Midlands / D12 #6 in the books


Our last regatta of the 2018 season is in the books! The 59th annual Midlands Regatta saw a fleet of 11 fulls, 3 radials, and 3 4.7’s competing in characteristic Fall lake conditions.

Saturday was extremely light but we managed to get off one race. The key on Saturday seemed to be connecting the dots between tiny puffs and gradually making your way around the course, taking a second every now and then to wave at the drone flying overhead taking video! The drinks and bbq on Saturday night made up for a less than ideal day of racing.

Sunday was a GREAT day of sailing. We had three excellent races in moderate, shifty breeze with tight competition. In one or two of the races, the top 5 was decided at the final leeward mark rounding! Keys for Sunday were (a) good starts, which was tough since the wind was shifting back and forth suddenly and significantly all day, and (b) staying in phase on the upwind legs.

On the topic of staying in phase, this was my first regatta using the newly legal digital compass from Nautalitics. For me, having never raced with a compass, it took some getting used to. But by the second and third races on Sunday I was comfortable with my heading ranges on each tack and it was easy to make decisions using the data. I felt more in phase this regatta than any previous event! Perhaps the biggest difference for me was getting immediately in phase right after the start and right after rounding the leeward mark. It made a huge difference! For all the gear junkies out there, it’s worth a shot. The screen is easy to read while hiked out and very sensitive to subtle changes in direction. And the countdown timer works great too. Only drawback to me after one regatta was the 3M velcro adhesive started peeling up a little by the end of the event. Jury is still out on whether that’s a good long term method of attachment.

As this was our last event of 2018, we had our annual meeting on Sunday morning before racing. Here are the two big highlights:

For scheduling purposes, going forward we will adopt a 3 tier method for handling the rotation among venues. Tier 1 venues are ones we want to have every single year. Tier 2 are venues we want to have most years, but will rotate away from perhaps every 3-4 years. Tier 3 are venues we want to include occasionally, perhaps once every 3-4 years. Added to this conceptual framework will be significant consideration to the SAYRA Jr schedule. This worked very well this year and the feedback from the juniors and their parents is that aligning some of our D12 events with the SAYRA Jr schedule helps tremendously with participation. In order to accomplish this, the final 2019 schedule will not come out until after the SAYRA annual meeting in January. Stay tuned!

D12 Leadership was discussed. Our plan is to adopt a permanent Co-Secretary set up where each district secretary serves a two year term, and these are staggered to increase continuity. For next year, Rob Bowden will continue in his role as Co-Secretary. I am at the end of two years as secretary and while I’m happy to continue, we will solicit interest to see whether another person wants to take over my position.

Finally, the District 12 Championship Series awards were presented. Here’s the rundown:

Overall Champion – Stanley Hassinger

Radial Champion – Danny Diederich

4.7 Champion – Garner Mobley

Overall Master’s Champion – Stanley Hassinger

Top Apprentice Master – Stanley Hassinger

Top Master – Rob Bowden

Top Grand Master – Robert Key

Top Great Grand Master – Finn Hassing

My last comment is this. Combining all three fleets, we had 93 sailors compete this year. That’s incredible! Unfortunately, of these 93 sailors a total of just 14 qualified for season ending standings by competing in at least 3 events. We all need to do a better job encouraging folks to get out and sail in 3 or more events!



[photo credit: Mark Alexander]


D12 Hall of Fame

Check out the History tab above and follow the link to the D12 Hall of Fame, which has overall finishes in all categories going way back.

D12 #6 Approacheth

Sincerest apologies for the LONG draught in posting on our website. It’s been a busy summer for me.

Our last D12 regatta of the season is just around the corner. Columbia Sailing Club’s Midlands Regatta will serve as D12 #6. It’s a great venue with excellent camping, great food, live music on the front porch Saturday night, etc. Last year we had over 20 lasers! Let’s finish strong this year.

We will hold our annual meeting during the weekend where we discuss what’s working and what’s not and make plans for next year. More details to follow, including current standings going into the final event. If you have specific topics you’d like covered, please email me and Rob.

Remember, to qualify for official standings in the Championship Series you must be a Laser Class member. Join now by following the links on this website’s opening page.

Register for Midlands early! Go to regatta network to sign up.

Check out the CSC website for all the details.

Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon.




D12 #1 at BYSC

The D12 season got off to a GREAT start in Beaufort, SC on March 24/25. As always, Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club was a fantastic host and helped kick off our D12 season in fine fashion. Several folks camped under the Spanish moss with a nice breeze and we woke up to an absolutely perfect sailing day on Saturday.

With moderately shifty medium breeze, the race committee got off 6 superb windward-leeward races. A gradually backing wind for the most of the afternoon saw numerous course re-alignments, which the RC handled superbly. For most of the afternoon, the wind was coming off the Yacht Club at an angle out into the river, making for shifty conditions as we approached the windward mark. Add the current into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for some tought, close racing. The keys to the day seemed to be (1) making a last minute decision about starting strategy due to very frequent shifts, (2) keeping a bit left of the fleet upwind, and (3) trying to stay in phase with the shifts and in the pressure. The scores reflected the tight competition. After day one, the top four were all within a few points of each other.
Saturday night we had BYSC’s famous battered shrimp followed by a delicious steak dinner prepared by BYSC members. Thank you!
Sunday brought a radical change in weather. Cooler temps, stronger breeze, more shifts, and light rain were the name(s) of the day. Despite the challenging early season conditions, the RC again delivered a stellar course and we got off 4 great races! Staying flat, fast, and in phase were the keys.
After 10 races, the top 5 overall were:
1. Stanley Hassinger
2. John Porter
3. Peter Gamble
4. Colin Porter (junior)
5. Charlie Usher
Radial –
1. Lea Russell
2. Amaya Escudero
3. Arthur Unger
4. Graham Cosby
See full results at:
Our next D12 event (#2) is at Savannah Yacht Club on June 2/3. Let’s make it another great one!
See you on the water,

2018 D12 Schedule is set

See the Calendar tab above for details.

We’ve got an exciting slate of regattas at some new and some familiar places, largely coinciding with SAYRA Jr. events to help maximize participation and promote growth in the district, all in keeping with our long range growth and development plan.

If you haven’t already, go ahead and join the class. See link to the right. This is a requirement to qualify for official final standings for the year.

Also, please join the D12 google group email list. See tab above. This is our primary way of communicating about a wide variety of things and helps us all stay connected and informed.

Finally, our facebook group is fairly active. Join us, just search for D12 Laser Sailors.

Looking forward to our first event: BYSC on March 24-25!

– Stanley and Rob, your D12 Co-Secretaries

D12 Season Wrap Up


The season concluded about a month ago with our 6th D12 regatta held at Columbia Sailing Club. It was a light wind affair with one solitary race determining the regatta. Rob Bowden drifted faster than the rest to take the regatta with Stanley Hassinger taking 2nd, Finn Hassing 3rd, Robert Key 4th, and Chris Stang 5th.

Despite the poor wind forecast, we had a record turnout in the full rig fleet (at least for the recent past) with 19 sailors! We also had 3 radials and 4 4.7’s. The parties Friday and Saturday nights were fun with live bands at both. Many sailors and their families camped. Overall, a good time was had by all.

We held our annual district 12 meeting on Saturday evening and had some lively discussion on a few important topics.

  1. 2018 Schedule: A majority felt that 6 regattas is too many and spreads out participation over too many events. In an effort to concentrate things and boost participation at individual events, we have reduced the total number to 5 regattas for the D12 Championship Series for 2018.
  2. 2018 Regattas: In an effort to mix up the venues somewhat, and to reduce the back to back regattas in late July and early August at the two CYC’s, we voted on the following venues for 2018: BYSC, SYC, JIYC, CYC-NC, CSC.
  3. Grand Prix: Our Grand Prix event for 2018 will be CSC in Columbia, SC.
  4. Availability of Laser parts: After lively discussion we voted to allow non-class legal parts (including sails) into D12 events, with the important caveat that these will NOT be allowed in our Grand Prix event. Members expressed a desire to support growth, which requires timely access to new and replacement parts/gear. We have expressed our frustration in writing to ILCA president, Andy Roy, who is aware of our plan going forward. Other districts have made similar decisions. Hopefully availability improves. Until then, we allow non-class legal parts that meet the same basic specifications as class legal parts. We will re-visit this decision on an annual basis. If class legal parts are available, it makes sense to purchase those preferentially as ONLY class legal parts are allowed at grand prix events.
  5. 2018 District Secretaries: Stanley Hassinger and Rob Bowden will be co-District Secretaries for 2018.

We are finalizing the 2018 D12 regatta dates now and will be sending out schedule post cards before too long. Be on the lookout!

If you are not an ILCA member, join now! See this website’s home page for a link to register.

We’ve had some good discussion on the email list about boats for sale, winter frostbiting, etc. Keep up the dialogue. And if you’re not on the email list, join! See “email list” tab on this website for instructions. And encourage your fellow sailors to join so we can all stay informed and in touch with all things D12.

Enjoy the winter and we’ll see you all this Spring at BYSC in Beaufort, SC for D12 #1.

– Stanley and Rob

D12 Standings

Series standings through 5 regattas.

Must have 3 regattas minimum to qualify for series.

Must be ILCA member.

Screenshot 2017-10-18 20.40.31Screenshot 2017-10-18 20.45.46Screenshot 2017-10-18 20.47.05

D12 #6 at CSC Nov 4-5

Come join us for a great event! Friday night keg and snacks with a special rum punch for D12 sailors courtesy of Robert Key.

I will post current overall standings soon.

Remember in order to qualify for series awards, you must be a current ILCA member.

There are several sailors in all three fleets (Full, Radial, 4.7) who can qualify with 3 events by coming to CSC, but who are NOT current ILCA members. Check your membership status!


See you on the water!

Laser D12 # 5 LNYC

D-12 Race #5 LNYC Board Bash Roundup.

By Rob Bowden


LNYC is a great regatta host and the venue is nearly unbeaten for the camping, launching and bath facilities, (I have yet to enjoy the recently re-done facilities at CSC in Columbia).  As a lake venue it didn’t disappoint with expected lighter air conditions than we see on the coast, but when there’s no current it’s amazing how little it takes to get the boats moving.

Attendance was light with only 7 full rig boats racing.  There were some other regional events like the Lightning Nationals that pulled from our fleet, but it would appear LNYC does not have an active Laser fleet at this time.

However, Raleigh, NC is home growing a nice Laser fleet with reported 18 boat showings in their frostbite series!  We had two of those guys, (Ray and Dean) come race with us for their first D12 outing.  They sailed quite well and we’re expecting to see them in Columbia.  Come on Raleigh!

Before the skippers meeting on Saturday we had a nice open forum “Laser talk” about 30 minutes before the skippers meeting and we repeated this Sunday afternoon for “post sailing debrief” about 30 minutes before awards.  We made the most of our intimate group.

The racing Saturday started on time.  The wind however had other plans.  As painful as it was we did get in 1 race on Saturday.  It was a heavily pin favored start followed by sailing a couple of hundred yards out on Starboard before hitting the port layline to the weather mark and trying to make the 15 minute “first boat to the first mark” time limit.  That was followed by a downwind drift to the leeward mark for the shortened course finish.

The finish was actually pretty exciting as 3 of us found ourselves packed tightly together.  Secretary Hassinger went for a quick jibe where he tapped the boat just in front of him which required a turn about 20 yards before the finish.  He managed to come out of his turn with enough momentum to pass Dean, (the boat he’d tapped) and grab 2nd by a foot or so.  I managed to get the win and it took 30 minutes for the cramping to go away from the “warrior” pose I’d been holding on the 20 minute DW leg!

That did if for Saturday.  A NNE breeze flirted with filling in between 1:00 and 3:00, but the heavy motor boat chop made it very difficult to make progress.  While we all went back out to sail/practice for a couple of hours, (my boat got a great fresh water soak and I had some nice swimming time) the RC decided to call it a day around 3:00.  At 4:00 the NNE breeze filled in nicely, (of course) which felt great on the club porch at dinner.

The NNE breeze stayed all night and was with us for our 9:25 warning time on Sunday.  It stayed with us for 4 more short W/L twice around races that averaged under 20 minutes per race.  Pressure seemed to constantly fill in from the left so tactics were similar to the Saturday race.  Start near the pin, favor the left going upwind, play the shifts and deploy your best yoga pose for the DW leg to keep the boat moving!

Results for the weekend were: Rob, Stanley, Ray, Dean, (go Raleigh guys!) Alan followed by two local guys.

Looking ahead to our year ender in Columbia!  I think we’re going to shoot for some interesting discussion topics at the District meeting which may include the following:

1-      We have many boats in many garages in our district.  How do we get them out for the best tactical single handed racing in the region?

2-      Opportunity for the Raleigh guys to talk about their grass roots success.

3-      Events for next year.  Should we change things around a little?  Maybe have some new hosts?

4-      Masters ACC, (or something similar) for 2018.

Until then, now is the time to bring up things you’d like to discuss of feel is important to the district.  If you haven’t signed up for the new District website and e-mail group do it now!


Final event November 4/5th Columbia Sailing Club.  District meeting will be held there.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who may have interest in D12.