Merrily Against the Wind & Frostbiting

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by Merrily, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind and D18 Grand Prix

    You could see forever under a “wild blue yonder” sky on Sandusky Bay, where we sailed the district Grand Prix on June 24th and 25th. Sandusky Sailing Club’s PRO R.A. “Joe” Young made the best of winds 4 to 7 knots with a well-set windward/leeward course with a windward offset and leeward gate. There were small shifts and one-foot waves with some powerboat chop. Seventeen Standard and seven Radial Lasers sailors got in seven races, each lasting about 30 minutes, on Saturday. With winds from the NE, lifts and headers were indicated by which roller coaster we pointed to at Cedar Point Amusement Park. On Sunday morning we beat the power boaters with an early start and got in three more races before the thermals died.

    Rick Rothenbuhler from Crescent Sail Yachting Club led the Standard field, followed by Kevin Shockey of Vermilion Boat Club. Thomas McRitchie of Sandusky Sailing Club and Jonathan Pasley of Carlisle both had 32 points at third with McRitchie winning the tie. In the Radials, with 9 bullets, Tim Zacher of Vermilion Boat Club dominated. Cory Smith of Ocean Gate Yacht Club took second and Lee Ferber of Vermilion BC third. Kevin Shockey took home the prize for first Junior and Dick Parker the honor of top Master sailor.

    My personal favorite race was the ninth, in which I was next to last at the leeward mark. The group of sailors in front of me went right, and I decided to go left to get clear air. There were two other sailors some distance ahead of me on the left, and I resisted the urge to tack when they tacked, sailing past that spot to keep clear air. Then I was lifted toward the finish line, and I felt a bit of jubilation, knowing those just ahead of me on the right were being headed. So I sailed and sailed, tacking on the knock, and headed to the finish. As I got close, I was lifted toward the finish again. Just past the pin, I tacked into the finish in front of five boats. It was purely accidental, but I got my first taste of sailing the lifts. Woo hoo!

    Thanks to Chairman Hank Reffner for making this a great sailing event!

    Results here: http://sailsandusky.accelogy.com/laserdist18_2006.html
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind and summer club racing

    (I can no longer change the name of my thread since I gave up my superpowers.)

    Leatherlips Laser Fleet turnout is increasing. On the previous two racing Sundays, there were 5 boats each time. Last year at this time there were 1 (me) to 3 boats. Sunday August 20, there were 9 Lasers racing! Contributing to the great turnout were winds 10 to 12. RC set the course 6, 3, 1 and we went twice around. Winds were from the northeast and shifty with the puffs. Mark Hess had a perfect start and dominated the entire race, followed by Keith Cruickshank. Keith closed the gap downwind but never really threatened Mark. Third place was hotly contended by Janet Rupert, Anne Filbert, and Alex Smith. As we approached the number 1 mark on the second go round right before the finish, it looked that I might actually have a chance at taking third. But when I gybed my traveler blocks kinked and I couldn’t straighten them. I eventually capsized to windward. Anne also struggled in a gust, and Alex, Tyler Cruickshank, and Matt Givens blew by her. Mike Clowes passed me, and possibly Brady Reys (not sure if he finished?) while I righted my boat. I finished last and went off to sulk. I’ll be refreshing the tape on my traveler blocks before I sail again.
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind

    The Laser fleet rules! We had 7 Lasers, 2 Lidos, 1 Comet, and 1 Interlake show up for racing on Sunday August 27. This was an unusually low turnout for the other fleets. We also have Thistles, Daysailers, and Lightnings, but none showed. Apparently, the weatherman fooled them. There was the possibility of thunderstorms, but the local weather channel showed the front just skirting to the south of us. We had a few light sprinkles while rigging, then the sky cleared beautifully, with winds from 5 to 10 mph. It was patchy, and there were impressive shifts such as when the windward finish became a run.
    The Lasers requested two races from RC, and got ‘em. To accomplish this, all the fleets started together, and RC started the second race but didn’t stick around to record scores.
    In Race 1, the course was 1, 2, 4 twice around. That, in theory, was windward, broad reach, close reach. Anne Filbert showed LYC what its women are made of with an impressive lead throughout the race and ultimate win. Second was Mark Hess, followed by Dick Harmon, Keith Cruickshank, Mike G, Tyler Cruickshank, and then me. As someone said, I was spit out the back. The leading Lasers even beat the other classes of boats, two of which should have been faster.
    Race 2 was a simple windward, leeward course, also in theory. The order of finish was Mark, Keith, Anne, Janet, and then Tyler.
    Two more club members bought Lasers this week, so the fleet is really growing. :D
     
  4. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Nick McMahon to the Rescue!

    We had 6 Lasers at our Labor Day Series on Saturday. It was cool and the wind in the first race was about 6 to 8. The second race after lunch had light rain with wind 8 to 12. The third race had light air. I finished mid fleet in the first two races and last in the third. I was tired and maybe distracted, because a friend had a near death experience in the second race. Here's what happened:

    Christie Whitt, who ably operated our instructional program this past season, was crewing for Jackie Herkowitz in Jackie’s Lido. Jackie capsized at a mark rounding, and plop, both women were in the water. Seeing the boat begin to turtle, Christie reached up and grabbed the centerboard, triggering a major asthma attack. Thankfully, she was wearing a lifejacket, but her inhaler, tucked away in her shorts' pocket under her one-piece foul weather suit, was out of reach. She was able to say at first, “I’m having an asthma attack,” but the attack was so bad that she thought, “I might die.” She was not able to breathe out. She said it was like a grand piano was sitting on top of her.

    Still trying to reach her inhaler, she saw club members Nick & Lynn McMahon sail by. Within moments, they turned back, and Christie saw Nick jump from his Lido. She thought, “I’m not going to die now.” Still not able to breathe, her vision faded and she never saw him actually hit the water.

    She next remembered hearing Nick sing. As he pulled her to his boat he belted out an old drinking song, evidently the first thing that came to mind: “Show me the way to go home!" Joining the chorus which she remembered from the movie Jaws!, Christie managed “bum, bum, bum,” which helped her to finally breathe out. The next line “'cuz I’m tired and I wanna go bed,” she couldn’t get out, so Nick yelled at her "Come on! Sing with me! You gotta breathe!" She couldn't sing, but was able to follow his directions to take another breath, and with that breath she felt her hand finally grasp the inhaler. Even still, she couldn’t at first inhale--her lungs were so closed. Finally she got a bit of the drug and began to get relief.

    Nick swam Christie to his boat and told her "you're going over the transom now". As her vision started to return, Christie thought, “That’s nice. What’s a transom?” Lynn helped to pull her in, and as Christie was finally breathing normally, Nick went back to help Jackie as well. Christie gradually recovered as the day went on.

    Christie had not had an asthma attack in some time and actually hadn’t carried in inhaler for a while. The morning of the regatta, “for some reason,” she searched around and found an expired inhaler belonging to her son and took it along.

    Nick nearly sailed a Laser that day, but Lynn decided to risk the rain and crew for him on their Lido. Had he sailed the Laser, he would have been nowhere near the incident. Nick, whose training as a pharmacist probably helped him to realize the seriousness of the situation, attributed his knowledge and quick actions to being an Eagle Scout. Nick, we are glad you were there!
     
  5. pez

    pez Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind

    unbelieveable... a frightening story with a happy ending... such good people in the sailing community.
     
  6. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind

    Wow!

    US Sailing gives out an award for this type of thing, surely your friend Nick is more than deserving of nomination and subsequent recognition for his life saving actions!
     
  7. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind

    Thanks. I found the Arthur Hanson Rescue Medal info at US Sailing. I hope we can nominate him for it.
     
  8. Ravi

    Ravi New Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind

    Very aptly named savior too. In the Nick of time!! Kudos to him. May god increase this tribe.
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Cowan Lake Laser Regatta

    Cowan Lake Sailing Association is a friendly club high on a hill above the water--a very pleasant setting. The lake has a 10 horsepower limit, so at least there was no rocking and bobbing in the light stuff, which we had on Saturday, September 9th. We got in three windward/leeward races once around in the patchy air before the wind died. Sunday morning was densely foggy with wind around 6 to 8 at first. The RC joked they were going to put bells on the marks. If it hadn’t cleared, that would have been quite a plus. The wind quickly blew the fog off the water and revealed a number of fishermen, at least one right in the middle of our course. The boat had 6 poles, 3 either side, making it look insect-like. Another fishing boat cruised by and I overheard him lament, “The damned things are everywhere.” It was true. With 15 Lasers warming up for the first race, we were everywhere. How cool is that? We easily managed three more races on an Olympic course--a triangle then windward/leeward with a windward finish. A personal note--my place was one better than last year at Cowan. At this rate, in ten years I’ll be a contender! Keith Cruickshank from my Laser fleet sailed at Cowan on Saturday, tying for first, and then went home to Leatherlips to sail in our Club Championship. Keith and his son Tyler won the championship as representatives of the Laser fleet. Vicarious winning is almost as good as doing it oneself. Go Keith!
     
  10. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Merrily Against the Wind and My Buddy Dick Tillman

    Thanks to Bradley for the name change on this thread.

    I met Dick Tillman! See photographic evidence below! The author of The Complete Book of Laser Sailing has his home club at Wawasee Yacht Club in Syracuse, Indiana. "A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dick Tillman won the first three Laser North American Championships in 1971, 1972, and 1973. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic sailing team in 1976. In 1981 and 1982 he won the Laser North American Masters competition. Most recently he was a bronze medal winner in the Laser event in the 1998 Nike World Masters competition. From 1981 to 1991 he served as the Executive Director of the International J/24 Class Association. He is currently president of U.S. Windsurfing (a national class association for windsurfing) and sits on the board of the U.S. Sailing Association (formerly the U.S. Yacht Racing Union [USYRU])."



    About the regatta: We had great wind and a well-run regatta at the District Championship at Wawasee Yacht Club in Indiana. The folks at Wawasee set the standard for the district with great races, fun, and hospitality on September 16 and 17. Wawasee is a nice broad lake so the course was well away from the shore, giving us steady winds. We sailed four races the first day in the 6 to 8 mph winds on an Olympic racecourse--a triangle followed by windward leeward with windward finish. Sunday morning we got in 2 races in 14 mph winds. We set the tone on Saturday by singing the Star Spangled Banner and shooting off a cannon before setting out. Then we never lacking for food and liquids on the water or on land. Saturday night we continued a Wawasee tradition by watching the stock car and demolition races at the New Paris speedway. Rick Rothenbuhler was first, Ken Swetka second, Casey Call third, and Dick Tillman fourth. Kathleen Carter was Top Woman, Tyler Cruickshank was Top Youth, and Lianne Laubscher Top Radial. I sailed Radial because of the anticipated higher winds on Sunday and never regretted it. I finished 17th out of a mixed Standard/Radial fleet. My better finishes, two 14s, were on the windier day. I pulled on the controls and tacked and gybed quickly. I sailed conservatively with the mantra, capsizing is slow. I never capsized! Woo hoo!
     

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  11. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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  12. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind and DC 18 at Wawasee

    I'm just seeing this... Dick Tillman just finished second at the International Masters Regatta sailed here in San Francisco in J105's this past weekend (actually, October 13-15). He beat Don Trask (the first West Coast builder of Lasers in North America) and six other famous old guys but lost to George Hinman (Commodore of the NYYC). He had an almost all Laser sailing crew consisting of Peter Vessella, David Lapier, Matt Carter and myself.

    See, you keep having a San Francisco connection in your Laser postings!
     
  13. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind and DC 18 at Wawasee

    Yeah, he said would be sailing in SF with you. I'm glad y'all did well. My SF connection may continue. John and I will be heading out to work on our house this winter. I hope to take you up on the offer of Wednesday night sailing. Of course, my sailing is on the remedial level, but I just want to be on the water.
     
  14. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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  15. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Merrily Against the Wind & FOOLS

    We've been frostbiting and call ourselves FOOLS, for Frostbiting On O'Shaughnessy Laser Series. Yesterday was our third or fourth time out. We watch for the best conditions and only go out in steady winds. We wear either wetsuits or dry suits, but none of us want to end up in the water, which is in the low 40s. We continued yesterday afternoon with some of the better wind conditions of the year. We bundled up and launched from the ramp, and we had the great fortune to have Anne Filbert as Race Committee from a crash boat, so for the first time we kept score. The air was in the mid 40s and it was cloudy but bright. The winds from the north started out at 8 to 10 but quickly subsided to 6 to 8 with just a small oscillation. It was hard to remember that we were at Leatherlips! Anne kept score, and we got in six races. RC decided she could not be objective in the third race in which Keith and Mark had a rules dispute. She said she favored Mark (her husband) because he was so cute, but she wisely threw out the race. We are out for fun. The results are Keith Cruickshank, Mark Hess, Tyler Cruickshank, Bob France, Janet Rupert. Cold hands (and feet), warm hearts.
     
  16. RJ Graef

    RJ Graef New Member

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    yeah it is
     
  17. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    We went out yesterday afternoon and got in an hour of sailing before dark. It was 65 degrees with steady winds 8 to 10. Perfection. There were only three of us, including me, Tyler, and Bob. We tuned and Keith coached us from the safety boat. It was great and we weren't even cold. :D The conditions were probably too easy for you, RJ.
     

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