Oxford RC Laser Harvest Regatta on 10/22/2022

The Tred Avon YC, in Oxford, MD, has long been a go to venue in support of RC racing. Our Fall Harvest Regatta has been a staple event with Halloween shenanigans and beautiful weather. This year mother nature stepped in and added some frustrating and unusually light wind the whole day. Combined with a flooding then ebbing current, skippers dealt with frustrating mark roundings and starting line eagerness. Yes, we had a few general recalls, but that's racing. This was a well-behaved fleet and penalty turns were acknowledged and executed. Cheers, to the fleet.

Congratulations and a Yankee tip of the hat has to go to Chris Harmer, from New Zealand, who calmly landed on our shores and proceeded to win the CPM Race Week RC Laser regatta and this Harvest Regatta. For winning both of these events, Chris also wins the Liberty RC Laser League event. Chris never sailed an RC Laser until last month. Chris also raced in approximately 4-5 other AMYA regattas and placed in the top four in all of them.

The nineteen-boat fleet impatiently waited an hour for the SE breeze to actually reach us and then the tell tails said it was time to "splash 'em." After everyone had sailed four heats, Dave Ramos, Don Barker (Oxford's perennial fleet champion), and Danny Thomas were the front runners. Chris Harmer, at this point, had sailed two of his ultimate throw outs but added a fourth and a first to keep it interesting.

As the day progressed, Ramos, Thomas and Barker stayed in the mix but Harmer made an incredible move sailing his remaining nine heats with no race worse than a fourth and winning four. Dave Ramos had an equally strong afternoon with three firsts but ended up two points behind Harmer at the end. Don Barker was two points behind Ramos in third with Danny Thomas one point back in fourth and Frank Scalisi in fifth. Eight different skippers won at least one race. A quick mention to my fleet mate, Mike McGuckin, who finished 6th and won two races in the afternoon. Well done, Mike.

It was great to have Bob Shapiro, AMYA's new Treasurer, who came from New Hampshire and the host of Jersey boys who made a big effort to be with us. Two beautifully crafted lifting sticks from Bill Sysyn were awarded to Danny Vought for his always positive sportsmanship and snappy patter on the dock and to Karen Walbridge for her RC support.

Thanks go to John Yates, our Regatta Chairman, and buoy tender teamed with Earl Segal. On the dock, Karen Walbridge, Chris and John Tochko assisted with scoring, and enthusiastic support. Thanks always to the TAYC team in the clubhouse making our visit so much fun and welcoming. In the end we should have hoisted the KIWI Silver Fern Flag on the yardarm for Chris Harmer but there wasn't much wind to make it wave. He's going back to NZ after the EC12 National Championship in Charleston later this week, so we all move up a place starting next week