Laser Racing at GTYC


September 19th, High Noon

Notice of Race & Sailing Instructions

2020 Babel Cup 

2019 Babel Cup Results

Sunday, June 16, First Warning - High Noon

Saturday, September 21, First Warning - High Noon

2019 Babel Cup Season Results

*T. Babel takes the Fall Regatta Victory*
*N. Robishek Wins the Babel Cup WAR*

The second leg of the Babel Cup was held on Saturday, Sept 14. The Fall Regatta was an amazing day of sailing on West Bay, sunny, warm air and water, strong/gusty wind from the W-SW. ARO (Amateur Race Officer) Bill Babel served up six exciting races with the assistance of Miss Judy and Laura Johnson.   B. Babel modified the course layout to allow for a traditional triangle course (a pork chop) followed by a windward/leeward (a sausage). It was similar to the old OLYMPIC TRIANGLE that we sailed in years past. Babel also modified the DEED OF GIFT to allow for a sixth race with a throw-out, with the sixth race being a ¾ Sausage ending with a high-speed port tack reach, finishing  at the GTYC docks, to a roaring crowd of spectators! More time on the water to “ENJOY EVERY MINUTE”.

Noah Robishek started the regatta showing the fleet why he is the champion, sailing a 1,2 & 3 to Tom Babel’s 2,4,1 and Than Dykstra’s 4,3,2. Ryan Clulo was having an inconsistent start with a 7,1,6. Jamie Stuursma retreated to the GTYC after race two, we think to ensure there were some post-race pain killers on hand for the rest of the fleet. Then races 4,5 & 6 got a little wild, big puffs (STINGERS), big shifts and tough hiking. The shifts made it hard to “commit to the hike” and those that did were often met with a capsize to windward. The downwinds were just as tough and this may have been where the TC Central Trojan's aggressive downwind sailing style caught up to him with a capsize or two. It was amazing to watch this young talent sail by-the-lee in a 20kt SHIFTY STINGER, then heat it up, sheet on, and sail away on a high-speed plane!!!! Beautiful sailing by the 16-year-old high schooler. And in the end when the Fall Regatta Scores were tabulated with the Spring Regatta, History was made when NOAH was crowned Babel Cup Champion as the youngest (16 yrs) BCC ever. Congrats NOAH!!!


The DICK BABEL CUP is a two race LASER event consisting of the Spring Regatta and the Fall Regatta. Originating in the late 60’s, The Cup was sailed near Easter (Bunny Day Regatta) and the day after Thanksgiving (Turkey Day Regatta) on the waters of Long Lake, Cedar Lake and Elmwood Township inner harbor area.  Cold water, snow and freezing main sheets were common. Dick Babel hosted many of the events at his cottage on Long Lake and supported the GTYC Laser Fleet.  Over the years, the event has transformed into the GTYC Laser Spring and Fall Regattas that were sailed in June and September this year. 


  *T. Babel wins the Fall Regatta BATTLE*

  * M. Lyons wins the Babel Cup WAR*

The 2016 Fall Laser Babel Cup was held Saturday Sept 24, “A Chamber Commerce Day on West Grand Traverse Bay”. Fourteen boats were treated to a beautiful day of sunshine, 5-15 kt shifty/Easterly breeze, warm air and fresh water. PRO Bob Clark conducted the five-race/no throw out series, directly in front of the Blue Water Hall, giving the Pig Roast gallery a great view of Arena Sailing. The scores from the spring regatta (Lyons 1, Stuursma 2, T. Babel 3) would be added to the fall regatta to determine the 2016 Babel Cup Champion.

The fleet was ready to go and quite aggressive for the start of race #1. The pin end seemed a bit favored with a group of skippers vying for good position which produced a couple of OCS’s and capsizes.  With the breeze up in the mid-teens and shifty, the fleet was challenged tactically, strategically and physically. Race #2 and #3 had the same personality. By race #4 the breeze had softened a bit. On the second beat the fleet struggled while dealing with a light spot in the middle of the course and a puff developing to the right. Bill Babel sniffed out the right hand shift to find himself leading the fleet at the second weather mark, with a huge “shuffling of the cards” in the mid-fleet. In race #5 Lyons and Stuursma broke loose from the fleet as the breeze diminished on the last leg of the regatta.


  1) T. Babel      9pts

  2) Stuursma    13

  3) Lyons         14

  4) B. Babel     18

  5) J. Forton     28


  The Spring and Fall scores were added together to determine the overall Babel Cup Winner. Jordon Owen (official Babel Cup scorer) found a three-way tie between Lyons, Stuursma and T. Babel. Through a process of “count back” from all races scored, by one point, it was determined that MARK LYONS is the 2016 BABEL CUP CHAMPION! CONGRATS Mark on a great year of Laser Racing!!  (Complete results below)

Following racing, the fleet headed to Blue Water Hall for some much needed nourishment and thirst quenching. Many thanks to Bob Clark (PRO), Jordon Owen (scoring/support), Adam Prettyman (promotion/energy) and the GTYC Membership for a great Pig Roast Party at Blue Water Hall.

2015 GTYC LASER Fall Regatta

Second leg of the BABEL CUP

The 2015 GTYC Laser Fall Regatta was held on Saturday September 19, 2015. Commodore Jordan Owen (waking up after a historic membership meeting regarding the purchase of the Knights of Columbus building) acted as PRO for the four race series. The weather was brisk with a solid, shifty and variable Northwest to West wind. The sailing was difficult. Large oscillations in velocity and direction made it challenging to commit to the hike and still keep your Laser upright. Getting onto the lifted board was often hard to do, as the puffs would come “ripping” through the racecourse with no regard to sailor’s safety. Capsizing was common and challenged the endurance of the fleet. The downwind legs on a LASER demand full concentration in normal conditions,,,,on this day you needed to be in “your own zone” or you would find yourself swimming next to your vessel. Tom Hazelton, Andy Girrell and Tom Babel were up for the test.

Tactically, the course had to be treated with respect. The puffy/oscillating conditions were a product of the course being set near the weather shore and a very unstable air mass being driven by a strong Northwest gradient. Rain showers passed to the North as the fleet raced in sunshine. At one point a large/dark cloud loomed over the race course and sucked the wind away for several minutes... then the fleet would get blasted again by a “Northwest Screamer”.   The pin end of the start line was often favored which tempted the fleet to start on port tack but the key seemed to be getting left for those legendary left shifts from shore, known locally as “The Coal Pile Express”. The mainsheet needed to be played constantly as there was never a moment to relax, settle in and let the boat “just sail”. Staying in the puffs downwind was “key” as the boat speed differentials were huge, generated by wind velocity and the ability to catch a wave. Sailing “by the lee” toward the leeward mark was risky but was met with huge rewards if you could avoid the capsize.“It’s late September” and the younger racers were “back at school”. We missed having Dirk (Phelps), Colton (Gerber), Ryan (Clulo) and the younger crowd on the bay. Pete Comfort (winner of the spring regatta) was also absent. So after an exhilarating day on the bay all three participants had a podium finish.Many thanks to PRO Commodore Jordan Owen for conducting four great races (with a pork chop in race four), Rich Core for providing Brats/Refreshments to the fleet and the support of the GTYC for the continual efforts toward LASER RACING. The LASER FLEET is looking forward to the 2016 season. 

Submitted by: T. Babel

Fall Babel Cup, 9/17/15

1. Tom Babel, 4 pts

2. Andy Girrell, 9

3. Tom Hazelton, 11 pts

Babel Cup 2015 Championship

1. Tom Babel, 4 pts

2. Pete Comfort, 12 

3t. Andy Girrell, 13

3t. Colton Gerber, 13


Pete Comfort during the 2011 Spring Regatta, showing the form that 
would earn him victory in 2015.

“Near Perfect” conditions greeted seven Laser sailors to the  first leg of the BABEL CUP. The four-race regatta had been rescheduled to the first Tuesday in June because of calm conditions in May. A beautiful 5-10 kt  breeze propelled the boats around the windward/leeward courses with Commodore Owen acting as PRO. The first weather leg was a good example of the “neck-n-neck”
racing that was to come. Starboard advantage at the weather mark was key as Jon Forton, Colton Gerber, Pete Comfort and Tom Babel all converged at the first weather mark. Three boats abeam at mark roundings were common as the “slugfest” continued in the setting Westerly sun with a moderating Northerly chop. In the end it was the consistent starts, sailing and boat speed of COMFORT that would win the regatta. GERBER (home from U of M) displayed the form he learned at TACS and TC Central Sailing Team (solid boat speed and tactics) to earn second overall. BABEL and FORTON followed in third and fourth respectively. Full results below.

Thanks to Commodore Owen for conducting a great regatta and ordering up some fantastic wind/conditions. And to Manager Ian Sterling for serving the fleet refreshments and 
snacks at the post race awards ceremony. The results of the Spring Regatta will be added to the Fall Regatta for the overall winner of the BABEL CUP. -- PC Tom Babel



Eight Lasers Sailed on October 4th Laser Regatta. The scores from this regatta are added
to the Spring Regatta for “The Babel Cup”. PRO Jordan Owen called for a four race series of windward/leeward courses. The air temperature was in the mid 40’s with a southwest breeze ranging 10-20 knots. There was plenty of close racing throughout the fleet. At the front of the fleet, Than Dykstra, Dirk Phelps and Tom Babel crosses tacks in the gusty/shifty conditions. Rob Lovell, Bob Bemben and Jack Shields sailed strong all day, hiking hard up wind and concentrating downwind to stay away from the disastrous capsize. Tom Hazelton and Andrew Girrell rounded out the fleet, which enjoyed the comforts of the GTYC after racing with a hot shower, warm brats and a cold beer.

Rob “Doc Rob” Lovell won The Babel Cup with his combined score of 1st (Spring Regatta) and 4th (Fall Regatta)for a low point total of 5 points. Bemben was second with 9 points and Hazelton 3rd Many thanks to PRO Owen for another great year of RC work, David Phelps for his support and the GTYC membership the pitched in to make the event happen.


1) Tom Babel 4 points
2) Dirk Phelps 9 (Top Junior)
3) Than Dykstra 12
4) Rob Lovell 19
5) Bob Bemben 20 (Top Master)
6) Jack Shields 23
7) Tom Hazelton 27
8) Andrew Girrell 30



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