Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Susie Pegel - A REAL Laser Sailor

Susie Pegel had a letter published in Scuttlebutt yesterday saying she had come across the topic on-line, "7 reasons to hate Laser sailors." Hmmm. I wonder where that came from originally?

She went on to say that it all depends on defining what is a REAL Laser sailor. She suggests...

  1. A REAL Laser sailor is someone that has been sailing and racing a Laser since the early '70s and is still at it today.

  2. A REAL Laser sailor is someone who has always had a Laser even while campaigning a different type of boat.

  3. A REAL Laser sailor is someone who has upgraded their equipment and techniques and has stayed active in the class.

  4. A REAL Laser sailor is someone who drives their own boat to a regatta and sails the event unaided by coaches or support boats.

  5. A REAL Laser sailor keeps at it because he/she loves the boat, the fellowship and the freedom of NO CREWS.

  6. A REAL Laser sailor is someone like Dick Tillman, not Brodie Cobb.

  7. If you want to see REAL Laser sailors in action, go to a Laser Master's regatta!
Well said Susie. I like that concept.

I guess I only qualify as a REAL Laser sailor on 6 of your 7 criteria (assuming you will allow me that, at least in personal behavior if not in skill, I am more like Dick Tillman than Brodie Cobb.) I fail the first test in that I didn't get into Lasers until the early 80's. Hope that's not a problem.

For those who don't know her, Susie is certainly a REAL Laser sailor. I'm pretty sure that she passes all 7 of her own tests and, more impressively, is also the only woman ever to have won a Laser North American Championship. Not Radial NAs. Not Womens NAs. An Open Laser NAs against all-comers. You can check it out in the archives.

1980 Laser North Americans
  1. Susan Pegel
  2. Russel Coutts
  3. Andy Pimental
  4. Svend Neilson
  5. Andy Roy
Yup. She even had to beat some kid called Russel Coutts. And she still races in major Laser events, especially Masters regattas, and regularly beats most of the men. Most recently she placed 27th out of 95 in the 2009 Laser Masters North Americans.

Susie Pegel is a REAL Laser sailor.

OK, OK. I know that photo at the top of the post shows her helming a Star (in which she has also had a distinguished career.) But check out Rule #2 for REAL Laser sailors. Anyway I couldn't find a picture of her in a Laser.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Susie's just a kid. You shoulda seen her mom in a Laser back in the day. And Dad on the RC boat @ Williams Bay. Those were the days!

Laser # 1152

P.S. Susie, we looking at holding a Laser regatta in ChiTown for Real Laser Sailors next month. Look for you personal invite soon!!

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