Laser Sailing

2017 Laser Masters Midweek Madness: Wednesday

In an about face in weather from the rest of the week – wind is what we got on Wednesday with winds in the upper teens and gusts into the lower twenties.  Slightly overcast skies with temperatures in the lower 70’s.  Having sailed in light air all week and most of 2016 – I wasn’t well prepared for these conditions.  My goal would be to just get around the course and salvage as much as I could.

In the first race I had an ok but not stellar start.  I made my way out to the right of the course and I moved the boat ok, but was a few rows back.  Towards the top it was clear the left was coming in better and I was in the back quarter around the top mark.  On the reach to the offset I lost my hand hold on the mainsheet and ended up capsizing to windward as what remained of the fleet sailed by.

I continued the race sailing conservative downwind to keep the boat under me and managed to pick off a few boats on the next two legs.  At the final jibe mark to the finish I messed up the timing of my duck and thwacked the boom on my head to add a little injury to insult.  I’d have a bruise for the next several days.

At that point it was clear I wasn’t competing and I decided to get home and save some time-off for later in the year.  And to finish it up – my dolly broke as I recovered the boat on the beach.  Thankfully the ride home was uneventful including an overnight stop in Florence SC.

EVENT WEBSITE | PICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Laser Masters Midweek Madness: Tuesday

Following an off day between sailing where I worked remotely from an airbnb I arrived at Sarasota Sailing Squadron late last night.  Sarasota Sailing Squadron is on the point of an island jutting into a wide bay making it a great sailing venue.  There is plenty of beach launching and the sailing area is less than a mile from the launch.

The day started with a bit of a haze and no wind.  Temperatures in the low 70’s.  Even before the skippers’ meeting we were postponed ashore where we would wait for 1 1/2 hours.  The wind finally started to pick up, we went out and a race was started in 5-6 knots of breeze.  That ended up being the best of the breeze as it got very light during.  The wind was out of the South West and there was a little current from left to right at the bottom of the course.

I had a good start and focused on keeping a clear lane of wind and trying not to duck too many boats on port tack.  I did well on that first beat and rounded the first mark in 5th.  Downwind I lost one boat and on the 2nd upwind I didn’t stay in phase as well as I could have and lost a few more boats.  The final 3 legs of the race were pretty brutal.  It was a LONG race not moving very fast and the Radial fleet behind us wouldn’t finish in the time limited.  I ended up with a 12 in the 49-boat fleet.

After waiting for a little another race was started in a little bit more wind.  This time I started at the boat and had a good start on the front line.  I would sail almost to the left layline and was only crossed ahead by two boats.  At the top mark I was caught by a few boats on the right and was top 10 around the mark.  I continued to focus on clear air both up and down wind and held my position around the course as the 13th boat over the line – I would be 11th after OCS boats were taken into account.

By the 3rd race the wind had picked up a little more – now 8 and sometimes just over 10.  Where I could find pressure and make the boat go in light air – pretty much everyone could make the boat go in this wind and it would be a lot harder with the fleet clumped up a lot more around the course.  I had a good start, but got pinned to the left side and missed some shifts coming back the other way.  I was probably in the low 30s around the first mark.  Downwind I stayed in the middle of the course and was playing the shifts better to keep the boat moving fast towards the mark.  I picked off a few boats.  On the 2nd upwind I played the shifts and tried to keep my air clear and picked up some more places.  On the final run I gained a few and lost a few – again playing the middle of the course.  I finished 19th.

That put me in 12th overall – which sounds familiar as that’s how I finished the last regatta.  Back onshore we put boats away, cleaned up and there was a nice seafood dinner at the club.

EVENT WEBSITEPICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Florida Masters: Sunday

There would be no wind on Sunday and after postponing onshore for a little over an hour the days racing was called off and results were final.

EVENT WEBSITEPICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Florida Masters: Saturday

It was a light air day at the Florida Masters with temperatures in the mid 70’s and wind out of the south at 5-10.  I did a quick video of the grounds while people were rigging seen here.  I also admired some of the other travel setups including some enclosed trailers and another sprinter van set up as an RV with the boat riding on the (low) roof.

46 standards and 19 radial launched and sailed south to the inlet and out onto the ocean.  There were some large swells at time and when you were at the bottom – there were times you couldn’t see the tops of the sailboats at bottom of the other side of the swell.  The lumpy conditions, wind swinging 50 degrees and the current pushing us down the course made for some challenging racing.

In the first race I had an ok start down by the boat and made my way out to the right side of the course.  I hadn’t quite figured out how to make the boat go in the lumps and found myself midfleet at the top mark.  At the bottom mark we had a course change to shorten the course and this time I banged the left side of the course mostly to get in clear air.  It worked out great and I was 7th at the top mark and I held that to the finish.

In the second race I started mid-line and this time worked my way all the way out to the left.  I caught up to the Radials who started 7 minutes ahead of us and rounded 5th or 6th.  Downwind I played the right side of the course and was 2nd around the right gate and again decided to go out to the left.  With the wind down a little bit and maybe a little more current further from shore on the left – it didn’t pay for me and I dropped 10 spots to the folks who played the right more and finished 12 at the shortened upwind finish.

In the 3rd race I had an atrocious start and had nothing but bad air anywhere I looked upwind.  I think I was ahead of only a few boats at the top mark.  Downwind I played the right side of the course, caught some puffs and passed quite a few boats.  Upwind I played the middle right and passed another 10+ boats.  On the final downwind I passed another boat to finish 20th.

I was happy with my sailing that I was having good speed especially upwind.  I just need to get a little more consistent and work on starting to start out in a good position.  After 3 races I’m in 12th overall and 2nd Apprentice.

A couple general observations – I was sailing with the Mk2 sail and in the light and lumpy conditions I found the looser outhaul gave me better pointing and power through the waves upwind.  Today also highlighted for me how important it was to have clear lanes of wind.  As big as the swells were – they blocked the wind – so it seemed as if only the top of the sail was always in the wind and so it made an even bigger difference without a clear lane of wind.

Following racing I did a quick run down the river front and cleaned up for a nice dinner at the club.

EVENT WEBSITEPICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Florida Masters: Friday

I’ve arrived in West Palm Beach for my first Laser Masters Regatta.  I finally qualify (35 years old) and I am looking forward to the next 2 days of sailing at Palm Beach Sailing Club followed by a day off and another 2 days of sailing the Masters Midweek Madness regatta at Sarasota Sailing Squadron.

It took about 13 1/2 hours of driving to get here from Richmond having left late yesterday afternoon and spent the night in Manning SC.  Palm Beach Sailing Club is located on the sound just a short sail from an inlet and the racing area will be out on the bay.  They have beach and ramp launching with a small dock and a clubhouse with a big pavillion.  I met up with some familiar NJ and MD friends and also ran into some far-flung sailors I’ve met at various regattas.

Racing starts tomorrow with temperatures in the high 70s and winds 10-14 out of the east.  Can’t wait!

EVENT WEBSITE | PICTURES

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2016 FBYC Laser Frostbite Regatta

The Laser Frostbite Regatta was the last event of the year at FBYC and we made it quite easy on the RC by setting a course that allowed them to signal it from the dock.  The wind was just the right direction out of the south west where the RC could run the races from the end of the dock.  We used a boat to move the weather mark and pin.   They had a great time and the proximity to shore enabled the sailors make breaks at the club in between races.

10/30 FBYC Laser Frostbite Regatta

The wind was a little light for this one, but we rolled through the races doing short courses with 10 boats.  While I seemed to have good boat speed – I did find myself on the wrong side of some shifts and occasionally out of the top 3.  Charlie Brewer once again sailed incredibly consistently and took the day.  I followed in 2nd with Len close behind.  What a great way to end the season!

RESULTS

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2016 FBYC Laser Fall Regatta

For the 2016 FBYC Laser Fall Regatta we took a novel approach to running the races: since it was nice weather and light winds and we had no RC helpers – 7 of us took out 6 Lasers and a RIB.  We then took turns on the RIB to run races and I jumped on the boat of whoever was on the RIB.  We did two cycles so everyone missed 2 races and we got in 14 races.

All in all it worked pretty well, everyone had fun and it was good racing.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2016 FBYC 77th Annual One Design Regatta

Nearly a year in the making this would mark the first time I was the event chairman for the 77th Annual One Design Regatta.  With that role came a lot of additional responsibilities and unlike the single-class regattas for Lasers that I have often chaired – this one involved organizing for many different classes.  In the end I think we did the best we could to balance the wishes of the sailors vs the sailing conditions we had and the volunteers and resources we had available.

Being the event chairman I was focused on making sure the event ran smoothly and so I only made it out for two races.  I had a good first race and ended up in a bad spot in the 2nd race that I couldn’t get out of at a mark rounding and ended up fouling a boat and had to retire from the race.

PICTURES | RESULTS

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2016 Laser District 10 Championship

Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club was host for the 2016 Laser District 10 Championship in mid-June.  Winds were light for the first 5 races on Saturday and I finished 13-11-5-11-9 to be 10th after the first day.  That evening had dinner with a few of the District 10 sailors and caught a beautiful sunset at Brant Beach Yacht Club.

#hobie #sunset #brantbeach #LBI #beachsunset #brantbeachyachtclub

A photo posted by Jon Deutsch (@jondeutsch) on

On Sunday it took 2 hours of postponement for the wind to fill and then we sailed 2 more races in 10-14 knots.  I finished 9-10 and stayed in 10th overall.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2016 Laser Atlantic Coast Championship

The 2016 edition of the Laser Atlantic Coast Championship was held in beautiful Bellport, New York at Bellport Yacht Club.  As usually navigating the van up 95 and through New York City is always a challenge and I somehow found myself on surface streets among the taxi cabs before re-finding the expressways.

The racing started Saturday morning right off the dock of the club with 29 boats in the standard class.  Having not been in a Laser since Easter and back to sailing the original MkI sail I found myself a bit off speed in the moderate winds and chop.  The highlight was the race I rounded the first mark in the top 5, but would fall from there picking the wrong side on the 2nd beat.  I finished 17-20-16-23 and found myself in 18th after the first day.

No quarter with weeds as we wait ashore postponed. #bellportyc #laseracc #laser

A photo posted by No Quarter Sailing (@noquartersailing) on

Sunday the weather called for much higher winds.  When the RC didn’t immediately take us out on time and postponed us due to the wind conditions – I decided I wasn’t going to be in the kind of shape or practiced enough to make a respectable showing in those conditions and got on the road home.  Quite a few others did the same.  Eventually the RC took the fleet out for 2 more races.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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