John Van Voorhis, Bob Bear, and Steen Byskov and son ran the races – four of them.
Join us for the 2023 Potomac River Sailing Association Capital City Laser Regatta on March 25 and 26.
Close out your winter Laser Season with this 2 day event. We will be sailing Saturday and Sunday and will be having dinner at the marina on Saturday after racing.
First, I would like to thank Brian and his daughter, Thea, on Race Committee, as well all the other behind the scenes organizers to the fleet. It was a tough day to be RC, given the velocity and directional shifts of the day. We saw 0 to 13 knots, oscillating from S by W to South with races 5 and 6 going S by E 3 times from south in the heavier puffs. That’s about a 25-degree oscillation.
The boat end was favored for the first 4 races, races 3 and 4 very heavily boat end favored, in 5 and 6 as the breeze came up it shifted left to S by E, this made the line more square. Current was high around noon, we had a strong ebb or south flow all day, this meant extra space to leeward of the start line and not to set up with no hole at the boat since it would be closed, aka 2 nd row.
Some pre-race thoughts:
Starting approach was to get off the line clean and fast, even if that meant not at the most favored end but free of traffic and with clear air, more of a conservative approach.
On one downwind legs approaching the leeward mark I had 2 boats inside and overlapped, and 3 boats overlapped to my right outside of me. All on port jibe. I set up to carry the 2 boats inside me up to just before entering the 3-boat length circle when I jibed to break overlap and as I entered the 3-boat length circle. First, when jibing or tacking outside the circle breaks the overlap, second, I had positioned the jibe so that I was clear ahead on starboard while the 2 inside boats were on port still, this occurred as I entered the circle. I communicated to the 2 inside boats, that they no longer had room. This is a textbook maneuver to be expected, I am hopeful the 2 boats inside take away this experience to anticipate next time.
I learned a rather large lesson that cost me a 1st to 5th place finish in Race 3. In race 3 I rounded the leeward mark in first place and proceeded up the right side to the weather mark, when I heard Farley get the horn, I unwound myself to finish 5th . I had lost track of the race legs and thought it was the second beat. I was focused on the breeze between myself and the windward mark. Perfect example of sailing with my head too much in the boat.
Dave Coughlin, Sail number # 116366
Sailing today was….tough. Everyone had a tough time on the water today. First off thanks to Jim and Kaitlyn for doing RC on a hard day. Today’s forecast was for 10 with gusts of 19 out of the west this morning. Arriving at the marina, this was looking to be true at 11 AM. But by the skippers meeting it was up probably closer to 15-20. Most of us were on shore when Chris Bolton headed out and was planing downwind in the channel to get out to the river. He was really moving!
Anyways 13 of us got to the course in time for the first start. Not sure there is much to say for racing today. It was definitely about staying upright and keeping the boat depowered. Something that I was doing while racing was paying attention to the boats ahead of me for when shifts and puffs hit them so that I could be prepared for them. This paid off multiple times. During the racing, there were definitely gusts that were maybe up to 30 knots. My gps tracker had me with a top speed of 11.5 knots during the second race.
We have two more weekends left of the season. I hope to keep seeing everyone out!
Kaitlyn took some photos that can be found at https://photos.app.goo.gl/GC5kxc8BR84TroMk8.
Kudos to all our sailors down at the Laser Masters in West Palm and Jensen Beach Florida- Keith, Len, Nabeel, Kat and James. An additional shout out to Jacques who just finished the Laser Worlds In Thailand-24 races in two weeks- super impressive.
This past Sunday was another great day of sailing on the Potomac with a steady breeze 10-12 knots out of the South. Anson and Dan ran 6 races all windward leewards. RC boat was favored so always tried starting at the boat end. Need to work on speed off the line and keeping a clear lane. Thanks to our previous Skippers meeting Steen mentioned steering with your body weight versus rudder movement and this was working downwind doing S turns. Catching waves while working the main to make sure pressure was in the sail. Of course when brain fade hit in the third race, I forgot the RC boat was favored and lost a place to #603. Realized my mistake and sailed further to the right on the 4th race to almost get my first bullet of the season but was denied by a half boat length.
Another fun day of racing! Note to self- bring more Beer (!) as its always fun talking to everyone afterwards. Where is Howell ?! I have a Handle of Rum for fixing my boat And keeping me on the water!
Thanks again for the RC in running 6 races.
Yes it’s my second third place write up in recent weeks. Exciting stuff all around! Have a great week.
Cheers Kevin #508 ie Pingu / Skipper B Fleet
Greetings from 3rd place! Sunday was forecasted to be about 13 kts with gusts over 20 – and would say that we mostly got about that (or a bit less) with a few good gusts. It was also sunny and warm, which was a nice contrast to last week. Good to see so many folks out there and thank you to Ethan and Eva for running 6 races!
This was also the first weekend in a long while (at least as per my recent memory) when we had protests – and we had two! This prompted lively rule discussions with witnesses and other interested parties in the parking lot after racing. The one I brought involved Rule 17 (“On the same tack; proper course”) – and in hindsight, should also have included Rule 14, but more on that below. I was heading downwind between two boats and towards the end of our downwind leg (but before the circle) each one thought that they could head towards me and there was contact. Will let the others weigh in on the other protest (if they choose).
Here is a video about Rule 17 that I found particularly helpful, especially the part at the beginning about rights depending on how the overlap occurred and the discussion of “proper course.”
This experience also reminded me of Rule 14 (“avoiding contact”) which generally states that a right-of-way boat does not have to keep clear unless it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear. In other words, contact does not need to happen for a boat to be in the wrong.
And related – it also reminded me about the importance of communication on the water, not just when super close to other boats, but in preparation for mark rounding, confirming if one can cross on port (or not), etc.
Overall, now thinking that in addition to a tip of the week, it might also be a good idea to discuss rules after sailing, at least from time to time. I know I would find it helpful.
In terms of technique and boat setup, I’ve been trying to focus more on speed over pointing upwind, which means easing my mainsheet quite a bit to keep the boat flat and generally playing it more – and being sure to keep a lot of vang, tight cunningham, and just a couple inches of draft – i.e., not totally strapped. It seems to be helping. Downwind, I’m trying to use my rudder less and weight/sheeting more (thanks for the reminder, Steen!).
Looking forward to next week!
Yes my first time ever writing the Third Place write up hopefully not my last!The day was Cold, Windy, and Raining the whole day with sustained winds NNE starting 10-15 gusting up to 25+ especially at the end of the day.My goal for the day was to have clean starts and clear air both a challenge. Especially being slow off the line and becoming the marshmallow for the better sailors sailing over me. So after the starts was always looking to tack to port for clear air…Thanks for tips from other better sailors was able to keep bow down and did not pinch as I have done in the past. Also still learning the controls and shape of the newer MKII sail and starting to dial it in by not keeping the out haul tight in heavy air but 3-4” out.As the races went on the waves got bigger and more challenges sailing in waves up wind. Need to do more S patterns rather then sailing into the waves slowing down the boat.Downwind was fun trying to catch waves but having a lead from third to eighth after the death roll I promised to LJ.The last race I had a great start with a nice lift on the left and saw other sailors getting tired and went all out to pull in a second. Great day of sailing!Thanks to RC for setting up Olympics and giving tips after the races. Also thanks to the other sailors who helped me with their spares so I could get on the water. (Note to self buy extra vang keys and drain plugs.)Great to see the Team efforts to get everyone in safely to the Docks. Sailflow at this time was gusting to 32. Excited to sail with all you frostbiters. See you next weekend.Kevin ie Pingu. #4508 Go B Fleet.
See photos curtesy of Steen on RC!
It was a nice, breezy day to go Laser sailing. The air was warm and the water wasn’t. I found that there were some oscillating righties coming through, so I decided to start generally next to the boat. The upwind was very short, so it was a matter of hiking hard and usually tacking twice to get some space to the windward mark. For the reach leg, I had a hard time because some of the boats behind wanted to attack high and I felt that I had no choice but to defend. The problem is that then boats can take you on the inside and pass low. I’ve found when racing in college and elsewhere that the few boats ahead generally work to gain distance from the pack, rather than ruining each other’s races. In this way, they gain such that they are more assured of a better finish instead of the pack ending up on top of them and making everyone’s life, and finishing place, more difficult and worse. On the upwinds, the right paid if one wasn’t too close to the really shallow stuff. I tended to use more downhaul upwind than I thought I’d need–the eye was at the level of the boom, which let me keep the boat pretty flat. I want to thank the race committee and everyone who raced for a great day!
Somehow an out-of-practice clown show landed 3rd place on Sunday’s score sheet. My day was more about recalling than performing. Here are some recollections. The current was flooding, the wind was southerly, and the starting line was a comfortable length, so getting off the line with a good lane was relatively easy. I typically found myself below the boat at 1 minute, danced a bit up to the line with others, then cranked on the vang at ~10 seconds and bore off into my hole for speed. I likely started too far off the line because I never remembered getting a good line sight. There were gains to be made by being in phase with the wind, in retrospect. Clearing the mainsheet so it will run out at the windward mark; yeah, do that. Getting into proper position in the boat and looking over your shoulder for wind on the downwind leg, probably ought to do that too. Ensuring clear overlap communications and being practiced at pulling in the mainsheet with both hands at the leeward mark jibe, ditto. Overall, well-run races on a nice windy day, thank you Tyler and Jim. It was fun cranking the vang and working that ease, hike, sheet cycle to keep the boat flat. Now, where did I put the ibuprofen?