FLEET 50 ARCHIVES FROM 2008
Last posted 03/15/2009
2008 Fleet 50 Skipper-nominated Crew Awards and Crew-nominated Skipper awards are posted! Check them out on the Awards page.
2008 Season Retrospective is now available! What did we do last year? Click here to find out.
The RRS 2009-2012 edition is now available! If you are a current US Sailing member you got one in the mail. If not, visit the US Sailing website to join and get one free -- or just order a copy for $29.95 plus shipping and handling. To view a PDF that shows the changes from the previous edition, click here. Additions are in red, deletions are lined out. Part 2 (pp 9 - 16) has been re-written completely, but primarily with the intention of simplifying. The default "zone" at marks is now a 3 boat-length circle but that can be adjusted in sailing instructions.
PRSA Hangover Regatta Thursday, January 1, 2009! Doug Savage was PRO. Skippers meeting was at noon; first gun at 12:40 PM; no race started after 3:40 PM. Hangovers were optional. High tide was at 10:51 AM. The AccuWeather forecast called for a full day of sunshine, with winds from the NW at 16 - 20 MPH, and a high temperature of 37 degrees. The river flow was at late-spring levels, at 9,700 CFS (gage height 3.9 ft), and the water temperature was a seasonal 37 degrees. On Wednesday (New Year's Eve) we had wind gusts to 50 MPH and sustained winds of 35 MPH, and at first the forecast for Thursday was for them to die down by 10 AM and flow at 10 MPH for the remainder of the day -- then on Thursday morning the forecast was revised to predict winds of 16 - 20 for the afternoon. What we got, however, were 10 MPH winds from noon to 2 PM, that died to a flat calm right after that. Results here.
Tom Allen III is US Sailing Sailor of the week! Here is an extract of the write-up from the US Sailing Home page.
2008 Sydney - Hobart Regatta - all boats have finished!
If you have spent any time in Australia you'll know that the Sydney-to-Hobart Regatta is to sailing enthusiasts what the Super Bowl is to American football enthusiasts. It's a very demanding two -to-three day race that brings out the maxis and super maxis, as well as the more ordinary racing yachts, starting in Sydney Harbor and ending at Battery Point in the city of Hobart, Tasmania, some 721 miles distant -- usually on very rough seas with strong winds. The race kicked off at 1:00 PM on Boxing Day, which, by virtue of the International Date Line, was Christmas Day night at 9 PM here in Washington DC. Here is a list of competitors. Read about the history of the regatta here. Here is a synopsis of available coverage of the race. Here is the official website. Here is a story.
With whom did you sail in 2008? 97 different Fleet 50 crew sailed, in PRSA events plus the Potomac Cup, with 19 different Fleet 50 skippers in 2008, for a total of 322 crew-days on the water. Who were they? Click here to find out. Additionally, 43 different crew sailed with 14 Fleet 50 skippers in 12 out-of-town regattas this year, including one boat that went to Savannah on the Southern Circuit.
Final 2008 Standings are posted! Check out the Results page and drill down to the cumulative standings for Spring; Fall; and Championship Series and check them out. Congratulations to our top finishers for 2008!
18 fatalities so far this fall with cold water immersion -- and none were wearing life jackets! As reported in the Sail World online magazine, since Labor Day in the Northeast US, here are 18 really good reasons for wearing PFDs when sailing in the late fall and early spring (and especially in the winter) on the Potomac. Read more here.
PRSA End-of-Season Banquet and Annual General Meeting - Saturday, November 15! At The Marina Towers. Catered by the Lebanese Taverna. 65 Skippers, Associates, and guests joined in on the festivities. We elected a new slate of officers for the 2009 season and handed out 52 awards for the 2008 season. Congratulations to Pat McGee, our new PRSA Commodore; Mike Heinsdorf, our new Vice Commodore, Eric Johnson, our new Rear Commodore, and Robert Bennett, our new Secretary. Stories and pictures to be posted soon. Our sincere thanks to Jim Graham, chair of the banquet organizing committee, and the Albacore fleet, for planning and setting up for (and cleaning up after) the dinner, and to Dave and Annette Dalbec, for providing the site.
Hampton Fall Fling Saturday and Sunday November 8 - 9. What a wonderful way to end the fall season -- with a trip to Hampton VA to race on the Hampton Flats across the river from the Norfolk Naval Pier with a great view of naval vessels coming and going as we raced. Five Lightnings competed -- Gary and Joan Hurban from Annapolis; Trevor Prior, with Danielle Prior and Barb Hill, from Susquehanna; Star Mikell, with Gene Shue and Carol Park, also from Susquehanna; Rebecca Dickerson, with Mark Fleckenstein and Christina Fazio from Skaneateles, and David and Barb Thompson, with Catherine Calvin, from Fleet 50. We had temperatures in the mid-60s both days, and winds from the SSW at 10 - 12 MPH on Saturday, and from the WSW at 5 - 7 MPH on Sunday. On Saturday the forecast was for occasional light showers under cloudy skies, but for the first race we had pouring-down rain; however it started clearing after that, and for the remaining 3 races of the day it dried out, with warm pleasant sunshine by the end of the day, which continued into Sunday. 7 Races were sailed, under the supervision of PROs Malcolm and Kathy Brady. The Hurbans took first place, with 4 bullets, a second, and 2 thirds. Trevor Prior was second; Star Mikell third. Results here.
PRSA Fall Finale - Saturday, November 8! Rick Welch was PRO, with RC provided by Lightnings and others. The AccuWeather forecast for Saturday called for cloudy skies, westerly winds at 8 - 9 MPH, and a high of 65 degrees. Instead, it was sunny and warm, with almost no wind, 3 Albacores, 2 Buccs, 3 Hobies, 4 Lasers, and 5 Lightnings came out, and sailed one shortened race before the wind went completely calm. Congratulations to Frank Gallagher who sailed the only Lighting to actually make it to the finish line. Results here.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 8, Sunday Nov 2 -- Last one of the 2008 Season! Bobby Astrove was PRO, with RC provided by the Lightnings. The AccuWeather forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, a high of 58 degrees, and winds from the ENE at 8 - 9 MPH. The river flow was below normal for this time of year, at 2,000 CFS (gage height 2.8 ft) and the water temperature was a chilly 53 degrees. High tide was at at 10:48 AM and low tide at 4:57 PM. We actually got better winds than forecast, and RC was able to get us 4 races - one on a triangular course and three on a windward-leeward course - before it was time to come in. A great way to end the 2008 Fall Sunday Series! Results Here.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 7, Sunday October 26. Steve Yelland was PRO, with Race Committee provided by the Cats. We had excellent winds under sunny skies, with relatively warm temperatures, making for some great fall Sunday sailing. We got in five races before it was time to come in! Results and Details here.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 6, Sunday October 19 -- We asked for wind -- and got it! Sunday's AccuWeather forecast called for sunny skies, a high of 60 degrees, and northerly breezes at 15 - 17 MPH. The river flow was below normal for this time of year, at 1,520 CFS (gage height 2.7 ft), and the water temperature was a seasonal 66 degrees. High tide was at 12:06 PM. Actual winds gusted to 25 in the morning and it was chilly, which kept some skippers from going out. But as the day wore on the air temperature came up and the breeze settled down, making for one of the best sailing days this fall. PRO Jim Graham and the Albacore-provided RC got off 4 races before it was time to come in. We welcomed Kate Smith-Morris, a new Lighting crew sailing with Russ Roberts. Results here.
Frigid Digit News! We can always count on good winds and exciting times at the Fridge, sailing on the Chesapeake in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, and this year was no exception. The AccuWeather forecast for the weekend on the Chesapeake called for sunny skies, a high of 61 degrees, and breezes from the north at 15 - 25 kts. Small craft advisories were posted. 3 races were sailed on Saturday, and none on Sunday, due to the heavy wind forecast. Nabeel placed 26th out of 31 boats; Colin Kirby also sailed to round out the Fleet 50 participation. Results here.
Gail Johnson. It is with great sadness that SSA, Fleet 329 and Fleet 50 mourn the loss of Gail Johnson, wife of long time fleet member Todd Johnson. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Todd and his family - Alex, Graham and Carolyn. More info.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 5, Sunday October 12 -- Not Another Light Air Day! We can't take it any more! Steve Kistler was PRO, with RC provided by the Hamptons. The AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change) looked good -- sunny skies with a high of 76 degrees, with afternoon southeasterly winds at 7 - 8 MPH. What we got, however, were northerly winds 3 -5 MPH in the morning, followed by four straight hours of flat calm. The river flow was below normal for this time of year, at 1,850 CFS (gage height 2.8 ft) and the water temperature was a seasonal 67 degrees. 11 Lightnings came out along with 3 Cats, 3 Buccs, and 3 Albacores, and got in one race before the wind died. Details here. Here are pictures, courtesy of RC member Peter Howson.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 4, Sunday October 5. Eric Johnson was PRO, with an ace RC crew provided by the Lightnings. The AccuWeather forecast called for partly sunny skies with winds from the west at 5 - 7 MPH, but we got much better than that -- northwesterly winds at 9 - 10 MPH, except for a lull during the second race. With beautiful clear skies and bright sunshine and a high of 75 degrees we thoroughly enjoyed racing -- and got in four races before it was time to come in. We welcomed Charlie Helfinstine, sailing with son Alex, making his first appearance on the PRSA course this fall, and sailing to a respectable 8th place finish. Robert Bennett sailed Laurie's Lightning with crew Lindsay and Wendy, and Red brought an all-Fehrle crew. Russ Roberts won the day with 2 bullets, a second, and a fourth; Rick Welch was second; Nabeel third. Results here.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 3, Sunday September 28. Many Albacores and Lightnings really wanted to sail, and RC was ready to set up a course, but there was no wind. While the AccuWeather forecast called for northwesterly winds 6 - 8 MPH, we actually had winds 0 - 2 MPH from multiple directions at several readings between 9:30 AM and noon. At 11:30 the remaining assembled skippers and crew voted to abandon racing for the day. While a southerly did come up after 1 PM, it was not steady, and it never exceeded 6 MPH, and it was accompanied by a warm rain, heavy at times. Next week it will be better. Here is more scoop.
It's a Boy! Congratulations to Pat and Lauren McGee -- son number 4, Patrick Finian McGee, was born to them on Saturday, September 27!
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 2, Sunday September 21. A tough day to be on the water if you were interested in sailing fast -- as in racing -- with winds from the north; east; and south, varying between calm and 5 MPH, but the Lightning RC pulled it off and got in two races before giving up on the day. Results here.
SMSA Small Boat Invitational September 20 - 21. Winds were lower than forecasted on both days, but we did get in 3 races on Saturday. There was no wind -- zero - zip -nada -- on Sunday. Dave Meiser took first place in a field of 8 Lightnings; Trevor Prior was second; Dan Liston 3rd. The SMSA new clubhouse, located right on Main St., a short block beyond Stony's, is a delight, plus it is only a short walk from there to the world famous Tiki Bar which, as you might suspect, was packed to overflowing on Saturday night. Results here.
PRSA Fall Sunday Series # 1, Sunday September 14. What a delightful day for the first Sunday of our Fall 2008 PRSA Sunday series! The breezes were actually from the south to SSE, allowing RC to set a nice long windward-leeward course right in the middle of the river, with the windward mark parallel to the end of the airport's Runway 32, and the Leeward mark about a mile north of that. We sailed 3 nice races in 10 MPH breezes before it was time to come in. Race Committee was provided by the Lightnings, with David Thompson as PRO. Results Here.
Olin Stephens 1908 - 2008. It is with great sadness that we report that Olin Stephens passed on September 6, at 100 years of age. Olin was one of greatest yacht designers of the 20th century, and was the designer of the Lighting one-design sailboat that we all love. For all of his great accomplishments, he was amazingly humble, according to Corky Gray who met him in Mystic Seaport a few years ago. Here is more information.
Wednesday Evening Sailing September 3rd. Aaron Boesnecker and Frank Gallagher splashed their boats; Maryann Gallagher and Chris Smith came out as crew, and Brenna Copeland stopped by to pick up the training materials that Joe Warren brought. Both boats joined the Albacores for starting practice in light winds that died around 7 PM. That was the end of the Summer Sailing 2008, and that's all we have to say about that.
Wednesday Evening Sailing August 27. Joe Warren and David Thompson were on site setting up their boats after their return from Havre de Grace, and Frank Gallagher stopped by to drop off his Leukemia Cup donations and to help Joe and David with their masts. The weather forecast called for periods of rain developing around 6 PM, which was enough to keep skippers off the water, even though the rain didn't actually start until after 7. This, the final Wednesday Night sailing for the summer thus was postponed until next Wednesday, September 3.
2008 Duck Challenge. John Butler, Joe Warren, Russ Roberts, and David Thompson traveled to Havre de Grace for the 2008 Duck Challenge regatta, on a weekend with beautiful summer weather, although there was no wind on Saturday. On Sunday we were blessed with a nice southerly at 10 - !5 MPH and we sailed 6 races. Jason Werner, sailing with Heather Dodd and Brian Debrincat took first place. Here are Results. Here are photos and stories. Here are more stories and a video.
Wednesday Night Sailing August 13. Joe Warren, Pat McGee, and Jeff Storck came out on an evening that had steady southerly winds at 12 MPH and temperatures in the low 80s, with low humidity. However, none of the crew trainees showed up. The last Wednesday evening event will be August 27.
2008 NAs. Nabeel, sailing with Russ and Lisbet in the Green fleet, placed 26th out of 32 boats; Frank, sailing with Brian Kuzon and RT in the Yellow fleet, placed 16th out of 28 boats. Allan Terhune took first place in the Blue (Championship) fleet of 38 boats. Way to go, Allan! Here are details.
Wednesday Night Sailing July 30. Joe Warren, Pat McGee, and Red Fehrle came out, along with John Hart, but none of the regular Wednesday Evening crew trainees. The weather probably played a role in that. The local radar at 4:30 clearly showed a band of rain moving in from the west; it appeared that it would arrive at the marina about 6. That may have discouraged crew. Oddly, it didn't rain, but the wind direction shifted to the West and nearly died. The Albacores didn't do any racing. So, it was not a good night for starting practice. Todd Johnson did stop by to offer his suggestions while John and Pat helped Joe finish rigging his new Vang system.
2008 Atlantic Coast Championships Draws 37 boats! Nabeel, sailing with Scott Bradford and Allan Rukin placed 28th; Bobby, sailing with Billy Astrove and Michael Smith, placed 33rd. David Starck from Buffalo place first; Allan Terhune from SSA placed second; Geoff Becker from SSA place third. Here are the details. Here is a story.
Lightning 70th Anniversary Regatta - Skaneateles NY, July 4 - 6. 2008 marks the 70th anniversary of the splash of Lightning #1 for sea trials on Lake Skaneateles in October 1938, and the Skaneateles Country Club, ILCA, and Lightning Fleet 1 hosted a suitably appropriate anniversary bash, on Friday - Sunday, July 4 - 6. Here is more information. The following 10 Fleet 50 skippers participated: Alsalam; Astrove; Butler; Dillard; Dixon; Keith; Kirby; Owen; Storck; Thompson. Also, Benjamin Forman dropped down from Boston to crew for John Butler. As of Friday morning, July 4, 130 unique boat numbers were identified in the intent list (although some of those had canceled), and an additional 27 had registered and had not put their names on the intent list.
There was beautiful summer weather in Skaneateles Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, although the winds were light on all three days, so light that only two shortened races were run on Saturday (the first one a 3-hour drifter) and none on Sunday. Skies were sunny, and the high temperature each day reached the high 70s, with nighttime lows in the low 60s.
Here are the results. Here are some photos. Here are more photos. And even more photos. And still more photos. Here are some postings on the ILCA Forum. Here is a story. Here are some Fleet 50 memories. Here is a video. Two Fleet 50 competitors sailed in the 63-competitor Blue Fleet and placed: Chandler (30th) and Nabeel (36th). Two Fleet 50 competitors sailed in the 21-competitor Red Fleet -- Bobby (1st -- Way to go, Bobby!) and Doug Dixon (7th). Doug also won the People's Choice award for the best restoration. The six Fleet 50 competitors sailing in the 45-competitor White Fleet placed: John Butler, 5th (way to go, John!); Collin Kirby, 11th (well done, Collin!); Jeff Storck, 17th; Jim Dillard, 19th; Harry Keith, 39th; and David Thompson, 41st. All in all, a most enjoyable regatta!
Dave Pyle Retiring from Racing! Former Fleet 50 Captain and lifetime member Dave Pyle's last hurrah as skipper was the Lightning 70th regatta, and he sold his boat # 15156 on the trip home. Good luck, Dave! Dave will continue on as a well qualified Lightning crew with the Carolina Sailing Association in future regattas.
Thursday Night Sailing, July 10. Practice was canceled for lack of participation -- unfortunate, because the weather was good. Hopefully there will be a better turnout on the next scheduled practice evening on Thursday, July 17. If you think you will participate then, please send Joe an email.
Dixie District Championships June 14 - 15 at SSA! We had warm, hazy sunshine on Saturday and clearing conditions on Sunday, with winds lighter than forecast on both days, making it possible to sail three races on Saturday, but only one on Sunday. Still, it was a most enjoyable two days on the water, followed by the gracious hospitality of our hosts, Fleet 329 and the Severn Sailing association. Allan Terhune continued his winning streak, with 4 bullets; Steve Constants was second, and John Guth third. Charlie Wardwell, from Fishing Bay took fourth, and Jason Werner fifth. Fleet 50 competitors included Nabeel Alsalam (9th); Frank Gallagher (14th); John Pemberton (15th); and David Thompson (22nd). John Butler was out on his 43-foot sloop on Sunday, hoping to catch some good action photos, but unfortunately found us fifteen minutes before abandonment, drifting around waiting to catch our tows back to Eastport. Here are results.
See who was there -- see if you can identify the Fleet 50 skippers and crew:
Saturday's winds were southerly, 6 - 8 MPH, although they picked up nicely in advance of an approaching weather system during dinner, giving us some cool refreshing zephyrs as we ate. Sunday's winds were northerly, varying considerably between N and NNE for the first race, then getting light and flaky for the remainder of the afternoon, with 180-degree shifts and velocities averaging 2 - 4 MPH. at 1:30 PM the regatta chair agreed with RC that the remaining races should be abandoned, and all 22 boats then on the water linked up for the nearly one-hour tow back to the harbor, after which we packed up boats and headed for the awards ceremony. Pictures and more stories here.
Thursday Night Sailing, June 12. Joe planned a shore spinnaker demo and to then launch boats to practice that. And also to start basic racing on June 12, and to follow a regular graduated program after that. See what we did in May. The AccuWeather forecast called for winds from the SSE at 9 MPH, mostly sunny skies, and temperatures in the mid-80s. High tide was at 4:35 PM. The river flow was average, for this time of year, at 8,200 CFS (gage height 3.8 ft) and the water temperature was a delightful 83 degrees. Actual winds were a little lighter, at 7 - 8 MPH. Report to follow soon.
PRSA Spring Series Cumulative Results are in! Congratulations to Russ Roberts, who took first place in the Lightning division in the PRSA Spring Series 2008, with 32.3 points. Frank Gallagher was close behind, with 38 points; followed in turn by Nabeel (40.1 points); Rick (55 points); and Pat (66.8 points). Here are details.
In the Fleet 50 Championship series, Frank, Nabeel, Russ, Rick, and Pat lead the fleet in that order respectively. Here are the details.
PRSA Spring Series # 8, Sunday, June 8. Bill Kleysteuber was PRO, with RC provided by the Buccaneers. The AccuWeather forecast called for a high of 94 degrees, partly sunny skies, hot and humid, with winds from the WSW at 8 - 12 MPH. The river flow was up a bit, after recent rains, at 19,400 CFS (gage height 4.8 ft) and the water temperature was a spa-like 80 degrees. High tide was at 12:27 PM.
This turned out to be a day of contrasts, making it extremely challenging for Race committee, not to mention the racers. On the way up to the race course we had a nice southerly breeze, at 8 - 10 MPH, allowing a gentle and leisurely downwind run with chute up to get to the course. Bill set a nice windward-leeward course of appropriate length, windward mark to the south, and launched the starting sequence promptly at 11:30 AM. Unfortunately (or possibly fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) there was a General Recall on the Lighting start, and the Lightnings were consigned to the end of the list for the restart. By that time the wind had started to shift to a westwardly direction, but for almost an hour we had light and variable winds, with the Lightings hanging around the start line waiting for the restart that never happened.
After finishing the Albacores, RC had to reset the course to accommodate the by then northwesterly winds, and then got off three more races on a W3 plan in quick succession before it was time to come in. However, for the entire remainder of the day we had shifty gusts, just like last weekend, sometimes more southerly, sometimes more northerly, keeping all racers on their toes. The general wind direction itself changed from NNW at 1 PM to SW by 3 PM, generally at about 13 MPH.
Once back at the dock we wished we had even more breeze as we sweltered in the 95 degree heat and humidity to pack up and put away our boats. The good news was we didn't need to go to the club to enjoy a sauna -- we got it right here at WSM!
Eleven Lightings came out, including the long-lost Beedobeat, skippered by John Butler, with Diane Butler and Hayden Smith as crew. We also welcomed new crew Angie Moran and Valerie Klotz, sailing with Frank; and collegiate sailors Sarah Kellogg, sailing with John Pemberton; and Sarah Evans, sailing with Joe Warren. 9 Albacores, two Hamptons, and 3 Hobies joined in the fun. Results here.
Now we start the long hot summer in the Dixie District, to include the District Championships in Annapolis this coming weekend; the Rock Hall invitational the weekend of June 21-22; the Lighting 70th anniversary regatta in Skaneateles July 4 - 7; the Atlantic Coast Championships, also at Rock Hall July 26 - 27; the Sweet Corn August 2 - 3; the WJMs and North Americans August 4 - 14; and the Duck Challenge August 23 - 24. And, don't forget the President's/Leukemia Cup on September 6 - 7. Plus we'll do a PRSA Downriver Cruise sometime in July. See you out there!
2008 Potomac Cup Regatta Featured in the May Flashes! Allan Terhune's write-up and Matt Schmit's photos are featured prominently in the May issue of the Flashes. Check it out!
PRSA Spring Series # 7, Sunday, June 1. Yates Dowell was PRO, with RC provided by the Hobies. The warmer weather of June was a delightful change from the brisker days of April and May. We had those wacky westerly winds off the airport, averaging about 10 MPH, but with no-wind lulls and sudden gusts, coming from unpredictable directions, of up to 20 MPH. The river flow was normal for this time of year, at 11,100 CFS (gage height 4.1 ft), and the water has warmed up nicely to 74 degrees. Low tide was at 1:25 PM, and we hit bottom with our board down multiple times on the trip back to the marina, and then had to go ask for a chain extender for the hoist in order to get the boats out at the crane.
Yates set a triangular course with the windward mark and the finish line near the airport's storage shed south of Gravelly Point, and the leeward mark close to the channel off Hains Point. The start line was a bit north of the leeward mark, all helping to maximize the size of the race course. Yates got off 4 races in quick succession, using an Olympic course plan, and had time to start a 5th, except that dark clouds to the west suggested that it might be time to head for home.
12 Lightings, 8 Albacores, 2 Buccs, 2 Hamptons ane 2 V-15s came out and were rewarded with an exciting day of racing on the river. Fleet 50 welcomed new crew members Elise Miller, who sailed with Chandler, and Allegra Lee, who sailed with Collin. Results here.
Lightning Thursday Night sailing Began Thursday, May 8! We used to call it Wednesday Evening Sailing, but this year we are going to try Thursdays instead. Joe Warren and Chris Kent are orchestrating a program of chalk talks on land before hitting the water for practice, the first one Thursday, May 8. Fourteen skippers and crew came down for our kick-off event. We didn't splash because of the forecast of thunderstorms, but it was just as well, as there was no wind either. Fortunately there was also no rain (but it rained hard before and after) so we had an excellent opportunity to check out the rigging and controls on Joe's boat and then practice splashing the boat safely using the new WSM cranes. Joe and Chris also demonstrated how to lower and raise a mast. On May 15 there was again no wind, so Joe used the time to discuss spinnaker handling. He covered putting it up, gybing and windward/ leeward takedowns with the boat on the trailer. He had hoped we would get winds about 5 mph so the spinnaker would fill, but no luck until after the presentation had ended, of course. Todd Johnson was in the meantime helping Bob Wilbur tune his rigging, something we did with Joe's boat the week before. On May 22 the 4 PM forecast was deemed to be too windy and the formal practice was canceled.
On May 28 we were blessed with outstanding sailing weather and we had a most successful evening. Here is Joe's report:
PRSA Spring Regatta, Saturday and Sunday, May 24 - 25. Saturday was a picture-perfect day on the water, with mostly sunny skies, a high temperature of 74 degrees and northerly breezes 9 - 13 MPH, lower that forecast, with higher gusts -- shifty and puffy, making it interesting, but not overwhelming. There was not enough wind on Sunday for racing. Results here.
PRSA Spring Series # 6, Sunday, May 18. PRO Pat McGee and the Lightning Fleet RC took charge of a most interesting race day on Sunday, May 18. The AccuWeather forecast called for southwesterly winds at 16 - 19 MPH and the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. The river flow was up, due to last weekend's rains, at 39,100 CFS (gage height 6.1 ft). The potential strong winds and the likelihood of thunderstorms kept some skippers off the water, but for the 5 Lightings, 3 Cats, and one Albacore that came out it was a most interesting day on the water. Winds never got above 16, and sometime after 1 PM they settled down to 8. While periods of cold rain could have been discouraging, for the skippers and crew dressed for it the rain was no distraction. With southwesterly winds RC was able to set up a long windward-leeward course in front of the power plant, with the windward mark near the Robbins-Gioa office in Old Town and the leeward mark well north of the green channel mark north of the Naval Research lab. True, this put some of the race course into the navigable channel, where we had to dodge the Spirit, the Dandy, a big barge, and other large boats (David called "Starboard" on the Spirit and was answered by five angry blasts of a horn), but we had great downwind legs with chutes up. For the final windward leg of the third race RC decided to move the windward mark farther south, placing it in front of the Chart House restaurant -- it seemed like it was almost to the Wilson Bridge. But, unfortunately, shortly after the last Lighting rounded the mark, the wind died, not to pick up again until after the race had been abandoned -- and we had accepted a tow home. What a nice long downwind leg that could have been! Nabeel, Rick, Bob Wilbur, and David were joined by Collin and crew in their new Lighting Grant Boat, 14120. Results here.
PRSA Spring Series # 5, Sunday, May 11. Robert Bennett was PRO, with Race Committee provided by members of the V-15 fleet. The AccuWeather forecast called for partly sunny skies, a high of 63 degrees, and southeasterly winds at 11 MPH. The river flow was about average for this time of year, at 14,200 CFS (gage height 4.4 ft), and the water temperature a seasonal 65 degrees. Low tide was at 8:10 AM and high tide at 1:46 PM. There was the threat of an on-coming heavy rain / thunderstorm system that actually arrived after we got off the water, prompting RC to set up and run 3 races in quick succession and to get us back to the dock before 3. Results here.
23rd annual Doc Gilbert Memorial Potomac Cup Regatta, May 3 - 4. 25 boats registered for the 23rd Annual Doc Gilbert Memorial Regatta, and 24 came out on the nicest two days of sailing, weather-wise, in recent memory. On Saturday we had southerly breezes that got up to 20 MPH at one point, but were lighter in the morning. On Sunday the winds were northerly, starting at 14 MPH but dropping into the 10 range by the second race. Allan Terhune and crew took first place with an unprecedented five bullets, Jon Guth was second. Frank Gallagher, in 7th place, was the highest finishing Fleet 50 skipper. Final results here. Here are photos. Here are more photos.
PRSA Spring Series # 3, Sunday, April 27. Thirteen Lightnings got ready to sail on a gray, chilly Sunday morning -- overcast and misty with an air temperature that never made it above 57 degrees -- but one boat met an unfortunate accident on the crane, resulting in a damaged mast. So an even dozen were out racing in good 12 MPH northeasterly winds. We welcomed new crew members Jason Suja, Peter Lallas, Mike Crocker, and Luke LaSorde. PRO Ben Ackerman, with Race Committee members provided by the Catamaran Fleet, got off 4 races before it was time to come in. Here are results.
Fleet 50 Leesylvania Park Work Day Saturday, April 26 -- Many thanks to the sixteen Fleet 50 skippers and crew who came down to Leesylvania on Saturday, April 26, to spruce up the park before our regatta. We had a warm and beautiful spring day with light breezes and not a cloud in the sky. Chandler Owen and Chris Kent braved the altitude to climb extension ladders to reach the highest points of the cranes, to scrape, sand, and repaint; several others worked on painting lower elements of the cranes, while a second work party removed posts from the vehicle parking area to the west of the sailboat parking lot. Susan and Joyce painted the cement abutment in front of Picnic Shelter # 4; we'll see the results of that work next weekend. Thanks all! Here are pictures. (enter "JimDillard" when requested)
PRSA Spring Series # 2, Sunday, April 20. The AccuWeather forecast called for cloudy skies, rain, heavy at times, and possible thunderstorms. AccuWeather got it right! PRO Daphne Byron evaluated the weather forecast, and with the sparse turnout as of 10 AM, decided to cancel racing for the day. Good call, Daphne! Here are details.
PRSA Spring Series # 1, Sunday, April 13. We asked if we could get an even dozen Lightnings on the line for this the first race of the spring season, and we were not disappointed! 12 Lightnings joined 7 Albacores, 5 Cats, an Interlake, 2 Buccs, and a Laser to enjoy perfect racing under cloudy skies with a high temperature of 55 degrees and westerly/northwesterly winds at 10 to 14 MPH. PRO Jeff Storck set a nice triangular course with the windward and reach marks close to the airport, and got off 4 races in good order. We welcomed first-time crew Todd Ross, Patrick Burnhardt, John Taylor, Brenna Copeland and Ian Turnipseed and appreciated the excellent work of the Race Committee members Jim Graham, Bruce Heida, Marshall Pattie, Red Fehrle, David Fehrle, and Sue Humphrey. Here are results. Here are photos.
PRSA Spring Icebreaker, Saturday, April 5. The 2008 PRSA Spring Season kicked off this weekend with the traditional Icebreaker on Saturday, sailing in front of the power plant. Low tide was at 2:01 PM, making for very shallow water for the afternoon. The AccuWeather forecast called for for mostly cloudy skies, rain off and on all day, with northerly winds at 10 MPH, and a high temperature of 62 degrees. The AccuWeather forecast was wrong! While we did have the northerly winds at 12 - 8 MPH (and calm at one point), the day was mostly sunny and pleasant, with not a drop of rain in sight. 3 Lightings (Nabeel; Jeff; and David) came out and were joined by 6 Hobies and 8 Lasers. Frank Gallagher and crew provided Race Committee. What a nice start of the season! Results here.
All-Fleet Planning Meeting Saturday, March 8. From 9 AM - Noon, in the Charleston Room of the restaurant at WSM. We made plans and assignments for the 2008 Doc Gilbert Memorial Potomac Cup regatta and for 2008 mid week evening sailing We also discussed proposed amendments to the By-laws. Coffee and donuts were provided. See Minutes.
Congratulations, Collin Kirby! Fleet 50 junior skipper Collin Kirby and his crew, Sam Athey and Ian Turnipseed, all of Purcellville VA, have been selected for a 2008 ILCA Boat Grant Program grant, and will sail a boat (14120) provided by ILCA! Read more here.