Epic conditions for Laser North Americans
Published on July 15th, 2018
Long Beach, CA (July 15, 2018) – The Moorings 2018 Laser Class North American Championship attracted 161 sailors for four solid days of sailing on July 12-15 in Long Beach, CA. All three fleets – Laser, Laser Radial, and Laser 4.7 – completed the full 12-race series with two discards.
After the first day saw winds that built from 6 to 14 knots, winds lived in the high teens for the next two days before tapering off to more moderate, southerly direction for the finale.
Olympian Charlie Buckingham (USA), who has led the 69-boat Laser division since Day One, received the 2018 Bruce Kirby Cup. Winning half the races, the four-time Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association All-American, from nearby Newport Beach, held off a formidable attack by three-time North American Champion Chris Barnard, USA, also of Newport Beach, and Olympian Bruno Fontes, BRA, who finished second and third.
At the top of the leaderboard in the daunting 81-boat Laser Radial fleet is Olympic sailor Brenda Bowskill (CAN) who never relinquished her clutch on first place. Bowskill, who sailed for Canada in the 2016 Olympic Games, was followed by fellow Canadian Sarah Douglas, another Olympic hopeful, in second and Joseph Hou (USA) in third.
Hou, 18, is a member of host club ABYC, a solid competitor and “a really big asset to me, on the water,” according to his brother Erik Hou, 15, who placed third in Laser 4.7.
“This is my first international regatta, so it’s been great competing against people from other regions and countries, and seeing how they sail,” notes Erik. “It’s been really tiring but a really great experience, and I’m having a great time. And my brother helps me out, giving me some tips.”
That paid off – putting Erik on the podium in the closely raced 4.7 fleet. In that class, Abbie Carlson (USA) and Spencer Leman (CAN) were tied or trading places throughout the regatta. In the end, Carlson edged out Leman, for the Laser 4.7 honors.