Sunday, July 22, 2012


With a race or two to spare, Chris Barnard skipped the last of three races sailed on the final day of the Laser North Americans hosted by the Columbia Gorge Racing Association at Cascade Locks, Oregon. After sailing an almost faultless regatta this week, the 21-year old College Sailor of the Year was relieved to get off the water knowing that he’d taken the championship title with 12 points to spare. Conditions today were good for racing, cooler with a breeze up to 23 knots.

“It feels really good,” Barnard said. “Today was really tough for me because I woke up with really bad stomach cramps this morning so it was a real mental and physical battle to get myself out there and challenge myself to come through on top with a race or two to spare. It was hard for me to hike and keep pushing through but it’s a good feeling to have won.”

Barnard put some serious work in earlier this year knowing that this event would be his peak regatta of the summer. “It was a struggle over in Europe,” he said, “I went over there to get fitter and better, and it definitely paid off to win this event.

Barnard will go home to California to do some coaching over the rest of summer and looks forward to the next event in Kingston, Ontario (Canada). “I’ll be seeing a lot of the same guys there, but definitely for the next few weeks I’ll be resting the body.”

Derick Vranizan took second place with 35 points, and in third was Robert Davis with 43 points. Vranizan acknowledged the competition was tough, “Chris sailed an excellent regatta. It wasn’t typical Gorge conditions for most of the week unfortunately. We didn’t have the big wind until today but I had fun, it was a good event, really well run. CGRA did a great job, as always. I love coming down here so I’m looking forward to the next one.”

While a win would have been nice for 25-year old Vranizan, he recognized that he needs more time in the boat, “I haven’t been in the boat much in the last six months as I’ve been taking care of more real world priorities, so more training would have helped. Otherwise it’s just small stuff really. When it comes to start sailing again, it’ll be full on!”

12-year old Ford McCann said he was “worn” when he got off the water after he won his fleet, finishing with 17 points. He certainly worked for his victory, putting on a great performance to take first in the 4.7. “I hiked really hard and focused on getting to where the current would lift you up the course. Patrick (Shanahan) was great competition also.”

Shanahan finished second with 27 points, and Parker Hughes was third with 49 points.

Racing was closest in the Radial fleet, with Isabella Bertold finishing in first with 28 points, Al Clark in second with 31 points (the 52-year old won 2 races and scored a 4th today), while Mateo Vargus finished in third with 38 points.

Jacques Kerrest (Potomac River Sailing Assocation), a Laser master who wouldn’t divulge his age other than to say he was old enough to be on Medicare - rumor is that he was the oldest sailor participating - thoroughly enjoyed the event, “Racing was wonderful, good wind, sunny much of the time. The competition was fantastic. The wind and current make this a challenging place to sail. But also, the competition - these are the best Laser sailors in North America.”

Final Top Five Laser Standard:
1. Chris Barnard (sail #194180), Newport Harbor YC, 23 pts
2. Derick Vranizan (sail #196842), Seattle YC, 35 pts
3. Robert Davis, (sail #200610), Kingston YC/RCYC, 43 pts
4. Alexander Heinzemann (sail # 197160) Royal Van YC, 50 pts
5. Eric Bowers (sail #199761), Minnetonka YC, 55 pts

Final Top Five Laser 4.7:
1. Ford McCann (sail #199339), TCYC, 17 pts
2. Patrick Shanahan (sail #199169), St Petersburg YC, 27 pts
3. Parker Hughes (sail #182342), TCYC, 49 pts
4. Daniel Kendrick (sail #181884), Houston YC, 63 pts
5. Nate Clemett (sail # 174980), SYC, 65 pts

Final Top Five Laser Radial:
1. Isabella Bertold (sail #198385), R Van YC, 28 pts
2. Al Clark, (sail # 197053), R Van YC, 31 pts
3. Mateo Vargas (sail # 194551), St Petersburg YC/Stanford, 38 pts
4. Malcom Lamphere (sail # 199796), Lake Geneva YC, 39 pts
5. Christine Nevill (sail # 199535), ILCA, 65 pts

Event website:

Based in Cascade Locks, Oregon, CGRA has been promoting small boat sailing events in the Gorge since 1996. Today, CGRA enjoys a reputation for excellence in regatta management and continues to host a growing number of premiere one-design regattas, national, North American, and world championships. Over the last 15 years, we have hosted more than 50 major competitions. As participation grows for sailing in the Columbia River Gorge, the CGRA is expanding its efforts to support the overwhelming interest. Thanks to individual and corporate generosity, we hope to add equipment, staff, volunteers, and other resources. To volunteer or contribute, please visit:

1. Chris Barnard
2. Derick Vranizan
3. Ford McCann
4. The "French" Masters - Jacques Kerrest (R) & "JB" (L)

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