Tasar Worlds – From the Inside

By now most of us know that Jonathan McKee and Libby Johnson-McKee won the 2017 Tasar Worlds in Japan at the beginning of August. I kept hearing about what a tremendous event it was and was hoping for a “booties in the cockpit” report to share with Northwest sailors (and sailors from all over, really) Mike Karas, who with Molly Jackson finished 7th, graciously offered up these thoughts. For those of you keeping score at home, when you count Jay and Lisa Renehan, that puts three PNW teams in the top 10 of a 97-boat fleet! Here’s Mike: 

Simply put, it was one of the best regattas I’ve ever been to. From the level of racing, to the race committee work and social functions, this regatta has set a very high bar in my eyes for all future events.

The racing was tough – physically as well as mentally. With the beats just shy of 1 nm, the total distance sailed per race was around 6nm. Target time for each race was 1 hour, and no elapsed race time for the leaders deviated more than a few minutes off this target. The amazing thing is every day had very different conditions. We raced in every wind speed from 5kts to 22kts.

The temperature was hot and muggy. High humidity made 90 degrees “feel like” 103 degrees at 10:00 in the morning. The water was around 80 degrees, so not too refreshing when you got splashed. The sea-state was usually quite lumpy with a short steep chop.

There is a bunch of great photos here:


And here’s a good one of us:


Here are some of our personal photos:


The McKees sailed an extremely strong regatta, sealing the win with two races to spare, I believe.

The camaraderie of the Tasar fleet, as always, was top notch. Everyone is there to have a good time, and that makes sailing a regatta like this very enjoyable.

Above all, my biggest impressions from Japan were the kindness and hospitality of the Japanese. And it wasn’t just the sailors, but everyone. It really made the trip exceptional.

–Mike Karas

Ed. Note: Karas won the US Tasar Nationals in 2013, was a US Sailing Team member from 2003-2006 and is competitive in every boat he touches.

Kurt grew up racing and cruising in the Midwest, and has raced Lasers since the late 1970s. He has been Assistant Editor at Sailing Magazine and a short stint as Editor of Northwest Yachting. Through Meadow Point Publishing he handles various marketing duties for smaller local companies. He currently is partners on a C&C 36 which he cruises throughout the Northwest. He's married to the amazing Abby and is father to Ian and Gabe.

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