PRSA Fall Series #5

This past Sunday turned out to be a great day for some fall sailing.  It took a bit for the breeze to settle in, but once it did we got in 3 great races (for a total of 4 given the RC’s valiant efforts to get us one race in fluky breeze early in the day).  A huge thanks to PRO John VanVoorhis and his crew (Frank, Laura, Alex, David) on RC for doing a great job of adjusting courses and getting the boats the most racing that we could have.  We also had a great showing among the Lightning fleet, with 6 boats on the water and 3 more represented on the RC:

  • 14592: Aaron sailed his new boat for the first time (yay!) along with Lisbet and new crew Aiden — a high school sailor who did an awesome job (no surprise…he sailed in the most recent WJM Nationals!)
  • 14395: Chris and Liz double-handed all day long and were fast, even as the breeze built!
  • 15142: Nabeel, sailing with Jess and Tom
  • 14221: Lindsay was also double-handing, sailing with Chris Moore
  • 15126: Lisa-Marie, sailing with Jim and Karen
  • 14627: Bob Gotthardt, sailing with Guy and Ryan

After a fluky first race in a weird westerly wind the breeze settled in at about 8-12 from the north (with some higher gusts later in the day).  The consensus in the post-race discussion was that the left generally paid upwind, which is rather typical for these types of days on the Potomac.  I know that I lost out the one time that I tried the right, despite seeing what I thought was better pressure there.  Downwind the key seemed to be finding the left shifts as those moments allowed you to sail deep towards the leeward mark without having to jibe out into the river.

The races were definitely competitive, and it was great to see Chris & Liz going fast with just two on board (spinnaker and all) even in the gustier moments.  Chris did a great job of playing the left to win the 3rd race in spectacular come-from behind after a very crowded leeward mark rounding.  From my perspective on my new boat (how cool!) it seemed that Nabeel had the best speed upwind.  He also had great starts and did a good job of playing the left for upwind advantage.  On 14592 we were able to gain ground on most of the downwind legs to keep things close.  It paid off in the last race in particular as we were able to make a pass on the 2nd downwind and hold that lead to the finish.  Overall it was a great day on the water and, as always, we had a good time discussing the racing around the grill after we came off the water.

Fall Series #2

It was a great day for sailing this past Sunday!  We had 6 Lightnings on the water enjoying the breeze and the sometimes tricky puffs:

  • 15195: Pat McGee (good to see you Pat!) and Laura Lake
  • 14627: Bob Gotthardt, Guy Barkwell, and Ryan Hutter
  • 15117: John Van Voorhis, Rachel Davies-Van Voorhis, David Ketto
  • 14126: Lisa-Marie Lane, Jim Lane, Bianca Russo
  • 14396: Chris Kozel, Liz Williams, Tom Hutton
  • 14221: Lindsay Bach, Todd Blikecki, Anouk

Barney Harris took some great photos from the mark boat–check them out here!  I wasn’t out on the water, so I’d appreciate any comments on the racing that folks might have.

2015 Fall Series #1

2015 Fall Series #1 was a great way to start the fall racing season. The early morning light rain was carried off with the wind and left us with mostly cloudy skies. Temperatures were in the mid 60s when we met at 10 AM for the skipper’s meeting and ultimately made it to the mid 70s while out racing. The water was still warm in the low 80s from the summer heat so it was comfortable to sail in shorts with a tshirt and a life jacket. We had a nice turnout of the classes with the Weta and a Hobie in the multihulls, 6 lightings (+ Bob as PRO), 2 Buccanners, and several Albacores.

It was great to see so many familiar faces after taking off from regular racing during the summer and I saw some new faces that I didn’t have a chance to meet at the post racing cookout.

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PRSA Fall Series Starts Sunday!

The PRSA Fall Series starts this Sunday!  Now is the time to make sure that you have your crew organized, that you have paid your PRSA dues, and that you have signed up for (or already fulfilled) your PRSA race committee obligations.  Remember to review theSunday Series NOR and Sailing Instructions as well.  I look forward to seeing you on the water on Sunday!

PRSA Spring Series Results

Congratulations to Bobby Astrove on winning the 2015 PRSA Spring Series!  Frank Gallagher was hot on Bobby’s heels, and Team No Call, No Show (Alex, Brian, Will, Laura — formerly the “college kids”) finished strong in 3rd, chased by Bob Gotthardt and Jon VanVoorhis.  Take a look at the scores and start planning your fall series now!

PRSA Fall Series Final Results

The results are in!  Congratulations to Rick Welch and Team Sinistra for winning the 2014 PRSA Fall Series.  It was a tight battle, as Rick just edged Frank Gallagher for the top spot.  Will Phillippe and the College Kids boat took 3rd place, and Lindsay Bach finished 4th overall.  Awards will be given at the PRSA AGM & Awards Banquet (see post above) so be sure to sign up for that!

Here is the link to the full listing of results: 2014 Fall Series Results — Lightnings

PRSA Fall Series #8

Two Lightnings — Lindsay and Rick — came out for the final PRSA Fall Series races (and another, Lisa-Marie, was down in Hampton for the fall fling).  We had a great fall day to wrap up the year on the river, with a light N/NW breeze (5-8 kts) that held out just long enough to get us 3 races.  Team Sinistra took the day with 3 bullets and we all enjoyed a final BBQ around the grill as the sun set and a fall chill spread through the air.  See you at the PRSA AGM and then on the river next year!

Scores for Fall Series #8 have been posted to the PRSA website.

Fall Series #6: Breezy Fun!

It was already blowing in the 10-15 range when we arrived at the marina on Sunday, and the forecast was for the wind to build towards 20 mph steady with gusts predicted up to 30.  That forecast may have kept some teams away, but 4 Lightnings (John V., doublehanding with his daughter Rachel; Rick, Piercarlo & Aaron; Chris, Jen, & Nicole; Alex, Laura, & Will), a Buc, and a Laser did splash their boats and the Hobie Cat RC crew led by Yates agreed to set up shorter courses (they had little choice with a WNW wind) and keep a close eye on everybody.

The wind did continue to build as we sailed up to the race course, and we definitely saw some gusts in the 20s in the first race according to the handheld wind readings taken aboard the signal boat. The College Kids decied not to race (they may have broke something, I’m not sure), which left 3 of us for the first race.  John was doublehanding and definitely light, so he (wisely) decided to sail under main alone for the first race and then he headed home.  That left us on Sinistra to duke it out vs. String Theory for the day.  Chris got better starts in both races, winning the boat end both times with us farther down the line than we would have liked to be.  However, we were able to hold the boat down a bit more (we definitely had more crew weight) and point better, so we were able to take the lead on the first leg in each race and hold onto it for two bullets.

Although the races were short, we did work hard on Sinistra to put the lessons that we learned at the Frigid Digit into practice: traveler down, jib cars back, and make sure to ease the jib together with the main in big puffs (this was the major lesson overall).  I was up front, but I handed the jib sheet to Piercarlo in the middle after trimming the sail out of each tack as his angle made it easier to uncleat and cleat the jib while we were all fully hiked.  Easing the jib to make sure that the main never backwinded when eased made a huge difference — we were flat, fast, and we never really felt like we had to struggle to keep the boat down.  The flat water also made a huge difference, though, as all of this is much tougher in the Annapolis chop.

With very short courses and shifty, gusty breeze nobody flew the spinnaker.  After our two races both boats called it a day, agreeing to sail home rather than keep match racing and possibly breaking something.  We saw some even bigger gusts and some fantastic rides on a full plane on the sail back to the marina and everybody enjoyed some hot dogs and drinks after we dried out our boats (and selves).

PRSA Fall Series #4

The wind was once again a bit fluky, but  5 Lightnings made their way up to the course along with Jim Antonovich on a cat and Jeff Neurauter in the Buc class.  PRO Kyra Tallon and her crew did a good job in getting us some racing in the light and variable ENE breeze.  This meant some Olympic courses again, so boathandling was at a premium (especially for those Lightnings who were doublehanding). I was one of those skippers doublehanding, ably aided by John VanVoorhis, so I didn’t get much of a chance to look around and take in all the action.  I know that we were neck-and-neck with Frank for much of day, though, and in the end Frank was able to edge us out to win the day–great job!  A good time was had by all and afterwards we all enjoyed a cookout on a beautiful afternoon.

Scores are posted to the PRSA Website.