Race in Montana!

Thread starter #1
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 ( tjasauer@msn.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

Shiny side down is fastest!



Just sailing
Something to think about, and would definitely make me consider a trip out west.

You need to have a "mountain series", with regattas on consecutive weekends. People could drive in, sail one weekend, do touristy stuff during the week, sail the next weekend, then drive home. Maybe one in Montana and one in Utah? Yes they are several hudred miles apart, but conceivably sailors would drive in from much further than that.

Just some food for thought.
Thread starter #3
Well, there was a regatta at Waterton Lake, on the Canadian half of Glacier National Park, last weekend, and there is a regatta just north of the border in Alberta the weekend after our Districts. So you could go three weeks straight in the Northern Rockies! We've discussed that briefly but nothing official or advertised.
Thread starter #6
Tonight several Laser sailors, spouses, parents, and friends get to sail on the Q-class Nor'easter V. The winner of our July Whitefish regatta won the ride and invited all the rest of us along.

The Flathead Lake Lodge owns the only two Herreshoff-designed Q-boats, the Questa and the Nor'easter V, and operates them for guests at the Lodge on the east shore south of Bigfork. One of the two was ordered from Herreshoff by J.P. Morgan.

The Questa is undergoing a 3 year restoration in a shop on site. I sailed on her twice, maybe 12 or 15 years ago, when she still had aluminum spars. She should be a beauty when she emerges from the barn next year.

I'll try to get some photos tonight. Here are a couple of links with info...




Thread starter #9
51 feet of Herrshoff goodness!

We had just the best time. The Lodge assigned Captain Jarett to tell us about the boat, get us off the dock, and show us how to raise the sails and trim, then he essentially just let us sail her! Amazing how relaxed he seemed!

We had nice breeze, puffs, a thunderstorm maybe 10 miles south that just seemed to be producing waves, then a bit of calm. We thought, well, that was fun, it's time to head in. But the evening thermal started to pick up and soon we had the rail in the water! We tacked, we jibed, we didn't break anything. Jarett finally took over as it got dark and went head to wind as we dropped the main. He came back around and sailed brilliantly with the massive jib into the Lodge's cove, we dropped the jib, and he coasted her all the way to the docks and right into the slip.


Thread starter #11
We had a fantastic weekend, with a great bunch of people as well as great sailors participating. Women, Juniors, Seniors, Masters. We all left completely exhausted after a weekend of 180 degree and 360 degree shifts, then big winds and 4 foot waves. Northern thermals, southern cold fronts. We had 3 nearly perfect starts and recalls with everyone crossing the line together, just a 1/2 second early! A few chose not to continue in the bigger winds and waves Saturday afternoon. A gallant young lad with a 4.7 wanted to race so badly, but his parents wouldn't allow it due to the wind. On Sunday, Ali Sharp-Church earned Sportswoman of the Year by taking him on her radial as crew for the day of racing.

We had a fun sunset no-points race with the big boats Friday night, then a huge fire at the docks. There was a very good outdoor dinner Saturday night, with grilled salmon and chicken, all prepared by volunteers. Tim Sauer donated a worn out Laser hull, which was cut up after dinner to show everyone the internal construction. The transom and 6" of boat was cut off, a commemorative D22 Championship decal applied, and everyone signed it for display on a NFYC wall.

The youngest racer was 16, the oldest was 75.

Thanks to all those from near and far, as well as spouses, who made the weekend memorable and really enjoyable! Thanks also to Organizer Tim Sauer, Steward Scott Galbraith, and Sponsor Pete Sauer of SailMontana.

7 races completed, several recalled starts, one throw-out. High winds, big waves, sore sailors.

1. Thom Stubbs 188995 Calgary, Alberta 14 points

2. Philip Gordon 172473 Missoula MT / U of Oregon 19

3. Stephen Reichenfeld 178562 Calgary, Alberta 20

4. Don Harring 131688 Vancouver, WA 25

5. Jim Christopher 174350 Eureka, CA 26

6. David Elliot 188874 Edmonton, Alberta 28

7. Ali Sharp-Church 177388 Radial Missoula, MT 35

8. Tim Sauer 8 Billings, MT 36

9. John Underwood 143225 Columbia Falls, MT 42

10. Lesley Reichenfeld 131632 Radial Calgary, Alberta 59

11. Pete Young 87812 Somers, MT 61

12. Scott Meers 177300 Calgary, Alberta 64

13. Nelson Roosendahl 32288 Whitefish, MT 77

14. Mike Gilbert 160965 Missoula, MT 83

15. Peter Aronsson 175143 Whitefish, MT 87

16. Austin Burgin 47847 Billings, MT 109

17. John Fromer 11879 Kalispell, MT 114

18. Taylor Williams 20083 Kalispell, MT 120