Race Committee set up a windward leeward course (I believe all 2 lap races) and ran a total of 6 races. Although we had a total of 18 competitors for the day, we had as few as 7 and as many 17 scored competitors in any given race. I’ve perceived the wind strength to be fairly steady in the 8 to 11 knots range, primarily southish. Low tide was at 11:20 am and (in my view) was influential in the early races. With high tide scheduled for 5:40 pm, I observed substantial current flowing north (upriver) for the first 3 or 4 races.
My first several starts I was too far from the line and had to work my way up the fleet during the first windward leg. For the first race most of the fleet went left/east and I was able to consolidate by going right/west. I think I experienced far less current by being further away from the channel along the eastern shore. Upwind I focused on boat speed by continuously easing/sheeting my mainsheet to determine what my pointing angle would be. I took boat speed over pointing and was able to steadily progress out of my mediocre starts, particularly on the full upwind leg (after the first leeward rounding). This ranged from 2-block to probably 4 to 6 inches of ease between the blocks. I didn’t feel the need for vang and primarily only used it if I was having trouble keeping the boom on the corner of the boat. Cunningham was typically tightened to help reduced any significant wrinkles and I eased the outhaul if I felt sluggish in any chop/waves. If I was ever directly behind someone I either tacked for clear air and headed to a side of the coarse with less boats or if a shift dictated that I should continue sailing with a pack I performed two quick tacks just to get out from underneath someone (most often shortly after rounding the leeward mark). Due to the current flowing north, I think more and more sailors chose to go right/east as the day went on. However, current began to die down the last race or two and the wind had several significant shifts to the right/southwest. I think many people got caught going too far right, especially after the first leeward rounding and ending up overstanding the windward mark and sailing a longer distance.
I tended to sail fairly straight to the leeward mark, but definitely attempted to fend off boats astern of me by sailing by the lee hoping I could avoid providing mark room to inside overlapped boats. I saw Len sail both extremely by the lee, carving hard to the west to secure the inside lane and rounding rights, as well as passing folks on the outside. Tyler also had a great leeward run by sailing by the lee and getting an inside lane. Since current was substantially flowing north I would have thought the outside lane / east would have paid. As soon as I rounded the windward mark, in addition to pulling the board up, I eased cunningham and outhaul. And I mean make sure the cunningham is all the way off (after uncleating the line, I would physically pull any tension out of the purchase and slide the sail up the mast). My experience is that there should be zero cunningham for any reaching or downwind sailing using the Mk 2 sails. I suppose you could use some if you are hanging on for dear life. I would also tweak the vang so that the top batten was roughly parallel to the boom.
One of my worst races I fouled Nabeel at the windward mark. My last race, I felt like I finally got a descent start with clear air (especially after Len graciously took a detour), and I got a second. So yeah, do good not evil.
It was a good turn out of Lasers for the first week of the Frostbite season. The weather was a little colder and windier than what we have been used to for the start of the season the past couple of years. Around 42 degrees with 12-14 knots of wind. It warmed up as the day went on and the water is not yet super cold creating a really nice day of sailing.
Current was flowing with the wind direction which cut down on the chop. It also made it much easier to keep position at the start by keeping people below the line while stopped. I started most races by parking about a boat length below the line and then accelerating around 10 seconds. The line was setup to be slightly boat favored so I started most of the races a couple of boat lengths down the line from the RC boat concentrating on speed and making sure I was “punched out” from the people around me. I tried not to be involved in any battles for the absolute best starting spot (by the RC boat). On the first beat I generally sailed a long first beat to allow the fleet to shake out if I had clear air. I blew one start and had to tack out early but quickly came back to sail the favored tack early.
We sailed Olympic Courses all day. The legs weren’t super long so I concentrated on using the leg to set up a pass or protect my position on the mark rounding. The were some small waves to surf on the downwind legs but nothing too major. The wind was fairly steady so I didn’t notice the fleet bunching up much on the downwind legs which we usually see a lot of on the Potomac.
On the upwind to the finish the pin end was favored almost every race but I didn’t see a lot of people trying to finish there. I was able to pass a boat by finishing at the pin when they opted to finish at the boat. Perhaps people were paying too much attention to the puffs or shifts rather than trying to sail the shortest course on the last leg.
It was fantastic to enjoy some food and merriment with so many of our sailors at the 2019 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet. Please find below links to the material presented during the meeting. Congratulations to our perpetual awards winners (listed below) and to our new PRSA Executive Committee (listed below). Many thanks to our outgoing officers for their hard work and for their service to PRSA.
2019 PRSA Perpetual Awards
- Founder’s Trophy: Yates Dowell
- Fleet Captain’s Award: Aaron Boesenecker
- Nabeel Alsalam Award: Michael McConnell
- Yates Dowell III Award: Angie Darrah
- Katherine Kearst Award: Daphne Byron
- Len Penso Award: Barney Harris
- Norman C. Shaller Award: David Beckett
2020 PRSA Executive Committee
- Commodore: Tom Hutton
- Vice Commodore: Stew Harris
- Rear Commodore: Aaron Boesenecker
- Secretary: Kyra Tallon
- Treasurer: Jeff Neurauter
2019 AGM Presentation Slides
2019 PRSA Racing Award Winners
Great weather two weeks in a row at the end of the fall series is virtually unheard of on the Potomac, but that is what we had for the final fall series race day of 2019! PRO Frank Gallagher and his RC crew got us 3 nice races in a moderate southerly. Temps in the mid-50s meant that it wasn’t too chilly to stick around for a post-race BBQ and beer. What a great way to wrap up the season!
Albacore Fall Series #8
Buccaneer Fall Series #8
I-20 Fall Series #8
Laser Fall Series #8
Lightning Fall Series #8
Multihull Fall Series #8
After two weeks of lousy weather we finally had a nice day for racing for PRSA Fall Series #7. PRO Farley Will and his crew did a great job in taking full advantage of a nice southerly breeze. After some great racing there was still enough daylight left for a fun BBQ.
Albacores Fall Series #7
Buccaneers Fall Series #7
I-20 Fall Series #7
Laser Fall Series #7
Lightning Fall Series #7
Multihull Fall Series #7
Our PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 16, at the Evening Star Cafe’s No. 9 Lounge (2000 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria VA, 22301). In addition to the regular business of the AGM (including officer reports, awards, and election of officers) we will also consider an amendment to the PRSA Bylaws (see language below). Additional AGM details will be posted soon.
Proposed Amendment to PRSA Bylaws to Article III. Section 3. Part B.3.
The current language reads:
3.A late payment fee of $25 will be assessed for returning members paying dues on or after January 15.
The proposed language is (changes in bold italics):
3.A late payment fee of $25 will be assessed for returning active members paying dues on or after January 15.
Please note that active membership is specifically defined in Article III. Section 1. Part A.
We had a beautiful southerly breeze for Fall Series #4, allowing PRO Jim Antonivich and his crew to set a nice long course. We enjoyed 2 “O3” races and an “O2” race before heading back to shore to relax and grill.
Albacores Fall Series #4
Buccaneers Fall Series #4
I-20s Fall Series #4
Lasers Fall Series #4
Lightnings Fall Series #4
The light and variable easterly breeze that we had for Fall Series #3 certainly made for some challenging sailing, but PRO John VanVoorhis and his crew did a great job to get us as many races as we could before the breeze died and we headed back to shore for some beer and brats.
Albacores Fall Series #3
Buccaneers Fall Series #3
Laser Fall Series #3
Lightnings Fall Series #3
Multihulls Fall Series #3
We had some fantastic photos taken by Lindsay Bach and by Tom Sliter at the 2019 PRSA President’s Cup / DC Sail Cantina Cup Regatta. Here are the links (you can also find these and other photo links in the “Gallery” area of the PRSA website). Enjoy!
Although the forecast looked grim and the conditions were light as we arrived at the marina PRO Mike Darrah and his crew took full advantage of the wind that we did have, getting us 3 fun races to start the fall series.
Albacores Fall Series #1
Buccaneers Fall Series #1
I-20 Fall Series #1
Lightnings Fall Series #1
Multihulls Fall Series #1