Tim Zimmermann won the day, below is his write up.
It was a perfect day for Laser racing on the Potomac: not frosty at all (temps in the 60s) and a light sailable breeze from the SSE at 4-6, shifting to SW and increasing a bit.
The first course was set up in the channel. There were plenty of boats racing and a shortish line, so getting a good start (not usually my strong point) was key. The line seemed to be slightly pin-favored and in the first race I set up a few BLs short of the line with about a minute to go because I expected boats to be up on the line fighting for a place in the front row. The tide was coming in, and held boats off the line, so it was easy to hang loose until 10 seconds, before accelerating for the gun. And perhaps because of the current many boats were off the line as the clock counted down, so there was room to put the bow down. I got a good start, and legged out toward the left looking for a header to hitch back to the middle on. The breeze looked okay on the left, and better in the middle. It also looked okay on the right, but up against the shore line it might be unreliable. Boats started to flip over behind me onto port to go back to the middle and I hung on for just a bit longer, lucked into a header and tacked back toward the middle. That was just enough to get a little cushion on the fleet and I was free to sail the shifts up to the windward mark and held that lead twice around, finishing downwind. It was a reminder of how easy tactics and sailing the shifts can be when you are not worrying about clear lanes.
Sometimes things just go your way, and the second race was almost the same as the first. I got another good start and sailed left with Robert Bennett on my windward hip. With the tide very low, I gave him a heads up that I would call for room to tack as the water got thin, and he courteously tacked away. I sailed a few more boat lengths, and tacked into a nice little lift (I wish I could say I planned it that way, but…). So again I had just enough lead to play the shifts and the fleet up to the windward mark, and established a nice cushion that held up twice around.
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.
Wow, we had a spectacular first frostbite day with excellent turnout!! Twenty six people participated with twenty one boats! It was a sunny day and the winds were fairly steady at 10mph all day coming out of the north east and temps were in the mid 50F’s. We set up an Olympic course in the cove that was approximately 1 mile long and proceeded to have seven races. Erich won the day and Kevin Cowley won the inaugural handicap scoring. Click here for the scores. We had a good group of new faces and a couple faces we haven’t seen in awhile. Don’t miss the fun, come on out and sail with us this Sunday and burn off some of that thanksgiving turkey! See you on the water…
Thanks to the good work of Jeff Storck, Nabeel Alsalam, Frank Gallagher, and Red Fehrle, with PRSA Vice Commodore David Thompson, the beloved Bayliner was hauled out Sunday, November 22, and now sits on her trailer in the PRSA Powerboat row in the south 40. It was a beautiful late November sunny day, with temperatures in the mid 50s, and nice 9 – 10 MPH NNE breezes, bringing out 20 Lasers to race in the cove. Next March we will splash her again, and will schedule a powerwashing party to coincide with the event.
This Sunday is it!! The first day of our 2009/2010 Frostbite season!! Right now the weather is looking nice, predicted to be 58F with winds at 9MPH. Hope to see a big turnout.
If you are wondering what Frostbiting on the Potomac is all about, come out and we’ll take you out on the RC boat and show you. The Laser Fleet is the largest active and most competitive class in PRSA. We regularly have 20+ boats out every week (twice as many boats that any other class puts on the water in the spring/fall). Some people think sailing in the winter is crazy, but the winter months provide the most reliable sailing conditions then any other season. We usually sail in the cove, on the river or down by the power plant depending on the weather. Our RC staff dress to sail and switch off after each race, so everyone gets to sail, even if you do not own a boat! Come on out and see what it’s all about.
We leave the docks around noon and the first race will be shortly there after, probably 12:30-12:45. See you one the water!
Now most of you may think that is a distinction without a difference, but I learned on Sunday it most definitely is not. Let me explain.
On Sunday, my crew and I went out for an end of season sail. We were joined on the river by Laura, Will, and Brian sailing Lightning 14627, whose owner graciously let them borrow her for the day. Now, everyone in our fleet knows that 14627 rarely gets wet, and usually can be found sitting forlornly in its slip over by the PRSA committee boats. That area of the marina is also known to most of us as a bastion of mouse activity, and 14627 is a case in point of what happens when you leave your boat over there and never take her out. Mice got aboard and rather than the usual destruction of her sails due to being eaten, the mice decided to make a home in the rolled up jib. When Laura and company opened up the boat for the first time in weeks they disturbed a veritable metropolis living in said jib. It did not take very long to notice the reeking stench of mouse urine that emanated from the sail. It was so bad you could smell it from 2 boat lengths away. So much for the “Stink”, now for the “Suck”.