Laser sailors’ last hurrah
Special to the Sun
The final evening of races for the Lake Tahoe Laser Fleet on Monday featured strong and steady west winds, and some competitive sailing.
Howling winds sweeping across the lake were nothing compared to the howling of several sailors as they competed against each other. And although there were no protests, rules appeared to have been broken.
The excitement in the “A” Fleet was never-ending as everyone competed for their final etched glass of the season.
Gary “Kiwi” Moore ” aka “Blind Squirrel,” according to fellow sailor Jim Granger ” astonished everyone with his skillful start in the second of three races when he went across everyone’s bows and quickly slipped into first place.
“I had the best start ever,” Moore said. “All those guys were stalling and hanging back, so I jumped in.”
Unfortunately for the Blind Squirrel, Moore won nothing on the evening with his second-, 13th- and 12th-place finishes.
“It is a good thing Blind Squirrel has a day job as a photographer,” Granger said with a smirk.
Another surprise came from Nick Pullen, who “used to be the fastest sailor I knew,” said “A” Fleet racer Justin Casey.
Pullen, recognized by his peers as one of the top Laser sailors in the fleet, explained that he “sucked canal water” when asked about his fifth-, sixth- and second-place finishes for the evening.
Dave Adolphs also stunned everyone with his low standing when he placed fourth, ninth and seventh.
Matt Clark sailed three very clean races and earned himself the first-place spot on the evening. Stan Eriksson placed second and a sullen Pullen third.
Because this was the final evening of racing, the awards for the spring and summer series were presented at the Tahoe Yacht Club by a slightly bitter Justin Casey.
“Todd Jackson fouled me but he was so clueless he didn’t do a 360,” Casey said.
When Casey was asked by Blind Squirrel why he didn’t protest Jackson, Casey said with a laugh, “Because I didn’t want YOU to win.”
If Casey had protested, Jackson would have been eliminated and Blind Squirrel would have placed first instead of second in his only good race. Casey also added, “Todd fouled me and then Granger fouled me immediately after Todd’s foul.”
Granger was heard in the background. “I did my 360,” but no one seemed to care. Some of the sailors thought Jackson cheated but it was brought to everyone’s attention by Casey that it was a “rule infraction.”
Mark Oshiro again “horizoned” everyone in the “B” Fleet with his “three bullets,” or three first-place finishes.
From the Tahoe Yacht Club’s committee boat, junior sailor and race assistant Drew McMillan noted that Oshiro will soon be racing in the “A” Fleet after all his “horizon jobs” this summer. Oshiro also had his own cheering section on a spectator boat.
Each season the sailor who does the best in the “B” Fleet is moved up to the “A” Fleet for the next season. Oshiro’s Laser previously was owned by two “A” Fleet sailors, first Nick Pullen and then Luke Frederick.
Also sailing three spectacular races was Zack Thomas, a young and talented sailor.
“Zack sailed so well this evening, we are all so proud of him,” said Tony Dahlman, another “B” Fleet sailor.
Thomas finished second on Monday with two second-place finishes and one fourth. In all three races his skill, strength and determination was noticed by all, including McMillan, who commented from the committee boat, “It’s a Zack Attack again,” as Thomas quickly maneuvered into a good positions at all of the starts.
Another surprising event on the evening was Dahlman’s “dry run,” which in Laser sailing terms means no capsizes. Dahlman has had some spectacular and untimely capsizes this season that have made him famous among the fleet.
Overall series results
1. Stan Eriksson
2. Matt Clark
3. Nick Pullen
4. David Adolphs
5. Dan Hauserman
1. Matt Clark
2. Stan Eriksson
3. Nick Pullen
4. Dan Hauserman
5. Dave Adolphs
6. Luke Frederick
7. Todd Jackson
8. Gary “Kiwi” Moore
9. Jimmy Granger
10. Caroline McNally
11. Rob Lober
12. Jenna Granger
13. Justin Casey
14. Paul McMurchie
1. Mark Oshiro
2. Zack Thomas
3. RB Clark
4. Tony Dahlman
5. Brad Tyler
7. Ron Driller
8. Ryan Hackbarth
9. Hayden Hauserman
10. Mark Thomas
Check it out:
The Kip Larue Fleet Championships will be held the weekend after Labor Day at Stampede Reservoir. For more information on the event contact email@example.com.