District Laser Regatta Conroe Yacht Club 2016

District Laser Regatta Conroe Yacht Club 2016

Conroe Yacht Club hosted the Spring Fling Regatta on Lake Conroe April 9 and 10, 2016. Ron Liston and Mike Lindstrom were terrific hosts for this two day event. The lake is just 222 miles South of Dallas off of IH 45 in Montgomery, Texas. From the quiet residential road you take a narrow straight gravel road lined with tall pine trees and vacation homes to the low key Conroe Yacht Club. It is a perfect sailing venue. The generous dry sail area was buzzing with energy as boats rigged for the first of 8 medium to heavy wind races. After sailing we enjoyed rehashing the day’s events while sitting on the expansive deck surrounded by tall slender pine trees with a carpet of green grass leading to the water’s edge. The lake has a large basin to run Olympic courses including long windward legs.  There were three fleets; Sunfish, Laser (of course) and Centerboard Portsmouth Class.  The winds arrived early on Saturday morning and began to blow and increase from 12 to 18+ knots. The gusts were often 5 – 10 degree oscillations coupled with changes in velocity.  It put a premium on superb boat handling and skill at changing gears while full hiking.  The winds and motor boats created a washing machine effect on the water – Dubbed Lake Maytag (by Forest). The confused waves and chop made all directions of sail a bumpy ride! It also provided for some nice steep rolling waves to surf on and fly across on screaming reaches.

We had 8 talented Laser sailors at this regatta – 6 from the Dallas Laser Fleet, one from Arlington, and one from Houston.   The regatta was host to 23 boats in three classes.  Using a three minute sequence the race committee started Sunfish, Lasers and the Portsmouth in separate starts. They setup an Olympic course with a downwind finish totaling five legs and 3.25 miles.  The race committee skillfully got off 5 races on Saturday and 3 races on Sunday.

A funny thing happened on the way to Conroe for Griffin Orr aka the Wizard. He had to have his boat and trailer towed into Corsicana due a broken leaf spring.  But Cleansweep 11 could not be held back. Magically Forest appeared out of nowhere in the early morning mist to rescue Griffin and Cleansweep 11. They happily arrived at CYC early Saturday morning with time to spare.  Both Forest and Griffin arrived not much worse for the wear!

Once the boats were rigged they sailed about a mile to the start area. The mixed up chop and breeze provided a nice wakeup call for anyone that had not had their morning coffee. On this day almost everyone got a chance to swim – some more than others!!!  The sailors enjoyed high winds that allowed for very fast, fun and challenging off wind legs. On several reaches you could see 3 or 4 sleek one-design Lasers flying over the sun drenched waves in tight formation.  The bows of the Lasers completely out of the water with spray giving way to the high speed reach – like a section of fighter jets performing an impressive airshow.  The Laser skippers proved an indefatigable bunch of sailors. The Lasers maintained fleet integrity for 8 races.  Saturday the winds were 12-18+ knots with shifty gusts above 20.  Sunday the wind was easily blowing 18 – 24+ knots with gusts off the charts in all three races.  Despite the conditions the fleet was typically bunched close together.  The course called for downwind finishes which provided for some nice off wind demonstrations of dynamic rocking by the lee sailing and fast screaming reaches with boats flying side by side across the glistening water.  The sailing was strenuous and exhilarating.  For some the downwind legs were a rock n roll sensation culminating in a splashy death roll.

The committee boat was not part of the start finish line. This was explained to each of us on the water by Forest as he sailed by to make certain we knew how to start.  The Race Instruction may have mentioned this but since we never received a printed copy and so we just rolled with it and raced Lasers!

The regatta was won by Carson Shields. He impressively won five out of the eight races. He had challengers on the course and he proved he could win from the front and the back of the fleet. Once he was over early and still managed to work his way through the fleet and win the race. His skill at sailing is exceeded only by his exceptional manners and friendliness. Griffin was second. He won the first race and continued to put pressure on Carson. The heavy winds pushed him hard.  The off wind legs demonstrated his skill and boat handling.  He easily passed boats on each leg to get his well-deserved finish. John O’Riordan was third. He was ever present on the upwind legs and also demonstrated his off wind prowess.  Rich Laffey was fourth.  He impressively won the third race and capped the weekend with a second in the last race. Alexander J Goldberg was fifth.  He easily won the last race – punctuating his win by capsizing at the finish and celebrating!  He was leading an earlier race and he looked secure for the win until he performed an unexpected death roll.Jody Smith, Forest Atkins, and John Oliver rounded out the fleet standings.

The upwind legs were a physical battle for the sailors. The mixture of waves and steep chop presented a challenge to all.  Almost all the upwind legs were a full hike and a balance of powering up and depowering the rig as the gusts rolled down the long windward leg.  The reaches were a true blast!  Right after rounding the top mark they eased the vang and bore away and held on tight during the starboard reach. At the jibe mark a few went swimming.  But more often than not the quick jibe was followed by a crisp crack of the sail as the Laser took off on a screaming reach! Typically the Lasers were bunched together.  The nimble fast Lasers were seen planing with the surf or surging over the waves.  The next upwind leg would occasionally see the lead change as the boats took advantage of shifts. Everyone worked hard to stay flat and fast.

This second stop on the Texas District Laser Circuit was well worth the trip! Go find your Laser and get it ready for the next Circuit stop at Rush Creek Yacht Club at the end of this month – April 30 and May 1, 2016. Thanks again to Conroe Yacht Club for a very fun party!

Sail Flat! Sail Downwind! Sail Fast! Sail Lasers!





District Laser Regatta Conroe Yacht Club 2016
Place            Name                 Boat Sail No. Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Total
1 Carson Shields Laser 212064 2 1 X 1 1 1 1 3 10
2 Griffin Orr Laser 190275 1 3 2 2 3 3 X 5 19
3 John O’Riordan Laser 185844 3 X 3 3 6 4 2 4 25
4 Rich Laffey Laser 171656 4 2 1 5 X 5 7 2 26
5 Alexander Goldberg Laser 187956 5 4 4 X 4 6 5 1 29
6 Jody Smith Laser 209728 X 5 6 6 5 2 3 7 34
7 Forest Atkins Laser 157833 6 7 5 4 2 X 4 6 34
8 John Oliver Laser 174300 8 8 8 8 8 X 8 8 56


April 6, 2016 Laser Wednesday Night Races

Wednesday Night Races April 6, 2016

We had a great showing for the first scored Laser races of 2016 on Wednesday night. Ten intrepid sailors were on the line. The winds were out of the North North West at 18 knots and gusts into the 20’s.  Please give a big thank you to the race committee — Alanna Strong and Douglas Gable.

They efficiently got off four quick races that were intense 12-14 minute races. Based upon the recent US Sailing Race Management Course we had a very talented PRO and Mark setter.

The First race — Jody and John O. were over early — but only John went back. Mike Lipari, who wasn’t over early, went back and restarted too. He must have had a guilty conscience. The Wizard won. Second race — Tim was over early and went back. Alex won, convincingly. The Third race — I don’t remember the start but there was major carnage during the race with multiple flips and multiple death rolls.  It was exciting to watch! I think one of the many times Tim flipped, he actually landed on Alex. The rescue boat was deployed for one of the inverted Lasers. More than half the fleet joined the White Rock Lake swim team! John O. won the challenging race. The Fourth race — Only the pros remained so it was a bit less drama (Alanna’s word).  I think John O. was in the lead when he flipped, so Wizard won yet another race! Forest showed flashes of brilliance.  Bruce had a good night.  Greg Wallace had awesome starts and hung in close to the front a few times.  If Jody hadn’t been over early so often he would have had several thirds or better.  It was good to see Zack out on the water. Winds were shifty and on the positive side of 20 more than 50% of the time.  PRO (Alanna) only messed up a bit. I used the wrong flags in the first race but everyone knew what I meant so we were good. Also, I left the over early flag up too long. The Third race I deployed the rescue boat with one person onboard and I didn’t make him wear a life jacket. He seemed like a sensible sort and managed quite well — but next time I will ensure life jackets are worn.

It was a gorgeous evening! We look to see more Lasers on the line next week!  The weather is amazing this year.  We will see you next Wednesday!

Several Lasers are headed to Conroe this weekend for the Next Laser District Circuit Regatta.

Sail Flat! Sail Fast! Sail Downwind! Sail Lasers!

Laser District Regatta Schedule 2016:

Laser District Regatta Schedule 2016:

March 26/27 Easter Laser Regatta, Austin Yacht Club – Results posted! 9 made it to the regatta!

April 9/10 Lake Conroe Regatta, Conroe Yacht Club

April 30/May 1 Laser Regatta, will be held at Rush Creek as part of Dinghy Fest

June 18/19 Summer Solstice, Seabrook Sailing Club

August 27/28 Cannonball Run, Palacios Yacht Club — The Luther Hotel is filling up fast so please reserve your room!  (361) 972-2312

October 1/2 Laserpalooza, Arlington Yacht Club (New location on the Fort Worth side of the lake)

November 5/6 Wurstfest, Lake Canyon Yacht Club

Come Sail your Laser!!!

The Next District Laser Regatta is 9/10 at Conroe Yacht Club. We have several people travelling to the regatta.

The Easter Laser Regatta hosted by the Austin Yacht Club was a very fun event. The weather provided a variety of conditions.  21 full Lasers and 9 Laser Radial Rigs competed in the two day, 8 race regatta.  Winds on Saturday were medium out of the South.  The races were about 45 minutes in duration.  The Dallas Laser Fleet represented itself well.  The second day brought a 180 degree shift with winds out of the North and the velocity ranging from 20 to 25 knots with gusts up to 30 knots.  The challenges were daunting.  Half the fleet retired after the first race.  The race committee continued running the races until we completed three very challenging races. The results are posted on Fred Shroth’s website.  DLF had three out the top five and six out of the top 12.  Skylar dominated in all conditions to easily take first overall in style.  Alex and Jody managed a 4th and 5th overall, Griffin 7 B with Bruce and Forest 11th and 12th respectively.  Complete results are also posted.

Check the schedule for your next opportunity to be Race Committee on Wednesday night. We had about 12 show up for the first scored Wednesday night race. Unfortunately we had to abandon the races due to an impressive display of lightening and high winds.  We retired to eat dinner nearby and tell great stories and listen to Brigg sing a few rap songs. After dinner and sunset about five decided to go out for a nice smooth evening of Laser sailing. It was truly a blast to sail in star light.

Come sail with us. The weather is amazing and the camaraderie is spectacular.

Sail Flat, Sail Downwind, Sail Fast, Sail Lasers!!!!

Laser Race Committee and PRO 2016

Date PRO Markset
3/16/2016 Bruce Moore Mike Hansen
3/23/2016 Norm Grail Michael Gregory
3/30/2016 Mike Mikeska Alanna Strong
4/6/2016 Jody Smith Douglas Gable
4/13/2016 Michael Teleha Murray Smith
4/20/2016 John O’Riordan Ed Stehel
4/27/2016 Forest Atkins Alexander Goldberg
5/4/2016 Tim Ponter Alanna Strong
5/11/2016 Brig North Owen Bushaw
5/18/2016 Eileen Blute Zach Wells
5/25/2016 Dan Kaiser Brian Hannan
6/1/2016 Greg Wallace Mark McAnelly
6/8/2016 Griffin Orr Bruce Moore
6/15/2016 Mark Babb Graham Viegut
6/22/2016 Tim Ponter Janie James
6/29/2016 Skylar Bayman Murray Smith
7/6/2016 Mark Babb Christina Hvidsten
7/13/2016 Alexander Goldberg Caleb Shi
7/20/2016 Sanford Denison Skylar Bayman
7/27/2016 John Oliver Greg Wallace
8/3/2016 Brig North Ed Stehel
8/10/2016 Michael Rist Brian Hannan
8/17/2016 Matthew Evans Zach Wells
8/24/2016 Mike Lipari Jean-Baptiste Wissmann
8/31/2016 John O’Riordan Matthew Evans
9/7/2016 Griffin Orr Jody Smith
9/14/2016 Forest Atkins John Oliver
9/21/2016 Carlos Luna Eileen Blute
9/28/2016 J. Kirk Taylor Norm Grail
Sundays PRO
6/26/2016 Steve Comen
8/28/2016 Terry Jewell
10/9/2016 Dan Kaiser
11/27/2016 Don Silva

March Newsletter

February ended after 29 days of great weather and some fun sailing and the best race committee duty ever! We are having great weather!  2016 is off to a great start for Sailing!

We have a time change to the start of Saturday races. They will start at 10:30AM.  We have had nice participation.  Please note the change in time – we don’t want to start without you!!!

Daylights savings time is March 13th.  The first Laser Wednesday night race will be March 16th.  The scored series will begin March 30th.

The Regatta schedule is out! Please save these dates. We will have several members going to these regattas. Let us know if you plan to attend and we will work on establishing a Laser caravan.  Not quite as easy as Uber but much more fun! The Month will be capped by the Austin Yacht Club Easter Laser Regatta.  Several Dallas Laser Fleet Members plan to attend the regatta.  It is worth the trip to sail in a big fleet of very friendly and competitive Laser Sailors.  This is a good year for Lake Travis since the lake level is up to normal elevation.  Let us know if you are going to the regatta!

By the way we had four Lasers (Alex, Eileen, Bryan and Jody) out on the lake on the 2nd for Death Roll practice.  With 20+ knots of wind it went very well!!!  Practice makes perfect!

Regatta Schedule:

March 26/27 Easter Laser Regatta, Austin Yacht Club

April 9/10 Lake Conroe Regatta, Conroe Yacht Club

April 30/May 1 Laser Regatta, will be held at Rush Creek as part of Dinghy Fest

June 18/19 Summer Solstice, Seabrook Sailing Club

August 27/28 Cannonball Run, Palacios Yacht Club — Reserve a room at the Luther Hotel before it is too late!!! (361) 972-2312

October 1/2 Laserpalooza, Arlington Yacht Club (New location on the Fort Worth side of the lake)

November 5/6 Wurstfest, Lake Canyon Yacht Club



Remember the races this Saturday, March 6th start at 10:30AM.


Sail Flat! Sail Fast! Sail Lasers!



2016 Laser Regatta Schedule

2016 Laser Regatta Schedule:

March 26/27 Easter Laser Regatta, Austin Yacht Club — DLF had 9 members attend the regatta!

April 9/10 Lake Conroe Regatta, Conroe Yacht Club — Next Up!  We have several people going!!!

April 30/May 1 Laser Regatta, will be held at Rush Creek as part of Dinghy Fest

June 18/19 Summer Solstice, Seabrook Sailing Club

August 27/28 Cannonball Run, Palacios Yacht Club — Reserve a room at the Luther Hotel soon  they may book soon.  (361) 972-2312

October 1/2 Laserpalooza, Arlington Yacht Club (New location on the Fort Worth side of the lake)

November 5/6 Wurstfest, Lake Canyon Yacht Club