#LivesOfLaser: Moose McClintock Series Part 2

We asked Moose, “What is the funniest story you have about sailing a Laser?” He said,

“One year the frostbite group decided to host the Northern Laser midwinter’s in Wickford, RI. The fleet was stacked with a flew of high end college sailors so the competition was going to be pretty fierce. Unfortunately, the airport nearby measured the max wind speed at 62 mph so the day was a blowout.

However, being college sailors, and wanting to work up a thirst before we hit the kegs, we decided to go for a fun sail anyhow. I personally pitchpoled at a ridiculous speed, the wind got under the main and kept blowing the boat downwind while I bodysurfed behind it, hanging onto the mainsheet for dear life.

Tufts coach, Ken Legler, one of my roommates, tried to go upwind with one foot on the centerboard and the other under the strap the whole time. He was going up the breeze, but not well. All Americans Terry Neff and Steve Chuchiaro went out together doublehanding, they got upwind OK but as soon as they turned the corner they couldn’t figure out where the extra body should go, they also pitchpoled and both were ejected.

The best crash was Mike Loeb, who laid his boat on its’ side on the beach, had people hold the ends of the boat while one guy pulled back on the mast tip and another pushed down on the boom as MIke pulled as hard as he could on the vang. Mike got going upwind and was flat and fast with the supervang configuration. Unfortunately, as soon as he bore off, the loaded main drove the bow straight down and Mike pitchpoled as well.

With the boat upside down and the main still fully loaded, the boom shattered (first time anyone had seen this, the spars were still pretty solid in 1974) and shot straight into the air like a Polaris missile.

Epic day.”


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