Laser District 11 Championship

2015 District 11 Championship

My first race of 2015 and why not do it at a District Championship.  Severn Sailing Association held the District 11 Championship in conjunction with their Sunshine Open Regatta.  27 Lasers and 16 Radials were out in what were nearly frostbite conditions on the first day.

I started with a great race sailing in 2nd most of the way around the course and loosing a spot on the final leg finishing 3rd.  I’d go downhill from there, but not before a few top 3 roundings before giving up spots downwind.  I met my goal of all top 10 finishes.

Back on short after 4 races I warmed up and enjoyed the dinner and band.

Sunday was a little better wind and we sailed 2 more races.  i had a tougher go of it finishing 1 in double digits followed by an 8 to finis 6th overall.

No pictures this time but results can be found here.  Big thanks to SSA for hosting, congratulations to Luke who sailed a great regatta to win it and thanks again for Steve for the place to stay.

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2014 Laser District 11 Championship: Sunday

Sunday at the Laser District 11 Championship at Tred Avon Yacht Club saw much better wind and 4 more races for the standard fleet.  We sailed out in 8-12 and little current and partly cloudy skies.

In the first race I didn’t have a stellar start, but tacked out immediately and was able to cross a few boats on port and get to clear air on the right.  I worked my way up the middle left of the course and rounded the top mark in ~5th and turned to go downwind.  Only I wasn’t supposed to turn downwind – I missed the offset and had to sail back upwind 100 yards.  By the time I did my obligatory capsize and returned to round the offset I was in last place.  I stayed there until the 2nd upwind beat and I started sailing fast and picking up boats.  I continued to do that in the next two legs picking off 8 boats and managed to get back to 11th.

By the 2nd and 3rd races the current started to come in and was coming right down the course.  As a result our speed over ground was diminished and it felt like we had much less wind than we did.  Couple the wind/current with a little chop and the going started getting a lot tougher only because the feel of the boat was off.  I didn’t have great starts and found myself bouncing around in the middle of the pack and pulled a 9-7.

Going into the final race the current started to slow down a bit and I got my head on straight and I was determined not to make any mistakes.  I won the favored end of the start at the boat and just sailed to windward of leaders Luke Shingledecker and Henry Amthor.  I lead at the first mark, but Luke had better downwind speed and overhauled me.  Henry got me on the next leg and I continued to follow them around the course finishing with a 3rd.

While I had hoped for a top 5 finish, I ended up with a 6th and it goes to show despite flashes of brilliance it still came down to time in the boat and some unpolishedness that pulled me back.  All in all it was a fun event. I was glad to finally have a chance to visit Tred Avon Yacht Club and the volunteers there including PRO Mike Waters did a great job putting on our regatta.  Congrats to Luke and Henry who sailed a great regatta!

Final Results | Pictures

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2014 Laser District 11 Championship: Saturday

This year’s Laser District 11 Championship is being held at Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford Maryland.  Since FBYC and TAYC have their annual regattas on the same weekend – after all these years I’ve never had the opportunity to sail at TAYC and I was excited to see the place and sail there.  The racing is being run in conjunction with TAYC’s Heritage Regatta and so there were Shields, Stars and Log Canoes also out racing.

As we headed out to the race course the wind was somewhat light out of the north east with mostly overcast skies.  The race committee set a nice long mile+ course and got a start going for the 20 boats in the Standard fleet.  The wind was going a bit left at the start and a lot of boats were trying to win the pin.  I found a nice hole about 1/4 up from the boat and started there.  It wasn’t a great spot and I quickly found myself in a 2nd or 3rd row spot.

2014 Laser D11 Mark 1

Up the first beat I knew from watching the wind pre-race that I wanted to be on the left side of the course.  So as boats tacked out I just kept going left until I found myself in clear air.  I took that most of the way to the layline and found a wind lane to tack back on.  That worked out great because the right side of the course had less pressure.  I found myself 3rd around the top mark behind only Ted Morgan and Bill Lawson who had gone slightly more left than I did.

Downwind I made my way down the same side of the course I had come with and made sure I was the outside boat.  The better pressure and a little better current there helped me pull just ahead of the rest of the fleet at the windward mark.

Upwind 2 just ahead of the fleet before falling behind.

With the wind starting to die out the RC shortened the course at the next windward mark.  With the patchiness of the wind Joe Moran and I traded the lead a couple times before I ultimately banged the left too hard and he, Luke Shingledecker and Jeff Robbins were able to slip by leaving me 4th at the finish.

After the race we sat around in no wind as some light showers moved through the area.  We eventually called it a day without any further racing.  Back on shore we had a great vantage point of the Log Canoes capsizing – 3 of them.

Results

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2013 Laser District 11 Championship: Sunday

Sunday’s racing at the Laser District 11 Championship in Annapolis started out much like Saturday, but with less wind.  We started the first race under mostly cloudy skies and 8-10 knots of breeze.

After a general recall under P flag the RC went straight to the black flag.  I had a decent start near the boat end and worked my way out to the right along with Ted Morgan.  Karen long hit the right even better than we did and rounded the mark first with me and Ted just behind her.  Downwind I got ahead and put some distance between myself and the group just behind me.   From there I just kept ahead on the remaining 3 legs and took the gun.

Sunday’s 2nd race didn’t go so well.  My start wasn’t as good and I got behind early by being on the wrong side of the shifts on the first beat settling for a 12.  The thing I learned in the 2nd race was that the mode I was using to make the boat go fast upwind in a little more wind and more chop, stopped working when the wind lightened and the water got flatter.

By the 3rd and final race the wind was pretty light and the chop was just the random power boat variety.  We were moving, but it was slow going at times, particularly downwind.  I won the boat at the start and again worked my way up the middle right.  This time the far right didn’t pay.  And much of the fleet had gone left hoping it would pay off like it did last race – it didn’t.  I rounded 2nd just behind Brady White with Brett Morris behind me.  Brady extended his lead and I was able to hold off Brett.  We would go on to finish 1-2-3.

With that finish and knowing several boats would have black flags, I knew the top 2-7 boats would all be pretty close.  The 1 & 2 today certainly helped, but the 12 meant I’d have to keep a 10.  In the end it was the bullet that won me the tiebreaker for 3rd place overall.

Despite the light winds, it was fun to be competing at the top of the fleet – especially with some sailors who I’m usually following around the course.  And with 34 boats there were plenty of sailors keeping the competition close. Thanks again to Steven Cofer and everyone at SSA for hosting our championship!  And congratulations to winner Mike Russom who sailed a very consistent regatta with top 5 finishes.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2013 Laser District 11 Championship: Saturday

We started the 2013 District 11 Championship with 32 standards and 9 radials at Severn Sailing Association.  It was overcast with and the wind was blowing 8-12.  Out on the water we had a bit of a time getting started with the current pushing us over and multiple general recalls and restarts.

I didn’t have a particularly great start in the first race, but I made my way to the right and picked the shifts up the beat catching boats on every upwind.  As the race went on the wind started dropping and was 7 or 8 with left over lumps and chop. I ended up 7th.

In the 2nd race I had a terrible start and won the 6th row getting shut out at the boat.   I worked my way up the first beat just looking for clear lanes and only had 4 boats behind me at the first mark.  Downwind I picked up boats and I picked up another handful on the upwinds.  Salvaged a 10th.

For the 3rd race we still had a 7-8 knots and the chop started going down a bit.  I had a great start, but let Brady and Mike get ahead and to the right.  I followed and when they broke to the left I hung out to the right and crossed both of them.  I was first at the top mark and lost a boat downwind.  Mike Russom was fast and made a good comeback.  But Ted Morgan had the best lines and speed and beat everyone at the top mark.  I held onto 4th.

After racing we had crabs and listened to a band on the SSA deck.

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2013 Laser District 11 Championship: Friday

9/27/2013 J/70 NAC - J/70 waiting around.

This weekend is the Laser District 11 Championship at Severn Sailing Association.  The J70 North American Championship is going on Thursday through Saturday with 90 boats and so I decided to come up a day early to go out and spectate.  The wind didn’t cooperate much and after 4 hours sitting on the water, racing was cancelled for the day.  While we didn’t get to see any sailing, it was still nice to get on the water.  Thanks to Brian Reagan for the ride out to spectate.

Tomorrow we’ll have 40+ Lasers and Radials out for our two-day championship.  Lighter winds are expected which just means – it’s anyone’s race to win!

9/27/2013 J/70 NAC - out spectating.

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2012 Laser District 11 Championship: Sunday

DCIM\100GOPRO

We sailed another 3 races on Sunday to complete the District 11 Championship.  The wind started out around 14-15 out of the north, north west and died off to about 8 by the end of the 3rd race.  It was very shifty and challenging.  I put up a 9-4-9 today to finish in 6th.  Best part of the day was on the first beat in the 2nd race when I pulled off a perfect pick move when the Schooner Woodwind crossed behind me and blanketed the entire rest of the fleet (seen above).

Results | Pictures

Here’s a picture from sailing on Saturday that was posted on SpinSheet’s website.

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2012 Laser District 11 Championship: Saturday

2012 D11 Championship Saturday on the water

We had an absolutely beautiful day in Annapolis for the first day of the Laser District 11 Championship with 33 boats.  We did 4 races in 15-18 knots with each race taking about 45 minutes.  We sailed in their area C which was just north of Tolly Point with the wind at 200-180.  I did a reasonable job keeping up with the lead pack in winds that were right at the very top if not slightly above my competitive range. Having finished 5-7-7-10 I’m in 7th and looking forward to the slightly lighter winds predicted for tomorrow.  Results.

2012 District 11 Championship Crab Feast

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Building the Laser Radial District 11 Championship Trophy

District 11 has a new perpetual trophy to honor the Laser Radial District 11 Champions.  It was built around the original Standard Laser District 11 Championship trophy and features the names of the 7 champions we’ve had so far.

Original District 11 Championship Trophy

Original District 11 Championship Trophy

The original Standard Laser District 11 Championship trophy was built in 1979 by Mike Waters using a relief of a Laser created by his wife, Jane Waters.  Over the years this trophy was lost to time and in the mid-1990’s a new Standard Laser District 11 Championship trophy was created.  The original trophy was found about 5 years ago and the champions listed on it were used to populate the new trophy going back to 1972.

The original trophy was given to me when I became District Secretary and I thought it was a shame not to put such a nice piece of art to use and to loose a valuable contribution to our District.  We’ve started to have a consistent showing of Radials at our District Championship.  I thought – why not recognize Laser Radial champions and give Radials a trophy to sail for.

trophy plans

Trophy plan

The new Laser Radial District 11 trophy was designed to use the relief in the original trophy.  Since Mike was a boat builder and used the best boat-building adhesives to affix the relief to the original board, it would have been too difficult to separate the relief from the board without breaking it.  So the new trophy had to be built around it.

The new trophy would feature the relief in the center, a plaque with the name of the trophy at the top, room for the 7 known Laser Radial District 11 Champions and room for the next 36.

Construction of the trophy began at the end of August.  First the old board was cut away around the relief.  Then mahogany boards were joined and a hole cut for the relief.

Mahogany boards cut and joined around the relief.

Next a groove was routed around the edge and a frame was added to cover the threshold between the new wood and the old board that the relief was affixed to.

Groove and frame

Then the trophy was polyurethaned and the plaques were mounted to it.

Mounting plaques

The final touch was adding the rope to complete the trophy.

Laser Radial District 11 Championship Trophy

More pictures of the trophy and the build process can be seen here.

I want to thank my father, Stan, for his help and tools.  I also want to thank Mike Waters and his wife for creating the original trophy and for the fleets and individuals who have helped fund the materials to build the trophy.

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2011 Laser District 11 Championship: Sailing World

Tim Zimmerman is a writer for Sailing World and was a competitor at the 2011 Laser District 11 Championship we hosted a few weeks ago at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and he’s written a nice blog article about his experience at the regatta:

Don’t get me wrong. The regatta itself, the District 11 Laser Championships, was not terrible. In fact, it was fantastic. Hosted by the smoothly-run, beautifully-situated, Fishing Bay Yacht Club down in Deltaville, Va., on the southern Chesapeake Bay, the regatta was blessed with excellent winds, a great crowd of sailors, and a Laser-loving chef, Alain Vincey, who cooked up a spectacular Saturday-evening dinner. Even the camping was nice.

Read the rest of the article on Sailing World’s blog.

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