Category Archives: Fleets

PRSA Fleets

Leesylvania Volunteers

Eleven Fleet 50 sailors and friends met at Leesylvania State Park last Saturday and spent an easy couple of hours working  and chatting while we worked.

It was really good to see Bob Gotthardt back and looking strong after his health event last year.

Jim and Bob used the small amount of available paint to freshen up the kitchen in the pavilion.  The rest of us traded off the four available rakes to clean the camping area next to the pavilion of gum balls.

In return, the park gives us the pavilion to use free of charge for our regatta (normally $700).

Spring Series So Far

This spring started off with two very heavy wind days, followed by a near zero wind day, and finally a moderate wind day.   Below are the cumulative results so far.

Next weekend is the Potomac Cup and then four more Spring Series  Sundays and the PRSA Spring Regatta on the river.   Nearby on the bay we have the Dixie Districts/No Gas.   Lots of sailing opportunities before the hot summer settles in on us.  Plan to get out as much as you can.  You won’t regret it.

2022 Lightning Cumulative

Doc Gilbert Memorial Potomac Cup

Lightning Fleet 50 invites you to the 36th Annual Doc Gilbert  Potomac Cup Regatta, May 7-8, 2021 on the famous Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park, just outside of Washington DC, where the Potomac is 3 miles wide!

Both Lightnings and I-20s are invited.

NOR, current registrants, and registration at:

Questions?  Contact the regatta chair, Nabeel Alsalam, at

2022 AGM and Awards Update

On April 9th the fleet had an AGM and BBQ at the Washington Sailing Marina,  Despite cooler temperatures it was a nice day and picnic.  Eva Hogan was voted in as the new Fleet Captain and awards were presented!

2021 Awards:
Fleet Booster Award – Bob Bear
Freshman Booster Award – Tyler Phillips
Most Improved B Skipper Award – Eva Hogan
Jib Tender Award (Best Crew) – Kaitlyn Lucey, for getting Dan Miller’s boat out on the water all year and to some away regattas!
Most Abused Crew Award – Barney Harris
Six Deep (Capsize) Award – Nich Allen


2021-2022 Laser Frostbite Final Cumulative Results

The middle part of the season was cold and on several Sundays there were no races due to ice.   The end of the season was breezy!

59 races in all, so it took 30 races to qualify (half of 59 rounded up) and your best 30 were averaged to calculate your score.

The top three were very tightly packed.  Laura Windecker passed Tom on the last day of racing to win the series.   And Farley tied Tom but won the tie breaker.   Poor Tom doing RC fell from 1st to 3rd.    The top five were rounded out with Brian Joseph in 4th and Jim Klein in 5th.   Congratulations all.


Race 1-59, best 30 averaged

(I say “final” but if you see what might be a mistake let me know.)

2021-2022 Laser Frostbite 16 (March 20)

Tom Hutton and Michael Liss ran RC.  It was the last day of the frostbite season.

We had strong winds and six intrepid sailors willing to come out in the small craft warning. The air temp was in the upper 50s as was the water temp making for a warmer day than normal. 4 Radial and 2 full rigs launched and even then we had plenty of capsizes. There were 4 races total, one olympic then the more heavy wind friendly T-1. Short which helps sailors from getting tired during a long race.

— Tom


(Races 56-59, March 20)

2021-2022 Laser Frostbite 15

Steen Byskov and Laura Windecker ran five races!   Olympic courses that took about 30 minutes.

The winds direction was fairly stable from the SW and the strength in the 10 to 20 range.

From the marina, the water appeared to be very very low because  for the previous 24 hours gale force winds were blowing from the northwest AND it was low tide around noon.  Georgetown was hosting a regatta and decided to stay in the cove and run it there. However, once the sailors left the marina it did not appear to be an issue.

Air temps were between 30 and 40 and the water temp had risen to near 50.

Eight sailors went out and had a challenging time.

Yeah, fair bit of capsizing. The attrition we had during the day was typically after capsizes.  Jim (Graham) had two before he quit.  It was already hard work sailing in those conditions, and capsizes really wear you out – we didn’t count how many there were. Tom went to Jim during his second capsize – good to see sailors looking out for each other.
We also had a couple of equipment failures – Tom’s tiller extension broke, and Brian’s mainsheet broke.
— Steen

Steen took pictures! See them here.


(Races 51-55, March 13)

2021-2022 Laser Frostbite 14

The SW breeze was sporty and gusty — very high risk of capsize — the water temperature chilly (47F) but the air was warm (70F).   The current was strong going out.   Most sailors broke out their radial rigs.

More pictures

LaserFrostbite2122_14  (races 47-50)

Nabeel Alsalam and Lloyd Leonard ran the races.

Some tips on how to avoid capsizing downwind:

When approach the windward mark, first release the cunningham to  close the top of the sail and then release the vang most but not all the way so that the leech is closed a bit.   Then raise your arm with the mainsheet high and above you to make sure it is at least not completely knotted at your feet.

At the windward mark, gain speed first and then smoothly bear off and then raise the daggerboard 8″ or so.   Don’t let the sail out past 90 degrees.   It is a good idea to have a knot in the mainsheet to prevent the sail going out too far.   Letting the sail out beyond 90 degrees whether on purpose or not is a sure way to capsize when it is breezy.

NEVER sail dead downwind.  Preferably sail by the lee and if that doesn’t work, reach.  You want pressure against the daggerboard for stability.

Gybing seems scary but it doesn’t have to be.  Trim in the sail some so it will gybe sooner, bear off to get the sail to gybe and as it is going over bear back off.   Also, keep the tiller extension low during the gybe so it doesn’t hook the mainsheet during the gybe.

Have fun surfing the waves!  Steer toward the low spots.