Ski / Sail 2009 at Lake TahoeApril 11 - 12
The 2009 Ski/Sail National Championships (for which there is no qualifying event and anyone can join in the fun) were held April 11-12 in Tahoe City, California. The event is Ralph Silverman's brainchild, in something close to its 15th year, and brilliant one at that. This year, the event consisted of ski racing on a mellow slalom course at Alpine Meadows on Saturday morning, racing 12 Lasers (from Lake Tahoe) and 6 Vanguard 15s (who made the trek from San Francisco Bay) around the buoys on Lake Tahoe on Sunday, and a dinner and party at Tahoe Yacht Club in between.

The ski racing is usually dominated by the Laser fleet, most of whom are Tahoe locals and far better racers than the weekend warriors in the San Francisco Bay Vanguard fleet, and this year was no exception. Luckily for the Vanguard sailors, the fleets are scored separately in both events, and the skiing was led by Rick Raduziner, followed by Doug Pierini (who brought the skiing to Alpine Meadows for the first time this year) in second, and Paul Kirkland in third in the Laser fleet. Leading the Vanguards after the skiing were Chad Gray and secret weapon Adam Eichhorn, followed by Avery Patton and Matt Gregory in second, and Kevin Richards and Greg Stemler in third. Post-skiing recovery took place in the hot tub, where new San Francisco Vanguard fleet member Andrew Watters provided perhaps the first-ever (but hopefully not the last) floating pot of guacamole.

The Saturday night party at Tahoe Yacht Club is considered one of the three events in this regatta, always involving "boat races" and other attempts to hurt competing teams' performance the following day. Let it be said that, for many, performance was hurt, as would be expected considering the after party was at an 80s heavy metal band show. As always, the skintight yellow ski-racing suit was awarded to the the person most deemed worthy of receiving it (generally the anticipated winner of the party), who is then required to wear it for at least two laps of the party. This year the suit went to Laser sailor Luke Frederick, who confirmed that it was a good choice by making bloody marys for everyone the next day. "There is no other regatta where you get to see a grown man compete in an indoor 'boat race' while wearing a yellow ski race suit," event organizer Caroline McNally wisely points out.

On Sunday, for better or for worse, the 35 knot puffs of the prior year were not matched, and much of the day was spent recovering in the sun, drinking the aforementioned bloody marys, while waiting for the breeze to fill in. It never did, but the race committee squeezed out three races in little more than thermals from the parking lot of the Coast Guard ramp in Tahoe City. Andrew Watters and Danny Neri, fresh out of college and with superior roll tacks, led the Vanguard fleet by half a leg in each race. Second place in the sailing went to Kevin Richards and Greg Stemler, who generally found that hugging the shoreline allowed them to string together the puffs. Chad Gray and Adam Eichorn finished the sailing in third. Former Canadian Laser rockstar Nick Pullen led the Laser fleet, followed by Caroline McNally in second, and Todd Jackson in third.

Proving once again that consistency pays, overall honors went to Dan Hauserman in the Laser fleet with fourth places in both the sailing and the skiing, followed by Doug Pierini in second and Caroline McNally in third. Gray/Eichorn took home the prize in the Vanguard fleet, with Richards/Stemler in second, and Patton/Gregory in third.

As Vanguard sailor Kevin Richards put it, "Another good Ski/Sail. Skiing in T-shirts, floating guacamole, and bacon swizzle sticks in our bloody marys." Enough said.

Laser Fleet:
1st: Dan Hauserman
2nd: Doug Pierini
3rd: Caroline McNally

Vanguard 15 Fleet:
1st: Chad Gray and Adam Eichorn
2nd: Kevin Richards and Greg Stemler
3rd: Avery Patton and Matt Gregory

Full V-15 results below, with the skiing shown as "Race 1" and the sailing shown as "Race 2".

Pictures here
PosBoatTotalRace 1Race 2
1Chad Gray and Adam Eichorn413
2Kevin Richards and Greg Stemler532
3Avery Patton and Matt Gregory624
4Andrew Watters and Danny Neri761
5Rolf Kaiser and Cindy Keppel945
6Adelle and Reva1156
export csv

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