Come one and come all — try out your speed and tactics against other boats and other classes in a distance race on the river on Sunday, June 18. We will use government marks and the course will be determined by weather conditions on Sunday. The NOR, Sailing Instructions, and Course Diagrams are all posted below. Scoring will be done using the Portsmouth Yardstick system. Questions should be directed to the PRO for the Distance Race, John Van Voorhis.
What a beautiful day for racing!
The winds were from the south between 10 and 15 mph. They oscillated between 180 and 200. Later in the day, they’d occasionally drop down below 10 but then new breeze would roll up the river.
There were 8 Lightnings on the line. Aaron and I had very close racing with us edging him out by a point at the end of the day. On this type of day with moderate & steady breeze and flat water all the boats are very similar in speed. It is very hard to pass and so the start is more important than usual.
Our strategy was to start near the boat so that we’d have the freedom to tack away. The one time we started down the line, we had a very good start but not good enough to cross the fleet on port. Will & Aaron had us pinned. We eventually tacked and swerved hard to duck Will but Aaron had already tacked and led the pack to the windward mark. Nothing we did would reel him in.
After rounding the leeward mark, if we were leading the strategy for staying in the lead was to sail on port all the way to the airport. Simple. (The airport is generally the better side to be on, maybe because of less chop or maybe because the land funnels the wind a bit there. Don’t really know why.) If we were not the lead boat, we had to fight to keep from sailing into the bad air of the lead boat and look for a small header or better breeze on the left before tacking. Then we had to be on the lookout for another header to get back toward the airport. Not so simple but we made it work once.
Downwind we worked hard to get inside rights at the mark. Usually this meant sailing as deep as possible without sailing by the lee. If the spinnaker trimmer is curling the luff, I’m by the lee if the spinnaker clew is to windward of the forestay. For speed downwind, we tried to keep our weight forward to keep the water flowing smoothly off our transom, healed slightly to windward to give the spinnaker as much air as possible, and the board almost all the way up into the trunk to give the boat some leeward helm. But none of that beats getting a good puff!
Fun close racing!
Thanks to Jeff Neurator, Heather Howard, Chris Porter, and Yates for giving us 4 great races. Heather also took some great pics from the signal boat (thanks Heather!). And thanks to Tom Hutton for getting the scores calculated not just for today but for the whole Spring Series.
The NOR for the PRSA Spring Regatta (May 27-28) has been posted and registration is now open. Visit the regatta website and register by May 21 to take advantage of the early registration discount. Once you’ve registered, help us spread the word about the regatta!
We have partnered with DC Sail once again to organize a spectator cruise aboard the American Spirit on Saturday of the Spring Regatta. Spectator cruise tickets are $20/person (or $25 for a combined cruise and Saturday dinner ticket). Tickets can be purchased via the regatta website. We have also posted complete details on the cruise in the “race documents” area on the regatta website.
We had over 50 people attend the 2016 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony, making it one of the best attended in recent years! I want to extend a very special thank you to Melissa Morgan and Heather Howard for all of their work in planning the AGM, organizing the food and drink, decorating the room, and generally ensuring good cheer such that a great time was had by all.
The PRSA Executive Committee was pleased to highlight our growth over the year, including a 5th consecutive year of membership growth and the highest total membership level (118 members) that we have seen since 2005! We were also pleased to recognize Aaron Boesenecker, Frank Gallagher, and Will Phillippe with PRSA perpetual awards awards. You can keep reading for additional details and links to the relevant documents, including the AGM Agenda, the list of PRSA Spring and Fall Series winners, details on the perpetual award winners, and your 2017 PRSA Executive Committee.
At the AGM each officer from the PRSA Executive Committee provided an update on the state of the association. The membership approved the creation of a committee to review the PRSA Constitution and bring a revised Constitution to the membership for approval at the 2017 AGM. We also celebrated the PRSA Spring Series and Fall Series winners in each class and awarded the PRSA Perpetual Awards to members who have contributed outstanding Service over the year. Finally, we approved a new PRSA Executive Committee for 2016.
PRSA Perpetual Award Winners
- Founder’s Trophy (for outstanding service to PRSA and for the general promotion of PRSA): Aaron Boesenecker
- Fleet Captain’s Award (recognizing outstanding race committee service): Frank Gallagher, for service at the 2016 PRSA President’s Cup
- Yates Dowell III Award (for exceptional administrative service to PRSA): Will Phillippe, for extensive and outstanding work maintaining and improving PRSA Equipment.
2017 PRSA Executive Committee
- Commodore: Kyra Tallon (congratulations Kyra!)
- Vice Commodore: Will Phillippe
- Rear Commodore: Nabeel Alsalam
- Treasurer: Yates Dowell
- Secretary: Nich Allen
- Also assisting the PRSA Executive Committee in 2016:
- PRSA Scorer: Farley Will
- Website Support: Stew Harris
- Committee for Social Activities & Outreach: Heather Howard, Lisa-Marie Lane, Melissa Morgan
- Committee for Sustainability: Laura Lake
- Committee to Review Governing Documents: Jeff Neurauter (and others TBD)
Finally a big thank you to our officers who served PRSA in 2016. Here’s looking forward to an excellent 2017!
Now is the time to pay your PRSA dues for 2017! The 2017 membership year starts on December 1, and you have until January 15, 2017 to pay your dues without late fee. Members paying on or after January 15, 2017, will be assessed a late fee of $25. After you fill out the membership form you will be offered the option of paying via PayPal or sending a check to our PRSA Treasurer.
Please remember that having our association members pay dues up front each year is of immense help to all of our PRSA volunteers. We can better allocate expenditures over the year, organize RC requirements, set up scoring systems in advance, and more. Your PRSA dues support boat and equipment maintenance, insurance, slip fees, and everything else that goes into allowing us to race each weekend. Of course, skippers must be paid PRSA members in order to qualify for the Laser Frostbite Series and the Spring and Fall racing series, and to be eligible to vote at the PRSA AGM.
As you pay your dues I would also encourage you to support the PRSA Commodore’s Club (a donation can be added to your 2017 membership payment). Whether big or small, any additional donation is a great help as we work on maintaining our equipment and conducting safe and fun racing each year. Many thanks, as well, to all of those who contributed to the PRSA Commodore’s Club in 2016: http://www.potomacriversailing.org/applications/membership/CommodoreClub.php.
I’m already looking forward to the 2017 sailing season, and I hope that you are as well!
The 2016 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 19, 6-9 pm, in the community room at Marina Towers in Alexandria, VA. Dinner & drinks will cost $25/person / $10/person for those under 21 (pay at the door with check or cash). This is always a great chance to see everybody and reminisce about another year of great sailing, so I hope to see you there! Please sign up here as soon as possible so that our volunteers can plan for the appropriate amount of food and drink.
Here is the basic schedule of events:
- 6:00 Appetizers & Drinks
- 6:30 Dinner
- 7:30 Business Meeting & Awards
- 7:30-8:00 Officer Reports
- 8:00-8:30 Open discussion
- 8:30-8:45 PRSA Spring & Fall Series Awards
- 8:45-8:55 PRSA Perpetual Awards
- 8:55-9:00 Discussion & approval of 2017 PRSA Executive Committee
- 9:00 Adjourn & Cleanup
We had a great turnout this past Sunday with about 20 boats in a number of classes (Albacores, Buccaneers, Force 5, Lasers, Lightnings, Multihulls, and Sunfish) racing in the 3rd Annual PRSA Dinghy Open. The weather conditions were fantastic with a nice southerly blowing at about 8-12 knots the whole day. PRO Bob Bear and his crew did a great job in getting us 5 fun races (all O2 or O3 courses) and we still had enough time for a wonderful BBQ in summer-like conditions after the racing. Full scores will be posted soon. In the meanwhile, here are the top 4 (the teams that earned hardware this past Sunday):
- Nabeel Alsalam (Lightning)
- Aaron Boesenecker (Lightning)
- John VanVoorhis (Lightning)
- Barney Harris (Albacore)
It was great fun racing against all the classes using the Portsmouth Yardstick (time/wind condition) scoring format. Starts were especially interesting as we ran one big start for all, meaning that you had to negotiate the different timing and starting strategies (and different maneuvering capabilities) of a whole variety of classes. Definitely something new and different for us, but worth doing once or twice a year to shake things up and have some fun!
On October 16 PRSA will host the 3rd Annual PRSA Dinghy Open Regatta. This is your chance to compete against all dinghy classes in a series of “boat-on-boat” races, so don’t miss out!
Sailboats of any class 20’ and under are invited to participate. Sailboats may be organized and compete in three divisions – Spinnaker Division, Non-spinnaker Division and Multi-hull Division. Based on the number of boats present at the Skipper’s Meeting, Divisions may be combined. All races will be scored according to the Portsmouth Yardstick system.
The NOR and Sailing Instructions are posted below. Questions should be directed to the Aaron at email@example.com.
With over 50 boats, over 125 sailors, and 2 days of great racing on both courses the 2016 President’s Cup Regatta was a fantastic success. Results are posted here and here are the links to the amazing photos that Lindsay Bach took on both days:
- Day 1 Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/6E48cbSTeaEc5Mgu9
- Day 2 Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/TGWW5JwXn9acLxQ66
A beautiful S/SW breeze both days meant that most classes got 7 races over the weekend and the Laser class ended up completing 12 races! A huge thank you to all who helped to make the 2016 regatta such a great success, including PRO Frank Gallagher and his RC crew, Heather Howard and Melissa Morgan for organizing a great BBQ, Nabeel Alsalam for scoring, Lindsay Bach for taking photos while on the RC, Lisa-Marie Lane for managing merchandise sales and check-in, DC Sail for their partnership in organizing the spectator cruise aboard the American Spirit, and all the other individuals who pitched in along the way. Dan Dunham also did a great job in getting us some local press coverage on the regatta!
Greetings PRSA Sailors! As we head towards the fall sailing season I wanted to take a moment to share the latest news from PRSA and update you on our fall plans.
- Membership: with 114 members this year we are at our highest membership level since 2005! This is great news, and we are only partway through the year. On top of this, we’ve added a number of new boat owners in the Buccaneer, Laser, and Lighting classes.
- Upcoming Racing:
- Back by popular demand we plan to hold another PRSA Distance Race on the river on Sunday, August 21 if there is sufficient interest (we need at least 5 boats). Please let Aaron know if you’d be interested in sailing in this event. We will use the same NOR, SIs and Course Diagrams that were used on June 12.
- The PRSA President’s Cup will be held on September 17-18. The NOR has been posted. Register now to receive the early registration discount and make sure to invite your friends from other clubs! We will once again have the American Spirit as a spectator boat on Saturday as well. Finally, check out this great piece of PRSA history: the regatta booklet from the 1955 President’s Cup Regatta (thanks to Bobby Astrove for digging this up for us!).
- The PRSA Fall Series kicks off on September 11. Your PRSA Executive Committee will be providing food and beverages for after the racing, so come ready to race and then bring your appetites to the post-race BBQ!
- Regatta News: PRSA sailors have had a lot of success at regattas near and far this summer. Congratulations all around!
- Barney Harris and Mike Chaballa took 1st place at the Albacore Nationals and PRSA Sailors took places 1-4 in the regatta.
- Kyra Tallon and Will Phillippe took 1st in the Buccaneer class at the VA Governor’s Cup.
- Barney Harris and Matthew Rhodes took 1st in the Albacore class at the VA Gov Cup, winning the VA Governor’s Cup (congrats to the Albacores for having the largest fleet at the regatta!)
- Lisa-Marie Lane, Christy Dillard, and Karen Grefe-Jones represented PRSA and Lightning Fleet 50 at the Lightning Women’s North American Championships.
- John Van Voorhis, sailing with his daughter Rachel and Lee Ann Zaretsky, will be representing PRSA and Lightning Fleet 50 at the Lightning North American Championships.
- At the Buccaneer North American Championships Jeff Neurauter and Heather Howard took 3rd place, Kat Martin was the highest placing female skipper, and Connor Burke was the highest finishing youth skipper. Great job!
- Len Gunther took 2nd place at the Deep Creek Laser Regatta.
- PRSA/Lightning Fleet 50 Sailors Aaron Boesenecker, Bob Gotthardt, and Guy Barkwell will be sailing as part of Team USA in the 1st Annual Old Dominion Boat Club International Regatta. They will be competing against teams representing Australia, Canada, Great Britain in S2 7.9s right off the Alexandria waterfront. Come on out and cheer them on!
- Sustainability: if you haven’t already seen our sustainability page, take a look! Thanks to the efforts of Kyra and Laura we have had our major regattas and regatta series certified by the Sailors for the Sea Program as clean regattas. This is good news for the environment and good news for us as PRSA becomes a known name in the sustainability community.
- Media Mentions: perhaps you saw the article on PRSA Sunday Sailing (along with a great photo from our 2016 Rookie Regatta) in the August 2016 edition of SpinSheet? If not, check it out! The September edition of SpinSheet will feature a note on the PRSA President’s Cup Regatta along with photos from Lindsay Bach. In addition, WETA sailor Ben Arthur was featured in the May/June 2016 edition of Sailing World in an article entitled “An Outer Banks Experience (p. 54-58). The article includes a photo of Ben on p. 58!