Fort Lauderdale, January 28-29, 2017
by Peter Commette
The Lauderdale Yacht Club regatta, named “Boomerang” because of its unique course layout for the inland Opti fleets, has been a staple in Florida for decades. This year, Snipes were added to the regatta’s outside, ocean course, joining the Lasers and 420’s. The late addition of the Snipes made for a small but extremely competitive fleet.
Saturday was comprised of 70 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, with light to medium, shifty and very spotty north-northeast breezes. At the end of the day, after four tightly contested races, Peter Commette held a one point lead over Snipe Masters World and former Western Hemisphere Champion Ernesto Rodriquez, who led Star World and multiple Snipe World Champion Augie Diaz by three points.
On Sunday, the temperature plummeted into the 50’s, very chilly for Florida. With the water warmer than the outside temperature, a mist appeared all over the course, as heat rose from the water. The cold front that had gone through earlier in the morning left for Sunday’s racing light, even spottier and shiftier wind from the northwest (2-9 knots). Ratcheting up the difficulty, a disproportionate chop beat up the boats every time they tried port tack.
Like the temperature, Commette’s and Rodriguez’s performances cooled off, while Diaz’s, heated up. Augie won Sunday’s two races, leaving him the deserving overall winner.
The regatta entry fee included lunches and water while sailing and a dinner with a raffle for the over 100 competitors on Saturday evening, with a raffle having over 100 donated prizes. While former Snipe and Sunfish World Champion, Dave Chapin, was not that lucky on the water, his luck during the raffle was unparalleled. A good time was had by all.
(The regatta scoring system did not identify crews. A few of the crews’ names were known by this reporter, but many were not. To be fair to all, none was mentioned above. Sorry.)
Results after 6 races (1 discard)