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!

Wednesday Night Races — Incredible Turnout!

Wednesday Night Summary

Twenty one boats for a Wednesday night.  Let that sink in — 21 boats on a spare to fair Wednesday!  Wow!!

Sailors: Chris, Mark B, Mike M, Jack, Brig,Owen, Tim, Porter, John E, Jim H, Brian, Greg, Eric, Cullen, Isaac and Andrew from RCYC (yea!), Adam (new to our fleet (yea!)), Jody, Forest, Mike R, and Katie.  I know I have missed a few, so my apologies.

Running races were Norm as PRO, Jerri, Griffin, Graham, Jenkins and Annette.  Thank you!

Conditions were perfect!  Wind from the south primarily about 8 to 10, so the hiking muscles got worked a bit.  We had two one lappers and two, two lappers.  It took us right to sunset.

The name of this game was strategy!  If you hit the first shift, you were launched.  If your start was bad, so was your score!  Shifts and puffs required keeping one’s head out of the boat and being patient.

Tactics got a workout, too.  Due to the short length of the starting line, it took a lot of work to get set up where one wanted.  Surprisingly, there weren’t as many OCS calls as I’d have imagined!  Very impressive.

Mark B took the first one, and it was all Chris after that.  I guess Chris, having gone clean shaven, took about 15 years off his age and it must have taken 15 years of rust off his sailing!  He was a force with good starts, going the right way, and tacking at the appropriate time.

There was great competition throughout the fleet, and our visitors from Rush Creek, Isaac and Andrew, provided a lot of it for the front of the fleet.  So wonderful for them to be out with Cullen bringing on the next generation of sailors. 

Brian and I were talking about the big fleet on the short course and he observed how critical it was to not just bang a corner, but really watch what was going on with the shifts and pressure.  He did a very good job with less than stellar equipment getting himself toward the front.

What an awesome surprise it was seeing all the boats out!  Simply marvelous.  If we keep this up, 17 to 20 may become the new normal!

While putting boats away, the Young Wizard broke out two gallons of butter beer (without the butter!), which were quickly consumed.  Thanks, Griffin!  That hit the spot. We more mature types ensured the under 21 guys didn’t get any by drinking it quickly.  Heck, it was our civic duty!!

Best move of the night.  Mike R had his son, Jenkins, with him.  They stayed on the committee boat for three races, and for the last race, Mark B had Mike R use his boat.  Mike R did well, sailed the boat in, and put the boat away for Mark.  Mark B sauntered up as the last strap was clipped in place.  We all wondered if Mark was playing a game of chess, looking for car parts on the internet, you know, anything to wait until Mike R finished putting that boat away.  Mark B’s timing was impeccable.

Afterwards, the gang headed to Lake House.  Included were John Oliver, Griffin, Adam, Forest, Chris, Tim, Brig, Eric, Jody, Annette, and Greg.  The hit of the evening was John Oliver having Griffin rifle through his 45s.  Lots of Bowie, Zeplin, you know, 70s stuff.  But the hit for me was a Free Bird single.  I got my Skynard on!

All in all, a fantastic evening.

Dues

A naughty and nice list was threatened, but many of you have forked over your $50 to Greg, so thank you!  For those who haven’t, please do.  It’s well worth the money!!

Record Attempt June 6

Okay folks, 21 last night. Our record is 33.  We didn’t have Alex, Norm, Griffin, Jack, Aubin — and those folks are just off the top of my head!    We can do this!  

Clinics

Griffin is committed to having more clinics to help people newer to the boat improve.  So keep watching the FB page for days and times.  It’s so much better having a knowlegeable person watching you and giving you tips — it’s likely 20 times more effective than trying to learn things on your own.  So take advantage of Griffin’s kind offer!!

Upcoming Regattas

There is the Summer Solstice at Seabrook the weekend of June 23 and 24, which is a District 15 stop, followed the following week by the Laser Nationals at Houston Yacht Club.  Several choices to get out on wavy water!
 

Laser No Coast Regatta — Success!

Our event of the year is now concluded, and it was a success!  It was a usual Spring-like day on Saturday with the fan switched on, and Sunday was a weather casualty.  But six races were held, and folks got to enjoy challenging conditions on Saturday followed by some great food.

Twenty three boats entered the event, which was good considering there were three major singlehanded regattas going on in Texas the past weekend, including ours.  We had folks from Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Houston, Newark, and Buffalo join our gang, with sailors ranging in age from 19 to 67.  It was very heartening to see sailors in their 20s and 30s join in with the more “mature” types on hand.  Great fun to meet people from around the area who share a love for our little boats.

The regatta kicked off Friday evening at the VIP with an old fashioned fajita cookout.  Tim worked his grill magic complimented by the nectar of the gods, Blood and Honey on tap.  Fun, tasty, and it set the tone for the regatta — lots of good food!!

Saturday’s forecast called for bright sun, temps in the low 90s, and wind from the south in the 15 to 25 range.  The weather gods delivered on all counts!  Mixed in were some substantial puffs that could deliver a knock out punch whether going to weather or downwind.  Wind was streaky, patchy, and at times shifty.  Bob Gough did his usual masterful job of setting square, fair courses, and with our great volunteers manning several mark boats, we all felt safe.

Around 10 am the fleet set out to the race course to get started, feeling out the conditions.  With the first gun it was quite apparent that one of the young men from Houston, Andres Boccalandro, was going to be tough to beat.  He had the whole package — speed, boat handling, and tactical ability.  But, he had not sailed The Rock before, and it took him a few races to get going.

In the meantime, our Alex, who in usual fashion appeared just in the nick of time to get rigged up, showed he was going to be a force in the heavy going, and motored through the fleet to win the first race!!  Doug P was second, and Andres was fourth as he was caught on the wrong side of a big rightie.

Our Chris B had equipment issues all day, but none worse than having his top section shear off and rip his brand new sail in the first race!  Ugh!  And he broke a tiller extension as well.  But there’s no quit in Chris, and he got to work getting a sail and extension to use in the afternoon.

Doug P won the next two races which saw some incredible planing conditions when the big puffs rolled through.  One had to be on their game to weather these puffs going downwind.  There were a few “Brown Badge of Courage” awards meted out by the lake with White Rock mud atop several masts after the skipper messed up and capsized in some puffs that could only be described as “withering.” 

We broke for lunch after three races and tried to get some energy back in our bodies.  Folks ate their choice of sub from Jersey Mike’s Lake Highlands (shout out!), chatted, and drank water during the break.  Lots and lots of water!

The wind machine was still on when we went out for the next group of races.  By this time, Andres had figured out the shifts and put the hammer down.  One observer noted Andres was flatter than the rest, and he was much more stable in the handling the puffs going to weather.  I saw him sheet out a bit at times, but it was mostly in response to waves as opposed to puffs.  He kept that boat on the perfect edge, and it was a joy to behold.

Our Eric, who we all know is a strong sailor, put his best foot forward and battled Andres in race five.  I didn’t witness it myself, but I heard it was quite the back and forth tussle.  Andres pulled a bit of a lead by the end of the race, and Eric took to ensuring he got second; however, he was not able to pull off a clean tack, and dropped from two to six as a result.  But he knows he had the chops to take it to Andres!

Griffin also got his mojo going after lunch when he followed Fred Scroth’s advice to “pull the vang and cunningham so hard that it hurts!”  Classic Fred, and it worked for Griffin!

Tim and Alex swapped positions in mistakes — Tim leaving his drain plug out in the morning, and Alex leaving his out in the afternoon.  It’s easy to do, and we have all done it before.  It particularly happens when a regatta rolls around as we get out of our normal rhythm when rigging the boat.

At the end of the sixth race, Bob sent the fleet in. It was obvious the wind was taking its toll on the fleet. Awaiting them was delicious food, including brisket, mac and cheese, green beans, and cole slaw.  It was quite the spread, and lots of food disappeared that night!

The forecast for Sunday called for a 10% chance for rain, but very light, shifty wind.  As the sailors arrived at the club to partake of the breakfast tacos and coffee, they were greeted by dark skies that looked downright threatening.  That wasn’t in the forecast!

Turns out there was a massive storm cell stretching from San Antonio to Denton, containing a lot of rain and lightning.  As it was obvious we wouldn’t get our remaining races in by noon, Bob called it an event at 11.

More food(!) was followed by trophies and a group picture.  Awards were given to 10th, and there were a few special prizes given, too.  Jim H. got an award for “First Big Event,” and Chris B won the “Best Excuses” award for having a personal black cloud over his head on Saturday.  All in good fun.

Interesting that the age of the sailors was bracketed by first place sailor Andres (19) and second place sailor Doug (67).  That’s quite a spread!!

This regatta also marked Bruce Moore’s last big event at White Rock as a resident of the D/FW area as he and Kristen prepare to move to the colder climes of Michigan.  We also said good bye to Christof as he heads up to Michigan as well for his work.  John Oliver will well and  truly cut the cord soon and move to Panama.  We will miss y’all!  Don’t be strangers.

As with any event, it takes volunteers to run things.  Here is a list of many of the people we want to tell “Thank you!”:
Bob Gough — PRO
Annette J — Scoring
Kathy O’Neal — Flags and signals
Christof and Steve B — Race Committee Boat
Jeff P — Race Committee Boat
Mandy A — Mark Boat
Red Dog — Mark Boat
Martha — Mark Boat
Sherri G — Mark Boat and Pics
Eileen and Eric R — Breakfast
Jackie — Breakfast
Nina — Food
Bowman — Incredible Food

If I missed you, please know the fleet REALLY appreciated your support!

Fun on the water — and off!!

Wednesday Night Racing Recap

We had a good showing of 14 boats Wednesday night, including an old friend making his 2018 Laser debut.  Sailing were Porter, Christof, Brian, Norm, Stas, Griffin, Tim, Alex, Chris, Cullen, Brig, Eric Ro., John E., and Owen.  It was great having Owen back out with us.  Large and in charge with race duty were Jack as PRO, Greg, and Zach.  Thanks, too, to Graham and John Oliver.

We had four races, three one lappers and a 1.33 lapper, which started as a two lapper, but was shortened as we ran out of daylight.

The wind was from the north east for much of the evening.  Velocity was about 3 to 10, with much of it around 6 or so, which made for a lot of fun.  Not too tiring, but not too light — just about right.

Even in the lightish air, we had three, count’em, three capsizes!  Griffin tipped at the leeward mark while leading (the cheers reverberated!), Eric capsized after rounding the weather mark in race 2 when he did a violent roll jibe resulting in a deathroll on top of himself(!), and Tim bit the dust in race 4.  Hard rolls were the common culprit on such a mellow night!

Porter had a fantastic first race, pulling a second in “Ocelot.”  The west side of the course came in, and he and the Young Wizard were the beneficiaries as the rest of the fleet was on the east side.  The shifts made for some very interesting racing, with big gains and big losses a result.  Griffin prevailed in three of the four races, and Brig got the other, but other than Griffin getting launched in a couple of races, it was tight!!

After racing we all gathered under the gazebo, bench racing and having a beer or two.  For some reason the testosterone really got amped up and most of the boys showed off their pull up acumen.  I was amazed!  My elbow hurt just watching them.

John Oliver, who’s relocating to Panama, brought some of his sailing things to give to people.  He gave his brutal hiking bench to Greg, a pair of Italian slippers John said he actually wore in public(!) went to Alex, a major wash tub for icing beers went to Tim, and the best, a Harry Potter wand from the Slytherin House, was presented to our Young Wizard, Griffin.  Simply brilliant.

All of this took us to 9:40, at which time the decision was made to go eat.  Off to The Lot we went, getting there just in time before the kitchen closed.  Included were Griffin, Tim, Eric, Christof, Greg, John Oliver, Stas, and Brig.  Greg’s interesting drink was white sangria.  Hmm…..  Lots of fun convos.  A great end to a fun evening.

Laser No Coast  

Event now passed, but new newsletter will be forthcoming going over the nitty gritty of that 23 boat event.

Miscellaneous

Dues I got sidetracked and didn’t get the naughty and nice list, but it will come out next week.  $50 to Greg, please!!

Big Fleet Race June 6 is the scheduled date for our big fleet race.  Make plans!  This will be the event of June!!

Champagne Conditions for Last Night’s Racing!

What a lovely night for sailing we had yesterday!  Steady winds from the south, 11 boats on the line, and four races to give everyone a bit of a workout.  Sailing we had Alex, Doug P., Forest, Cullen, Jody, Christof, Chris, John E., Griffin, Brig,  and Eric Ro.  Running the races we had Mike T. as PRO, Martha,
Graham, and Mike R. on the big boat and Porter and Eric Re. on the crash boat.  Thanks, race committee, for getting the races off.

The wind gods threw a bit of everything at us, from winds in the high teens, perhaps brushing 20 for the first two races to much more moderate conditions for the last two races.  This was a far cry from last week’s burn down of withering gusts, and much more enjoyable.

The race committee ran two single lap races, nos. 1 and 4, sandwiching two, two lap races.  The last race started just before sundown, ending after sunset.  That’s called getting your races in!! 

There were some capsizes last evening in the first two races, but not none too serious.   And the funny for the evening was in the last race when Eric Roman’s hiking strap decided to part ways with him at the finish line!  He went over the side — and the boat went over with him.  Lots of guffaws on that one!

Our fleet is a competitive one.  Before the start of the first race, the Young Wizard commented to me “This is a good fleet — lots of people can do well.”  And he’s right, our fleet is competitive because of people like Griffin who share their knowledge.

The evening was dominated by Chris who borrowed one of Forest’s sails work his way to the top.  His big concern was whether Forest was going to jack the price up on the sail!

Lessons for the heavier wind:

  1. If you are overpowered going upwind — you can’t hold the boat down strictly through hiking, reduce power in the sail by:
    1. Cranking on the Cunningham
    2. Cranking on the Vang
    3. I also pull my dagger board up a couple of inches when I am way overpowered as it keeps the boat on its feet better
    4. And this should have been first — steer precisely.  Watching Chris is a joy because he balances the boat perfectly through his steering.  He is often feathering the boat  to keep it flat.  But he also does all of the preceding stuff, too!!
    5. Downwind, don’t let the Vang all the way off when it’s really cranking.  Your steering options get too limited when the Vang is too loose.  Keep about a 10″ tail on the Vang downwind when it’s blowing.
    6. When you jibe is critical!  Don’t jibe when a gust is hitting you.  Jibe either before it hits you or after you are going full speed.  The boat is massively powered up when its accelerating, so even when you are going really fast, you have a better chance of pulling off the jibe than you do when the boat is accelerating, as when a gust hits you.

Important Control Line — The Vang

Griffin will do a pictorial in an upcoming newsletter showing you how to get the most out of this control line.

No Coast Regatta

It’s show time, folks!!  The weekend of May 19 and 20 is it.  Please contact Griffin if you either want to sail or can help make this a great show for us.

Dues  Please pay your dues.  We will post a naughty and nice list next week.  Be on the nice list!!  Greg is the man.

Racing on Wednesday, May 16  Next Wednesday will be our last tune up for the No Coast.  Our race committee will be GRIFFIN, CAN YOU FILL IN, PLEASE?

Big Sail Out — June 6 Let’s all shoot for June 6 to have as many boats on the line as possible.  Bob Gough will be running the show, so it should be spectacular!!

Blow, baby, Blow!

Wednesday Night Racing Recap

We have been waiting for strong winds this season on a Wednesday night, and they finally appeared last night.  It was solidly in the low 20s with some withering gusts thrown in.  With the higher wind speeds, the shifts weren’t as large as we have seen in recent weeks.  Surprisingly, the chop wasn’t very big despite the wind being from the south.  But boy, those gusts!!  Whew!!

We had a lot of people out of town, so our numbers were way down — only Cullen, Chris, Doug P., and myself hit the water.  Overseeing us were Jody, Annette, Greg, Eric Ro., and John E.  Thanks, race committee!!

The story of the night was damage control.  The first race, a two lapper, got underway with me leading at the first weather mark.  My plan was to sail by the lee, which worked well until I tried untangling my cunningham which was wrapped around my main.  My main slipped out of my hand, and it was deathroll city.  It took a long time to get the boat back up, but I got her going again.  Cullen had some issues downwind, too, but Chris and Doug P. had none.  Doug P. was launched, but I was able to catch Chris at the second weather mark, but I had to tack and wait for him to clear me to round the mark.  That allowed him to launch on me. 

I got a huge gust, but I was on starboard going away from the leeward mark, and I was not about to jibe in it!  Chris was on port when the gust hit him, and he spun out, allowing me to get past him.  Turns out the violence of his spin out stressed his vang attachment on the boom to the point that it was a matter of time before his vang failed, so he sailed in.

Race 2 was a drag race between Doug P. and me to the left, and I was able to keep my height on him despite not being as flat.  So I led at the mark and turned the corner downwind.  The wind was very up and down.  I was sailing by the lee with my vang off but the main sheeted pretty tight.  I saw the gust of the night coming down when I looked back.  I didn’t realize it was the gust of the night, and boy, when it hit, the boat loaded up in a manner to which I am not accustomed and the boat simply spun out.  In retrospect, I should have had the vang tighter to give me more options with the main.  I had to do the double capsize to get the boat back up, whereas Cullen didn’t turn over.  I decided to just point straight to the mark and wildly planed to it, rounding just behind Cullen.  Experience paid off for the old fart, but Cullen did a great job.

Race 3 was much the same as the second race with Doug and me going left.  Doug was able to work up to me, but not until I was on the layline to the weather mark.  The finish was downwind, and that was the night.

Doug toyed with us like a cat with a mouse all evening.  He is preparing for another WC, and his boat handling was super.

After sailing, Mike Rist rode up on is bike, and John Oliver showed up, too.  Jody, Annette, John Oliver, and I hit Lake House, capping off a fun evening.

Lessons:
1) Tight vang!!  You need a ton of vang going to weather, and you have to find a method that works for you to tack with a super tight vang.  For me it’s going to my knees during the tack, overrotating, and sheeting out a ton so as not to stall.  It worked. Oh, and how you rig your vang is critical.  Ask Griffin for tips to utilize the entire scope of your vang.
2) Tight cunningham!!  Depower in those puffs.
3) Work the main in the puffs!!  If you have a super tight vang, you can sheet out in the puffs, keeping the boat flatter and accelerating as opposed to standing on your ear, which is not fast.  
4) By the lee downwind is stable, but not having enough vang is a fool’s errand.
5) Practice recovering from a capsize.  Everyone turns over.
6) Keep your lines separated.  When it’s honking, the tails on the cunningham, vang, and outhaul get long, so keep your working area clean and the lines away from each other.

Upcoming

No Coast Regatta

It’s almost here, folks!!  The big weekend is May 19 and 20.  Sign up ASAP if you plan to sail and save yourself some dough as there is a $25 late fee fast approaching, and if you aren’t going to sail, volunteer!!  This is OUR showcase event, so please step up.

Go to Facebook to sign up.  

Laser Nationals  To be held at HYC in late June, but let’s get past the No Coast first!!

Miscellaneous
 
Dues  See the handsome man with his hand out (Greg), and slap $50 in there.  

Clinics  More are being planned, so stay tuned!!

Ideas  If you have an idea to increase participation, let Griffin, Tim, Eric Ro., or me know.  These little boats are a blast, and we need to get people to use their boats.  It’s fun, the camaraderie is great, and it gets you outside, away from a keyboard.  You can’t beat that!!

Big Wednesday Night Throw Down!  Only 29 days until our big night on the water.  Tell your friends.  Get your FS buddies lined up to sail!

Racing tomorrow evening  Racing should be spectacular tomorrow!  Get that boat out.  Last formal racing before the No Coast.  RC is Mike T, Porter, and Eric E.  6:30 pm horn.

Spring continues to deliver!

Fleet Racing Summary, April 25

Last night we had seven boats on the line, including Griffin, David, Forest, Eric Ro., Chris, Brig.  This was a pretty impressive turnout given the horrible weather right up to start time.  Rainy, cold, and generally miserable, the weather was a real deterrent.  But lo and behold, just as the old guy was ready to bag it, the winds calmed and warmed considerably.  As the evening progressed, it got nicer and nicer.  The Young Wizard’s thought that we should make sailing a game time decision was quite prescient.

The wind was from the northwest, and it was streaky, puffy, and SHIFTY.  Several people were auto tacked, and I heard Griffin exclaim “I almost turned over!” when his turn in the auto tack barrel came around.  The issue was the big shifts came when one was fully hiked. 

Last night wasn’t a boat speed race as much as a being in phase and pressure race.  As a result, there was a lot of chutes and ladders going on, and everyone was leading a race at one point or another.  And the competition was very, very tight — big changes in position were seen regularly.

We got in three races, two single W/Ls and a final two lapper.  It was simply a marvelous evening of spring sailing in Dallas.

Of course we couldn’t have done all this without a race committee.  Tim led the charge, which included Chris’ adorable daughter Brixton, Greg, Mark M., and Karly.  A special shout out is due Miss Karly given she did her best Tammy Wynette and stood by her man helping out on race duty when it likely wasn’t her first, second, or fifth choice for her evening’s activities.  Thank you to all of you!

After racing, the crew went to El Vecino for the fine Mexican cuisine. Christof joined us as he was working on getting his boat, graciously loaned him by Steve Comen, together.  And we had a most special visitor from the south, John Oliver, looking tanned and relaxed back from Panama.

Other Racing — Commodore’s Cup
We had three lasers sail in the Commodore’s cup with many other laser sailors in other classes! We had Greg Wallace come in first place sailing a full, Jim harris and Christof Bussen tied for second with Jim sailing a radial and Christof sailing a 4.7. Conditions were difficult with winds shifting constantly and routinely gusting well into the 20’s. Sunday brought blustery weather with temps in the low 60’s and a strong north-west breeze, but this did not deter Greg from steering Captain Snicklefritz to a straight bullet win!

Upcoming

Conroe Spring Fling Regatta — this weekend     This is a Laser circuit regatta.  The regatta chair will welcome anyone up to the start of the regatta. 

NO COAST REGATTA — May 19 and 20 at CSC 

Folks, this is OUR regatta, and if you’re going to sail in it, we need you to sign up.  If you’re not planning to sail, we have a list of things that need to be done to put on a first class show.  Please contact Griffin either way.  This should be a BLAST!!!  Clink the link to sign up.   http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/16400#_home

Miscellaneous
 

Dues  Please get $50 to Greg ASAP.  Alex was conspicuously absent as rumor has it he was negotiating with a concert promoter to bring Justin Timberlake to one of the get togethers.  So this is some high tone stuff!  Get your money in!

Big Push for Fleet History!  We are only 41 days from our June 6 attempt to break our old record of 33 on the line.  Talk this up!!

Change in Starting Time for Fleet Racing!
Beginning May 2, racing begins at 6:30.  Race duty is scheduled to be Jody as PRO with John E and Eric Ro. in support.