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CSC Regatta April 18-19

The Dallas Laser Fleet will host the 2nd District regatta at CSC on White Rock Lake April 18-19.  Registration can be done online here.  Contact Don Silva at with any questions or requests.

UPDATE:  Due to the March of Dimes event on Saturday morning, the start of regatta will be delayed until the afternoon.  An updated NOR has been posted.

Starting Clinic April 25-26

The Gulf Coast Youth Sailing Association ( is hosting a starting clinic April 25-26, the weekend before the GCC’s at TCYC May 2-3.  Please consider joining coaches Ryan Minth and Brendan Casey for a weekend focused on the technique, tactics, and strategy of starting a Laser.  The clinic is open to Lasers and Radials, and all sailors are welcome to leave their boats at TCYC in advance of the regatta the next weekend.  Forward any questions to Sarah Lihan at

Race Schedule 2015

Below is the district circuit regatta schedule.  The District 15 Championship will be during Wurstfest at Lake Canyon Yacht Club.

Regatta Host Club Dates
Easter Regatta Austin Yacht Club April 4-5
Laser Regatta Corinthian Sailing Club April 18-19
Chocopalooza Rush Creek Yacht Club May 16-17
Summer Solstice Seabrook Sailing Club June 20-21
Cannon Ball Palacios Yacht Club August 22-23
Laserpalooza Arlington Yacht Club Sept 20-21
Wurstfest Lake Canyon Yacht Club Nov 7-8**

Wash down the travel trailer and join your friends.

Final Standings for 2014

It has been a great year for Laser sailing in 2014.  We saw a 22% increase in the number of skippers competing in the district circuit events this year.

Full Rig

  1. Doug Peckover
  2. Forest Atkins
  3. Jack Marsh
  4. Don Silva
  5. Greg Wallace

Radial Rig

  1. Skylar Bayman
  2. Alexandra Mares
  3. Madeleine Butcher
  4. Alexander Hankins
  5. Lenox Butcher

4.7 Rig

Each won 1st place in a single event

  • Aubin Hattendorf
  • Brandon Cassard
  • Christa Hvidsten
  • Katy Hannan

Congratulations to everyone.  Look forward to seeing you on the water soon.

Wurstfest in Review

Everyone had a great time.  There was every kind of condition to challenge everyone.  From zero to no wind to 15+ with waves, everyone got their favorite.  Below is a write-in from the regatta winner who happens to be an Olympic coach, Luther Carpenter.  Here is a link to some that might be of help to your sailing career.

Wurstfest 2014 delivered amazing conditions for the 16 Lasers (and 2 4.7s) that assembled in Canyon Lake.  Day 1’s forecast was a promised 7-10 knot easterly, in perfect mid 60-70 temps, and it delivered exactly that.  It was shifty and puffy, never left us in the doldrums, and the next feature was always coming in the next 30-60 seconds.  Courses were 2-lap W/L which took about 20-25 minutes.  Our RC cranked out 6 races on Sat.
The competition was great, with virtually everyone having their moments on the first beats, hooking in some nice shifts.  Consistency was the game,  but glory moments sure are fun!
For me, I thought there were a number of interesting observations of the day:
1) Would the close right hand shore,  and the subtle right shift in the forecast,  favor the right?
Well the glare in the first few races made it really hard to assess the wind looking right,  and I chased what I though was velocity over there several times.  After a few beats,  I began to think the shore had little or nothing to do with the wind.
2) The wind was easy to see coming, so standing up pre-start was essential,  and believing in what you were seeing was the law.
3) Reading start-line geometry in the last minute was critical to sprinting out early in the beat.  
Several early starts were “tack at the gun”, or shortly after.  These kind of starts can frustrate many, but you must learn to love them.  The sweetest component of these starts, is that it does not matter how you look on the boat to leeward of you.  He can be right in front of you, or closely lee-bowed – but it doesn’t matter, because you will be tacking right away.  Now what does matter is that the boat on your hip cannot be in a position to pin you.  So on those starts that the wind was heading at 30 seconds, I tried to charge toward the line aggressively so that my hip boat was almost dead astern.  Of course that sounds like a formula for OCS, but if the wind is heading (pin favored), there is little danger of sailing over the line – your are paralleling it.
Once we got to Race 4,  the wind started to favor the Committee boat, so it took more discipline to hold back.  I realized (later on Sunday!) that since I was lining up early in my spot,  I should have held back a little more,  so when the 30-20 sec crowd can in,  we weren’t already too close to the line.  Now it was a unique event in that the RC was being VERY liberal with calling the line on Sat,  and then quite accurate on Sunday – something you have to track and discuss with your buddies in the fleet, and develop into your discipline and strategy.
4) The phases were usually big enough to defined what tack the fleet should be on.
That was great when you were in the lead, and took some patience when in a tight lane.  If you could manage your lane, minimizing your loss and being patient for the next pressure line ahead usually worked out.  If you had to clear out of your lane, don’t let it turn into a long corner bang if the phase is obvious.
5) It was shifty, but velocity rules (and usually comes with a nice shift!)
6) Downwind always matters…
The downwinds were really fun from my perspective,  and I was psyched to improve throughout the day.  The fleet was good at seeing velocity and lining up well for it.  My day turned around when I started steering almost purely by weight,  fine-tuned board height (put it down more) and was super attentive to the C-vane wind angles.  Since the phases were going back and forth,  the by-the-lee to reaching changes were coming fast,  so transitioning into those with power and precision with sheet and correct heel made a huge difference.  This was especially true at the end of the day when the waves built enough to dictate more surfing than a rigid sailing angle.
Sunday brought more wind, ranging from 10-16 and a bit further right.  Pre-race warmups,  a weather mark quite close to shore,  and the wind trying to go right most of the time made it feel like a right favored course.  But the interesting thing was we were so lifted off the line each race,  that staying on starboard was the only move,  until a nice windy port slant meandered it’s way to us – usually up near the port layline.
My big take-aways from Sunday were:
7) Holy re-calibrate on the starting line!
The RC is a new sheriff today,  it was mostly boat favored,  and it only took 3-4 seconds to get up to full speed.  My first start I sheeted in at 8 secs,  and was frantic trying to hold back.  The rest of the day fully committing at 3 seconds with the vang already pre-set was much better.
8) Just like Saturday, playing the vang and cunningham upwind was important on both sides of the wind range.  Reading the size (length) of each lull or puff kept you hiking and balanced for the majority of the beat.
9) Although the wind was up, since the course was skewed right, the downwinds were more of a by-the-lee parade.  When I tried to sail them with  square-run technique, I usually felt like I lost boat-lengths.  It was hard to be disciplined in the wind,  but it was the course.
Well those are a collection of things that I least I ponder about, perhaps they might be interesting to some of you.
It was fun seeing all of you again.  The racing was action packed and challenging,  yet the perfect length and conditions for our fleet.  Many thanks to the Wurstfest Regatta Race Committee and LCYC for putting on a great event!
Luther Carpenter – 195162

Wurstfest Regatta

It’s time to dig out the travel trailer.  The last circuit stop is Wurstfest in beautiful, Lake Canyon Nov 1-2.  Register now at

wurstfest 2014

ILCA-NA Membership

The current issue of The Laser Sailor is now online. Click here. They have also published prior issues as well. With your membership in the International Laser Class Association – North American Region (ILCA-NA), you get a printed copy mailed to your home. ILCA-NA membership qualifies you to earn Grand Prix at District, Regional, and National Championships where you will be ranked among other Laser sailors. The Gulf Coast Regional Championship will be held next year at the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club, May 2-3, 2015. It is easy to join. Follow this link to find out more information and complete the application online.

Save Arlington Yacht Club

We posted before about how the City of Arlington is updating the master plan for the city parks it does not include the Yacht Club.  (  AYC filed a lawsuit to protect the remaining 10 years on the lease.  Well, the judge just recently ruled against AYC because of a technicality in the paperwork.  The judge wants to see both parties in his chambers in Oct to settle the matter.

Here is what we need from you.  Please go to and “like” the Facebook page.  Then you can stay up to date on what’s going on by following on Twitter.  We are trying to demonstrate to the city that there are lots of people who support the club and what the club means to the community.  Clubs like these add value to the city.

Laserpalooza 2014

It’s time for Octoberfish and Laserpalooza at Arlington Yacht Club, Sept. 20-21, 2014.  If you want a tee-shirt, you must register by Sept. 10th.  If 5 or more radial and/or 4.7 sailors want to race, you have until Sept. 10 to let Jack know you are coming.  Contact Jack at or 817-313-6739

NOR is posted here.

UPDATE:  Here are the scores from the AYC Regatta.

AYC winners

Laser pts Place
Peckover 7 1
Atkins 14 2
Bushaw 18 3
Hattendorf 31 4
Marsh 36 5
Wallace 38 6
Williams 38 7
Newton 41 8
Silva 57 9
Gibbs 58 10
Laser 4.7
Aubin Hattendorf 4 1
Ben Laffey 4 2
Ava Hattendorf 4 3


District Championship Results

Everyone had a great time at the combined TSA Cannonball run and D15 District Championship.  There was a total of 37 laser sailors across all three classes.

The 4.7 class was won by Brandon Cassard followed by Dylan Ascencios and Ben Froelich.  The radial class was won by Skylar Bayman followed by Madeleine Butcher and Daniel Kendrick.  The full rig class was won by Keen Butcher followed by Doug Peckover and David Morgan.

The next stop in the District race circuit is at Arlington Yacht Club Sept. 20-21st.  NOR will be posted soon.  We had a great turn out of juniors racing with the adults last year.  Mark your calendar.

You can find the championship results here.