Radio-Controlled Sailboat Regatta

 

Ludlow pond T37

On Saturday April 16, the Port Townsend Yacht Club will host the 2016 T37 Regional Championships at Port Ludlow.  This annual race, which is typically held at the Seattle Yacht Club, will be the first time these radio-controlled sailboats have raced in a Championship event on the Quimper Peninsula. At present, there are over 2,750 boats worldwide, 750 in the Puget Sound area, and 50 boats registered to our local fleet.

These 37-inch long wooden boats are built from a kit available from Tippecanoe Boats, modelsailboat.com. The T37 RC Racing Sloop is a fully sanctioned one-design class in the American Model Yachting Association. Each boat has a unique personality reflecting the builder’s preference for paint styles and colors. The hull is 1/8-inch mahogany plywood. The mast and booms are high-tech carbon fiber; sails are nylon spinnaker cloth, the same material as is used on full-size sailboat spinnakers. Everything for building and sailing the boat, including the radio control gear is in the kit, except for paint, varnish, and AA batteries.

Onlookers are welcome to watch the action in the ponds between the Port Ludlow Marina and the Port Ludlow Yacht Club. The boats are powered only by the wind in the sails. No propulsion motors, no propellers. There are two servo motors inside, each controlled by a radio transmitter. One servo trims the sails in and out. The other turns the rudder. That’s all. This is real sailing and, as you’ll see, real racing.

The local fleet expects to do well in the Northwest Regional Championship since big-boat racers Dan Newland (of Port Hadlock) and Lucas Hurt (of Port Townsend) are the 2015 National and Regional T37 Champions, respectively. For this year’s Regionals, we expect about 30 of the best sailors from Seattle and British Columbia, and our area to compete.

For more information, contact Michael Machette, Race Director (360-531-2441)and check out the website of the Pacific Northwest Model Yacht Club at pnmyc.org.

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