The 75th Annual One Design Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club got off to a bit of a slow start with hardly any wind to be found. The Laser fleet sat on the shore, boats rigged and communicated with the RC for when to come out to sail. Eventually a whisper of something showed up on the course and we headed out. Once on the course it was another 2 1/2 hours of sitting around before admitting defeat that the wind wasn’t going to fill and calling it a day.
By race time on Sunday we had a nice 6 knot breeze out of the ESE. We had 8 Standard Lasers in our fleet.
In the first two races of the day the wind was still what I’d call ‘light’ with some shiftiness. Eric Roos did a great job picking the shifts and put a nice lead on the rest of us on the first beat and held that to the finish. I never felt comfortable with the boat in the first two races and just didn’t like my setup or boat speed. I was hanging within sight of the leaders, but had to work to stay ahead of Brad, Mike and others all around me and settled for 3 & 5.
By the 3rd, 4th and 5th race we had another knot or two of pressure and I had settled down and gotten the boat setup right. At the starts I was careful not to get pinned to one side of the course and to have clear air. Upwind with the boat finally moving well I was able to pick my head out of the boat and really start picking the shifts. On all 3 first upwind legs I was really well in phase and had 10+ boat length leads at the windward mark.
In one of those 3 races I made the downwind work and actually pulled away in one of them. On the other 2 I felt like I was in a hole and struggled to not loose too much ground on the boats behind me. In the final beat to the finish of race 3 and 4 I was able to just cover the fleet and finish comfortably in 1st. In the 5th race I made a few mistakes getting out of phase early in the final beat and had to play some catchup to finish just ahead of James Jacob who had been consistently 2nd all day long.
By the 6th and final race of the day the wind started easing just a bit. I had a bad start, let myself get pinned on the wrong side of the course and rounded the first mark in 6th. I clawed back to a 4th, but James Jacob’s consistency and my 4 & 5 put me 2 points behind him settling for 2nd place overall.
Having had the new Laser out 5 times and this being the 2nd race day for it – it was really nice to finally have some races where I felt good and had it dialed in. Two weeks from now is the District 11 Championship at Tred Avon and I can’t wait to give it another go.
Thanks to all of the other Laser sailors who came out and sailed with us and thanks to Matt Lambert for putting the regatta together and to Alex Alvis, Geoff Cahill, Donna Alvis, Cindy Corbett, David Lennarz, Brad Miller and everyone else who helped on RC.