Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wanna get away? Florida is calling you...

(Photo: Rob Jones / SmugMug)

From District 13:

How much time do you want to spend sailing your Laser and basking in the Florida sun this winter?  You can come down in December and stay into February while you enjoy several different regattas at various venues.  Here's the list:

Dec. 11-12 D13 Championships, Lake Eustis, FL

Dec. 26-30 Open Orange Bowl, Miami, FL   

Jan. 22-23 Boomerang Regatta, Ft. Lauderdale, FL http://www.lyc.org

Jan.  23-27 Miami OCR, Miami, FL

Feb. 5-6 Charlotte Harbor Regatta, Port Charlotte, FL 

Feb. 12-13 Florida Masters PBSC, Palm Beach, FL http://www.pbsail.org/

Feb. 15-16 Masters midweek Madness PBSC, Palm Beach, FL http://www.pbsail.org/

Feb. 18-20 Masters Midwinters DIYC, Davis Island, FL http://diyc.org/

Feb. 24-27 Laser Midwinters East  

And if that's not enough for you, you can always find a place to sail on any unscheduled weekend.  LYC, USSC's(Miami & Jensen Beach), Melbourne YC, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, and DIYC all have short course racing or practice sessions most weekends.

As many of you know, we consult the Farmer's Almanac and only pick dates when the sun will be shining, wind will be blowing, and temperature will be "fine".  In other words - perfect Laser sailing conditions.  So take your leave of absence, quit your job, kiss your loved one(s) goodbye (or bring'm with), pack up the boat and lots of sunscreen and come on down!
Life is Short --  Sail Fast!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

John Moulthrope wins a tough Sunday in Fleet 413

John Moulthrope

On November 21st, 34 Lasers came out to race in a light and shifty Easterly. Scott & Kim Ferguson along with Carson Turowski & Mark Kroening had a bit of a time setting the race course with the shifting breeze but were eventually able to get off 5 races.  

Due to the short work week, Fleet 413 has not yet been able to get the Words of Wisdom from the winner John Moulthrope but...'the way he has sailed in the last few weeks, I'm sure there will be other opportunities down the line.'

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Helpful Laser tips from Jon Emmett (GBR)

Just posted on Facebook by Laser Performance:

Simple but a good refresher for some...also, for those who might not know, the vang is often referred to as "the kicker"outside of the US.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marblehead Laser frostbite: VanValkenburgh wins race with slack vang, takes first ever Corinthian Daily First

The s-e grin I can take, but winning with that slack vang puts us all to shame...

From the Marblehead Frostbite Fleet:

Thanks to Susie and Jim for 8 tight races and the pics!

All 14 boats completed all eight races in our deepest turnout yet. The top 5 boats finished the day within 5 points of each other – and four of those positions changed hands in the final race, as Bill Graves and Chris Hofstadter slipped by Sam Altreuter, and Kay VanValkenburgh's, bullet in that final race sealed his claim on the first-ever Corinthian Daily First.

On a brighter note, three junior sailors also sailed within 5 points of each other before Thornton Uhl bested… 811 (sorry, didn’t get your name….please come back next week, you owe us $1 registration). Just think, in thirty or forty years those juniors will look like us, and may learn to appreciate that old frostbite maxim – ‘what happens out there, stays out there’…. It came in handy at the weather mark in race 4 as a gaggle of starboard tackers, hanging by their fingernails in a late header, confronted an opposing gaggle from the left, who suddenly thought they could ‘make it’, but didn’t. 36 car pileup. Then the main event: the ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ this can’t be happening arse-over-elbows light-air flip: once while tacking, and then again downwind while doing something other than concentrating – both in the front group and both moves by the same guy… Finally, all that was topped by the joyless beer cooler, visible but locked in the pool room because somebody forgot the keys… we can laugh now thanks to fast-thinking and generous Jim and Gaele who scrounged alternate beer, wine, cookies and cokes for the post-race party. Running the races was nice, but salvaging the party was really sweet.

Just two more weeks – join us!
Daily first
·         Corinthian Daily first: low-point score among those who’ve not previously won the day
·         Season top 5, top Junior, Ironman: starting 100% of races in the season

·         Hot showers, cold beer

·            6 Saturdays - thru 20 November
·            People who make the first start arrive: 1200
·            Skippers Meeting: 1215
·            Harbor Start: 1230
·            First Signal: 1300
·            Last Signal: 1500
·            Presentation of Prizes: 1600
·            Spring: 6 Saturdays to weekend before Memorial Day
·            Other details: just show up
·            Eastern Yacht Club  47 Foster Street  Marblehead

Monday, November 8, 2010


FAST sailors from D7
From FAST sailing:

FAST BOYS were FAST when they competed in the NESSA Singlehanded Championship (Healy Trophy) @ Duxbury Bay Maritime School on Sunday, September 26, 2010. The sailors all experienced 10-20 knot wind conditions for the 11 races sailed in Radial and 12 in the Full Rig. The winners all went on to compete for the Cressy for the National High School Singlehanded Championship.

Pictured from left to right are :
Radial - 2nd place - OJ O'Connell, 3rd place - Pearson Potts
Full Rig: 2nd place - Dan Nickerson and in 1st place - Luke Adams.

Since 1990, the Cressy has been recognized by the Interscholastic Yacht Racing Association, now the Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA), as the ISSA National Singlehanded Championship. The Cressy competition rotates annually among the several ISSA districts, in the Fall of the preceding calendar year. This year the Cressy was held at St. Petersburg Yacht Club, St. Petersburg, FL on October 30-31, 2010.

Healy Results 
Cressy Results

More about FAST click here

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nick Thompson in Cabarete January 2011

Nick Thompson (photo credit: onEdition)

From the Training Center in Cabarete:

Want to compare your boat speed with one of the fastest sailors in the world? Nick Thompson (GBR) is our guest expert at the pre race clinic January 9th-12th, and will try to regain his title in the 9th Caribbean Laser Midwinter Regatta January 14th-16th, 2011.

Cabarete is a great place to bring the family...everyone can have fun while you sail!

For more information contact: laserevents@caribwind.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Cedar Point Week 4: Want stronger winds? Buy a greener car.

Although Week 4 was blown out and no racing was held....below are some thoughts from Andrew Scrivan

Want stronger winds? Buy a greener car...
I dug through some of the articles I have saved and found an interesting one that speaks to why we may possibly be sailing in TYPICALLY light wind on Long Island Sound. We all know the theory of how Long Island blocks the potential for a strong CT shore thermal due to all the pavement and buildup on the island, but here is a very different take on the same subject that may apply. - Scrivan

By Maria Jose Vinas

The winds that blow near the surface of the Earth have two beneficial effects: They provide a renewable source of clean energy and they evaporate water, helping rain clouds to build up. But aerosolized particles created from vehicle exhaust and other contaminants can accumulate in the atmosphere and reduce the speed of winds closer to the Earth's surface, which results in less wind power available for wind-turbine electricity and also in reduced precipitation, according to a study by Stanford and NASA researchers.

"These aerosol particles are having an effect worldwide on the wind speeds over land; there's a slowing down of the wind, feeding back to the rainfall too," says civil and environmental engineering Associate Professor Mark Z. Jacobson, co-author of the study with the late Yoram J. Kaufman from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, who died in May 2006. "We're finding a reduction of rain, and that can lead to droughts and reduction of water supply."

Jacobson and Kaufman's study, based on NASA satellite data of aerosol accumulation, measurements of wind speeds over the South Coast Basin in California and in China, and computer model simulations over California as a whole and the South Coast Basin, was published online Dec. 27 in Geophysical Research Letters. The researchers used both the model and data to study the effects of aerosol particles on wind speed and rainfall.

Slower winds, less rain Aerosol particles floating in the atmosphere absorb or scatter solar radiation, and prevent it from getting to the ground. This cools the Earth's surface and reduces daytime vertical convection that mixes the slower winds found near the ground with the faster winds at higher altitudes. The overall effect is a reduction in the speed of near-surface winds, which Jacobson has calculated to be up to 8 percent slower in California.

"The more pollution, the greater the reduction of wind speed," Jacobson says. Aerosol particles may be responsible for the slowing down of winds worldwide. Wind supplies about 1 percent of global electric power, according to Jacobson. Slow winds may hinder development of wind power in China, where it's a needed alternative to dirty coal-fired plants. Aerosols' reduction of the wind also may explain the reduction in the Asian seasonal monsoon and "disappearing winds" in China, observations found in other studies. Moreover, slack air currents may hurt energy efficiency in Europe, where countries like Denmark and Germany have made major wind-power investments.

Slower winds evaporate less water from oceans, rivers and lakes. Furthermore, the cooling of the ground provoked by the aerosol particles reduces the evaporation of soil water. What's more, the accumulation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere makes clouds last longer without releasing rain. Here's why: Atmospheric water forms deposits on naturally occurring particles,like dust, to form clouds. But if there is pollution in the atmosphere, the water has to deposit on more particles. Spread thin, the water forms smaller droplets. Smaller droplets in turn take longer to coalesce and form raindrops. In fact, rain may not ever happen, because if the clouds last longer they can end up moving to drier air zones and evaporating.

CPYC Frostbiting Week #5 this Sunday

Cedar Point Laser Racing

Another good looking weather forecast for Sunday......
Winds: NW 12-15
Temps: low 50's
High Tide 11:30 am
Remember to turn your clocks back one hour....


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Winthrop Frostbite Opening Day is Sunday, November 7th

Join the Winthrop Frostbite Sailing Club on opening day, November 7th for the Pre-Freeze Regatta, short course racing followed by a warm reception with tasty pub fare and drink at the Cottage Park Yacht Club.

Register on-line



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Marblehead Laser Frostbite: Peter Follansbee tops the day

From Tom Dailey

Top Laser sailor Peter Follansbee traveled down from NH to join us for the day and made it worth the trip. But for his crash/burn in race 2, he made few errors and in fact rarely seemed to even tack or jybe. In at least four of the nine races he one-tacked the beat while the rest of us were busy outsmarting ourselves in the velocity shifts. Oh well. Also, our quick-scores at the post-race brief got it wrong: after Sam Altreuter with 22 points, it was Stein Skaane (32 points) nipping Steve Uhl (34), not the other way round.

In addition to daily First Place, the fleet now will also award a daily Corinthian First Place cup: low-point score among those who have not previously won the day and also a first place cup for first-time race winners. Come on out an join us for some fun and a beer, or at least a warm shower and a beer...and maybe a cup.

Check out the photos on Facebook

EYC Frostbite Schedule
People who make the first start arrive: 1145
Skippers Meeting: 1200
Harbor Start: 1230
First Signal: 1300
Last Signal: 1500
Presentation of Daily First: 1600
Spring: 6 Saturdays to Memorial Day
Other details: just show up

Eastern Yacht Club
47 Foster Street
Marblehead, Ma

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A windy day one for Fleet 413!

Wind report from Rose Island on October 31st
Report from Stu & Dave:

Fleet 413ers,

One day in the books and many more to go. Sunday started out fairly innocently, a clearing sky, and moderate westerly. But after two races, Mother Nature dropped the hammer and all I could hear was the dollar bills fluttering off the leech of my (formerly) brand new sail. The breeze picked up to 20 to 30 knots with some steep, unforgiving chop. It might've been a trick. It was no treat. Turnout was light for Day 1, but hopefully we'll have a few more people this coming Sunday (and a little bit less wind). Ferg won the day, with the usual cast of characters in his wake. Results can be found here.

-Stu & Dave

Words of Wisdom, from 2010 Laser Masters World Champ Scott Ferguson

1. The first couple races were puffy and shifty. What is your gear changing progression in the Laser in those conditions?

Everything was happening too quickly to change too much .... so I try to get a good medium setting on everything and keep my head out of the boat and hike hard. With that said in the lighter portion of the day I reach for the outhaul first. In the really windy stuff it is key that vang on right after the start.

2. In one of your interviews at the Laser Masters Worlds you talked about how you'd train by sailing downwind from Point Judith to Newport. It was choppy yesterday, especially for Fleet 413. What, if anything, can you apply from your big-course downwind technique to the short, choppy waves we saw yesterday?

It has taken quite some time for me to become reasonably fast downwind, and it is still a work in progress ..... one big hurtle for me was to become more 'comfortable' especially in the big conditions. The more comfortable you are the more you can focus on the subtleties. So a few key things I try to focus on is 'letting the boat go' by this I mean never fighting the rudder while at the same time finding a good path to catch or sail around waves. One other note here is the mainsheet/boom position really effects the helm balance.

3. How do you sail the boat upwind once the breeze gets over 20, as it did for the second half of racing on Sunday? How do you set your sail up? How do you sail the boat? How do you prevent waves from washing over the bow and into the cockpit?

Very tight cunningham and just leave it. Outhaul about 5 inches off the boom. Vang very hard (like 15 inches of tail pulled after 2 blocked) this allows you to sheet out in the puffs (sometimes I sheet out 1-2 feet but the vang must be very tight to do this), move back to the middle of the cockpit to help with the waves.

4. What are the keys to avoiding the death roll in those conditions?

Leave the board down all the way the whole time and don't let the boom past 90deg the more you overtrim the more stable you are, but the slower you go. I was over trimmed a number of times yesterday just to survive the big puffs

5. Any other lessons from your summer of Laser sailing that you'd care to share with the fleet?

Stay away from the crowds on the start line ... usually means the middle of the line for me, sail your own race.