Spring Series #7: Absolutely Fantastic Racing on the Potomac!

We had an amazing day for Spring Series #7!  Steady breeze at 10-15 from the South, four great races, and 8 Lightnings on the line!  Read Nabeel’s great summary of the day’s racing on the PRSA website and add your own comments.  Heather on the RC also took some great photos, including the ones below!

Fleet 50 Tuning Day: A Great Success!

Greetings Sailors!

We had a stellar turn-out for out Lightning Fleet 50 Tuning day. There were 9 Lightnings at the marina and we were able to raise masts, tune rigging, assist with repairs and help each other prepare for the Spring Season Racing!
I would like to especially thank Aaron & Nabeel who were able to share their experience with getting boats measured & tuned.  But overall, thanks to everyone who participated.  This tuning day was a success due to all of the folks who made time out of their weekend to participate, share tools, experience & lend a helping hand.  I believe the this is one of the many reasons that Fleet 50 is so great!
Members included: Aaron, Nabeel, Lisa-Marie & Jim, Geoff, Jeff, John, Bob, Bobby, Will, Dereck, Laura and our newest Fleet 50 Members Joe & Macos (in the Red Boat)!

Happy Sailing!
Lisa-Marie Lane
Fleet 50 Fleet Captain

Fleet 50 Tuning Day: Saturday, April 1, 9am-Noon

Greetings Sailors!

 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
  • Pen/pencil

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.

Cheers!

Lisa-Marie

A Message from Your New Fleet Captain: Spring Sailing Is Here!

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 lisamarie_lane@me.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!  

Upcoming Regattas

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!  

Cheers!

Lisa-Marie

2016 Season Wrap-Up

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!

 

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:

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

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.

Special Note Re: PRSA Spring Series #4

There will be no on-shore 1000 skipper’s meeting for Spring Series #4 (Apr. 24) because the Race Committee will already be on the water running races for day 2 of the I-20 Cherry Blossom Regatta.

PRSA Spring Series racing will start as scheduled on the upper course with the first warning signal at 1125.  Competitors should be sure to check in with the RC Signal Boat on the water prior to the first warning.

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.