Fantastic Fun at the PRSA Rookie Regatta!

We had a great turnout for the 2016 Rookie Regatta, with 15 boats on the water and new sailors or crew in new positions on almost all of them!  The wind was a bit tricky, but we still managed to run 4 races.  There was plenty of time left afterward to enjoy a beautiful sunny afternoon on shore with some BBQ & beer as we all chatted about the racing and celebrated the rookies!  In the Lightning class it was great to see Ed Lane driving for his first time (sailing with Karen & Lisa-Marie).  Geoff Fuller took out a brand new sailor and also had Leigh drive one race (her first time driving a Lightning).  Will stole the show, though, taking out two rookies — Brint and Kendra — and turning the helm over to Brint, who in turn scored two bullets and led team No Call, No Show to victory on the day!

Thanks to all who volunteered and — especially — to all the rookies who came out to give things a try.  We hope to see you out on the water again soon!  A link full score sheet along with my observations from the signal boat are posted below, and photos have been posted to the “Photos” area of the Fleet 50 website and to the PRSA Facebook Page.

Continue reading

Spring Series #8 Wrap-Up

A handful of Lightnings and one hearty Buccaneer came out Sunday for what turned out to be a beautiful day of sailing.  The forecast was for high winds and possible thunderstorms, but despite a few gusts early in the and some grey clouds it ended up being a wonderful day on the water.  PRO Kyra Tallon and her crew got us 4 beautiful races in a steady southerly breeze.  The wind filled in over the course of the day such that the gusts diminished and the overall velocity became more consistent in the 12-15 range.  There were a few shifts on the day, notably a big lefty in race 3 that ran counter to the overall advantage one gained by sailing right (west) to find breeze and some shifts.  It was a great day to work on boat balance, trim, and downwind angles in a bit of breeze (but not too much).  Fun was had by all and we were back to the dock by 2:30 thanks to a high tide that allowed us to sail just outside the airport pier (though I did dig my centerboard into the mud a few times later in the day).  Overall it was a great way to round out the Spring Series racing!

Related Links:

PRSA Spring Regatta Results

Congratulations to Nabeel, Jess, and Scott on Team Shadowfax for taking 1st place in the Lightning class at the 2016 Spring Regatta! Aaron (sailing with Lisbet and Evan) took second in the first full regatta he’d sailed in his new boat. Bobby Astrove (sailing with Sara, Brian, and John in various combinations over the weekend) took 3rd.  Overall, we had 6 Lightnings on the course (and a few more represented on RC over the weekend).  Aboard #14592 we did a good job with boatspeed and tactics on day 1 such that we led Nabeel by a point.  Nabeel, Jess, and Scott really brought their game on day 2, though, such that we couldn’t stay ahead of them.  A well earned victory for them!

We had 47 boats, nearly 100 sailors, and 2 days of great racing for the 2016 PRSA Spring Regatta! A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the regatta a success — especially our RC volunteers on both courses and Heather and Melissa for fantastic food and beverages. A lot of people pitched in to help, though, and we’re thankful for everybody’s efforts. Links to results and other information are posted to the PRSA website.

Spring Series #7: March Weather in May!

On the one hand it is crazy that we had cold rain and temps in the 50s today.  On the other hand, it is also crazy that this might have been one of the best days we have had all spring!  The weather certainly has been crazy, and once again a group of intrepid sailors made the best of it for a day of river racing.

We had 6 Lightnings out today:

  • Me, sailing with my Dad and Piercarlo on Beedobeat
  • John and David on Shamrock
  • Bobby, Karen, and Jonathanon Progressive Plastics
  • Nabeel, sailing with Scott and Jess on Shadowfax
  • Alex, Will, and Brian on No Call, No Show
  • Lisa-Marie, Jim, and Ed on As You Wish

I was especially pleased to have my parents out on the race course despite the dreary weather.  My Dad sailed with me on #14592 and my Mom took some great photos from the RC boat!  PRO Bob Gotthardt and his RC crew did a good job to get us 4 races in a shifty, spotty NE breeze. Scores are posted to the “results” page on the PRSA website, and you can keep reading for some details from my vantage point on #14592.

Continue reading

2016 Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Results

Twenty-one boats turned out for the 2016 Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup.  We had fantastic weather on the first day – moderate  and consistent10-12 kt S/SW breeze with flat water — and the RC did a great job of getting us 3 good races and also then getting us back to shore before the first storm front blew through.  The wind and rain passed in time for us all to enjoy another fantastic dinner prepared by Fleet 50 Master Chef Lindsay Bach (steak, chicken, fish, homemade sides, and more!).  The weather Saturday night was a bit chilly and windy for the campers, but nothing too extreme.  Unfortunately the forecasts for very high winds on Sunday were correct and racing was cancelled as a second front with gusts of 30+ swept through the racing area as we started to head out to the race course.  Several boats did head out to the race course and experienced some amazing wet and wild planing reaches in the wind and waves (myself included, along with hardy crew Lizzie and Lisbet) before the RC called things off for the day.  All made it back to shore and we enjoyed a great awards ceremony recognizing regatta winners (results link below), the youngest sailor of the regatta (Zach Buczkowski), and a young boat grant team that sailed in the regatta.

huge thank you to Regatta Chair Lisa-Marie Lane for organizing the entire regatta crew for another fun and successful Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup!

Regatta Links

DSC_0674 (51 of 60) - Version 2

Purnell Cup Results

Congratulations to Steve Constants (Fleet 329/SSA) on winning the 2015 Purnell Cup!  Nabeel Alsalam (Fleet 50/PRSA) was in hot pursuit.  The Purnell Cup is a traveler’s trophy awarded to a Dixie District Skipper who travels to, and does well in, a variety of Dixie District regattas.  Congrats to all of our District members who traveled to regattas last year.  Let’s do even more of it in 2016!

Big Breeze at the No Gas Regatta!

I was only able to make it up for day 2 of the No Gas Regatta, but as it turns out this was the best day to be there.  There was no sailing on day 1 due to a lack of wind.  Day 2 more than made up for that, with a breeze of 10-15 in the morning quickly building such that the RC saw sustained wind in the high teens and gusts in the 20s for the second race.  It was great to be on board Sinistra again with Rick and Lisbet.  We hiked hard upwind and worked hard on boat balance downwind to manage the puffs and waves.  A great planing ride on the last downwind leg of the day certainly made for some excitement!  It was great to be able to keep things close to Geoff and Steve to net us a 2nd overall as well.

The breeze continued to build after race 2 and after a bit of deliberation we all headed to shore.  At first it seemed like we could have run another race…but then the gusts really hit on the long upwind slog back to shore (with reports of sustained high 20s and gusts in the 30s).  Probably a good decision to call it after two exciting races.  I’m still sore today, but I’m sure glad I was there for the regatta–even if it felt more like the Frigid Digit than the No Gas!  Thanks to the folks in Fleet 329 at SSA for hosting another great No Gas Regatta!


PRSA Rookie Regatta Rained Out

A few hardy sailors showed up this morning for the PRSA Rookie Regatta, including one true Rookie — Lizzie Ellis!  Unfortunately the conditions did not cooperate with our plans to race and the regatta was cancelled due to rain and a lack of wind.  Congratulations to Rookie Lizzie (under the umbrella) for winning the regatta by showing up and looking for a ride!  We love the enthusiasm, Lizzie, and we’ll be sure to get you on a boat next week!  We will also try to reschedule this event for after the end of our PRSA Spring Series, so stay tuned for more info.


PRSA Spring Series #4

Race Summary from Farley Will: The day turned out to be quite nice.  There was a good  bit of breeze when we showed up but it died as we launched and it was a slow sail up to the course.  After getting up there around noon, we drifted for a bit while the wind switched directions.  RC did their best to get a square course set but for the first race the wind was every where with most of the race being a reach but finishing with the leeward mark being a windward mark and a downwind finish.  After the first race, they moved the marks and we had 2 more races with a decent breeze.  The first 2 races were windward leewards and the last was an olympic.  During the second 2 races the wind was still shifty so playing the shifts was quite important.  All day we had a strong out going current.  Scores are posted here.

Lisa-Marie Lane & Team “As You Wish” Earn First Bullet!

We had 11 (!) Lightnings on the river this past Sunday for Spring Series #3!  That is a fantastic turnout!  The weather was a bit less cooperative, providing us summer drifting conditions.  A determined RC eventually got us off on a W2 race in a very light and patchy southerly.

A huge congratulations!” to Lisa-Marie for earning her first bullet in some very tricky conditions on Sunday.  Sailing with Jim Lane and Chris Kozel, Lisa-Mare and crew demonstrated great patience and focus in very light breeze (nonexistent breeze at times) and a hefty current.  Team As You Wish got off the starting line well as far as I could tell, and then did a great job of seeking out clear air and the patches of breeze that were to be found on the river this past Sunday.  Once they worked their way out to the front they stayed there, maintaining focus and not making any mistakes to win a very challenging (and long) W2 race.

Congratulations are also due to Kristin Burke (sailing with Brian Burke and Bob Astrove on Progressive Plastics) for a 2nd place finish.  Determination and patience brought team Progressive Plastics up from mid-fleet to eventually catch everybody but Lisa-Marie in another demonstration of some great light air sailing.  As Bob Astrove pointed out, this is perhaps the first time in Fleet 50 history that the top two places went to female skippers!  That’s awesome!

Aboard #14592 (sailing with Piercarlo and new crew Claudio Purificato) we also worked hard on being patient, observing the current, and finding wind.  We were too bunched up with other boats on the start line so ended up with little speed at the gun (and then less speed after we tacked away from the group).  That is a cardinal error in light breeze.  Groups of boats go slow together in light air, and there we were, instantly in the middle of the pack.  We worked up the right side of the course on the first beat and headed into the windward mark 7th or 8th.  The boats out in the river seemed to make out better, even if they were fighting a bit more current.  A group of boats hit the mark due to heavy current (another cardinal error in light wind) and effectively took themselves out of the race given the time it took to recover, clear, and do turns.  We were lucky enough to catch an easterly puff for the 1st “downwind leg” (a jib reach) and passed a few more boats in the process.  We did OK in holding our spot upwind save for 1 extra tack — and that extra tack allowed Kristen to get by and also allowed Will to get back by us after we had reeled them in on the 2nd beat.  We were able to hold our place in 4th though for a decent finish — and some tough reminders of the things to watch for in light air racing.

Scores will be posted soon, so check back in a bit!  And feel free to add comments & observations of your own here or via the Fleet 50 email listserv.