Dallas Goes — And WINS in Colorado

Beers and Brats after Sailing to welcome back Colorado Travelers!!


Fleet Provided Dinner Tonight!!!

This past weekend, 7 Dallas Laser Fleet Sailors (Griffin Orr, Alex Goldberg, Tim Ponter, Forest Atkins, Eric Roman, Andrew Sommer, and Brian Hannan) traveled to Grand Lake, Colorado to race in the Colorado Laser Championships. DLF and Texas proved once again that we are a force to be reckoned with, brining home 1st (Griffin Orr), 3rd (Eric Roman), and top Master (Craig Berleme from San Antonio)! This is quite impressive given the strong showing of 35 lasers marking the largest Colorado Laser Championship in history. 

Sailors were greeted with cool temperatures in the 40’s Saturday morning, but the hot coffee and warm hospitality of the Grand Lake Yacht Club quickly got things warmed up. Boats got on the water around 10:30 AM when some light breeze filled in out of the south east. This quickly built to around 5-15 knots, just in time for the first race. 

Though there were some hard right shifts just before the start, Griffin noticed American Flags on the south shore indicating a hard left was about to start. By the start, he was unable to make the pin and ended up port tacking the fleet and was launched into a comfortable lead with Andrew Sommer and Alex Goldberg close by. As the top 5 leaders rounded the weather mark, the wind began to fade and a large gap formed between those sailing downwind in breeze and those attempting to make the top mark in a large hole. Those at the top would continue to hold the breeze through the rest of the race with Griffin taking away the win with Alex finishing 4th. 

Following the first race the fleet was gearing up for race number 2 when lightning struck on the nearby ridge, prompting all sailors to head in for lunch. Storms continued to skirt the lake all afternoon, but we eventually got back on the water around 4PM. We got into sequence when the wind flipped a 180, forcing the race committee to abandon to avoid a downwind start. As the new breeze was holding, we sailed to the other side of the lake to give it another go. Though the line was very right favored, we were off! At the top mark Griffin and Eric were rounding out the top 5, but the skies. were getting dark as another storm approached over the mountain. Sure enough,  lightning struck on the second upwind, forcing the day to come to a close. 

Day 2 promised a forecast of clear skies but variable breeze. Sailors left the dock in no breeze in the hopes that it would eventually fill in…. and boy did it!! The breeze first filled out of the south at 10-15 and shifted hard left just before the gun, providing us with a “Nascar” style race… (Turn left around the marks!).  Griffin finished with a 4 and Andrew with a 5.

Next, the race committee shifted the course to square and set us off again. Andrew and Griffin quickly got in a 1, 2 position and extended away from the fleet. This proved to be one of the messier races with winds ranging  from 10-20 and shifts from just about every direction. I even recall getting it by a 15 knot puff that sneaked up from leeward. (Think about that one… it almost flipped me over). Andrew was cursed by a capsize but was soon replaced by Eric who took second behind Griffin. 

If we thought race 3 was crazy, race 4 was there to prove us wrong. A huge right shift came in at the start, enabling every boat on the line to make the committee boat. The breeze continued to build, now around 15-25 knots. Eric began planing about halfway up the first leg and did not stop until the finish. The sleigh ride on the first downwind was truly epic. Our 40 knot days on White Rock clearly had us at an advantage as we were working every knot out of our boats while many competitors were just hanging on for dear life. Eric dominated half a lap ahead with Griffin in 3rd, Alex in 6th,  and Andrew in 7th. 

The race committee once again shifted the course to square and we prepped for the last race of the day. The breeze was now a stead 15-25 with puffs in the 30’s. Don’t get me started on the shifts… it was wild! Alex and Griffin got off to a good start near the boat and found themselves up front with Alex first around the top mark. The first downwind leg was actually very mild and drama free. The second started with a monster puff taking out most of the top boats. No lead was certain! Griffin ended with another first, Alex with a 7th and Tim with a 12th.