Well the Spring Series is now a wrap. We had great turnout on the last day of the series with Albacores, Buccaneers, Hobies, and Lightnings all coming out to play. The weather was… Well it was… what? A bit cloudy, hot, the breezes were light to non existent, and generally east except for the thermals coming off the airport. The current was a major factor. The RC, headed by Nathan Marsh did a good job in some trying conditions. The first race was almost time limited, but most boats managed to finish. The next two races were better, but all in all it was a painful day for everyone. Still a rough day on the water is better than a day spent doing anything else. Here are the scores:
Another great day of racing this past Sunday. It started off light, but then it kicked in and we got a perfect 8-10 kt southerly. Eric Hakanson was our intrepid PRO for the day, ably assisted by members of the Lightning Fleet. In spite of the fact that the Lightnings lost 2 boats to RC duty, we put 10 boats on the line. 3 Albacores came out to play even though most of the fleet was away at a regatta. We had 4 Hobies and 2 Buccaneers to round out the competitors. Eric set up a nice Windward-Leeward course for us and smartly got off 4 races in the building breezes. What a day. Check out the scores here:
This Saturday and Sunday is our annual Spring Regatta, so don’t miss it!! Then the following Sunday we close out the Spring Series with a bang.
Well if you did not make it out this past Sunday, you missed the best sailing day of the year so far. Seven Lightnings, three Albacores, and three Hobies came out to play on a beautiful day that sported winds from the South @ 10-12 kts all day. PRO Nathan Marsh and his team set up a nice long Windward Leeward course off the Airport and got us four great races. See Aaron Boesneckers Lightning write-up here. Judging from all the big grins I saw around the cranes after racing, a good time was had by all. Here are the scores:
Yesterday the Laser fleet conducted races for 3 Albacores, 2 Buccaneers and 3 Catamarans. Racing was conducted in the cove due to light winds, forecasted rain, and race committee boat problems. Wind for the first race was light and from the NNE, after the start of race 1 the wind shifted 90 degrees to the east and was fairly consistent thereafter. We ran 2 windward-leeward and then 3 Olympics races for the Albacores and Buccaneers for a total of 5 races. The Catamarans opted to start with the other fleets, but then raced into the river and completed 2 races. Winds steadily increased throughout the day and the forecasted rain never arrived.
Well as usual, the forecasters got it all wrong. The forecast? Sunny skies, temps in the low to mid 70’s, and 0-5 kts of breeze. What we got? Cloudy skies with a bit of rain, temps in the 60’s and 7-9 kts of breeze. Except for the rain, it was a great day to be on the river. The other notable thing about our racing on Sunday was the CURRENT! It was really something. A definite factor around the windward mark, and also at the start line. In the second race, Ariel almost could not get behind the line before the 5 minute deadline. We just made it. You are probable thinking – Ha Jeff you should know better than to stray from the race area before a start. Well I’ll tell you that at the first signal we were only 3 boat lengths from the line!! It is spooky to be sailing in breeze and not going anywhere against the current. Anyway, we had Lightnings, Albacores, and Hobies out having fun on Sunday. The RC was ably handled by Dan Miller and the Albacores. Here are the scores:
After a few days of heavy rains and the remnants of a front still blowing through, the conditions were tricky on the river for the third Spring Series. The gusty westerly was in the teens for most of the day, and most boats opted to run wing-and-wing downwind in the heavier stuff, waiting for the breeze to ease or for better angles away from the airport shore before popping the kite. A good start was paramount, and then keeping the boat on its feet and shifting gears became the key to success. The river level and flow were both extraordinarily high and the tide was also running out, which made for a fierce combination of current, tide flow, and near flood-stage discharge flow to combat as we sailed E-W across the river. The RC had trouble getting the windward mark to stay put, and once you did make it around, it seemed that no matter how far north you pointed the boat, you still ended up well south of the leeward mark near the channel, having to jib-reach back up to it before going upwind (and across the current once again).
The day showed the importance of having a fully staffed race committee, with 2 individuals on the mark and crash boat as well as enough hands on the Bayliner for flags, horns, writing, and scoring. Two Buccaneers did flip in the gusty conditions, and though each boat was quickly righted and continued sailing, having a crash boat at the ready to provide assistance was critical for everybody’s safety and peace of mind. As PRO Bobby Astrove noted: “I was quite nervous with today’s weather forecast. When I got to the marina at 7:45 a.m. it was hooting, high teens for wind and gusts to 30. It settled down by 9:30, we had what I think was a windy but nice day. Very strong current. Obviously had a hard time getting the windward mark to stick without a Danforth anchor. We eventually added a second anchor and that did the trick. Special thanks to all my RC helpers: Brian Bishop, Michael Brown, Rose Gentile, Catherine Calvin, Bill Buck, and Joe Warren. I thought we were going to be way short and in the end people stepped up and I thought it went well.” Great job to Bobby and the RC crew for getting us 4 races in these conditions and keeping us all safe!
In the racing, Frank (sailing with Farley and Mladin) had the hot hand, winning 3 of the 4 races (nice work Frank!). Nabeel (sailing with Craig and Stefano) followed Frank around for most of the day, but took the fourth race after a great start. Rick (sailing with Lisbet and Aaron) was also competing, as were Will, Alex, and Brian on #14395. Chris Kozell was out for the first race, but struggled with a cranky Cunningham and ended up retiring. Mark Ewing, sailing with his young son George and a friend, also joined us on the racecourse for their introduction to the Potomac’s “wacky west wind” as Jeff calls it. And speaking of Jeff, it was great to see him along with Bruce and Becky down at the Marina getting Ariel ready for future Sunday Series racing and (we hope) the Potomac Cup. Glad to see you!
After the racing we gathered in the picnic area for some food, drink and good cheer. A few folks who hadn’t made it out for the racing (as well as a few family members who had strolled down to the marina) joined us around the grill. The wind gusted up far beyond anything we had seen on the racecourse as we traded stories, but with some warm sunshine (finally!) we all enjoyed a great end to the afternoon.
There is no racing next weekend due to Easter, but we’ll look for you all in two weeks for the next Spring Series–the final chance to tune up before the Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup on May 7-8. Make sure you’ve signed up!
We had a great day sailing for our first Spring Series race. Ben Ackerman and the Catamarans did a great job on RC getting us off on 4 races with the wind shifting from the north to the west throughout the day. Six or so Lightnings, 4 Buccs, 4 Lasers and 2 Albacores came out to play. According to the wind report from DCA it started out near 20mph at 10am and by 3pm was around 5mph. It felt more like 12-15 all day with gusts here and there. After racing we grilled some dogs and drank some beer, was a good time. Hope to see you next week, there was some left over beer we’ll bring next week.
Don’t forget our next on land training event is this Wednesday at Indigo Landing. Barney Harris will be leading a discussion on local sailing knowledge. Don’t miss this one, 7pm!