PRSA Fall Series #1: We Had Wind!

Anybody who looked at the forecast prior to the first Sunday Fall Series of 2019 wouldn’t have been blamed for staying home.  Sailflow *literally* showed 0-2 kts max. But, an intrepid group showed up at the marina anyway and PRO Mike Darrah and his crew were ready to go.  There was, in fact, a nice northerly blowing as we held the skipper’s meeting, so we all launched and headed up the river.  The day turned out to be quite nice as we ended up getting 3 races in a light but mostly steady north/northeast breeze.  Just goes to show that it always pays to show up and be ready!

On board Beedobeat I was lucky enough to have my rock-star crew: Lisbet up front and Piercarlo in the middle.  I was also as giddy as a kid in a toy store as we had a nice day to take a look at the new main and new spinnaker.  In addition to our boat we had Jim & Lisa-Marie, Frank, Lindsay, and Will out on their Lightnings.  The RC wasted no time given that we had wind and sent us off on a nice O2 course.  Piercarlo and Lisbet are amazing crew and they got right to work looking for pressure and shifts.  We played the tips from Barney’s local knowledge session for these conditions and stuck to the left on the first beat.  It paid off, as we came out well ahead of boats who went right and had a nice lead around the top mark. I have to think that the new sails played a role as well, though, as I really concentrated on looking at the new main and keeping flow over it (finding it pretty easy to over-trim if you weren’t paying close attention).  Our new “supermax” spinnaker looked pretty nice going downwind, and we were able to not only hold our lead but also stay ahead of the Bucs and pass the I-20s for a win and overall line honors.

The wind moved a bit east for the 2nd and 3rd races and the tide/current was mostly slack so we started paying much more attention to finding pressure — connecting the dots between different bands of breeze — than to a side of the course.  In the light breeze finding a bit of pressure here and there was much more important than trying to stick to a favored side.  We also paid a *lot* of attention to boat balance and roll tacking, using gravity to help fill the sails and using our weight to squirt us out of tacks.   Downwind Lisbet and Piercarlo were flawless on sets, jibes, and douses–and that makes things very easy for a skipper.  Two more races and two more wins plus overall line honors in each!  It was a great way for us to start the fall, but it was also not an accident.  Lots of concentration and attention to detail by Lisbet and Piercarlo were critical, and it was a tricky day–one on which it was easy to lose focus or get frustrated.

Overall it was fantastic to see good friends and to have some great racing.  Lisa-Marie also sent in these observations from team As You Wish: “…we showed up not intending on sailing with almost nothing (without: crew, we told her to sleep in, food, enough water, sun glasses, life jackets, gloves, shoes, compass or sails!) But we have such an amazing fleet that will pretty much do whatever they can to help get another boat on the water!  And supplied any “necessary” missing items!  For not expecting to sail, we had a great day of racing! We were also excited to have new comer to PRSA Kaitlin Lucey for the first time on a Lightning who was a natural!”  If I recall correctly, team As You Wish also beat Frank in two races…using old sails borrowed from Frank! 🙂  All in all, a fantastic day on the water!


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