Spring Series #7: Absolutely Fantastic Racing on the Potomac!

We had an amazing day for Spring Series #7!  Steady breeze at 10-15 from the South, four great races, and 8 Lightnings on the line!  Read Nabeel’s great summary of the day’s racing on the PRSA website and add your own comments.  Heather on the RC also took some great photos, including the ones below!

Team As You Wish Win Their First Regatta!

Congratulations to Team As You Wish for their fantastic win at the PRSA Spring Regatta!  Lisa-Marie sailed with Jim Lane and Christy Chen, and I have to say that they did an extraordinary day in some challenging conditions to beat out 6 other Lightnings and earn their first regatta win.  Great job all around — I know that the entire Fleet is thrilled for you!

As I mentioned, the conditions on Sunday were very challenging (after no racing on Saturday due to a total lack of wind).  The breeze was generally easterly in direction (!) and ranged from 5-10 knots, with some pretty big swings to the south with puffs and then lots of soft spots, and dead spots, throughout the course.  The RC sent us off on 4 O2 races (the only real choice given wind direction and river constraints), which put a premium on boathandling around the relatively short course as well as attention to finding clear air as one navigated around and through 4 other classes on the course.

Watching As You Wish throughout the day (from behind them for most of it!) I noticed how well they did in doing a couple of things: (a) not pinching, and (b) keeping their air clear, especially on the reach legs where boats tended to cluster a bit and it was very easy to get rolled.  It was a day that demanded persistence and patience, for sure.  On Beedobeat (sailing with Geoff and Quentin Bishop) we found ourselves able to get off the start line and up to the windward mark ahead in several races, especially once we figured out the advantage that came with going left early to get up current and get into better pressure.  But As You Wish and the rest of the pack were tenacious, and we did get rolled on a couple of the reach/run legs.

Overall the results were very tight, with As You Wish beating out Alex, Will, and Ed Lane on No Call, No Show in a tiebreaker for 1st, followed in 3rd by John Van Voorhis and David Keto on Shamrock just one point behind!  Congratulations once again to Lisa-Marie, Jim, and Christy for a great job and for a well-earned 1st regatta win!

SSA No Gas Regatta: Two Days of Great Annapolis Sailing

Sixteen boats turned out for the SSA No Gas Regatta in Annapolis for two days of great racing in Annapolis.  We had great Fleet 50 participation, with Nabeel (sailing with Chandler Owen, Russ Roberts, and Jeff Witten), Lisa-Marie Lane (sailing with Jim and Molly-Lynn Westrate), Aaron crewing for Rick Welch (along with Kin Ellot), and Bruce Heida (crewing for Greg Kelly)

The breeze was up a bit early on Saturday morning as we all rigged, but things settled down to a pretty steady 12-14 by the time we were racing.  We had some good runs in the first race with plenty of hiking and then things stabilized out a bit for 3 more great races, with the breeze tailing off towards the end of the 4th race such that we were stripping off foul weather gear as we headed back to the marina (see the fantastic photo from Ted Morgan, below, and more regatta photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm18qtfY).

Sailing with Rick and Kin we made a concerted effort to have a plan for the first leg off the start (direction to go, when/whether to tack) and we did a fairly good job of executing that plan in most races.  Competition was tight in a very talented fleet, though, and an OCS in race 1 didn’t help our overall position after day 1.  Nonetheless, we had a blast, went fast, and enjoyed some great bbq & beer at SSA after the racing.

The breeze was forecast to be lighter on Sunday and that forecast held true, with winds in the 8-10 range for most of the day.  We again really focused on a plan, and on looking up the course for shifts and pressure.  We managed to get a few things right for some decent finishes (a 4 and a 6 among them) on Day 2.  After three races we were back on shore toasting the leaders and celebrating another No Gas (one with 7 races and very little power boat chop!) in the books.  Full results are posted here: http://www.lightningclass.org/racing/results/2017/noGas.asp.  A great regatta all around, and great to have good Fleet 50 participation!

PRSA Spring Regatta: May 27-28

The NOR for the PRSA Spring Regatta (May 27-28) has been posted and registration is open.  Visit the regatta website and register by May 21 to take advantage of the early registration discount!  Once you’ve registered, help us spread the word about the regatta!

We have partnered with DC Sail once again to organize a spectator cruise aboard the American Spirit on Saturday of the Spring Regatta.  Spectator cruise tickets are $20/person (or $25 for a combined cruise and Saturday dinner ticket).  Tickets can be purchased via the regatta website.  We have also posted complete details on the cruise in the “race documents” area on the regatta website.

2017 Potomac Cup Results

What a great weekend!  With 6 great races in breezy conditions, a fantastic BBQ, great camping, and good fun all around, the 2017 Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup is in the books.  Congratulations to all the competitors and many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make the regatta such a success.  Complete results are posted here and more photos will be posted soon.

Fleet 50 Tuning Day: A Great Success!

Greetings Sailors!

We had a stellar turn-out for out Lightning Fleet 50 Tuning day. There were 9 Lightnings at the marina and we were able to raise masts, tune rigging, assist with repairs and help each other prepare for the Spring Season Racing!
I would like to especially thank Aaron & Nabeel who were able to share their experience with getting boats measured & tuned.  But overall, thanks to everyone who participated.  This tuning day was a success due to all of the folks who made time out of their weekend to participate, share tools, experience & lend a helping hand.  I believe the this is one of the many reasons that Fleet 50 is so great!
Members included: Aaron, Nabeel, Lisa-Marie & Jim, Geoff, Jeff, John, Bob, Bobby, Will, Dereck, Laura and our newest Fleet 50 Members Joe & Macos (in the Red Boat)!

Happy Sailing!
Lisa-Marie Lane
Fleet 50 Fleet Captain

Fleet 50 Tuning Day: Saturday, April 1, 9am-Noon

Greetings Sailors!

 We will be meeting at the marina this Saturday around 9 am for our Fleet Tuning Day.  If you are interested in tuning your boat, please be sure to bring with you any tools/supplies needed, including:  

  • Tape measure
  • Electrical tape
  • Black sharpie
  • Pen/pencil

You should also download and print out (or have available on a mobile device) the North Sails Lightning Tuning Guide.  Both the Fisher and the M5 systems are covered in the North guide (as are Allen, Nickels, and Lippencott hull designs).  It good practice to be familiar with the basic steps involved in tuning your sail type, so that we can provide the best advice in the time that we will have.

Cheers!

Lisa-Marie

A Message from Your New Fleet Captain: Spring Sailing Is Here!

The following note is from Lisa-Marie Lane, Lightning Fleet 50 Fleet Captain:

Greeting Fleet 50 Sailors!

Spring is here and sailing season is right around the corner.  Our 1st Spring Series starts on April 2 so it is time to start thinking finding your sailing gear & getting ready for racing.  

Fleet Tuning Day–Sat April1st we will host a Fleet Tuning Day from 9-Noon (Please reply to Lisa-Marie at lisamarie_lane@me.com if you are interested in attending)

Our first Spring Series Race is Sunday 4/2.  In order to help get you get your boats ready for the racing season, several of our members will be at the marina and we will help get masts stepped & be available to take a look at your tuning.  Special thanks to Aaron, Nabeel & Bob Astrove who offered to be available to ask questions and assist anyone who may need help tuning their boats.

33rd Annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup, May 13-14th, Leesylvania State Park—Volunteers Needed

We still need some key volunteers, including Regatta Chair and someone to organize the menu/meals.  In addition, we can use as much help as possible on Saturday, May 6th from 9am-Noon for the Leesylvania Park Clean-Up.  Please look at your calendar and let me know if you can help out.  More details will follow.

Challenge from the Dixie District Annual Meeting—One More Regatta!

We had a great meeting this past February in Annapolis followed by a Social, with a very informative overview of the “significant changes for the 2017-2020 Racing Rules of Sailing by Geof Becker.  I am very excited to share that Fleet 50 has added a few boats to come out with a small gain in membership!  We have been one of the most active fleets in our district and currently has 18 active skippers and last year scored 54 races over the season in 2016!

Now is the time to start getting your sailing calendars organized & crew set.  All of the Dixie District Racing Calendar dates have been set and you can find the 2017 calendar at: http://lightningfleet50.org/?page_id=535

My challenge to each of you is to commit to participate in one more away regatta this season.  If there is anything I can do to help make that happen, please let me know!  

Upcoming Regattas

The 6th Annual Moonshine Regatta is the first Dixie District Regatta on April 8-9th.  So far, we will have 3 boats from Fleet 50 attending (Lisa-Marie & Jim Lane, Alex Thomson & Will Phillippe & Frank Gallagher).  This a great regatta to start the season.  If you are coming, please be sure to sign up on the “Who’s Coming” list http://www.lightningclass.org/racing/calendar/eventDetail.asp?ID=1200) to help with event planning!   

Make sure to visit the ILCA racing calendar for details on all upcoming events: http://www.lightningclass.org/racing/calendar/eventSelect.asp

Make Note…the WJMs & North American’s are split this year & limited space for the NAs:

● 2017 – WJM‟s Metedeconk River YC (Aug 1-4) 

Lightning North Americans—If you are planning to attend, sign up early; Due to the size of the facility in NC this year, there will only be 70 slots available–registration opens June 15th.

● 2017 – CYC, Wrightsville Beach (Sept 21-24) 

● 2017 – CYC, Wrightsville Beach (Sept 21-24) 

On a personal note…Tales from the Dark & Stormy Side

I just returned from my first experience at the 70th Annual Winter Championship in St. Petersburg/Southern Circuit.  Due to a last minute cancellation, I had the opportunity to crew for a SSA skipper & it was an amazing experience!  For me, the most interesting part of the event was the Lightning Mentor Program.  This including being assigned a “coach” for the event. Pre-race meetings to discuss the weather forecast/local knowledge reports & racing game plan.  The de-briefings after racing, including comments from the coach boat for feedback of what happened during the event and video of the racing.  This was extremely helpful, as the coach would point out something that was an issue, then go to your boat to identify the problem & help you correct it!  Our boat had a problem with the “Cunningham Trim” which he pointed out on the de-briefing video.  After the meeting, our coach stopped by the boat & helped make some tuning & sail adjustments correct the problem.  This was a great learning experience both on & off the water!   Unfortunately, I was only able to participate in the first half of the Southern Circuit this year, but this event is definitely on my bucket list of regattas to attend!  

Cheers!

Lisa-Marie