There is no better way to spend a rainy day outside than sailing a Laser. We might have had drizzle most of the day, but the racing in the Board Bash Regatta at Lake Norman Yacht Club was great. I got a good sleep in my tent and put the boat together using the new board that I had recently rebuilt and gave a paint job. I also ran into an old friend -Jaime Espinosa who I used to play club soccer with at ECU.
We got racing with 14 Lasers and 11 Radials starting on one line shortly after 11 with wind 9-13 out of the south west. In the first race I had a good start in the middle of the line. Just a short way up the first beat I miss-judged a cross as a port tack boat and ended up crash tacking, missing the hiking strap and going for a swim. I recovered quickly and was able to pick my way back through the fleet to round 6th. Downwind I picked off a boat and another in the upwind to finish 4th.
I had a good start in the second race, but just off the line my daggerboard stopper came apart and I stopped briefly to secure the parts. The fleet sailed by once again and I had to pick my way upwind through the shifts. One again I found myself in the top 5 and continued to pick off more boats to a 3rd place finish.
By the 3rd race I was determined not to make any mistakes or have anything fall apart. While I was successful in there I didn’t have a good start and came to the line late getting pinned under a couple Radials. At the top mark I was deep and tried to take the right side of the course downwind. It didn’t work – I got passed by a bunch of boats and ended up 9th.
For the 4th race I had another poor start and had a bit of a time picking my way upwind. Downwind I was around 4th, but deathrolled 2/3 down the leg and found myself just behind a pack of 10+ boats at the leeward mark. I went left and picked a couple shifts and passed a bunch of boats to almost get back to where I was before the death roll finishing 6th.
The final race of the day was a Modified Olympic, two laps – a triangle followed by a windward leeward. By now the wind had shifted left a bit so I started at the pin. I went left only for a minute and was able to tack and cross the fleet on the layline and rounded the top mark 1st. I held ahead of Stanley Hassinger and John Mellnik on the reaches and we rounded the leeward mark bow to stern. The upwind was a long beat on port and John just had a little more speed upwind and was able to stay ahead of me. On the final beat Stanley got to the left and passed me, but John overstood the finish line allowing Stanley to finish 1 and me 2.
The final race was probably the best one of the day despite the skewed course. I had a lot more fun racing John and Stanley closely than I did picking my way through the fleet after bad starts. After racing we got to catch up with the other sailors and had a good dinner with a band for entertainment after racing. Tomorrow should see a little better weather for the 2nd day.