ACSC practice yesterday

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Al Sargent

Oct 31, 2022, 4:01:40 PM10/31/22
to International Laser Class Association District 24, List
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Great practice at Alameda Community Sailing Center yesterday. We had seven sailors doing short course races, including Pete Trachy (back from long hiatus), Emilio, Nick Roosevelt, Sanjai Kohli, Doug Smith, Stephen Aguilar, and myself. 

Conditions were awesome -- six to nine knots, started with flat water but then built to a small chop as the afternoon went on.

Despite the champagne conditions, all kinds of weird things happened, which goes to show that you need to be ready for anything, anytime in our sport:
  • Doug's ILCA 7 mast broke in ~7 knots of breeze. Stephen was kind enough to tow him into a nearby dock with his own boat, while Emilio and Pete came by with a trailer to pick him up. We got a good fleet that looks after each other...

  • One person lost a rudder and tiller in the mud. They don't float, FYIU. Lesson: have a big rudder bolt, and keep the traveler tight and bolt forward of the traveler while launching! Thankfully it was high tide; hopefully the gear was able to get retrieved at low tide at night.

  • As I was fiddling with pulling on a bit more vang to foot out from under Trachy, who expertly won the pin in one start, I dropped my mainsheet and embarrassingly capsized to windward. Don't forget the basics, even when you're doing the fancy stuff.
We used one of the ACSC marks to set up a start line between a channel marker, and then a weather mark about 2/3 up the breakwater. Courses were a simple windard and finish downwind. See below. 


Breeze was oscillating. Subtle lefties, with righties a bit more obvious, since they were coming off the shore. As I'm learning more about sailing with a compass, I learned yesterday that even a three-degree shift is worth taking on in a Laser. 

Anyways, it's a great group and ACSC is an awesome venue. A number of us are practicing every Sunday to get ready for Masters Worlds in Thailand in a few months. If you need to rent a basic Laser from ACSC, contact Mike Bishop ( Works well, especially if you bring your own kit (tiller, lines). I did that for a year, during covid, before buying my current boat.

Nick Roosevelt

Oct 31, 2022, 4:50:26 PM10/31/22
to Al Sargent, International Laser Class Association District 24, List
FWIW I did have the bolt forward of the traveler and I think if I’d had it behind I wouldn’t have lost the rudder overboard. The runner was attached to the rudder and if I’d had the bolt aft of the trav the clear on the tiller would have still been forward. The main sheet hooked on the rudder and pushed it over the side not the transom. 

I did go back at low tide and waded in and got the rudder. 


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Doug Smith

Oct 31, 2022, 6:27:36 PM10/31/22
to International Laser Class Association District 24
Thanks to everyone at ACSC yesterday who helped keep me off the beach and back on the dolly sorted.   Even had a replacement bottom section from Steven before locking the gate.

Best remark of the day’s adventures  - looking at the stump broken off just below the bottom vang rivets -   “When when we were at Tufts we turned those things into bongs”


Stephen Aguilar

Oct 31, 2022, 8:03:57 PM10/31/22
to Doug Smith, International Laser Class Association District 24
Great story on the rudder. I temporarily lost one the same way mainsheet dragged it off the back of the boat. Had to come back with scuba gear to recover in the Mucky mud at Lake Washington.

 I thought  Doug had just missed his strap on a  tack. I looked over and something seemed weird then realized that he didn't have a sail. A laser makes a good towboat didn't know.

It was nice sailing with Pete and Emilio again. Had me thinking about the good times that we've had in Florida. I enjoyed meeting all the other Sailors there and look forward to coming back.

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