Category Archives: News

News, Pictures, Etc.



For the last several weeks I have been trying out/building/creating a new way for PRSA to host images and videos. It is called Zest Factor ( and is still very much a work in progress. However, its at a stage I need to start seeing if it all works.  I have uploaded and set up 3 play lists of images to share, including the pics Erich Hesse took on 09/20 FS#1. Also pics of Nabeels boat after the T-bone, and Pats boat after the capsize. Enjoy. 

 Links and pics after the break:

Continue reading News, Pictures, Etc.

Fall Series #6 10/25/2009 Scores

Well it looked promising as we left the dock with northerly breezes in the low teens. By the time we got up to the race course however, it had started to fade. We sailed the first race in 6-8 with big shifts from right to left and back again. The race committee set up a nice long course, triangles for some and WL’s for others. The second race started in 1-4 and faded to near zero by the time I crossed the finish line. Very painful and frustrating race. Anyway, it was a beautiful day to be on the water, and the beers were cold so a good time was had on Ariel. In all 3 Cats, 4 Albacores and 6 Lightnings came out to play. Where is everybody?

 Scores are up after the break:

Continue reading Fall Series #6 10/25/2009 Scores

PRSA Fall Series # 6, Sunday, October 25!

Eric Johnson was PRO, with RC provided by the Albacores and others.  The AccuWeather forecast  for Sunday called for mostly sunny skies, a high of 65 degrees, and northerly winds at 10 MPH.  The river flow was above normal,  at 5,360 CFS (gage height 3.4 ft).  The water temperature was a seasonal 58 degrees. Low tide was at 8:42 AM and high tide at 2:25 PM.  Winds were lighter than predicted, and it only made it to 61 degrees, but it was still an improvement over the previous weekend’s weather. The Marine Corps Marathon was Sunday morning, so there were street closures in downtown DC, and a view of the runners on the road in East Potomac Park during the first race.  Here is Eric’s report:  “It looked like it was going to be a great day was we were motoring up to the course, with a cool, steady 10-12kt northerly breeze, but the wind started to drop out right around 11:30.  We were seeing pretty dramatic changes in direction, oscillating from NE to NW on about a 10-minute cycle, as well as steadily decreasing wind speeds, so we called it a day after two races. We wound up towing several of the boats in, as the wind dropped to zero after (and during) the last race.  There were six Lightnings, three Cats, and four Albacores in attendance.”  Results to be posted soon.

Fall Series #4 10/11/2009 Scores – and Photos!

What a simply beautiful day on the river yesterday. 7 Lightnings and 8 Hobies came out to play (The Albacores were away at their National Championship) on a gorgeous fall day with temps near 70 and light breezes out of the North. Rick Welch dominated the Lightnings with 4 (count ’em) 4 bullets. Wow. On the Hobie side Bob Etheridge won the day. It was really nice to see such a great turnout from the Hobie class this week.  Photos by John Butler here (thanks, John!) Scores are after the break:

Continue reading Fall Series #4 10/11/2009 Scores – and Photos!

PRSA Fall Series # 4, Sunday October 11!

Eight Hobies outnumbered the seven Lightnings on the race course on a beautiful fall 69-degree sunny day!  Not only that, five of the 7 Lightnings were short crew!  PRO  Nabeel Alsalam set a long leeward – windward course with the windward mark near the entrance to Roaches Run, and the leeward mark near the entrance to the Anacostia, and got off four races in quick succession.  The winds were in the range predicted (7 MPH) but were up and down, with some serious shifts. One gust knocked over a Hobie in the second race, but other than that the winds were gentle enough to allow double-handed spinnaker flying, some successful.  Low tide was at 9:14 AM and high tide at 2:32 PM.  The river flow was well below normal for this time of year, at 1,410 CFS (gage height 2.7 ft) and the water was a seasonal 64 degrees.  Results and stories to be posted soon

Fall Series #3 10/04/2009 Scores

8 Lightnings and 8 Albacores came out to play on a beautiful gusty day. The RC set up a nice long 3 lap Olympic course with the windward mark all the way up by Roaches Run. Because the wind was out of the NW with frequent shifts west, the “Triangle” portion of the course was not much of an angle. It was more like a very long offset. At the start, winds were in the 10-15 range with gusts to 25. This faded as the day progressed, and actually got quite light by the time everyone came in. Rick Welch won the day for the Lightnings, while Barney Harris took top honors for the Albacores. Special thanks for Special Olympians Frank Altrichter, Rod Sellers, and Isaac Sellers for help on RC. Scores after the break:

Continue reading Fall Series #3 10/04/2009 Scores

How to recover a Lightning from a Capsize!

Jeff Storck had the unfortunate experience on October 4 of catching a strong gust as he was tacking, with his centerboard temporarily on the river bottom, and quickly found his boat capsized and his crew in the water.  He was asked how he recovered; his story is listed below, along with the subsequent comments that were exchanged in the email dialog. 

One point not made in the dialog is that if there is ever any possibility of a capsize, you must put on your PFDs before you leave the dock, and keep them on until after your return.  Also, pay attention to the water temperature and be aware of the effects of hypothermia and how quickly it can slow down your mental processes — which is why it is very important, when the water is 64 degrees, as it was yesterday, to have crash boats on the race course when capsizes are possible — to rescue CREW — not boats.

Continue reading How to recover a Lightning from a Capsize!

PRSA Fall Series # 3, Sunday, October 4!

(As of Monday, 10/5/09) Yates Dowell was PRO, with RC provided by the Cats.  The brisk, refreshing days of October have arrived, promising dry sunny days and good winds.  The AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change)  called for mostly sunny skies, winds from the NW at 8 – 14 MPH, and a high temperature of 74 degrees. The river flow was  slightly below normal for this time of year, at 2,070 CFS (gage height 2.8 ft), and the water had cooled to 64 degrees. High tide was at 8:59 AM and low tide at 3:23 PM.  Gusts to 25 from 10 AM to 1 PM made for challenging conditions, causing multiple boats to capsize, and sending some competitors back to the dock early. 

Continue reading PRSA Fall Series # 3, Sunday, October 4!

Fall Series #2 09/27/2009 Scores

What a beautiful day it turned out to be last Sunday, although as my crew will tell you “I hate Westy’s!” 🙂  The RC set up a long (or maybe I should say wide) Triangle course that made it a real tactical choice for the Lightnings on whether to try and carry the kite on the very tight reach legs. It also made for some interesting reach-to-reach jibes at the jibe mark. As usual when we get a westy (Did I mention I hate Westy’s!) crew work was at a premium. Frank Gallagher was very consistant in winning the day for the Lightnings, while Steve Parsons took the honors for the Albacores. On a side note, it was great to see Khin & Thant on their beautiful new Albacore fresh in from England. Click the “Read More” to see the scores:

Continue reading Fall Series #2 09/27/2009 Scores

PRSA Fall Series # 2, Sunday September 27!

(Posted 9/28/09) David Thompson was PRO, with RC provided by Lightnings.  The AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change) called for cloudy skies in the morning, clearing in the afternoon, with a possible morning shower, and a high temperature of 76 degrees.  Winds were  forecasted to be from the west at 8 – 12 MPH, with higher gusts.  Low tide was at 10:21 AM and high tide at 4:06 PM.  The river flow was currently near normal for this time of year, at 2,120 CFS (gage height 2.9 ft) and the water temperature had cooled to 69 degrees. 10 Lightnings came out, along with 5 Albacores,  on a mostly sunny day with westerly winds 6 – 10 MPH.  RC set a triangular course with the windward mark near the airport’s radar tower (the one on stilts) and the leeward mark to the east, at the edge of the navigable channel, and started the first race promptly at 11:30.  Winds did change direction and intensity over the course of the afternoon, fading to almost nothing at the end of the third race, before David decided to call it a day and head home. We had most boats put away by 4 PM when an intense, but short rain squall hit, soaking all those who were still securing their craft.  Scores to be posted soon.