Tillerman (we seem to be joined at the hip recently) posted last year about a Downwind Laser Race in the Columbia Gorge . The Laser Gorge Blowout; eighteen miles downwind in 'NOO-kyuh-luhr' conditions. Drop me in this race and I might be good for two miles and then I'd be upside down, crying uncle.
A YouTube video surfaced this week of top Northwest Laser Grand Master Mark Halman doing the 2010 Gorge Blowout and a helluva downwind sailing lesson this old fart demonstrated for the cameras. Finished fourth as well.
Any singlehander can tell you that things seem manageable up until you capsize; if you keep capsizing and keep capsizing, strength, concentration, and the will to continue blasting out of control...... all these athletic responses rapidly depart. To keep it together for 18 miles, in these conditions, in a roly-poly Laser, is a remarkable feat.... for anyone, at any age.
Tip of the hat to Mark Halman!