May Madness Regatta 2013 Quannapowitt YC

by laserd7

Thanks to Jay Livingston for this account of the QYC May Madness Regatta on May 11.

Quannapowitt Yacht Club’s May Madness regatta lived up to its name once again. Blustery 25 plus gusts (many agreed that 30 plus rouges swept the fleet at times) often shut off just as sailors got themselves hiked out. The constant threat of inverted Lasers didn’t seem to dampen many people’s spirits or energy. The forecasts discouraged some but the 13 boats who came, came to compete.

Blazing speeds, with spry and twitchy boats characterized the reaches, which left the faint of heart and those with limited spring sailing dreading the quickly approaching jibe marks. Prudence suggested skippers plan for wide roundings around any masts that weren’t pointed up and then cut close only when it was clear that there was an open lane.

Small lake sailing rewards your abilities to read shifts and pressure differentials and those skills paid off for Phil King a former Quannapowitt sailor. His six firsts and two fourths in nine races buried all competitors. Stu Nickerson in second and Nat Cook in third overall consistently finished in the top five.

Bill Brangiforte looked at the day’s winds and the dominating gusts and decided to try a radial for the first time. He clearly doesn’t need a lot of practice as he methodically placed first in the radial group in each race, sixth overall in the mixed fleet and second in the Master’s category.

This regatta was dominated by Master sailors. Laser Grand Master Stu Nickerson topped that age group followed by Eric Cutting (fourth overall) and Eric Aker (seventh overall). Laser Master Phil King contained his group behind him.

Stephen Young, a 15 year old radial sailor, who is just starting to compete in mixed-age regattas, hung in there and showed the Masters how it was possible to swim 14 times, right a Laser in howling gusts and still have the energy to fight for a first-row seat at the next horn. When he was upright he stayed with fleet and promises to be a force in future racing.