Late wind picks up Laser fleet spirits
July 3, 2014
Monday night seemed destined for a cancellation of races for the Laser fleet as 22 boats paddled on a glassy Lake Tahoe to the general region of the race committee boat.
The competitors drifted around for awhile socializing, and then, as if the wind gods were impressed by the good showing, a steady zephyr filled in, allowing for two races for the Lasers and one for the picos.
In the Laser fleet, Dan Hauserman showed his dominance for the evening with solid starts, good windward legs and an ability to pull away far enough to round the leeward marks in first place and maintain that lead for two bullets for the evening.
"I was asked by a newcomer why first places in sailing are called a bullet," said chief race officer Stacy Conner. "In larger races, the first boat across the line was denoted by the firing of a rifle. These days we use a horn verses a whistle, but you and your competitors always know when the first boat has finished."
Behind Hauserman, Stan Eriksson, Buff Wendt, Kiwi Moore, Rick Raduziner and a sailor known only as Gabe duked it out.
In the first race it looked like Moore was going to beat the second pack to the leeward mark, having sailed to the opposite side of the restricted start finish line. However, Eriksson and Wendt beat him to the mark and finished second and third, respectively.
The following race was a similar story except this time Gabe showed his speed fresh off the college sailing circuit, besting Eriksson and Wendt for a second-place finish. Eriksson found better shifts going off the last windward leg to come from behind and capture third from Wendt.
"We're very excited to welcome Gabe to our fleet this summer," Raduziner said. "He's obviously quite fast and should be great competition for the rest of the season."
Also new to the fleet was Brian Olsen, who made his debut in a buddy boat and succeeded in completing the courses on his first night out sailing a Laser.
In the radial fleet, Ingrid Roske decisively won the night with a first- and second-place finish among the five boats that competed. Behind her, Ryan Conner took second and Ryan Thomas third.
Andrew won the Pico fleet, which had eight boats, while Cole finished second and Max Roske third.