We are just 2 weeks away from the start of the PRSA Spring Series! We are writing now to provide information on some important changes that are going into effect this spring. Please make sure to read through these details carefully so that you’re prepared to race as our Spring Series kicks off on 30 March.
First, you will need to register for the series in advance. Use this link to register: https://forms.gle/9riR85toVRbdvZ976. When you register, you will be prompted to sign up for at least ½ of your required Race Committee (RC) slots. We have had a difficult time filling RC slots in recent seasons and this change will help to address the issue. We will be providing opportunities to help train RC and will look to pair individuals with less RC experience with those that can mentor.
In 2023 all skippers of multi-person boats are responsible for the same amount of RC duty: 4 slots over the Spring & Fall series. Skippers of single person boats are responsible for 2 slots over the Spring & Fall Series. Each skipper may serve your 4 slots all in the Spring, all in the Fall, or spread throughout the spring and the fall. If you bring your crew or friends to help you, make sure to enter the last name of the skipper receiving credit for these volunteers on the RC spreadsheet. You can find the link to the RC Service Signup Sheet here: http://potomacriversailing.org/dues-rc-duty/. And remember, serving as PRO for any race day or as Regatta Chair for one of our 2-day regattas counts as 2 slots.
Second, make sure to review the NOR and the Sailing Instructions for the 2023 Spring and Fall series racing (posted here: http://potomacriversailing.org/spring-fall-sunday-series/). We have made several important changes on scoring that should both bolster participation and enable sailors to travel to away regattas to still compete in, and be competitive for trophies, our Sunday Series races. In brief:
- The new scoring rules eliminate the minimum “races sailed requirement.” There have been many cases where skippers are only a race or two below 50% threshold and don’t qualify. Since days get canceled due to weather and/or due to lack of RC, it isn’t always in the skipper’s control that they end up not sailing in 50% of races. Adding DNC to bring those skippers up to 50% participation would have seen those skippers ranking higher than boats that qualified. We will still only calculate a boat’s series score based on their top 50% finishes in the series(effectively everyone gets to drop their worst half of their scores).
- We are also modifying how DNS, DNF, & DNC are scored and how races conducted while on RC are calculated so that all races can be scored. Our goal is to reward people on RC, incentivize people to race in the conditions that they feel comfortable and at least show up to the Marina before making a final decision.
These changes were discussed at the AGM and then refined through input provided to Tyler, our Rear Commodore, by members and at the 23 January Race Program Committee Meeting. On behalf of the PRSA Executive Committee, I want to thank Tyler in particular for all of the work that he has put in to update our NOR and SIs and to streamline the organization of our Spring and Fall series.
Summary of relevant links:
Please make sure to review the NOR and the SIs and to register so that you are all set to start racing when the 2023 Spring Series begins on 30 March! We look forward to seeing you on the water!
Our PRSA Spring Series starts on Sunday, April 11! Please make sure you’ve read through the following information and completed the necessary steps so that you are ready to get out on the water as our PRSA Spring Series starts.
- Sign the 2021 PRSA COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risk & Waiver: https://forms.gle/xKAAkXm7gh7xZanB6. Although things are looking better, we are still in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic and some areas (including some places in our own area) are seeing upticks in cases and community spread. All participance’s — competitors and RC members — are required to sign this waiver in order to participate in PRSA Activities. You must sign the new 2021 waiver (the prior waiver for fall 2020 and 2020-2021 frostbite racing is no longer applicable).
- Take note of a new federal requirement: effective April 1 a new federal law passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (which included a U.S. Coast Guard Reauthorization) requires a vessel operator to use either a helm or outboard lanyard or wireless engine cutoff switches (ECOS) when operating power boats under 26 feet in length. Please make sure to clip the cutoff lanyard to your life jacket when operating our skiffs.
As always, please feel free to reach out to your PRSA Executive Committee if you have any questions.
Our PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 16, at the Evening Star Cafe’s No. 9 Lounge (2000 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria VA, 22301). In addition to the regular business of the AGM (including officer reports, awards, and election of officers) we will also consider an amendment to the PRSA Bylaws (see language below). Additional AGM details will be posted soon.
Proposed Amendment to PRSA Bylaws to Article III. Section 3. Part B.3.
The current language reads:
3.A late payment fee of $25 will be assessed for returning members paying dues on or after January 15.
The proposed language is (changes in bold italics):
3.A late payment fee of $25 will be assessed for returning active members paying dues on or after January 15.
Please note that active membership is specifically defined in Article III. Section 1. Part A.
We had a nice day on the river to round out the spring season. 3 Albacores and 2 Lightnings came out to sail.
Albacores Spring Series #8
Lightnings Spring Series #8
Sunday was a gorgeous day for racing on the river! Although the winds were light as we rigged and sailed to the course, a nice southerly filled in for the first few races. 10 Lightnings, 2 Bucs, 3 Multihulls, 2 I-20s, and 2 Lasers came out to sail. PRO Stew Harris and his crew did a nice job organizing the racing, sending the boats off on a W2 and then an O2 in the 10-12 kt southerly. The wind shifted west and then oscillated all over the place after the first two races, making things challenging for the RC and sailors alike. The RC gamely reset the line and then adjusted to hold 2 more races in a very variable westerly. Four races making the best of conditions in sunny (but not too hot) conditions with some breeze is a pretty good way to spend a Sunday!
Here’s the recap of Spring Series #5 racing, written by PRO Jeff Neurauter:
Despite the rain, we saw wonderful breeze on the river today and 4 Albacores and 1 Buccaneer showed up to play. Based on the size of the fleet and types of boats involved, the group decided to race in the river straight out from Washington Sailing Marina. This worked perfectly as it allowed us to get to and back from the race course quickly. The RC set up a W-2 and waited for competitors to arrive.
The first race started with one of the Albacores trying to execute a dip start – unfortunately they remained a boat length above the line and were called over early. The lead Albacore managed to accumulate a sizable lead by the 3rd leg of the course and casually sailed through the finish line on their way to the windward mark. The rest of the Albacores and the Bucc must have noticed this and must not have checked the course flags, because they all sailed through the finish line and then stopped racing! They each peeled off and started pacing back and forth below the start line. Meanwhile the lead Albacore was rounding the windward mark. After a few minutes, some of the Albacores had realized their mistake but none of them continued racing. Instead, the RC and everyone else waited patiently for one Albacore to sail the rest of the racecourse. It took the lone Albacore just over 20 minutes to finish the race and everyone else who started the race was scored DNF.
The second race started with the Albacores aggressively pushing the starting line and once again an Albacore or two were called over early. As this race progressed the wind steadily clocked to the left and by the time boats were on the 3rd leg, it was almost a reach to the windward mark. So we moved the windward mark from the Maryland side of the river to the Virginia side, squared the starting line, and prepared for the 3rd race.
The third race started with the Albacores again fighting for space on the line and again the RC called boats over early. As this race progressed, the wind clocked back to the right so we had to move the windward mark back to toward the Maryland side of the river for the next race.
By the fourth start, the Albacores had figured things out and made it off the line cleanly. This race brought the most exciting competition as the there were several very close roundings and position changes throughout the race by the top 3 boats.
Spring Series #4 was a drizzly day, but we did have enough wind to race. The RC set up a course just outside the airport pier and we were able to get 3 races in while the water levels were high enough and the rain light enough. Once boats started bumping bottom and the rain really came in we headed to shore, dried off, and then headed over to Rustico for a beverage and a bite in a spot a bit drier (and warmer) than the grove.
Spring Series #4 Albacores
Spring Series #4 Buccaneers
Spring Series #4 Laser
Spring Series #4 Lightnings
Our regular PRSA Spring Series is underway and the PRSA Spring Regatta will be held on May 25-26. Join us for great fun on and off the water!
It took a bit for the wind to fill in for Spring Series #3. The RC postponed ashore on the advice of the folks out on the river running the I-20 Cherry Blossom Regatta since there was no wind between 1000 and 1130 or so. A light southerly began to fill around 1130 and those boats who still wanted to sail — 4 Lightnings and 2 Bucs — made their way up to the course. We were able to get off one W2 race and then a shortened second race in the light breeze. With no wind on the river at all as the second, shortened, race concluded and with some storm clouds brewing to the west we contemplated towing boats back to the marina area. The breeze filled in again though to help folks get home in time, and just ahead of the really gusty bands that came through later in the afternoon. As they say, a day sailing on the water is still better than a day at work!
Spring Series #3 Buccaneers
Spring Series #3 Lightnings