2008 Laser Slalom

Thread starter #1
The Laser Slalom is going on now and is great fun to watch. Indescribable, really, and as much fun for the competitors to watch as it is to sail in! Results through Day 2 are posted at the St Francis Yacht Club web site, tomorrow (Wednesday) is the final day.

Patrick Goodman, from West Coast Sailing (who is sponsoring the event and supplying all the boats, and sails, used by the competitors), was on hand and took these great photos of today's action. I'm posting them here now, they'll go up to the Laser Class website as well.

That's Brad Funk doing tricks between races on his boat.

There is video as well, hopefully up on the Laser Class website soon!


Thread starter #4
The final day of the Heavy Weather Laser Slalom (as Jim Taylor insists it be known so that "those East Coasters can't copy it!") saw the fog in and the breeze averaging upper teens... light air compared to the previous day.

There were lots of really good races where nailing the tacks and jibes were the most important, but also the luck of the puff did play into it... and this is where if you got the puff it was to your disadvantage!

After more than 60 races it came down to up and comer Abe Torchinsky against newly crowned North American champ David Wright. Abe had come in through the loser bracket, having lost one race, David came in undefeated. This meant that if David won, regatta over but if Abe won then David would get one more race for the crown.

The first race was epic but David had trouble bearing off onto the last run and this was all Abe needed to take the race in a close race and set up the do-or-die final race.

On the final race the breeze had come in with puffs back into the mid-twenties but a couple of "light" spots to make it interesting... David had a great start on the outer course, on port tack with a big left shift and looked to be launched. But Abe battled back on the inside course and they crossed each other at the top more or less even. Down the run saw some incredible executive of heavy air jibes. Abe held a slight lead out of the mark rounding, now on the outside course with David charging up the inside. David crossed Abe on the top with probably about 2-3 boat lengths of lead. To make matters worse, it looked like a local charter fishing boat, the "Bass Tub" was motoring hard up the chain of buoys on the inside course and looked timed to pass the top mark at the same time Abe would arrive... and indeed they did! But Abe was able to use what looked like a show stopper to his advantage, somehow bearing off and throwing in his first jibe on top of the wake and getting launched down the course, putting him even with David. Both executed near perfect heavy air jibes around the next two marks, heading for the finish neck and neck. Somehow Abe managed to hook a wave, or something, and was able to get across the line just ahead of David for a thrilling finals finish!

The whole event was great fun to watch. There were tons of photos taken by Patrick Goodman of West Coast Sailing (who took the ones above), including lots of "trick" sailing photos of Brad Funk riding the rail and other impossible feats, which will all get posted soon to the West Coast Sailing website.

In addition, there were at least three video cameras going, including Joe Cool (pro kite and windsurf videographer), which should all get posted to YouTube soon... in fact, one video has been posted already, from the first race of the first day.

Final results are at the St Francis Website.

We look forward to running it again last year!