I recently digitized some old Laser Masters footage from the 2000 US Laser Masters. I was aboard the Judge boat for most of the event recoding on a Sony Hi-8 camera. It had been a while since I had seen this footage and it was great to be able to reminisce and remember the sailors who were there at the time and what Fishing Bay Yacht Club looked like with the old clubhouse.
As I processed the footage and spliced this together, I was amazed at the improvements to the software to be able to stabilize what was pretty shaky video at the time as well as the ability to clean up some of the audio.
I was also many years from being a master and yet I’m now older than many of the masters-age sailors at the time. Ooof.
Check out the video and the event results can be seen here.
We had a really nice day for some practice aboard Todd’s J99 Battle Rhythm along with Kevin, Ron, and Ron’s wife Nancy. The wind was out of the NNE from 10 to about 16 while we were out there. We started with some compass and wind angle calibrations and then did some upwind sailing to the mouth of the Rappahannock where we could see all the boats up the river sailing in the Turkey Shoot Regatta while we tried different settings with the jib sheet leads.
When we were off Windmill point it was pretty waving and choppy and as we were setting the chute we took one huge wave over the bow soaking Todd who had gone forward to get the spinnaker ready. We also sailed through a pod of dolphins at one point.
With the chute up we had some really nice running conditions and got the boat planning a bit hitting over 10 knots a couple of times. As we got close to the Piankatank we did a few gybes and headed in for the day.
Last year at the ILCA US Masters Regatta – I received the Tony Dahlman Trophy which is given to the sailor who finishes in the middle of the fleet that includes full rig lasers. This award has been hanging out at the house and after engraving is now set to be re-united with a friend of Tony’s who helped establish the award in his honor – Richard Leland.
I never had the honor of meeting Tony or crossing tacks with him – he passed away in 2009 – but I appreciate the spirit he had for ILCA sailing and hope to do my best to embody that and pass it on.
Here’s what was posted on the ILCA class website at the time:
Tony Dahlman, a Laser Master sailor from Marysville, California, passed away unexpectedly this past weekend while attending the Laser Masters’ US Championship in Monterey, California. He was sailing the first race of the series when he was stricken. A safety boat immediately came to his aid and rushed him to a waiting ambulance at the Coast Guard pier in the Monterey harbor. He was then transported to the local hospital where he died the next day. All of the sailors at the event as well as the entire Laser Class wish to extend their deepest sympathies to Tony’s wife and family during this difficult time.
laser.org – August 17, 2009
And the deed of gift for the award reads:
DEED OF GIFT TONY DAHLMAN TROPHY
Gift. The undersigned, on behalf of the laser sailors of District 24, hereby gives to the Laser Class Association of North America a perpetual trophy consisting of a half model of a full rig laser mounted on a cherry wood plaque, 18″ by 24″, bearing the sail number 185526, to be known as the “Tony Dahlman Trophy.”
Purpose. The purpose of the Tony Dahlman award is to honor Tony Dahlman, a master laser sailor and member of the Tahoe Yacht Club, renowned for his dedication to laser sailing, and to recognize master sailors who compete for the fun of sailing and the opportunity to improve rather than finishing at the top of the fleet.
Selection Process. The trophy is to be presented to the competitor who finishes in the middle of the fleet of registered overall competitors at the U.S. Masters Championship each year. If the regatta is divided into separately scored fleets the trophy shall go to the competitor who finishes in the middle of the fleet that includes the master full rig lasers. If two sailors are equally close to the middle of the fleet, the trophy shall go to the competitor with the better finish according to the Racing Rules of Sailing. The determination of the winner of the Tony Dahlman Trophy each year shall be made by the regatta chairman whose decision shall be final.
Rededication. In the event of insufficient interest or for any other reason this trophy may be rededicated by the Laser Class Association of North America.
Care of Trophy. The winner of the trophy each year may, at his or her option, retain the trophy until the next U.S. Laser Masters Championship; provided that such winner assumes the duties set out on the attached Assumption of Duties. If the winner does not so elect to take possession of the trophy, the Laser Class Association of North America shall have it shipped to the Association’s offices, or other location specified by the Association, engrave it with the winner’s name and yacht club in Century OSSL font, store it, deliver it to the following year’s U.S. Laser Masters Championship, and at that event give it to the winner determined in the manner described above; provided that the winner assumes the duties set out on the attached Assumption of Duties. If the winner elects not to so take possession of the trophy, the Laser Class Association of North America shall retain it and perform the above duties the next year.
Ready to jump back into a new ‘big’ camera. Having had a D70, D3000, D7000 and then a D300s – I found all of those to be big and impractical to lug around and use; I was still taking 95% of my pictures on my iPhone, so when the iPhone 12 Pro came out, I figured I could do without the big camera.
Now that I’ve got better video editing and capture equipment and am trying to do all video in 4k, I wanted something that would give me a little better control and quality. And now that the mirrorless cameras have matured – I think the Z50 is small enough to not feel like I am lugging something huge around – will take good enough pictures to match or beat the iPhone in quality in many situations, and can make use of bigger zoom lenses when I am photographing sailing and want to use the heavy stuff.
This year we moved the Chesapeake Bay ILCA Masters Championship up to a September date to avoid some other masters conflicts in early October so it was a rare treat for the sailors not used to the pool being open to be able to hop in and cool off on a boiling hot Friday afternoon. I spent the afternoon getting things ready for the regatta by alternating between things I could do in the air conditioning and things outside and eventually joined the visiting sailors in the pool and later out to dinner at The Table.
On the Saturday, we arrived to nice weather and much cooler temperatures than the prior few days. There wasn’t much wind to start, but forecast to have some by mid-day and so the 32-boat fleet was sent out. We ended up having a 10-15 minute postponement before getting into a starting sequence. We would go through 2 false starts and finally a successful start under the Z flag. I didn’t have a great position at the start and was blanketed on the first beat. I was deep at the first mark and made up a few boats on the downwind and a couple more on the upwind to the finish on the short course. I would settle for 20th.
The wind continued to be a little shifty, still in the 8-10 range. In this race I had a fantastic start at the boat end with just a couple boats between me and the boat. Soon after the start I tacked and ducked a couple of boats to get out to the right. I continued to play a few shifts in the middle right and found myself out there in clear air with Dave Waiting near me. I would follow Dave into the first mark and on the downwind I went right thinking we were going to have a new breeze from the right. I was really wrong on that and 6 boats past me on the left by the time we got to the bottom mark. On the upwind I stayed to the right (facing upwind) side of the course while most of the boats ahead played the middle left. I got some great shifts and more pressure and by the time we got to the windward mark I had passed everyone and was just ahead of Dave. He has a lot more speed downwind than me and went by in pretty short order. I followed him to finish 2nd with the two of us well ahead of the bunch behind us.
While waiting for the 3rd race the wind started go to light and move around. We postponed on the water and then it became clear there were some storms to the south headed our way and so the fleet was sent in.
Alain wasn’t able to sail, but he brought food and the fleet had a good time hanging out and eating while it rained on and off outside.
On Sunday the forecast wasn’t very good and that’s what was delivered. After sending the race committee out to look for wind while the sailors waited on shore, they didn’t find any and with more thunderstorms coming – racing was abandoned for the day.
Congratulations to James Jacob on winning this event for his 7th time. Thanks to David Lee and everyone who helped on RC to make the most of the wind we had.
After missing Saturday’s racing while helping Todd deliver the boat – day 2 at the Stingray Point Regatta would be the first race of 2023 for J99 Battle Rhythm. As we were heading out to the course we were seeing winds of 8-11 and we used it to practice some maneuvers with our short-handed 4-man crew of Todd, Len, Ron and myself.
The first race started on time – still in 8-10 knots and we had a fantastic start. Other boats in the A2 fleet had better first legs and we found ourselves deep in the fleet at the first mark. We picked up places as the race went on and as the wind continued to drop. By the last downwind leg to the finish it was pretty light. We had past most of the boats ahead of us except Afterthought and Voodoo 2 who were just ahead of us drifting to the finish. Just as we got close the RC abandoned the race with all 3 of us just a couple hundred yards from the finish. It was disappointing to come all of this way and race through all of that, but wasn’t going to be a fair race and was the right call. We definitely learned a lot, started to get the boat dialed in and worked on finding the sweet spot on the new spinnaker we were flying.
After some time postponed motoring around to make some wind and stay cool – the sea breeze eventually filled in out of the south. The RC reset the course and sent us racing again. We didn’t have quite as good of a start this time and had to tack out pretty early and get away. That wasn’t awful as it was the right way for current relief and it allowed us to go in clear air. As the breeze built we spent the race getting back in the grove and taking our time in the maneuvers to not mess anything up. Sometimes we were pulling away from other boats, and other times they were running up on us. We got a 4th in that one.
In the last race of the day – now in the late afternoon, we had another pretty good start. This time we did better to keep up with Afterthought and Voodoo and they were just ahead of us for most of the first lap. The wind had built to 9-11 and we had to adjust modes for the wind and adjust our maneuvers with only the 4 of us to raise and lower sails a little slower to keep things controlled. Voodoo 2 and Afterthought did get a bit more ahead of us, but we held off the boats behind and managed a 5th.
I had a great time sailing with Len, Todd and Ron and it was fun to show all of these other fully crewed boats what we could do short handed.
Today we took Todd’s J99 Battle Rhythm from the boatyard in Irvington, where it had been undergoing some repairs, to Deltaville. We missed the first day of the Stingray Point Regatta – but now have the boat at Fishing Bay Yacht club and ready to race. The wind was light on the Rappahannock for the 8-10 mile trip and we were able to get some sailing in. Even with just 4 of us onboard we were able to put up a new spinnaker to try out. Later as the wind shifted we did some upwind sailing too and arrived in Deltaville mid-afternoon.
We started the Labor Day Weekend with a distance race ahead of the Stingray Point Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. The boat I was to be sailing on wasn’t here on Friday so I jumped on a J120 called Bogey from Hampton Yacht Club with Steve, Daryl, Jim, Vicky, Amy, Tom, Rob, Mitchel and other Tom. This was my first time on a J120 which is almost like a 40′ version of a J105 and also has an asymmetrical spinnaker. My position was at the mast working with Tom on the bow and also providing some local knowledge as one of the only few who had sailed in this area before.
The wind was out of the NNE at 14 to 16 and we saw some periods of 8 while we were out there and some shiftiness. The race started in the mouth of the Piankatank River and we sailed about 4 miles to the south entrance of the Rappahannock River.
We had a great start right on the boat and we could just about lay the mark from there so we only spent a short time on starboard before tacking over for the long leg out. On the way out we crossed a current line where we could clearly see where the water from the Rappahannock met the water from the rest of the bay. We arrived at the mark just behind Nanuq with Excitation and Voodoo 2 just behind us.
The next leg took us straight upwind to another entrance mark of the Rappahannock River. To our surprise the cruising class was also using this mark as a leg of their course, only they were rounding in the opposite direction. We arrived at the mark at the exact same time as Running Tide and we were on Starboard so they made a wide rounding to avoid us. I can’t say I’ve ever been in that situation in a sailing race before and I’m not 100% sure how all of the rules might apply.
From there we went back to the mark we had just came from and then did another lap around both of them. We got to some spinnaker sailing and made up some ground on Voodoo on the first downwind, but ceded it upwind by being on the wrong side of the course.
The last two legs were reaches back towards Stove Point. Nanuq was first over the line and well ahead followed by Voodoo 2 just ahead of us. Excitation and Osprey were a bit behind us. We would go on to finish on corrected time 4th behind Osprey, Excitation and Voodoo 2 with Nanuq behind us.
I had a lot of fun and it was a great day of racing. Thanks Steve and the rest of the crew on Bogey for having me aboard!
Sunday started with very light winds and the forecast to build. We were postponed on the water as we all drifted out to the course. After about 20 minutes or so there was 3-5 out of the ESE and we were able to get a race started for the 6-boat ILCA fleet.
Alain got the best start in the first race, caught a nice shift on the first beat and lead all the way around the H3.
We would have 2 laps for the 2nd race and I had a great start at the boat. The left phase we had at the start came over to the right and being the right most boat, I was able to lead the whole way around the course. Dave T was right next to me and hot on stern.
By the 3rd race the wind went way left at the start and none of us were really laying the starting line. I tracked immediately at the start and got left and into pressure and had a nice lead at the windward mark. On the second beat I went more left and found less wind. Mike and Holly had more wind to the right, at one point I lee bowed Mike back to the right and into an amazing lift while I proceeded to sail into a hole and he went ahead as did Holly. On the final upwind I was able to get past Holly, but not Mike.
In the 4 race Alain had a great start covering me and I had to duck him and Dave to get out to the right and clear my air. Mike caught some better shifts and pressure to the left and led at the windward mark. Most of the rest of the fleet didn’t catch the lefty at the top of the course that Mike and i caught and so we were launched for the rest of the race. Mike covered me well on the 2nd upwind and stayed just ahead downwind. At the leeward mark I went around the outside of Mike, had a clean rounding and just out transitioned and out hiked him to nose out at the finish line that we were able to lay from the mark.
Given the wind shift, the RC postponed, moved the course and reset everything. The wind started to ease a bit. In the final race I just got ahead and stayed ahead finishing 1st. Thanks to Bob, Lisa, Ruthanna, Glenn and Becca for being our RC today!