participants are divided into groups, each with their own team color. Individual skills only add to a joint success, which surely makes it a joyful and relaxed day on the water.

The second Sunfish Sail-in was one of the events that marked the fortieth anniversary of the sailing club. The many flags on the dock gave it a festive touch, as did the sailors’ hats—on the organizers’ request, all participants wore a creative head piece, for which prizes could be won. That’s why cowboys, old “ladies”, devils, flower girls, builders, terrorists, and even Santas manned the boats, leaving outsiders wondering what was going on.

The green team won but that was of minor importance. The day ended with a photo shoot on the water and a nice meal together, while Sunfish guru Rudy Dovale amused all with his old times’ stories. And whether there will be a mention in the Guinness book or not….. nobody cares in Curacao!

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