TTL Race Weekend #3

By Clay Poulson, Portsmouth Fleet Captain

Juniors downwind. Photo: Deb Heisler

Week three of the 2019 Tempe Town Lake race series turned out to be a dandy. The racing dinghy fleets were greeted with fairly steady westerlies ranging up to the mid teens. A bit up and down but generally, we had great wind for TTL.

The good winds attracted lots of sailors and with nearly 30 boats on the water representing five different fleets, the sailing was just great.

In action were Lasers, Sunfish, C14s, and the Juniors. Plus a gaggle of ASU students showed up with their FJs and asked if they could sail.

“Of course! All are welcome… you just have to show up.”

Those ASU boats did show up to sail. They had three boats and more then six sailors so they traded teams each race. We never knew who any of them were but they got in five good starts and five good races. Great to see you guys!

Starting and racing with them were the C14s. Whether old guy experience or a faster boat, the C-14s came around the course faster then those college kids’ FJs.

The first four races the C14s had match racing with the Ferrings and Scott Richards duking it out. The Ferrings took three of the races, a few by a wide margin, though the Richards team did squeak out one good win. Dave Henning showed up to make the fourth and fifth heats.

The Sunfish also got in five heats. Gary Oberbeck was the fastest boat all afternoon with a string of bullets. Jeff Bryant took most of the seconds, with Bob Naylor once sneaking into the back-up position. Tim Mitchell battled into the tough winds all day and had a line full of well earned thirds.

We also saw three Open Bics and one Radial Laser in the Junior class. The Bics looked awesome with their sporty lines and the kids hiking out with all their weight. Colin Gibbs and Myles Danner fought neck and neck, each earning two bullets and two seconds. Likewise Michael Haggart on the Laser and Ethan Wei traded positions with two threes and two fours apiece.

All great racing, though the big class this weekend at TTL was the Lasers with 13 boats on the line. I must say it was almost a clinic as club and class champion Joel Hurley ran away with four straight wins. Paul Miachika had a good consistent day with two seconds and two thirds. Scott Sharples had a single second and a third. Chuck Norris had a nice consistent day getting a second and Mike Bernard took the other third.

We did see very impressive sailing by the leading Laser and the committee did hear words of advice from our sailing champion which I will pass on to the other sailors.

After winning one race Joel, speaking half to the committee half to no one, said, “Those other guys don’t know how to change gears. I get away from them in the light stuff. They don’t loosen everything up… they just keep it all tight.”

A few words of honest advice for all dinghy racers out there: you need to learn to change gears.

Great sailing weekend at TTL!

Results of the racing. Revision for DNS scores due.

Maryellen and Mike Ferring wait for a start. Photo: Deb Heisler