Category Archives: 2017

PRSA Spring Regatta May 27-28

Thirty seven boats sailed in the PRSA Spring Regatta.

Saturday

The regatta started slowly with no wind on Saturday morning. ¬† The PRO wisely ūüôā made the decision to postpone ashore so that the sailors did not have to bob around in the sun. ¬† We were teased with a bit of wind right along the marina shoreline but it was glassy further out on the river. ¬†As the hours passed nothing came in. ¬† A couple of sailors ventured out onto the river and made great headway with the current but struggled to get back against it.

The cove had a bit of breeze and so the lower course PRO, Geof Fuller, gave the Penguins (3) and Lasers (2)  5 races.

Any attempt at upper course racing was abandoned at 1:30.  Many of the sailors were drinking beer by that time anyway.

The Lebanese Tavern brought the food just before 5.  Great stuff.  The rain came but two pop up tents protected most of the sailors as they munched and drank.

Sunday

It began as a cool cloudy day with a 7-8 mph east breeze.  The current was an hour into its ebb cycle as the races began.   The PRO (me, Nabeel) set up  O-2 courses:  triangle, windward-leeward, finish upwind.  With five classes in four starts, it was busy.  After the Flying Scots started race 3 and the Multi-Hulls/Lightnings started race 4,  some rain came and killed most of the wind.  After rounding the windward mark, those sailors did everything they could to keep from being swept down river by the strengthening ebb current.   The RC shortened course at the leeward mark and everybody rode the current back to the marina.

Results

Congratulations to Lisa-Marie Lane in the Lightning class for winning her first regatta and getting her name engraved on the Katherine Hearst award for the woman beating the most boats in the regatta.

Congratulations to Marty Minot in the Albacores for winning that the largest class in the regatta.  It was also the Albacore Mid-Atlantic Championship and he also gets his named engraved on the Len E. Penso award for being the sailor over 50 to beat the most boats.

RESULTS

Thanks to the RC team for giving us races:

Lower course: Geof Fuller & Amy Krafft

Upper course: Nabeel Alsalam, Barney Harris, Jess Harrington, John Hart, and Magda Bugajska.

Thanks to the social team for the just as important food & drink:

Heather Howard and Melisa Morgan

Thanks to the protest committee for a quick and thoughtful resolution of one minor incident:

Aaron Boesenecker, John Van Voorhis, and Marty Minot.

Report from Marty & Jordan Minot:
PRSA Spring Regatta and Albacore Mid-Atlantic Championship 2017

The supposedly two-day Mid-Atlantic Championship at PRSA ended instead as a day on the beach followed by a quick succession of fluky, but competitive, races on Sunday.

Saturday’s forecast was for a very light day on the Potomac and, unfortunately this proved to be the case. Even the weatherman‚Äôs (or phone app‚Äôs) promise of a few knots in the afternoon didn‚Äôt materialize until very late in the day, too late to organize anything in the way of racing. With not enough breeze to even fight the current, no wind meant no racing for the first day.

An improved forecast for Sunday promised a second day. The morning started out very light but improved to a light breeze out of the ESE. With the air moving, the fleet and the Race Committee headed out at the appointed time, hoping to make up for our lackluster Saturday.

During the first race, the breeze that had been merely present came in stronger and was enough to have both skipper and crew sitting on the rail. Though the tide had been more or less slack when we launched, by the first gun the current was already ebbing briskly as we worked our way upwind. Relatively constant in direction, the breeze seemed fairly even across the course, with no one side highly favored. Watching the Buccaneers beat to the windward mark, it seemed that some of the boats on the right side of the course had a slight advantage, and this proved to be true for our race as well. The breeze held for the entire race, a relatively short Olympic course, and the fleet was close and competitive throughout.

By the second race, the breeze had fallen away somewhat and became a little streaky, with unpredictable puffs scattered over the course. Boats separated by just a few boat lengths would get different breezes‚ÄĒa fact that was especially frustrating to us as we watched Khin Thein¬†cruise on a puff from the final leeward mark to snatch away the lead. If the decreased volume and increased flukiness of the wind did not dampen spirits, the few sprinkles of rain that had started to fall were not especially welcome.

Race three was much lighter still, but there was just enough wind to fight against the current, although the jib never seemed to fill completely. The evaporation of the breeze was accompanied by an increase in the rain, at times fairly heavy. The harder rain further worsened the wind, which fell to nearly nothing. This near-complete disappearance of the wind coincided with the fleet’s rounding of the final leeward mark. Our boat, which had a less-than perfect start, had climbed up the fleet in the downwind leg and were behind the main pack when the wind gave up. With the current pushing us to port of the mark, we slowly made our way around, using what little wind and momentum we had to get to leeward and starboard of the mark, finally letting the current help us around. One final puff helped edge most of the fleet upwind to the finish but quickly this too went away. The other classes, having just started a race, were not so lucky and stalled halfway through their first reach leg, ultimately finishing at the leeward mark. After waiting to see if the wind which had been so promising in the morning would return and seeing no signs, the race committee dismissed the fleet, most of which had been taken down the river by the current anyway.

Overall, it was a fun, if shorter, regatta with tight, competitive sailing and some really good Lebanese food for dinner Saturday. The Race Committee ran an impressive operation, managing to get the different fleets started and racing as quickly as possible so that we were able to make the most of what the wind would give us.

2017 Spring Series #5 – May 14

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-Spring-5-Albacore
2017-Spring-5-Buccaneer

2017 Doc Gilbert Results – Lightnings

2017 Spring Series #3 – April 23

We got more practice in light air sailing which seems to require 1) patience and 2) and zen with the wind and current. The wind was loosely speaking from the northeast and after dying it usually, but not always, came back from the east. In the Lightning class, Bob Astrove showed off how good he is in these light conditions.

2017-Spring-Series-3-Albacore
2017-Spring-Series-3-Buccaneer
2017-Spring-Series-3-I20
2017-Spring-Series-3-Lightning

2016/2017 Laser Frostbite Series #16 – 3/19/17

Sunday March 19, 2017.  Good weather for the last day of frostbiting.  It was sunny but cool with winds in the 10-15 mph range from the northwest.  We got in 5 races, all olympic course, and I did well in all but the last one.

My general start tactic on a heavier wind day is what I think of as a drift start.  I hang out past the committee boat on the right side of the course.  With about 30 second to go I power up and head for somewhere on the line.  When a bunch of boats bunch up at the committee boat there is enough wind to get to leeward of them and make it to the line on time.  If the boat end folks are early they will head down the line and leave a nice window.  This worked well today on most races and I was competitive to the windward mark.

On the course I used my normal heavy wind tactics namely, tight vang, medium outhaul and Cunningham, then lots of hiking.  I ease my outhaul 100% at the windward mark to give more power downwind and I ease the vang to about 50%.  The eased vang I find (and have heard) helps to bear away.  The triangle legs of the olympic were great and I think I reached a plane on most downwind legs.  This is super fun and I was able to make up some ground if I caught a puff.

I did have issues keeping my mainsheet running clean.  I had a few issues on the course because of this.  Twice I had the sheet wrapped around a foot causing me to tack rather than duck a starboard boat.  I also had a serious knot at one of the windward roundings that I had to undo before I could bear away.  Mainsheet discipline will be something for me to work on for windier days.   Still a fun last day, I’m looking forward to Cap City next week!

2016_2017 PRSA Laser Frostbite Series #16

2016-2017 Laser Frostbite Series #15 ‚Äď 3/12/17

Sunday turned out to be one of the first actual frostbite days this season.  The breeze was predicted to be from the west at 10-16 with a high of 42.  It was pretty close to that.  The breeze was super shifty and puffy.  Rarely do you see it on the river come from every direction.  During the races the breeze was mostly swinging between the north and south.  Big thanks to race committee for running the races, especially to James Jacob for bringing is own boat down and giving us a mark boat to try and fix the course each race.

As far as the racing, I was surprised that I got third.  The scores were all over the place.  Winning the start did not guarantee a good race with how shifty it was.  We ran 3 W1, 1 W2 and 2 olympics.  We had some nice breeze and some lulls.  After a lull, typically one of the sides would pay off.  During the nice breeze on the olympics, we got to do some fun planing as well as between races.  We were able to see a few capsizes as well (including my own haha).
A quick summary on the season this far.  We currently have 16 people qualifying.  There are a couple of battles going on in the scores.  Will Summers and I are duking it out for 2nd place.  Jim Klein and Claus are battling for 6th.  And Kat and Francisco are tied with Kat winning the tie breaker.  We have just one more weekend to mix it up a little more.  Hope to see everyone out next weekend!

2016_2017 PRSA Laser Frostbite Series #15

2016-2017 Laser Frostbite Series #14 ‚Äď 3/5/17

The wind prediction the night before called for 0 wind gusting to 1 mph.¬† The morning of this looked to be a very accurate prediction.¬† We talked a bit about should we go out or shouldn‚Äôt we, who needs more races to qualify (I do), and other light wind things. ¬†We were leaning towards heading home when Will as RC says ‚Äúwe‚Äôll just race in the cove!‚ÄĚ

The first race in the cove was a bit more off the docks than in the cover proper but the course was not terrible.  I got exactly the start I wanted, at the pin end trying to port tack the fleet.  It was 0% successful.  Not only did I not beat anyone off the line but everyone passed in front of me without my needing to duck.  The once around was a bit slow and very little tacking was required but it worked.  I finished like I started but all sailing is fun. Toward the end the wind looked better so we picked up and headed into the river.

In the river the wind was a flunky as you would expect for a light-wind-from-the-west kind of day.  I have one rule I follow for light wind starts which is don’t get too far from the line.  This worked reasonably well and I managed to stay closer to the front of the fleet.  Light wind is not my favorite and I tend not to do so well.  I’m attributing getting 3rd place on luck, which I will of course gladly take.

My favorite part about this cold and still day, aside from the racing, was sitting between the races.  If you maneuver your boat so you are in the sun you can let the sun heat you up and get much warmer, almost toasty. It was slightly silly and pleasant. Definitely a nice day to be out on the river.

2016_2017 PRSA Laser Frostbite Series #14