Tahoe wind keeps laser races tight
Special to the Sun
Shifty Lake Tahoe winds ranging from light to moderate made for inconsistent results among the 23 sailors competing in the Monday Night Laser Series.
In the “A” Fleet, Stan Eriksson won the first race and was delighted to beat Nick Pullen and Todd Jackson, who scored second and third, respectively.
Pullen fired back in the second race and beat both Matt Clark and Eriksson. Since both Jackson and Clark had a deeper finish in the first two races, it appeared as if it would be a battle between Eriksson and Pullen in the final race for the win.
Proving that consistency was hard to maintain, however, as both Pullen and Eriksson had poor starts and struggled deep in the fleet to work their way forward.
Meanwhile, David Adolphs was leading with Caroline McNally and Les Bartlett in the hunt. With one leg of the race to go, McNally produced good tactics and boat speed to take the lead with a solid win.
Eriksson and Pullen had worked their way far right on the course, hoping a wind shift would come through and propel them back into the top of the fleet. The plan worked, as they finished second and third just ahead of Adolphs and Bartlett.
“Nick and I had an epic tacking dual on the right side of the course and I took him by a foot, which allowed me to win the tiebreaker for the evening,” Eriksson said. “It was white-knuckle, thrilling racing for the two of us, but it was Caroline who really showed us how that race should have been sailed. She was flawless.”
“B” Fleet sailors also had their share of ups and downs.
The most consistent racer was Tony Dahlman, who won the night with a first, third and second place.
Following Dahlman’s win in the first race was Mark Oshiro with a second place and Brad Tyler with a third. In the next race the junior sailors came on strong, with race committee member Stacy Conner marveling over Hayden Hauserman’s start.
“It’s great watching the junior sailors; they are really improving so quickly,” she said.
In sailing the starts are crucial. A good start provides a sailor with clean air and thus better boat speed. The person who wins the start also has more options tactically.
Oshiro won the second race, with Hauserman finishing in second and Dahlman in third.
In the final race, it was another junior sailor, Ryan Hackbarth, who took a commanding lead over the senior members of the “B” Fleet to produce the win. Dahlman and Tyler took second and third, respectively.
New to the “B” Fleet and having a fine first evening in her laser was junior sailor Nicole DeAngelli. DeAngelli is a junior instructor with the Tahoe Community Sailing Program and another alumni of the Pico racers.
In Pico racing, Julia Lanza won both races of the night. This left Ryan Conner, Ingrid Roske and new sailor Patrick McMillan to duke it out for the other places.
Conner and Roske were having their usual close sailing competition until Roske decided to try and see if the right side of the course would pay off. Unfortunately, the shift that had so kindly rewarded Eriksson and Pullen in the “A” Fleet did not appear, and this left her deep in the second race, allowing Conner to pull ahead for the evening.
Stan Eriksson 6 pts
Nick Pullen 6 pts
Matt Clark 14 pts
David Adolphs 15 pts
Caroline McNally 16 pts
Tony Dahlman 6 pts
Mark Oshiro 9 pts
Ryan Hackbarth 10 pts
Hayden Hauserman 11 pts
Brad Tyler 12 pts
Julia Lanza 2 pts
Ryan Conner 5 pts
Ingrid Roske 6 pts
Patrick McMillan 7 pts