Racing…cruising…learning to sail…
Whatever your priority, the Albacore is the right choice for you!
With over 8,000 boats worldwide the Albacore is clearly one of the most popular dinghies available today. Loaded with features, the Albacore boasts quality workmanship and strong class association support. Few centerboard sailboats available today are as versatile as the Albacore.
Yacht clubs, sailing schools and community sailing clubs have long chosen the Albacore for their junior and adult training programs. In fact, many of the top sailors in North America learned to sail in an Albacore.
The United States Albacore Association supports Albacore Fleets and activities throughout the country. The largest fleets are found on the east coast. Sanctioned events run from March until October. The class association provides a lot of benefits including a regularly published newsletter, seminars, regattas (including regional, national, North American, and international championships), and support of local fleets. Another benefit of a strong class associations is a strong market for used boats. The United States Albacore Association is dedicated to keeping the Albacore sailing fun and affordable.
Racing…cruising…learning to sail…
Last weekend, Farley and I sailed Albacore 8122 in the annual Dave Irey regatta at West River Sailing Club (WRSC). There were 8 Albacores registered and it was great to have a new team with a new boat on the water racing. WRSC is one of the prettiest venues to sail at on the Chesapeake Bay and it’s convenient coming from Washington DC because you don’t have to cross the Bay Bridge.
Saturday started off light and the Race Committee postponed on land which gave me the opportunity to catch up with some other sailors and play Wordle overlooking the view. After one quick course location change, we sailed 4 great races Saturday afternoon. The Race Committee balanced getting races off after our postponed start which I enjoyed. We forgot our compass so we were reading the shifts based off feel on starboard tack and the shoreline on port tack. The sea breeze filled in throughout the afternoon which led to hiking and waves. Given the short races, strong starts seemed to be important. Also, Saturday afternoon brought motor boat traffic and with the breeze, I was conservative with our centerboard going downwind.
The race committee postponed on land again Sunday but for the opposite reason, there were gusts of 25-30 knots. As forecasted, the breeze subsided as the day went on and we raced later in the afternoon. We sailed 3 races Sunday. We found the course was skewed to favor port tack so we tried to start at the pin end allowing us to tack to port soon after the gun. There were other larger sailboats on the race course which impacted our tactical decisions to avoid or minimize the wind shadow as we approached the windward mark. Our downwind legs seemed to go well sailing wing to wing. After sailing and derigging, I took the opportunity to swim twice before heading back to the city.
WRSC put on a great regatta, we had made dinner reservations but the catered dinner looked great. Race committee by Constantine was excellent and I always appreciate the friendly faces from the WRSC members and volunteers. We look forward to sailing at WRSC again!
Another Win for the Red Boat at the PRSA Spring Regatta
By Steph Mah
A few weeks ago, Barney Harris made Raines an offer to come down and race in the Potomac River Sailing Association’s Spring Regatta. It was one of those offers Raines couldn’t refuse – Barney was providing his Republican red boat, his house, pick up and drop off from the airport, and a lot of beer. Raines asked me to tag along knowing that I wouldn’t be able to resist getting into political arguments with Barney and possibly wind up epoxied to a dock.
The forecast was for light air on Saturday and even less on Sunday – but if you didn’t want to hike (like me), this wasn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, like pollsters, weather forecasters can be completely wrong with no consequences, and what we actually got on Saturday was a gusty 10-15 knots with a small craft warning in effect.
An albacore is an albacore is an albacore – unless it’s Barney’s, which has about 99% more control lines than what we’re used to. Writing down what some of the lines did was helpful, but that didn’t stop us from falling down a couple of times during tacks and gybes. It seemed like going left was the payoff move, but being Canadian and polite, we went right to stay out of everyone’s way. Eventually, with some skill (from Raines) and luck (being the ant infestation in the boat Barney was using), we got ourselves settled and Barney’s red boat squeaked out a bullet in the last race over Barney’s other boats,
giving us the lead for the day. Dinner was a huge spread of tacos, nachos, salads, cookies, and beer.
Sunday was one of those days where you discovered how cruel or kind the RC was. The wind was looking bleak (except for when the planes were landing), so the only decision was whether they would postpone us on land or make us go out. Fortunately, they went with the former, giving Barney more time to murder ants, and eventually they called the day off to the relief of many. And more tacos and nachos were served!
We got some very nice prizes, but the real champions of this regatta were the volunteers. I understand there was a four(!!!) person regatta committee with many more hands that pitched in to pick up the food, pack it away, set it back out, run the races, get the prizes, get the ice, and the list goes on and on. And it was an amazing event – there was a ton of good food, coolers full of Hapco-sponsored beer (that Raines orbited like a little moon), and lots of helpful and friendly people. It made me feel welcome and made me want to come back. I hope the volunteers all know how much the sailors appreciated the work (and plan to pay it back), and how proud PRSA should be of them.
Again, a huge thanks to everyone for their work on this regatta, and the biggest thanks to Barney for making this happen and for not watching us while we took 40 minutes to de-rig his boat.
Thanks to everyone who showed up. We had a great turnout with 15 Albacores on the water!
3/25-3/27: Albacore Midwinters, Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, St Petersburg, FL
4/30-5/1: Spring Invitational, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford, MD
5/28-5/29: Spring Regatta, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
6/4-6/5: Dave Irey, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
6/10-6/12: North American Championships, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto, Canada
6/11-6/12: Albacore and Friends Regatta, Miles River Yacht Club, St Michaels, MD
6/26: Heritage Distance Race, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
7/90-7/10: Ontarios Championship, Outer Harbour Centreboard Club, Toronto, Canada
7/23-7/24: Corsica Annual Regatta, Corsica River Yacht Club, Centerville, MD
8/6-8/7: Governor’s Cup, Ware River Yacht Club, Glouchester, VA
8/12-8/14: Canadian Championship, CORK, Kingston, Canada
8/13-8/14: Oxford Annual One Design, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford, MD
9/2: Long Distance Race (SSA to WRSC), West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
9/3-9/4: Bill Heintz Memorial Regatta, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
9/18: Tuna Bowl, Monmouth Boat Club, Red Bank, NJ
9/24-9/25: President’s / Cantina Cup, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
10/8-10/10: US National Championships, Rock Hall Yacht Club, Rock Hall, MD
2021 Albacore North Americans took place at PRSA on Potomac River with a view of Washington D.C. landmarks and next to an airport. Contrary to legends, planes at the airport did not appear to affect wind pattern. Still, sailing on Potomac measured up to its reputation of shifty, gusty, and unpredictable winds with uneven current added to the mix. Even local sailors said that “it never blows like this here.” As a result, sailing strategy proved to be more than an adequate challenge for a championship regatta.
On the first two days of the regatta, North easterly winds prevailed with some significant shifts which caused the race committee to unsuccessfully attempt to change the location of the windward mark, just to see the wind return to its original direction after a few minutes.
The course was set between the airport and the mouth of Anacostia River. The starts tended to be pin favoured and very competitive as the fleet was good and quite evenly matched. Still, because of shifty, difficult to predict winds, starts themselves counted much less than finding good shifts and not ending
up in significant wind holes. The winds ranged between four and fifteen knots (mostly above ten knots), with an occasional drop to a dead calm.
On the last day of the regatta, the wind shifted to a more northerly direction, but became lighter, with few gusts over ten knots and long periods of no more than five knot wind speed. The course was set along the western, airport shore with the windward mark up the Potomac. That day was particularly challenging for me, as I could not devise a successful upwind strategy. Wherever I went, boats on the other side of the course got to the windward mark before me.
In three days we had thirteen races with most boats having mixed results, a sign of an evenly matched fleet. The race committee did a very good job with little delay between races despite challenging conditions. Despite these challenging conditions, the fleet often converged on the marks and a small mistake could cost several boat, as I found out the hard way. Altogether it was a very well organized, challenging event with a good wind range to test a variety of sailing skills. Heavier conditions which are apparently unusual on Potomac, were particularly welcome.
Sunday’s winds were slightly higher (though still up and down), and were shifty… painfully shifty. The RC got 4 windward/leewards off. Farley and Celeste Will had a fantastic first in the 6th race, while Jordan Minot and crew Janice blew through the finish in 2nd. Let’s not mention who got 3rd, but it was his throw out.
Speaking of Barney Harris, he and Lee took away the victory beverage holders for first place in the President’s Cup. Lloyd Leonard got a well-deserved 2nd. Greg Jordan got 3rd in a remarkable boat. And special mention is in order for Daphne Byron and crew Jill who fought hard and won 4th, beating out former crew Lars Rathjen by 3 points. If there was an award for the best-looking boat, that would go to Dave Huber, who sailed his work-of-art Woodwind with sons John (on Saturday) and Mark (on Sunday). Congrats to all!
West River Sailing Club hosted the 92 nd Billy Heinz Regatta September 4th and 5th 2021. The Albacore Mid Atlantics was held in conjunction with the Billy Heinz Regatta. Eight albacores registered for the event and raced.
As competitors rigged boats Saturday morning light winds slowly diminished to lighter winds. The AP flag was hoisted. After postponing for three hours racing was canceled for the day. During AP some competitors did boat work, chatted with other competitors, and relaxed on the lawn overlooking West River. The low-pressure system that was supposed to bring better wind Sunday never materialized. The first race had a wind range of 4 to 7 knots. The first race had the beautiful wooden boat 7984 first to the windward mark after getting to the right side of the course. Shifts ranged from 5 to 10 degrees which saw the top boats tacking often while looking for better pressure. Downwind 8258 was able to pass 7984 to leeward finding better wind pressure on the left side of the race course. 8258 was able to hold on to the lead winning the only race of the regatta. A second race was attempted. Due to lack of wind competitors were unable to finish the race in time and it did not count. Congrats to the winners, Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa.
1st Place – 8258 – Barney Harris & Ernest Ayukawa
2nd Place – 8123 – Bob Bear & Michael Tellep
3rd – 7984 – Khin Thein & Thant Thein
Ware River was another fun regatta this year. We had a nice weekend with low temps and decent breeze. Sadly due to rain and thunderstorms Sunday morning we were only able to race one day. The breeze was shifty with a lot of velocity changes. What seemed to pay off was to go left on the course whenever you could during the shifts. Often the boats that went left would look poorly positioned and then would beat you to the mark out of no where. Sadly the Albacore Fleet was not able to take home the Governor’s Cup this year. With only 8 boats, the cup went to the Hampton Fleet who had 15 boats participate. Hopefully we can get it next year! All in all it was a great event!
This year’s Corsica River Yacht Club Regatta was a bit different from normal. Despite being an event on the Chesapeake Bay in late July, we actually had some breeze. Saturday was light when we arrived and began with a postponement, but by 12:30 the breeze had filled in coming up the Corsica river and we were able to get in 3 races with wind mostly in the 10-15 range. The wind persisted through the evening and night which made for a nice evening with no bugs and kept things feeling cool. The dinner was a very tasty chicken dinner and the camping was actually pretty comfortable with the breeze (although those who camped by the river said it was a little noisy there with the wind and waves). There were even free horse carriage rides on Saturday evening! On Sunday the breeze persisted and we sailed an additional 4 races in winds that occasionally pushed into the upper teens. Six Albacores raced overall with 5 out each day. Congrats to the winners Marty and Jordan Minot!
Ware River Yacht Club did a wonderful job hosting the US Albacore Nationals! They showed true southern hospitality which included meals and a surprise tote bag made from sail material and filled with local goodies. The venue was beautiful and the race committee successfully ran 7 races and the wind was good, especially on Sunday. Although it felt a little odd heading down to Ware River Yacht Club this year in July for US Albacore Nationals this year since it was a month before the normal Gov Cup trip. WYRC was a new venue for our Nationals. Ware River is one of my favorite venues with the camping and breakfasting right along the river. It was really great to get down there Friday and have a nice dinner with everyone else that showed up a day early. The team did a great job with sponsorship and we were surprised with a tote bag made from sails material and filled with goodies.
It was great to have the event at WRYC and it helped to include the new WRYC Albacore fleet. We had a strong turnout with 20 boats sailing even without our Candian counterparts. There were 4 boats competing for the Bob Harwood Challenger Trophy which was great to see. It was also fun to see the variety of sailing teams, including several family teams, old friends, and new friends.
Saturday started off light and the wind died after the first race. We proceeded to drift around with zephyrs coming from all directions. After about 3 hours of drifting and swimming, the wind finally filled in and the Race Committee got 3 more races in. On shore, there was the delicious Gumbeaus Gloucester local food truck for dinner that was really good! Sunday also started light but the wind filled in during the second race and ended up being pretty breezy for the last couple races.
Thank you to WRYC and the volunteers who did an amazing job hosting the event and we are excited to go back in a couple weeks for Gov Cup. Special thanks to Barney for hosting a couple clinics at WRYC before the event.