Laser District 8 News

Good afternoon!

Revised 02/11/07

Devon YC, Saturday, August 7

An unusually cool day for August greeted 19 competitors from around Long Island. The warm water did compenste a bit, with the sun eventually coming out clear and strong. The winds were up and down with wide shifts, unusual for Devon, which made for some challenging conditions. Six races allowed one throwout, to the relief of those who found themselves on the wrong side of one of the unexpected windshifts! Rudy Ratsep dominated, but not without some strong competition to fend off. Thanks to Devon Yacht Club for hosting District 8 once again, and for providing refreshments after the race.

The results:

1st Rudy Ratsep 10 pts.
2nd Lindsay Hewitt 12 pts.
3rd Aron Freeman 20 pts.
4th Connie Zeckendorf 23 pts.
5th Doug Mercer 33 pts.
6th Ken Kalbacher 38 pts.
7th Bud Rogers 41 pts.
8th Bob Terry 41 pts.
9th Robert Barron 41 pts.
10th Mike Duran 42 pts.
11th Lee Oldak 42 pts.
12th Arthur Zeckendorf 46 pts.
13th Jamie Rogers 50 pts.
14th Jenny Zeckendorf 54 pts.
15th Doug Douglas 58 pts.
16th Ed DeJoux 58 pts.
17th Rob Martinez 82 pts.
18th Henry Phyfe 82 pts.
19th Lynn Sexton 88 pts.

Sayville YC Grand Prix, Saturday-Sunday July 10-11

The following report is reprinted from the Islip Bulletin published July 15, 2004.


BLUE POINT - The Sayville Yacht Club (SYC) in Blue Point hosted the seventh annual Disrict 8 Laser Grand Prix last weekend. The two-day, seven race regatta drew sailors from all over the Long Island district and beyond The points each of the athletes g!eaned at the event are considered for national ranaing in the sport.

Northport resident Donald Woodworth is secretary of District 8, one of the 26 United States districts in the International Laser Class Association of North America. He said the 19 participants in last weekend’s regatta were very pleased with the whole event. “The Sayville Yacht Club is one of the best [venues] in terms ofwhat it has to offer in access to the Great South Bay,” he noted. “There are also wide sandy beaches, not much seaweed and the people at the club, who are all volunteers [for the event], really enjoy holding these regattas. It was a great opportunity for Laser sailors.

The Laser class sailboat, a single handed vessel, has provided sailors with many interesting opportunities since it was first introduced in 1971. “Its popularity took off immediately,” Woodworth said. The fleet is currently 180,000 strong worldwide.

Woodworth explained that its lightweight, simple design makes the vessel fast and physically challenging to handle. “Its a fun boat to sail” he said. And, it could be a serious venture as well. Twelve years ago, Laser sailing became an Olympic event.

There weren't any 2004 Olympic contenders in the District 8 Grand Prix. However, there was a wide range of experience exhibited among the entrants who ranged in age from 12-68. Each sailor competed in their own age category, which included: Great Grand Master (over 65); Grand Master (55-65); Master (45-55); Apprentice (35-45); Open Division (18-35) and the Juniors who are all under the age of 18.

Arianna Baker (13) a member of the Bellport Bay YC and Christian Cremer (12) from Sayville YC, were tied for first place in their age category by the end of the first day's races. Cremer, a champion Optimist (Opti) class sailor, said Laser sailing is different. "[The Laser] is so much faster than an Opti," he said.

Baker, who has also won many awards in the Optimist class, concurred with Cremer's remark. "This gives you much more of a workout too," she added.

Woodworth said the afteroon conditions on the Great South Bay really put sailing skills to the test. He explained that after a "frustrating" morning on Saturday with light, shifting wind, conditions improved considerably. "in the afternoon, southeasterly winds came in strong 18-20 knots," he said. "It was wonderful." Similar conditions prevailed on Sunday.

And so with another successful event completed, Laser sailors are looking forward to the next regatta. But its not just the competition that fuels their desire to race. "They are all doing it for the [enjoyment], the exercise and the camaraderie," Woodworth explained.

The overall winner of the Grand Prix was Rick Dominique, 35 of Manhasset Bay YC. Woodworth placed sixth.

Arianna Baker won her age group and placed 17 overall. Christian Cremer placed 18. The results from our reader area are: Ted Cremer, 44, (SYC) in ninth place; Michael Collins, 17 (SYC) 12th place, and Rob Martinez, 19, (Wet Pants Sailing Association) who placed 16th.

The results were:

1st Rick Dominique 10 pts
2nd Lindsay Hewitt 24 pts
3rd Philip Hood 26 pts
4th Brian Raney 28pts
5th Dave Breder 32 pts
6th Don Woodworth 36 pts
7th Sam Weiksnar 38 pts
8th Chris Legg 38 pts
9th Ted Cremer 45 pts
10th Doug Mercer 51 pts
11th Fred Abels 60 pts
12th Michael Collins 63 pts
13th David Eberhardt 67 pts
14th Gordon Mack 68 pts
15th Ed Chimney 83 pts
16th Rob Martinez 88 pts
17th Arianna Baker 95 pts
18th Christian Cremer 100 pts
19th Jeff Rose 104 pts

For full details of the scores, go to

Southampton Yacht Club, Saturday June 12

14 sailors were treated to a sunny morning with 8-10 knot breezes (also treated to a bagel breakfast). After a 180 degree windshift (thankfully between races) the wind built to 12+. Shifty conditions overall made the strategy interesting. Six races allowed one throwout, with a just-for-fun race back to the dock. After the boats were put away, Dr. Jim Hull treated all to a fantastic steak barbecue. Thanks also to the great folks at Southampton for hosting District 8.

1st - Lindsay Hewitt - 3.75 pts
2nd - Brian McGinnis - 10.75 pts
3rd - Doug Mercer - 20 pts
4th - Bob Terry - 21 pts
5th - Mike Duran - 29 pts
6th - Ed Berenbaum - 32 pts
7th - Jean Field - 34 pts
8th - Rudy Ratsep - 38 pts
9th - Robert Barron - 40 pts
10th - Mark Berenbaum - 40 pts
11th - Woody Glen - 45 pts
12th - Jim Hull - 50 pts
12th - Lynn Sexton - 50 pts
13th - Kent Rydberg - 52 pts

Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club, Saturday June 5

The day was cold and at times wet, but 7 competetors came out to have some fun with the 10 knot easterly breeze. Thanks to Lindsay and Bobby Hewitt and their Friend Rudy for running a great regatta. Eight W/L courses with big wind shifts in direction and velocity reminded us of winter sailing. With eight races and one throw out Lindsay won the day.

1st Lindsay Hewitt -14 pts
2nd Don Woodworth -20 pts
3rd Andrew Roosevelt -21 pts
4th Brian McGinnis     -22 pts
5th Doug Mercer     -30 pts
6th Brad Dunn       - 34pts
7th Bob Blanco     -35 pts

Seawanhaka Yacht Club, Saturday, May 29

A brisk NW wind gave the 10 racers a great day of challenging conditions, with wind ranching from 15- 22 Knots. Lots of capsizes and postion changes on a triangle course. Great RC work by Andy Kennedy, Scott Ward and others. Fred Ables lived up to his nick name "Fast Fred" with 3- first places.
1st-Fred Ables
2nd Lindsay Hewitt
3rd Doug Mercer
4th Eric Rosanes
5th Don Woodworth
6th- Rob Barrons
7th Loic Cordelle
8th Rob Martinez
9th Ed Chimney
10th Brian McGinnis

Atlantic Coast Championships, Centerport Yacht Club, Saturday-Sunday, May 22-23

Saturday brought out 42 open competitors and 4- 4.7 juniors to beautiful Centerport YC hosting this years Atlantic Coast. The early season start kept some competitors away with other obligations but many Apprentices showed up.
Fog rolled in like little cats feet as an unusual weather system hung over Long Island giving the Race Committee fits in the morning until the wind settled down to a 8-12 knot northeast breeze. Four W/L courses were sailed with significant wind shifts and velocity differeneces requiring very heads-up sailing. Sunday had the weather system overhead and no breeze could develop from either the North or South and the RC rightfully called it a day after a few hours.
The management of the regatta was excellent headed by Bill Kirkpatrick and Brian Whitehead along with many other volunteers onshore and on the water. Saturdays dinner was plentiful and delicious.
The Centerport did an excellent job under difficult conditions and has many knowledgeable sailors and race mangement members. I hope they will host another regatta in the future.

For pictures of Saturday's action, click here.

Laser Full Rig
Pl Sail # Name A.G. Subgroup 1 2 3 4 Pts
1 171628 Ken Swetka GGM Apprentice Master 1 10 5 3 19
2 171035 Steven Kirkpatrick GGM Apprentice Master 4 16 1 1 22
3 166153 Rick Dominique GGM Apprentice Master 6 7 2 8 23
4 148461 Had Brick GGM Master 5 6 7 6 24
5 319 Brian Simkins GGM Regular 8 12 4 9 33
6 172916 Rudolph Ratsep GGM Master 2 22 3 10 37
7 157824 Theo Ingram GGM Junior 21 3 15 5 44
8 173671 Fred Abels GGM Master 10 2 17 18 47
9 177675 Tim McKegney GGM Apprentice Master 3 29 12 4 48
10 180094 Todd Breeden GGM Regular 24 9 14 2 49
11 175520 Brian Raney GGM Regular 9 18 10 12 49
12 121151 Glen Dickson GGM Regular 14 21 9 7 51
13 168453 Eric Horrocks GGM Junior 18 4 19 17 58
14 171636 Patrick Dietz GGM Regular 15 15 20 13 63
15 175862 Philip Hood GGM Regular 13 8 24 19 64
16 170645 Tim Orazem GGM Regular 16 14 18 20 68
17 177269 Andrew Roosevelt GGM Apprentice Master 31 13 11 16 71
18 152045 Dave Breder GGM Master 19 19 21 15 74
19 175537 Thomas Hering GGM Master 20 5 31 22 78
20 162020 Ted Cremer GGM Apprentice Master 17 24 23 14 78
21 173634 Donald Woodworth GGM Grand Master 26 11 6 40\DNS 83
22 161079 Richard Cameron GGM Apprentice Master 11 20 13 40\DNS 84
23 178930 Cameron Friedman GGM Junior 28 17 16 24 85
24 178616 Lindsay Hewitt GGM Grand Master 22 25 28 11 86
25 173079 Ryan Eric Minth GGM Apprentice Master 12 1 40\DNS 40\DNS 93
26 162043 Michael Duran GGM Apprentice Master 30 26 8 31 95
27 172947 Gordon Mack GGM Junior 29 23 26 23 101
28 170765 Jack Zinn GGM Apprentice Master 25 28 32 27 112
29 173726 John Beal GGM Master 36 31 25 21 113
30 177373 Douglas Mercer GGM Grand Master 23 35 29 26 113
31 167299 Erik Rosanes GGM Regular 34 37 22 25 118
32 149873 Robert Barron GGM Master 37 27 27 30 121
33 157863 Brian McGinnis GGM Regular 27 36 33 28 124
34 159951 Peter Hurley GGM Regular 7 40\DNS 40\DNS 40\DNS 127
35 177206 Ed Berenblum GGM Master 35 30 30 32 127
36 112345 Cory Friedman GGM Grand Master 33 32 35 29 129
37 173683 Douglas Latour GGM Apprentice Master 32 34 34 33 133
38 178907 Jeffrey Rose GGM Master 38 33 36 34 141
39 149934 Mark Berenblum GGM Junior 40\DNS 40\DNS 40\DNS 40\DNS 160

Laser 4.7 Series

Pl Sail # Name A.G. 1 2 3 Pt
1 162178 Christian Cremer GGM 1 3 1 5
2 178834 Alex Bunt GGM 2 1 2 5
3 88 Arianna Baker GGM 3 2 3 8
4 100550 Lynn Sexton GGM 5\DNF 4 4 13

Tuesday night racing has started at the Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club. First race is set for May 18th, with starts at 6:30 PM. For more information, contact Lindsay Hewitt at (631) 692-4798 or by e-mail at

This winter is finally over and we can begin think about sailing in liquid and only slipping or falling on the deck of a boat and not ice. The sailing starts early this year with a new addition on May 15th a clinic at the Oyster Bay Sailing Center. Rudy Ratsep, one of the most knowledgeable people on boat construction, repair and maintenance as well as an excellent sailor, will go over any problems or questions you have about your Laser. Rudy will also spend time on proper rigging and any improvement or upgrades that could be made. With a short break for lunch (BYOL) we will go out on the water for practice and some short course racing. The clinic will start at 10AM and end about 4PM with a $25 fee, well worth the money for any one who wants to improve their boat, sailing technique and boat handling. Go to for directions.

The following week May 22nd Centerport YC will be hosting the Open Atlantic Coast Championships for full rigs and 4.7s (not Radials). It is limited to the first 120 boats and will be a popular event for local seniors and juniors so get your entry in early. Go to, click on Racing to get the NOR and entry form.

Our standard Saturday racing starts with Seawanhaka and CSH Beach Club, please note the skippers meetings are at 1PM in order to take better advantage of the afternoon breezes.We are back to a 10AM start with Southampton, Dinghy shop and Bayshore. Bayshore will again host the Area B finals for the O’Day trophy with the Nationals also held at Bayshore later in August.District 8 will again support the Great South Bay YRA racing schedule with Babylon YC on the July 4th weekend and at Sayville on July 23-25. In between, Sayville will host the 7th annual Grand Prix which has become a very popular event, always a great location and breeze. Devon on August 7th NOTE: back to a 10AM start, this is a great place to sail with lots of local talent.Sayville is hosting the Leukemia Cup on August 21 and the District will support this good cause with Laser racing. The season closes with a racing at Bellport YC on Memorial Day weekend.

It is a full schedule with many great locations, please be sure to thank the host club members and organizers as we are grateful guests and value the opportunity to use their facilities with access to the water.See you on the water

Don Woodworth

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