Sunday October 18, 2015 06:59PMon
The 34th Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Regatta was one cool regatta and Mike Hecky (Riverton Yacht Club) was coolest of them all winning the first race and hanging on to win the championship. Cool temperatures, fluky winds and a power outage were not enough to dampen the spirits of the 45 sailors all over the age of 35 competing for the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville, Virginia.
On the first day a long course was set just south of Fishing Bay in the Piankatank River. Throughout the race the wind eased off from 8-11 at the start and Hecky was first to finish in just under an hour. Following that race the wind held up in velocity, just never settled on a direction and for the next 3 hours the RC was busy re-setting the course nearly a dozen times before racing was ultimately called off.
Back onshore chef Alain Vincey had another marvelous dinner planned - and thankfully had it cooked early because the power went out on the entire peninsula just before sundown. That lead to the most intimate and romantic candle light dinner ever had by masters sailors, their families and the race committee.
Sunday's forecast was for more wind - and that was delivered along with some cooler temperatures. Many sailors opted for their frostbite gear to keep warm and dry. For the first race the wind was settled out of the east in the low- teens with gusts well into the 20s. Luke Shingledecker (SSA) got that bullet with Hecky 2nd.
The next 3 races saw similar winds and Patrick Wachholz (Berrie YC/CAN) won one of them while Mike Matan (RYA) made a charge for the title winning the final 2 races, but came up just two points shy to Hecky. In fact the racing at the top was so tight- the top 5 boats were all just 4 points apart including a tiebreaker that invoked a long-standing but never used rule in the SI.
A big thanks to Rick Klein and his team of RC for dealing with the challenging conditions on Saturday and making great racing on Sunday. To Alain and Brad for the dinner and Breakfast and to the rest of the fleet for pitching in and making it happen. And finally - thanks again to all of the competitors who come back year after year - we all have such a great time together. See you all again next year at the 35th Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship!