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
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.
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.
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.