Laser

2018 US Laser Masters Nationals: Sunday

Sunday at the US Laser Masters saw more wind as it built through the day. We went out on schedule and sailed the first race in similar wind to yesterday in the 8 knot range as the wind bounced around between 200 and 220 before finally settling in at 210. I had another bad start and had to pick my way through the fleet to finish 26.

By the 2nd race of the day, the wind had built to the mid-teens.  I cramped up on the first downwind, wasn’t practiced enough in the wind and waves and ended up with a case of the flipsies.  I sailed a little more conservatively downwind after that and kept the boat upright, but would finish 39th.

In the 3rd race of the day and 7th total race the wind was a bit steadier in the 15-20 knot range, I had a good start, but struggled getting the boat dialed in and sailing fast in the stronger breeze. Part of it was being out of shape and the other part of it is probably doing 90% of my sailing in the 5-12 knot range over the past couple years and not having enough time in the boat in those conditions.  I would go on to finish 41st.

By the 4th and final race of the regatta the wind was the same, I was a little more comfortable in the boat and making it go in the wind. I sailed conservatively until the very last leg – I passed two boats on the short reach, had the inside track on the pin when a gust hit and I started to round up into the pin boat.  I did all I could to dump mainsheet while rotating the boat around just enough so that as I tipped over to windward my mast fell just to leeward of the pin boat. I hadn’t hit anything, I cross the finish line and I even found I could stand up.  I righted the boat and sailed in exhausted.

Back on shore we packed up and the awards ceremony was held.  I finished 24th overall and received the award for the top Apprentice.

Eric, Mike and everyone at Brant Beach Yacht Club put on a great regatta all the way around.  I had a great time visiting with all of the sailors there and enjoyed 3 days of sailing. I’ll be back next year when Brant Beach hosts the open North American Championship Regatta in July.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 US Laser Masters Nationals: Saturday

Saturday’s forecast at the US Laser Masters called for more wind even though it wasn’t looking promising in the morning.  We went out anyway and it built to 5-10 out of the south.

In the first race I had a great start and won the pin.  I worked left and found more pressure.  At the first mark I was 7th out of 67 boats.  I tried not to loose too many boats downwind and held my own upwind.  I ended up 13th.

For the second race I had a terrible start and parked it on the line while the fleet sailed away. I was in the 40’s at the top mark.  I went low downwind and picked up some boats and on the 2nd beat I picked some shifts up the middle right of the course and passed some more boats.  I caught another boat or two downwind and finished 20th.

The 3rd race saw me with another terrible start – this time at the boat end.  I had a lot of trouble finding clear air and was towards the back of the pack at the first weather mark.  Unlike the last race, there weren’t as many passing lanes and I managed a 35th.

By the 4th race I was tired of sailing in dirty air and determined to get a good start.  My start wasn’t just good, it was fantastic and I sailed hard to hold my line upwind and stay in the front row.  I found my speed to be on par with anyone around me and as we worked our way out to the middle left of the course I found myself crossing fewer and fewer boats and having all the clear air I desired.  I was in 3rd at the top mark and sailed just as well if not better downwind by going high and passed another  boat by the gate.  Upwind I sailed fast, picked shifts, and found myself in 2nd again but to a different leader at the top mark.  Downwind I sailed fast but conservatively so as not to do anything stupid.  I again went a little high of the guys chasing just to ensure I had clear air.  When we came back together, one boat slipped by and I was able to finish in 3rd.  It was pretty amazing to hang with some great sailors and gave me a thirst to try and do more of that tomorrow.

That got me to 15th overall after 4 races with more planned tomorrow. In masters scoring, my handicap as an Apprentice Master (35-35) means 3 points is added to each race finish. Older sailors get fewer handicap points.  That evening I enjoyed another dinner at the club restaurant while we watched the sun set over the water and retired early to rest up for more wind promised tomorrow.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 US Laser Masters Nationals: Friday

I got a late start out of Richmond on Thursday night and finished the 2nd half of the drive this morning arriving at Brant Beach Yacht Club 45 minutes before the skippers meeting. We ended up being postponed on shore another 45 minutes before finally leaving around 12:30.

We would go out and float around another 2 1/2 hours without any wind really filling in. I tried making a GoPro video that made it look as if we really were sailing fast. Kind of glad I did – I took some underwater video and only after reviewing it later did I realize how bad the weeds really were despite not looking bad on the surface.  Also note how shallow the bay is.

Back on shore the sailors enjoyed a great dinner in the club house and watched the sunset as the club’s A-Cat Raven sailed by.

#BrantBeachYachtClub #a-cat #raven #sunset sail. #brantbeach

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RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 FBYC 79th Annual One Design Regatta: Sunday

This morning we were greeted to sunny skies and light winds out of the North. We launched and sailed almost to Gynn’s Island in area C so we’d have the most fetch with a north wind.  We got the first race started and just as we were about the start the wind clocked around toward the east and came in a 8-10.  The mark was easily fetchable so we had another parade race.  There was some passing and it was important to stay as high as possible so as not to be blanketed by the other fleets on the opposite leg.  I rounded the first mark in 4th and then made up two spots on the 2nd ‘upwind’ to finish 2nd.

The course was reset for the 2nd race and the wind picked up to 10-14 with some whitecap and small waves. I had a great start, held my lane and used speed and hiking to pull away from the pack a bit.  Charlie and David were to leeward going out left as well. About halfway up the beat I tacked to catch a shift to the right and ended up with less air and more headers.  Charlie stayed all the way out to the left and came into the windward mark about 15 boat lengths ahead and I was almost as far ahead of David behind me.  On the second beat I tried going more left than Charlie, but couldn’t get any shifts and we held our positions for another 2nd for me.  That put him 1 point ahead in the lead again.

For the 3rd race we had a pile of boats at the boat end for the start.  Charlie and I pulled ahead a bit and we rounded 1-2 at the top mark.  I stayed within 3 boatlengths downwind and we crossed close a few times upwind before I got a shift out of phase and he put 3-4 boat lengths between us and held that to the finish.

It was great being out on the water – I feel a lot better and up to speed before going to Masters Nationals in Brant Beach in two weeks.  Thanks to Rebecca and Massey for organizing the event and to John K and all of the folks on the race committee running the races and marks around.

RESULTS | PICTURES | VIDEO

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2018 FBYC 79th Annual One Design Regatta: Saturday

The forecast was pretty dismal for the 79th Annual Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and we were treated to a nice of weather as we could have gotten – I was expecting cloudy skies turning to rain by the afternoon and didn’t even take sunglasses or sunscreen out.  We ended up sailing 4 races in 0-7 and the clouds broke up and gave us some sun before the end of the afternoon.

In the first the wind started out more to the west of south and the left side of the course was favored.  David went left, while Charlie and I went right.  I bailed out halfway up the leg and got somewhat left and managed to round just ahead of Brad. We held our positions downwind and on the second upwind David covered me to the left side of the course allowing Brad to catch a lane out to the right and sail around us. I would end up 3rd.

In the 2nd race I had a great start, this time also worked my way a little left and had to pick my way back right.  Alain rounded just ahead of me and I followed him downwind.  The two of us again went left on the second beat, this time the course was set 10 degrees more to the south.  Charlie and Brad were able to sail around us and I finished 3rd again.

In the 3rd race the boat was heavily favored, I had a great start and punched out working the middle left of the course.  Most of the fleet went way to the left and I found more pressure, less dirty air from the other fleets and a favorable shift at the top mark on the first beat.  Charlie caught up to me downwind and we jockeyed at the downwind mark with me just ahead of him.  Upwind Charlie split out to the left while I stayed middle right and Mike stayed far right.  Mike caught up and crossed ahead and headed to the left while I stayed middle right and again found better pressure and shifts rounding 15 boat lengths ahead and held that to finish 1st.  That put me 1 point ahead of Charlie, David and Brad who were all tied for 2nd.

For the 4th and final race the wind shifted way right as the race were getting started and it ended up as a parade lap.  Those who went high and avoided the other fleet traffic had clearer air and got ahead.  The wind for most of this was 0-3 and at one point I think we were making wind by riding the current.  I picked up a spot on the final leg and finished 3rd again.  Charlie had pulled ahead on the 3rd leg and David squeezed ahead of me.  So after 4 races in a regatta with no drop races, Charlie is 2 points ahead of me and David who are tied.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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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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