2016 Spring Series #7: March Weather in May

On the one hand it is crazy that we had cold rain and temps in the 50s today.  On the other hand, it is also crazy that this might have been one of the best days we have had all spring!  The weather certainly has been crazy, and once again a group of intrepid sailors made the best of it for a day of river racing.  We had 5 Lightnings, 5 or 6 Albacores, 3 I-20s, a Buc, and a couple of Lasers out on the race course.  PRO Bob Gotthardt and his RC crew did a good job to get us 4 races in a shifty, spotty NE breeze.

I was especially pleased to have my parents out on the race course despite the dreary weather.  My Dad sailed with me on #14592 and my Mom took some great photos from the RC boat!  Scores will be posted soon, and you can keep reading for some details from my vantage point on Lightning #14592.

Continue reading 2016 Spring Series #7: March Weather in May

PRSA Merchandise!

Tired of this rainy weather? Stock up on colorful and functional PRSA gear now so you’re set to go once the sun comes back! Click the “PRSA Merchandise” menu item at the top right on the PRSA homepage to view the options and place your orders.

PRSA Members Sporting PRSA Bling!
PRSA Members Sporting PRSA Bling!

PRSA Rookie Regatta Rained Out

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.

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PRSA Rookie Regatta: May 1

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 (mheinsdorf@gmail.com) once you’ve thought about your lineup for the Rookie Regatta.  Let’s get some new sailors on the water!

2016 Spring Series #4

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.

2016 Spring Series #4 – Albacores

2016 Spring Series #4 – Buccaneers

2016 Spring Series #4 – Lightnings

2016 Spring Series #4 – Multihulls

Special Note Re: Spring Series #4

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.

Spring Series #3: Light and Challenging!

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!

Continue reading Spring Series #3: Light and Challenging!

2016 Spring Series #2

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!

2016 Spring Series #1 – Albacores

2016 Spring Series #1 – Buccaneers

2016 Spring Series #1 – Lightnings

2016 Spring Series #1 – Multihulls

PRSA Kickoff BBQ Postponed to April 10

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!