Thanks to Joe Berkeley for this report on the Marblehead NOOD regatta which was first posted by Joe on the District 7 Facebook page.
The Marblehead NOOD was the 125th anniversary of Marblehead Race Week and Lasers represented the second-largest fleet. Tom Dailey was the spark plug that ignited the 27-boat field and he put many competitors up at his gracious home. He posted consistent finishes on day one, then went on to win the race on day two. Tom said he built up the regatta turnout by emailing people. He believes there is a lot of demand out there for Laser sailing and this regatta got a lot of people to come out sailing.
JB Braun put on a clinic Saturday with three bullets in shifty conditions that were difficult for even the locals to decipher. On Sunday, he had a third. He attributes his fitness and boat speed to that fraternal twin of the Laser, the road bicycle. While living in Spain for work, JB discovered a local cycling group, joined it and got hooked. He started out with a Trek 1000 aluminum frame, and recently moved up to a Trek Madone.
But as any cyclist or any Laser sailor will tell you, it’s not about the equipment, it’s about the athlete. The road bike and the Laser both reward high power to weight ratios, and JB displayed both on a day where the punishment for errors was corporal: not only were you sent back a few spots in the Laser fleet, you were also tortured by being covered by the entire Rhodes 19 fleet.
As one competitor remarked at the three-boat-length zone at the leeward mark, “I have room on the red Laser, but I owe room to the blue Rhodes 19, the yellow Rhodes 19 and that interesting Towne & Country Canoe.” Ah, the pinwheel effect.
Phil King enjoyed the conditions and the camaraderie. He was getting the better of JB in race two on day one, until JB caught a sneaky lefty and went by. After sailing, Phil reflected on moving up to the next Masters group as he is turning 55. But like all masters, he is inspired by the stellar performance of fleet 413’s ironman, nine-time World Champion Peter Seidenburg who does not get older, just faster. Phil had a solid Sunday and finished third overall at the regatta.
Chris Palmieri broke his tiller extension on the final race of day one. He sailed upwind by placing his big toe on the tiller and laying supine on the deck with the rest of his person facing forward. If there were a bit more breeze, he could’ve hung one leg over the weather rail to hike old-school style in celebration of the 125th anniversary of race week.
He only dropped three places in the race, but the worst was yet to come. On shore, his girlfriend, who told him that very day he should not store his tiller attached to his extension as it could break, was proven right and administered a flogging. Chris vows to listen to his girlfriend all the time now and conduct preventative maintenance according to her instructions.
One Master’s Competitor, who shall not be named, has petitioned his competitors for the Laser Masters Senility Award for ignoring the large, red off-set mark not once, but twice in the same race. According to the petition, the Laser Master’s Senility Cup shall be a 64 ounce vessel which shall be filled with Mount Gay Rum and Coke and consumed by the recipient until the good sense he was born with returns to him.” The petition, the award, the deed of gift, and one slightly used 7-Eleven Big Gulp 64 ounce cup are under consideration by the Race Committee and the leadership of the class.
Phil Kersten of the Nahant fleet believes this has been one of the better Marblehead summers in recent memory. He thought the caliber of sailors who showed up for the NOOD was great, with a broad range of abilities.
Ledyard McFadden enjoyed the sailing as well as the sights of Marblehead. He was impressed with the boats going out to the three different courses, the beauty of the different clubs, all of the sights that make Marblehead unique.
As always, this great fleet didn’t just happen. Wayne Colahan started the Marblehead fleet after sailing in Sam Altrueter’s regatta. His strategy? Wayne just kept sailing his Laser in Marblehead harbor and people came out of the woodwork. People like Ben Richardson. That’s some good workwork.
For the next couple of years Wayne, Patrick Anderson and Tom Dailey grew the fleet by any means necessary. For instance, after Marblehead hosted a Woman’s event with charter Lasers, Wayne made an investment in the future by purchasing a boat from the event. Then he called JB Braun and said, “congratulations, you just bought a Laser. Pay me back when you have the money.”
The investments didn’t stop there. The Marblehead Laser fleet just bought a custom five-boat Dynamic Dolly trailer custom designed by the Dolly Meister Peter Seidenberg that will be making its first road trip to Eric Robbins’ Nantucket regatta. And the fleet is saving up to buy a set of foils as well as upgraded controls for the three fleet loaner boats.
Inspired by the strength and numbers of the Marblehead fleet, a proposal was made to get Mark Bear and his friends to a Marblehead regatta in exchange for Marblehead attendance at next year’s John Bentley. And while we’re at it, let’s get Dan Neri to go to both of those events, too. The response was favorable, and Tom Dailey had warm memories of when he hosted a Laser regatta in Marblehead in 1995 when John Bentley dislocated his shoulder, popped it back in on his own, and did not miss a race.
At the award ceremony at Corinthian Yacht Club, Dave Curtis and Norm Cressy inducted the following into the Marblehead Sailing Hall of Fame: Nocholas A. Barton, Robert E. Doyle, Bruce E. Dyson, Francis P. Scully, David J. Smith, Judson A.F. Smith, Joanne Thayer, Richard B. Wilson.