Mixed conditions for Lauderdale Olympic Classes
Published on January 19th, 2016
Ft. Lauderdale, FL (January 19, 2016) – Over this past weekend, the Lauderdale Olympic Classes regatta got in three beautiful days of competition in the Atlantic Ocean off of Dania Beach. Open to Finns (the class Midwinter Championship), Lasers and Laser Radials, competitors came from sixteen countries and Puerto Rico.
This regatta was moved to take place before the ISAF Miami World Cup so as to serve not only as a tune up, but also as a qualifier. USA berths for the Laser and Laser Radial in the World Cup are limited this year, so after the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider members, the next highest seven (Laser Radial) or eight (Laser) USA finishers get an entry.
Saturday began in postponement with the sailors on the water awaiting wind. When races started, the breeze was a very light and shifty 5 knots. The ocean waves were 2-3 feet under beautiful sunny skies. Only two races were completed before PRO Clyde Wright called it a day and sent everyone in.
In the 8-boat Finn class, three Canadians led the way with Martin Robitaille in first, followed by Tom Ramshaw and Kyle Martin.
The 46-boat Laser class was led by Sam Vandormael of Belgium, followed by Malcolm Lamphere of Lake Forrest IL, and Jensen McTighe of Fort Lauderdale, FL in second and third respectively.
In the Laser Radial Class, Belgian Evi Van Acker, the world’s number one ranked Laser Radial sailor, led the 35 boat fleet with a score line of 1-7. She was followed by Luke Welker of Fort Lauderdale, FL and Conner Blouin of Tampa, FL.
Sunday brought the threat of severe weather early so the fleet was postponed on shore for two hours. After the front moved through with gusts to 40 knots, the first race went off in 20 knots from the west northwest. With the wind coming off the land, and the weather marks close to the beach, the conditions were very shifty. A new wrinkle was added to the regatta when a U.S. Navy Virginia Class submarine appeared on the east edge of the course and began conducting drills.
In the Finns, the three Canadian skippers solidified their hold on the top three places with no change in the order.
This time of year, off Dania Beach, there is often very strong current. That current caught many of the sailors off guard and led to several OCS’s in their score lines. In the third Laser race of the day, ten boats were scored OCS. Sam Vandormael held on to first with Benjamin Vadnai moving into second ahead of Malcolm Lamphere on the strength of a 2-1 finish in the final two races of the day.
In the Laser Radials Evi Van Acker continued her dominance with a 1-2-1. Conner Blouin maintained second with Christine Neville of Middletown, RI moving into third.
The last day of racing started with a very steady breeze centering around 330 degrees. The race went off at the 330 bearing in twelve to fourteen knots. The second race saw a bit less pressure, with puffs above ten knots, but it wasn’t steady enough to fly the Oscar flag for the Finns, which allows for more kinetics.
There were no changes to the order of the Finn Class with Martin Robitaille winning the regatta, followed by Tom Ramshaw and Kyle Martin in second and third respectively.
Likewise in the Lasers the rankings stayed unchanged at the top. Sam Vandormael held on to win the regatta. With 11 points separating second through fifth, Benjamin Vadnai held on to second ahead of Malcolm Lamphere in third. Interestingly only three of the top fifteen Lasers were North Americans, showing just how strong an international presence the regatta attracts.
Handily winning the Laser Radial class was Evi Van Acker. She was followed by Canadian Brenda Bowskill, with Conner Blouin hanging on for third.
The winner of each class also will have their name added to the Tim “Tiny” Miller Memorial Award. Tim was an integral part of the LYC Race Management Team for many years until his untimely passing.
Report by Event Media
Photos courtesy of John Payne