The final day was a fitting one for the Laser Pacific Coast Championships at Cascade Locks on the Columbia River. The regatta concluded on Sunday. The wind was actually light enough for a postponement on shore, but then quickly filled. The first two races were again sailed in moderate – by Gorge standards – conditions. The third race of the day and final for the series provided racers with a proper sendoff and a reminder of what it might have been like the whole time.
The clear winners had been established already, Derick Vranizan in the 26-boat standard rig class and Malcolm Lamphere in the 52-boat Radial class. Apprentice Masters, Masters, Grand Masters and Great Grand Masters winners included Dan Falk, Bill Symes, Michael O’Brien and Jay Winberg. The loudest applause was reserved for young William “Berky” Sutton IV, who was acknowledged for his amazing tenacity, battling hard the whole series despite his youth and modest size. Go Berky!
Final results are here.
Photos courtesy of photographer Paul Nelson (PhotoBoat.us) and US Sailing judge Brian Watkins.
The traveling show that is the Laser youth circuit broke camp after racing as branded vehicles took dozens of boats, coach boats, competitors and coaches to subsequent regattas around North America. It’s impressive to see the skills that many of these sailors, both young and old, have in Gorge conditions. And humbling to race against. –KH