Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just Six Laser Dudes Racing Round a Sausage

I get confused about Britspeak and Amerispeak. I think "sausage" is Britspeak for a windward-leeward course. Draw the course. You'll see what I mean.

Anyway. That was Saturday afternoon. Just six Laser dudes racing round a sausage.

This year I've raced in Australia and the Caribbean. I've trained in Florida, and raced in a Masters World Championships and a Masters Nationals. But I had just as much fun on Saturday racing round a sausage with five other Laser dudes on a puddle in Massachusetts. It was the friendly Saturday practice/informal racing scene that I wrote about in And Now For Something Completely Different.

The dude that sends the emails summed it all up this way...

What a great day we had yesterday! The weather cooperated with scattered clouds, high 79, wind out of the west starting in the high single digits, building to the low teens. We had 6 Lasers, and sailed 9 races with 5 different winners. There was a varied fleet with ages ranging from 21 (Happy birthday Ryan - It was his 21st yesterday) to 60. Both sexes were represented. There was a variety of experience levels ranging from relative newcomers to the Laser to long time Laser sailors. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. As Rick told me later, "It was a blast."

It sure was.

The major gusts and shifts seemed to be coming out of a bay to the right of the course and the right end of the start line was favored. So in the first few races I tried to win the right end of the line, tack on the first header, get into a puff and ride it to the windward mark. The strategy worked at first and I won the first two races.

Then I got greedy and I tried to play that side of the course on the runs. But it was too big a diversion off the rhumb line to reach the gusts so I lost to the boats on the other side.

Then somebody noticed that I was getting a free ride winning the right end of the line every time. I was feeling loose so I shouted to the other dudes to, "Bring it on. Fight me for the right."

They did. They were good.

One race the dude blowing the whistle for the starts and I were forced over early. I did a quick tack and gybe and restarted quickly... I think I was second in that race.

Then they readjusted the line so the pin was favored. So I won that end. I never win the pin. It felt good. I think I won that race too.

Then the wind went further right and we had a laugher of a race where the dude that started furthest left was laying the windward mark and arrived there first. Happy birthday Ryan.

In the last race I misjudged the layline for the right end of the line and was squeezed the wrong side of the buoy by the "other sex" sailor. I came round for a second try and capsized on the mark and got tangled in the anchor line. LOL as they say on the Interwebs.

What a blast!

Just six Laser dudes racing round a sausage.


Andrew said...

'Triangles' and 'sausages'. That's what we used to sail on the South coast of England thirty years ago, in the days before inner and outer trapezoids.
I'll ask my Dutch Laser friends what they call them when we do our version of your informal practice loops tomorrow evening.

geluk, Andrew

Carol Anne said...

"Sausages" is what we call them in New Mexico -- we have the half-sausage, the full sausage, and the double sausage.

But when Pat and I went to the race-management class in Houston, we found out that the current term is "paper clips."

Carol Anne said...

It occurs to me ... maybe we ought to call our race courses "chorizo."

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