This past weekend I participated in the 2013 Labor Day Regatta, an annual event hosted by my home club in Sarasota. I decided to compete in my Laser Radial rather than in a multihull and this proved to be a wise decision as this boat posed challenges that I had not faced during the several regattas I attended this summer. Sailing in a slower monohull has several disadvantages. First of all, the boat does not move nearly as fast as a high performance catamaran. Also, the races take longer. Finally, the boat is sailed by one person which forces all the decisions onto the skipper. However, this boat also provided several challenges that tested my skills, taught me new techniques, and placed me in different tactical situations on the race course. By choosing to sail the Laser in this regatta I now had opportunity to practice starting more aggressively with the increased maneuverability of the boat. Also, since the boat moves more slowly through the water than a multihull, I had more time to analyze the shifts and make tactical decisions. This boat drastically slowed down the pace of racing and helped me focus on the fundamentals of boat-on-boat tactics. The weekend's sailing conditions were tough to manage as it rained in the mornings of both days of the regatta and we were presented with light and variable winds in the afternoons, however the race committee still managed to complete five races in the tough conditions. Even though I did not place as well as I had hoped and came in 6th overall, I had the opportunity to refresh some of my basic sailing skills and improve in close tactical situations and I was able to enjoy my three day weekend with my friends and teammates on the beautiful Sarasota Bay.
|Sunset over the Sarasota Bay|