LARCHMONT, NY (October 19, 2005) The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA of LIS) 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 of LIS members.

The Pixel is a new one-design by Bruce Kirby, who also designed the Laser, Sonar and Ideal 18. It will be used within the JSA of LIS as a transition boat between Optimists and Lasers or 420s, primarily by 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 of LIS chairperson. "Not every junior sailor fits into an Opti 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 of LIS for next summer.

The Pixel will eventually replace the venerable Blue Jay, which has served as a training and racing boat for generations of Long Island Sound sailors since the 1950s. "For many reasons we felt it was time for a change," said Fran MeVay, former JSA of LIS chairperson. "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 nine 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 self-bailing 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."