Wednesday, April 04, 2012

29th Philadelphia Laser Championship



When I lived in New Jersey, the Philadelphia Laser Championship (not in Philadelphia) was one of my favorite regattas. It was usually the first Laser regatta in the year and, being a great fan of small lake sailing, I made the annual pilgrimage to Marsh Creek (not in Philadelphia) many times.

I have several trophies from this regatta on the wall of my man cave, most of them for "first old geezer sailor who didn't finish in the top three." But I did take third overall in 2000 and almost won the Marsh Creek Fall Regatta that same year.

It looks like it's a totally different bunch of sailors from when I used to sail there, except for one name I recognize. And I do remember the lady on the RC who introduced the video. She used to be, maybe still is, a very active Sunfish sailor. At my first Sunfish North Americans at Lewes YC in Delaware in 1995, the organizers paired off sailors with "buddies", I guess in an attempt to foster camaraderie and to help us get to know each other better. She was my "buddy" at that regatta and helped me one day when my rig fell down just before the start of a race.

Happy Days.

9 comments:

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Please share with us how one's Laser rig can fall down just before a race?

Baydog said...

Jesus Dave, get with the program. And now he thinks he's a movie director. Great clip. It's this kind of unpretentious, weekend warrior racing that shines a true light on our sport.

Tillerman said...

Doc - The "rig falling down incident" was at the Sunfish North Americans so I was sailing a Sunfish, not a Laser. The lateen sail on a Sunfish is supported by a halyard which is tied around the upper spar. My clove hitch around the upper spar slipped undone and the rig fell to the deck. It was a couple of minutes before a start and I was, for some reason, a few boat lengths in front of the start line. If I stayed there, drifting helplessly, I would have messed up the start for several other sailors I suspect. Sue Huffington saw my problem and towed me out of harm's way with her Sunfish.

Baydog, couldn't have said it better myself. I love this kind of grassroots sailing. It's in a state park. There's no clubhouse or bar or swimming pool or tennis courts. Just a bunch of enthusiastic Laser and Sunfish sailors.

Baydog said...

Although there's nothing wrong with a bar afterward.

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

Nothing wrong with a tailgate party either, for that matter.

O Docker said...

I was going to say I remember when they built that lake, but that was another lake, not too far away, that they built about the same time, in another state park.

I guess I didn't realize it at the time, but I grew up in the Great Age of Building Lakes In State Parks That Are Near Philadelphia But Not In Philadelphia.

And why would you use a clove hitch for something that clearly sounds like a job for a bowline?

Tillerman said...

My mistake wasn't using a clove hitch to tie the halyard to the spar. It was in not putting a figure 8 knot in the end of the line. Or perhaps I should have used a rolling hitch? I was pretty green in Sunfish back then. But somehow my result there was good enough to get me invited to the Worlds the next year. Go figure!

Chris said...

Hmm ... or a clove hitch with half hitches. I'm surprised to see that the Sunfish rigging manual calls for the clove hitch with figure-8 knot. That's not how we did it in my day ...

(Nothing is how we did it in my day.)

Tillerman said...

There's a rigging manual? Nobody ever told me that. Bastards!

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