Neanderthal Laserites

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by FrankC, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. FrankC

    FrankC New Member

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    I have been sailing for almost one year, and I feel a overwhelming gravitational pull toward the extreme end of the sport. I rest my laser at the interface of powerful opposing natural forces, wind and water. There is a simple beauty in leveraging my own strength, and grace and wits in a synthesis of these forces, and in so doing, making my laser move. And when the breeze is stiff and the waves are big, my boat and I move faster. It is then that a primordial, hormonal soup washes my lizard brain, and I smile through the spray and the chop. The dirty land falls away behind me, and I sail toward the horizon of my past into a simple, liquid serentity.

    But everything I read suggests that the ultimate form of expression in a laser is racing and regattas. I picked up a copy of the Rules this winter, but after 15 minutes of reading my head began to hurt. I found a computer simulation on the web that poses racing scenerios and quizzes you on the appropriate rules. The head pain held off for about 30 minutes, until I began to rapidly doubt I would ever be able to remember these rules when I was actually on the water surrounded by other moving boats.

    It seems to me that the Rules are an affront to the natural beauty of sailing a laser, and I fear that by immersing myself within these regattas, a beautiful piece of me will sink down below the surface of the great Columbia River and settle into the ooze amongst the sturgeon.

    Is it just me? Am I alone in my desire to fly in my laser as if on gossamer wings, unencumbered by the laws of man?

    Or am I a blasphemous, lesser evolved, slope-headed being that is unkept and unfit to post on a message board with civilized laser sailors?

    Is there anyone like me, a tribe of neanderthal laserites that have wheeled their seitechs into a cave and patiently sit on their hairy haunches at its dark entrance, waiting for a breeze stiff enough to bend the trees?
     
  2. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Don't let the complexity of the rules be a reason for not joining in a local race. There are only a few simple ones that you will need to know from the get go, (just to stay out of major trouble), and you can always cede to other Lasers in situations when you aren't sure who has right of way as you are learning.
     
  3. MiLLz

    MiLLz Member

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    You are not alone, the word for people like you and I is "daysailor."
     
  4. Tillerman

    Tillerman Member

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    Brilliant! I vote Frank's post to be the best one on this forum in the last 10 years (with the possible exception of some of Gouvernail's more extreme flights of fancy.)

    Fear not Frank. You can have the best of both worlds.

    49208 is right. The rules you need to start racing really are pretty simple. Just remember the ones about clear ahead, windward-leeward, port-starboard and giving the inside boat room at the mark and you will be OK in 99% of the situations on the race course.

    But don't give up on the simple pleasure of going for a blast on your own on a windy sunny afternoon when the waves are rolling. There are plenty of us neanderthal laserites out there who sit in our caves waiting for the days when the breeze bends the trees.

    At the end of the day, it's all about fun. Do what's fun for you. Just give racing a chance. You might find you like it more than you can imagine right now.
     
  5. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

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    Starboard tack has right of way. Remember that, and you should be all right.
     
  6. Der_Dude

    Der_Dude Member

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    Let me join the applause and say that it's exactly that - mostly unspoken - understanding of the sport that makes it so much fun for many. Regattas, especially Master's events, are merely a camouflage and rough framework to meet and endulge together with the ameneties of catering, safety (crash boats) and recognition by your peers.

    Consider a Notice of Race an invitation to meet and brew up some of that hormonal soup. Plus you get to travel and meet new Neanderthals and their tribes. They may have other professions too, some may tell you about clubs, axes and the wheel, while you hang around waiting for the - seemingly always delayed - start.

    Consider the Racing Rules of Sailing an attempt to keep us from running into each other too often, frequently a futile one because most of us hardly know more than the few basic principles cited by Tillerman (and even those can often be subject to dispute). It's up to you whether you want to go into great detail.

    In case you haven't found this: finckh.org has more of those bried animations to illustrate the RRS.
     
  7. Super Delegate

    Super Delegate Member

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    +1
     
  8. Braecrest

    Braecrest Member

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    +1

    I like to race, but there are some days that I just don't want to be bothered and just sail.

    Frank, if you're wrong then I don't want to be right...
     
  9. Dennis

    Dennis Member

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    You remind me of myself, Frank.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (I'm a bit shy of saying it's a "greatest," because it is my own...)

    On piloting a Laser, and not racing:
    "My competition is with myself and the water planet: Sailing a Laser, you hang suspended with one hand in the ocean (tiller) and the other hand connected to the sky (mainsheet). You are the pivot point between these two great fluids, the two worlds, and you get to go along for the ride." - Dennis Olson, Tomales Bay

    Here's to you and your kind!

    Dennis
     
  10. FrankC

    FrankC New Member

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    I came to maturity in the surfing culture, where personal expression manifested itself in overcoming one's fear at the top of a steep face, dropping into the green room, and letting it ride. The only competition was being the first in the lineup to the room. The only rule was to scratch like a cat. I guess I bring this same mentality to my laser sailing; a love and respect of Nature's forces, fierce independence, and a desire to better myself before others.

    Currently there are 400 miles and a mountain range separating me and my boat from the nearest regatta, but we will try to get over to the coast for a race or two this summer. I promise to continue study the Rules, although is it a bit too much like work for my liking, in order to minimize the carnage.

    I appreciate the support of my fellow neanderthals, and I hope to see some of you out on the Stevenson swells this summer.

    A special thanks to Tillerman for his kind comments and the Proper Course, which has kept my spirits afloat through a long winter of frozen water.
     
  11. wrestlingthewind

    wrestlingthewind New Member

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    As a new racer and official paid member of Laser, I loved the posting. In my estimate this represents a larger portion of laser sailors than active members of the class.
     
  12. wrestlingthewind

    wrestlingthewind New Member

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    I am trying to revive a Laser fleet and I believe holding weekday sailing races, Laser reaching contests, and parent/ youth racing will spark real laser racing. Any help with ideas, welcome.
     
  13. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Hey FrankC>>>

    Welcome newbie!!!

    and Dennis


    I would have bet money it was your sockpuppet that started this thread.

    Dennis doesn't give two craps about racing but he loves to play on sailboats...especially his laser in absurd conditions.

    I only published a dozen but my office used at least two of his photos for covers of Laser Newsletters...

    Please enjoy this photo Dennis took a long long time ago>>>


    [​IMG]
     
  14. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Back when men were men and class sails lasted longer than 4 days on the bay.
     
  15. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Nope..Those sails were pretty much all ragged out by their first impact with a 10 mph gust.
     
  16. Dennis

    Dennis Member

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    Greetings Gouvernail and all!

    Yep, I'm still Lasering and lurking. Here's a couple of recent Tomales Bay videos that are close to racing. Any time there's two boats within sight of each other, it's a race.





    My resolutions this year: to upgrade to an HD camera, and to try to stop the Laser sailing erosion that has resulted from my new love affair with Stand-Up Paddling.

    Cheers,

    Dennis
     
  17. paxfish

    paxfish Member

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    Sometimes you just want to bubble along and sip a Bass ale...



    [​IMG]

    though my son better not be stealing my beer....
     
  18. pez

    pez Member

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    Cheers... this is about what I sail for, though I do enjoy the occasional regatta. I bought two lasers so that my friends can sail when they come up to the lake.
     
  19. Dennis

    Dennis Member

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    Hey, Paxfish,

    Too late! Somebody - likely the guy who rigged that Laser in your photo - already apparently stole your beer. That traveler/mainsheet connection looks a little impaired.

    I certainly can't mock - I've done many screwy rigging "modifications" myself!

    Dennis
    Tomales Bay, CA
     
  20. Capsized

    Capsized Member

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    What's wrong with the setup? Is it just that the traveller loop is really large?
     

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