Tag Archives: Sailing

2017-2018 Laser Frostbite Series #4 – 12/10/17

Thanks for John Van Voorhis  and Cliff Bartlett for doing the RC today and working diligently to square the line and give us a nice mix of Olympic and WL courses and they even used the flags!!  🙂  Also a big thanks to John for offering to help me launch and retrieve the 19’ boat when I had RC last week.

I hope no one reading this is hoping for a lot of technical insight as to shifts, persistent or otherwise, I’m pretty sure I would not know one from the other.  Overall my mantra is to slog it out as best I can, keep the boat flat and hike as much as my body will allow me, and of course try not to make any mistakes or cut things too close.

This is the best I know:

Starts:

First, I benefited greatly from having ½ the fleet coming late to the start of race 1. That gave me a big boost in the day’s score. Being on time paid off for me.

When the start line is square (as it was in most races today), I find I sometimes do better coming in on port and searching for a hole about 15-30 seconds from the start. You have to be really quick though with your tack, because there is little time and space between the starboard tackers. So it’s a little risky.  In one case, however, it really paid off because I was able to stay on port by threading the needle as they say, and in that particular race ( I forget which one) a port tack was favored.  In that last few seconds before the start you really do need to head down off the wind and power up, and accelerate so that you are up at full speed when the gun goes off. That seems to be the only way to have a good race. So if you are going to concentrate and be on your game, these first 10 or 20 seconds after the gun goes off are the most critical.

Upwind:

I had my cunningham very tight, outhaul about 2” off the boom at mid point, and the vang ¾ on. The tight cunningham helped me when the puffs came so as to not be overpowered. I pretty much tried not to sail out to the lay lines too much as a shift in wind could easily gain you several boats if you tack quick enough on the header. As it was very quirky and puffy, I did my best to ‘ease-hike-trim’ whenever I could, and a few times I could really feel it working, and I was gaining on other boats.  As for when I would tack, that pretty much was determined by my looking at the luff of my sail, and when it started to collapse in (ie a header), I would throw in a tack.

Reach:

On the reaches, I would pull my board up ½ and ease the cunningham off all the way and then adjust the vang to as to get the best sail shape I could get. My cunningham does not seem to come off unless I go to the mast and pull on the slack of the line, so I found myself doing that a lot today.

Downwind:

Cunningham all the way off, board up 1/2 , outhaul about 2” off the boom at mid point, and the vang adjusted until I saw a good sail shape, which oddly, meant putting on quite a bit of vang.  I was worried about death rolling in the puffs, and managed to stay flat by looking back all the time for the darkness in the water, and then when it hit, I would use aggressive mainsheet trimming to dampen out the oscillations. But when the wind comes from the west like that, it can cause a lot of deathrolling.  So on days when it’s windier, if I feel I might deathroll, I quickly sail off on a reach and pop up on a plane and do the best I can that way. Better to be up on a plane, sail a little longer, and then gybe when you feel in control (or even chicken-tack if it’s really windy). Nothing is slower than going for an unwanted swim.

One final thought, it pays to look up at your sail shape as often as you can. I am doing this now more than I used to in the past ( I think Len mentioned that once or twice to me). So in going downwind, again for some reason it seemed like I had to put on vang for a nice shape, and I know most people ease their vangs going downwind, so I don’t quite know what caused that. Maybe it’s the new sail that has not yet broken in.

Best,

Jim Klein

2017_2018 PRSA Laser Frostbite Series #4

Race Committee Training Opportunity

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): 

http://www.ussailing.org/race-officials/find-a-seminar/race-officer-seminar-calendar/

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.”

May 8: Local Knowledge Seminar w/ Barney Harris

Barney Harris will conduct a Local Knowledge Seminar on May 8, 7:00-9:00 pm in the Charleston Room at Indigo Landing Restaurant (WSM).  Come and learn the ins and outs of sailing on the Potomac from one of the masters!  This event is free, and you should feel free to invite others to attend this event.
Please note that since this seminar is held in the Indigo Landing Restaurant, you may not bring any outside alcoholic beverages into the Charleston Room, but you can purchase beverages at the bar and bring those into the seminar.

Falls Series #4 10/10/2010 Results

The water was looking pretty glassy when we got to the marina on Sunday. “Oh say it isn’t so” I thought to myself, the weather was beautiful, but there was not a breath of air to be found. Ever the optimists we all got our boats ready and splashed in anticipation of a little breeze. Yates, our intrepid PRO, decided to postpone on land and see what developed. 8 Lightnings and 1 Albacore sat bobbing around tied up to the dock while we waited. Around 11:15 or so we noticed a little southerly coming up. The RC (Ably manned by the Hobie fleet) went out to the river to investigate. Yes, a southerly was indeed making its way up the river, so in high hopes we set off for the race course. Most of the boats took the tow that the RC was offering. Team Ariel and a couple other boats, however, decided to sail up. Interestingly we all got to the race course at about the same time. RC wasted no time setting up a nice WL course and got us going. The breeze steadily built, and by the time we were finished for the day got up to 13kts or so. Wow, what a great day. We ended up getting 4 races in, with some of the best conditions of the year. Just proves the old adage: Good things come to those that wait. Special kudos go to Yates and the Hobie fleet for a job well done. Scores after the break:

Continue reading Falls Series #4 10/10/2010 Results

Video of The Week: Russ Roberts racing his Lightning single handed

Any sailor will tell you, that sailing single handed is a particular skill, sailing single handed while flying the Spinnaker is really something, but RACING single handed is the thing that separates the men from the boys. On May 2, 2010 a Russ Roberts did just that. In a fleet of 25 Lightnings, he took them all on by himself. You go dude!

PRSA Spring Series # 8 Sunday, June 6 – Last One for Spring Series!

Updated June 7 — 

Albacores did RC. The AccuWeather forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, a high of 91 degrees, and westerly winds at 19 – 22 MPH. A few thunderstorms were possible, some severe. The river flow was below normal for this time of year, at 6.310 CFS (gage height 3.5 ft) and the water had warmed to 82 degrees.  Low tide was at 10:34 AM and high tide at 4:21 PM.  Actual winds were from the SSW at 13 MPH up until 2:30 PM when a front came through, kicking up 29 MPH winds with gusts to 45.  PRO Nathan Marsh and his crack Albacore RC set up an Olympic course with the leeward mark close to (but outside) the channel near the green channel mark off East Potomac Park, and got off four races in quick succession, for the 7 Lightings, 2 Buccs, one Albacore and one Hobie that sailed.  All but 4 Lightnings had retired by the end of race 3 and were back at the docks before the front came through. For the four (Nabeel; Rick; Pat; and Peter Lallas) there was a wild ride home after race 4, but they all made it back without capsizing.  Results to be posted soon.

PRSA Spring Regatta 2010 Saturday and Sunday, May 29 – 30

Updated 5/31/10 — The PRSA Spring regatta, our Memorial Day Weekend major event, has come and gone!  Saturday brought us an overcast morning that slowly cleared, temperatures in the mid 70s, and calm winds until Noon.  PRO Nabeel Alsalam wisely postponed, from the docks, the departure until 11:45, and by the time we got to the race course we had a very nice southerly, blowing 7 – 10 MPH.  Nabeel got off 3 great Olympic course races for the 7 Lightings, 4 Buccs, 17 Albacores, 4 Hobies and a Thistle who came out. On the Lower Course we had 3 Optis and 2 Penguins.  Sunday brought us a promising start with sunny skies, northerly winds at 5 – 10 MPH that unfortunately went light and variable as the day went on, and we gave up on the day at 3 PM at the end of the second race (which not everybody finished, due to a time limit expiration).  Upper Course Results hereLower Course Results here.

Our sincere thanks to the regatta organizing committee and to the PRSA members who worked this regatta.  They include: PROs Nabeel Alsalam (upper course) and Jennifer Parrow (lower course); Race Committee drivers and helpers  Ryan Vear, Stefano de Leo, Red Fehrle, Craig Huzway, Anna Lindel, Elaine Duffe, Inga Barkane, Linda Pacelli, John Hart, Annie Cross, Bill Swanson, Kate Dixon, Steve Parsons, and Thomas Jagodits; Registration workers Will Phillippe, Jeff Neurauter, Happy Olmstead, Wilda Heiss, Steve Parsons, and Barb Thompson;  Planning the post-race barbeque and bringing food and beer: Pat McGee and Scott Snyder; producing the NOR and SIs, and acquiring trophies, scorekeeping, recruiting RC, and Boat Duty, Nabeel Alsalam.  Well done!

Per PRSA Commodore Pat McGee:  Starting Saturday morning many members just kicked in.  I was really pleased by the amount of general pitching in.  I could not move more than a few steps without someone offering to help.  It made me very pleased with our membership.  Maybe this is explained by our having shrunk into a core group (family). I owe all of you  all a big thank you. I can’t thank you guys enough for just picking things up and making it all happen.  Get’er done mentality.  Nabeel – RC — great decisions – sitting on the docks for 90 minutes Sat., I know you were getting some pressured commentary – Great work!

PRSA Spring Series # 7, Sunday May 23!

UPDATED May 24 —  As Becky Mach described the day, if May 9 was Papa Bear (too strong); and May 16 was Mama Bear (too weak); then today was Baby Bear (just right)!  The AccuWeather forecast had called for rain for most of the day with ENE winds at 8 – 10 MPH, and we were delighted to see that the rain held off while the wind forecast held up.  PRO Frank Gallagher and his Lightning-provided RC, with help from Steve Parsons and Ryan Vear, set up an Olympic course with the windward mark near the navigable channel, the leeward mark near the airport shore, and the reach mark far enough north to require a close reach on both the approaching and the departing legs, and ran 4 races in quick succession — an O-2 and three O-3s. The four Lightnings were joined by 3 Hobies, 3 Albacores, and a Bucc and had a most enjoyable day on the water.

Check out real-time  (and historical) conditions at the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System — click on the buoy labeled Upper Potomac to see conditions just south of the Wilson Bridge.

Results after the break:

Continue reading PRSA Spring Series # 7, Sunday May 23!

PRSA Spring Series # 6, Sunday, May 16!

Updated 5/19/10 —  Sunday was a day when the weatherman promised much and delivered so little.  The forecast was for partly sunny and pleasant conditions, a high of 76 degrees, and winds from the northeast at 8 – 10 MPH.   Seven Lightnings, six Albacores, and three Hobies splashed and made their way up to the race course, while  PRO Bob Astrove and RC crew set a windward-leeward course along an ENE axis, with the windward mark close to the deepwater channel and the leeward mark close to the airport shore.  But they only got off one race before the wind died.  At 2 PM the N flag went up and boats were towed back to the dock.  Results after the break:

Continue reading PRSA Spring Series # 6, Sunday, May 16!