Lake Sunapee Cruising Fleet

About Us

Sailing is not just a sport; it’s an adventure, a dance with the wind and waves. The essence of this thrill is captured magnificently in the structure of sailing racing fleets, particularly those that feature distinct divisions like Division 1 and Division 2. This unique setup offers a broad range of sailors, from the highly skilled to the enthusiastic amateurs, an opportunity to compete and enjoy the sport in a fair and exciting environment.

Division 1: The Fast and the Furious

Division 1 is where the adrenaline pumps at its highest. This division is typically reserved for fast Sonar boats, renowned for their speed and agility. What makes these boats stand out is their use of the spinnaker, a large, balloon-like sail that helps capture more wind and thus increases the boat’s speed, especially when sailing with the wind. Flying a spinnaker requires skill and precision, making Division 1 a playground for experienced sailors who relish in technical mastery and high-speed competition.

The sight of Sonar boats with their spinnakers billowing is nothing short of spectacular. As they race through the water, they create a vibrant spectacle of color and speed. It’s a true test of sailing prowess, where strategy, teamwork, and a deep understanding of wind and water conditions come into play.

Division 2: The Mighty and Motley Bunch

Division 2 offers a platform for a wider range of boats and sailors. This division is open to all boats that do not fly a spinnaker. The key here is the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) handicap system, which levels the playing field by assigning each boat a rating based on its potential speed. This rating is then used to adjust the actual finishing times, ensuring a fair competition regardless of the boat type.

The PHRF system is a brilliant way to encourage participation from various types of sailors and boats. Whether it’s a family cruising yacht, a classic sloop, or a modern racer-cruiser, all have a place in Division 2. This inclusivity is vital for the sailing community, allowing more people to experience the joy and challenge of racing.

The Community and the Competition

What truly makes these divisional races special is the sense of community they foster. Sailors of different backgrounds and skill levels come together, sharing their passion for the sea and sailing. The camaraderie among sailors, the shared experiences of battling the same gusts and waves, create bonds that often last a lifetime.

Additionally, these races are not just about winning; they are about learning, improving, and enjoying the sport. For beginners, it’s an opportunity to learn from more experienced sailors. For veterans, it’s a chance to mentor and share their love for sailing.

A Race for Everyone

The divisional structure in sailing racing fleets, with Division 1 for the fast, spinnaker-flying Sonar boats, and Division 2 open to all with a handicap system, creates a racing environment that is as inclusive as it is exciting. It caters to a diverse range of sailors, ensuring that everyone, from the seasoned racer to the weekend enthusiast, finds a place in this exhilarating world of sailing.

So, whether you’re at the helm of a swift Sonar or a leisurely cruiser, the water calls. It’s a call to adventure, to competition, to friendship. It’s what makes sailing not just a sport, but a way of life.