Laser Pico Fleet out in force
The Laser Pico fleet from the Tahoe Parks and Recreation Sailing racing class were out in full force this week for the Monday Night Laser Racing Series on Lake Tahoe, bringing the total for all three fleets about to 30 boats.
Tight racing between Nicole D’Angeli, Hayden Hauserman and Zack Thomas made for photo finishes between the three.
Ryan Conner, at age 9, made his racing debut. Asked how he fared during the race course, Conner replied, “Great, except for the one tack where my shoes slipped on the hiking straps and I did a back flip out of the boat.”
Keeping his calm, Conner managed to swim after the boat, catch up with it, right it and get back into the race. “It was an impressive first night out for such a young racer,” said coach Bryce Griffith.
In the Laser A fleet the story of the night was Jenna Granger, a Lake Tahoe-bred sailor and now U.C. Santa Cruz student who has continually turned up the heat on her fellow competitors. She finishes higher in the rankings each week, and Monday night, she made it into the top three and the nightly trophies for the first time this summer.
“It’s always good to see some fresh faces in the top three; it means our entire fleet is becoming more competitive,” said Dan Hauserman, who won one of the three races on Monday.
Jenna’s top finish was a second for the last race of the night, but her cumulative score allowed her to best Hauserman in the overall scores for the night.
“I was in a Granger sandwich in that last race,” said Buff Wendt. “I had Jim, Jenna’s father, to windward of me and Jenna to leeward, and they both had fast boat speed. Jim tacked away and tried to lure me with him telling me not to pin Jenna as he believed that he was sailing directly for our next mark.”
Jenna however, ignored her father’s advice, and sailed on the opposite tack a bit further and ended up rounding that mark in front of her Dad and Wendt. Jenna then extended her lead downwind in spite of Wendt’s and Granger senior’s best attempts to catch her. They again went their separate ways on the last upwind leg of the race, and even though Wendt closed the gap at one point, Jenna finished well ahead of Wendt and her father at the end.
“Jim has always been a great sailor,” said Wendt. “He’s usually in the top three each week. I’ve been sailing with Jenna since she was eight and now she’s in college. This summer she’s really made the leap to seriously uprooting the usual leader’s positions, including her father’s. It’s been a special moment for all of us in the fleet who have watched her grow up and become such an accomplished sailor.”
Winning the night in the A fleet was the ever-consistent Stan Eriksson.
In the B fleet, Kiwi Moore battled it out with Courtney Taves for first-place. Despite being a bit confused about the new gate marks at one end of the course and nearly ramming Taves, Moore recovered to win the night. A gate mark is two marks placed instead of one. Racers go between the two marks and then have the additional strategic challenge of choosing the better one to round to position them for the final leg of the race.
Stan Eriksson 6 points
Jim Granger 8 points
Jenna Granger 13 points
Matt Clark 17 points
Dan Hauserman 19 points
Kiwi Moore 4 points
Courtney Taves 5 points
Jacob Freepons 9 points
R.B. Clark 12 points
Mark Oshiro 16 points
Hayden Hauserman 4 points (tie)
Nicole D’Angeli 4 points (tie)
Zack Thomas 5 points
Ryan Conner 8 points
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Students frustrated at the cancellation of sports waved signs and delivered speeches at a Truckee High School protest in an attempt to return to the field this year.