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.
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….
March 4th, 2012 was a big wind day*. The Laser frostbite fleet went out onto the river to avoid the puffs and shifts in the cove. Here is some video the RC boat — Steve Yelland and Kevin Crowley — took of us flying downwind.
* Observations at the airport: 12:52 – N at 15 mph with gusts to 22, 13:52 NW at 22 with gusts to 31, 14:52 NW at 21 with gusts to 31.
Our annual Hangover Regatta will be held this Sunday Jan 1st. The weather is looking really nice, its predicted to be 60F with winds in the low teens. Hardly frostbiting weather!! Info and pre-registration is located here. Hope to see you on the water.
It was a beautiful day on the Potomac River with the wind from the northwest 7-15, which was more than the forecast that I saw. The sun was behind the clouds making it feel like a frostbite race but the wind was enough to keep you working. It was another great turnout with 23 boats making it on the last sailing day in 2011. Will Summers and Istvan Pely set up a windward leeward out in the river. The current was coming in/slack at the beginning of the day and was going out pretty aggressively by the last race keeping the fleet off the line.
Getting a good start was essential and the mark roundings were crowded which put an emphasis on making the right decision in a short amount of time. The firsts were well spread out in six races with six different people winning a race (Erich, Frank, , Len & Robert). The wind was very shifty which caused many lead changes. Results are posted here.
I have been excited by all the new faces this year and the turnouts thus far. I hope that we can keep it up in 2012.
The next Sunday is the Hangover Regatta January 1. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year and hope to see you on the water on the 1st.
If you missed Saturday you missed a great sailing day with a south breeze 10 mph and warm temps. We had sixteen boats with a few people who have not sailed in quite sometime. Steve Parsons sailed with us for the fist time in about a year and Cheryl Taylor has not sailed in over a year.
The day started out with a very solid breeze with very few wind shifts (unusual conditions for the river) but by the fourth race the river had found its wind shifty groove.
Cary Comer came out of the gate rounding all of the marks in the first race in first and finished fourth on the day. Len Guenther warmed up after the first three races and finished with a 3-1-3-4 and good enoguh for third place overall. Justin Pollack was very consistent and finish the day with a first in the last race and second in the overall standings. Erich Hesse loved the steady southerly and took the first place honors.
Thanks to Jim Graham for organizing the regatta. Big thanks to Rick Welch, Aaron Boesenecker (thanks for the pictures) and another Lightning crew member for great RC and crunching the numbers by hand afterwards. Thanks to Steve Parsons, Len, and Farley with helping flipping burgers and rolling hot dogs. I think a great time was had by all.
Erich Hesse (Laser Fleet Captain)
Pictures: Lasers on the Lower course
Fourteen people showed up to take part in a 40 degree day on the last Sunday of January. The wind was from the east-northeast starting out light to variable in the last race. Erich Hesse and Ridley Nelson set up a windward-leeward course in the cove with the starting line within a stone’s throw of the Mount Vernon bike path. The winner of the day was Nabeel Alsalam and his winner’s write-up below. We had one new boat owner join us for the first time, Justin Pollack, who bought a boat that has been sitting at the marina. Justin had a good day after a long hiatus from Laser sailing and finished 2nd overall. We also had a friend of Alex Jacob, Shawn Golden, join us and they both showed the older/heavier people how to do it in the light air.
Here is a cool shot by Erich of Nabeel ghosting toward the finish. (Click to enlarge)
Continue reading Laser Frostbite 1/30/2011
The day after the Hangover Regatta in which 33 boats competed, only 6 boats showed up for the regular Sunday Frostbite series. We were treated to 6 races in light air.