What Up Doc?
Part two of our Innerview with Dr. Laura. Enjoy.
SA: Most racers stick to PHRF racing because they have little choice, either because the boat they own doesn’t offer it or because it can be more expensive and involve more travel. One design is more competitive, more exciting, and certainly a better place to hone one’s helming skill. What has been holding you back from this kind of racing? Will we ever see a Dr. Laura program traveling to Melges 24 or Etchells events?
DL: Nothing has held me back from one-design…I just bought the boats whose looks I liked. My first boat was a J80…I walked around the marina looking for a boat to "speak to me" and the J boat design does…it’s clean, narrow, sharp looking with a big cockpit (except, of course, the J24). I didn’t know anything about boats then and read the brochure which said it was the Porsche of boats…and I drove a Porsche at the time so I was hooked!
After learning to sail on her (The Doc) I was told I needed a bigger boat if I wanted to go out of town to race, hence the J92 (Turn Key). After that I wasted too much money trying too many venues until I got "that feeling" about the J125 when parked next to Stark Raving Mad.
If I were to go one-design in a few years it would probably will get a J105 because I like the look, the size, and the way it handles (with a wheel ’cause I’m 112 pounds).
I raced last WW with Larry Harteck and his crew on his J105 REPEAT OFFENDER and loved it. He is a terrific sailor and watching how he "skippered" gave me a great direction to go in for my growth as a driver and skipper. What was most important to me was to see how efficient the crew was and how much just plain fun they had the whole time.
I don’t appreciate the concept of a boat in which each time I want to sail "some assembly required" : tiller, rudder, keel. At 62 I also don’t appreciate the concept of being harnessed off the side of a boat screaming along the water! If I were 18 – that might be an exciting challenge. But now I want the comfort of a big wheel to hold onto and a big boat around me to cushion me from black and blue marks!