Laser Fleets experience night of good wind
August 22, 2006
The Tahoe Yacht Club Laser Fleets experienced another night of good wind and very competitive racing punctuated by very close finishes for all three races held in each fleet.
In the first ‘A’ Fleet race, Buff Wendt rounded the top mark in first place only to lose her lead to Stan Eriksson.
“I threw every move I had at him, but I just did not have the boat speed to keep up with Stan downwind,” Wendt said. “We rounded the last mark close together and I tried hard but I couldn’t catch him upwind either. We’ve nicknamed him the ‘Stanimal’ because he is such a dominant competitor in our fleet.”
The second race had a similar story, this time with Caroline McNally cruising by Jim Granger on the downwind leg and then maintaining that lead to the finish for her first victory in the ‘A’ Fleet.
“Caroline is hot off the college racing circuit and we knew it was just a matter of time before she would get comfortable sailing a laser,” said ‘A’ Fleet racer Jim Granger. “She passed me like I was standing still.”
The final race for the ‘A’ Fleet was a short two-leg race as the daylight was fading quickly. This kept the boats really close together and the competitors knowing that the start was critical.
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Dan Hauserman won the start and was able to maintain this lead to the windward mark. David Adolphs showed his incredible downwind technique and challenged Hauserman for the lead. Hauserman had every right to be nervous because the finish was downwind, giving Adolphs an advantage if there were to be a gust of wind, as he would receive it before Hauserman.
Fortunately for Hauserman, no real new winds filled in and he was able to maintain his lead for the win. The remainder of the Fleet finished together in the next two minutes, creating a challenging situation for the race committee.
“Short races are sometimes fun for the sailors, as the mark roundings are so tactical when everyone is that close,” said race committee officer Stacy Conner, “but it really makes it hard to catch all the sail numbers when five people cross the line at the same time.”
In the ‘B’ Fleet, Kiwi Moore continued his romp to place first in all three races.
“He’s sailing really well,” said fellow ‘B’ Fleet racer Jacob Freepons. “We’re going to welcome his advancement to the ‘A’ Fleet.”
Traditionally, as a ‘B’ Fleet sailor starts to dominate and win the fleet consistently, they are promoted to the ‘A’ Fleet so that they can reach the next level of sailing.
“It’s a great system,” ‘A’ Fleet sailor Rob Loeber said. “I became comfortable learning how to sail and race my Laser in the ‘B’ Fleet, and now that I have had a few seasons in ‘A’ Fleet, I’ve gotten to a point where I can vie for the top positions in the ‘A’ Fleet in any given race.”
Courtney Taves, Freepons and Brad Tyler all challenged Moore for his top position in the three ‘B’ Fleet races, but in the end Moore was able to best them all.