Every weekend, late-June through August, we race single-hull boats: Stars, Thistles, Lasers, FlyingJuniors, N-10's, and Optimists. We also run a mixed-class, PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet)race, so virtually any boat with a sail can join in on the fun!
Participation is easy: Come on over to the club on a weekend! Sailors alwaysneed extra crews (noexperience required) or you might find a pleasant ride in a motor vessel helping on asafety patrol boat.
Beyond weekend racing, our Junior Program sailors train most weekdays, and NLGYC usually hosts aregatta or two each summer. They are always posted on our club calendar.
The International Star (or Starboat) is a 6.9 m (22.7 ft) one-design racing keelboat for two people.
The boat must weigh at least 671 kg (1479.3 lb) with a maximumtotal sail area of 26.5 m2 (285 ft2). It is sloop-rigged, with amainsail larger in proportional size than any other boat of its length.Unlike most modern racing boats, it does not use a spinnaker whensailing downwind. Instead, when running downwind a whisker poleis used to hold the jib out to windward for correct wind flow. EarlyStars were built from wood, but modern boats are generally madeof fiberglass.
The Star class pioneered an unusual circular boom vang track,which allows the vang to effectively hold the boom down evenwhen the boom is turned far outboard on a downwind run.Another notable aspect of Star sailing is the extreme hikingposition adopted by the crew and at times the helmsman, whonormally use a harness to help hang low off the windward side ofthe boat with only their lower legs inside.
The Star was designed in 1910 by Francis Sweisguth—draftsmanfor William Gardner’s Naval Architect office—and the first 22 werebuilt in Port Washington, New York by Ike Smith during the winterof 1910-11. Since that time, over 8,400 boats have been built. TheStar has been an Olympic Games class since 1932. Although farfrom a modern design, the class remains popular today, with about 2,000 boats in active racing fleets in North America and Europe.
The Thistle is a high performance one-design racing dinghy, also used for day sailing, popular in the United States. The current hullconfiguration uses a glass-reinforced polyester molded boat withwooden rails, centre board trunk, thwart, fore grating, and aftgrating. The spars were once made from spruce, but are now ofentirely extruded aluminum construction.
Thistle hulls are relatively light for their size; they have no deckingor spray protection, which saves weight. The sail plan is large for aboat of this size, consisting of a marconi rig with a main, jib, andsymmetrical spinnaker. The sail plan is larger for the boat’s weightthan in many other dinghies, which makes Thistles performextremely well in light wind. Their hulls have wide, roundedbottoms, allowing the boats to plane in winds as low as 10 knots. Itis not uncommon to see thistles efficiently making their way, whileother dinghys of similar design are becalmed.
Thistles are generally raced with a three person crew: a skipper, amiddle, and a forward person. The optimal total crew weight isgenerally 450 lb to 480 lb (US) depending on wind. The crewweight, however, is generally not the deciding factor in determiningthe outcome of the races. In fact, class rules do not limit crewweight. In all but the strongest winds, an experienced two personcrew can manage the boat. Hiking straps are permitted for eitherdroop or straight leg hiking, but a trapeze is not. The class isgenerally family friendly, though experienced sailors will still be challenged at the higher levels of competition.
The International Laser Class sailboat, also called Laser Standard and the Laser One is a popular one-design class of small sailingdinghy. According the Laser Class Rules the boat may be sailed byeither one or two people, though it is rarely sailed by two. Thedesign, by Bruce Kirby, emphasizes simplicity and performance. Thedinghy is now manufactured by several boat manufacturersworldwide.
The Laser is one of the most popular single-handed dinghies in theworld. By 2010, the number of boats produced was approaching200,000. A commonly cited reason for its popularity is that it isrobust, simple to rig and sail. The Laser also provides verycompetitive racing due to the very tight class association controls which eliminate differences in hull, sails and equipment.
The International Flying Junior or FJ is a sailing dinghy which was originally designed in 1955 in Holland by renowned boat designerVan Essen and Olympic sailor Conrad Gülcher. The FJ was built toserve as a training boat for the then Olympic-class FlyingDutchman. The FJ has a beam of 4’11” and an overall sail area of100 square feet (9.3 m2). These dimensions make the FJ an idealclass to teach young sailors the skills of boat handling and racing.
In 1960 the Flying Junior formed its own class organization and bythe early 1970s the Flying Junior was accorded the status of anInternational Class by the International Yacht Racing Union, thepre-cursor to the International Sailing Federation. This statusindicates that the class applies to strongly restricted class rules andholds regularly scheduled international regattas.
Today the FJ is sailed in Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy, Belgium,The Netherlands, and the United States. In the US, many highschool sailing and Intercollegiate Sailing Association programs ownfleets of FJs. The college and high school programs in the US use aversion of the FJ known as the Club FJ. This boat is slightlydifferent from the International FJ in that it does not use Trapezeand it has a smaller, non-spherical Spinnaker.
Although the FJ resembles other sailing dinghies, the dimensions of the hull allow it to sail closer to the wind than many other models.
The NATIONAL 10 class was originally known as the TURNABOUT CLASS, built in 1953 by Harold R.Turner as a small wooden singleor double handed dinghy class. Many boats were kit built by “do ityourselfers” in their garages or cellars.
The boats were initially built as a junior training boat, althoughadults enjoy the boats as well. The class has grown mainly in theNew England and Northeastern regions of the U.S. Fleets arelocated in Northern Lake George, New York, Boston,Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Jersey.
In 1972 the TURNABOUT CLASS formally changed it’s name to the“NATIONAL 10″ class. It also decided to refine the class byapproving a new mold, designed as close as possible to the originalwooden design. This was accomplished by J.R.Duplin Marine in1972, with some major improvements, including aluminum spars.The minimum class weight of 215 lbs was increased to 255 lbs tokeep both the older Parker River turnabout, the woodies, and the new Duplin National 10’s more competitive.
The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15. Nowadays boats are usuallymade of fiber reinforced plastic, although wooden boats are stillbuilt.
It is one of the most popular sailing dinghies in the world, with over130,000 boats officially registered with the class and many morebuilt but never registered.
The Optimist is recognized as an International Class by theInternational Sailing Federation.
The International Optimist is sailed in over 100 countries by over160,000 skippers and it is the only yacht approved by theInternational Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16. Atthe Beijing Olympics, 85% of medal winning skippers were former Optimist dinghy sailors.