From Tom Jamieson
The Maine Laser Championship (MLC) series concluded on October 16th with the "Hippo Cup" in Thomaston, ME. The five month, best three of five regatta series brought in 44 different sailors from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusets and Connecticut. The overall winner was David Frazier of Granby, CT with a dominating score of three wins. In second was Hank Thorburn of Harpswell, ME with 1 second and 2 thirds, third was Gary Orkney of Stongington, CT. with a second, third and fourth, in fourth was Fred Boursier of Warren, ME. with a second, a third and a fifth, and fifth was Tom Jamieson of Belfast, ME. with a third, a fourth and a ninth. Sally Sharp of Enfield, NH won the women's division and Jack Giblin of Marblehead, MA won the youth division. All of the regattas were one day affairs featuring 3 to 8 short races and wonderful hospitality.
The first regatta of the season was held at the Portland Yacht Club on June 26th, under the capable direction of PRO Jack Zinn. Jack bailed us out at the last minute after our other regatta site fell through. Thank you Jack! Six races were held in light to medium winds. Ed Rowe of South Portland convincingly beat 14 other sailors to win the event. Syd Sewall of Hallowell, ME finished second, Hank Thorburn or Harpswell, ME finished third, Stu Nickerson of Portland, ME was fourth and Fred Bousier of Warren, ME was fifth.
The second event was held on July 16th at the Thorburn family farm on scenic Clarks Cove in Harpswell, ME. The first race started in medium wind but built steadily through the afternoon. By the last of eight races all he 22 sailors were exhausted. One of the college age competitors was heard to say "I don't know how these old guys do it, I'm exhausted". Another challenge was the tide which was pushing competitors over the starting line early. PRO Hank Thorburn, tried all manner of strategies to keep competitors back but needles to say general recalls were the norm. First overall was David Frazier of Granby, CT followed by Jack Zinn of Falmouth, ME in second, Tom Jamieson of Belfast, ME in third, Gary Orkney of Stonington, CT in fourth and Stu Nickerson of Portland, ME in fifth. After the racing we were treated to a great dinner.
The third event was held on August 20th outside the harbor entrance to Belfast, ME. The event was part of the "Belfast Marine Heritage Festival" that also included rowing races and a boat building competition. PROs Sandra Squire and Margie Spencer-Smith took the thirteen Laser sailors through 6 races in a steady medium wind. David Frazier showed no mercy as he won five out of the six races and threw out of second. Hank Thorburn finished second in four races and won the last to finish second overall. Fred Bousier was third, George Hazelton of Rockport, ME was fourth and Syd Sewall was fifth.
The fourth event was the "Loon Cup" held on September 17th on Lake Cobbosseecontee in Manchester, ME. PRO Syd Sewall grappled with light and wildly shifting winds and managed to salvage three races for the day. The racing was so close that one point separated the top four boats at the end. After it was all hashed out Duane Delfosse of Windam, ME won a the tie breaker for first over Fred Boursier. And Gary Orkney won the tie breaker for third over Tom Jamieson. Stu Nickerson finished fifth. Our hosts, the Cobbossee Laser Fleet did a fantastic job with the dinner afterward.
The final event was the "Hippo Cup" at the head of the Saint George River in Thomaston, ME. on October 16th. It was an exciting day of racing with gusty winds of 10 to 25 mph. PRO Peter Clapp gave the fleet a variety of courses including the "Harry A" which involved sailing a second reach from the reaching mark to the starting pin and down to the leeward mark. Needles to say there were some wild crashes and in one race Hank Thorburn crossed the finish line while capsized. David Frazier finished first overall with Gary Orkney second, Hank Thorburn third, Stuart McNeil was forth and Tom Whitmore was fifth.
Unfortunately, no team was able the win the Maine Team Championship trophy. In it's inagural year, the trophy was to go to the best combined score for a team consisting of one adult man, one adult woman and one youth. The mounted Laser transom was created and donated by Laser sailor Nick Robinson of Castine, ME. The MLC advisors put up the trophy as an incentive to get more women and youth interested in Laser sailing. But it was not to be, no team could come up with the necessary members this year, so the trophy was awarded to the Thomaston Laser fleet as they were the only Maine fleet to have three member compete in at least three events.
Maine is a beautiful place to sail and we invite all sailors to come next year and bring their families.