2016 RC Laser Invitational World Indoor Championship

Pocono Pines, PA
February 7, 2016

It’s early February in the Pennsylvania Poconos and you would expect all the ponds to be frozen. Well they are. So Lake Naomi RC Laser Fleet lead by John Whipple had a better idea. They set up 10 commercial fans at one end of the indoor pool in the Logan Steel Community Center at the Lake Naomi Club, and held the RC Laser Invitational Indoor World Championship Regatta. Due to the pool’s availability the racing starts promptly at 7am and ends after 24 races before 11am. The indoor pool area temperature is a little over 80 degrees and very humid, so it’s shorts and t-shirts for all competitors. Because this is a truly invitational regatta invites are sent out years in advance with participant’s acceptance coming back immediately. After the local fleet has its eliminations to choose its 5 skippers the rest of the fleet is named. This year’s invited skippers came from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Vermont.

The racing conditions haven’t changed in the past 5 years: it’s a steady 6 to 7 knot breeze out of the east, with no chop on the water. The course was windward leeward with the leeward end being a gate. The distance was two and a half laps. Race director Sue Neely with scorekeeper Fran Whipple and her assistant Bethany Schiebel, kept the races moving at a fast pace. They used the very popular cesspool system to have seven boats racing at a time. With this being a championship event mark judges were used. Ed Vitt and Abby Spector handled those responsibilities.

The racing is so much fun that it’s worth checking out indoor pools in your area to see what’s available to hold this type of event.

First and second were just points apart as were third and fourth. RC Laser current class champion, Dave Brawner, won the event, with past EC 12 class champion, Jamey Betz, placing second. Lake Naomi fleet member Dean Neely beat out RC Laser Class Secretary Nick Mortgu for third place. The top four places were presented beautiful handmade awards and RC Laser Class Chevrons for this event.

Place Skipper Points
1 Dave Brawner 17
2 Jamey Betz 21
3 Dean Neely 27
4 Nick Mortgu 28
5 Roger Baldwin 38
6 Harry Henkel 42
7 John Whipple 46
8 Bill Clausen 49
9 Ken Shaw 51
10 Rich Daggett 52

Check out the video below. It should give you a sense of what this is all about.