Cape Gazette
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Lots of Sunfish and some great big fish

By Dennis Forney | Oct 07, 2013
Photo by: Dennis Forney A windward start in Sunday's practice races.

LEWES, DELAWARE — MONDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2013 - Autumn

Dozens and dozens of Sunfish sailors from around the world drove into Lewes over the weekend ahead of this week's 2013 world championship Sunfish regatta.

Sunday crowned a week of exceptional fall weather and the sailors took to Delaware Bay for practice starts and races. The sight was impressive.  Seventy or more brand new Sunfish sailboats sported colorful sails emblazoned with the iconic lighthouses that will be the backdrop to this week's racing.

When you get this many top-notch sailors together for racing, the starts look like choreographed sailing with all of them hitting the line within fractional seconds of one another and the starting horns.

But no one wants to win a practice race and those watching closely could see some of the sailors pulling back at some of the marks. It's widely considered bad luck to win a practice race.  Everyone wants to save their wins for the races that count.

Sunday may have been the nicest day for racing, with plenty of sunshine and south wind.  Word is the sailors were able to get one race in on Monday before the storms rolled through.  The winds are expected to shift around to the north Monday night and hunker down into the northeast quadrant for much of the remainder of the week of sailing.

Those conditions on Delaware Bay will test any sailor's ability.

While the sailors were finishing their practice rounds Sunday, two Sussex spearfishermen - Chase Eberle and Henry Bennett - were landing two big black drum, a nice-sized striper and several meaty tautog at the Lewes Public Launching Ramp on the Broadkill.  They had taken advantage of the nice weather and the clear water of high tide to swim the rocks at the Harbor of Refuge wall where they saw and bagged lots of fish.

Here are some photos of the sailors and the fishermen.

A group of Sunfish sailors, looking like a flock of cardinals, crowd the windward mark during one of Sunday's practice races.
I shot this photo into the sun when a few of the Sunfishes had just rounded the downwind mark.
And here are a couple of more sailors with their craft backlit.  I love the light.
Chase, left, and Henry display the bounty of their Sunday spearfishing expedition to the outer wall at Cape Henlopen.
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