The NOR for the PRSA Spring Regatta (May 26-27) has been posted and registration is now open. Visit the regatta website and register by May 22 to take advantage of the early registration discount. Once you’ve registered, help us spread the word about the regatta!
We had a good turnout for the PRSA Rookie Regatta this past Sunday, with 6 I-20s, 6 Lightnings, 3 Albacores, and 2 Buccaneers coming out for the fun. Several boats had a true rookie on board, and those that didn’t had crews driving and drivers crewing. Results are posted below, and I’ve included a few of my observations from the course on Lightning #14592 (from the middle position while Piercarlo drove his first races in a long while!). You should feel free to add your observations in the comments section!
The weather looked much more promising than the forecast as we arrived at the marina on Sunday. We sailed up to the course in a nice northerly breeze…only to see it become soft and spotty as the first starts got going. PRO Allen Griffen and his RC crew did a great job in adjusting the course but also getting us as many races as possible in a very shifty and variable N/NE/NW wind. With short T1 courses the start was important, and we found that getting a good start and staying in the pressure (generally up the left side of the course along the airport, though this was not the case in the first race) was paramount. Making sure to keep the boat moving forward fast, even when headed, was also important in all of the shifts and swirls. Over the 3 races we saw conditions ranging from nearly no wind to full on hiking conditions (for a few moments at least). Overall, though, the racing was fun and clean, and it was great to see new faces on boats and familiar people in new positions. The sun even came out enough for us to enjoy a nice post-race BBQ and awards ceremony!
Back by popular demand, this Sunday’s PRSA Rookie Regatta is a chance to introduce new people to sailing, switch up skipper/crew positions, and just have some fun sailing in different combinations than normal for a 1-day regatta (not scored as part of the PRSA Spring Series). Please make sure to review the Sailing Instructions and the Bonus Categories (below). We will have Bonus Sheets for each boat to fill out on Sunday. If you want a hard copy of the SIs, please print them for yourself in advance.
After a couple of weeks of frustrating weather we finally got the chance to go racing this past Sunday! We had a great turnout this past Sunday with 3 Multi-Hulls, 6 Albacores, 2 Bucaneers, and 9 Lightnings (with 3 more represented on the RC for a total of 12!). I was PRO for the day (with Bob Gotthardt and Lisa-Marie Lane rounding out the RC). All I can say is that it was a very goofy day, with “east” winds varying wildly in velocity and direction all day long. We saw the breeze swing from 35 degrees to 115 degrees and back in just a minute or two. There was more than one instance of a breeze directly out of the south settling over the course for a few minutes, before reverting back to an easterly. Given the wind direction the O2 courses were short, but they were surely challenging for the sailors given the shifty and puffy conditions. We were able to get 5 (!) races in before sending the boats back to shore to enjoy the PRSA season-opening BBQ. Here are the results!
We are just a few weeks away from the start of the PRSA Spring Series! Make sure that you have reviewed the NOR and SIs for our Spring Series. Now is also the time to sign up for Race Committee for the season. Please make sure to read the details below, and then sign up on our PRSA RC Duty Signup Sheet. Here are the details and requirements for the 2108 Spring/Fall racing season:
- Each skipper racing in the spring or fall series is required to fulfill RC service obligations in the spring/fall series. The number of slots each skipper is responsible for filling depends upon the boat class:
- Albacores: 4 RC slots over the spring/fall series
- Buccaneers: 4 RC slots over the spring/fall series
- Catamarans: 4 RC slots over the spring/fall series
- I-20s: 4 RC slots over the spring/fall series
- Lightnings: 6 RC slots over the spring/fall series
- WETA/Laser (single-person boat): 2 RC slots over the spring/fall series
- Serving as PRO or Regatta Chair (rows highlighted in orange on the spreadsheet) count as two slots given the extra organizational responsibility for these roles.
- Detailed RC & boat instructions are posted to our PRSA website: http://potomacriversailing.org/dues-rc-duty/
- As we get into the season I will send out a reminder and some additional instructions to each PRO a few days prior to the weekend/event for which they are signed up.
Sign up now so that you know you have your dates reserved, and so that we don’t have to scramble week-to-week to find RC. As always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.
Just a reminder that PRSA Membership Dues are due by Jan. 15! Please join or renew via the link on the “Dues & RC Duty” page if you haven’t already done so in order to avoid a late fee. Pay now and you’re all set for the season!
West River Sailing Club in Galesville, MD, is hosting a 2-day Race Management Seminar on Feb. 17-18, 2018. This class is for people who want to learn more about how to run sailboat races. No prerequisites are required other than a basic understanding of sail boat racing and some previous race management experience. Follow this link for information and registration details (scroll down the page to the date of Feb. 17-18):
Attendees must be members of US Sailing. The course fee is $80 which covers the class, materials, continental breakfast & coffee, plus lunch. The two day class will begin each day at 0830 and run through 1630. There is an on-line quiz after the course if attendees are interested in becoming certified.
This is a great opportunity, especially according to this endorsement from Nabeel: “I endorse this class. Bill Kleysteuber and I travelled up to Newport, RI about a decade ago to take the class. We learned a lot. It is primarily based on the RRS but not completely. You get a nice certificate at the end and become certified as a club race officer.”
The 2018 PRSA Calendar is now available for order! Use this link – http://www.calendarlink.org/prsa/home.html – to preview the calendar and order your very own. Congratulations to Lindsay Bach for snapping the winning cover photo!
We held the Fall PRSA Dinghy Open on Sunday, 15 October. With 7 Lightnings, 2 Buccaneers, 2 Albacores, and 1 WETA we had a nice mix of classes on the course. PRO Bob Bear and his RC Crew did a nice job in setting up 4 fantastic races (an O2 and 3 O3 races) in a steady S/SW 10-15 knot breeze. It was a fantastic chance for all of us in various classes to square up against one another on one start line and on the same course!
Instead of presenting a writeup from just one person, I’ve asked all of the skippers and crews to send in a line or two describing what they saw on the course, what they were thinking about, or what they learned. I’ve started the thread with the first few contributions here. Please feel free to add your own thoughts as comments, or email them to Aaron to have them added to the main post. Scores are posted here, but keep reading for some of the fun details and observations from the weekend!
From Nic and Connor on their Buc: Connor and I, after getting in the mixing bowl with everyone else for the start of Race 1, decided, for races 2 and 3, to hang 10-20 yards below the starting line, going across on starboard from midway of the line at about the 1 minute horn. Then we slowly headed up with the goal of starting right at the pin at full speed. And it worked! We were leeward to everyone as we got to the line and so had a great position and got 2 really good, fast and clear starts (before our jib issues half way through race 3 led to us going in). Also, at BNAC we learned how to use the spinnaker pole to wing out our jib on the downwind legs when wind speeds made us a little nervous to fly the spinnaker. Winging it out lets you sail right at the mark and to take advantage of any surfing possibilities that come up when you’re going directly with the waves . I think that we were as fast, maybe ever faster, to the mark (VMG) as most boats around us. We put the pole on the jib sheet and then lower the pole to stretch out the jib to expose as much surface area as possible.
From Aaron, sailing with Dana and Blake on Aaron’s Lightning: from the beginning we thought that the right side of the course would be favored (having observed some wind shifts at the line and the puffs along the airport shore). Contrary to Nic’s strategy described above, we made a point of fighting for a boat-end start for each race. It paid off for us — we were either off the line and leading early, or we had the room to tack right and then tack back to go south. We gained each time we went right, though we had to be careful. There was a nice righty (lift on starboard tack) as you approached the windward mark each time. At the same time, you could make nice gains by staying middle or a bit left after rounding the leeward mark. It was most important to get right in the upper 1/2 to 1/3 of the windward leg. Beyond that, we focused on boat balance. Sailing a Lightning flat (windward chine just barely out of the water) is very, very important. When we did this well we could point 3-5 degrees higher than our competition and still keep our speed. Doing this off of the start allowed us to hold lanes against Albacores and Bucs, and to pinch off boats to windward. Flat is fast!!!
The combination of low tide, hydrilla, and light air made it difficult to get to the course. Once there, is was easier but the light air and winds that came in from the east, the west, the north, and often privately provided to a small group of sailors made it particularly challenging. Here is the writeup on PRSA Fall Series #3 from John Van Voorhis in the Lightning Fleet. Scores and more info are posted below. Kudos to John and David for taking 1st on the day in the Lightnings with three well-earned 2nd place finishes!
Last Sunday, 10/1, started out a little chilly, but by the time we were done sailing we had a gorgeous fall day. The Race Committee tried starting us early due to the wind forecast, but the wind didn’t cooperate. It really didn’t cooperate all day, but the RC did a great job getting off three races for the Lightnings. The wind was shifting from back and from from the NNE enough that the favored end of the starting line would switch back and forth through the starting sequence. For races one and two, the wind tended toward the east, then in race three it was going all the way around the clock as small convection cells moved across the race course.
David and I managed to get three seconds on the day, so we felt pretty good. In the first race we had a not so great start, but managed to catch the right shift correctly and get to the first mark first. With the way the shifts came in it seems as if being rightmost boat, but near the middle of the course worked best for us in the first race. Think it was Nabeel who passed us on the second weather leg and we couldn’t pass him down wind.
In the second race, we got exactly the start we wanted at the favored end by the committee boat, and were able to hold on near the front through the whole race. I don’t remember who passed us, but again there was a lot of shifting wind and middle right with clear air worked for us. In those conditions we let the jib tell us when to tack and eased out the main a lot when we couldn’t see the wind. We blew it on the last down wind leg by setting the spinnaker, when we shouldn’t have. Don’t forget to check if you can lay the mark!
In the last race we had an ok start, but that first leg took forever as the wind was coming straight down. Again we stayed calm as we passed and were passed by other boats.
Thankfully the wind filled in enough for all of us to get back to the marina under sail.
Thanks to Jim Graham for stepping up yet again to do RC along with Barney Harris, John Hart, and Steve Young.
Thanks to Tom Hutton for doing our scores every week.