High School Singlehanded Nationals Recap: 2017 Champion Joseph Hou

Although an odd turnout for conditions, this year’s High School Singlehanded Nationals proved an enjoyable and enlightening experience in my Laser sailing career up to this point. This event especially is a breath of fresh air in the scene of high school sailing for me personally. I have the opportunity to meet new sailors who share the same passion for Lasers and see familiar faces that I haven’t caught up with in a while. It isn’t often that I am in the same state as some of my Laser buds, let alone competing against them. Nationals gives me the chance to catch up with them, see where they are competitively, and test my new skills against their’s.
Focusing on the racing at Nationals, day one saw good breeze in the beginning of the day but we were expecting a storm system by the early afternoon. The race committee was able to get off two solid races before the breeze shut off completely halfway into our third race. The third race was abandoned and shortly after we sent it in. Day two promised much better breeze, ranging from 25 to 30 knots. As the storm system passed, a cold front from the gulf came through and we finished off 11 races on Sunday. The race committee boat clocked in the biggest gust around 35 knots, and if it weren’t for the brand new boats Laser Performance supplied, I am not sure the boats would have held together as well as they did. Overall, my last High School Singlehanded Nationals was nothing but spectacular.
-Joseph Hou