It was great to see 9 Lightnings out on the water this past Sunday! In particular, it was great to see Brian and Kirsten on Bobby Astrove’s “spare” boat giving us all a run for our money in their first time skippering/crewing out a Lightning! It was also good to see Tom Apker sailing his new-to-him boat (15167) with John Kircher, and to see John & Diane Butler, John Van Voorhis, and Peter Lallas back out on the water.
It was a light and shifty day, but we still got in 4 good races thanks to PRO Jeff Neurater and his crew. I was double-handing with John Van Voorhis, so I only had a limited amount of time to look around (we were fully occupied with trying to figure out the conditions and find the breeze ourselves!). However, I’ve included a few recollections from the racing below. You can view the scores from the day and for the season so far on the PRSA website: http://potomacriversailing.org/2014/05/12/spring-series-5-may-11-2014/
I look forward to seeing you all on the water for Spring Series #6 next Sunday. Remember that we’ll have our regular BYO BBQ after the racing as well!
The day looked very promising at the outset. We had a nice northerly breeze of about 10 knots blowing as nine Lightnings, six Albacores, and a Hobie Cat headed out of the cove and up to the race course. The RC started the first sequence right on time, only to have the wind cut out altogether with about 2 minutes to go in the sequence. The river was high and the tide was flowing out, so most boats drifted away from the starting line even as they tried to sail upwind. Another breeze line was visible up at the windward mark, though, and soon enough it filled in and we were off racing. The boats that were close to the line got the breeze first, go a big jump, and ended up with a huge lead for the entirety of the Olympic course.
That same pattern pretty much repeated over the next three races — another Olympic course, and then two shorter Triangle courses. Finding breeze was of the utmost importance, and this meant looking up towards the bridge to see where the next line was forming even as you were hunting for the patches of breeze that had made it to the racecourse. In general, the breeze would fill from the left side of the course…but that wasn’t a guarantee, and there were times when boats that went out to the right going upwind came out ahead, despite battling the current in the channel.
It was great to get out on the water, even if the conditions were tricky. After the racing we all gathered in the grill area to enjoy some great food, beverages, and the last bit of a fine sunny afternoon.