PRSA President’s Cup: Little Wind, but Lots of Fun!

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.

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PRSA Spring Regatta: May 28-29

The NOR for the PRSA Spring Regatta (May 28-29) has been posted and registration is now open.  Visit the regatta website and register by May 25 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 “documents” area on the regatta website.

PRSA Rookie Regatta: May 1

PRSA will hold the 3rd Annual PRSA Rookie Regatta on Sunday, May 1!  This is a special stand-alone one day regatta with the purpose of encouraging you all to bring new crew out to sail, to turn the helm over to your crew, or to do other creative things that might help involve new people in sailing.  The scoring system will be a bit different for this one day (results do not count towards your Spring Series scores) and there will be bonuses involved for bringing new people.  All of the relevant information is posted to the PRSA Rookie Regatta page:

Michael Heinsdorf will be PRO for the day. It would be helpful if you could you let us know whether you will be sailing on May 1 and, importantly, whether you are bringing more than a few “rookies” for the day.  We can accommodate a few extra folks on the RC boats to switch in and out of various boats if we know how many people to expect.  So please email Michael ( once you’ve thought about your lineup for the Rookie Regatta.  Let’s get some new sailors on the water!

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.

PRSA Spring Series 2

If you didn’t come out to sail this past weekend then you missed out. The tide was in so there was plenty of water and we had breeze out of the east / south east with winds in the mid teens with some occasional higher gusts.

At the skipper’s meeting it was decided to start all of the classes together so we had 6 Lightning’s, 3 Albacores, and 2 Buccaneers all on the line at once. We also had some pick up crew, new crew and combining of crews to get boats out on the water.

PRO Yates Dowell set triangle courses to start with a long reach leg to length the course given the constraints of sailing across the width of the river when we have the predominant east or west winds. After racing three triangle races we finished the day with two Olympic races.

The reach legs were fast and several times the boat felt like it was close to a plane even with only the job and the main. I watched several Albacores take off on the reaches. The tight reach and the shifts and the puffs made several of us cautious about flying the spinnaker but on several of the legs we were not overly disadvantaged by choosing not to.

Jon Van Voorhis had a great start on race 4 with his port tack from the pin end.We will have to keep our eye on Jon. We missed having Nabeel out because of the arrival of his first grandchild but expect to see him out next week. Congrats Nabeel!

We had several new crew come out and sail with various fleet members who I hope to see out racing again including Bianca sailing with Jim and Lisa Marie, Melissa sailing with Jon Van Voorhis and Will Phillippe, Miranda and Michael sailing with Bob Gotthardht, and Chris sailing with Bob Astrove and Ed Lane. If you have been thinking about checking out PRSA you should contact a fleet member or come to the cranes on Sunday morning about 9 AM at Washington Sailing Marina.

Overall, it was just a great day to be out racing and sailing. The long range forecast for Spring Series 3 is looking good so everyone should plan to be out racing.


PRSA Merchandise: Perfect for the Holidays

Looking for for the perfect holiday gift for all of your sailing friends?  Look no farther than our PRSA Merchandise Page!  Just click the “PRSA Merchandise” link at the top of the PRSA Website to view the offerings.  We have PRSA hats, tech-tops (men’s and women’s), mugs, and tide calendars available.  We should be adding long-sleeve polo shirts soon as well.  Place your orders now!