Laser District 8 News

Revised 02/11/07

Check out more pics of District 8 events on Brian McGinnis' website at

New code flags in use for indicating racecourses- Click here to view

District 8 Regatta at Breakwater YC, Sag Harbor Saturday, August 27

Nice breezy weather greeted 21 sailors for the first D8 Regatta at Breakwater YC in Sag Harbor. While Dave Whelan was the top scorer, the other competitors gave him a good chase around the racecourse, with the results being uncertain until the final tally of the six races. The points show lots of close racing. More than one tiebreaker! It was a great way to end up the 2005 summer season. Many thanks to Breakwater YC for hosting our group. Next stop, frostbiting!

Place Name Points
1 Dave Whelan 13
2 John Niewenhous 14
3 George Martin 18
4 Richard Skeen 23
5 Mike Duran 25
6 David Berridge 25
7 Bud Rogers 28
8 Kenny Kalbacker 34
9 Catherine Chimney 43
10 Bob Blanco 44
11 Colin Leon 47
12 Brendan Hannon 47
13 Doug Mercer 51
14 Gregg Griffin 61
15 Denise Fenchel 74
16 Lynn Sexton 76
17 Mark Weber 85
18 Danielle Gallo 85
19 Barry Allardice 90
20 Rudy Ratsep 96
21 Jody Sutter 110


Report From the Empire State Games July 28-30

The Long Island Region (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) was represented at the Games by Brian McGinnis, Ed Berenblum, Rob Martinez, and Bob Terry. This Year's host was the Hudson Valley, with the Chelsea Yacht Club (just west of Fishkill) hosting 19 Laser sailors from all over the state. Racing on the Hudson River is very tricky, with predoninantly light air, and a tide that does flow north at the flood, with a stronger southerly ebb. Sometimes the river edges flow opposite from the center. The YC provided us with printed guides on when and where the tide turns. Most of us taped the guides to our cockpits (see the first photo of my boat, below.)

Brian was the top finisher for Long Island, taking 7th overall. Bob was next with 12th place, followed by Ed in 14th and Rob in 15th. For the overall scores, click here.

District 8 Regatta at Devon Yacht Club, August 13

Plenty of action at Devon! 20 knots of breeze gave those competing a chance to play in the whitecaps. Two sailors turned back before the start, but the first race saw 18 competitiors on the starting line. By race five, it was down to 11 starters. Brian McGinnis' day ended early when he broke an upper mast in race 2. Lots of capsizes, but also lots of wet, fast reaches and runs. Rudy Ratsep dominated in his home waters, while being challenged a few times by Lindsay Hewitt. Thanks are in order to our hosts at Devon YC, and to Doug Mercer, who threw a great post-race party afterward, which took our minds off of our aching muscles.

Place Name Points
1 Rudy Ratsep 4
2 Lindsay Hewitt 15
3 Doug Mercer 16
4 Robert Barron 17
5 John Shanholt 18
6 Bud Rogers 19
7 Ed Berenblum 28
8 Richard Skeen 30
9 Rob Martinez 31
10 Mike Duran 33
11 Ken Kalbacher 34
12 James Rogers 39
13 Bob Terry 44
14 Doug Douglas 50
15 Andrew Garvey 57
16 Brian McGinnis 59
17 Barry Hillardice 62
18 Lindsay Shanholt 63


District 8 Regatta at Sea Cliff Yacht Club, July 23

Another atypical breezy North shore day! 15 knots of breeze with a one-foot chop gave 8 sailors a real workout. Matt Doherty dominated the fleet, throwing out a second place finish in the first race to lead with bullets for all the rest. The intrepid race committee set a triangle course in the planing breeze, allowing for a mini-olympic course for the final race. Many thanks to Sea Cliff YC for hosting a fun event.

Place Name Points
1 Matt Doherty 5
2 Rob Martinez 13
3 Bob Terry 14
4 Mark DiSanti 18
5 Warner Bass 20
6 Bret Banks 30
7 Woody Glenn 40
8 Ed Johnson 47



District 8 Regatta at American Yacht Club, July 16

Who says Long Island Sound has no breeze in Summer? Well, at least the north shoreline gets some breeze. 25 sailors were treated to a hatful of wind at American YC in Rye, NY. Seven races were sailed, allowing for a throwout.

Place Name Points
1 Ryan Eric Minth 7
2 Andrew Tuthill 14
3 Zak Malbin 22
4 Eric Robbins 23
5 Lindsay Hewitt 28
6 John Wyles 40
7 Richard Cameron 40
8 Jean Yves Fillion 40
9 Brennan Gerster 44
10 Ryan Sprole 56
11 Rob Fear 58
12 Justin Coplan 67
13 Matt Beck 83
14 Rob Schmicker 86
15 Eric Beck 87
16 Joerg Esdorn 92
17 Gary Schneidman 95
18 Ron Richman 101
19 Rob Martinez 107
20 Dimitri Caratzes 114
21 Gary Hurban 116
22 Joan Hurban 122
23 Billy Rohman 125
24 Sarah Kellog 139
25 Jessica Miller 152

District 8 Grand Prix at Sayville Yacht Club, June 25-26

The able race committee at the always popular Sayville YC got seven races off for 28 racers, allowing for a throwout.

Place Name Points
1 P.J. Patin 9
2 Philip Hood 11
3 Blake Marriner 14
4 Ryan Minth 23
5 Dave Breder 28
6 Brian Raney 43
7 Amnon Gitleson 45
8 Fred Ables 47
9 Ted Cremer 50
10 Mike Hecky 57
11 Lindsay Hewitt 59
12 Brian McGinnis 71
13 Michael Collins 77
14 Doug Mercer 79
15 Don Woodworth 84
16 Richard Cameron 89
17 Quinn Barton 94
18 Michael Duran 103
19 Christian Cremer 105
20 Collin Leon 115
21 Robert Martinez 117
22 Paul Wefer 125
23 David Eberhardt 136
24 Ed Berenblum 143
25 Kevin Hecky 149
26 Ted Hallen 164
27 Ward Brooks 174
28 Sail #180141 174

Harry Anderson Regatta at Centerport YC, Saturday, June 18

Fifteen sailors arrived early to 10-12 knots of westerly breeze that gradually got lighter as it went north during the day. Thanks are in order for Centerport YC Race Committee, who had to reset the course every time for each of the six races. Northport Bay is my homeport, so I guess I've gotten used to all the (powerboat) traffic in and out of the harbor. The Committee managed to find a spot away from most of the traffic. Very tight racing even though the conditions were variable.

Place Name Points
1 Brian Simken 10
2 Lindsay Hewitt 10
3 Don Woodworth 17
4 Rick Dominique 17
5 Alistair Dirks 25
6 Brian McGinnis 29
7 Doug Mercer 36
8 Eric Rosanes 37
9 Bob Terry 43
10 Ed Berenblum 44
11 Bob Blanco 45
12 Niel Johnson 52
13 Rob Martinez 54
14 Colin Leon 63
15 Woody Glenn 75

Southampton YC Regatta, Saturday, June 11

Eleven Sailors again? Is this some sort of plot or something? The twelfth sailor who decided not to come (you know who you are) missed out on a great race with plenty of wind and a terrific barbecue, courtesy of Dr. Jim Hull. Five races, with all different courses, including a mini olympic. The reaching legs on some of the courses had everyone on an eleven-knot plane. For the first time, we used code flags to show the different courses. They went over well, so we'll try them again.

Revenge of the race buoys... Race five saw one sailor (name witheld to protect the guilty) catch the windward mark on his daggerboard, dragging it downwind about a hundred feet. Woody Glenn was saved two tacks by this change in the racecourse. The leeward mark saw what happened and plotted an act of piracy. This same sailor went to tack off in front of yours truly as he rounded the mark, but got his tiller extension caught in the leg of his shorts. He promptly capsized on top of the leeward mark, which leaped into the cockpit and began to sail the boat away (picture it, mark buoy in the cockpit and sailor in the water.) The anonymous sailor was able to retake his boat and subdue the murderous buoy. The leeward mark buoy was not invited to the barbecue afterwards.

Name Place Points
1 Rudy Ratsep 5
2 Doug Mercer 11
3 Lindsay Hewitt 19
4 Ed Berenblum 19
5 Mike Duran 23
6 Rob Martinez 26
7 Bob Terry 28
8 Bob Blanco 36
9 Woody Glenn 43
10 Lyn Sexton 45
11 Jim Hull 51

Dinghy Shop Regatta, Saturday, June 4

Eleven Laser Sailors showed up to test the weedy waters of Amityville. Lindsay Hewitt reigned supreme, with Brian Raney not far behind. A total of 7 races allowed for a throwout. I've noticed that throwouts usually don't make much difference in scoring, but at this regatta, all of the leaders had at least one finish in the back half of the fleet, so this time, everyone was glad to be able to throw out one bad finish! The abilities of the fleet seem to be coming together. Many thanks for the hospitality of the Koehler family, who provided a great venue and generous prizes.

Place Name Points
1 Lindsay Hewitt 11
2 Brian Raney 15
3 Brian McGinnis 16
4 Rob Martinez 29
5 Don Woodworth 32
6 Robert Blanco 32
7 Ed Berenblum 33
8 Douglas Mercer 37
9 Dimitri 41
10 Woody Glenn 56
11 Daniel Kuehn 62

Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Saturday, May 28

Another great day in spite of the forecast. Eleven Laser sailors showed up for a light air series dominated by Brian McGinnis, who found the right side to his liking on the upwind legs. The breeze was shifty, but never quite died, though it did spread the fleet out a bit. Yours truly enjoyed tacking duels with Brian on the last legs of races one and two (Brian always managed to hold the lead!) The fifth and final race of the day saw a major windshift with a dramatic increase in strength, turning all legs of the course into planing reaches! For the final results, Lindsay asked not to be included in the official scores, as he's having fun offering coaching on the course, but I've put his score down anyhow (he's always able to keep in front without really trying!)

Place Name Points
1 McGinnis 8
2 Hewitt 16
3 E. Berenblum 25
4 Blanco 26
5 Terry 29
5 Martinez 29
6 Leon 35
7 Lebens 37
8 Glenn 40
9 M. Berenbaum 41
10 Garatzas 43

Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club, Saturday, May 21

In spite of the poor weather forecast, six Laser sailors showed up to race in what turned out to be surprisingly beautiful weather. The day started out with light air, so the group opted for lots of short races, all inshore. Eventually, the breeze built up enough to let everyone get a chance to hike out. The group sailed 18, that's right, 18 races! Everyone had a chance to be first, and last, at least once. Lots of practice at starts, with Lindsay Hewitt giving coaching up the racecourse. The results:

Sail Number Name Points
863 Brian McGinnis 36
855 Bob Blanco 37
206 Ed Berenbaum 42
156 Bob Terry 46
241 Colin Leon 54
616 Lindsay Hewitt 60

News From Will Meyer...

Late-breaking news out of North Carolina has our own Fred Abels winning the Masters Division of the Laser Radial Class at the US Laser Nationals sailed at Carolina Yacht Club this past weekend!  Also in attendance was fleet member Ted Cremer who scored a highly respectable 42nd out of 82 full rigged Lasers and was the 10th place master in his own fleet.  

Congratulations Fred & Ted!!!!!!

Thanks For a Great Job, Don!
For the last ten years or so, Don Woodworth has been shouldering the huge task of being District 8 Secretary. After taking the reins (mainsheet?) from Ward Bell, he's been the guy to thank for setting up season after season of terrific racing, not to mention all of the other organizing work necessary to keep the group going. All of this as a volunteer. Of course, Don has always been a welcome competitor on the racecourse, too. Thanks Don!

Starting this year, Lindsay Hewitt has stepped up to the role of Secretary. He's got the season off to a great start with what is probably the longest season (at least to my memory) of racing that we've ever had. Its taken a while to get all of the details together, but the end result is going to be a memorable season. The new schedule is printed inside, but be sure to keep checking the website for last-minute changes and notices.

Our new season kicks off with the Will Glenn Memorial Laser clinic at the Oyster Bay Sailing Center. Just the thing to shake the rust off (if you haven't been frostbiting.) If full rigs ain't your thing, there's a Radial clinic at the Dinghy Shop on the same weekend. Our gracious hosts at Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club, Seawanhaka YC, the Dinghy Shop, Southhampton YC, Sayville YC, Babylon YC, Bay Shore YC, and Devon YC are having us back again this year. Last year, the Centerport YC hosted the Northeast Championships, and this year, they're taking on the Harry Anderson Championships. After a hiatus of a few years, we're back at Sea Cliff YC. There's been a lot of reconstruction in the harbor, and I'm sure things look much different from when I last sailed there. Finally, we have three new regatta venues. Unqua YC is hosting us in July. The American YC in Rye NY, is also hosting us in July. This is the first time in my memory (11 years of Laser Racing) that we have had a District 8 regatta off of Long Island. After all, District 8 covers more than just Long Island.
Be sure to check out at least a few of these races this season. If you've got a friend with a Laser who races in their local club, drag 'em out. Its great fun to sail at new clubs and new locations. And, there's always plenty of people to help you get your boat off of the car.
If you belong to a club that might be interested in hosting a Laser regatta next season, be sure to get a hold of Lindsay. Hope to see you all out there this season!

Tuesday Night Series at CSH BC to Continue This Year
For those of you that just can't get enough, the Tuesday night series at the Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club will be held again this year. It's an informal racing series held starting on May 3rd, at 6 o'clock and continuing every Tuesday until everyone's had their fill. The results will be posted on the District 8 website. Lasers and other classes are welcome.\par \par \tab There's nothing better to break up the workweek drudgery, especially in the summer.
Of course, if you can't bring your boat out, there's always room for more people on Race Committee.
This year, the plan is to keep score, and award prizes. All the more reason to come on dawn to Cold Spring Harbor and give it a go!

Be sure to contribute to Rick Dominique's new feature, Ask Rick. E-mail Rick your questions and they'll be posted, with his answers, on the site. Just click on the "Ask Rick" link.

For 2004 News and Scores, click here.

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