Category Archives: Fleets

PRSA Fleets

Upcoming Lightning regattas

All…

Only 2 PRSA spring series Sundays left before the SSA No Gas Regatta or the PRSA Spring Regatta, both on MAY 25-26.

It looks like several PRSA skippers will be going to the SSA No-Gas Regatta, To go to this regatta, Go to..
https://www.lightningclass.org/
To see regatta details and links to the Regatta sign-up pages…

If you’re not going to SSA, you can still sign up for the PRSA Spring Regatta at…
https://www.nextsailor.com/app/page/regatta/672
Or sign up to help on race committee for this regatta..

Still time to get in some good practice before these regattas so plan to do one or two Sunday races on the Potomac…!!!

Also….
The Lightning Dixie District Championship and the Doc-Gilbert Potomac Cup will be combined and run simultaneously on June 29–30, at Leesylvania State Park..
This combo Regatta satisfies Fleet 50’s requirement to run the Dixie District championship every five years or so..
Plan to be there..!!!!
Go to..
https://www.lightningclass.org/
To see regatta details and links to the Regatta sign-up pages…

Call or text me if you have any questions or need help getting to one of these regattas..

Thanks…

Frank Gallagher
Captain – Lightning Fleet 50 
703-599-0144
frankjgallagher@gmail.com

PRSA Spring Regatta May 25-26

Registration is open for the PRSA Spring Regatta!  Sign up now and help us spread the word about our signature spring event:  https://www.nextsailor.com/app/page/regatta/672.

If you are interested in volunteering to help out with some regatta organization, please let Regatta Chair Kaitlyn Lucey know.  This is a great chance to get involved with one of our events, learn more about regatta organization and operation, and help out PRSA!

2024 Spring Series #4

Just not the right day for sailing today. Rain, current, debris, and very light wind caused us to cancel all the racing today.

And even after the rain pretty much stopped we wouldn’t have been able to sail as the wind dropped from light to nothing.

But Piercarlo, Dane, and John had their boats ready to go. Nabeel & Frank were there as well working on revitalizing the Fleet 50 website. And Aaron was there to sail w’ Piercarlo & Lisbet

I had RC.

We are kind of having a bad run of weather this spring. This was the 4th Sunday, half way through the Spring Series and so far we have only completed 5 races. The good news here is those who have yet to come out aren’t behind in the series. See everyone next Sunday!

Bobby Astrove

Memorial Day Weekend

Whoever is not going to the 50th Anniversary of the No Gas Regatta at SSA on memorial day weekend, should help out with race committee for the PRSA Spring Regatta.

No Gas Registration is OPEN!!!

Please Register here for the 50th Annual No Gas Regatta 05/25 – 05/26

Also, please sign Up here for ILCA Who’s Coming List.

-Lisa-Marie Lane
Mobile 703.209.3653
#15126 As You Wish…Fleet Captain, Lightning Fleet 329
#186551 Buttercup, Laser District 10

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.—Mark Twain

2024 Spring Series #1, #2, and #3

Spring Series #1 was a windy chilly day.  Stew Harris and team started off the four intrepid sailors on a W2.   Only Barney and Justin Harler finished the race.   And that was it.

Spring Series #2 was a light light day.  Aaron Boesenecker and team were lucky to give us one W1.

Spring Series #3 started off light but the wind gradually filled in with the sail home after the four W2 that Dana Howe and team gave us being downright beautiful.

2024-SS1-Albacore

2024-SS1-I20

2024-SS1-Lightning

2024-SS2-Albacore

2024-SS2-Buccaneer

2024-SS2-I20

2024-SS2-Lightning

2024-SS3-Albacore

2024-SS3-Buccaneer

2024-SS3-I20

2024-SS3-Lightning

2023 ILCA Frostbite Series #18

Hi everybody,

Greetings from 3rd place — belatedly, thanks for your patience! —  on the last day of the frostbite season (can hardly believe it). Many thanks to Tom and Jim for taking one for our collective team and doing race committee and helping us get in 6 races – glad it was a nice afternoon for you guys! Kudos also to Steen and Farley for taking the top two spots.

This is otherwise going to be a short writeup b/c Farley kindly accepted the trade for — what I hope will also become a tradition, at least occasionally — a travel regatta write-up. So see an email shortly about my experience sailing in the Uganda Laser Open earlier this month.

But back to Sunday, briefly. It was forecasted to be a dying wind after gale/near-gale conditions and sometimes it was quite light – but the wind generally held up. The current was going out all afternoon and sometimes it felt like it was the main propellant downwind. The wind was fluky – sometimes the left was better, sometimes the right. Mostly, I tried to look for puffs and keep the boat going fast regardless of where my wind indicator was pointing. I also tried to keep tabs on who was where and how they seemed to be doing (but could have done this more, it would likely have helped!).

Finally – don’t forget to sign up for the Capital City Regatta next weekend!!! —>  https://nextsailor.com/app/page/reg_start/644

See you there!!
Laura

2023 ILCA Frostbite Series #17

I think this is the second time I have raced a Laser since Y2K. Here are some thoughts.

CURRENT: High tide was at 1518, however recent rains to the west must have filled the river as we had an out going current all day.  I am not intimately familiar with this part of the Potomac. Reviewing my RaceQs record (see attached file), the extent of the course for races 2-5 was roughly mid way between the east and west shores. The bathymetry would have gradually increasing depth from right to left looking upwind. I would expect the current to be slower on the west side of the course due to it being shallower water and in the “lee” of the mud flats surrounding the airport landing lights.

WIND: While rigging I had forgotten to install the battens in the sail. Everyone had departed, so I slid the boat from its dolly onto the grass and rolled it over. In the process I saw the dirt and grime covering the hull – figuring that no one would be racing in such light air – and gave it a quick cleaning. By the time I got to the course area I saw the fleet in the final throes of race #1 that was started in an easterly that morphed into a nearly non-existent southerly for the final two legs. The breeze gradually, sporadically filled in from the south for races 2-5. This was nothing like our regular, thermal-driven southerly. More often than not, we saw gusts from the east. The combination of favorable current and SE gusts drew me to the left more often than not. Now, the day’s forecast was for a southerly breeze shifting to west and increasing at around 1400. I was half expecting people to come from the far right, planing into the mark – but this never occurred. The westerly finally showed up, nearly two hours late and right after the final race. Bottom line is that if one were going to pick a side, in the absence of any other indications, the left (east) appeared to be favored. What will it be next time? No freaking clue.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS: I kept overstanding the windward mark. I don’t recall the Laser being that close winded. Maybe it was me mis judging the current. We had a few fleeting moments where we had to hike and almost enough wind to blow the leech open. I put tell tales in the middle of the sail. None on the leech – its always stalled anyway. My new dry suit worked really well: the relief zipper served its purpose – a heretofore untested and critical piece of technology!

IN SUM: The PRSA frostbite program continues to function well. I recall my first sail on the Potomac during the winter of 1982-83 in penguins and then lasers. Just about all the names have changed but the sailing is still tricky, challenging, and fun. The informal post race social was fun and enhanced by the bright sunshine and 74 deg F temperatures. GF Lee drove down and brought some snacks. Celeste brought Elmarie. Special thanks to Tyler and Eva for serving as RC.

Barney

23-24 PRSA ILCA Frostbite Series #17

2023-2023 ILCA FROSTBITE #14

Sunday was one of the best days of racing I have had this season. While light winds had been forecasted, the wind quickly increased to around ten knots with gusts well above that. It came from the south-southeast but would periodically shift farther southeast and less commonly would shift farther south. The puffs almost always came from the left side of the course. This combined with the prevailing shifts meant that the far left seemed the place to be for most of the day. While the pin was not significantly up for many of the starts, I felt that starting at the pin and taking off left was the way to go. The tide was outgoing the whole day, and so there was very significant up-course current. It took me seven seconds to travel upwind one boat length upwind at the first start while luffing.

The first start, we were in a left shift and most of the fleet was set up for the pin. I was OCS and decided to gybe and head upwind on port. I was lifted for a long time but eventually found a more average angle to tack on and head left. I rounded the weather mark in the back, but caught up to the fleet. The downwinds all day were very interesting. Because the pressure came from the left, a balance had to be struck between staying in the puffs and working to get the inside around the leeward mark. Personally, I found that by staying on the left side I could usually cleanly pass people I might have gotten tangled up with around the mark. I passed a few boats downwind, rounded the mark, and tacked immediately. I was headed for a while, but I got clear air and a very nice shift on the left side that put me in the upper half of the fleet around the top mark. The next downwind was fairly standard, I don’t remember passing anyone. The finishing leg was played very differently to the rest of the racing and overall I thought it was something I could have done better all day. It seemed like it was preferable to stay on port until on layline for the boat and then tack. I ended up finishing around fifth.

The second race went very similar. This time I accounted for the current more and was not over, but did not have a very good start. I decided to stay on starboard longer than anyone else to get clear air, and as a result overstood the layline. All day, I was right on the edge of being able to keep the boat flat in the puffs ( I am very light for the full rig). Being overstood definitely hurt more than normal because it was harder to keep the boat flat in low mode. I rounded the top mark in fifth but had a bad rounding and lost a boat right after. The downwind was very standard and I caught the boat that had passed me. All day, I thought staying more to the course left than your opponents was the only sure way to prevent them getting an excellent shift and making a comeback both upwind and downwind. By the end of the leg, I was overlapped with many boats and attempted to go wide and fall in behind the pinwheel. This did not quite go as intended and I ended up on the outside of a group. I tacked underneath and managed to gain a boat or two back on the upwind just by staying left. By now, the fleet was spread out and again I finished fifth.

The third race, I got an amazing start by winning the pin. Pretty quickly, I got headed but decided to just keep going because of good pressure up ahead. This turned out to be pretty costly and I dropped back to around third. I stayed there for the downwind but closed some distance. Rounding the top mark, I tacked on the first right shift and headed left. Shortly after, the wind began to die all over the course. It stayed a little longer on the right and it looked like some people made good gains over there. However, I could see whitecaps just before the bridge on the left and so headed that way, trusting that the wind would fill in. I have found that in general if the wind is dying and then coming back, betting on the new system rather than the old is favorable. I caught the shift perfectly as the pressure came back and ended up rounding the weather mark in first. I held this to the end of the race and took the win.

Race four, I had another great start at the pin. I found that setting up low was crucial because of the current and that there was enough wind a long runup was not essential. This was another advantage to going left upwind. Deeper water means more current so heading near the channel allowed for better speed upwind. I tacked in a much better place than race three and rounded the weather mark in first. I held on for the downwind, but going back up the wind had increased and I was struggling to keep the boat flat. I was passed by sail 603 as a result. I got close to catching him on the downwind but was unable to and followed him for the rest of the race.

Race five was very similar, I rounded the top mark in second by banging the left corner on the upwind. I was unable to catch the boat in first but managed to hold on until the last leg. Going upwind on port tack, the whole fleet was very lifted. I found a decent shift back and decided to tack sooner, mostly to cover the boats behind me. This turned out to be a mistake as I lost one boat and finished in third. I noticed someone behind me getting to the inside of a pinwheel by going very by the lee in a puff and planing for a few seconds, this seemed to work very well.

Race six, I had a good start but lost my lane quickly and was sucked back into the pack. I stayed left longer than any of the boats near me to get clear air, but two boats went further and both beat me to the weather mark along with a few others. I caught two boats downwind, but lost one back upwind because I went too far left and overstood. On the second downwind, I was sailing by the lee trying to get to a covering position when I was hit with a surprise puff and spun out into a capsize. I got to the board quickly but the sail was on the windward side so when I brought the boat up it flipped over again. I probably should have california rolled, but I had touched the bottom while righting the boat and was unsure if it was deep enough (as well as if my drysuit neck seal was good). I finished last in that race.

All told, it was a fun day on the water with near-ideal conditions that made the racing very interesting and enjoyable. If you could find a good angle on starboard tack, there were almost always opportunities to gain. While the downwind was fairly straightforward with no gybe until the end necessary, this led to great opportunities by playing for the inside and covering your opponents.

Credit to Kaitlyn for getting a good photo!

23-24 PRSA Frostbite Series #14

2023-2023 ILCA FROSTBITE #13

Big thank you to the Race Committee for running 5 great races. The weather was near ideal with the air temp in the 40s and wind between 12 and 19 kts for most of the day. I did consider briefly rigging up my radial sail as I worried that the realized conditions would beat the forecast. However, I gambled that the forecast would be accurate and wouldn’t exceed my cut off point (20 kts+) for wanting an easier rig to manage. Despite not being overpowered, I did manage to capsize upwind during the 3rd and 4th races. After chatting with Farley and Laura onshore, I think it was because I was overcompensating for some recent bad habits (oversteering while tacking and coming out low) and understeering and then crossing the boat too slowly. Laura did have a general comment that outhauls were too tight and people needed to keep some shape in their sails and not over flatten them.

My focus of the day was on having good starts and avoiding people. The line was set for the 15ish boats that signed-in so there was plenty of room to work with only 10 boats starting. With the wind out of the South and a flooding tide weakening the current, I was not worried about being over early. My strategy was to start in the middle and capitalize on the expected midline sag. Each race, I’d find a safety transit (a line from the back of the motor through the pin to something on shore) and aim to start accelerating from a couple boat lengths back at 10 seconds. The strategy worked 4 out of 5 starts with having clear air and on the line at the gun, only time it didn’t work is when I lost sight of Tom and he rolled me. After the start I worked my way up to the windward mark trying to minimize the number of tacks coming in close to the port ley line. Downwind, I worked to the inside to not give up the inside overlap. I was often able to pick up boats at the final leeward mark by rounding well and then sailing to the starboard ley line and finishing at the boat.

Tyler

23-24 PRSA Frostbite Series #13