Local man sails for love of sport

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2001


LAPLACE – Larry Schedler lives in Destrehan, but races sailboats out on Lake Pontchartrain. He sailed as a kid on Bayou St. John, but got out of the sport at about the time when he went into college. About 15 years ago he was invited to help crew a boat during a race. “I was basically ballast,” he said. But after that race he had the sailing bug. He bought a boat, and now both races and cruises. Though Schedler describes himself as not being a hard-core racer, he crews on the Java, a “maxed-out racing boat” filled with hi-tech equipment. The Java is a 40-foot J130 painted black with its name on both the starboard and port sides. Schedler said he both walks the racing side and enjoys going out on his boat with his kids. In addition to the Twilight series of races that are done every Wednesday night, Schedler said that different clubs have different races every weekend. Certain clubs have racing series, where boats compete every Sunday for a couple of weeks. Another race Schedler has competed in was a 101-mile distance race. The race is done in two legs on two consecutive Fridays. The first leg sees the boats race from New Orleans to Gulfport, Miss. The following Friday sees the second leg, from Gulfport to Pensacola, Fla. “Lake Pontchartrain is an interesting lake to sail on. It’s shallow with short choppy waves. The sea walls make it a lot choppier,” he said. Schedler said sailing brings people together from all walks of life. “(Sailing) can be a very physical sport. It’s a very easy sport to get involved with, though people can be intimidated by it. If you are a team player, there’s always someone who can use you. If you’re reliable then there’s a place for you.”