Day 2 at the Capital City Regatta saw more wind than Saturday and pleasant racing conditions. Starting the day sailing in actual wind, it was clear I was pretty rusty from the nearly 5 months since the last time I sailed in wind – not counting yesterday’s near windless day. It didn’t take me long to flip the boat on the way to the course and I would flip 4 more times in the first two races before the wind eased a bit and I started to feel more comfortable in the boat again.

In the first two races I had good speed in the wind and small waves, I was just making a lot of mistakes (like flipping over) and getting out of phase because I was focused on the boat and not getting my head up to look around as much.

At the starting line of one of the early races

By the 3rd race of the day the wind had come down a bit, I was comfortable in the boat, cleaned up my maneuvers and started to make the boat go while getting my head out of the boat. That didn’t stop me from going the wrong way, missing shifts or getting out of phase, but mostly eliminated the silly mistakes I was making earlier. One challenge of staying in phase was what I would call the sucker puffs. Seeing a momentary lift and tacking on it, only to be in a header by the time the tack was completed. Mike and Tom were fast in this race and we traded places a few times, though I was able to stay ahead at the end to win that race.

Sailing downwind with the fleet hot on my stern
Sailing downwind with the fleet hot on my stern

By the 4th race the wind dropped again and got a little fluky and puffy. I made the right work and led the first leg and extended 1/4 leg ahead of the fleet, but on the 2nd upwind I tried to make the right work again and Lauren found a lot more wind in the middle left and went right around me and on to win the race.

Farley crossing just behind Jon
Farley crossing just behind Jon

In the 5th race I again played the middle right and got passed by the boats more left. Rounding the first mark around 7th I was able to climb a few spots to finish 4th. I didn’t know it at the time, but going into the last race I was one point behind Lauren overall. I knew it was close and I just knew I needed sail fast. The wind was light, barely necessitating sitting out. I kept my nose clean and found the pressure to get out ahead and stay there. Lauren would finish right behind me tying us for first which I would end up winning in the tiebreaker on account of winning 2 races.

Todd, Lauren, Jon and Tyler at the awards
Todd, Lauren, Jon and Tyler at the awards

It was a great regatta and a nice way to get an early start on the season. Thanks to Tyler, Nabeel, Jacob, Farley and everyone at PRSA who helped put on the regatta and helped me with logistics to be there!

PRSA Race Committee
Race Committee during racing


We had a rainy start to the first day of the Capital City Regatta hosted by Potomac River Sailing Association at the Washington Sailing Marina in Washington DC near the Reagan Airport. This would be my first time in an ILCA since the ILCA Chesapeake Bay Masters in November. The forecast was for some rain early and clearing with some sun and mid-60’s late in the afternoon. That didn’t happen – it was drizzling when we arrived and did so on and off through the rest of the day.

At the skippers meeting the wind was pretty light. They considered holding us onshore, but it started to fill and we went out on time.

Out on the course after waiting a bit for the wind to fill we got into sequence. The wind was light and fickle out of the west. The river runs North to South here and as the day went on the current began to ebb more. I started at the boat wanting to get to the right with a bit of a second row start. I immediately went right and was one of the right-most boats. For a while I was looking punched out and then at the top mark James came in from the left having spent more time in pressure. At the top mark I ended up parking it in no wind as the boats behind caught up and the boats ahead got away. Downwind I would get passed and then at the downwind mark get pinwheeled to the outside. I used my speed upwind on the second beat to consolidate and after another lap finished 4th despite being as low as 10 in the 19-boat fleet. Many boats didn’t finish before the time limit.

James, Eric & Lauren after the first race
James, Eric & Lauren after the first race

We waited around for close to an hour and with no sign of wind and no increase in temperature, we headed in and had burgers and chicken.


I got to join Jess for a trip to DC for a long weekend. She has a tradition of taking a Friday off every year and visiting a museum with Farley and this year we visited the Museum of Natural History and saw the exhibits for fossils and diamonds.

In the afternoon we visited the National Gallery of art and focused on the 17-18 century Italian, 18-19th century French tour, Dutch and Flemish galleries and 17th centuries sculptures.  Jess had some pieces that she had read about so we all played scavenger hunt to find them.

We tied to go to Jazz in the garden, but a few minutes after it started a thundercloud rolled south of us and so the event was cancelled.  Nevertheless we improvised and ended up having dinner on the roof at Neil’s. We followed that by an improv comedy show that Celeste was in.

Saturday was brunch, shopping in Mount Vernon, lunch and going to Neil and Sonya’s engagement party.  And Sunday Jess and I went running around the tidal basin and visited a market and a bookstore before making our way home.






My sister was in Washington DC this weekend so it was the perfect opportunity for the family to meet up and see the fall colors in our nation’s capital.  We finished with a trip through Arlington Cemetery.

The best photo was an HRD of the head stones with the sun shining on the Washington Monument casting it in a golden glow.

Washington Monument/Arlington Cemetary HDR

Capital City Regatta rigged Lasers

Day 2 at the Capital City Regatta did not start out looking very promising. Upon arriving to rig the boats there wasn’t a breath of wind. The RC smartly postponed for an hour and we all stood around in full gear shooting the breeze. The minute someone opened a beer and another began to de-rig the wind started coming in so the postponement was lifted and we headed out.

Georgetown was also running a regatta and we swapped sailing areas today putting us in the cove. The flotsam in the cove was to be avoided, but it was not nearly as bad as it was yesterday . The winds were light and shifty, and began to build as the front got closer.

Racing today went well. I did fine moving the boat whenever I wasn’t guessing which way the wind was coming from. Today was a much better day boat-handling-wise and I think I’ve gotten back into the groove and gotten the cob webs out.

We ended up getting in 4 more races before the time limit. Aside from one race where I took out a mark to avoid fouling someone I sailed fairly consistently in the upper half of the fleet. That put me into 6th overall which was a good result for my first time out this year. Scott and everyone as PRSA did a great job running the regatta and the BBQ each day was great. I also want to thank Len and Barb for the place to stay Saturday night.

Today was the first day of the Capital City Regatta at Potomac River Sailing Association near the Regan International Airport in Washington DC. Fortunately we got clear weather despite the temperatures still being pretty cold. 24 boats came out to race.

We headed out to the race course for a noon start with light and fickle winds. We ended up with puffy 4-6 mph winds all day with occasional gusts to 12. It was a good day on the water and I had some good moments and some not so good moments. I went from contender to pretender almost every other leg. Today was all about finding wind and sailing in the puffs.

All in all it was an up and down day for me. I had finishes of 2 to 22 and everything in between. I’m in the top half of the fleet and with a drop and decent finishes tomorrow I should be able to get near the top 5.

More photos by Steve Parsons