Category Archives: Results

2024 Lightning Dixie District Championships & 38th Annual Potomac Cup Regatta

This double-header regatta was held at Leesylvania State Park on June 29 and 30 where the Potomac is 2.5 miles wide!

Six races were scheduled and completed in solid 10-15 mph breezes.  Well, it went light in one race which challenged the sailors as the boats had to choose the best VMG angles downwind.

Trevor Prior and team from the Susquehanna Yacht Club won.   PRSA’s own Aaron Boesenecker with Rick Welch and Lisbet Kugler were second.  Joe Buczkowski and team were third.

PRO Nelson Pemberton, mark boat captain, Barney Harris,  and team set up the courses and ran the races.  Dan Trammel, our judge, ran a redress hearing and provided anyone who asked with help interpreting the rules, Thank you!

Red Fehrle and Suzanne Humphrey prepared a steak and salmon dinner for us while we were out racing.  Lindsay Bach, Sheila Campbell, Maryann Gallagher, Christy Chen and many others brought sides to complement the main course.  Frank Gallagher and Pam Maple brought breakfast to get the sailors going.

Jim Dillard was one of the forces behind the creation of Leesylvania State Park back in the 1970s. And he made sure it was sailboat friendly with two cranes for launching out boats.  It is now the home of a sailing school.    Jim was there competing at age 90 in the latest of his series of green Lightnings with his son-in-law Justin and daughter Christy as crew.

Yuengling was again the sponsor of our regatta and we appreciate that continued support.


2024-Dixie-Districts-Days 1 & 2

2024 PRSA Spring Series #7, #8, and Whole Series

Dane Pederson and team ran Spring Series #7.

John Van Voorhis and team ran Spring Series #8.  A front came through and we had a westerly with strong gust from the northwest and a strong current running out.  A line of thunderstorms caused the RC to send us home after two races.  The storms broke up but its better to be safe rather than sorry.

Key Rules for Scoring the Series:

  • For the series total, I asked the program to exclude each sailor’s worst 50% of races — if there were 13 races, 6 were excluded.
  • If you registered on shore but did not start a race you should get the number of finishers + 2.
  • If you started a race but did not finish you should get the number of finishers + 1.
  • If you did not sign up on shore and did not race, you get the number registered in the series + 1.

Spring Series #7 (June 2) 






Spring Series #8 (June 9)




Spring Series Total





2024 PRSA Spring Regatta – Final Results

Spring Regatta racers had a great two days on the water!  Yesterday winds ranged from 10-15mph and were ideal Potomac conditions for five races.  Albacores, however, earned the eye flag for their starts after two general recalls to start the day – currents pushed many boats across the line and were strong both days.  Today we fit in one race before winds emptied to then fill in from the South after we got off the water.  There was a lot of paddling and taking advantage of the airplane wash to get back to shore.



Flying Scot-final


2023 ILCA Frostbite Series #18

Hi everybody,

Greetings from 3rd place — belatedly, thanks for your patience! —  on the last day of the frostbite season (can hardly believe it). Many thanks to Tom and Jim for taking one for our collective team and doing race committee and helping us get in 6 races – glad it was a nice afternoon for you guys! Kudos also to Steen and Farley for taking the top two spots.

This is otherwise going to be a short writeup b/c Farley kindly accepted the trade for — what I hope will also become a tradition, at least occasionally — a travel regatta write-up. So see an email shortly about my experience sailing in the Uganda Laser Open earlier this month.

But back to Sunday, briefly. It was forecasted to be a dying wind after gale/near-gale conditions and sometimes it was quite light – but the wind generally held up. The current was going out all afternoon and sometimes it felt like it was the main propellant downwind. The wind was fluky – sometimes the left was better, sometimes the right. Mostly, I tried to look for puffs and keep the boat going fast regardless of where my wind indicator was pointing. I also tried to keep tabs on who was where and how they seemed to be doing (but could have done this more, it would likely have helped!).

Finally – don’t forget to sign up for the Capital City Regatta next weekend!!! —>

See you there!!

2023 ILCA Frostbite Series #17

I think this is the second time I have raced a Laser since Y2K. Here are some thoughts.

CURRENT: High tide was at 1518, however recent rains to the west must have filled the river as we had an out going current all day.  I am not intimately familiar with this part of the Potomac. Reviewing my RaceQs record (see attached file), the extent of the course for races 2-5 was roughly mid way between the east and west shores. The bathymetry would have gradually increasing depth from right to left looking upwind. I would expect the current to be slower on the west side of the course due to it being shallower water and in the “lee” of the mud flats surrounding the airport landing lights.

WIND: While rigging I had forgotten to install the battens in the sail. Everyone had departed, so I slid the boat from its dolly onto the grass and rolled it over. In the process I saw the dirt and grime covering the hull – figuring that no one would be racing in such light air – and gave it a quick cleaning. By the time I got to the course area I saw the fleet in the final throes of race #1 that was started in an easterly that morphed into a nearly non-existent southerly for the final two legs. The breeze gradually, sporadically filled in from the south for races 2-5. This was nothing like our regular, thermal-driven southerly. More often than not, we saw gusts from the east. The combination of favorable current and SE gusts drew me to the left more often than not. Now, the day’s forecast was for a southerly breeze shifting to west and increasing at around 1400. I was half expecting people to come from the far right, planing into the mark – but this never occurred. The westerly finally showed up, nearly two hours late and right after the final race. Bottom line is that if one were going to pick a side, in the absence of any other indications, the left (east) appeared to be favored. What will it be next time? No freaking clue.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS: I kept overstanding the windward mark. I don’t recall the Laser being that close winded. Maybe it was me mis judging the current. We had a few fleeting moments where we had to hike and almost enough wind to blow the leech open. I put tell tales in the middle of the sail. None on the leech – its always stalled anyway. My new dry suit worked really well: the relief zipper served its purpose – a heretofore untested and critical piece of technology!

IN SUM: The PRSA frostbite program continues to function well. I recall my first sail on the Potomac during the winter of 1982-83 in penguins and then lasers. Just about all the names have changed but the sailing is still tricky, challenging, and fun. The informal post race social was fun and enhanced by the bright sunshine and 74 deg F temperatures. GF Lee drove down and brought some snacks. Celeste brought Elmarie. Special thanks to Tyler and Eva for serving as RC.


23-24 PRSA ILCA Frostbite Series #17

2023-2023 ILCA FROSTBITE #14

Sunday was one of the best days of racing I have had this season. While light winds had been forecasted, the wind quickly increased to around ten knots with gusts well above that. It came from the south-southeast but would periodically shift farther southeast and less commonly would shift farther south. The puffs almost always came from the left side of the course. This combined with the prevailing shifts meant that the far left seemed the place to be for most of the day. While the pin was not significantly up for many of the starts, I felt that starting at the pin and taking off left was the way to go. The tide was outgoing the whole day, and so there was very significant up-course current. It took me seven seconds to travel upwind one boat length upwind at the first start while luffing.

The first start, we were in a left shift and most of the fleet was set up for the pin. I was OCS and decided to gybe and head upwind on port. I was lifted for a long time but eventually found a more average angle to tack on and head left. I rounded the weather mark in the back, but caught up to the fleet. The downwinds all day were very interesting. Because the pressure came from the left, a balance had to be struck between staying in the puffs and working to get the inside around the leeward mark. Personally, I found that by staying on the left side I could usually cleanly pass people I might have gotten tangled up with around the mark. I passed a few boats downwind, rounded the mark, and tacked immediately. I was headed for a while, but I got clear air and a very nice shift on the left side that put me in the upper half of the fleet around the top mark. The next downwind was fairly standard, I don’t remember passing anyone. The finishing leg was played very differently to the rest of the racing and overall I thought it was something I could have done better all day. It seemed like it was preferable to stay on port until on layline for the boat and then tack. I ended up finishing around fifth.

The second race went very similar. This time I accounted for the current more and was not over, but did not have a very good start. I decided to stay on starboard longer than anyone else to get clear air, and as a result overstood the layline. All day, I was right on the edge of being able to keep the boat flat in the puffs ( I am very light for the full rig). Being overstood definitely hurt more than normal because it was harder to keep the boat flat in low mode. I rounded the top mark in fifth but had a bad rounding and lost a boat right after. The downwind was very standard and I caught the boat that had passed me. All day, I thought staying more to the course left than your opponents was the only sure way to prevent them getting an excellent shift and making a comeback both upwind and downwind. By the end of the leg, I was overlapped with many boats and attempted to go wide and fall in behind the pinwheel. This did not quite go as intended and I ended up on the outside of a group. I tacked underneath and managed to gain a boat or two back on the upwind just by staying left. By now, the fleet was spread out and again I finished fifth.

The third race, I got an amazing start by winning the pin. Pretty quickly, I got headed but decided to just keep going because of good pressure up ahead. This turned out to be pretty costly and I dropped back to around third. I stayed there for the downwind but closed some distance. Rounding the top mark, I tacked on the first right shift and headed left. Shortly after, the wind began to die all over the course. It stayed a little longer on the right and it looked like some people made good gains over there. However, I could see whitecaps just before the bridge on the left and so headed that way, trusting that the wind would fill in. I have found that in general if the wind is dying and then coming back, betting on the new system rather than the old is favorable. I caught the shift perfectly as the pressure came back and ended up rounding the weather mark in first. I held this to the end of the race and took the win.

Race four, I had another great start at the pin. I found that setting up low was crucial because of the current and that there was enough wind a long runup was not essential. This was another advantage to going left upwind. Deeper water means more current so heading near the channel allowed for better speed upwind. I tacked in a much better place than race three and rounded the weather mark in first. I held on for the downwind, but going back up the wind had increased and I was struggling to keep the boat flat. I was passed by sail 603 as a result. I got close to catching him on the downwind but was unable to and followed him for the rest of the race.

Race five was very similar, I rounded the top mark in second by banging the left corner on the upwind. I was unable to catch the boat in first but managed to hold on until the last leg. Going upwind on port tack, the whole fleet was very lifted. I found a decent shift back and decided to tack sooner, mostly to cover the boats behind me. This turned out to be a mistake as I lost one boat and finished in third. I noticed someone behind me getting to the inside of a pinwheel by going very by the lee in a puff and planing for a few seconds, this seemed to work very well.

Race six, I had a good start but lost my lane quickly and was sucked back into the pack. I stayed left longer than any of the boats near me to get clear air, but two boats went further and both beat me to the weather mark along with a few others. I caught two boats downwind, but lost one back upwind because I went too far left and overstood. On the second downwind, I was sailing by the lee trying to get to a covering position when I was hit with a surprise puff and spun out into a capsize. I got to the board quickly but the sail was on the windward side so when I brought the boat up it flipped over again. I probably should have california rolled, but I had touched the bottom while righting the boat and was unsure if it was deep enough (as well as if my drysuit neck seal was good). I finished last in that race.

All told, it was a fun day on the water with near-ideal conditions that made the racing very interesting and enjoyable. If you could find a good angle on starboard tack, there were almost always opportunities to gain. While the downwind was fairly straightforward with no gybe until the end necessary, this led to great opportunities by playing for the inside and covering your opponents.

Credit to Kaitlyn for getting a good photo!

23-24 PRSA Frostbite Series #14

2023-2023 ILCA FROSTBITE #13

Big thank you to the Race Committee for running 5 great races. The weather was near ideal with the air temp in the 40s and wind between 12 and 19 kts for most of the day. I did consider briefly rigging up my radial sail as I worried that the realized conditions would beat the forecast. However, I gambled that the forecast would be accurate and wouldn’t exceed my cut off point (20 kts+) for wanting an easier rig to manage. Despite not being overpowered, I did manage to capsize upwind during the 3rd and 4th races. After chatting with Farley and Laura onshore, I think it was because I was overcompensating for some recent bad habits (oversteering while tacking and coming out low) and understeering and then crossing the boat too slowly. Laura did have a general comment that outhauls were too tight and people needed to keep some shape in their sails and not over flatten them.

My focus of the day was on having good starts and avoiding people. The line was set for the 15ish boats that signed-in so there was plenty of room to work with only 10 boats starting. With the wind out of the South and a flooding tide weakening the current, I was not worried about being over early. My strategy was to start in the middle and capitalize on the expected midline sag. Each race, I’d find a safety transit (a line from the back of the motor through the pin to something on shore) and aim to start accelerating from a couple boat lengths back at 10 seconds. The strategy worked 4 out of 5 starts with having clear air and on the line at the gun, only time it didn’t work is when I lost sight of Tom and he rolled me. After the start I worked my way up to the windward mark trying to minimize the number of tacks coming in close to the port ley line. Downwind, I worked to the inside to not give up the inside overlap. I was often able to pick up boats at the final leeward mark by rounding well and then sailing to the starboard ley line and finishing at the boat.


23-24 PRSA Frostbite Series #13

2023-2023 ILCA Frostbite #12

Here is your post game third place writeup from sailing today!

Today was definitely one of those days where you needed to show up to see what was happening on the river.  While the forecast was for really light and rain all day, it turned out to be a really nice day.  The wind stayed all day between 5 and 8 knots out of slightly east of north.  Thanks to Chris and Logan for running 6 races for us!  And it really only rained for 2 races which also had the best wind.

As for the racing, there were no over early boats due to a strong out flowing current.  This meant that there was also considerable line sag that needed to be watched out for.  It also meant that you needed to be smart about your tacks.  I felt like each time I tacked I slid back a little on the course.  This was most evident if you missed the ley line at the windward mark and had to do a quick double tack.

I felt like starts were the most important part of the day.  Chris and Logan did a really good job adjusting the start line each race.  As mentioned, I think there was likely considerable sag in the line each start which mean some people would start “on the line” and be a boat length behind at the beginning.  With a well set line, the pin should be slightly favored and it was each race, but the wind shifts and the length of the line made me think the boat might be a good starting spot.  I was wrong every time I did this and ended up playing catchup attempting to catch Steen and Laura.  My better races were definitely the ones where I started at the pin.  I think this was due to the line sag and wind direction at or shortly after each start that allowed the pin starting boats to tack and cross the fleet.

Other important thoughts all day were:

  • Keep clear air going down wind.  This was relatively easy since you were automatically by the lee when rounding the windward mark on starboard and it was difficult for people to get on top of you if you just stayed a little bit inside of boat behind you.
  • Do not pinch upwind.
  • Watch for the shifts.

And unlike two other similar days this season with heavy current and light wind, the wind was a little more than those and you did not need to foot as much to make headway up river against the current.  You could sail a little more “normal”.

It is also very interesting that we had a 4 way tie for places 5-8!  There was a lot of really close sailing today!

Hope to see everyone out next week!


23-24 PRSA Frostbite Series #12

2023-2024 ILCA FROSTBITE #11

I figured I would send out my Third place write-up once my body had recovered from this Sunday. It’s not quite there, but here we go… Somehow being contorted into all manner of light air sailing positions is about as painful as heavy air.

Sunday was warm and sunny, roughly 50 F, and I’d say we had a blustery 2-4 knots.

There were several naysayers, but my boat was rigged and I was wearing a drysuit so I launched my laser and pushed off the dock. Reaching the racecourse was slow going, but after riding a few airplane exhausts I had arrived. I generally did not notice heavy current as I didnt seem to be drifting against the shoreline, but upwind felt more painful than downwind. (Although, the downwind legs were generally more broad reaches).

Throughout the day, the wind was light and seemed to vary between north, east, and southeast directions. My start of Race 1 felt pretty good, and I was off the line with some of the leaders. Unfortunately, I was tracking to port (west) of the windward mark and as the wind filled in from the east, I had to duck most of the fleet on port as it slowly sailed by in a line like ducks in a row. After rounding the windward mark, the wind continued to be from the east. A cluster of boats sailed high fighting for the windward spot, and I was able to consolidate downwind by sailing more directly to the mark and finished in 5th place after the 1 lap course.

For Race 2, I fought for a boat start to be closer to the wind (still coming from NE to SE). I came off the line with ok speed on starboard and ahead of many boats that were below the line at the start. I noticed some boats (specifically Laura, I think) with tight outhauls and cunninghams to minimize draft and allow the low velocity wind to flow across the sail. I tried tightening my cunningham but ultimately left it largely off after being traumatized by the vertical crease running down the sail. (I’d like to hear what other folks tried for such light air). Laura was ahead of me and slightly to windward, and seemed to be pointing higher than me. Whenever I began sailing to leeward of her, I would tack onto port to avoid her windshadow and move closer to the wind coming from the eastern shore. I believe I rounded ahead, but pretty far behind Steen. With no boats around me, I continued to sail the downwind leg, the second lap, and finished in 2nd place.

For Race 3, I felt that the pin was more to windward, but perhaps it was just a more even start line than prior starts. I attempted to start near the pin, but found myself buried behind boats, shadowed, and with little speed. After the gun, I tacked onto port and passed behind nearly the entire fleet until I reached the RC boat, where I tacked back onto starboard to finally cross the start line. The wind dropped to its lightest in Race 3. As soon as I could clear the RC boat’s anchor line I tacked onto port to again try and chase any light puffs coming from the east. Farley, Steen, Laura, and Logan had a good lead on the fleet and they seemed to be moving forward. I seemed to manage either slight forward momentum or holding position, while the rest of the fleet appeared to be drifting backwards. The upper half of the windward leg John had good speed and achieved overlap and rounded ahead of me. Downwind I was able to pull ahead into 5th place. I dont really recall the second upwind, but I largely held my position. For the second downwind Logan was holding the high lane by going left (east shore), but I consolidated by heading straight to the leeward mark. Logan seemed to have to fight back towards the leeward mark for the rounding. For the final upwind leg and the finish I was able to keep my bow ahead and eventually finished in 4th place.

23-24 PRSA Frostbite Series #11