Let’s Go Sailing!
Getting on a boat easy! The links below take you to the essential information you need to get involved with PRSA. Additional information about PRSA, membership benefits, our history, and more can be found farther down the page.
- When and where do we race? We hold a multi-week spring series, a multi-week fall series, and a Laser frostbite series over the winter. All races are listed on our calendar of events. You can also view the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions for our regular events. We sail out of Washington Sailing Marina, off of the George Washington Parkway between National Airport and Old Town Alexandria.
- Who do I talk to? For general inquiries regarding sailing, racing, and the association you can email our Commodore or one of the other officers on the PRSA Executive Committee. You should also feel free to drop by and chat! On Spring and Fall Sunday series race days you can find us near the cranes at Washington Sailing Marina between 9:30 and 10:30 as we prep our boats for racing. During the Frostbite season will be there between 11:30 and noon. Feel free to stop by to talk to some of our sailors and learn about our boats and racing program.
- Where do I sign up to crew? Subscribe to the PRSA Crew Connection Google Group and post a note! Skippers looking for crew can also post here.
- How do I stay informed? Join our Google Groups email list! Use this link to send us a request to join (or just search Google Groups for PotomacRiverSailing): https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/potomacriversailing Once you are a group member, you can email the list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org You can also “like” and follow PRSA on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PotomacRiverSailingAssociation
What is the Potomac River Sailing Association?
PRSA was founded in 1935 to provide a focal point for small boat sailing on the Potomac. If you are new to the area or new to sailing, there is no better way to meet others with similar interests than through PRSA. PRSA is surprisingly affordable and we offer a sailing experience second to none. We hold more than 40 days of bona fide one-design racing every year: more than 150 races, with roughly 2,500 dinghy starts, plus weekday evening races, clinics, training seminars, and various other fleet-sponsored activities. We doubt there is any club in the area with a racing program as active as ours, and certainly nothing comparable to our low cost. If you are interested in PRSA history you can read a summary of the history of the club here as well as review some of our historical documents. You can also view our list of recent PRSA Commodores and the current PRSA Executive Board. Our Bylaws are also available for your review.
We sail out of the Washington Sailing Marina. Our “upper course” is 1.5 miles up the river from the marina between Haines Point and Reagan National Airport and south of the 14th Street Bridge. Our “lower course” is off of the power plant at the north end of Old Town Alexandria. The “cove” north of the docks (in front of the Indigo Landing restaurant) is the site for some of our evening sailing and Laser frostbite racing.
The Washington Sailing Marina is just off of George Washington Parkway about 1.5 miles south of the Reagan National Airport (measured from the tower) and about a mile north of Old Town Alexandria. Look for the sign for Washington Sailing Marina, Dangerfield Island, and Potowmack Landing. Park in the restaurant’s parking lot and walk across the rows of boats in dry slips to reach the crane area, which is the center of activity.
Benefits of PRSA Membership
PRSA’s racing program includes a Frostbite Regatta in March, a Spring Regatta on Memorial Day weekend, and the President’s Cup regatta on the weekend after Labor Day. In addition to these events, PRSA conducts two eight-week series that provide Sunday racing competition in the spring (April to June) and Fall (September to November). PRSA and its constituent fleets conduct additional special events throughout the year. Finally, PRSA also holds a Laser frostbite series from December to March (when the river isn’t frozen).
At the present time PRSA has seven active one-design racing fleets: Albacores, Buccaneers, Multi-hulls, Lasers, Lightnings, Penguins, and Scows. Additional one-design classes can be recognized as fleets when they have at least five boats as members. Boat owners not in a fleet can participate by starting with a similar class. However, PRSA does not do handicap scoring of races.
While PRSA social activities mainly focus on post-race tailgate parties after the Sunday races, we also hold an Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony each November. PRSA also puts together picnics, introduction to sailing seminars, rules seminars, and other events throughout the year.
PRSA dues primarily fund operation and maintenance of our two powerboats so that we can conduct safe and efficient racing. In addition, your dues payments help fund our insurance payments, trophies & awards, the website, and food and drinks for our major regattas. Here are the current dues requirements:
- Skipper, single-person boat: $90
- Skipper, multi-person boat: $120
- Associate Member: $40
- Junior/Student Member: $35
A new skipper joining PRSA after the beginning of a membership year (after 1 December) will pay prorated membership dues calculated from the 1st day of the month in which the new skipper joins. All member dues are due by 15 January each year. A $25 late fee will be assessed for dues payments from returning members submitted after 15 January. At these low rates PRSA dues are the best deal around! To join, just click here to get the Membership application.
Racing awards for the top skippers in each fleet for the PRSA Spring and Fall Series are awarded at the Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony. We also award skipper and crew trophies for the top boats in each class at the Spring Regatta and the President’s Cup. In addition, several PRSA Perpetual Awards recognizing individual achievements and contributions to the association are awarded at our Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony each year. Our results pages lists racing results from recent years.
You and PRSA
PRSA is a local organization whose members own many types of sailboats and provide competition on all levels from absolute novice to national champion. Membership in PRSA is required for participation in the PRSA Spring and Fall Series races on the Potomac. Running sailboat races, whether it be an America’s Cup or a Sunday race on the Potomac, takes money, effort, organization, and manpower. Your membership in PRSA is a vital contribution towards keeping sailing alive as a viable sport in Washington.
PRSA acts as representative of the Washington sailing community in negotiations with the Park Service and the facilities contractor on all issues, including parking and launch fees, which affect use of the marina facility. The owners of the boats of a given one-design class are organized into a fleet. While PRSA itself runs most of the races on the Potomac River, its constituent fleets conduct the training activities for new and intermediate sailors and have additional social and racing functions. In addition, PRSA’s insurance covers local fleet races under the PRSA umbrella.