Category Archives: Lasers

2021-2022 Laser Frostbite 4

Greetings from 3rd place. Sunday was a bit of an odd wind day – it was from the northwest and the difference between the puffs and lulls was more than usual. Many folks flipped at one point or another (myself included), but we all thankfully ended the day back on shore mosty in one piece. Many thanks to Farley and Celeste for running the races!

It was nice to switch things up and have a jibe mark for a few races. I found generally staying high-ish on the reaches to be pretty fast – and a few times, I was able to pass a boat or two to windward at the leeward mark by being a little patient and making sure that my rounding was tight.

In terms of upwind strategy – there were fewer opportunities for tacking with shifts than expected in part because the mark was pretty far right and in part because often a seeming shift was just a lull, not an actual shift. As the afternoon wore on, I found myself waiting a few seconds to see whether it was worth tacking instead of continuing on my current course.

In terms of controls, I had my cunningham and outhaul pretty much max strapped for the first few races and then eased them just a tad in the later ones and during the less windy periods, especially downwind. Vang was 2-blocked or 2-blocked plus pretty much the entire day going upwind – and then loosened just before the windward mark in preparation for going downwind (and then adjusted tighter or even a bit looser depending on the puff situation). If you weigh more than I do, you probably didn’t need to tighten everything quite so much.

Overall, it was fun day and really great to have so many folks out there!

— Laura Windecker 167248

(Actually Laura was 2nd because she won the tiebreaker with Ethan  — she had a 1st in race 2)

(Races 16-21)

2021-2022 Laser Frostbite 3

Another pleasant day, probably the lightest of the three we have had so far.  Laura Windecker and Steen Byskoff ran the races and had to reset the marks a couple of times.

The light breeze was from the ESE with occasional puffs that could make you look like a genius or destroy you if is missed you.  The current was going out strong and pushing us over the line.  We had a general recall and some OCS boats who did go back.

21 boats came out.  Nice!

Ethan was third.  Ethan, do you want to write something up about what you did?

Pictures from Steen





2021-2022 Frostbite 1

It was a great start to the season with temperatures in the high 40s and a SW breeze that started off frisky but got lighter and lighter.   The tide was going out and a current shear was visible near the channel.  Tyler and Eva ran RC.

Laura Windecker won the day with Farley Will and Tom Hutton tying for 2nd and 3rd.


(races 1-5)

Third place observations from Tom Hutton:

It was good to be back out with so many other lasers! The weather was cool but not cold, and the wind was up and down but overall a good day to be on the water. It was one of the rare days when the wind was from the south but also a bit shifty. It was either shifty or my steering needs work, the latter being more likely. I’d say this day had 3 major lessons for me.
  • Lesson #1 Know the Course. In the first race I forgot (or didn’t find out) how many laps were required. I’d got out to the left for more wind when I heard a horn, turning to see Laura crossing the finish line. I’m not sure I lost any boats with this mistake but this kind of mistake is easy to fix.
  • Lesson #2 Pointing and Locking In Up Wind. I had good speed going upwind which for me is about getting the sail into “pointing mode” as soon as possible. I sheet the sail to what I want for the wind speed, two-blocked for medium to heavy, 3 inch gap for medium to light, and 6-12 inch gap for light. Any looser than that and I won’t be pointing anymore, but reaching. After trimming the main I set the vang, then adjust my cunningham as necessary to get the big wrinkles out of the sail. After that is spending 75% of my focus on keeping the tell tales flowing and the boat flat. If I get my head too far out of the boat I start to pinch, or miss the lift and give up precious ground. So get the sail set, get the tell tales flowing, then focus on going fast.
  • Lesson #3 Clear Air Down Wind. I’m almost always trying for clear wind, and I’ll get pretty far sideways to get it. Mostly I don’t want to be near anyone else, especially in a group of people. I’m not sure about this lesson as downwind I’m not as fast as quite a few others. I think Farley passed me 2 or 3 times downwind so maybe I don’t have any lessons here. Some days I do better than others downwind, Series #1 was not so great. Turning around to look for wind I think is going to be my new technique that I’ll try out.

2021-2021 Laser Frostbite Series

The new member year and frostbite series is approaching! The first racing day will be November 21st, the day after the Annual General Meeting. With the new season we have added a position to the RC duty list, the Equipment Check helper. This will be someone who will help the RC put the boat away and make sure everything is ready for the next Sunday. The snow of the winter, and the freezing temperatures mean we need to make sure we’ve got the boats put away right. The person doing this would be free to sail that day, they just help the RC after sailing is over. The link for the RC signup is below, please take a look and sign up. Given last year I’m expecting each sailor to need to do 2 RC slots and 1 Equipment Check helper slot.
For any sailors new to the frostbite season, there is no need to sign up for sailing. We meet at the cranes at noon, the first warning signal is at 12:30.
Lastly, for the upcoming season I’m looking to pass the torch of Laser Fleet Captain, if anyone is interested please let me know.
– Tom Hutton
Click here for RC signup.


2021 Laser Masters at Fishing Bay

51 boats registered for the 40th Annual Laser Masters at Fishing Bay Yacht Club.    Just like on the Potomac the weather was beautiful and the winds were fine if not a bit on the light side for my tastes.

James Jacob was third beating out three whipper-snappers who had to take extra points for being young.  (James apologized to them.)

Jim Graham took second place in the Legend Division.  Yes, for the first time this year there was a division for those aged 75+ .

Lloyd Leonard Steen Byskof had a great last race finishing 5th and 6th, respectively.    I was crushed on day 1 but pulled myself up by my bootstraps and managed a respectable 15th in the last race.

Next year, this event will again be the first weekend in October — put it on your calendar.   BTW, the US Laser Masters will be in Norfolk  in September and the Laser Words in Mexico (Puerto Villarta) in August.

More winners





Hangover Regatta, New Year’s Day 2020

It was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 40s and winds in the 10 to 18 mph range. Unfortunately, the wind was from the west which limits the length of the windward leg. So the race committee created a new rectangle (parallelogram) course with windward, reach, downwind, and reach legs in the hope of giving the sailors some planning opportunities. The races were quite long by frostbite Laser standards but the race committee got in 4 twice around races and 1 once around. The winds were puffy enough that there were quite a few capsizes.

19 sailors came out including Dave and Randy from the Marsh Creek Club in central PA and the Jacob family of James, Alex, and Erin.

The RC was Nabeel Alsalam, Jim Klein, Dan Miller, and Jacob Donkersloot.

Hangover Regatta, January 1, 2020