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.
We had a very nice weekend racing at Miles River Yacht Club. We had 8 boats and got in 10 races.
More to follow!
Greetings West River/Dave Irey participants,
The 2021 PRSA Spring Regatta was held May 29 and 30 from the Washington Sailing Marina. Eleven Albacores registered for the event. With Covid 19 restrictions easing competitors were eager to race the first Albacore regatta of the year. The weather unfortunately deterred some teams from racing Saturday.
Day one sailing conditions were chilly for the time of year and rainy. Teams were in full foul weather gear. Wind ranged from 12 -20 mph NE with gusts in the upper 20s. Two Albacores raced. Race Committee (RC) decided to combine all fleets racing on day one. At the start line was two Albacores, two Buccaneers, two Lasers, and a Lightning. RC held three races. In all three races the RC boat was the favored end of the start line. Having multiple classes on the start line that rate differently made finding a lane off the start important to maintain clear air. The shifts on the racecourse ranged from 10 – 15 degrees throughout the day. Playing the shifts was more important than getting current relief out of the channel. The Olympic course with the wind speed helped the Albacores stretch out leads on other boats on the reach legs. The two Albacores had a dominating performance against the other classes of sailboats.
In the last race, 8122 and 8258 switched the lead several times. On the last downwind leg, 8122 had a two-boat length lead on 8258. At the mark, 8122 went wide. 8258 capitalized on this, and went inside. Both boats raced on port tack to the pin end of the finish line. 8258 tacked four boat lengths early of the lay line and 8122 by going further was able to close to gap and almost overtake 8258 for the win.
Day two sailing conditions were chilly without rain. Wind ranged from 8 – 16 mph from the NW. Five races were sailed with nine Albacores. The left side of the racecourse seemed to be the favored side of the course most of the day with 10-degree shifts. The pin end of the start line was favored most of the day. Boats tacking on to port immediately after the start due to the racecourse bias were able to make early gains on boats that stayed on starboard tack.
Top Three Boats
8258 -7 pts
8122 -14 pts
8259- 41 pts
Don’t Let Your Sailing Season Be Under Construction! Start planning for upcoming regattas.
Add the 2021 Schedule to Your Google Calendar
1: Spring One Design, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford, MD
15: Spring Fling, Monmouth Boat Club, Red Bank, NJ
29-30: Spring Regatta, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
5-6: Dave Irey, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
12-13: Albacore and Friends Regatta, Miles River Yacht Club, St Michaels, MD
13: Heritage Distance Race, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
10-11: USAA National Championship, Ware River Yacht Club, Glouchester, VA (TBD)
24-25: Corsica Annual Regatta, Corsica River Yacht Club, Centerville, MD
31-Aug1: Governor’s Cup, Ware River Yacht Club, Glouchester, VA
31-Aug6: IAA Albacore Internationals, Plas Heli, Pwllheli, UK
14-15: Oxford Annual One-Design, Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford, MD
3: Long Distance Race (SSA to WRSC), West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
4-5: Bill Heintz Memorial Regatta, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
TBD: President’s / Cantina Cup, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
26: Tuna Bowl, Monmouth Boat Club, Red Bank, NJ
9-11: North American Championships, Location TBD
Albacore Nationals this year was certainly different than in years past. Due to COVID 19, the normal contingent of Canadians were not able to cross the border for the trip which yielded some lower participation. But despite that we still were able to get 8 boats down to race at Norfolk Yacht & Country Club this year. It was very cool to get to race at a new venue! I have not sailed there since college and it was definitely a little different than I expected.
We had lighter breeze for three days of racing which was quite tough with the currents that were ripping through the racing area. One the last day, we were able to make it to the race course by sailing/drifting to the race course. Then while waiting for the wind to fill in, the RC dropped a mark for people to tie up to so that we did not get sucked out into the Cheasapeake Bay. The race committee did a great job getting races in for us despite the light wind. We even had 1 protest which I thought the judges handled really well and did a great job running it.
All in all, I really liked the new venue. with two ramps to launch from, there was basically no hold up and they were able to make room for us to store the boats right next to the ramps! While COVID made the socializing a littler harder, some of us still ate at the Yacht Club restaurant and it felt pretty safe and was good food. I definitely could see the fleet returning to this venue! And I was totally jealous of the people who booked rooms at the yacht club and were able to just wake up to a view of the river and roll right over to their boat so easily!
Photo Credit to Ben Schill of NYCC
The VA Governor’s Cup Regatta at Ware River Yacht Club is one of my favorite regattas of the year. I have been heading down there since 2013 and really enjoy camping at the club and hanging out with friends at the club. Despite worries about COVID-19 this year, Celeste and I decided to head down there after getting negative COVID test results and after a summer of cancelled events we were excited for the chance to attend a regatta. While attendance this year was much lower than before and almost no one camped, it was still a fun event. With the addition of the Ware River Fleet members, the Albacores were the largest fleet at 10 boats and won the Governor’s Cup.
The breeze was nice on both days and was even verging in what I would call high wind. We got off a lot of races and most boats were finishing all over the place.
All in all it was a good time as always at Ware River. And while most people left the club by sunset, it did not disappoint. There was a rain storm that passed just south of the river which gave some beautiful views!
Photo Credit to M Grant at USSCMC
This year’s 2020 Midwinters was beautiful, with weather in the 70s, and wind conditions in the mid-range – around 10 kts a day – and consistent shifts. 2020 is a notable year for Midwinters because it marks a venue change from the Sarasota Sailing Squadron to the US Sailing Center at Martin County in Jensen Beach, FL. The new venue offered many perks, including a race committee, marks, RC boats, and breakfast. Also notable are the expansive beach and lawn for launching boats and hanging out, and the deck at the club, which offered a nice space with lots of tables at which to mingle and enjoy a meal (see photo from deck below). They even have an option for a catered dinner should we go back next year! The race committee itself did a phenomenal job running about 5, hour long races a day in a course area with depths over 5 ft. The 2020 Midwinters also marked my first ever Midwinters as a skipper, as I crewed at the 2019 Midwinters. There were some notable accomplishments surrounding this milestone:
I successfully towed a boat down to Florida!
We did not place last in every race!
I was the highest placing female skipper (even though I placed last overall)!
Since this was the first major regatta in my new boat, I spent the weekend breaking it in. The shifty conditions of the venue highlighted my lack of a compass and my crew and I were forced to make educated guesses regarding when to tack and when to hold. A compass was quickly added to my list of things to add/replace on the boat, along with a cleat I managed to break. (It’s not a good sail if something doesn’t break, right? No? Just me? Okay.) We arrived in time to participate in the second tuning day, and had the rake measured. Then, throughout the tuning-day sail and the ensuing racing days, my crew and I continued to adjust the rake, the vang and the jib sheet cars, to see which settings worked best for my sails. With help from passing sailors yelling tuning suggestions, we were able to keep good point and speed most of the time. I learned a lot from everyone about the boat itself, as well as about general boat-handling. Goal for 2021 Midwinters: boat-handling AND course tactics.
Overall, the 2020 Midwinters was a success. The venue was fantastic, the sailing was even better, and of course, it was wonderful to get out in the warm Florida sunshine to spend time with a great group of people.