Gusty, gutsy sailing |

Gusty, gutsy sailing

Jill Casey/Provided to the SunJim Granger sails his way to a first-place finish in the "A" Fleet during the Monday Night Racing Series. Powerful gusts up to 35 knots on Lake Tahoe left many of the laser boats upside down and sailors swimming.

A week after the initial Monday Night Racing Series was called off due to a lack of wind, Tahoe Laser Fleet sailors knew they were tempting fate when met at the Lake Forest Boat Ramp with a warning sign that winds were gusting up to 35 knots.

“We’ll go out in these types of winds, and it isn’t always pretty,” said Buff Wendt, one of the “A” Fleet racers. “But you like to at least have one week of sailing under your belt to work out the kinks in your equipment before you hit weather like this.”

Nonetheless, 16 boats left the dock and participated in three races.

In the “A” fleet, the racing was mixed. David Adolphs horizoned the fleet early and never looked back.

“To horizon the fleet is to win the start, be first to the windward mark and just extend your lead,” explained Jim Granger, the “A” Fleet winner on the night. “David has superb speed, especially in the lulls between the gusts. He shifted gears really well and just dominated the first race.”

In the second race Todd Jackson won the pin end on a port tack for a picture-perfect start, rounding the first mark in the lead. However, downwind, Jim Granger worked the gusts and managed to surf by Jackson to beat him to the next mark.

“He passed me downwind and I never was able to hunt him down during the next upwind leg to the finish,” Jackson said. “Jim lives for wind and waves, and his experience and boat handling proved that tonight as he surfed by me in several large gusts.”

The third race had the most crashes of the night, with a huge blast of wind leaving many of the boats upside down and sailors swimming.

Dan Hauserman and Matt Clark were leading when the wind hit. Clark flipped on the jibe and Hauserman was about to flip as he went through a series of wild gyrations as his boat high sided back and forth about five times.

“How Dan stayed upright was beyond me,” Adolphs said.

The majority of the fleet was not so lucky.

“I was completely unaware the lasers could mate,” said “A” Fleet racer Justin Casey, much to the amusement of the fleet. “Rob Loeber and I capsized into each other and spent at least 10 minutes swimming, hoping that we could pull our boats apart.”

Adolphs was also a casualty in that race, capsizing and righting his boat with part of it missing, causing him to retire and miss placing in the standings in what had otherwise been an extremely strong showing.

Ultimately, Hauserman’s ability to keep his boat upright during the gusts allowed him to win the last race of the evening with a good lead on the rest of the fleet.

In “B” Fleet racing, there was an unprecedented four racers, which is substantial so early in the season.

Like Hauserman, Tony Dahlman took first place on the night in the “B” Fleet by managing to stay upright in many of the huge gusts.

“We all were thrown from our boats at some point tonight,” Dahlman said. “I managed to win the last race solely by my determination to hang on somehow and capsize after crossing the finish line.”

In a notable “B” Fleet finish, and new to sailing last year, Mark Oshiro won his first engraved mug from Sunnyside for finishing in the top three.


“A” Fleet:

Jim Granger 6 points

Dan Hauserman 11 points

Todd Jackson 11 points

Buff Wendt 12 points

Matt Clark 12 points

“B” Fleet:

Tony Dahlman 5 points

Brad Tyler 6 points

Mark Oshiro 9 points

Ron Driller 10 points

The spring Monday Night Racing Series will continue through July 9. The summer series starts on July 16 and runs through Aug. 27. To join, call Justin Casey at 386-0553.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User