After some wavering back and forth on land, once our numbers grew to six we decided to test the light drizzle and the faint zephyrs from the south. By the time we had rigged and pushed our boats into the water the wind strength and lessened and some of us watched the first to launch struggle to hold ground against the ebbing tide (the water was quite high, even for high tide).
For race one the faint wind and swung more north/northeast and the leaders did well to stay in the shallows as much as possible. I was solidly in the back (holding my position several yards above the start line) when I noticed smoke from stacks on the eastern shoreline pointing towards me. I adjusted my sail for a starboard reach and waited. There didn’t seem to be much evidence of the wind, but I slowly crept towards the front of the pack. After roughly 30 minutes, I finally rounded the windward leg and the easterly, though light, began to establish itself.
With the ever so slightly increasing wind, came an increasing rain and chill. We all voted to test our limits saying “just one more,” until we found ourselves concluding a third race and ready to call it a day. The outcome of the remaining races seemed to largely dependent on the start, some boat speed, and staying on the east side of the course.
Today turned out to be a nice and much needed day on the water. After all the cold weather and lack of wind, we decided to wait and see what happened. We decided after a 30 minute postponement to try and go out and hope the forecast proved to be true. Frank setup a course for us in the cove using the channel markers and a start line. We ended up doing several short windward leeward races and with each race, the breeze improved more and more. The rain stayed very light and the temps were very nice for a January day. Today the sailing was tough as the wind was pretty light . As usual, with the short duration of the races, the starts were pretty important. Frank had the boat on the port side of the start line. I almost had an altercation due to the fact that I was thinking about the start and where the boat was over how I was sailing and what tack I was on.
Hope to see everyone out next weekend!
Our Laser frostbite season has started! We race on Sundays on the Potomac River from November 18 to March 24, and we wrap up our season with the Capital City Regatta on March 30-31. Skippers meeting is at 12PM with the first start at 12:30PM. No races are started after 3:30PM. Come out and join us!
Notice of Races
While the fleet welcomes out-of-town guests, we ask in-town skippers to join PRSA (see the membership application). Contact Laser Fleet Captain Tom Hutton with questions.
The 2018 PRSA Calendar is now available for order! Use this link – http://www.calendarlink.org/prsa/home.html – to preview the calendar and order your very own. Congratulations to Lindsay Bach for snapping the winning cover photo!
Below are the preliminary (in case I’ve made mistakes) cumulative results for the 2017 Fall Series scored according to the NOR. Think of each day as a race with your standing at the end of the day as your finish in the race. If you did race committee that day, your score is the average of all the days you did sail. If you neither sailed nor did RC, your score is simply a blank. To qualify you need to have sailed or done race committee 4 days (50% of days your fleet sailed). Your score is the average of your best 4 days.
A big thanks to Tom Hutton for doing the Sundays scores.
2017 Fall Series – Albacores
2017 Fall Series – Buccaneers
2017 Fall Series – I20
2017 Fall Series – Lightnings
2017 Fall Series – Multi-Hull
Brrr… It was a chilly day. It did not get out of the 40s. AND the sun was not out. Still, there was a nice light breeze, and it was the last chance to sail until April, so we went sailing.
The tide was coming in and that light southerly breeze was very shifty but quite sailable. By the third race, the wind almost completely shut down and the RC mercifully shortened course at the 2nd windward mark.
Doing well was all about keeping the boat in the groove, not get too excited about tacking on every shift, and making smooth transitions at the marks On Shadowfax, I helmed the first race and Lisa-Marie Lane did the next two. She did just what I mentioned above and got two bullets! Great way to end the season.
A big thanks to Jeff Whitten, Bob Harford, Geoff Fuller, and Jim Lane for running the races. Thanks to Tom Hutton for doing the scores.
Frank Gallagher and his team of multi-hull sailors — Ben Arthur, Yates Dowell, and Jim Antonovich ran the races. The tide was in. So to save the sailors from going all the way up river, the RC ran the races off of the power plant.
Does someone who was there want to add some comments?
This past Sunday felt more like a professional training venue than a local club’s series. After a beautiful sunny and moderately breezy Saturday, I suspect Sunday’s forecast of rain and either too little or too much wind kept many sailors away. In reality, we experienced little to no rain while racing, enough wind for three competitive races, and began to receive the predicted gusts for the sail home.
The three lone participants (Farley, Barney, and myself) received unwavering attention from our two support boats. An active RC squared the course, captured action shots, and even fed us beer bread! I can’t thank RC enough for holding a great day of racing. Competitors saw both triangle and olympic courses, which offered a welcome relief from a constant dead downwind wing-on-wing leeward leg.
With just three boats, I focused on being on the line (or as near to it as I often dare – still working on that) and optimizing boat speed, while Marisa performed excellent compass work. We seemed to have just as good or better boatspeed and so I really worked at pointing higher than surrounding boats until I felt us start to slow down. Several of our passing maneuvers resulted from pure boat speed, while others from sailing in the lifts. All in all, it was a joy to be in our new boat Mega Woof and race against some stiff competition.
Fall Series #6 Photos by Nic Bogren
The air was light to non-existent. John Van Voorhis, our PRO for the day, postponed on shore. After a while though the sailors got restless and with the promise that the wind would come in around 1 pm decided to make an attempt to sail up river.
I thought those sailors were far too optimistic but Jess, Tom, and I decided to go up to Gravelly Point with Shadowfax in tow and see if the wind would come in. After sitting on the shore for quite a while, with planes landing over our head, we finally saw the first boat appear around the point. Then we saw that there was indeed some wind coming up the river from the south.
We got to work setting up Shadowfax and sailed south to where John had set up the course. We arrived in the starting area just as the first race was finishing up. Better late than never.
Unfortunately, I discovered I had left our spinnaker at home. Argh. We did well upwind but then had to point straight downwind sailing wing and wing with our weight all the way forward. Meanwhile the other sailors set their spinnakers but had the problem of to trying to keep them full which was no easy task in the light air. Jeff Neurauter and Heather Howard on their Bucc figured it out and sailed past us. However, we were able to keep the others just behind us at the leeward mark.
Bottom line, the wind was sufficient and it was a fun day of sailing! Never say die.