On January 1, 1974, about the time of one of the first Hangover Regattas, the Potomac River Laser Fleet was comprised very similarly to today’s fleet, with the British Naval Attaché as our fleet captain, Turkish diplomates, Lightning sailors, 470 sailors, Jet 14 sailors and numerous high school sailors. Mark Bear and I were two of those high school sailors. With the guidance of Peter Syverson the Potomac boasted one of the first Laser fleets. There was one important difference, however. In 1974 Northern Virginia had yet to experience its huge building boom. The Sailing Marina was uniformly 14 feet in depth across the cove to the airport rip rap. We regularly held huge events in the cove including such deep water boats as Stars.Today, much of Arlington and Falls Church have washed down Four Mile Run into our cove and center of the river. Nabeel, our RC chair, citing the extreme low tide, wisely elected to head north to avoid the shallow conditions downstream from the marina. As we headed for the race course both old timers such as Mark and Michael, and even fleet regulars such as Dan and myself( I am almost a regular), found themselves glued to the bottom just inside the last day mark. Fortunately, I was able to spring free just in time to make the two minute horn. I was able to convince Nabeel to postpone to accommodate our less fortunate fleet members.
Laser Frostbite Fleet,
First, as newcomer to the fleet – hello to everybody! I moved to DC late last year and – after seeing the fleet out one day having too much fun while I was driving by in slow traffic — I decided to get back into Lasers. Turns out, one of the best decisions I’ve made recently. Actually that’s not a high bar in my case, but still….
So here is the 3rd place write up for Sundays racing, what started out as a partly overcast day with light Southerly winds soon materialized into a relay good day for sailing on the river with a steady 10 – 13 mph. The tide was fairly high but was not running much and did not factor into the racing.
First off I would like to congratulate Jim Klein for tying Len for first place for the day. I believe that this is his first time winning a day.
Today was a gorgeous day for frostbiting. Temps were in the 50s and the wind was around in the 5 range with maybe some puffs near 8. The RC was able to get off 4 races. We did a little of everything starting with a triangle, 2 olympics, and a final windward leeward. The breeze slowly died off as we stayed out on the water.
As for sailing, the races that we run for frostbiting are relatively short races so the start is important. You can screw it up a little and make out OK but in general you need to come off the line with speed and clean air. On a light air day like today, finding the breeze and staying in clean air are paramount. At the starts of the first 3 races, I decided that the pin end of the line was favored and went for it. It worked fairly well in all three races for me and with each race, more people joined me at the pin end. The last race had a small shift (from my view at least) and I think the line was very even. But the shift came in the last 30 seconds of the start so everyone was stuck where they were. Other than starts and clear air, the important thing on light air days is to be patent with your boat and not get frustrated.
I look forward to seeing all the new people out on the water the rest of the season. And remember that we are still sailing next Sunday!
Today provided some nice weather and we were able to get in a few races. 2 Albacores, 3 multihulls and 2 Lightnings showed up. The breeze began to build by 10:30 and stayed until about 12:30. The last race was cut short due to lack of wind. Many thanks go to Yates Dowell and his RC for stepping up and volunteering this week. Scores are below.
Final Fall Series scores are below.
Yet again we were given another windy day. This time with cold temperatures. Two brave Albacores came down to the marina but the decision was made to attempt a practice day instead of running races. Also as it turns out, the water level of the river was too shallow to launch the crash boats from the ramp. After launching the 16 and 1 Albacore, the decision was shortly made to cancel the “practice” and call it a day.
The last series of the fall is next weekend. In order to sail, we need to have someone sign up for RC! Also there are several boats that need 1 more day to qualify for the fall. Check your Series scores and make the decision to come out next week.
Fall Series #5 provided us with a very windy day. Mostly out of the northeast with some big shifts out of the east. Mostly sustained around 18 but gusts up to 30. However it did not seem as windy as that. Lloyd Leonard and crew put on 4 races for the 3 of us that made it out. Barney Harris, Jeff Neurauter, and Farley Will went out. Jeff headed in during the second race after capsizing. But there were only 2 capsizes for the day which was pretty good considering the conditions. Barney took the day.
The wind was once again a bit fluky, but 5 Lightnings made their way up to the course along with Jim Antonovich on a cat and Jeff Neurauter in the Buc class. PRO Kyra Tallon and her crew did a good job in getting us some racing in the light and variable ENE breeze. This meant some Olympic courses again, so boathandling was at a premium (especially for those Lightnings who were doublehanding). A good time was had by all and afterwards we all enjoyed a cookout on a beautiful afternoon.
The wacky west wind made its first appearance this fall for Fall Series #3. It certainly proved challenging to the RC and all the sailors, but PRO Frank Gallagher and his crew did a great job in setting, re-setting, and re-setting the course again throughout the day (aided by some sailors moving marks as well!) to keep up with the changing wind directions. The breeze never settled down, and it seemed like we saw wind from just about every point on the compass! Nonetheless, we got in some great racing on O2 and courses. The reach legs kept folks sharp (especially boats trying to fly the spinnaker) and at the end of the day we all enjoyed a great day on the river.
Scores are below