Pullen sweeps Monday Night Laser Racing Series | SierraSun.com

Pullen sweeps Monday Night Laser Racing Series

Submitted photoNick Pullen hikes upwind during this week's Monday Night Laser Racing Series.

Thirteen Lake Tahoe Laser Fleet sailors braved the windy conditions off the Lake Forest Boat Launch for this week’s Monday Night Laser Racing Series.

Nick Pullen, the 2005 season champion, swept all three A Fleet races in first place.–

“I was jonesing to sail,” said Pullen, who had not been able to compete in the previous races this season. “The conditions were perfect for me: strong variable winds with lots of shifts and plenty of waves to get the boat surfing. I think I had some pent-up energy that helped me to hike hard and keep the boat flat and going fast upwind.”-

By “hike,” Pullen was not referring to a trek through the woods, but rather a sailing technique in which the sailor attempts to hold his of her body as far as possible over the side of the boat.–

To keep from falling out of the boat, the sailor has his or her feet underneath a small strap in the cockpit called, naturally enough, a “hiking strap.”- –

“This counterbalances the force of the wind on the sail which is trying to tip the boat over,” Pullen said. “If you can keep the sail full and the boat flat, it goes faster through the water.”

Only two sailors competed in the B Fleet, the Laser fleet for beginning racers. Former windsurfing champion Chaco Mohler won the race.

“I love it out there,” Mohler said. “Laser racing is kind of like driving a sports car while someone squirts a hose in your face and playing chess at the same time. It’s a great challenge and everyone in the fleet is very encouraging. We’d like to see more people come out and race.”

To learn more about Monday Night Laser Racing and how to become involved, contact Dan Hauserman at the Tahoe Yacht Club at 581-4700 or visit http://www.tahoeyc.com

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