Clark sets pace in Monday Night racing |

Clark sets pace in Monday Night racing

A record number of Lasers competed in this week’s Monday Night Laser Racing Series on Lake Tahoe, with 17 A Fleet members, eight B Fleet members and a racing team of four Laser Picos from the Tahoe City Parks and Recreation Department Sailing Program.

Matt Clark had a well deserved win on the evening, working hard to come back from some fairly mediocre starts.

“He had tremendous downwind speed,” said A Fleet racer Caroline McNally. “We could all use a lesson from him both in the technique and tactics.”

Clark broke a tie breaker with Jim Granger because he had a first-place finish on the evening while Granger’s best finish was second.

In the B Fleet, racing was once again tight between Chaco Moehler and Courtney Taves.

“Due to a grave tactical error in the second race, I once again let Moehler slip by for the win,” said Taves, who won two of the three races.

Also in the B Fleet was new member Brad Tyler, who was missing spending time in the water as a river guide and decided to give Laser racing a try after reading about the fleet.

“It’s a great sport and a really nice fleet,” he said. “I highly recommend anyone who is considering it to come out join in on the racing.”

The Picos were a welcome sight on the course, as they are comprised of youth in the sailing racing program. The graduates often move up into laser racing as Ryan Hackbarth has done quite successfully this season. The jump from a Pico to a Laser can be a big one, but Hackbarth is proof that the sailing school teaches great sailing skills.

“He’ll be a serious threat pretty soon as he becomes more familiar with the boat,” Taves said. “It’s great to see more teenagers racing with us.”

“Like a siren’s song, the sparkly bright water on the right side of the course kept drawing me in. But it was nothing but an illusion,” said Dave Mesicek of the Lake Tahoe Laser Fleet. “It was a very deceptive night in that the right side of the course was less windy than it appeared.”

Sailors are constantly looking around the race course for wind. Both the direction and the velocity are important, as it is necessary to find the most wind at the best angle to the marks to win races.

This is much harder than it sounds, but for the velocity part, sailors look to see where the water looks dark and full of ripples and try to avoid smooth glassy areas. Wind can come down and hit the water in puffs, or fill from one side of the course, only to stop and fill from another side.

A Fleet:

Matt Clark 9 pts

Jim Granger 9 pts

Dan Hauserman 11 pts

Todd Jackson 12 pts

David Adolphs 15 pts

B Fleet:

Chaco Moehler 5 pts

Courtney Taves 6 pts

Jacob 10 pts.

Brad Tyler 13 pts

Ryan Hackbarth 15 pts

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