Maine Laser State Championship Regatta 2 @ Portland Yacht Club
As the northerly battled the southerly seabreeze, 34 sailors milled around Casco Bay with the RC searching for breeze. There were 27 full rigs and an impressive 7 radial rigs registered this year for the Maine Laser State Championship Regatta 2. After a short postponement, the course was set on the south side of Clapboard Island with a light but steady southerly breeze filling in. With a slightly favored pin end, sailors were quite aggressive causing a couple of general recalls. With the use of the “I” flag, the racers settled in and the regatta was underway.
Principal Race Officer, Chris Morin was excited to see several of the New England “regulars”, Nickerson, Follensbee, Frasier, Thornburn making the trip to Portland Yacht Club and mixing it up with several of the newcomers Pollard, Jones, Conway, Heilshorn but what was really great was to see Steve Beckman and Mike Seipert competing again in the Laser fleet after a long absence. Along with these sailors several collegiate sailors and local sailing instructors competed and did pretty well but they could not best Peter Follansbee’s consistent finishes.
There were five windward leeward races sailed in a building breeze that topped out at 14 knots. The chase boat reported very exciting mark roundings with boats being overlapped three and four wide, “rubbing is racing”was overheard during the post race festivities. The conditions put a premium on sailing in clean air and boat handling and not necessarily picking the favored side.
Peter Follensbee was able to figure out the quickest way to sail the courses with consistency. His finishes (5 second place finishes!) were enough to best Belfast’s Colin Gowland who was second and last year’s winner Arthur Blodgett from Rockland rounding out the top three.
A pleasant surprise was the 7 radial rigs that registered for the regatta. It is nice to see younger sailors getting involved with local regattas said Morin. Given the solid number of entries, they were given their own starting sequence separate from the full rigs. Ethan Merrill from Yarmouth was first followed by Cam Loncoski of Falmouth.
Hope to see everyone and others back next year but until then the Maine State laser Championship continues with regattas in Camden and Belfast on August 16 and 17 respectively. The the fifth regatta of the series on September 14 on Cobbossee Lake (nice fresh water to rinse your gear off). Links to these regattas are available on the D7 Laser website.
Full results are posted on the Casco Bay Laser Fleet blogspot.