What a fantastic turnout for the PRSA Spring Regatta! We had nearly fifty boats and almost 100 sailors out racing over a fantastic Memorial Day weekend. Even though Saturday’s wind conditions were light and spotty we still got in 3 races on the upper course (and more on the lower course), followed by a wonderful BBQ put together by Lee, Lisa-Marie, and Jim. It was great to see so many friends and family members at the post-race BBQ. Our patience on Saturday was rewarded with a nice 8-10 kt southerly breeze on Sunday. After 3 more fantastic races on Sunday we enjoyed another nice BBQ.
A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who helped put on the regatta, including James Jacob & Tim O’Brien (lower course RC), Nabeel Alsalam and his entire RC crew on the upper course, Lee for all of the food planning, Jim for taking care of beverages, and Lisa-Marie Lane for serving as Regatta Chair. An extra special thanks to all of the people who traveled to sail with us in the regatta as well. Links to scores and photos are below, and you can keep reading after that for some of my observations from the race course.
Final Scores – click on “Newsroom & Results” at the top and then “Race Results” if the scores don’t display at first (thanks to Upper Course PRO Nabeel Alsalam for doing the scoring).
In addition to the award winners in each class, we award two perpetual trophies at the Spring Regatta:
- Len Penso Trophy (male skipper over 50 who beats the most boats): Barney Harris
- Catherine Hurst Trophy (female skipper who beats the most boats): Kyra Tallon
Photos of the Award Winners (thanks to Jim Lane for the photos!)
Chris Kozel was kind enough to lend me his boat, String Theory, for the Spring Regatta since he was sailing in the Down the Bay Race. I was thrilled to sail with Liz Williams and Jess Harrington on Saturday, and then with Liz and Dennis Maxwell (sailing his first regatta with PRSA) on Sunday. Since I was driving, most of my observations are limited to what I saw within the Lightning class races, though we certainly did see a lot of the other boats in other classes at mark roundings and at other points in time during the weekend.
Saturday was a very challenging day for the RC and for the sailors. Although there was solid breeze when we all arrived at the marina, the forecast was for it to die off during the day as it rotated from a N/NW to a S/SW breeze. Much to our dismay, the forecast held. There was very little wind by the time that we all drifted up to the racecourse, and we spend a bit of time under postponement waiting for any hint of breeze to appear. As soon as it did, the RC set a course that placed the windward mark just outside the channel off of Hains Point. With a light WNW breeze, a T or O course was about the only option for the RC. All three races on Saturday were roughly the same insofar as the key was to find the pressure and, when it died, guess right as to where it might come from next. On String Theory Liz and Jess demonstrated enormous patience and focus as we did our best to connect the dots among patches of pressure. A strong tide/current outflow also complicated things a bit. In each race you had the chance of being first, last, first again, in the middle, and perhaps first (or last) at the end.
We held our own in the drifting conditions and managed to find a bit more pressure than other boats at times, leading to 3 3rd place finishes for the day. Frank Gallagher, Bill Mauk, and Bob Gotthardt each won one of the tricky day 1 races. The conditions were definitely wacky — I remember one leg of the 3rd race where we actually popped our spinnaker on what was originally the upwind leg (sailing south to north) only to see Frank coming down, bow-on-bow at us, with his spinnaker flying! That was the moment when the southerly and the northerly were battling each other right over our racecourse! After getting those three races completed, the RC wisely sent us to shore to enjoy the rest of the sunny afternoon with some beverages and fantastic BBQ.
Our patience on Saturday was rewarded with some excellent sailing conditions on Sunday: a nice 8-10 kt. southerly that blew steadily throughout the afternoon. There were a few shifts up and down the course, and some spots where one might find more or less pressure, but on the whole the conditions were even across the course, making for some great boat-on-boat one design racing. Boathandling did matter around crowded marks with multiple classes converging at once, and things were always a bit tricky when you sailed back through the start/finish area as other classes queued up to start.
With the breeze up a bit Alex, Will, and Laura on No Call No Show demonstrated some excellent boat speed. We also had our moments on String Theory, including a flawless race 6 that resulted in a bullet for us. On the whole, though Frank and Bill had the hot hands for the day, with Bill winning just one more race than Frank to take the regatta in the Lightning class. After four great races the RC sent us home to enjoy some more great food and drink and to celebrate the class winners under sunny skies. What a wonderful afternoon and a wonderful regatta!