To say I was surprised to get a phone call from Dr. Laura the other night would be an understatement, but I was actually glad to get a chance to chat her up. Much has happened with her racing, namely getting booted out of PHRF for three months for equipment violations, and the word was that she was done. So not only did we have a nice little chat, she invited me up to her studio to sit in on her radio show (I am not a fan) and will gladly go, she also agreed to this exclusive Innerview. We’ll have part two in a couple days…
SA: Dr. L, are the rumors true? You are coming back to sailing?
DL: I never really left…sailing. My boats were suspended by PHRF until mid-May and before that time expired, Dennis Conner (wow) asked me to join him on the Ensenada race. All the while, I kept on taking out PERFECT (J100) and got back into enjoying the sea, the sun and the thrill of catching the wind. I was dispirited by the antagonism against me racing that erupted from certain parts of the sailing community since the beginning and certainly my feelings were hurt by that. But I love sailing, and with the sweet and steady stream of fellow racers calling me with support…I decided to get back into the game.
SA: So tell us what happened to drive you out?
DL: I was surprised at the number of anonymous personal attacks on my character; mean-spirited and not the type of thing I expected from a sailing community of peers. I was disappointed that the PHRF board would take what I perceived as extreme measures over issues that did not change the speed of my boat but later came to understand that the issues were more far reaching. I took it as a personal humiliation – and that combined with the “attacks” on my character so deeply hurt and embarrassed me that I did not see any way to go on. I had accepted (see SA) the ruling of the PHRF with regard to the sold J92S. I made no excuses -but did explain that those “issues” were under another’s responsibility- but that seemed only to encourage certain people to excoriate me. That I am a public person does not mean that I cannot be deeply hurt.