Frostbiting it was, frozen toes and all!
By Jacob Donkersloot
The day turned out great, notwithstanding yesterday’s snow. Fortunately, there was little left of the white stuff at the Marina, and the sun did its very best to balance the high-thirties temperature.
The winds were light (5-8 mph) from the NW, perfect for a long (by frostbiting standards) W/L course in the cove. Not surprisingly, the winds oscillated a bit and the RC (Len + Barbara Guenther and Jacob Donkersloot) reset the windward mark a bit further away from the shore after the first race.
Six races were completed; all were twice around with an upwind finish (five legs total) and lasted about twenty minutes. As many as sixteen boats competed. It was good to see several winners; Sam Dobbs and David Teale (good to see you back!) placed first twice. Keith Barron and Mike Renda also won a race. David Teale won the day by a slight margin.
Keith Barron won the day for the handicap scores with a first and a third. Nice job
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, what a beautiful day for sailing!! Temps were in the 60F’s, winds were blowing straight out of the south at 8 to 12MPH, and the sun was shinning. We sailed out on the river down by the power plant. Got five windward/leeward races in on a fairly long course. Winds were unusually steady, with small waves coming up the river. We had ten Lasers, two hobies and one albacore on the course. Thanks to Frank, Mladen, Brenna, Barney and Jill for doing RC. We had awards, chili and apple cider/rum after racing.
Scores after the break:
Today (Nov 7th) is the PRSA Fall Finale Regatta. This is the last regatta of the year for our fair weather sailing friends, and the first of our winter Laser frostbite season. Right now the weather looks perfect, A high of 59 degrees is predicted, with sunny skies and winds from the S at 8 – 9 MPH all day. We should have a big turn out for this regatta. Last year we had 3 Albacores, 2 Buccs, 3 Hobies, 3 Lasers, and 5 Lightings show on a day with questionable weather. This year we should do better than that! The Skippers Meeting is at noon and the first warning at 12:40. Frank is PRO, with Mladen, Brenna, Barney, and Jill as helpers. We’ll be sailing in the cove or down by the power plant depending on the weather and how many boats show up. Bring hot Chili and cold beer for the party after. Hope to see you on the water!
Eric Johnson was PRO, with RC provided by Jim Graham, Steve Parsons, and Wilda Heiss. We got an extra hour of sleep Saturday night, as we switched from Daylight Savings time back to Standard time, so we were rested and ready to compete. The AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change) called for a partly sunny afternoon (with rain ending in the morning), a high of 53 degrees, and winds from the NNE at 10 – 9 MPH. High tide was at 6:48 AM; low tide at 1:05 PM (and high again at 6:59 PM) Sunset was at 5:08 PM. The river flow was above normal for this time of year, at 7,710 CFS (gage height 3.7 ft). The water temperature was a seasonal 57 degrees. Five Lightnings came out, along with one Cat and one Laser. The rain ended a little after one PM, and the wind picked up, making for good racing for those who came out and stayed out. Results to be posted soon.
(As of Sunday,10/25) Eric Johnson is PRO, with RC provided by the Albacores and others (Helper slots are still available). The weather will be much better than it was last weekend. Today’s AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change) .calls for mostly sunny skies, a high of 65 degrees, and . winds from the NNW at 12 – 8 MPH. The river flow is above normal, after yesterday’s rains, at 5,360 CFS (gage height 3.4 ft). The water temperature is a seasonal 57 degrees. Low tide will be at 8:42 AM and high tide at 2:25 PM. Round up crew and come on down! NOTE: The Marine Corps Marathon is on Sunday morning — look for street closures in downtown DC and plan your trip to the marina accordingly!