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
Sunday proved to be a surprisingly good day of sailing. As we arrived at the marina, we had a nice steady breeze out of the north at about 6. The forecast was calling for 0 building to 6 out of the south. At the skippers meeting, the breeze had died but Aaron was optimistic in the forecast and had the RC tow everyone up to the course area. We ended up with 8 Albacores, 4 Lightnings and 1 Buccaneer making it to the race course. Aaron and crew were able to get off 3 races total. The first race was quite trying. The wind started coming out of the east. By the time the Albacores rounded the windward mark, the wind died and the race was shortened to a finish at the windward mark on the second upwind leg. After the first race, we could all see the sea breeze filling in from downriver. Aaron and crew setup the course in prep for the wind and we were able to get off 2 more races in a nice southerly breeze of about 8. All in all it was a good first day compared to what was forecast. Scores are below.
Today proved a little harder. The race committee was able to get off 2 races today. Temps were in the 80s with very fluky light breeze. Scores are posted to the Results page as well as below.
Today was quite a nice day on the Potomac River Gorge. Temps were in the upper 70s and the wind was mostly out of the North averaging around 10 with a range of 5 to the upper teens. We were able to get off 4 races. Scores are below.
Spring Series #5 brought us a tricky day on the river, but PRO Jeff Neurater and his crew still managed to get us 4 races in a spotty, shifty, WNW breeze. The day looked very promising at the outset. We had a nice northerly breeze of about 10 knots blowing as nine Lightnings, six Albacores, and a Hobie Cat headed out of the cove and up to the race course.
The RC started the first sequence right on time, only to have the wind cut out altogether with about 2 minutes to go in the sequence. The river was high and the tide was flowing out, so most boats drifted away from the starting line even as they tried to sail upwind. Another breeze line was visible up at the windward mark, though, and soon enough it filled in and we were off racing. The boats that were close to the line got the breeze first, go a big jump, and ended up with a huge lead for the entirety of the Olympic course.
That same pattern pretty much repeated over the next three races — another Olympic course, and then two shorter Triangle courses. Finding breeze was of the utmost importance, and this meant looking up towards the bridge to see where the next line was forming even as you were hunting for the patches of breeze that had made it to the racecourse. In general, the breeze would fill from the left side of the course…but that wasn’t a guarantee, and there were times when boats that went out to the right going upwind came out ahead, despite battling the current in the channel.
It was great to get out on the water, even if the conditions were tricky. After the racing we all gathered in the grill area to enjoy some great food, beverages, and the last bit of a fine sunny afternoon.
With the Lightnings out for Doc Gilbert, we had a lighter than normal turnout. But the weather still provided us with a very fun day of sailing. Temps were in the low 70s and winds out of the west ranging from 10 mph to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. PRO Jim Graham was able to get in 5 races using a new “Figure Four” course that Barney Harris came up with. We did 1, 2 and 3 lap races. The course is a modified triangle that provides long hot angle reaching legs, one of which rounds the start pin to starboard and provides a downwind leg. We ended up with 3 Albacores, 1 Bucc, and 1 Laser making it out for the races. The course provided some awesome reaching legs with lots of planing.
Sunday (April 27th) was a beautiful spring day. The breeze was from the northwest. It was patchy and would turn off and then on to as much as 15 mph, but, hey, that’s the river. I often saw good breeze in the middle and so tried to work it but when the breeze died it always came in first from the left so people who set themselves up near the airport always gained.
Jim Antonovich, Marc Carre, and Bob Etheridge ran the races. The first race was a long W3 and gave us all ample opportunity to look very smart and then very dumb as we tried to figure out the patchy wind.
The first two links below are to Sunday’s race results. The other two, I believe, are the cumulative results for the series where each day counts as one “race”. We didn’t have any races on Spring Series #1 but everyone present will get their average position in the other days they sail as redress and that should help them get the required days sailed to qualify.