Duck Challenge: August 27-28!

The Duck Challenge is this coming weekend!  I see that Bobby and Nabeel are already on the list.  Who else is going?  

Regatta details are posted to the ICLA website (  Pat and the folks up in Havre de Grace ask that you please add your name to the “Who’s Coming?” list so they have a good headcount for food/beverages and the like.

District Championship Regatta: June 11-12, Havre de Grace, MD

Lightning Fleet 192 up in Havre de Grace, MD, is hosting our Dixie District championships on June 11-12.  Click here to sign up on the “Who’s Coming?” list, view the NOR, read the registration information, and more.  Signing up early is a tremendous help for the event organizers who are working on organizing food, beverages, accomodations, and more.  Please sign-up now!

As you sign up and prepare, don’t forget to verify that you and your crew are ILCA memberships.  Skippers can purchase unaffiliated crew memberships for just $10 each if your crew is not already an ILCA member.

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!

2016 Doc Gilbert Memorial Potomac Cup Regatta: May 14-15

Lightning Fleet Lightning Fleet 50 Invites you to the 32nd Annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Regatta, May 14-15, 2016, on the famous Potomac River at Leesylvania State Park, just outside of Washington DC, where the Potomac is 3 miles wide!

Fleet 50 Members: we need volunteers to help with a number of important tasks so that we can host our signature regatta in Leesylvania!  Please email Regatta Chair Lisa-Marie Lane if you can help with any of the following:

  • Park Cleanup at Leesylvania State Park on April 30
  • Race Committee (1 day or both)
  • Shore Crew to help set up Saturday BBQ in the afternoon (getting food prepped and appetizers ready while racers are still on the water)
  • Making invitation calls
  • T-shirt design
  • Registration table on Saturday morning

Dixie District Championship Results

We had two days of light air racing up in Annapolis for the Dixie District Championships.  Challenging conditions, to be sure, but some great racing all around.  We had a great turnout from Fleet 50, with 6 boats on the line: Nabeel, Rick, Frank, John, Lisa-Marie, and Lindsay.  This was an excellent showing for our fleet!  Congratulations to Justin Copeland & team for the win, and to Nabeel & team for the top Fleet 50 finish (with Rick and then Frank right on his heels!).

Complete scores here:

2014 Dixie District Championships Recap

I had the pleasure of sailing in the 2014 Dixie District Championship Regatta with Nabeel and Will on board Shadowfax.  It turned out to be an action-packed and challenging weekend on the Susquehanna.  As always, it was great to see all of the other sailors from the District and to celebrate with them after the racing.  The folks from Fleet 253 did a fantastic job hosting the regatta (and I’m already looking forward to the PA Gov Cup & Oktoberfest Celebration).

One of the wonderful things about sailing in Susquehanna is that it is so close.  We left for the regatta at around 7am on Saturday.  On the drive up we joked about having only brought spray tops and no bibs given the mild weather we’d been having and what was predicted for the weekend.  Even Saturday morning nobody really believed the forcast for 10-15 kts.  Everybody knows that you don’t get breeze in Susquehanna, right?

Well, we were all in for a bit of surprise as we sailed out to the racecourse in a N/NW breeze that was already kicking up whitecaps on the river!  Day 1 was four races that pretty much boiled down to “strap yourself in, hike hard, and de-power in the puffs!”  It was a bit wet and a bit tiring, but it was awesome.  The breeze ranged from 10-18 kts all day, which meant for some great downwind runs (fortunately there weren’t major directional shifts) and then some bruising upwind slogs.  We thought we had a strategy to go right and for a while it looked really good on that side (across the river from SYC), but things soured as we tried to cross the river (and current) to get to the windward mark.  We caught a number of boats, though, and after that race we had good starts, better strategy, and very good speed up and down the course.  A couple of our best races in the 16-boat fleet – a 2nd (just losing to Geoff Becker by 1/2 boat length) and a 4th – came on this first day.  After the racing, we enjoyed a fantastic steak BBQ and lots of soothing drinks with all of the other sailors.

Sunday dawned very still and quiet.  We camped right on site on a fantastic, cool summer night (another great “plus” when one sails at SYC!) so we woke up ready to go at the sailing site.  Predictions were for next to now wind, but gradually a N breeze started to fill, and there was a good 6-8 kts for the first race on Sunday.  On Saturday we had learned that going left (in towards the SYC shore) really paid when going upwind in any sort of north breeze, so we did this again on Sunday.  We were OCS in the first race, so it was a game of catching boats after we restarted.  We managed to reel in a good part of the fleet for a 7th place finish — a feat made more difficult as the breeze started to fade towards the end of the race.

Things then got really tricky in the final (5 leg!) race on Sunday.  We had breeze at the start but then things went all over the place.  The breeze shut off, filled in again in spots, went away again, and started to shift all over the place.  Boats and positions were shuffled around as we searched for breeze and tried to keep moving.  We were somewhere mid-fleet on starboard tack near the windward mark on the second upwind leg as a huge left shift came through.  Suddenly we found ourselves on nearly the same heading, but on port tack!  The shift meant that we were suddenly way overstood on the windward mark and we found ourselves nearly bow-to-bow with boats on starboard as we reached down to it and as they struggled to make it up to it on a starboard tack that just turned into a huge header.  The RC did a great job of organizing a course change and resetting the gate, so we headed back downwind in light and spotty breeze.  We all worked to keep the boat moving and we found a channel of pressure along the shore side that allowed us to extend on boats out in the river (a place that had paid off before due to pressure and current).  Happily, we found ourselves in 4th at the leeward mark as we made the turn for the last upwind leg.  We managed to “connect the dots” as we sought pressure in the new breeze and kept our position in this very challenging race.  We were quite happy with this finish, and with 4th overall.  We were equally impressed, though, to learn that Geoff Becker (sailing with Colin Kirby) had gone from dead last to 2nd in that final race!

Overall it was a great regatta.  As the lone Fleet 50 boat, we were proud to represent and we felt rewarded for all of our hard work with our 4th place finish overall.  Complete scores are posted here:

Dixie District Championships This Weekend!

The 2014 Dixie District Championships are this weekend in Susquehanna, PA.  Who’s going?  Click here to access the NOR, Sailing Instructions, Registration Form, and link to the “Who’s Coming?” list.  Sixteen boats are signed up so far, and it is not too late to add your boat!  Let Aaron know if you’re looking for crew or if you’re looking for to crew for somebody.

Plan Your 2014 Sailing Season

Our 2014 Dixie District racing calendar and our local fleet racing calendar have been posted!  Take a moment now to start planning your 2014 sailing season and, in particular, to think about the traveling regattas that you might like to attend.  We have a fantastic set of regattas across the District (and beyond) scheduled for the year, and most are within just a couple of hours drive from DC. The Dixie District calendar starts off with the Moonshine Regatta on April 12-13 (6 boats are already on the list, so add your name now!).  The District Championships are in Susquehanna, PA, this year on June 14-15.

Traveling to our District regattas helps to support the other fleets in our District and is also a great way to take your sailing to the next level by competing against different teams in different locales.  You’ll also to get to know the other sailors in the District.  Regardless of the sailing, there are always great celebrations with fantastic people and lots of good cheer at our District regattas!

As we look ahead to the 2014 season, I’d like to issue a challenge to all of our fleet members: travel to at least one more District regatta than you did in 2013.  Imagine the representation Fleet 50 would have at these regattas if we could all do that?  And think about how we’d improve both individually and as a fleet!  As a District and as a Class we pride ourselves on hosting regattas that are family-friendly and fun as well as competitive.  Think about a District regatta as a good chance for a weekend vacation with the family, or the chance to explore a new place.  Each regatta is about the sailing, but about much more than that as well!  So what will your “+1” traveling regatta be this year?  Post your plans as comments here to help generate some momentum!

As you gear up for the season don’t forget to pay your Fleet 50, PRSA, and ILCA dues.  Lastly, don’t forget to “like” the new Dixie District facebook page so that you receive all of the District news via your facebook news feed.  I look forward to seeing you all on the water this year!

Dixie Districts Recap

What a fantastic weekend!  The folks down in Hampton put on a great regatta for us!  It was a shame that the turnout was so light — the racing was fantastic, as was the hospitality!  Congratulations to Craig Cobbum & crew for their win.  Ron Buchanan (sailing with Hadley Greene and Jeff Ullman) was the top Fleet 50 boat, notching a 5th overall.  I was racing with John & Diane Butler on Beedobeat, and although our finishes weren’t up to our expectations or capabilities, we had a fantastic time (including a rockin’ 3rd place finish in the final race).  Keep reading for scores, race-by-race details, and links to photos and videos.  A huge thanks to Joe Buczkowski and the Hampton YC folks for hosting us!  Also, please remember to post your own comments and recollections (just click on the little “comment bubble” at the top right of this post.

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