September 19, 2017

Not My Favorite Holiday Picture

by Doug
A week ago, Mark Bethwaite and I checked out the conditions on Lake Garda and it was blowing up to 30 knots with 2 meter (6 feet) waves. We decided to sail further upwind where the waves were only 1 meter (3 feet) and on our final run, I buried my bow into a wave, the boat stopped and I fell forward into the mast. I felt a pain in my right side as I climbed back into the boat.

The pain did not go away for several days, and a local specialist examined me and said that I had broken a rib. His advice: absolutely no physical exercise, which means no sailing in the upcoming Laser Master Worlds next week in Croatia. Bummer.

Wanting a second opinion, I went to a hospital to get x-rays where it was confirmed that in fact I have two broken ribs. And his advice: absolutely no physical exercise.

So I'm now sending the x-rays to my doctor in the U.S. to get a third opinion, but it looks like this words will be spent watching rather than competing. Bummer.



September 15, 2017

My Little Brother

By Doug
Nine years ago, my brother suffered a stroke. He survived because of the superb Canadian healthcare system but remains disabled. To everyone’s delight, he’s taken up sailing.

Pam and I are in Italy as I train for the upcoming Laser Master Worlds in Croatia, but a much more important event just finished in Kelowna British Columbia. It was the Mobility Cup for Canadian disabled sailors, where Brian finished third in his first national event.

Brian winning a race!


I am so proud! When I retire, this is where I'll spend my time.

September 10, 2017

Italian Clinic Day One

By Doug
It was raining so we started our clinic with a Q&A at a local restaurant. It was interesting to hear Mark talk about his regatta preparation both off and on the water. We then headed out for a two hour sail in a cool 8-15 knot northerly coming down from the Alps.

Mark was the fastest with Roberto and others close behind. This was my first time in waves in several months and my timing was way off. It's clear that anyone who wants to compete against Mark will have to bring their A Game.

After lunch, we discussed Brett's revised settings and Mark commented that one of the settings was actually one of his trade secrets (I'll let you guess which one).


Roberto then took us to the closing ceremonies of the Centomiglia Regatta and we saw some of the boats ready to be driven home.

This is not a keel boat - it's actually a dinghy with a crew of 14!
The closing ceremonies went on for a long time, with Italy's lovely national anthem being played, followed by more awards. It seemed that every combination of boat type, gender, and home club was getting a prize, so I joked that there might even be an award for the first boat with a blue spinnaker. Sure enough, the next award was for a boat with a blue spinnaker.


The crowd had several members of sailing royalty which included Tiziano Nava, former European Laser and J-24 champ, and two time Melges-24 world champion.


People kept on introducing Mark as the older brother of Julian Bethwaite, designer of the 49er. Mark joked about what it will take to be recognized for his own sailing record (12 world championships)!

We finished our evening with a lovely supper with great friends in their 400-year old home.




September 09, 2017

First Day in Italy

By Doug
Mark and I have arrived in Italy to train for the upcoming Laser Master Worlds in Croatia. We’re staying with Christine and Roberto at their lovely home overlooking Lake Garda

As good luck would have it, our first full day was the start of the Centomiglia Regatta which is a 100 kilometre race up and down the lake. One of the people we met was former 49er FX world champion Giulia Conti.

Me, Giulia, and Mark
Giulia is the skipper of Clandesteam, something that Mark and I had never seen before. We walked around in awe of the size and design of these huge dinghies that have a crew of 14. Just amazing!



We watched the start of the race from Christine and Roberto’s home. The fleet is headed north which is away from us. The sun was shining on the close end of the line, so I think that God was telling the fleet to go left.


September 04, 2017

Clinic on Lake Garda

By Doug
Mark Bethwaite and I will be training on Lake Garda for the upcoming Laser Master Worlds in Split, Croatia. We'll be giving a clinic on September 10 and 16. If you're in the area, we'd love to see you!

September 01, 2017

New Settings for the Mk2 Sail

Brett Beyer has updated our cheat sheet for sailing upwind in choppy water, and the changes are shown in red. It's interesting to note that:
  • there are no changes to how you play the mainsheet in any condition,
  • there are no changes to sailing in 5 knots or less, and
  • the most changes are for setting the outhaul.
Brett can be contacted here. When we give a clinic, we print and laminate this chart so that people can tape it to their Laser. Here's your copy...



For questions and comments from Brett, click on comments...
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