Monday, August 31, 2009
Where's Waldo? No wait. I mean, where's Tillerman?
The photo above is (most of) Team USA at the Laser Masters Worlds being sailed in Nova Scotia this week. Regular readers of this blog will know that the Masters Worlds is one of my favorite events as I wrote extensively here about all the fun I had at the last two Worlds in Australia and Spain.
There are a lot of familiar faces of old sailing friends in that photo. But I'm not there.
I should be there. I qualified to enter (not actually very hard). I beat the rush and entered on time. My entry was accepted.
But then I had to withdraw because my son decided to get married next weekend. I did briefly consider whether I could make both of these major events. After all the wedding isn't until Sunday... but no, it wouldn't work. The last race on Saturday could start as late as just two hours before the rehearsal dinner which is 824 miles away from the regatta site. Not practical.
So I will go to the wedding instead and look forward to the 2010 Laser Masters Worlds in England. Only 378 days to go!
But I can follow the 2009 regatta vicariously (not often you see that word on a sailing blog) through the bloggers that are sailing in it and/or writing about it. It's a very complicated event because there are 297 sailors who are actually competing in seven different fleets depending on their age group and which rig they choose, Standard or Radial. It's actually even more complex than that because one of the fleets is so large that they have had to break it down into two fleets with a qualifying series first.
So here are the bloggers covering the event that I know of so far. Please let me know if you find any others...
Kim Ferguson, whose husband Scott is racing in the Masters (age 45-54) Standard Rig Division, has a post about the first day's racing Some pretty good sailors comin' from little Rhody which concentrates on how well the top sailors from the Newport Laser Fleet, including her husband, are doing against some very high quality competition.
Dave Sliom from the rival Laser fleet in Annapolis, Maryland is also in the Masters Standard Division. He is one of those guys who sailed Lasers many years ago, then went off and did keelboats for a while, but came back to Lasers about 18 months ago because of the "simple beauty of the Laser". Sounds as if he is really having a blast doing Masters event. Read all about his first day at the Worlds in Day 1.
Let's see. Newport - check. Annapolis - check. Anybody there from the other top-notch Laser frostbite fleet on the east coast of the US, Cedar Point YC at Westport in Connecticut? Of course, there's a bunch, including blogger Marc Jacobi who tells us all about his First day. When I sailed at Cedar Point, Marc was regularly the fleet champion and very much the informal coach and advisor who was always helping the rest of us to improve our sailing. I think I am right in saying that Marc is one of only two Laser sailors who has qualified and sailed in every US Olympic Trials since the Laser became an Olympic boat (the other being Kurt Taulbee.) Marc is also in the Masters Standard Division and doing pretty well so far.
And here's yet another sailor in that division. Tracy Usher from the San Francisco Bay area, also by the way president of the North American Laser Class, has posted 2009 Masters Worlds Day One. Wow, this guy must have a photographic memory. His account of the second race retells every shift, every tack, every competitor ducked or crossed... or so it seems. Well I guess when you can score a second place finish in this level of competition you do remember all the details. Well done Tracy.
Finally we have Dr J, the author of Favored End, who is sailing in the Great Grandmasters (over 65) Radial Fleet, and who (I think) is also from Annapolis. He is a recent convert to Laser Masters sailing after racing other dinghies and small keelboats for most of his life. He has posted an account of the First Day of Racing but my favorite post on his blog is Couch Potato, about his unique method for getting fit for Laser sailing.
Reading all these blogs makes me wish I was out there on St. Margaret's Bay racing with these guys. Oh well. Can't be helped. I had better give some thought to that father-of-the-groom speech for the rehearsal dinner on Saturday. Anybody got any ideas?
Posted by Tillerman at 5:12 PM