Hello all - You are all invited to, and enthusiastically encouraged to attend, the Laser Class District 22 Championship and Flathead Lake Laser Championship, the weekend of August 21-22. This is the big Laser social event of the year here, and I hope each of you will consider coming to Somers for the weekend. If you are a racer, there will be serious competition - maybe former D22 Champions, maybe people from the west coast (I'm talkin' to you, George!) out for some sailing and a holiday, maybe some of Tim's new upstarts from Billings, and 5 to 7 very good sailors from Alberta and the Calgary YC (one of them is towing his keel boat down for a Flathead holiday after the races). We have a couple of college sailors home for the summer. We have a couple of new Laser class members I have not met yet. If you are not a racer, you must come anyway. You will learn so much in two days sailing with others it will really surprise you. Laser sailors are nice people and will offer advice and be kind to you! It's very easy to sail around the course after starting in the second or third row, so there's little intimidation factor. I'm sort of an "intermediate" if you will, and at the Whitefish regatta I got nervous, made a mistake and dumped it right after a start! Everyone laughed, I got upright and continued sailing, and we all had a good time. That's the fun of it - the swimming, the social aspect, and the learning! And the beach fire, and the dinner Saturday night. And having 15 or 20 identical boats in one place. If you're an intermediate like me, you'll be right in the pack with the rest of us. 3rd or 10th place doesn't really matter - it's the sailing, the mountains, the clear water, and the sky that matter. And no place else I've been can match Flathead for that! There are NO fires or smoke in Montana that I know of - it's been raining where I am and very northwesty. Beautiful, green, and clear. The water surface is in the high 60's at least, which Peter tells us is surfing temperature in San Diego! I would like to meet many of you on my list who have not been out sailing with us yet. We met some new sailors at the Whitefish regatta who will beat us all, they're so good. That raises the bar and makes everyone a better sailor. Just show up and participate at whatever level you're comfortable with. Attached is the Notice of Race and the Registration form. It's a very reasonable regatta fee, and just covers the NFYC costs for committee boat, fuel, and dinner. Dinner Saturday night is included. The regatta is generously sponsored by SailMontana.com Tim Sauer ( email@example.com ) from the North Flathead YC is hosting as well as racing the event. He plans to set short courses, which gets us more starts and more time bunched up, and when you're in last place it doesn't take as long to get back to the start! He may have some separate prizes for those sailing with pre-2001 rigging as well, so any boat is competitive. The winds are always fun at NFYC - a very breezy thermal in the morning, light and shifty at mid-day, then sometimes it comes back again in the afternoon. Friday night is one of the best parts of the weekend in my opinion - they run a sunset set of informal races on the westerly thermal that hits the bay right as the sun is going over the ridge. Someone flips a switch and it's suddenly windy! There are big boats and Lasers, all on different starts. Very short courses. Sun going down. It's a hoot and is not scored, so you can shake the rust off and have fun. There's a beach fire when we all get back to the docks. Another thing to think about is that this Fall, our MT & ID Laser District will be combined with Washington and Oregon, so the Championship will likely be held elsewhere for a couple of years. We'll still hold the Flathead Laser Championship, and it will look about the same, but some of our traveling sailors might not participate until we host the Districts again. It's a good year to experience the fun. I hope to see all of you in Somers, Montana next weekend. I'll be there Friday. Camping is allowed on the grass at NFYC, and there are pubs and restaurants and resort towns with lodging nearby - Bigfork, Lakeside, Kalispell. Please call or write with any questions at all! Thanks for your time and attention! Mike Gilbert Laser Class District Secretary, D22 firstname.lastname@example.org 406-531-2796 Shiny side down is fastest!