By Betsy Sorensen
Sailing a Laser in the cool breeze on Long Island Sound is a thrill worthy of the respect of anyone who enjoys the sport. Laser sailing is one-design racing at its best and a true test of a sailor’s abilities. Lasers are fast, and given some big waves and crankin’ breeze you have the makings of an incredible ride. The competition is fierce, but supportive and encouraging at the same time. It is always a learning experience and whether you end up “DFL” or “Numero Uno,” there is always the feeling of accomplishment. If you have never tried Laser frostbiting, you should give it a try this year at Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport, CT, every Sunday starting October 4.
Laser sailors ages 35 to 44 are Apprentice Masters, ages 45 to 54 are Masters – the largest sailing class in the world. A Grand Master is anyone between 55 and 64, and anyone over 65 is a Great Grand Master. But, a word of caution, do not underestimate anyone in the class because of their age. It is truly amazing how the ‘elders’ compete - they can be ruthless. But once you are back in the warm, cozy clubhouse, they will then take the time to talk over their strategies. It never fails to amaze me how enlightening these ‘talks’ can be. Halsey, Amnon, Ed, Ched and Tim are always there, steadfast in their support of this program. And because the Laser is physically demanding, frostbiting a great way to stay in shape.
On New Years Day, there is a fun race where sometimes the challenge is to sail backwards, or not use your rudder and still complete the course. It’s a blast, and there are great prizes for everyone at the end of the day. If you have a son or daughter who is interested in becoming a better sailor, this is definitely a program to look at. The talent abounds, coaching and encouragement’ is strong, and safety is always a primary concern.
Because the sailing talent is so strong at CPYC, the program continues to seek out, groom and support possible Olympic contenders. Rob Crane of Darien, CT enjoys the fleet and is an avid supporter of the program. We have several hopefuls in the wings now – Merrick and Mark, to name a few. Watching these young sailors follow this dream is very rewarding for us all. So, come see what all the excitement is about, and even join us on Race Committee for the day. We always have room for one more, so bring some hot coffee and enjoy! To learn more, go to CedarPointYC.org today.