First Wednesday Racing of 2019

The weather gods were very kind to provide Chamber of Commerce conditions for the first races of the Spring Series. We had temps in the 60s, mostly North wind between 2 and 12, and water that wasn’t too cold.

With the “A Team” of Eric Ro. and Griffin, ably assisted by their canine companions Zoe and Tiller, running the races, the rest of the group, including Forest, Mark, John E, Tim, Alex, Owen, Brig, and Adam (using one of our loaner boats to great effect!), all had a chance to have their moment of glory. The fleet was extremely close throughout the evening aided in large part by extremely shifty wind, which meant no lead was safe.

The first race pretty much summed up the evening. Tim had a commanding lead starting the last beat to the finish when he didn’t quite sail far enough to a right shift. He could do nothing as three boats sailed right past him! The night was full of similar chutes and ladders – you could go from hero to zero or from zero to hero in nearly the blink of an eye.

Even though the wind was not very strong, we had two capsizes on the evening. Alex scored a perfect 10 on his capsize. At the start of the first race he had the entire fleet pinned when he began a massive roll tack to port. It was a thing of beauty – until he didn’t get to the high side! Hooting and hollering from the race committee boat ensured everyone had a good look of the boat on its side

Eric and Griffin had a running commentary on the races as they progressed. Their mirth was stoked by the 40° shifts that prowled the course. Owen had a knack for being in the right place at the right time when a big one would come through, and he had quite the cheering section as result. The rest of us were on the receiving end of some pretty funny laughter. The committee’s presence and commentary made a fun evening even more fun!

A special shout out to John E and Adam! John E mixed it up in every race and sailed really well, taking a third in the last race. Adam also strutted his stuff in the last race by being in third place at the leeward mark! That’s what makes this fun!

On the evening we had Mark book ending the five races with wins, and Brig, Tim, and Forest snagging wins as well. Owen was the real winner of the second race; however, he sailed the wrong course. Gotta watch that course board.

Speaking of race format, in an experiment to see if we could get by with one crash boat, the starting line was set between two buoys with the committee boat unanchored sighting the line. A  three minute starting sequence and a white board for the course were implemented. This seemed to work out really, really well.

Afterwards the crew went to Lake House for some fine dining. Included were Mandy, Karly, Tim, Forest, John E, Griffin, Eric, Alex, Brig, and Adam. One of the waitresses took a real shine into the dogs, Zoe and Tiller, and fed them yummy bacon. My dog imitation was not quite up to snuff to warrant free bacon, alas.

All in all, a wonderful way to kick off the 2019 season. Using  the Three Bears analogy, the evening was “just right!”

Spring is Here!!

Even though the lake was flooded, debris abound, and breeze in the 20’s, we managed to get three boats on the water for our first practice day to kick off the Spring Season. Way to go Eric Roman, Forest Atkins, and Griffin Orr for splashing their boats in to enjoy some fun rides! I think Forest was the only one of the three not to go for a swim after a death roll!

We never like to see the lake flood, but a flood when the air is warm does bring up the water temperature which is now nearing 60 degrees. This sets us up very nicely for next week, the first official week of scored racing this year. First gun is at 6:00PM and we will race until dark. 

Stay tuned for a notice on race committee assignments, dues, a fleet meeting and also an upcoming loaner / dock work party.

Sailing Season Starts Again

With Daylight Savings this Sunday, we get an extra hour of daylight with the sun setting at 7:30!!! Though this is still early to have scored racing, we will hold practice races next Wednesday, March 13th to get us back in shape and clear all the cobwebs. I am planning to have a rescue boat on the water shortly after 6:00PM, with marks and a horn to set some short courses. Scored racing will begin Wednesday, March 20th, with first Gun at 6:00PM until the days lengthen. If you cannot make it in time for first gun, take your time and join us when you can as we shoot for 3-4 races each night.

Dinner and Arlington Packup After Races!!

Join us on the water tonight for some good fun on the water! Storms have moved out of the area and we are expecting a cool 5-15 knots of breeze out of the south. First gun is at 6:30 and we will race until sunset.

After racing, the fleet will be hosting dinner at the club as we pack boats for the LaserPalooza Regatta this weekend in Arlington. If you have not signed up yet, check out the link here: 
http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/17477#_registration

Also if you have questions about getting you boat to Arlington, please just ask Griffin Orr. The fleet will coordinate to make sure that anybody who wants to go can get their boat to Arlington.

There will be plenty of food but please BYOB. See you on the water tonight!

Tonight’s Forecast!

Sailing Locally And Afar

Wednesday Evening Racing Last Night

Thirteen boats hit the line last night to enjoy near perfect conditions at the lake.  There were 11 full rigs and two radials being sailed exceptionally well by Aubin and Rachel.

Winds were fairly steady straight down the pipe from the south.  BUT, there were shifts in there, and with courses that had a very long weather leg, it made for good tactical and strategic sailing.  

Speed was needed, too, and Chris B. had it in spades, giving up a tad of pointing to get to the next shift.  He sailed his own races, and he was rewarded with four of five firsts on the evening.

Racing in the pack was very close, with some fun mark roundings for the RC to watch.

Speaking of RC, we had Alex as PRO who did a good job making the calls on the course.  The first race was skewed as a big leftie filled in, but things worked out well after that.  He was a bit less stellar on getting participants’ names, so no rundown, but he did a great job running the boat by himself!

Afterwards, Griffin, Tim, Chris, Alex, Eric Ro., Greg, John (back for a few hour layover in Dallas), Forest and Mandy, Porter, and Cindy and Brig (with Angel) hit Lake House.  The young studs who repped in CO had a lively convo regarding their exploits of being out late and still sailing well later in the day(!).  Several Eastern European ladies will be telling stories back home, I am certain….   All in all, a perfect capping of a fun night of sailing.

Texas Laser Contingent Invades CO

DLF Sailors Alex G, Tim P, Eric R, and Griffin O braved an 1800 mile drive to sail on Grand Lake, nestled just west of Rocky Mountain National Park at 8,359 feet. The forecast showed for no wind all weekend, but as we drove in on Friday, there was a fresh breeze of about 15 knots from the east, giving us hope that there would indeed be racing. We could not launch our boats to test sail on Friday as they first had to be inspected for invasive species by the Parks and Wildlife Officer, however this did not stop Alex from hijacking a laser from the swim dock, much to the owners delight (As he no longer had to de-rig his boat)

Saturday started with 27 competitors and a breeze that slowly trickled in around 11:00AM out of the southwest. As race 1 started shortly thereafter, it became abundantly clear that the breeze was not going to last, slowly retreating from whence it came. Griffin took advantage of the direction of retreat and took an unfavorable shift to stay in the breeze, sailing twice the distance of his competitors to take a flyer into the weather mark, having gained a substantial lead. The downwind leg would see the wind die completely, with only the powerboat waves propelling the fleet forward. DLF sailors finished 1, 3, and would be 5, but Alex took his shirt off and neglected to put his PFD back on, thus was summarily disqualified. 

The afternoon saw the breeze shift 180 degrees and fill in to a fresh 10-15 knots for another 3 races seeing Griffin grab two more bullets, Eric a third, and Alex a second.

After festivities with the local sailors, encounters with two black bears, and some additional acclimating to the altitude, Dallas was ready for day 2!

Day 2 started much the same as Saturday with a dying southwesterly breeze, which gave us two races, the second of which Eric scored a third! We readied up for one last race as the wind predictably shifted 180 degrees and picked up to 10-15 knots. This race was one for the history books!! Griffin started at the pin and Alex at the boat, Griffin played the hard left and Alex played the hard right yet, yet still managed to both meet at the top mark ahead of the fleet with Alex having a 1/2 boat length lead!! Welcome to mountain sailing!! On the downwind leg, Alex picked a fight with a Brit, Griffin played it safe down the middle and Tim found a pocket of breeze that found him passing half a dozen boats. With one last upwind, we had to be sure that Texas left their mark on Colorado and we did with Griffin, Alex, and Tim finishing 1, 2, 3, respectively.

Griffin ended up first in the Regatta and exchanged Burgees with the Grand Lake Yacht Club. Team Texas pledged to return next year with even more boats and also extended invitations to the Colorado sailors to attend Wurst fest or Rock the Ice Regattas. Overall this was a fantastic regatta that none of us will forget and none of you should miss out on attending next year!!

Upcoming:

Laserpalooza — Details on this District 15 regatta, to be held the weekend of September 15 and 16 at Lake Arlington may be found here: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/17477#_registration

JULY 4 — Woo Hoo!!!

Update on Sewage Mess

It appears that the mess has been contained well north of the lake, but official word from on high has not been issued.  Look for it soon, though.  Griffin is keyed into the point of contact on what’s happening with the situation.  But as of right now, ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO!

Aero Regatta

Okay, not Lasers, but several of our little band of merry makers attended Jack Hattendorf’s club away from our club, Viridian in Arlington.  The lake is part of a master planned community and is simply fantastic.  The docks are patrolled by a very large, strong man whom many of you all know, and to whom Alex refers as “Mr. Gough!”  Griffin’s report follows:

Dallas Sailors made their way to the Second Annual Viridian Firecraker Regatta to give a shot at sailing their 20 brand new RS Aero’s! Conditions were quite a bit more tame compared to our last venture to Viridian with winds from the South(ish) at 5-15 both days. 

Forest A, Brig N, Griffin O, Alex G, Eric R, and Jack H, all played a part in the fun. Racing was tight and no lead was ever guaranteed with the crazy shiftiness and variability of speed between boats. At times, one boat could be planing in a puff only tens of feet from another boat with limp sails. 

As pictured above, none of us will forget THE mother of all mark roundings. The leaders were nearing the leeward mark in light breeze when the middle of the fleet hit a puff and started planning, quickly closing the gap. By the time the first boats made it to the leeward mark, the wind was up and the fleet had completely condensed just in time for the carnage to begin! As Brig and several others discovered, these boats can capsize quite easily and unexpectedly. 

At the end of the event, DLF Sailors ended up 3rd, 4th, and 5th. We look forward to coming back for more!

July 4 Activities

In these unsettled times, we all need a place to get away and share time with friends, food, and libations while we celebrate how fortunate we are to live in the greatest country in the world.  The club offers that respite this Wednesday!

Opti Regatta (pre-party) —  Yes, Optis for Laser sailors and others.  The Young Wizard has organized quite the fun event with a  max of 18 boats to be raced beginning at 5:30 pm (First Gun).  Early betting favors Rachel M. of our fleet, but you never know when Mark B. or other dark horse will pull it out!  When I mentioned we are having this event to a person who lives elsewhere, he replied: 

Lets keep in touch and let me know how the Opti sailing goes. I assume it is kids sailing Optis and not you Eric, griffin, forest etc. That would be tragically funny.

Here’s to tragic funniness!!

Main Event — At 7 pm the club party begins, including a band, food, and adult beverages  The band is The Grace Pettis Band, food will be burgers grilled up by the appropriately named Hamburger Man, and libations will include beer, wine, water, and sodas.  Of course, our club is also a great spot to view the fireworks at Fair Park.

Jam Packed Week Ahead!

 

But first, last night’s sailing

Nine of our group sailed in fantastic conditions last evening, including John E., Forest, Chris, Cullen, Griffin, Jack, Porter, Eric Ro., and Mike R.  We also had new to our fleet Robert out sailing a radial getting up to speed.  Helping run the races were Jack’s daughters, Tim, Brixton, Tiller, Brig, and the oh-so-officious Alex as the Principal Race Officer.

Wind was really consistent in strength all evening, but there were big shifts.  Even with the big shifts, racing was tight!!  Five races were held, the first a W2, and the remainder were W1s.  There was enough air to get a work out, that is for sure.

The fleet was tightly bunched throughout the evening, which made it fun for the spectators as well as the sailors.  There were a lot of close mark roundings, some major duels downwind, and trees!  Trees?  Yep.  The submerged kind.  Alas, three of our guys found pretty substantial wood.  But none of the damage was terminal, so all good on that front.

We had a bit of excitement before racing started as the Dallas Fire Rescue Team showed up to investigate a capsize.  Turns out Chris and Brixton were sailing together before we got out there, and a death roll was viewed from the shore by a concerned citizen.  The citizen called the Fire Department which dispatched a hot racing boat to interrogate Tim about the situation.  People just don’t get that a Laser can turn over and be righted.  But the funny thing was Brixton was ready for her daddy to death roll during a race!  

Afterwards we went to Lake House.  Included were the latest hiking machine Karlee, Tim, Eric Ro., Brig, John E., Griffin, Tiller, Alex, and Forest.  Quite fun!

Laser Nationals

The Laser Nationals at HYC are upon us.  I believe Chris will be our representative.  He has been sailing, so good luck to him!

Viridian Regatta

Not Lasers, but this weekend will be the Aero Viridian Regatta.  Several of our group will be visiting Jack at his local club.

July 4

The club will be a fun fest in a week!  Besides the usual fun stuff — band, food, beer, and gabbing, the Young Wizard has organized an Opti Regatta in lieu of normal Laser Wednesday Night Racing.  He has a hard cap of 18 entrants, and there are but a few spots remaining, so if that floats your boat (and some of us will be lower in the water than others!), sign up!!  Long range forecast shows some wind.

If you can help run races, please contact Greg Wallace who, with John E., are RC, need another volunteer.

DLF Representing

Last weekend several of our fleet went to the Seabrook Sailing Club’s annual Summer Solstice Regatta, and by all accounts, they had a blast!  Good wind, great friends, some adult libations (a few over-consumed (ask for details!!)), and a group adventure.  What follows is Griffin’s account.

Dallas Sailors made their way to he a Seabrook Summer Solstice on Galveston Bay this past weekend to sail in exceptional conditions against some of the top sailors in Texas. In attendance from DLF were Griffin O, Alex G, Tim P, Christof B, Eric R. On day 1  conditions were winds from the south at 15-20 with 1-3 foot waves which provided some very exciting reaches and downwind legs offered by the Olympic courses. Wipeouts were a plenty across the fleet, with those able to sail a clean race all but guaranteed a top half finish. Day 2 was much the same with two more Olympic courses with some more drastic shifts that made no lead guaranteed. 

There were a few incidents, however, with Christof cutting his leg on day one which put him out of commission for the rest of the regatta. (Infections are to be avoided at all cost on Galveston bay). Alex showed up with a tiller extension that looked like a banana and despite calls from competitors to find a better one, he proceeded to sail out and break it in half on the last leg of the first race!! Lastly Griffin was sailing out to the racecourse on day two when his gudgoen fell off. Thankfully, he was able to sail in and fix the issue before making it back out to make the second start with 3 minutes to spare! 
Top sailors from Dallas were Griffin Orr, Alex Goldberg, and Eric  Roman in 4th, 6th, and 10th respectively. 

Traveling Regatta

Griffin is organizing a group to attend the Colorado Laser Championship August 11 and 12. See his FB group for more details, but there should be 30 boats!

Summer Sailing is ON!!  Be a part of it!!

Summer is HERE!

Summer is HERE!

The last Wednesday of Spring 2018 saw a good showing of boats Wednesday night.

Work undermined me again, so I don’t have a lot of details other than Alex won a race, and then went from the penthouse to the basement in a later race.  That’s what makes this game fun!!

Speaking of finishing last, EVERYONE does at one time or another.  The enjoyment is being in the water at our little oasis in the middle of the city with your buds.  Having a beer afterwards doesn’t hurt, either, unless you’re under 21!  And we have some clinics coming up to help everyone up their game.  So come on out!!  

Regatta Scene

There are several events being held in the next few weeks to get yourself wet.

Summer Solstice at Seabrook Sailing Club — June 23 and 24 in Galveston Bay
This is always a fun event.  Griffin is attending, and last I heard, he has room for traveling companions.

Laser Nationals at Houston Yacht Club — June 29 through July 3 in Galveston Bay
This is a test!  The young man who mopped up at our No Coast will be there with people who are likely better than he, so it’s a fantastic chance to learn by example!  If you can make it, do so!  You won’t be disappointed!

Aero Regatta at Viridian — June 30 and July 1 in Arlington
This isn’t Lasers, but it’s being sponsored by one of our Laser Fleet members, Jack Hattendorf.  Entry is $60 plus a $100 donation to the sailing club if you charter a club owned boat, so not cheap, but close.  If you can’t do the Laser Nats, this is not a bad opportunity to try a different boat and sail with a different crowd.  Griffin and I are taking this option.

The Galveston Bay regattas are in a fantastic venue.  Yes, it’s salt water, but boy, the sea breeze often kicks in and the chop builds!  If you weigh less than 170#, it will be more difficult in the breeze and chop if you’re in a full rig.  But the enjoyment derived from screaming down chop is not to be missed.  The GREAT thing about the Seabrook regatta is they often run triangles, so you get the pleasure of reaching, and if it’s blowing, the firehose is ON.  So try to get to Houston.  Oh, and the Seabrook Regatta is a D15 Circuit event.

July 4

The fourth is on a Wedesday, which is our normal sailing day, but there is the annual club party that day.  There has been some traffic back and forth with our fleet members to hold Opti races in lieu of our races, and it’s getting some traction.  Watch the FB page for more details.

Wednesday Night Momentum

We have some good momentum going. Breezes will be lighter through the summer, but from time to time, you get some real wind.  The key is to wear a lot of sunscreen, a hat, a rash guard, and drink a lot of water.  Beer doesn’t count!  Sunglasses don’t hurt either.  Let’s keep the momentum going!!

Great Night of Sailing!

Wednesday Night Recap

It was a wonderful evening for Laser racing last night.  Five races were held in winds from the south, ranging from 8-15 with flat water making for some fun sailing.

And despite many of our fleet taking part in the Flying Scot regatta at Rush Creek, there were 12 people sailing!  Included were Alex, Cullen (more on him to follow), Chris, Christof, John E., Rachel, Porter, Adam, Sandy D. (yea!), and Stas of whom I am aware.  I know we missed a couple — sorry.

Overseeing the races were the recently separated conjoined twins, Mike R. and Mark B., and Eric Re.  Thanks guys!!!

Back from the Ted Nugent’s Motor City Madhouse* (and intact — a week there is about as much as I could take!) was Christof, who had a whale of a night.  He didn’t quite put a “Stranglehold” on the proceedings, but he was a force.  He was able to put the hammer down on the more experienced Chris and Alex when those guys got tied up with each other, AND he led a race to the last mark, ultimately finishing fourth.  Great job, Christof!

From looking at the results, there was obviously some good racing going on throughout the fleet.  But props must go to Chris for port tacking the fleet twice, apparently against the admonition of Mark B.!!

Special shout out to Cullen.  Cullen, who with his dad is competing in the Championship Fleet at the FS regatta, came back to WR when FS races finished at Rush Creek to get some more sailing in!  He put some of that Championship Fleet knowledge to use by winning the second race!  Good for you, Cullen.  Sailing a lot in as many different classes of boat as one can is how to really improve.  A guy of whom some of you may have heard, Paul Foerster, became arguably one of the best sailors in the world by racing anything that floated.

All in all, a great evening.  This was a worthy follow up to the BIG night last week considering competing interests.

Flying Scot Regatta at Rush Creek

A lot of our Laser sailors are at Rush Creek competing in the regatta, and they’re all doing well in their fleets!  We have Alanna and Bruce Moore (making his cameo), Jody and Annette, Forest and Mandy, Tim and Griffin, Cullen and Graham, Steve and Renee, and Greg Wallace sailing with Volkan all participating.  From what I have seen on the FS FB page, conditions look to be tough with big shifts and velocity changes (doesn’t that sound familiar?!).  Anyway, today is the last day of the regatta, so pull for the home teams!!  Woo hoo!!

Upcoming Regattas

Summer Solstice at Seabrook Sailing Club on Galveston Bay is June 23 and 24, followed by the Laser Nationals at Houston Yacht Club, also on Galveston Bay, on June 29 – July 3.  The Seabrook regatta is a blast, and I know several are going to attend.  I believe a few from our fleet will attend the Laser Nats as well.

If you aren’t doing the Laser Nats, there is an Aero regatta at Jack Hattendorf’s Viridian club on June 30 and July 1.  It’s a bit pricey as one has to pay a charter fee, but it’s close!!

Other

Chris has been getting out on the water on Saturday mornings, and it’s fun.  Norm and I sailed with him last Saturday.  Chris has shaken a lot of rust off from his sabbatical, and he is eager to get the fleet up to speed.  Watch for his FB posts on our site.

Griffin will also be doing some clinics soon, so be on the lookout for those as well.  What is fun is improving so you can enjoy the game more.  We are blessed to have so many people who are willing to share tips and advice and then show you on the water, how to improve.  Take advantage of it!!

Fun Ideas

If you have any ideas for fleet fun, please let Griffin, Tim, Eric Ro, Greg W., or me (Brig) know.  This is our fleet, and the more ideas we have for fun things to do the better. 

* When you have a 60 year old writing the newsletter, you have to put up with some throwbacks to 40+ year old bands and songs.

28 Boats on the Line June 6!!

What a FANTASTIC showing by the fleet to have 28 boats on the line! 

Thanks so much to Bob Gough and the Corinthian Fleet for running the races. 

I wasn’t there, but I heard it was great!

This Wednesday

While many in our fleet will be sailing Flying Scots in another regatta, some of us won’t, so come on out on Wednesday!  Same Bat time, same Bat station.

District 15 Events

We have several opportunities to travel, starting with the Summer Solstice Regatta to be held at Seabrook Sailing Club on June 23 and 24.  This is always a fun regatta, and you get to sail in some really good chop to boot!  And it’s also great practice for the following week, which is the Laser Nationals at Houston Yacht Club.  So take your boat down for the Seabrook regatta, leave it, and sail the nats.

Griffin has set up some FB accounts for the Seabrook Regatta and the Nationals, so check them out.  

Miscellaneous

Thank you to the folks who have ponied up for dues.  If you haven’t paid, please track down Greg.

The loaner system continues to bring new people to our group. If you know a sailor who wants to give it a whirl, apprise them of the program.  As we get into the season with weaker wind, the less experienced folks can try their hand.

Chris has announced he will be practicing on Saturdays at 9 am.  Practice is good — the more time on the water the better.  

Watch for more clinics to enhance the enjoyment of these little boats.  They’re fun!