We had a good turnout for the PRSA Rookie Regatta this past Sunday, with 6 I-20s, 6 Lightnings, 3 Albacores, and 2 Buccaneers coming out for the fun. Several boats had a true rookie on board, and those that didn’t had crews driving and drivers crewing. Congrats to David Keto (15117) and Tom Hutton (15142) on tying for first place in the Lightning fleet. Joe and Marco on 12416 also had a great showing, finishing 2nd overall.
Results are posted below. I’ve also included a few of my observations from the course on Lightning #14592 (from the middle position while Piercarlo drove his first races in a long while!). You should feel free to add your observations in the comments section!
The weather looked much more promising than the forecast as we arrived at the marina on Sunday. We sailed up to the course in a nice northerly breeze…only to see it become soft and spotty as the first starts got going. PRO Allen Griffen and his RC crew did a great job in adjusting the course but also getting us as many races as possible in a very shifty and variable N/NE/NW wind. With short T1 courses the start was important, and we found that getting a good start and staying in the pressure (generally up the left side of the course along the airport, though this was not the case in the first race) was paramount. Making sure to keep the boat moving forward fast, even when headed, was also important in all of the shifts and swirls. Over the 3 races we saw conditions ranging from nearly no wind to full on hiking conditions (for a few moments at least). Overall, though, the racing was fun and clean, and it was great to see new faces on boats and familiar people in new positions. The sun even came out enough for us to enjoy a nice post-race BBQ and awards ceremony!
We had a great turnout this past Sunday with 9 Lightnings on the line and 3 more represented on the RC — that is 12 boats for a Spring Series race! We were especially thrilled to welcome Mike and Angela Darrah on #15259 to the Fleet for their first PRSA races. Watch out folks — they are fast! It was also good to see Karl and Kevin Wagerson out on 14566 and to have Jim Dillard join us on 15311 for some of his first PRSA Sunday Series racing in a while. I was PRO for the day (with Bob Gotthardt and Lisa-Marie Lane rounding out the RC). All I can say is that it was a very goofy day, with “east” winds varying wildly in velocity and direction all day long. We saw the breeze swing from 35 degrees to 115 degrees and back in just a minute or two, and there was more than one instance of a breeze directly out of the south settling over the course for a few minutes, before reverting back to an easterly. Given the wind direction the O2 courses were short, but they were surely challenging for the sailors given the shifty and puffy conditions. We were able to get 5 races in (!) before sending the boats back to shore to enjoy the PRSA season-opening BBQ. Results will be posted to the PRSA website soon!
The AMG also starts the new membership year, so Skippers please fill out a membership formfor dues renewal ($20.00) for 2018. You can either mail them directly to Bob Gotthardt or bring the completed form & dues to the AGM.
Finally, don’t forget that your PRSA Dues need to be paid by January 15 in order to avoid a late fee!
West River Sailing Club in Galesville, MD, is hosting a 2-day Race Management Seminar on Feb. 17-18, 2018. This class is for people who want to learn more about how to run sailboat races. No prerequisites are required other than a basic understanding of sail boat racing and some previous race management experience. Follow this link for information and registration details (scroll down the page to the date of Feb. 17-18):
Attendees must be members of US Sailing. The course fee is $80 which covers the class, materials, continental breakfast & coffee, plus lunch. The two day class will begin each day at 0830 and run through 1630. There is an on-line quiz after the course if attendees are interested in becoming certified.
This is a great opportunity, especially according to this endorsement from Nabeel: “I endorse this class. Bill Kleysteuber and I travelled up to Newport, RI about a decade ago to take the class. We learned a lot. It is primarily based on the RRS but not completely. You get a nice certificate at the end and become certified as a club race officer.”
This coming Sunday is the last day of racing for the fall series. The forecast is for partly cloudy skies with a high of 52 and moderate winds from the south. It it holds true, this should be a great day to end the season! Then next Saturday is the PRSA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet. Visit the PRSA website for details and to sign up!
Last weekend, team As You Wish…was in Hampton VA for the Fall Fling. It was a great event with 2 days of racing and one of the highest turnouts in many years. There were 7 Lightnings, and would have been 8, except 2 boats needed crew and had to combine boats. Sat we had 5 hard races, the wind was predominately steady from the north winds from 15-20. The steady breeze made the 5 races races very lively and tiring but never out of control or too much to handle. Saturday night the Hampton Yacht Club members hosted an awesome Pot Luck/Oyster Roast at one of the member’s homes a few blocks away from the club. By Sunday, the breeze was predicted to die all day following the front that came thru but it stayed in the 5-6 range and the RC was able to get in 2 additional races. This was the prefect way to end the regatta, the temps were in the 70’s, most of us were wearing shorts and although the winds were light, no paddling was required! Congrats again to the winners, Trevor Prior, Hans & Gary sailed well and placed 1st; Joe Bukowski, Ed Lane & Zack Bukowski came in 2nd and Team Hurban, Joan, Gary and Paulie Kaiser were a very close 3rd. (See the pics below).
Some winter thoughts…If you have not considered traveling to away regattas, please reconsider. When Jim and I first joined Fleet 50 and were trying to “get the basics” of this incredibly humbling boat down, the number one recommendation to getting more experience by traveling to away regattas. Although when we first considered traveling it was quite overwhelming, it has been the best thing we have done to gain experience. If you have questions, just ask! There are many folks who will help with recommendations and procedures on traveling, stepping your mast, setting up your boat and all around cheerleads for new teams. And most importantly, the host clubs are so excited to get more boats on the line! You will find new friendships, lots of great sailing stories and invaluable knowledge. Lightning sailors are a tight knit group that will go out of their way to support each other!
Here is the writeup on PRSA Fall Series #3 from John Van Voorhis. Kudos to John and David for taking 1st on the day with three well-earned 2nd place finishes!
Last Sunday, 10/1, started out a little chilly, but by the time we were done sailing we had a gorgeous fall day. The Race Committee tried starting us early due to the wind forecast, but the wind didn’t cooperate. It really didn’t cooperate all day, but the RC did a great job getting off three races for the Lightnings. The wind was shifting from back and from from the NNE enough that the favored end of the starting line would switch back and forth through the starting sequence. For races one and two, the wind tended toward the east, then in race three it was going all the way around the clock as small convection cells moved across the race course.
David and I managed to get three seconds on the day, so we felt pretty good. In the first race we had a not so great start, but managed to catch the right shift correctly and get to the first mark first. With the way the shifts came in it seems as if being rightmost boat, but near the middle of the course worked best for us in the first race. Think it was Nabeel who passed us on the second weather leg and we couldn’t pass him down wind.
In the second race, we got exactly the start we wanted at the favored end by the committee boat, and were able to hold on near the front through the whole race. I don’t remember who passed us, but again there was a lot of shifting wind and middle right with clear air worked for us. In those conditions we let the jib tell us when to tack and eased out the main a lot when we couldn’t see the wind. We blew it on the last down wind leg by setting the spinnaker, when we shouldn’t have. Don’t forget to check if you can lay the mark!
In the last race we had an ok start, but that first leg took forever as the wind was coming straight down. Again we stayed calm as we passed and were passed by other boats.
Thankfully the wind filled in enough for all of us to get back to the marina under sail.
Here is the writeup from Geoff Bishop, 3rd place Lightning in Sunday’s Fall Series #3. Geoff was sailing with his daughter, Gigi, and son Quentin. Thank you, Geoff, for the writeup and great job to you and your crew for a 3rd on a very tough day! Please feel free to add your own comments and observations here as well.
Sit still and try to keep moving! It was a fun day on the river but once again not much wind. Sailing out to the course I was pleasantly surprised by a steady breeze but in the end the forecast for light and variable winds held true. The race committee did a phenomenal job setting the marks and a square start line despite early engine problems. Trying to recall the light air sailing lessons we learned last week, our strategy was simply to keep the boat moving. We did our best to start the day’s only race on starboard with speed and footed nicely up the left side of the course. When waves from boat traffic in the channel came by we footed even more in order to keep our boat moving through the chop. Taking those waves head on in this light air would have been deadly. Then the wind died and a breeze filled in on the right side of the course! The boats that went right were heroes! In retrospect the more dependable wind was probably coming down the Anacostia – on the right side of the course – and I made a point of staying right on the next upwind leg. The rest of the race seems a bit of a blur as we sat bobbing up and down, drifting under the blazing sun. Somewhere along the way I recalled the saying: “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” This thought came to mind right about the time Shadowfax came scooting by us downwind with the spinnaker pulling and passing boats right and left. With patience and perseverance we coaxed our boat forward and on the last downwind leg found a little breath of wind coming off the airport side of the river that we used to generate some momentum around the pin and into the final stretch. The final leg of our race reminded me of rubber duckies floating in a bathtub. We were near a group of about four lightnings just bobbing ever closer to the finish line – and in particular the leeward pin as the current was at least as strong as any “wind.” By sheer luck we bobbed just ahead of Frank and Marianne (we had traded places back and forth with them most of the race) for a third place finish. Not exactly lightning speed, but we’ll take it. Thank you to all who participated –most of the classes had a great turnout – and thank you to the race committee who graciously let us go in early to enjoy the rest of our afternoon on shore.
We didn’t have much breeze for the 2017 PRSA President’s Cup, but that didn’t stop us from having fun! With 9 Lightnings registered we were anxious to get racing. It was fantastic to see Geoff Bishop (sailing with his daughter Gigi and with Molly Doyle) at his first regatta in his new boat on Sunday! It was also great to welcome Bill Mauk back to sail with us. Despite our enthusiasm, Mother Nature had other ideas, at least for Saturday. The river was so calm that you could see a picture-perfect reflection of the buildings on MD shore from the WSM docks. PRO Jim Graham postponed from ashore twice before (wisely) cancelling racing for the day. There were no complaints from the sailors as we all cracked cold beverages, engaged in some bocce ball competitions, tossed a frisbee or two, and enjoyed a beautiful fall afternoon that was rounded out by a tasty regatta dinner from Lebanese Taverna.
There was not much wind on Sunday morning, but we were determined to go racing. The RC towed boats up to the course in a gentle northerly breeze. The wind held long enough for the Lightnings to get two races — far better than none! — as we tested our light-air sailing skills against each other. The competition on Sunday was tight, with lots of position changes in the tricky conditions. Congratulations to Bill Mauk (sailing with Kevin and Ricardo) for showing us how it is done! You can keep reading for some of my observations from aboard Lightning #14592 and, by all means, please add your own observations as comments on this post! Scores are posted here and you can view the photos from Lindsay Bach here. A link to final scores will be posted soon.
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.