Welcome back, one and all, to another season of frostbiting on the Potomac! Congrats to Len for winning the day with another consistent performance today. As has become our custom, the third place finisher writes up a summary of the day’s racing. Here goes:
Winds and Course: The winds today were tricky, coming out of the northwest-ish forecast at about 10 kts, with gusts expected in the high teens. We were racing out in the river, just north of the power plant and starting off to the east side. We ran a total of six Windward / Leewards, two laps a piece, starting and finishing in the middle. In total, we had 18 racers out there today—great start of the season. The breeze was moving around quite a bit as we got closer and closer to the windward mark, which made things interesting throughout the day.
Boat Setup: Nothing special to speak of today regarding how I set up the boat. I didn’t use much vang at all, and for the most part my downhaul was either on too much or too little given the up-and-down velocity.
Starts: The pin was heavily favored all day, and getting off the line in clear air was essential to a good performance. I was surprised at how little congestion there was at the pin-end for most of the starts—often times, the breeze would lighten up and people would only get about half-way to two thirds of the way down the line by the time the gun went off. I focused on staying outside the pin until about 45 seconds, and setting up in the last 25% of the line to get a clean, favorable start. This worked most of the time, aside from one race where my tiller wrapped itself in my mainsheet, and the last race when I was about two seconds early and had to go back.
Upwind: The beats were pretty challenging today, given the often-changing velocity and direction, as well as the low-flying aircraft overhead. I found that for the first four or five races, it paid off to stay a little left of center, and ride the port tack lift up most of the way. Once I was 2/3 s of the way to the mark and things started getting shifty, I found that tacking on pretty much every shift was the way to go. Occasionally, I stayed on the port-tack lift a little longer, and that ended up resulting in losses rather than gains. On the rare occasion that I went out way to the left, I lost velocity to the point that it cost places; also, when I had to go back to re-start in the last race, I ended up really struggling on both beats since I had to navigate dirty air and other boats throughout.
Downwind: Can’t offer much here, as my downwind performance has really fallen off lately. A couple of tips: make sure you keep up your speed coming around that windward mark, rather than worrying too much about having the perfect course straight away (that one was from Len); another lesson learned occurred when messing with Farley coming into the leeward mark in race 2, and I neglected to look over my transom to check the puffs coming, resulting in a brief swim. I’m apparently a slow learner, as it happened to me twice today, both times in the same spot.
Bonus tip: when getting dressed to head out, I noticed both Len and Kevin had on wetsuit hiking pants. Given the water temp was sub-50, I thought to myself “these guys are INSANE; I’m definitely going ‘dry suit’ today”. Only a few minutes later did I notice they had put dry suits on over the hiking pants. Given the way I feel below the waist right now, their approach makes a lot more sense.
Big thanks to Keith and his wife for getting six races off today under challenging conditions. It was great being out on the water again; I look forward to seeing many of you again next time I make it out.
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!
It was a pleasantly warm day on the Potomac with a good bit of breeze. SailFlow shows winds in the high teens for most of our racing period with a few gusts in the high 20s. It turned out to be very nice with some good wind for planing and surfing. 3 races were held and the RC also organized a fun race back to the dock for beer!
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!
A handful of Lightnings and one hearty Buccaneer came out Sunday for what turned out to be a beautiful day of sailing. The forecast was for high winds and possible thunderstorms, but despite a few gusts early in the and some grey clouds it ended up being a wonderful day on the water. PRO Kyra Tallon and her crew got us 4 beautiful races in a steady southerly breeze. The wind filled in over the course of the day such that the gusts diminished and the overall velocity became more consistent in the 12-15 range. There were a few shifts on the day, notably a big lefty in race 3 that ran counter to the overall advantage one gained by sailing right (west) to find breeze and some shifts. It was a great day to work on boat balance, trim, and downwind angles in a bit of breeze (but not too much). Fun was had by all and we were back to the dock by 2:30 thanks to a high tide that allowed us to sail just outside the airport pier (though I did dig my centerboard into the mud a few times later in the day). Overall it was a great way to round out the Spring Series racing!
- Results – 2016 Spring Series #8 – Lightnings
- Amazing photos taken by Nic Bogren on the mark boat.
- Check the PRSA Facebook page for some more photos from Dan Dunham taken from the signal boat.
What a fantastic weekend! The weather cooperated, and our excellent race committees (headed by Rolf on the upper course and Stephanie on the lower course) did a fantastic job of getting us a lot of great racing. The lower course boats completed 7 races on Saturday and the upper course boats completed 8 races over two days. We had 47 boats and nearly 100 sailors competing overall, which is a fantastic turnout!
Final results have been posted to the Regatta Website and you can see some great photos from Day 2 taken by Lindsay Bach here. I also want to extent a huge thank you to Heather, Melissa, and Lisa-Marie for all of the time and effort that they spent organizing food and beverages (the BBQ was amazing and the drink selection was phenomenal!) and for managing our PRSA merchandise. A lot of folks now have fantastic PRSA bling to sport on the water! Overall I’m very thankful to all of the dozens of people who volunteered to help make this such a fantastic regatta.