2011 Laser District 11 Championship: Sunday

This has been an awesome weekend both as a regatta organizer and as a competitor.  The regatta ran great, we had nice weather, we got in 8 races, we had competitive fleets and David Lee and the race committee did a fantastic job with the on-the-water part of the regatta.  Everyone enjoyed Alain’s dinner and we certainly couldn’t have made the regatta work with out the help of the many club members who pitched in – THANK YOU!

As a competitor I can’t say I had been thrilled with the sailing I’ve done this year.  I was sailing really well last fall and even though I was going to big time regattas this winter, I just never put together anything more than a mediocre regatta for myself.  With this regatta I was determined to put in a respectable showing and get my game back to where it was last fall.  What better a place to do it than on my home waters.

Saturday’s racing saw 12-16 knots of wind for the day.  That’s at the upper end of the range that I’m competitive in.  I set my boat up right and hiked my butt off and managed to have all top-10 finishes except 1 in 5 races putting me into 8th in the 25-boat fleet. In that kind of wind keeping up with the tail end of the lead pack was a good showing for myself.

Start of race 2 at the pin

Saturday night we had 55 people for dinner and had a great time hanging around the club.

Sunday, the wind was right in my sweet spot for speed and out of the south.  On the first race I had a great start, picked the shifts and led at the windward mark by a boatlength or two.  It was such a thrill to be out ahead of so many great sailors. But I knew they were coming for me and I did my best to stay out ahead of them. Dan Herlihy and I traded for 1st place on the next 2 legs and on the final beat, he just picked the shifts a little better than I did to take the gun leaving me 2nd.

In Sunday’s second race I had a good start, but didn’t have the boat speed to pull ahead of the fleet.  As a result I had a tough time going where I wanted, made way too many tacks and ended up really deep at the first windward mark.  Luckily about half of the top 6 sailors were back there with me.  Through the next 4 legs we picked our way back up to the front and I dug through about 10 boats to get back to 9th.

The 3rd and final race of the day was my best race.  At the start there was a big lefty enabling Rob Overton to port tack the fleet at the pin.  I had a good start in the middle and used my boat speed to get enough of a lead and clear lanes to start picking some shifts.  At the first windward mark it was me and Rob Whittimore.  I couldn’t have written it any better to battling for the lead with a good friend and fellow club member. I led Rob by about half a boat length down to the offset.  Rob had a great run and jumped ahead of me at the downwind mark.  The race committee changed the next weather leg to the left so I immediately went left on the 2nd windward leg and caught some great shifts to pull ahead of Rob and everyone else behind.  The next two legs I felt like I had good boat speed, caught the shifts well, and covered the fleet to take the gun.  That ended up being the last race of the day and it was such a thrill to sail my best and win a race against such a great group of sailors.  That really made my weekend.

Leading the fleet in the final race

After racing we handed out awards, cleaned up and got on the road.

All in all it was a great weekend and I can’t wait to do some more Laser sailing!

Read my write-up on the District 11 Website and check out the results.  I hope to have a video up later this week and I’ll link to photos when they are available.

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