2012 SE Regional Championship
RC Laser Region 3 Championship/The Hot Dog Regatta
Fourteen intrepid skippers including four from Oxford, MD and one from Virginia Beach, VA ventured out for Triangle Model Yacht Club’s Hot Dog Regatta, the first RC Laser Southeastern Regional Championship, in Raleigh, NC. In fact, this was the first Regional Championship for RC Lasers outside of the Mid-Atlantic (Region 2) area.
Conditions on Saturday were perfect, clear with warm temperatures. Winds were in the upper A rig / lower B rig range most of the day, steady but with enough variation to make it interesting. The fourteen boats sailed as one fleet, and completed thirteen races on Saturday. Triangle Model YC skippers capitalized on their home court advantage. Bob Szczepanski dominated with eight bullets; Gerry Cobley won four when not futzing with his radio gear, and Roger Baldwin upheld Oxford’s honor with a win. There is no truth to the rumor that the local fleet strategically placed rocks in the shallow water to catch the visitors out, though many skippers, both local and visitors, found them. Some more than once.
A cold front came through on Sunday right at race time, bringing rain, thunder and lightning, but the radar showed clear behind it so after an hour’s rain delay racing resumed. Skies were cloudy, temps were 20 degrees lower than Saturday and winds were light and variable (emphasis on the variable), but the rain did not return and the racing was good. The wind direction conspired with local topography to produce some creative shifts and holes that resulted in different winds on various parts of the course. Though the fluky winds occasionally separated elements of the fleet, there were some close races.
A total of nineteen races were completed. The regatta concluded with a hot dog (what else) cookout whilst the scores were tabulated. Gerry Cobley made him work for it but Bob Szczepanski finished the regatta in first position and took home the coveted Top Dog award (the first regatta I have seen him win with sails made by someone else). Karen Szczepanski, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for scoring the event, was thrilled to have this artistic trophy to display in their new home. Last position Russel Roberson took home a copy of “The Tactics of Small Boat Racing” by Dr. Stuart Walker.
We thank all members of TMYC who contributed to this event (especially Rick Ferguson), and it was especially gratifying to have those skippers who made the effort to travel to the regatta – you guys really made the event.
Submitted by Regatta Charman and PRO, Rick Furgeson; Edits by Dave Branning; Photo credits, John Amoroso