Our signature spring regatta is coming up! Head over to the Regatta Website for information and links to the registration website. Sign up now so that we know you’re coming and tell all of your friends!
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
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.
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 email@example.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!
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!
Thanks to all who joined us for the Fleet 50 Annual General Meeting & Awards Potluck last evening. I’m pleased to announce the winners of our skipper and crew awards as well as the 2017 Fleet 50 Board of Officers. The Fleet 50 Championship Series results are posted to the “Results” area of the website. Congratulations all around!
2016 Fleet Championship
- Nabeel Alsalam
- Aaron Boesenecker
- Bobby Astrove
- John Van Voorhis
- Bob Gotthardt
Best New Crew: Christiam Camacho
Most Improved Crew: Ryan Huttar
High Impact Crew: Christy Chen
Team Sprit Skipper: Bob Gotthardt
Congeniality Award: Aaron Boesenecker
Skipper of the Year: Lisa-Marie Lane
Fleet Helper: Lindsay Bach
Bloody Rudder: Lisa-Marie Lane
All Weather Sailor: Tom Hutton / Jim Lane (tie)
Iron Skipper: John Van Voorhis / Nabeel Alsalam (tie)
Most Improved Skipper: Aaron Boesenecker
You can read the details about the awards, some of the supporting statements for the nominees, and more in the 2017 AGM & Awards Banquet Agenda & Reports document.
2017 Board of Officers
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: John Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary: Geof Fuller
Webmaster: (pending–may merge website with PRSA site)
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair:
Looking forward to a great 2017 sailing season!
The Fleet 50 Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, March 4, 6-9pm in the Common Room at Marina Towers (same location as our PRSA AGM). We are sticking with the potluck format this year, so please make sure to sign up for the Potluck! Make sure to list the number in your party and the food/beverages you are bringing so that we have a nice mix of appetizers, main courses, salads, side dishes, desserts, and beverages. Crock pots and slow cookers are encouraged, but Marina Towers does have a small kitchen with range top, oven, and microwave in case you need to warm a dish upon arrival.
After you have signed up for the potluck, make sure to submit nominations for our Fleet 50 Awards. Nominations close on February 4, so be sure to submit your choices soon! The award categories/descriptions are listed on the ballot linked above.
As we head into 2017 we are still looking for a Potomac Cup Regatta Chair, so please let Aaron know if you are interested in that role. The Potomac Cup is scheduled for May 13-14 and we will discuss the regatta in more detail at the AGM.
Finally, skippers should remember to pay their Fleet 50 dues. Now is the time to make sure that you are all paid for the 2016 sailing season. Fleet 50 dues are $20 (skipper dues only). Bring your checkbooks to the banquet, or pay online. Take care of this before we start racing and you’re set for the whole season! Finally, remember that skippers and crews alike should renew your ILCA memberships (or join if you’re not yet a member). Support our class because our class supports our racing and the value of our boats!
It is hard to believe that our 2016 season has concluded already! It was good to see a number of you at the 2016 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony a few weekends ago. The scores for the 2016 Spring Series and Fall Series have been posted and we are working on scoring the 2016 Fleet 50 Championship Series. Pease join me in congratulating the winners of the 2016 PRSA Spring Series and Fall Series in the Lightning Class as well as the Fleet 50 members that were honored with PRSA Perpetual Awards: Aaron Boesenecker was awarded the PRSA Founder’s Trophy (for exceptional service to PRSA); Frank Gallagher was recognized by the PRSA Fleet Captains with the Fleet Captain’s Trophy (for outstanding Race Committee service, in this case for his work at the 2016 PRSA President’s Cup Regatta), and Will Phillippe was awarded the Yates Dowell III Award (for outstanding administrative service to PRSA). Congratulations all around!
While the 2016 racing season is still fresh on your mind, I would invite Fleet 50 skippers and crews to send in nominations for our annual Fleet 50 Awards. The awards themselves are described on the nomination ballot. This is always a fun part of our annual meeting, so give some thought now to the past year and send in your nominations! I will also send along information on our own Fleet 50 AGM & Awards Banquet in the near future.
Finally, a reminder that PRSA Dues are now due for 2017. You have until January 15, 2017 to pay your PRSA Dues. Please use the online form on the PRSA Website to complete/update your membership information and submit payment (via PayPal or by mailing a check as per the instructions on the application form). Pay now and you’re all set for 2017!
Fall Series #7 was another windy and wild affair, with sustained winds in the high teens and low twenties and then gusts into the high twenties. Four Lightnings (Aaron, Bobby, Geoff, and John) braved the conditions along with a couple of Albacores and a Buc. The RC set a nice long O course and sent us off on a series of O2 races. Keeping the boat flat was paramount and this was no easy task in the puffy and very shifty conditions.
I was sailing with Piercarlo and Sara on Beedobeat and they both did a fantastic job of hiking like crazy and keeping the boat balanced upwind and downwind. There seemed to be a favorable shift on the left side of the course as one headed towards the airport shore, so it often became a battle to get over there, tack, and then fight up to the windward mark. We traded places with Bobby (sailing with Brian and Kirsten) all day, and it really was a blast. The puffs and shifts never settled down enough for us to fly the spinnaker (though we contemplated it) so it was lots of jib reaching and wing-on-wing sailing when we were off the wind. Even so, some of the puffs were enough to get us near to planing speeds going wing-and-wing!
We ended up coming in a bit early after, in the third race, I kicked the mainsheet out of the cleat to ease in a massive puff and then missed the hiking strap as I went to hook my foot back under the strap. My other foot wasn’t all that secure under the strap, so my kick move resulted in me doing a complete backflip right off the boat! I went over and in so fast that I never lost my hat (I was wearing a life jacket), and I still had the mainsheet in my hand as I popped back up to see my boat heeled over and sailing away from me! Piercarlo sprang to action and grabbed the helm, and I gave up on the mainsheet since dragging me was also sheeting in the main and heeling the boat (you never want to see your bailer and centerboard from the outside of the boat when you’re in the water!!!). Sara and Piercarlo did a great job saving the boat and preventing a capsize, but by the time they got the sheets eased and the boat level they were a ways away, and drifting away just as fast as I could swim. The RC sprang to action right away and the 16′ skiff was alongside me nearly instantaneously. They hauled me aboard the 16 and then drove me over to my boat where I hopped back aboard. Sara had already pulled out a beer for me as we retired from that race and headed towards the marina, and Piercarlo drove us home as I drip-dried a bit (thankfully it was nice and warm out, and the water wasn’t all that cold just yet). It turns out that the 3rd race was also the last of the day so it wasn’t long before I was dried off and we were all gathered around the grill telling stories and enjoying a sunny afternoon. Once again, though, a huge thanks to Piercarlo and Sara for their quick reactions once I, quite literally, departed the ship!
We had absolutely fantastic weather for Fall Series #6: light to moderate southerly breezes, temps in the 70s, and a nice clear sky. This all worked out well for me on Beedobeat as I ended up sailing with Bill Parker, a college sailing friend of Connor Burke’s, who had plenty of sailing experience but was on a Lightning for the 1st time. Bill was up front, and then we had in the middle another new sailor, Debra, sailing for first time ever on a sailboat! The RC did a great job of getting us a number of races including some O2 courses that were quite nice given the wind velocity and angles. We generally found that the left (channel) side of the course was favorable given wind and current, and that getting out there meant a bit of an advantage and fewer tacks to get to the windward mark. Downwind a quick jibe towards the airport (on the run) was also favorable as it got you out of the current. I just have to say that Debra did a stellar job flying the spinnaker all day (again, first time on a sailboat ever!!!) and Bill was a rockstar up front — we were able to do all of this in our first time ever sailing together, and I thought that this was amazing! Scores are posted on the PRSA website.
The 2016 PRSA Annual General Meeting and Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 19, 6-9 pm, in the community room at Marina Towers in Alexandria, VA. Dinner & drinks will cost $25/person / $10/person for those under 21 (pay at the door with check or cash). This is always a great chance to see everybody and reminisce about another year of great sailing, so I hope to see you there! Please sign up here as soon as possible so that our volunteers can plan for the appropriate amount of food and drink.
A full agenda and details on the PRSA business meeting will be posted soon. In the meanwhile, here is the basic schedule of events:
- 6:00 Appetizers & Drinks
- 6:30 Dinner
- 7:30 Business Meeting & Awards
- 7:30-8:00 Officer Reports
- 8:00-8:30 Open discussion
- 8:30-8:45 PRSA Spring & Fall Series Awards
- 8:45-8:55 PRSA Perpetual Awards
- 8:55-9:00 Discussion & approval of 2017 PRSA Executive Committee
- 9:00 Adjourn & Cleanup