Laser

2018 Laser District 10 Championship: Sunday

Day 2 at the Laser District 10 Championship and we had more wind and cloudy skies for 3 more races.  The first race was about a mile top to bottom and we did two grueling laps.  I had a great start and had good boat speed at times upwind.  I played it conservatively so as not to flip. This was especially challenging down by the bottom mark where the seawall was reflecting the waves back upwind making it feel like a washing machine and I buried the bow multiple times sailing upwind with a full cockpit of water.  I finished 11th – my fourth 11th place finish in 6 races.

The second race was more of the same with another knot or two of breeze. I started and decided to call it a day as I wasn’t going to change my finish much missing the last two races and would only wear myself out before a long drive home and before rain moved in.

It was nice to see Shore Acres Yacht Club – I can’t wait to see it when the clubhouse is finished.  Always great to sail with all the very competitive D10 sailors and I’ll be back in D10 for the Laser Masters Nationals in August.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 Laser District 10 Championship: Saturday

Friday night after work I made the trip up 95 for the Laser District 10 Championship at Shore Acres Yacht Club in Brick New Jersey. I managed to miss most of the traffic around Washington DC and made good time arriving at the club at 11 to spend the night van camping.

In the morning we were greeted to beautiful sailing conditions and a tad more wind than had been forecasted.  The winds started out of the north east and slowly shifted to the south east over the course of the afternoon at 8-12 knots under mostly sunny skies.

21 competitors in what would be a very competitive fleet.

On the water I inconsistently sailed consistently – meaning I’d have some bad legs and some good legs and I always managed to finish mid-fleet in either 11th or 13th place in all 5 races. I had moments where I was in the top 5 and the bottom 5 of the fleet.  We sailed a modified windward leeward course that at one point was probably 1 1/4- 1 1/2 miles from top to bottom which made for a very long downwind leg. Despite the long legs and my terrible starting it was a great day of racing and it felt good to be back in the boat again.

Laser District 10 Championship is underway at SAYC!

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After racing I went for a run, enjoyed drinks and tacos on the beautiful deck facing the water and met some of the other Laser sailors and SAYC members. A band played at the club while the sun set.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2017 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship: Sunday

Day 2 at the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship saw a little stronger wind that yesterday out of nearly the opposite wind direction. In 3 more long races I was able to move up one spot in the Apprentice Division while only falling one spot overall finishing 12th.

Ahead of the first race I did my prep, checked the wind current, favored side of the course, etc. I would learn pretty quickly in the first race that I was exactly wrong on all of it. I also managed to hit a mark, did my turn and then on the 2nd beat I flubbed a tack and capsized.  So much for dropping the 23 from yesterday, I’d now have a 32 to drop.

As the wind picked up to light hiking conditions I did much better to get a good start and hold my lane up the first beat.  I rounded 10-12 and held my own downwind.  On the 2nd upwind I made some good moves and passed some boat holding onto 5th the rest of the way around the course.

In the 3rd race of the day the wind eased back to 8-10.  I had a good first lap rounding in the top 6, but I picked some bad shifts on the 2nd beat and lost 10 spots.

All in all I was pretty happy finishing near the top 1/4 of the fleet.  The regatta ran as smoothly as it could have and I have the members of FBYC’s Laser fleet as well as Rick Klein and our race committee to thank.  I can’t wait to finish grad school and have some more time to do more masters events.

FINAL RESULTS | PICTURES

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2017 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship: Saturday

Starting mark.

We had a busy morning checking in 44 competitors and making sure our RC and safety boats had all of their equipment – on top of rigging a boat.  But it all came together for the first day of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and we were able to sail 4 races in light conditions out of the North. Approaching the club was a challenge – the tide was very high and most vehicles drove through 6-8 inches of water on Fishing Bay Road.  Never had I seen a line at the hose stations to wash the salt water off the cars.

Car was station.

At the skippers meeting this morning I was made a marked man with a shirt to wear for sailing making it very clear it was my first time sailing the event.

Jon and his masters 1st time shirt jon getting a shirt

Out on the water had high 60’s air temp, 72 degree water and cloudy skies with winds 5-7 out of the North.  Occasionally we’d get some 8 or 9 and occasionally it also die out to 3. We were sailing in area B and given the super high tides we’re having, there was a lot of water flowing out of the river going left to right across the course at almost a 90-degree angle.

The first race was a slow H3 on a course that was just under a mile in length.  I didn’t follow my plan to go left and despite a decent start – worked my way out to the right, was the wrong side and paid for it never really  being able to climb through the fleet and finished 23rd.

The 2nd race was a two lap race and I did better playing shifts in the middle of the course to stay just behind the lead pack.  Going left downwind was paying well and I picked up a few boats there on both runs and wound up 10th.

Jon sailing downwind

Jon sailing downwind

The 3rd race was a similar but just 1 lap.  With the first beat being over 20 minutes long there are definitely passing lanes and the fleet spreads out a bit up wind.  I was top 5 0r 6 around the top mark, but this time the left didn’t pay off as well.  I lost some boats downwind, but picked a couple upwind and settled for 9th.

In the 4th race I started to worked the middle on the first upwind and found myself in the mid-teens around the top mark.  Downwind I held my spot down the middle. I rounded the right gate – took a hitch to the right to clear my air and then banged the left corner going into the current, but doing it in the lee of a shore.  When I came back on the port layline I crossed all but the top 3 boats.  That position held for the rest of the race finishing 4th.

Given the forecast and the possibility that it was going to die – we were very happy to have gotten in 4 races and we weren’t in until 4pm making it a rather long day.

Jacque Kerrest, Luke Shingledecker, and Gavin O’Hare were all consistently at the top of each race and are on top of the leaderboard.  Tomorrow’s forecast had been for more wind, but that might not be true anymore so we’ll see what happens in that one especially after the drop.

Eating Dinner

Alain prepared another fabulous meal of ribs, crab cakes, and mac and cheese.  Everyone hung out for a couple hours and finally turned in.  Over half of the fleet is camping at the club.

DAY 1 RESULTS | PICTURES

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2017 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship: Friday

This has been the most anticipated regatta I have ever been a part of.  Back in 2005 I was the event chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship for the first time.  I got put in charge then because I was the most active fleet member at the time who couldn’t sail it yet. It would be 12 more years before I finally aged into being able to sail and something we’ve been discussing ever since.  I got a taste of masters sailing earlier this year when I went to Florida Masters Week and I can’t wait to finally be able to participate in an event I have put so much effort into over the past nearly 20 years I’ve been a member at FBYC.

Jon getting registrations into the scoring system

The last two days have been a whirlwind of pulling all the details together.  Being the 13th edition of this event I’ve chaired – the script for it is pretty well established, but it is a bit of a 48 hour mad dash to get all of the food, trophies, souvenirs, and other gear plus my own sailing equipment loaded, transported and readied at the club for the weekend.

some went for a sail friday afternoon

Throughout the day sailors began to arrive and some went for a sail in the mid-teens wind and light misty rain.  Later we piled a bunch of folks into the van and all went into town for dinner.

High high tide

I also got to check out Rob’s new setup.  He now has a sprinter van loosely modeled after my setup – so now there’s two laser sprint vans on the circuit.

Rob's Sprinter

Each year one of the preparations is to make a breakfast casserole that can be easily heated up and served for breakfast.  I make 4 of these a couple days before the regatta and keep them refrigerated.  Here’s the recipe I’ve been using:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 role breakfast sausage
  • 1/3-1/2 bag cubed potatoes
  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • 18 eggs
  • 13×9 pan
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese

 

  • preheat oven to 325
  • Brown breakfast sausage
  • Cook strips of bacon, once cool – crumble into small bits
  • Cook cook cubed potatoes
  • eggs into a large mixing bowl and mix
  • Add potatoes, salt, pepper, mix
  • Add sausage, bacon, mix
  • Add all but 1/8 of the cheese, mix
  • Pour mixture into a pam-sprayed tin
  • Bake 45 minutes
  • Add remaining cheese over the top, bake another 6 minutes, let cool.
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2017 FBYC Laser Summer Regatta

The FBYC Summer Laser Regatta was a pretty light-air affair with only two races sailed.  11 boats out including the club’s junior coach who schooled us all with 2 bullets.  Charlie Brewer took 2nds and I had 3rds.  Thanks to Rick F for running our races.

RESULTS

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2017 Moving Jess From Dallas to Richmond

In July I drove out to Dallas for a week to help Jess pack up and move.  It wasn’t all work though – I got to go sailing two days with the Dallas Laser Fleet and raced a night in their summer series.

It was tight fit getting everything into the van and ended up spilling a few things over into a Uhaul trailer.

We visited with Jess’ Dallas friends and said some farewells.

And two days of driving later we were back in Richmond.

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 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship

It was the 35th Anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship and the regatta is finally old enough to be a competitor.  The color coral commemorates a 35th anniversary and the shirts we designed turned out pretty cool:

Regatta tshirt

The first day saw medium winds just into the double digits with mostly clear skies.  In 5 races we had some close competition up top between Gavin O’Hare and Charlie Brewer who both finished the day tied with 20 points.  Mike Schmidt was close behind in the 41 boat fleet.

Alain and his kitchen crew prepared another fabulous me and a tent city popped up full of sailors.

Sunday started out with no wind and we waited ashore as it began to build about an hour later.  A little lighter than yesterday we ran a little shorter courses and made it through 4 more races.  Charlie and Gavin stayed close and Gavin managed to edge just ahead of Charlie to win the championship.

Thanks to Alain, Rick, Len, Frank and everyone else who helped make this another great Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship.  And after 13 years of only being the event chair – I’ll be looking forward to next year where I can both run it and qualify to sail in it!

PICTURES | RESULTS | VIDEO

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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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