Skip Reaser Passed away, from complications after his heart operation.
He will be missed by all of us on the committee, and the laser family. He has been with the lasers since the beginning of the fleet in the north.
Our thoughts go to Cathy and all his family and friends.
Beryl Reaser – better known to us all as just Skip
I am recognising the passing of my great friend Skip Reaser – the RC Sailor Sail No 39 – a Legend.
Skip was the longest serving member of the WLYC Sailing Committee of 20 years plus. He represented the start of RC Sailing at the Club before requesting me to take over the role.
At the beginning, while he was supporting the Club as Bosun he was also touring the country with a former member, Andy Kissick, introducing Radio Control Laser’s to the masses. Slowly but surely the class grew and become the “go to” one Single Class RC sailing model, at a price that was reasonable. At the time you could obtain a laser, all in for about £500. With the likes of a reasonable second-hand IOM class that started around £2,500, it was a game changer!
Skip and I had been friends ever since our children were sailing Toppers at the Club and on the NW England Junior circuit and further afield. As some of the Club members started to learn how to sail the Lasers, we always had Skip there supporting us.
His shout-outs likes of “Your sail is too tight” and “Let your sail out” will never be forgotten. Most of us had sailed before but we were all used to being in the boat. (Skip was not a sailor but an expert RC Cars / Flying and more). Sailing away from the land was easy but when we tacked back to the land the “idiot on the control stick”, or words to that effect, got it wrong. So Skips mantra was” You gotta get time on the water, don’t worry about going round marks”. Once we thought we knew what were doing we all started racing and we started to learn all over again “Water at the mark 39 or was it 84”! Over the months and in some cases years, we all got better.
Skip was always there to support us all if our boat stopped working. Sometimes it was by fixing it but most of the time he told us how to fix it and so we did it ourselves. At the end of each lesson on “fixing” was a very relevant quip. “You gotta learn to do it yourself - I will not be here to sort you out next time”. He always was - until now…
Back to Skip and how his involvement and support in growing the RC Single Class fleets for the common man, at reasonable cost. With the support of Damien Chisholm WLYC hosted the first RC Laser Nationals then a few years later the first Championship of Nations (World Championships).
One of the RC Lasers that he was involved in selling was to John Tushingham who was impressed with the single class logic at a reasonable price. With John’s skills, he went further and developed the single class DF65 and DF95’s which was in a few years to another worldwide RC Sailing success. WLYC was also the Club that raced for these boats, first in the world.
Skip always kept his ear to the ground and was a good influencer on how things developed wherever he sailed. I only hope that those who felt, to quote one of our sailors “his warm hand on our hearts” will remember his ways and continues to get better sailors.
We saw Skip sail off on Thursday 10 Feb 2022 to full military honours, in recognition of his 22 years in the US Army. When he arrives he will find a final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, VA, USA. What an exit - a very powerful ceremony.
WLYC RC Sailing Rep