We had an easy trip down to Florida splitting it up into two days and arriving Wednesday evening with a stop in South Carolina.

Ready for 4 days of what looks to be light-air sailing in St. Petersburg in a 41-boat ILCA 7 fleet.


We don’t have a great prospect for wind in the next couple days, but there was 6-7 knots in the morning so we went out relatively on time. After a short postponement on the water they got the ILCA 7 fleet racing.

I had good start at the boat and made my way middle right. The left ended up paying even better, and I was mid-fleet at the top mark. The next leg was a reach and the wind started to drop a bit. We went downwind and then on the second upwind I went right and made up a few boats. I lost a couple downwind and managed to finish 26th.

The 4.7’s also got a race in and the 6 fleets were all abandoned in their races. We stayed out on the water for another hour and a half and with no wind they sent us in to postpone on short. A nice sea breeze filled around 4, but it was too little too late and racing was called for the day.


Another day without a great prospect for wind at the 2024 ILCA Midwinters in St. Petersburg. The RC was expecting a sea breeze to fill later in the afternoon so they postponed us on shore for a couple of hours with the plan to tow us 4-5 miles south where we’d likely find a sooner and stronger sea breeze.

We floated around for almost 2 hours with no sign of a sea breeze. Eventually they called it and towed us the 5 miles back in with no racing at all.


Saturday was a repeat of Friday but with a little more wind. The RC again postponed us on shore until noon and then towed us to the race area 5 miles south. When we got there, we found enough light air to run a race and all of the fleets were started.

We had a light air race and the wind eased as we were raced. I didn’t have a great start and had a little trouble getting a clear lane, but once I did I stayed in it as long as I could up the middle of the course and rounded in top 15 with a nice gap behind me. I only lost a boat on the downwind and upwind and they shortened the course at the end of the reach to the outer course. Once the U-flags were processed I was given a 14th for the race.

With the wind dead, we stayed out on the course for an hour and a half hoping the sea breeze would fill. It eventually did very late in the day and given that the seven fleet had 2 races already and none of the other fleets did, they all got starts and there wasn’t enough time to sail us and we were sent in.

I got a fast tow in. Jess and I got to see St. Petersburg and went out to dinner on Central Ave.


Sunday saw a line of strong storms rolling in during the morning and racing was postponed. It cleared in the afternoon with enough time to sail 2 races in windy conditions. We elected instead to do some tourist stuff in town and get an early start on the ride home.

Thanks to St. Petersburg Yacht Club for hosting the event. Check out the video here.


We started the final day of the 2011 Laser Midwinters east a little earlier. We had to check out of the hotel and be out on the water for a 10am first start.  Despite being one of the first to leave the dock, I was one of the few without a coach boat and therefore one of the last to reach the race course.  It wasn’t much of a problem because we were postponed on the water for over an hour before the sea breeze finally came in with 5-10 knots of breeze.

The silver standard rig fleet only got to sail one race before we reached the mid-afternoon time limit.  The first start was recalled and we restarted under black flag.  I had a terrible start and was so far behind so fast I just ended up ducking a couple stragglers and banging the right corner.  It ended up paying off as I was in the 15-20 range at the top mark.  I did pretty well reaching and downwind but lost a few more boats when the right DID NOT pay off on the second beat.  I finished somewhere in the low 20’s.

The sea breeze made it an easy sail in and Ted and I got the boats and car packed up in record time to begin the drive back to Richmond and then on to Annapolis.

I definitely enjoyed my first trip to the Laser Midwinters East Regatta.  I learned a lot, got to sail alongside some great sailors, met some new people, and got back into the boat after a few months off. I’m looking forward to getting a little more practice and going ready to compete at the ACC’s and NAC’s later this spring and summer.

Just after the mark rounding at Laser Midwinters

Light air day in Clearwater for the Laser Midwinters.  To begin the day we were postponed on shore due to lack of wind at the racing area.  There was a nice wind blowing through the sailing center which made it even that much harder to sit around.  I did some sightseeing and walked across the street to see the beach.

Around noon the wind filled in enough at the race course for them to send us off.  We waited around at the course for a bit while the wind settled and the Standard Gold fleet eventually started in 4-6 knots out of the West South West.  Our fleet started under black flag and I had a reasonably good start towards the middle-pin end.  I made my way to my left and kept my tacks to a minimum arriving in at the windward mark just behind the top 10 boats.  I held my speed pretty well with the rest of the fleet and managed to stay  ahead of the scrum of about 15 boats behind me.  With 4 boats ahead of me black flagged, I ended up finishing 10th in the silver fleet.

Tomorrow is the last day at midwinters.  The weather has been great and the sailing has been fun.  We have an earlier start tomorrow and are hoping for a little more wind than we had today.  And as soon as we are off the water tomorrow, Ted and I will start the long drive back to VA/MD.

Laser Midwinters Day 2

For the second race day at Laser Midwinters we had 12-14 knots all day.  I sailed with the leaders all day long … that was the leaders of the fleet behind me.  It was a beautiful day with warm weather and we sailed 3 races.  It wasn’t my best day as I am not competitive in the top end of that range wind range.  I’m getting more experience in that kind of wind and getting my muscles used to hiking again after a few month hiatus.

I was in the back of the pack so I’ll definitely be in the silver fleet.  Looking forward to sailing with the back half of the fleet in what should be some laid back and competitive sailing at more my level.

Jon sailing the start of race 2 at Laser midwinters

We had some light winds and chop for the first day of the Laser Midwinters in Clearwater Florida. They split the 78 boat standard rig fleet and I was sailing with the blue fleet with the 3rd start of the day. I was one of the last to arrive at the race course and after a quick postponement they got the fleets started. In the first race I had a bit of a slow start and was in the 30s around the first mark. As I got more comfortable in the boat I clawed back a few spots at a time and came back to 27th. On the last downwind leg I was going downwind on starboard with another boat sailing parallel to me on port. Our masts touched so I protested him. I normally wouldn’t follow through with a protest that doesn’t really affect my finish, but I wasn’t a fan of how the guy handled it on the water so he got tossed later that evening in the protest hearing that he failed to show up to.

We sat on the water for over an hour while the wind clocked around to the right and the course got reset. We started the 2nd race in about 8 knots of breeze. I had a good start and was on the favored side of the course. I had better boat speed than the first race and hung right behind the lead pack. Up until the last two legs I held my place pretty well, but by the last two races I made some positioning mistakes and let some boats sneak inside me and ended up 23rd.

All in all it was a good day of sailing. The weather was comfortable and the water is not too cold. I’m sitting in 50th and if I can put up some solid finishes tomorrow, I might be able to sneak into the top fleet going into the weekend. The forecast tomorrow is for more wind in the 10-15 knot range.

Welcome Laser Midwinter Sailors

The trip to Clearwater Florida for the 2011 Laser Midwinters East was an easy one.  Ted brought brought my boat down last week when he came for Masters Midwinters and so this afternoon I was able to fly down. Once in town I settled into the hotel, got the boat checked in and went to dinner with Bob, Ted and Adam.

Tomorrow will be the first of 4 days of racing in the standard rig.  The forecast is for lighter winds on Thursday with a little more on Friday and Saturday.  There will be close to 80 other boats with me in the Standard rig fleet and over 200 total at the regatta.  This is my first time at Midwinters and I’m looking forward to a great weekend of sailing.

Throughout the regatta I’ll be one of a couple people updating the regatta twitter feed (@LaserMWE) as well as my own twitter account when I’m off the water (@jondeutsch).