UPDATED May 10! Two days of strong northerly winds had pushed a lot of the tidal Potomac River water south, and that, coupled low tide around noon, made for the lowest water level we have ever seen on the river at the marina. The mud flats adjacent to the airport pier were actually above water; a windsurfer was seen walking his rig upstream in chest-high water in the middle of the channel; the ribs of the sunken wreck were two feet above the water surface. The AccuWeather forecast had called for sunny skies, with winds from the NW at 15 – 20 MPH, and gusts to 25, and they got the sunny skies part right, but the wind turned out to be stronger and gustier than predicted. Three Lightnings, four Albacores, and two Cats splashed, and RC did set out for Haines point to try to set up a long windward-leeward course as far upriver as they could, but the strong gusty winds and low water made them change their mind, and racing was canceled at 11:30 AM.
Good wind, good temperatures, good waves and good race committee work made for great sailing this Sunday. We had 4 or 5 Bucs, 2 hobies, and 5 albs out on the race course sailing 4 windward leeward twice around races and 1 Triangle. 5 races total. With the wind picking up later in the day only Heinsdorf, Harris and Hesse stayed for the final race. Must be something about ‘Hs” The albs brought a ringer skipper from Toronto and a ringer crew from California. Harris, in his new state of age, showed a little mind slipping as he overstood the finish in race 2 and wanted to go around again. Don’t know what that was all about. Heinsdorf once again demonstrated his quick reactions as he dunked his brother crew while he scrambled to the rail for safety during a leeward mark rounding capsize.
Thanks to the race committee: Bill Buck; Susan Graham, Nathan Marsh, and mystery girl (Heinsdorf’s brother’s friend). And to the use of a GW crash boat. After racing, Lee pulled out the leftovers including BEER from the monster party on Friday for everyone to feast on. Thanks to everyone for the good time. Results after the break:
Updated 4/26/10 — Seven Lightnings came out along with 4 Hobies, 3 Albacores, and a Laser on a day with a NOAA forecast of heavy weather arriving sometime after 2 PM (which it did, but north and west of DC). Before 2 PM, the winds were predicted to be from the south at 8 – 9 MPH under cloudy skies, with a high temperature of 75 degrees, and that’s exactly what we got, except that the clouds dissipated by the end of the first race. PRO David Thompson and RC set up a windward-leeward course and got off three races in quick succession, finishing the 3rd race at exactly 2:00 PM, then sending boats home to ensure a safe ride and retrieval at the cranes before the heavy weather hit (which never did here, except that winds increased to 20 MPH after 3 PM). Results to be posted soon.
UPDATED 4/19/10 — The AccuWeather Forecast called for sunny skies, a high of 60 degrees, and winds from the NW at 14 – 18 MPH, and that’s about what we got, except that it was cloudier and chillier than predicted. The river flow, at 9,150 CFS (gage height 3.9 ft) was below normal for this time of year, and the water temperature was down to 62 degrees. High tide was at 11:26 AM. 10 Lightnings and 3 Albacores came out. Yates Dowell and the Hobie fleet set up a triangular course and got off three races in quick succession, and we were all back at the docks by 3 PM. During docking on the return, Erich Hesse in his Albacore came screaming straight in to the slot between two of the crane docks, made an incredibly tight U-turn, and stopped the boat along side the north dock with bow pointed out — stunning! Crew Lars Rathjen, standing on Eric’s forward deck, then stepped neatly off the deck — and right into the water! It was a site worthy of a bloopers video. Fortunately, no injuries, other than to Lars’ psyche. Results after the break:
What an outstanding day, weatherwise, for the first race day of the 2010 season — sunny skies, a high of 75 degrees, and gentle breezes made for Bermuda shorts attire and fun conversations. Erich Hesse and his ace Albacore RC crew got off three races in somewhat challenging wind conditions — a 9 MPH southerly at the start of the first race, but dying off to an ESE at 3 MPH at 2 PM, then coming back up later in the afternoon, reaching 12 MPH at 6 PM, well after we were off the water. The river flow was slightly below normal for this time of year, at 12,500 CFS (gage height 4.2 ft) and the water temperature was 62 degrees. Low tide was at 1:42 PM; High tide at 7:31 PM. 8 Lightnings came out, along with 3 Hobies, 2 Albacores, and a Flying Scot. Results after the break:
UPDATED 4/11/10 — Today’s AccuWeather Forecast calls for sunny skies, a high temperature of 74 degrees, and winds from the SSW at 6 – 9 MPH. The river flow is slightly below normal for this time of year, at 12,500 CFS (gage height 4.2 ft) and the river water temperature is 62 degrees. First high tide is this morning at 7:09 AM; Low tide will be at 1:42 PM; Second high tide at 7:31 PM. Take off your winter covers and get ready to race!
Time to remove our winter covers, shake out the cobwebs, and get ready to race! Sunday April 11 is the date. Skippers meeting at 10; first gun at 11:30. Be There!
OK, I know I’ve had a lot of Lightning stuff up here, so its time to share the wealth with our other classes. This week its the Hobies turn. There is some great Hobie Cat racing footage here. Check it out. Enjoy:
Saturday night 47 PRSA Skippers, crew, and guests came together at the Marina Towers for an evening of socializing, dinner, awards, and PRSA business. See details and who attended here. Congratulations to Lighting skippers Nabeel Alsalam, Rick, Welch, and Pat McGee for their top 3 rankings in the Spring Series, and to Frank and Rick for their top 2 finishes in the Fall Series, and to Tom Berlin, for his first place award for the Albacore Fall Series. Rick was given the Fleet Captain’s Award for outstanding service as Race Committee Chair for Spring Series 8; Tom Berlin was awarded the Founder’s Trophy for service above and beyond the call of member duty, for his continued work , and success, all fall in getting the engine of the 16 skiff working again. Officers elected to the board for 2010 were: Pat McGee, Commodore; David Thompson, Vice Commodore; Scott Snyder, Rear Commodore; Yates Dowell, Treasurer; Robert Bennett, Secretary; and Jim Graham, member-at-large.
Today (Nov 7th) is the PRSA Fall Finale Regatta. This is the last regatta of the year for our fair weather sailing friends, and the first of our winter Laser frostbite season. Right now the weather looks perfect, A high of 59 degrees is predicted, with sunny skies and winds from the S at 8 – 9 MPH all day. We should have a big turn out for this regatta. Last year we had 3 Albacores, 2 Buccs, 3 Hobies, 3 Lasers, and 5 Lightings show on a day with questionable weather. This year we should do better than that! The Skippers Meeting is at noon and the first warning at 12:40. Frank is PRO, with Mladen, Brenna, Barney, and Jill as helpers. We’ll be sailing in the cove or down by the power plant depending on the weather and how many boats show up. Bring hot Chili and cold beer for the party after. Hope to see you on the water!