Rec league looks to pump out young Laser sailors |

Rec league looks to pump out young Laser sailors

Mike Thompson/Sierra SunPico Laser sailors receive instruction on Donner Lake during the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park Districtandamp;#8217;s junior trial races Monday.

DONNER LAKE andamp;#8212; Universal truth: Competition is more fun for those who are competitive.Shaun Mitchell understands this. It’s why the sailing director with the Truckee-Donner Recreation andamp; Park District is taking time to train his young sailors before sending them into battle in the Monday Night Laser Series.andamp;#8220;We were just going to do the Monday Night Laser Series, but I decided to do some race clinics here (on Donner Lake) to get the kids ready for competition over there,andamp;#8221; Mitchell said, referring to the Tahoe Yacht Club’s longtime weekly race series held off the Lake Forest Boat Ramp. The Tahoe Yacht Club’s Laser series is open to the public and includes three racing divisions andamp;#8212; the andamp;#8216;A’ and andamp;#8216;B’ Laser Fleets for expert and novice adults, and the Pico Laser Fleet for youth sailors.This past Monday marked the second evening of the TDRPD’s junior trial races, held off Lakeshore Park on Donner Lake’s north shore. The trial races are intended to recruit for advanced junior sailors, ages 8 to 17, while also fine-tuning for the Tahoe series with andamp;#8220;race prep,andamp;#8221; Mitchell said. After more than an hour performing race drills alongside adult instructors Monday, the small handful of Pico sailors competed in three races as the evening winds died down, weaving in and out of course markers in tight formation as parents looked on from shore. andamp;#8220;I see a lot of progress. Hopefully another month and we’ll be ready to compete in the Monday Night Laser Series,andamp;#8221; said Mitchell, explaining that he’d like to see the youth sailors display an adequate level of competence before taking part in the Monday Night Laser Series.To further the young sailors’ development, Mitchell and the TDRPD are holding three junior race clinics, on July 17, July 24 and Aug. 7, all from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shoreline Park. The clinics are open to anyone who wants to participate. In addition, the TDRPD is offering junior sailing camps throughout the summer, with camps for novice to advanced sailors.

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