SI Vault
 
SET A SAIL ON A SURFBOARD
Hugh Whall
December 16, 1963
Despite the sneers of crusty traditionalists who claim that they are not even boats, the chipper little craft pictured here at Darien, Conn. have set a whole new style in sailing
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
December 16, 1963

Set A Sail On A Surfboard

Despite the sneers of crusty traditionalists who claim that they are not even boats, the chipper little craft pictured here at Darien, Conn. have set a whole new style in sailing

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

Not content to use their new craft as just another boat for another race, the Bermuda Sunfishers have devised some zany new racing twists. One is to fly kites from the sterns of Sunfishes while sailing around the course. Another more violent one is Sunfish water polo. For more ambitious Bermudians there are relay events, in which the Sunfishes sail twice around a triangle, picking up new skippers at each mark. As each one clambers aboard, his predecessor is demoted to crewman and serves as ballast until the boat built for two is laboring under the weight of six or more.

Perhaps the most heroic of all Sunfish skippers is Bermuda's Colin Curtis. Racing his Sunfish one day last year with a dazzling young thing for crew, Curtis was nonplussed to find he had lost his daggerboard somewhere ashore. As this piece of equipment is indispensable for beating to windward and since "home" lay that way, Curtis and his crew were in a bind. But Curtis is made of stern stuff, and instead of flapping aimlessly around or getting a tow back he ran downwind to one of the islands that dot Harrington Sound, swam to another island in search of a rowboat, found one, rowed to land, flagged a taxi, drove to the Yacht Club, borrowed a spare daggerboard, taxied back, rowed back to the island, left the rowboat where he had found it, swam back to his Sunfish and his comely crew—board in hand—and finished the race.

Let those who would sail only in cup defenders match that, say the men of the Sunfish.

1 2 3