2023 RC Laser National Championship Regatta
The 2023 RC Laser National Championship Regatta was held October 28-29 at the Metedeconk River Yacht Club in Brick, New Jersey. Right in Bruce Springsteen’s back yard. Twenty-eight skippers were entered and prepared for fall weather sailing. The fleet consisted of some of the best RC Laser sailors in the class. There were 7 or 8 that could win the regatta. It included three AMYA National Champions and two RC Laser North American Champions. They traveled from seven states and the Bahamas.
Friday’s practice was A and B sails with winds out of the north-west direction. Half the fleet participated in sailing and had their boat inspected by the class secretary. Following practice, the bar was open and hors d’oeuvres were served. It was an enjoyable time to see old friends and make new ones!
Saturday morning was busy finishing boat inspections and going over the sailing instructions with the Race Director. The race committee was as good as any big boat national championship you would attend. MRYC has held many big boat regattas in the past and our RC Laser regatta was lucky to have the same race committee. The wind was mostly B sails for the day with wind from the west. Six races were held, mixing up the fleet in each race so each skipper sailed against each other several times. This determined the separation of gold and silver fleets. After racing it was cocktails and dinner at the club.
Sunday came with different weather. It was a little chilly with wind from the ocean. During the day, the wind slid around to out of the northeast as the weather forecast predicted. The Gold and Silver fleets were decided from the score on Saturday’s racing. Both fleets were ready and sailed with C and D sails. A few skippers had never sailed with their D sail, so it was learn as you sail. They sailed two races, then sat out while the other fleet sailed two races. This gives everyone a chance to rest, fix their boat or take care of other necessities.
Sailing stopped at 3pm with the gold fleet sailing a total of 14 races with two drops, and the silver fleet sailing 13 races with two drops. In the gold fleet on Sunday, Stuart Challoner had 3 firsts, Jim Kaighin had 2 firsts, Sean Fidler had 2 firsts and Jon Elmaleh had 1 first. In the Silver fleet Dan Vought had 2 firsts, Tim Aubert had 2 firsts, Glen Chalder had 1 first, John Kirk had a first and Tom Bird had a first. All the skippers had their challenges, but those who were consistent won.
In the Gold fleet Jim Kaighin finished first, Sean Fidler second, Barr Batzer third, and Staurt Challoner fourth. Silver fleet winners were Dan Vought first, Tim Aubert second, and Chris Bock third. Congratulations to all the competitors!
The Medeteconk River Yacht Club Regatta host and team certainly raised the bar for RC Laser championship regattas!
A huge thank you from the RC Class, to all the competitors to the regatta host Steve Blisnuk, Wendy Warner, Tom Sollas, their race committee, the officers and members of MRYC, and our RC Laser Paparazzi Judy Bonanno.
Photos by Judy Bonanno. To see the full collection, visit https://judybonanno.smugmug.com/Sailing/LASER/RC-Laser-National-Championship-R