sail-world.com -- Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta enjoys successful first edition
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta enjoys successful first edition
Thu, 14 Feb 2013
The inaugural Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta was held last weekend. The event grew out of the annual Finn Midwinter and Women’s Laser Radial North Americans that Lauderdale Yacht Club has hosted since 1982. This year, Men’s Laser full rigs, I-420s and 29ers were added to the mix along with the inclusion of men in the Laser Radial class. The idea was to make this regatta an easy follow on to the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.
Over 60 boats took part this year and they were treated to three days of outstanding conditions and racing in the ocean just south of the Port Everglades inlet. Entrants came from all over the world with nine countries represented in the fleet.
Friday’s racing began with a somewhat unusual west wind of around ten to twelve knots and relatively flat seas. A strong current at the top mark, along with patchy wind made for tricky conditions, and the Finn class saw a different winner in each of the day’s three races.
In the radial class, Canada’s Brenda Bowskill followed an initial twelfth with two bullets once she figured out the conditions.
In the Laser full rig Estonian Karl-Martin Rammo had no difficulty reading the winds, firing off a perfect score sheet of three firsts.
On the 29ers, LYC sailors Nic Muller and Kai Friesecke used their local knowledge to take the lead in the twelve-strong fleet, winning two of the three races.
Finally, in the I-420 fleet, Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick, sailing with Lauderdale’s Haley Fox enjoyed a perfect triple-first day. Back on shore everyone was treated to a fantastic barbeque at the sailing center.
Lastly, in what has become a Lauderdale Yacht Club tradition, bottles of champagne were awarded to the winners of each of the day’s races. A good time was had by all!
On Friday night a weak cold front moved through the area so Saturday dawned a bit cooler and the winds had moved to the Northeast. The race committee set up a windward-leeward, twice around race course, and started the first race in a nice fourteen knot breeze. The winds had also pushed up the sea state and waves of two to four feet covered the course. The day began overcast with a little rain, but quickly cleared into a gorgeous day. In the Finns recent Miami World Cup champion Caleb Paine renewed his duel with Australia’s Brendan Casey and between them they won all three of the day’s races. In the Laser fleet, Karl-Martin Rammo continued his dominance, winning two out of three.
In the Radials, two Canadians were pushing each other. Brenda Bowskill maintained a narrow lead over Sandy Beatty by combining her sole first of the day with a pair of deuces.
There were no changes on the 29er and I420 leader board. After awarding of the champagne, the competitors headed out for a night on the town.
On Sunday, the weather gods tossed everything at us. Winds were from the Southeast at sixteen knots with gusts over twenty. That had pushed the seas up to five to seven feet with the occasional eight or nine footer thrown in for good measure. Big wind and big waves! Two races were planned for all fleets. Before the first start numerous boats were capsizing all over the race course. It kept the four safety boats busy standing by each one to make sure all were safe.
The first Finn race quickly turned into the Caleb and Brendan show as they led the fleet to the top mark. They battled all day with Brendan taking two hard earned victories. Still, that wasn’t enough to overtake Caleb who, by virtue of his two seconds, won the regatta by three points. Finishing third was Estonian Lauri Väinsalu. A big shout out to August 'Gus' Miller the Finn patriarch who at 77 years old, sailed all seven races and even refused a tow in at the end of the day.
The Laser full rigs went off with Rammo holding a pretty commanding lead over Canada’s Robert Davis. Even though Davis took the horn for both races, it wasn’t enough to catch Rammo, so Robert settled for second. Rounding out the top three was Trinidad’s Andrew Lewis. On the Radial side, Bowskill and Beatty went one, two and two, one respectively, allowing Bowskill to hang on for the two-point victory. Local Lauderdale Yacht Club skipper Ethan Lounsbury took third. Several of the 29ers really struggled to finish their first race.
In light of the worsening conditions, and the number of wipeout capsizes, the race committee made the decision to send them and the I-420s back to the yacht club. Holding onto the victory were locals Nic Muller and Kai Friesecke. They were joined on the podium by Duncan Williford and Mathew Mollerus in second, and Campbell D'Eliscu in third. In the I-420s Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick and Haley Fox took the day’s only race leaving them with victories in four out of seven races and the title. Second and third went to Jack Parkin and Hailey Ullman respectively.
Next year the plan is to expand the regatta by including 49ers, 49erFXs, 470s and Nacra 17s. Sailors who are going to do the ISAF Sailing Miami World Cup should plan to stick around and race the Lauderdale Olympic Class Regatta.
International Laser Radial (Final results after 8 races)
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