Friday, April 22, 2011

Race Committee for the Lasers Again; 2011 SOL Regatta

As much as I bash the Lasers, it is a class I enjoy supporting even if I don't enjoy racing them as much as I did long ago. Again this year, I volunteered as Vice Chair for Severn Sailing Association's spring Laser bonanza, the Sunshine Open Laser regatta, or SOL; held this past weekend.

I teamed up with good friend, PRO Mike Waters, as we had teamed up a year ago for the 2010 Atlantic Coasts. Despite the optimistic regatta title, this year the weather was not so cooperative. Races were cancelled on Saturday as a massive storm crept up the East Coast with big breeze coming right up the Severn River and throwing large breaking waves on the Naval Academy seawall. The SOL regatta, being a non-event on Saturday, why shouldn't it become a YouTube video, like so many other mundane going on's that make their way onto YouTube nowadays, (from Jon Deutsch).........

On Sunday, the breeze came up with the sun, the wind was was blowing hard through my dogwood blossoms when I pulled out of my driveway and was definitely howling through the rigging as the Lasers rigged up at SSA. Conditions looked very marginal but once on the water the breeze moderated throughout the day and not too much mayhem was seen on the course. We eventually got four races completed in a shifty Westerly breeze that ended up more to the South by the end of the day. It was an older Laser crowd out for this mid-April regatta... I have no idea where the fit and ready 20 something Laser sailor was, but they weren't in attendance for this regatta. A fair number of older geezers were in the Laser radials and they had a much closer battle going on within this fleet (compared with the Standard fleet), even though the skipper weights probably ranged from 130 lbs to a whopping 200 lbs. Finally the 4.7's were right in the thick of things with the Radials when the breeze was up. Another report and results from the District 11 website can be found over here .


Tillerman said...

Lots of names familiar to me in those results. Congrats to James Jacobs for winning the standard rig fleet. Also to Karen long for hanging in there and showing the men how to do it.

I expect you know that the top two finishers in the Radial fleet also have sailing blogs. Hope they write up this regatta!

Dave Sliom is at Dancing Bear Sailing and John Gebhardt is at the Favored End.

Tweezerman said...

I talked to both Dave and Dr. John and they both indicated they would post something new shortly (I wouldn't hold your breath). According to Dr. John, the Saturday night party at around 7pm featured a spectacular rainbow amidst the storms, the rainbow appearing right after Dave gave a short memorial speech about his Dad and the whole Laser group stood up to toast.

johnz said...

Thanks to the race committee for encouraging about half of the fleet to get off the porch and go sailing Sunday morning. Those were some looong legs for the first regatta of the season though and some of us codgers would have much prefered bashing around on shorter courses. Does anyone else out there enjoy short courses? It is always more fun for me to sail a lot of short races than to sail fewer long ones. The attendance at our Tuesday night summer races is a testament to what that kind of racing can do for our sport. I'd be curious to hear if anyone else out there would like to see short weekend races.

Tweezerman said...


The best way to get shorter races is for the fleet to come up with a approx time that the race should take, communicate that to the PRO for the regatta, and work through the fleet rep, on the water, to make sure the PRO and committee give you races of that time length.

Races at the SOL regatta were taking approx 40-45 minutes; obviously 30 minute races would give you shorter legs.