UPDATED May 10! Two days of strong northerly winds had pushed a lot of the tidal Potomac River water south, and that, coupled low tide around noon, made for the lowest water level we have ever seen on the river at the marina. The mud flats adjacent to the airport pier were actually above water; a windsurfer was seen walking his rig upstream in chest-high water in the middle of the channel; the ribs of the sunken wreck were two feet above the water surface. The AccuWeather forecast had called for sunny skies, with winds from the NW at 15 – 20 MPH, and gusts to 25, and they got the sunny skies part right, but the wind turned out to be stronger and gustier than predicted. Three Lightnings, four Albacores, and two Cats splashed, and RC did set out for Haines point to try to set up a long windward-leeward course as far upriver as they could, but the strong gusty winds and low water made them change their mind, and racing was canceled at 11:30 AM.
Good wind, good temperatures, good waves and good race committee work made for great sailing this Sunday. We had 4 or 5 Bucs, 2 hobies, and 5 albs out on the race course sailing 4 windward leeward twice around races and 1 Triangle. 5 races total. With the wind picking up later in the day only Heinsdorf, Harris and Hesse stayed for the final race. Must be something about ‘Hs” The albs brought a ringer skipper from Toronto and a ringer crew from California. Harris, in his new state of age, showed a little mind slipping as he overstood the finish in race 2 and wanted to go around again. Don’t know what that was all about. Heinsdorf once again demonstrated his quick reactions as he dunked his brother crew while he scrambled to the rail for safety during a leeward mark rounding capsize.
Thanks to the race committee: Bill Buck; Susan Graham, Nathan Marsh, and mystery girl (Heinsdorf’s brother’s friend). And to the use of a GW crash boat. After racing, Lee pulled out the leftovers including BEER from the monster party on Friday for everyone to feast on. Thanks to everyone for the good time. Results after the break:
The annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Regatta was held this past weekend down at Leesylvania State Park on the Potomac River. This year, in addition to the 25 Lightnings on hand, we had 9 Flying Scots join us for two days of great racing. Saturday was mostly clear with breezes from the SSW at 6-12kts, and on Sunday we got 10-15 under mostly cloudy skies. The conditions were just plain ideal for some really tight racing at times. The Lightning class was won by Ed Adams in a tight match with John Faus. I have to point out, however, that young Justin Copan really dominated the weekend with 4 bullets and a third. Why didn’t he win? Unfortunately for him, one of those bullets turned into a 26 as he was OCS. DOH!! Other than that faux pas, he really put on a clinic for us. On the Flying Scot side, David Neff won the top honors with 3 bullets and 2 deuces. Another dominant performance. As usual, Fleet 50 put on an excellent regatta, with some great RC work headed up by Bruce Bingman. Of course the awesome weather didn’t hurt either! complete scores after the break:
The forecast was glum, which I am sure caused a lot of people to stay home. Shame on you if you did! The weather turned out to be beautiful, with near perfect sailing conditions. Winds were from the south at 8-12 knots. What more could you ask for. We got three races in before the RC, believing the erroneous weather report, sent us home for the day. What a shame, we could have gotten a fourth race in. Lesson learned – Never believe the weather man over the evidence of your own eyes! Oh well, a good time was had by all anyway. Scores after the break:
On Saturday 04/24/2010 five Penguins came out for their annual Len Penso Regatta. This Regatta has been held here at PRSA for 75 years making it the longest running annual event in our history. The day was cloudy with occasional light rain and breezes from the south at 4-8 knots. PRO Jeff Storck, with the help of Paul Maher and Dan Miller set up a windward-leeward course in the cove and got off five races in the light air conditions. The day was dominated by Charlie Krafft who scored 4 bullets and a deuce for a total score of 6 points. See all the scores after the break:
Updated 4/26/10 — Seven Lightnings came out along with 4 Hobies, 3 Albacores, and a Laser on a day with a NOAA forecast of heavy weather arriving sometime after 2 PM (which it did, but north and west of DC). Before 2 PM, the winds were predicted to be from the south at 8 – 9 MPH under cloudy skies, with a high temperature of 75 degrees, and that’s exactly what we got, except that the clouds dissipated by the end of the first race. PRO David Thompson and RC set up a windward-leeward course and got off three races in quick succession, finishing the 3rd race at exactly 2:00 PM, then sending boats home to ensure a safe ride and retrieval at the cranes before the heavy weather hit (which never did here, except that winds increased to 20 MPH after 3 PM). Results to be posted soon.
UPDATED 4/19/10 — The AccuWeather Forecast called for sunny skies, a high of 60 degrees, and winds from the NW at 14 – 18 MPH, and that’s about what we got, except that it was cloudier and chillier than predicted. The river flow, at 9,150 CFS (gage height 3.9 ft) was below normal for this time of year, and the water temperature was down to 62 degrees. High tide was at 11:26 AM. 10 Lightnings and 3 Albacores came out. Yates Dowell and the Hobie fleet set up a triangular course and got off three races in quick succession, and we were all back at the docks by 3 PM. During docking on the return, Erich Hesse in his Albacore came screaming straight in to the slot between two of the crane docks, made an incredibly tight U-turn, and stopped the boat along side the north dock with bow pointed out — stunning! Crew Lars Rathjen, standing on Eric’s forward deck, then stepped neatly off the deck — and right into the water! It was a site worthy of a bloopers video. Fortunately, no injuries, other than to Lars’ psyche. Results after the break:
What an outstanding day, weatherwise, for the first race day of the 2010 season — sunny skies, a high of 75 degrees, and gentle breezes made for Bermuda shorts attire and fun conversations. Erich Hesse and his ace Albacore RC crew got off three races in somewhat challenging wind conditions — a 9 MPH southerly at the start of the first race, but dying off to an ESE at 3 MPH at 2 PM, then coming back up later in the afternoon, reaching 12 MPH at 6 PM, well after we were off the water. The river flow was slightly below normal for this time of year, at 12,500 CFS (gage height 4.2 ft) and the water temperature was 62 degrees. Low tide was at 1:42 PM; High tide at 7:31 PM. 8 Lightnings came out, along with 3 Hobies, 2 Albacores, and a Flying Scot. Results after the break:
We had a fabulous day of racing New Years Day! Temps were in the 40F’s and winds were around 8 to 12MPH. We had a total of 22 boats participate. Winds were coming out of the north so the RC set up a course in the cove with the start line just north of the docks. There were 6 races on an Olympic course. Erich Hesse won the day with Dave Teale taking second and Robert Bennett taking third place. Big thanks to our great RC, Mike Heinsdorf, Tom Berlin, Barney Harris, Lee Sayasithsena and Latte. They did a great job and kept the course square all day. Jeff got some pretty cool video, check it out below. Results and pictures are on the Laser site here:
A nice little Sunday was by all on the water. Sam Dobbs, Kevin, and I ran races from the 16′ skiff. 7 races were completed. As you might imagine, it was pretty warm for November. Those in drysuits were sweaty; those in shorts and lycra were comfy. The first 3 races were closer to docks, as the wind was from the east 3-8 knots. Low tide was at 11:50, leading to long beats, some WW mark hitting, and short sprints with the current downwind.
Midway through the third race (and much to the chagrin of those who went left one the second beat), the wind clocked right 90 degrees. The RC picked up the marks and moved further into the cove, setting the windward mark just off the leadmine piers. The breeze picked up as it filled in from the south (but it was still pretty spotty and shifty), and I believe the hiking straps were engaged at times. I believe the infamous R. Bennett even capsized downwind, though I’m yet to confirm this rumor. 5 different boats won races, and the fleet was as large as 19 boats. Scores are located here, and I’ll try to get my photos that I’ve taken up shortly.