Tag Archives: Washington DC Sailing
2022-2023 Laser Frostbite #8
You should have been there. It was a beautiful winter day for frostbite sailing. The temperature was in the low 40s. The sun was out. According to sailflow the winds were in the 15 to 20 range with higher gusts but it did not feel that high to me. There were waves that were not aligned with the wind when we first went out but they flattened out.
My goal was to sail conservatively and stay upright. I succeeded! One time I “tea-bagged” but I I kept my cool and my feet in the hiking straps trimmed in and bore off some and the wind pulled me back up. I did lose a boat but it could have been worse!
Jim Klein and Michael Liss ran the races for us and they set an olympic for the first race and two-triangles for the next four probably because they wanted to keep us from sailing dead downwind, rocking and rolling (and capsizing).
The course was skewed left, so that starboard was the long tack upwind. I started every race at the boat end with speed and was able to use starboard rights to keep people to leeward of me from crossing me. My vang was pulled to the block-to-block mark and I kept the mainsheet eased a bit so that I could sail relaxed, flat, and fast. This worked as I was first to the windward mark four of five times. Plus, I noticed a left shift as I got closer to the Virginia side which was perfect for tacking and getting up to the layline.
Downwind, I was conservative. At the windward mark, I was careful to bear off and gain speed before bearing off more. I did not completely ease the vang. I did not bother easing the outhaul or raising the board. I wanted to feel and respond to the gusts instead of messing around fine tuning. At the gybe mark I experimented staying on port and extremely by the lee. It felt fine and stable but probably a bit slow.
The weakest part of my sailing was rounding the leeward mark. With the extra pressure from the wind, I pulled in the mainsheet with my left hand only instead of using both my left and right arms, so it took what seemed like an eternity to get up to close hauled. Something to work on.
2022-2023 Laser Frostbite #7
Today was a good case of “look at the forecast and show up anyways”. The forecast this morning was rough. Zero at noon and building to 4 at 1. When I showed up at the marina I had little intention of racing. John, Lou, and Lars decided to postpone at 12 for 30 minutes before making a call and John went out on the river to see what was happening. At 12:30 the wind had filled in a little and we decided to try and race.
The RC was able to get 5 races in. With light wind and an outgoing current, I expected more general recalls but we only had one. The first two races were very short (12 minutes) with a short line. The current was strongest for those two so I think starting at the pin and getting out into the current for the upwinds was important. I did not do this the first race and my scores show it haha. After the second race, RC lengthened the course and the start line. The longer line was a little boat favored and starting at the boat gave a little advantage as the current slacked.
2023 Hangover Regatta
Sunday was a refreshing day after such a chilly Christmas weekend The sun was shining, the temperatures were hovering on either side of 60 degrees, and the A-team was running races. The only problem was the wind never freshened beyond 4 or 5 mph.Nonetheless, we had four fun races.
2022-2023 Laser Frostbite #6
I have the honor to be writing as your third place finisher, a result of nothing but fortitude. Seriously. So, here’s my take on the race. First, a thank you to Laura and Jim for setting a perfect course. It had a windward mark, a reaching mark and a downwind mark. Right distance and geometry. It started windy, out of the West, and continued to build, which favored those who stayed upright and made fewer mistakes. For example, I dropped multiple places by capsizing, hitting a starboard boat, undershooting the windward mark, and almost rear-ending Farley going close to 30 knots. I sailed the last race with Farley, netting both a second place and a DFL. Overall, great wind and weather and nice to be on the water, although we missed one of the great World Cup Finals of all time.
2022-2023 Laser Frostbite #4
After 3 weeks of no sailing for various weather states, we finally got a nice Sunday to sail. It was sunny with temps in the mid 40s. And the weather brought a great showing of sailors with 21 boats coming to sail.
Sadly the wind did not get the memo for the day. It was very challenging for both Race Committee and the racers. Nabeel and Kevin did an excellent job trying to keep up with the wind. We were able to get 5 races in. We had 2 races with shortened courses and 3 course adjustments. The wind was quite shifty with a lot of velocity changes. We had a few points where there was full hiking conditions and several where we were drifting. But all in all it was nice to be out on the water.
As far as sailing, I think we all need to ask Laura for the tips as she was the post consistent sailor out there. But I found that moving forward of the cockpit in the light wind and then moving back as it came back up I moved back to a normal position. With all the velocity shifts, I found that I was playing the cunningham more than usual to try and keep the sail looking full and not overly tight at the luff. Other than that it was mostly just the usual things, get a good start, find clear air on the downwinds, and stay patient in the lulls.
It was great to see the turnout and I look forward to seeing everyone out next weekend!
2022 Laser Frostbite First Weeks Update
Well Sailors, after 3 weekends in a row of cancelling, we hope to finally get out and race this coming weekend.
Frostbite Series 1 (Nov 13) was too windy. Two souls made it to the race course with several capsizing on the way and others waiting on shore.
Frostbite Series 2 (Nov 20) was also windy. And the high of 38 gave us January Frostbiting weather in November. And with a lot of wind for the weekend and low tide, there was not much water in the river. Three brave souls showed up to try and race but ultimately pulled the plug.
Frostbite Series 3 (Nov 27) was rainy and a strange forecast of 9 gusting to 33 with a small craft advisory. 6 sailors showed up but only two were gung ho to go out and ultimately we decided that it was not worth punishing the race committee for two of us to go sailing.
Next weekend is a new day and hopefully we will get out and finally do a few races!
Friday Night Concert/Jazz Sail
The Friday Night Capitol Riverfront Concert Series is kicking off on June 10th, this Friday! It’s a free concert on Friday nights at The Yards Park; which is on the Anacostia near Nationals Stadium. The concerts start at 7:00 pm and the first band playing is La Uncia who play Irish Latin Rock. There are more details about the bands and concert if you follow the link below.
The Yards Park is about a 45 minute sail from WSM, give or take the wind levels. The plan would be to leave the docks around 6:15pm to give time to sail over and listen to the first half of the concert. On June 10th the sun sets at 8:32 pm and nautical twilight until 9:44 pm. Leaving after the first half should give enough time to sail back to the marina with plenty of light.
Boats under 7 meters (23 feet) are required to “keep ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern (flashlight) that shows a white light”. So skippers should keep this in mind and bring a flashlight just in case getting back takes longer than planned. It’s also suggested to bring an anchor, as there may be other boaters and being able to stop and listen is helpful.
PRSA Spring Regatta Writeup and Results
Another Win for the Red Boat at the PRSA Spring Regatta
By Steph Mah
A few weeks ago, Barney Harris made Raines an offer to come down and race in the Potomac River Sailing Association’s Spring Regatta. It was one of those offers Raines couldn’t refuse – Barney was providing his Republican red boat, his house, pick up and drop off from the airport, and a lot of beer. Raines asked me to tag along knowing that I wouldn’t be able to resist getting into political arguments with Barney and possibly wind up epoxied to a dock.
The forecast was for light air on Saturday and even less on Sunday – but if you didn’t want to hike (like me), this wasn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, like pollsters, weather forecasters can be completely wrong with no consequences, and what we actually got on Saturday was a gusty 10-15 knots with a small craft warning in effect.
An albacore is an albacore is an albacore – unless it’s Barney’s, which has about 99% more control lines than what we’re used to. Writing down what some of the lines did was helpful, but that didn’t stop us from falling down a couple of times during tacks and gybes. It seemed like going left was the payoff move, but being Canadian and polite, we went right to stay out of everyone’s way. Eventually, with some skill (from Raines) and luck (being the ant infestation in the boat Barney was using), we got ourselves settled and Barney’s red boat squeaked out a bullet in the last race over Barney’s other boats,
giving us the lead for the day. Dinner was a huge spread of tacos, nachos, salads, cookies, and beer.
Sunday was one of those days where you discovered how cruel or kind the RC was. The wind was looking bleak (except for when the planes were landing), so the only decision was whether they would postpone us on land or make us go out. Fortunately, they went with the former, giving Barney more time to murder ants, and eventually they called the day off to the relief of many. And more tacos and nachos were served!
We got some very nice prizes, but the real champions of this regatta were the volunteers. I understand there was a four(!!!) person regatta committee with many more hands that pitched in to pick up the food, pack it away, set it back out, run the races, get the prizes, get the ice, and the list goes on and on. And it was an amazing event – there was a ton of good food, coolers full of Hapco-sponsored beer (that Raines orbited like a little moon), and lots of helpful and friendly people. It made me feel welcome and made me want to come back. I hope the volunteers all know how much the sailors appreciated the work (and plan to pay it back), and how proud PRSA should be of them.
Again, a huge thanks to everyone for their work on this regatta, and the biggest thanks to Barney for making this happen and for not watching us while we took 40 minutes to de-rig his boat.
PRSA President’s Cup: September 18-19
Join the Potomac River Sailing Association to race in the largest one-design regatta on the Potomac with the National Capitol and monuments as a backdrop, and to carry on the tradition of competitive one-design racing that started with the 1934 President’s Cup! The 2021 PRSA President’s Cup Regatta will be held on September 18 & 19 at Washington Sailing Marina. Please visit the Regatta Website – https://www.regattanetwork.com/event/23128 – to view the NOR and register. All one-design classes 20 feet or under are invited.