November 14, 2005

JSA Selects Pixel as New Trainer

By Windcheck Magazine

The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA) announced today that it has chosen the 14-foot Pixel as its new doublehanded training and racing sailboat. The decision was made after a three-year process that included extensive research, boat testing and feedback from JSA members. The Pixel is a new one-design boat by Bruce Kirby, who also designed the Laser and Sonar. It will be used within the JSA as a transition boat between Optimists and Lasers or Club 420s, primarily by junior sailors who are 11 to 14 years old. "We think it's very important to have a boat that bridges this gap," said Amy Kellogg, JSA chairman. "Not every junior sailor fits into an Optimist or Laser, and not everyone wants to sail by themselves." Pixels will be used for both recreational sailing and racing, with a full schedule of seminars and regattas planned by the JSA for the summer of 2006. The Pixel will eventually replace the venerable Blue Jay, which has served as a training and racing boat since the 1950s. "For many reasons we felt it was time for a change," said Fran MeVay, former JSA chairman. "We were looking for a boat that is safer, easier to sail and more fun. The Pixel fit our requirements almost perfectly." Pixels are 13 feet 9 inches long and weigh 185 pounds. They have a mainsail and jib with a sail area of 94 square feet, plus a symmetrical spinnaker. The boats are built in China using epoxy resin, and they come with carbon fiber masts. Pixels have a simple layout with a selfbailing cockpit, and can be sailed by two or three sailors. "I tried to give the Pixel an optimal combination of stability and performance," said designer Bruce Kirby. "So it can handle a wide range of crew weights and skill levels." The JSA of LIS was founded in 1924 and currently supports junior sailors at nearly 50 member programs in western Long Island Sound. Each summer it sponsors an extensive schedule of junior regattas and clinics. Among its many activities, the JSA of LIS fosters ethical behavior, safety on the water, coach training and big boat sailing. For more information about the JSA of LIS or the Pixel, go to the JSA website jsalis.org or contact Bob Whittredge, JSA Executive Director, at info@jsalis.org or 914-834-4202.

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