My San Francisco blogging friends have been very quiet this week about the most important sailing event on San Francisco Bay this decade. I refer, of course, to the 2011 Heavy Weather Laser Slalom.
This event is a classic of the Laser world, dating back to the early days of the Laser in the 70's. I posted a video of one of the first such events a while back. Wooden daggerboards and long hair and wet T-shirts and sails wrapped around the masts to reef them. Well, it was the 70's!
The even isn't held every year, by any means. But it was decided to hold it again this year as a precursor to the Laser Masters Worlds, also hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club. The finest Masters sailors from around the world were there, along with a number of young guns including Olympic gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe.
It's a short course race between two boats at a time, tacking and gybing around lines of buoys set close together just in front of the yacht club. 25 knots gusting more. Big waves. Thrills and spills. About 30 entrants with a double elimination format. Lose two races and you're out.
After two days of hectic action the winners emerged. And surprise, surprise the top four sailors all came from... New England. No wonder my San Francisco blogging friends have been quiet on the topic. The winner overall was Peter Shope, one of my sailing buddies from the Newport frostbite fleet and Tuesday night sailing in Bristol.
Take that San Francisco!
More details at SailBlast and Kim Ferguson's Laser Master Worlds 2011 blog.