It’s May already! Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and PRSA one design sailboats are racing. Check your calendars, call your crew, get your yard work affairs all in order, and make plans to sail in the 2011 PRSA Spring Regatta on Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29. Check out the recently posted NOR for details.
After a few days of heavy rains and the remnants of a front still blowing through, the conditions were tricky on the river for the third Spring Series. The gusty westerly was in the teens for most of the day, and most boats opted to run wing-and-wing downwind in the heavier stuff, waiting for the breeze to ease or for better angles away from the airport shore before popping the kite. A good start was paramount, and then keeping the boat on its feet and shifting gears became the key to success. The river level and flow were both extraordinarily high and the tide was also running out, which made for a fierce combination of current, tide flow, and near flood-stage discharge flow to combat as we sailed E-W across the river. The RC had trouble getting the windward mark to stay put, and once you did make it around, it seemed that no matter how far north you pointed the boat, you still ended up well south of the leeward mark near the channel, having to jib-reach back up to it before going upwind (and across the current once again).
The day showed the importance of having a fully staffed race committee, with 2 individuals on the mark and crash boat as well as enough hands on the Bayliner for flags, horns, writing, and scoring. Two Buccaneers did flip in the gusty conditions, and though each boat was quickly righted and continued sailing, having a crash boat at the ready to provide assistance was critical for everybody’s safety and peace of mind. As PRO Bobby Astrove noted: “I was quite nervous with today’s weather forecast. When I got to the marina at 7:45 a.m. it was hooting, high teens for wind and gusts to 30. It settled down by 9:30, we had what I think was a windy but nice day. Very strong current. Obviously had a hard time getting the windward mark to stick without a Danforth anchor. We eventually added a second anchor and that did the trick. Special thanks to all my RC helpers: Brian Bishop, Michael Brown, Rose Gentile, Catherine Calvin, Bill Buck, and Joe Warren. I thought we were going to be way short and in the end people stepped up and I thought it went well.” Great job to Bobby and the RC crew for getting us 4 races in these conditions and keeping us all safe!
In the racing, Frank (sailing with Farley and Mladin) had the hot hand, winning 3 of the 4 races (nice work Frank!). Nabeel (sailing with Craig and Stefano) followed Frank around for most of the day, but took the fourth race after a great start. Rick (sailing with Lisbet and Aaron) was also competing, as were Will, Alex, and Brian on #14395. Chris Kozell was out for the first race, but struggled with a cranky Cunningham and ended up retiring. Mark Ewing, sailing with his young son George and a friend, also joined us on the racecourse for their introduction to the Potomac’s “wacky west wind” as Jeff calls it. And speaking of Jeff, it was great to see him along with Bruce and Becky down at the Marina getting Ariel ready for future Sunday Series racing and (we hope) the Potomac Cup. Glad to see you!
After the racing we gathered in the picnic area for some food, drink and good cheer. A few folks who hadn’t made it out for the racing (as well as a few family members who had strolled down to the marina) joined us around the grill. The wind gusted up far beyond anything we had seen on the racecourse as we traded stories, but with some warm sunshine (finally!) we all enjoyed a great end to the afternoon.
There is no racing next weekend due to Easter, but we’ll look for you all in two weeks for the next Spring Series–the final chance to tune up before the Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup on May 7-8. Make sure you’ve signed up!
This Wednesday the 30th is going to be our second onshore training
event. Erich Hesse will lead a discussion on racing rules simplified.
Come on out and bring your crew, this is a great opportunity to get up to speed on the rules of racing. This event is open to the public and is free so tell all your friends and co-workers who might be interested.
Then this Sunday April 3rd kicks off our first Spring Series. We will
be having a BBQ social event after sailing. PRSA will supply hot dogs
and beer. Would be nice if we could have some volunteers bring some additional food such as chips/dip, chili, corn bread, potato salad or anything else. So plan on hanging out after racing. Cross your fingers that we’ll have good weather. See you on the water.
The racing schedule and a variety of educational events have been scheduled! Take a look at the calendar link (left side of home page) or here. The Sunday series starts on April 3.
What a beautiful day to be on the water. Temps were in the 70’s, winds from the south @ 8-12. They just don’t get any better than that. Rick Welch was the PRO for the day and he and his able crew of Lightning and Buccaneer RC did an outstanding job. they set up a really nice windward/leeward course off of Haines Point, and snapped out 4 nice races with little to no down time in between them. Well done guys (and gals). The most notable thing on the day was the awesome turnout of Albacores. 9! count ’em 9 Albs came out to play. The Stim-you-later certainly did his job. Also in attendance were 2 Cats and 5 Lightnings for this great day of sailing. Scores after the break:
2 Albacores, 3 Buccaneers, 3 Cats, and 6 Lightnings went out to play on Sunday 10/17/2010. I was not out there, so i can’t give a complete description of the day, but it must have been fast and furious as the Lightnings got in 6 races, and everyone else got in 5 before calling it a day. Scores after the break:
We had a great day on the water October 3. Winds were from the ENE and ranged from 8-13 or so. Albacores, Bucc’s, Hobies, and Lightnings all came out to play on this beautiful, if cloudy, Fall day. PRO Robert Bennet set up a great course in the mouth of the Anacostia and got 4 nice races in before calling it quits. Scores after the break:
There is an old Arab curse that goes something like: “May you live in interesting times”. That said, we certainly had an “interesting” weekend for this years Presidents Cup. Saturday, was sunny and beautiful. Perfect in every way except the most important: There was no wind. Rolf Zeisler, our able PRO, managed to get 2 races off in drifty conditions with little more than thermals coming from various directions. The Lightnings were almost time limited out in the first race when the Rc quickly set up a finish line at the Reach? Windward? Leeward? Mark, and finished us with no time to spare. Race #2 was even worse. Oh well. There is always tomorrow, and with rain in the forecast there was bound to be some breeze. Sunday morning brought the rain, but not much in the way of breeze. We got 3 races in before calling it a day. The first 2 races were much like Saturdays efforts. The 3rd race, however, was a fun one. A nice north westerly finally came in and made all of us who had suffered through 2 days of mostly painful drifting glad we had stuck it out. This was the best sailing of the weekend and a good time was finally had by all. Lets all pray that we don’t get any more “interesting” days like the bulk of this past weekend. Scores after the break:
The usual July 4th restrictions will be in place, as follows: there will be a police check point at the entrance to the marina beginning early morning on the 4th. Police will search and confiscate any alcohol, fireworks or firearms you may have. NO EXCEPTIONS for slipholders. Marina staff will set up a second checkpoint around 2 PM. They will be checking for valid parking passes. If you have not picked up your passes for this season please do so before the 4th. If you would like a guest pass please stop by the office. The office is open 9 – 6 seven days a week. Traffic on the Parkway will be a nightmare. If you want a hassle free holiday, show up as early as possible. As always grilling is prohibited on marina grounds as well as on boats docked at the marina. For questions, contact the marina at firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-548-9027.
Sorry all for the delay in getting these scores up. Thats what happens when you get married and go away on a honeymoon. 🙂 Well, the wedding is behind me and the honeymoon was great, so now its time to buckle down and get busy. Today I have those last scores for you, but stay tuned over the next couple of weeks. I have some video of the Doc Gilbert I am working on that will be ready soon. In the meantime I hope everyone is getting out on the water for some sailing. I plan to get Ariel out this week for my first time in weeks.
Scores after the break: