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Laser Radial Development Fleet Chicago?

Bruce Thompson

Sep 6, 2012, 7:20 AM

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Laser Radial Development Fleet Chicago?

Laser Fleet 5, sailing at Montrose Harbor Chicago, in loose association with the Chicago Corinthian YC, Westrec and the Chicago Park District, is exploring the possibility of forming a Laser Radial development fleet as an adjunct to the existing Laser fleet currently racing the Laser Standard version.

The goal is to form a two tier fleet, "Introduction to the Laser Radial" and "Laser Radial Racing". The project leaders are Bruce Thompson for the introduction fleet and Rick Strilky for the Radial Racing fleet. Bruce is the instructor for the CCYC Junior fleet and a U S Sailing Senior Race Officer and 40 year Laser sailor, Rick is the Fleet Captain for Laser Fleet 5, a multi-decade Laser racer and Two Time T-10 North American Champion. The goal is to provide maximum opportunity with minimum fuss.

The notional plan is to start using privately owned Lasers, owned by current Fleet 5 members, that will be loaned at no charge to the target audience (female or light male sailors between the ages of 18 and 49. Those who borrow boats and are sponsored by existing fleet members who are themselves full members of CCYC, are advised that for a $140 per annum crew membership in CCYC, will qualify to use the facilities of CCYC including racing and indoor showers with running hot water!

For example, a college student or recent graduate, who can meet the standards for deportment set by what Susie Pegel has termed "Real Laser Sailors", can sail for a full year for free. For the $140 crew membership and a series of volunteer duty assignments (e.g. race committee duty) you can race as a crew member of CCYC. You cannot race if you do not become a crew member of CCYC.

Given that no money changes hands for use of the boat, anyone seeking to join the program will be fully responsible for his/her actions and obligations to the owner of that boat. We are not your NANNY!

If the program is successful, we expect that racers will want to use newer equipment. It is expected that one or more of those racing sailors would then loan their own Laser Radial to the newbie racers and that the primary owner would join CCYC as a full member, at which point they would be entitled to sponsor their newbies for crew membership in CCYC, creating a self-sustaining program leading from the basics up to international caliber sailors.

The Fleet 5 website can be found at

We are the "Corinthian" sailing operation in Chicago that the IOC was looking for when it reviewed bids for the 2016 Olympic Games, but overlooked!

We will have an open house, Sunday September 9, 2012 at Montrose Harbor at 9:30 AM, prior to the regularly scheduled racing, to gather feedback from any and all who might be interested, so that we can adjust the plan to suit those interested in joining.