The wind was once again a bit fluky, but 5 Lightnings made their way up to the course along with Jim Antonovich on a cat and Jeff Neurauter in the Buc class. PRO Kyra Tallon and her crew did a good job in getting us some racing in the light and variable ENE breeze. This meant some Olympic courses again, so boathandling was at a premium (especially for those Lightnings who were doublehanding). A good time was had by all and afterwards we all enjoyed a cookout on a beautiful afternoon.
The wacky west wind made its first appearance this fall for Fall Series #3. It certainly proved challenging to the RC and all the sailors, but PRO Frank Gallagher and his crew did a great job in setting, re-setting, and re-setting the course again throughout the day (aided by some sailors moving marks as well!) to keep up with the changing wind directions. The breeze never settled down, and it seemed like we saw wind from just about every point on the compass! Nonetheless, we got in some great racing on O2 and courses. The reach legs kept folks sharp (especially boats trying to fly the spinnaker) and at the end of the day we all enjoyed a great day on the river.
Scores are below
There sure wasn’t much wind when we showed up at the marina on Sunday…and there was far less wind (read: none!) as we towed boats up to the racing area. Thankfully for the eight Albacores, four Lightnings, and the lone Buc came out to play the breeze did fill in as forecast such that we were able to get 3 races after a bit of a delay. I was PRO for the day, assisted by Lee, Lisa-Marie, and Jim (great job crew!). You can keep reading for some of the details that I observed on the signal boat. Jim and Lisa-Marie Lane took some great photos of the racing (thanks!!!).
Sunday proved to be a surprisingly good day of sailing. As we arrived at the marina, we had a nice steady breeze out of the north at about 6. The forecast was calling for 0 building to 6 out of the south. At the skippers meeting, the breeze had died but Aaron was optimistic in the forecast and had the RC tow everyone up to the course area. We ended up with 8 Albacores, 4 Lightnings and 1 Buccaneer making it to the race course. Aaron and crew were able to get off 3 races total. The first race was quite trying. The wind started coming out of the east. By the time the Albacores rounded the windward mark, the wind died and the race was shortened to a finish at the windward mark on the second upwind leg. After the first race, we could all see the sea breeze filling in from downriver. Aaron and crew setup the course in prep for the wind and we were able to get off 2 more races in a nice southerly breeze of about 8. All in all it was a good first day compared to what was forecast. Scores are below.
Wow, what a way to end the season. 8 Lightnings, 5 Albacores, and 2 Bucc’s came out to play on our last day of the Fall Series, and what a day it turned out to be. Winds were SW 14-21 with a few gusts over 30. Most of the afternoon the wind stayed up in the 20 range so it was exciting out there. We got 4 races in before crying uncle and the Race Committee, headed up by yours truly, was kept busy with multiple capsizes and a couple of broken boats. Pat McGee broke his rudder in the third race, and one of the Albacores (Can’t remember who) broke his Jib Halyard(?). We anchored the 2 of them while we got 1 more race in for the die hards. We then towed the wounded sailors back to the docks and put the boats away for the last time this season. Here are the scores:
And here are some pictures taken by James Vavricek while on RC at the windward mark:
I think that the last thing that folks thought as they watched the snow swirl down last Saturday was that we’d get in 5 races under a sunny blue sky and in temps that were much milder than the frostbiting conditions we all expected! As it turns out, Fall Series #6 ended up being another fantastic day of sailing as PRO Ron Buchanan and his RC got us 5 races and then had us back on shore in time to enjoy some cold beers and hot dogs around the grill. Read all about the racing below – hopefully the writeup will spark your appetite for some great racing in Fall Series #7! Also, be sure to post your own comments and recollections, especially if you were one of the Albacores or Buccaneers that came out on Sunday!
Well it was looking pretty grim when we all showed up for the skippers meeting on Sunday. The river was glassy, and there was not a puff or air in sight. After an hour and twenty minutes of on land postponement Mike Heinsdorf, our intrepid PRO, informed us that some breeze was slowly making its way up the river and took a vote. We all decided to take a shot and get out there. Boy, were we all glad we did. The breeze filled in nicely to a beautiful S5-10kts and we had a great day. Mike and the all Albacore RC set up a really nice long Windward-Leeward course for us and got us 3 races before calling it a day. 6 Lightnings, 4 Hobies, 2 Albacores, and 1 Bucc came out to play on this gorgeous fall day for some of the best racing of the season. Here are the scores:
The PRSA Fall Series #4 was primarily a Lightning class affair, with 5 boats coming out to race and 2 taking care of RC duties (and another 7 representing Fleet 50 up in Annapolis at the Frigid Digit regatta). For the second weekend in a row we had great conditions for racing, with a 12-15 knot SW breeze that allowed PRO Frank Gallagher and his RC to get us four races. Jeff Neurater came out to represent the Buccaneer fleet, Mike Heinsdorf was out in his Albacore, and a trio of Hobie Cats also came out to play.
Keep reading for some more details from Sunday’s Fall Series #4 (from my vantage point in the Lightning fleet), and be sure to post your own comments and observations from the day (just click the little “speech bubble” next to the title of this post, above). You can also scroll down a bit to see a separate post with details from the action up in Annapolis at the Frigid Digit.
Greetings PRSA Sailors! As many of you know, I’ve been writing reports from our spring/fall series racing for the Lightning fleet over the past year. We’re going to start posting these write-ups here as well, in the hopes of starting a conversation among all the fleets and sailors out for our regular races. I’ll do my best to capture what I see on the racecourse each Sunday, but here is where we need your help: if you are sailing in one of the other fleets, go ahead and post a comment with your own experiences from the racing (just click the little “no comment” link above the post to add a comment). We definitely want to hear from you, and we hope to start a pattern of weekly postings and emails (via our listservs) that recount the day’s racing and generate some enthusiasm for the next event. So read on to hear about Fall Series #2, but more importantly, feel free to chime in with your own voice!
The PRSA Fall Series #2 was another day of tricky river sailing. Light and variable NE winds combined with a strong current and stiff tidal flow made for challenging strategic and tactical decisions. If you went south to get a patch of breeze, you then had to fight your way back north against the current to get to a mark. If you sailed to far into the NE corner under Hains Point you found yourself being pushed down the river with no breeze to power you across the way to the leeward mark. As with any given Sunday, there was an element of chance involved…but in talking to folks afterwards, it became clear that the boats that did well also made good decisions–most notably, in “connecting the dots” between patches of breeze. Overall, we were thrilled to see Chris Kozel and his team (Palmer Phillips and Chris Lewton) win their first race in Lightning Fleet 50 on Sunday–congratulations Chris! It was also great to see a few new faces out on various boats, and to welcome back some folks that we hadn’t seen in a bit. Keep reading for a detailed wrap-up of the day’s racing and post-race fun, and be sure to post your own comments and stories from the weekend here!