It was a familiar day on the river. The morning started with a nice northerly breeze, became increasingly unstable and then died, and finally picked back up again from the south. The tide was ebbing the whole time and the current got stronger and stronger.
When the wind was northerly, it was easy to see the patches of stronger wind and there were 20+ degree shifts only part of which could have been due to velocity changes. So the classic strategy of connecting the puffs or trying to sail in stronger and lifted breeze as much as possible consumed our attention and was successful in race 1 and most of race 2.
However, as the wind started to die and become unstable we made a classic mistake. We rounded the windward mark for the last downwind leg in the lead. The wind had shifted right and the wind looked better in the middle of the river so we gybed to port immediately. The fleet behind us did not gybe as quickly and so we were the furthest right (looking upwind). As the wind died we had to sail hotter to keep the boat moving, thereby moving further right. Initially, I was happy with our speed, but I ignored the fact that I was giving the fleet behind more and more leverage to catch up if the wind shifted even further right — a header (and downwind headers are good, especially for boats on the outside of the header, just the opposite from upwind). And that is exactly what happened. Despite the header, I was too far to the right of the course and had to gybe and come back on the unfavored starboard gybe while my competitors sailed deeper and directly to the mark on the favored port gybe. One boat (Aaron) passed us and another (Will Summers) arrived at the mark at the same time.
Lesson: When the wind is unpredictable and you are in the lead, cover the boats behind, i.e. stay in the middle of the course to take away their leverage and minimize any potential gains they can make from a wind shift. Plus that puts you in the position to adjust your course right or left to take advantage of a finger of wind coming down the river.
A big thank you to Yates Dowell, Ben Arthur, and Marc Carre who stepped up on Thursday to join Melissa Morgan and save us from having no one to run the races.
That is the last of the Spring Series but next Sunday there will be a fun Distance Race which is open to all.
The NOR for the PRSA Spring Regatta (May 27-28) has been posted and registration is now open. Visit the regatta website and register by May 21 to take advantage of the early registration discount. Once you’ve registered, help us spread the word about the regatta!
We have partnered with DC Sail once again to organize a spectator cruise aboard the American Spirit on Saturday of the Spring Regatta. Spectator cruise tickets are $20/person (or $25 for a combined cruise and Saturday dinner ticket). Tickets can be purchased via the regatta website. We have also posted complete details on the cruise in the “race documents” area on the regatta website.
The RC (Jim Antonovich, Leigh Boyle and Yates Dowell) ran three races in the cove today with winds typically about 12 out of the NNW with frequent higher gusts. The wind oscillated between W and N every few minutes all day. We got off the course early before the really hard gusts came in. A beautiful sunny day.
The Lightnings were at Leesylvania for their 33rd Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Regatta
2017 Doc Gilbert Results – Lightnings
PRSA sailors, this is the weekend to bring your friends out sailing and show them how much fun racing can be. Our regular spring racing series is suspended this week in order to hold our rookie regatta. Bring new friends out or let your crew take the helm. As always there will be an apres-sail pot-luck picnic at the grill. See you Sunday!
SIs are here
Results: Unfortunately, the wind was gusty. Only two or three boats wanted to try racing in those conditions and one of them capsized. So PRO Kyra Tallon cancelled the racing.
Please join us this Wednesday evening, April 5th, to hear NOAA meteorologist Bryan Jackson discuss how NOAA develops marine weather forecasts, and how you can best access this information.
We will be meeting at Heavy Seas Alehouse in Arlington, 1501 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA. Come straight back to the party room.
Socializing starts at 6:00 pm, Seminar begins at 7:00 pm.
We hope to see you there!!
Join us this weekend on the first day of 2017 for PRSA’s Annual Hangover Regatta. There’s no better way to nurse a hangover than by celebrating with the PRSA Laser fleet and racing with us on the Potomac River. Skippers meeting will be at 12:00, first races at 12:30.
NOR, SI, and Additional Information
We had over 50 people attend the 2016 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony, making it one of the best attended in recent years! I want to extend a very special thank you to Melissa Morgan and Heather Howard for all of their work in planning the AGM, organizing the food and drink, decorating the room, and generally ensuring good cheer such that a great time was had by all.
The PRSA Executive Committee was pleased to highlight our growth over the year, including a 5th consecutive year of membership growth and the highest total membership level (118 members) that we have seen since 2005! We were also pleased to recognize Aaron Boesenecker, Frank Gallagher, and Will Phillippe with PRSA perpetual awards awards. You can keep reading for additional details and links to the relevant documents, including the AGM Agenda, the list of PRSA Spring and Fall Series winners, details on the perpetual award winners, and your 2017 PRSA Executive Committee.
At the AGM each officer from the PRSA Executive Committee provided an update on the state of the association. The membership approved the creation of a committee to review the PRSA Constitution and bring a revised Constitution to the membership for approval at the 2017 AGM. We also celebrated the PRSA Spring Series and Fall Series winners in each class and awarded the PRSA Perpetual Awards to members who have contributed outstanding Service over the year. Finally, we approved a new PRSA Executive Committee for 2016.
PRSA Perpetual Award Winners
- Founder’s Trophy (for outstanding service to PRSA and for the general promotion of PRSA): Aaron Boesenecker
- Fleet Captain’s Award (recognizing outstanding race committee service): Frank Gallagher, for service at the 2016 PRSA President’s Cup
- Yates Dowell III Award (for exceptional administrative service to PRSA): Will Phillippe, for extensive and outstanding work maintaining and improving PRSA Equipment.
2017 PRSA Executive Committee
- Commodore: Kyra Tallon (congratulations Kyra!)
- Vice Commodore: Will Phillippe
- Rear Commodore: Nabeel Alsalam
- Treasurer: Yates Dowell
- Secretary: Nich Allen
- Also assisting the PRSA Executive Committee in 2016:
- PRSA Scorer: Farley Will
- Website Support: Stew Harris
- Committee for Social Activities & Outreach: Heather Howard, Lisa-Marie Lane, Melissa Morgan
- Committee for Sustainability: Laura Lake
- Committee to Review Governing Documents: Jeff Neurauter (and others TBD)
Finally a big thank you to our officers who served PRSA in 2016. Here’s looking forward to an excellent 2017!
Now is the time to pay your PRSA dues for 2017! The 2017 membership year starts on December 1, and you have until January 15, 2017 to pay your dues without late fee. Members paying on or after January 15, 2017, will be assessed a late fee of $25. After you fill out the membership form you will be offered the option of paying via PayPal or sending a check to our PRSA Treasurer.
Please remember that having our association members pay dues up front each year is of immense help to all of our PRSA volunteers. We can better allocate expenditures over the year, organize RC requirements, set up scoring systems in advance, and more. Your PRSA dues support boat and equipment maintenance, insurance, slip fees, and everything else that goes into allowing us to race each weekend. Of course, skippers must be paid PRSA members in order to qualify for the Laser Frostbite Series and the Spring and Fall racing series, and to be eligible to vote at the PRSA AGM.
As you pay your dues I would also encourage you to support the PRSA Commodore’s Club (a donation can be added to your 2017 membership payment). Whether big or small, any additional donation is a great help as we work on maintaining our equipment and conducting safe and fun racing each year. Many thanks, as well, to all of those who contributed to the PRSA Commodore’s Club in 2016: http://www.potomacriversailing.org/applications/membership/CommodoreClub.php.
I’m already looking forward to the 2017 sailing season, and I hope that you are as well!
We had a great day for racing this past Sunday! Six Lightnings, two Bucs, two Albacores, and an I-20 came out to play on a sunny day that featured some great, albeit shifty, breeze. PRO Farley Will and his crew did a great job managing a “wacky west wind” in setting a course that gave us a mix of O2, T2, T3, and O3 courses. The wind reports from National Airport show a breeze of 12-15 throughout the afternoon with the occasional gust in the 20s.
On board Beedobeat I was shorthanded, sailing with Piercarlo but no third. Given some of the tight reach angles (and a short-ish downwind leg due to the wind direction) we didn’t fly the spinnaker at all, but we were still right in the mix with the rest of the Lightnings, winning a few races and enjoying some great planing rides on the reach legs under jib and main alone (though we did have to work our butts off to keep the boat flat going upwind in some of te puffs!). Some of the Lightnings and Bucs did get their spins up, which mattered more on the Olympic courses with true downwind legs, I think. It wasn’t a guarantee, though, as I saw some boats struggle with controlling spinnakers in the puffs and shifts. The wind was not that crazy, though, and after 5 great races we headed back to shore for a BBQ under a wonderfully sunny (and warm!) fall sky.
Scores will be posted soon, and I think we will also have some great photos taken from the RC boats to post as well. Stay tuned!
The 2016 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 19, 6-9 pm, in the community room at Marina Towers in Alexandria, VA. Dinner & drinks will cost $25/person / $10/person for those under 21 (pay at the door with check or cash). This is always a great chance to see everybody and reminisce about another year of great sailing, so I hope to see you there! Please sign up here as soon as possible so that our volunteers can plan for the appropriate amount of food and drink.
Here is the basic schedule of events:
- 6:00 Appetizers & Drinks
- 6:30 Dinner
- 7:30 Business Meeting & Awards
- 7:30-8:00 Officer Reports
- 8:00-8:30 Open discussion
- 8:30-8:45 PRSA Spring & Fall Series Awards
- 8:45-8:55 PRSA Perpetual Awards
- 8:55-9:00 Discussion & approval of 2017 PRSA Executive Committee
- 9:00 Adjourn & Cleanup
A full agenda of the evening can be viewed here.
Racing Highlights & Results