Tag Archives: Washington DC Sailing

PRSA Rookie Regatta: A Great Success!

The first annual PRSA “Rookie Regatta” was a fantastic success!  Eight Albacores, 3 Bucs, 9 Lightnings, and 2 I-Scows came out to play.  PRO Mike Heinsdorf and his crew did an excellent job in setting a nice W-L course and getting us four fantastic races.  Moreover, Mike & Michelle took a couple of rookies out on the RC boats so that we could rotate people on and off boats on the water.

Great fun was had by all and the breeze made for some exciting and competitive racing.  In the spirit of the event (fun as well as competition), somebody remarked that we should start a list of the “Top 10 Reasons You Know You’re At a Rookie Regatta.”  The following are some actual examples from the day:

  • A majority of the fleet starts the race on the finish line instead of the start line
  • Someone thinks the colored umbrella on the committee boat represents some type of signal flag
  • You hear screaming (actually, squeals of pure joy!) for the first 20 minutes of a race…from Barney’s boat no less!
  • You overhear the following between two boats: “Uey, do you have the right of way or do I?” Response, “I have no idea.”

A huge thanks to Peter Duncan and Barney Harris for continually rotating their crew so that all of the folks who showed up got to sail. Scores are posted here, and more photos from Mike are on the way!

PRSA Rookie Regatta Final Results

Heather, Leigh, Katherine, and Barney



PRSA Spring Series #7 Recap

We had fantastic sailing for Spring Series #7.  PRO Chris Kozel and his crew set a nice windward-leeward course in a somewhat shifty S/SW breeze and did a good job getting us four races for the day.  Most of the Albacores were down in West River for a regatta, but we did have 11 Lightnings on the line as well as a couple of Bucs, Albacores, and Cats.  Scores will be posted soon.  You can click here to read what I observed from Sinistra in the Lightning class.  As always, feel free to add in your own comments and observations as well!

2014 Spring Series 7 – Albacores

2014 Spring Series 7 – Buccaneers

2014 Spring Series 7 – Catamarans

2014 Spring Series 7 – Lightnings

PRSA “Rookie Regatta” — June 8

The final Sunday of our spring season will be a special event: the first annual PRSA “Rookie Regatta.”  The one-day regatta has two purposes:

  1. To encourage skippers and crews to bring new people on board, hopefully sparking an interest in racing and in sailing with PRSA; and
  2. To encourage PRSA crews to take a turn at the helm to learn about driving, build team rapport on their boats, and perhaps even spark an interest in becoming a full time owner and driver!

The racing on June 8 will be scored separately from the PRSA Spring Series.  The scores will not count towards a boat’s Spring Series scoring.  Instead, we will recognize all of the new crew and skippers at the regatta and provide a few racing awards for each class based on the day’s results.  For this regatta, a high-point scoring system will be used.  There will be point bonuses for bringing new sailors aboard, for having crew instead of the regular skipper drive, and more.

Please review the NOR for the “Rookie Regatta” (below) and work on your boat’s lineup for the day.  We encourage you to invite new people out to sail with you, or to turn the helm over to one of your regular crew!  The racing will be followed by the standard post-race BYO BBQ, so remember to bring a little something for the grill as well.

2014 “Rookie Regatta” Sailing Instructions

2014 Spring Regatta Final

Today proved a little harder.  The race committee was able to get off 2 races today.  Temps were in the 80s with very fluky light breeze.  Scores are posted to the Results page as well as below.

2014 Spring Regatta – Albacores

2014 Spring Regatta – Buccaneers

2014 Spring Regatta – Catamarans

2014 Spring Regatta – Lightnings

PRSA Spring Series #6 Recap

What a crazy day!  The river was absolutely ripping after several days of rain.  Although there was not much debris in the water, the ferocious river flow made things challenging for the competitors and the RC alike.  I was on RC duty this weekend, and I thought I’d have the chance to get some nice observations of the racing.  Instead, we were kept on our toes, first towing boats up to the course against the river flow as we waited for the breeze to fill, and then dashing around the course to reset marks as they were repeatedly breaking free in the combination of river flow and WNW breeze that filled in over the afternoon.  The breeze was extraordinarily spotty and shifty, moving from due north to nearly due west and back in various phases.  That, combined with the fact that the pressure would simply die off at points and then pipe back up, made for some very tricky sailing as the competitors fought against the river flow.  We did manage to get 4 races off for the Albacores and 2 for the Lightnings and Cats.

Even with all of the action on the RC we still managed to capture some video on the GoPro that we had on the 16′ skiff: a leeward mark rounding for the Albacores, a start and upwind leg for the Lightnings, and a few finish line shots from the first Lightning race as boats struggled to make it up to and across the line.  Scores are posted below, and you can find the video links here: http://lightningfleet50.org/?page_id=2047

2014 Spring Series 6 – Albacores

2014 Spring Series 6 – Catamarans

2014 Spring Series 6 – Lightnings

2014 Spring Series – Albacores – Cumulative Through May 18

2014 Spring Series – Buccaneers – Cumulative Through May 18

2014 Spring Series – Catamarans – Cumulative Through May 18

2014 Spring Series – Lightnings – Cumulative Through May 18

Spring Series #5 – May 11, 2014

Spring Series #5 brought us a tricky day on the river, but PRO Jeff Neurater and his crew still managed to get us 4 races in a spotty, shifty, WNW breeze.  The day looked very promising at the outset.  We had a nice northerly breeze of about 10 knots blowing as nine Lightnings, six Albacores, and a Hobie Cat headed out of the cove and up to the race course.

The RC started the first sequence right on time, only to have the wind cut out altogether with about 2 minutes to go in the sequence.  The river was high and the tide was flowing out, so most boats drifted away from the starting line even as they tried to sail upwind.  Another breeze line was visible up at the windward mark, though, and soon enough it filled in and we were off racing.  The boats that were close to the line got the breeze first, go a big jump, and ended up with a huge lead for the entirety of the Olympic course.

That same pattern pretty much repeated over the next three races — another Olympic course, and then two shorter Triangle courses.  Finding breeze was of the utmost importance, and this meant looking up towards the bridge to see where the next line was forming even as you were hunting for the patches of breeze that had made it to the racecourse.  In general, the breeze would fill from the left side of the course…but that wasn’t a guarantee, and there were times when boats that went out to the right going upwind came out ahead, despite battling the current in the channel.

It was great to get out on the water, even if the conditions were tricky.  After the racing we all gathered in the grill area to enjoy some great food, beverages, and the last bit of a fine sunny afternoon.


2014 Spring Series 5 – Albacores

2014 Spring Series 5 – Lightnings

2014 Spring Series – Albacores – Cumulative Through May 11

2014 Spring Series – Lightnings – Cumulative Through May 11

Season Kickoff!

We’re just one week away from the start of our spring racing season!  Join us on April 6 for the start of our spring series and for a chili-fest provided by PRSA after the racing.  We’ll kick off the season on April 6 with our regular racing program: 10:00 am skipper’s meeting by the cranes and 11:25 first warning signal on the upper course.  The Sailing Instructions for our Sunday Series racing can be found on the PRSA Website at http://potomacriversailing.org/nors-sis/

Make sure to stick around for the post-race festivities on April 6 as well.  PRSA will provide chili (both meat and vegetarian variants), side dishes, and beverages.  No need to bring anything for this first week–just come hungry and enjoy some food, drink, and good cheer after the racing!

As you get organized for the start of racing, please remember to pay your PRSA dues and sign up for Race Committee duty if you haven’t already done so.  Timely dues payments are essential for the maintenance of our equipment, and we all need to take our turn on RC so that we all can also have fun racing on the water.  You can find all the relevant forms and links on our PRSA Dues & RC Duty webpage: http://potomacriversailing.org/dues-rc-duty/

Finally, we have organized a series of training events for the spring season.  Please mark the following dates on your calendar.  We will send additional information along as each training event approaches.

  • April 5: Skiff Management Training hosted by Nabeel Alsalam (time TBA, at WSM)
  • May 15: Racing Rules Seminar hosted by Jeff Neurater and Aaron Boesenecker (7-9 pm, Charleston Room inside of Indigo Landing restaurant)
  • Date TBA: Local Knowledge Seminar hosted by Barney Harris

I look forward to seeing everybody out on the water soon!