Sailors from three continents compete off West Palm Beach


West Palm’s Palm Beach Sailing Club played host last weekend to five dozen sailors from three continents, competing in the Florida Laser Master’s Championship.

The regatta, for sailors aged 35 and older, has been an annual event at the club for 35 years, said club Vice Commodore Susan Slater.

This year’s 67 entrants, some of them world champions, came from as far as western Canada, Colombia, England and 16 U.S. states.

The winner of the Laser Radial division was James Liebl, from Titusville, Fla. Rob Hallawell, of Milford, Conn., won in the Laser Standard rig division. The Laser is a one-person sailboat just under 14-feet long.

A mile breeze enabled the competitors to get in three races just off Palm Beach near the Lake Worth Inlet on Saturday, with easy seas and sunny skies.

Sunday’s weather was too perfect — not enough breeze to race at all, so by 11 a.m., most boats were hoisted back on trailers for the next leg of the competition, in Sarasota. The overall event includes regattas in two cities, with a “Midweek Madness” event in between.

— TONY DORIS



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