A few hardy sailors showed up this morning for the PRSA Rookie Regatta, including one true Rookie — Lizzie Ellis! Unfortunately the conditions did not cooperate with our plans to race and the regatta was cancelled due to rain and a lack of wind. Congratulations to Rookie Lizzie (under the umbrella) for winning the regatta by showing up and looking for a ride! We love the enthusiasm, Lizzie, and we’ll be sure to get you on a boat next week! We will also try to reschedule this event for after the end of our PRSA Spring Series, so stay tuned for more info.
PRSA will hold the 3rd Annual PRSA Rookie Regatta on Sunday, May 1! This is a special stand-alone one day regatta with the purpose of encouraging you all to bring new crew out to sail, to turn the helm over to your crew, or to do other creative things that might help involve new people in sailing. The scoring system will be a bit different for this one day (results do not count towards your Spring Series scores) and there will be bonuses involved for bringing new people. All of the relevant information is posted to the PRSA Rookie Regatta page: http://potomacriversailing.org/nors-sis/prsa-rookie-regatta/
Michael Heinsdorf will be PRO for the day. It would be helpful if you could you let us know whether you will be sailing on May 1 and, importantly, whether you are bringing more than a few “rookies” for the day. We can accommodate a few extra folks on the RC boats to switch in and out of various boats if we know how many people to expect. So please email Michael (email@example.com) once you’ve thought about your lineup for the Rookie Regatta. Let’s get some new sailors on the water!
The day turned out to be quite nice. There was a good bit of breeze when we showed up but it died as we launched and it was a slow sail up to the course. After getting up there around noon, we drifted for a bit while the wind switched directions. RC did their best to get a square course set but for the first race the wind was every where with most of the race being a reach but finishing with the leeward mark being a windward mark and a downwind finish. After the first race, they moved the marks and we had 2 more races with a decent breeze. The first 2 races were windward leewards and the last was an olympic. During the second 2 races the wind was still shifty so playing the shifts was quite important. All day we had a strong out going current.
There will be no on-shore 1000 skipper’s meeting for Spring Series #4 (Apr. 24) because the Race Committee will already be on the water running races for day 2 of the I-20 Cherry Blossom Regatta.
PRSA Spring Series racing will start as scheduled on the upper course with the first warning signal at 1125. Competitors should be sure to check in with the RC Signal Boat on the water prior to the first warning.
We had a great turnout for Spring Series #3. Unfortunately the weather was a bit less cooperative, providing us summer drifting conditions. A determined RC eventually got us off on a W2 race in a very light and patchy southerly after numerous attempts to find breeze and set a course. I know that at least a few boats were glad that we got that race though, as Sunday saw Lisa-Marie Lane earn her first ever bullet in the Lightning fleet. Staying patient, staying focused on the conditions, and being mindful of finding clear air appeared to be key for her & team As You Wish. Lisa-Marie was followed closely by Kristen Burke (skippering Progressive Plastics) in 2nd, and I’m told that this might mark the first time in Fleet 50 history that we had female skippers finish 1-2 in a PRSA series race. Congrats all around!
I was finally out for my first racing of the spring season aboard Lightning #14592 (sailing with regular crew Piercarlo and welcoming new/interested crew Claudio Purificato aboard) and we quickly relearned some of the cardinal lessons of light air sailing: find clear air (especially after the start), find the next patch of breeze, and mind the current. I was caught to windward of a pack of boats on the start, which was a mistake. Groups of boats go very slow together in light wind, and we saw that firsthand. We were too close to bear off and gain speed; tacking away killed the speed we had, so we were fighting back from the rear from the start.
Piercarlo and Claudio did a great job finding breeze and clear air up the first leg, though, so we were in the hunt at the top mark. The incoming tide was a big factor on the afternoon, and I saw numerous boats in different classes take themselves out of the race by cutting it too close to the windward mark. By the time you got clear and did circles you were at the back of the pack. We all did a good enough job with the current and we maximized our gains on the few easterly puffs that came through such that we were able to reel in many, but not all, of the 11 Lightnings on the course.
After the racing we all enjoyed a great BBQ around the grill. Keep reading for the scores and for some more details from the racing. Please feel free to offer up your own comments here or on the PRSA email listserv!
The day ended up being a great day of sailing. On shore we decided that we would have all boats start together as we had no more than 4 boats in any of the fleets. After a slow sail to the race course while the wind died before shifting to the south, we all got up to the course around 12:15. The Grahams and Griffins were able to set a course and get the first race off. The first race had the wind starting out of the southeast and swinging more south during the race. As the afternoon progressed, the wind continued to swing to the south. We ended up have different levels of breeze with it varying between 5 and 15 knots. Race committee was able to get off 4 races and I thoroughly enjoyed having everyone starting together as it allowed for a larger fleet to race against and added more competition,
After sailing, Melissa and Heather held the BBQ and everyone stuck around and had plenty of food, drink, and fun!
Both PRSA Spring Series #1 and the PRSA Spring Kickoff BBQ were cancelled due to cold temps, high winds, and very low water on April 3. We will hold the PRSA Spring Kickoff BBQ after Spring Series #2 on April 10. PRSA will be providing food and beverages, so come ready to race and come hungry for some great festivities after the racing!
The PRSA Spring Series starts with Spring Series #1 on April 3. Are you ready to go sailing? Here are a few things to remember as you get ready for the racing season:
- Post to the PRSA Crew Connection or peruse the listings there if you are looking for a ride or looking for crew.
- Make sure to sign up for your RC Duty slots. Sign up now so that you know when you’re serving and so that you make sure to do your part for PRSA in helping us run safe and fun races.
Spring Series #1 will be followed by BBQ with all food and drink provided by PRSA, so make sure to bring your appetites for food as well as for racing on April 3!
It was a great day for sailing! The wind was strong from the southeast at about 10 mph then built to 12-14 from the south as the afternoon went on. Thank you to the race committee for setting up solid courses and on offset mark for olympic courses.
In the first two races I managed to get solid starts to be at or near the front of the fleet. The tide was flowing very strong down river all day. In the second race I cut the last mark too close and had to do a circle, which is a bummer of a way to lose three boats.
For the third and fourth race the wind was up in the 12-14 range and I managed to botch the start of the third race. I got too close to the pin end with too much time left and ended up over early. The windward mark had also been moved so I and a few others over stood the windward mark. The tide also drove me way past the lay line and I was almost reaching by the time I actually got to the windward mark. The second downwind leg of the triangle planing was possible which added a new challenge we don’t get too often. I managed to do OK and keep up with the boats around me.
For the fifth and final race the wind was somewhat lighter back closer to 10. I was better on the current situation so I managed to stay closer to the marks and lay lines. I tried to keep the boat flat and pointing while going upwind and upright while going downwind.
My lessons learned for the day were: don’t hit marks, know where the next mark is, and be aware of the current and lay lines. I’ve also waited a bit too long to do the write up and the races have blended together a bit in my memory. Thanks again to everyone for coming out to make this day fun!