Tim Zimmerman goes to school all week, and he’ll be sharing his lessons with us. Good times.

of Wetass

Kicking It In Cabarete

World Champion Gustavo Lima Sets Up On A Cabarete Coaster

Zimmerman goes to school all week, and he’ll be sharing his lessons with
us. Good times.

getting my ass kicked. Just like I wanted. I’ve been racing a Laser for
a year around Annapolis, and every time the wind gets up I am a menace
to myself and nearby boats: an out-of-control, runaway fiberglass rocket
that more often than not ends up with a spectacular death roll. In short,
I need heavy-wind training. Some coaching of all-around boathandling technique
wouldn’t hurt either. So where do you go if you want to notch up some
world-class, windy, Laser practice? The Laser
Training Center
in the Dominican Republic, which I first heard about
reading the Tillerman’s excellent "Proper Course" Laser
. The LTC has a bunch of things going for it: 1) Cabarete is a
windy, f*ckin’ place. The wind machine turns on at 11 am and builds all
afternoon until it’s cracking in the 20-25 knot range (which is why the
place has become a mecca for kiteboarders). 2) There is a big reef which
creates a protected bay. So you can sail in windy, flat water, or you
can go outside the reef and surf 3-4 foot swells. 3) Ari Barshi, the owner,
and Coach Rulo, know what they are about. They are both excellent excellent
Laser sailors themselves, and some of the world’s best Laser sailors pass
through the LTC for training. So they are up on all the latest go-fast
rigging and sailing techniques, and they are happy to pass them on. Today,
for example, I learned an easy way to set my hiking strap up so it is
easily adjustable, and that the top guys all remove their bailer plugs
(unless it’s superlight), so their cockpits drain faster. Finally, it’s
very important to note that the Laser Training Center is in the Caribbean.
Warm turquoise water, nice beaches, and crowds of surfers, kiteboarders
and windsurfers hanging out. Oh, and Happy Hour beer costs about a dollar
(and I’m not even sure it is that much; still working on the exchange
rate). So you could have a pretty good time even if you never went sailing.