Summary of 71 Year History of PRSA

1934    24 boats raced in first PRSA Spring Series, won by A.H. Calephane

1935    Comets are first one-design class.  First Comet race won by D.V.. Smythe

1937    First President's Cup.  Dr. Jim Gilbert wins his first Trophy.

1940    Lightnings become a PRSA class.  Biggest class is Chesapeake 20, series won by Mr. Pagan.  81 boats raced in series; largest series ever.

1944    Joe Kraft wins series in Penguin PLUTO.  Capt. Len Penso becomes commodore

1946    Len Penso wins series in Penguin GADGET

1947    Norm Shaller wins Lightning Fall Series

1948    Len Penso first wins Penguin class in TRINKET.  (This boat still races, now owned by John Matzner)
Hamptons join PRSA as a fleet

1949    First Thistle race won by Mr. Lawson ,a 10 year member in JOLLY SCOT

1950    Races were held off Haines Point from 1947 to 1951

1951    National Yacht Club formed at Washington Sailing Marina. This helped improve conditions at WSM

1953    Norm Shaller was first winner of Coronation Cup in Thistle SWOOSH

1954    Earl Porter loans his schooner as Committee boat which continued for 5 years

1957    Dr. Jim Gilbert becomes commodore

1958   Hamptons have 16 boats actively raced

1960    Mobjack class is added to racing schedule

1961    First Memorial Day regatta is held.  Walt Hall becomes Commodore.

1962    WSM adds present sea wall and 2 small cranes after many meetings with PRSA team and Natl Yacht Club.  Founder's Trophy established; first won by Jim Nathanson in Mobjack WHITE CAP.  Orange and white windsock used to signify impending start

1963    PRSA races USNA yawl against 8 other YC teams in Lloyd Phoenix Series

1964    Capt Len Penso wins again- 8th spring series in row. 1950-57 also 1959-62 and 64-65 and 67-68 all in TRINKET

1965    Hamptons disappear (for the next three decades) as a PRSA fleet

1966    Ben Ackerman wins Fall Series (Catamaran) in "B LION".  Jim Gilbert wins Lightning Fall Series in "LORD JIM" to begin 4 yr. string

1967    Joe Kraft elected commodore.  Jay Smimow (owner of Back Yard Boats) wins Catamaran Spring and Fall series in SMANTHA III

1968    Albacores become a PRSA fleet.  Earl Potter wins Founder's Cup for providing his Schooner for committee boat for 12 years

1969    E1 Toros become a PRSA fleet.  After 35 years PRSA finally buys a committee boat (26' catamaran).  For the first time each fleet provides race committee for one Sunday.  First of two present whalers was bought.

1973    Norman Shaller Trophy is established.  John Aras (Flying Scot) wins CBYRA Jr. Championship and goes on to place 3rd in Sears Cup Finals

1974    A Property Committee set up with one member from each fleet

1975    Albacore Class provides first PRSA Commodore: John Duncan.  Hobie 16 become a PRSA fleet

1977    James Tyson elected Commodore after serving as Vice-Comm. & Treas.

1978    First raising of the Phoenix from a burnt hull.  Supervised by Mike Arnold and Frank Gallagher

1979    Malcolm "Mike" Arnold elected Commodore

1980    PRSA has a second generation Commodore, Matthew Krafft

1981    Membership in PRSA has fallen from 240 in1976 to 173 in 198.  Founders Trophy awarded to Ben and Dessi Minor for 10 years as full time race committee

1982    First pot luck dinner tried for Annual Dinner. It was a big success.

1983    Bill Bolger of Penguin fleet elected Commodore.  During the Spring Series race on April 17 a 30-minute squall with winds estimated up to 55 mph ripped through the PRSA boats returning from the races. Most of the boats capsized and many of the crews suffered from hypothermia after being in the cold water for up to 1 hour. Afterward PRSA resolved to get better boats with marine radios.  Three minute start sequence instituted

1984    50th anniversary of founding of PRSA.  50th President's Cup regatta

1986    John Duncan of Albacore fleet is recorded as life member.

1987    This year it was decided to have a crash boat precede the DANDY through the course.  PRSA took over the NYC crash boat.  PRSA had 129 paid members in nine classes. Albacore was the biggest class again with 29 members

1988    Bill Davenport and Angella Anderson and many others from DCIF and NYC negotiate elimination of Alexandria Boat Tax on boats at WSM.  VHF marine radios were first used on the course boats.  An unusually large fleet of 40 boats raced in the Spring Regatta

1989    The entire transom of the Phoenix was replaced with a new one fitted for one large engine. The overhaul and new engine cost $4000.  Craig Simmons connected shore power to the Phoenix.  Thereafter she gave much more reliable service.  PRSA spent $6461 for maintenance and operation expense.

1990    PRSA spent $6002 on liability and boat hull insurance

1991    Joe Krafft, with 50 years service to PRSA, and Captain Len Penso with 45 years, were elected Honorary Members (there were only three others ever before.)  Both are outstanding commodores, committee chairmen, and super racers.

1993    PRSA established three new perpetual trophies:

The Capt. Leonard Penso memorial Trophy for the winning Penguin in Spring Regatta,

The Dr. James Gilbert Memorial Trophy for the winning Senior in the Spring Regatta,

The Katherine Kiersch Memorial Trophy for the winning Woman in the Spring Regatta

1994    PRSA Runs 60th PRESIDENT's CUP REGATTA.  PRSA has 60th anniversary of its founding.  Frank Gallagher of the LIGHTNING fleet is awarded the Founders trophy for his service as commodore and for his success in revitalizing the LASER fleet

1995     PRSA receives a gift of a new larger course boat, which will be in use in 1996.  
            First annual Leukemia Cup regatta held in conjunction with Presidentís Cup

1996    Andy Corsig and Joanna Byron organize a black-tie dinner at the Alexandria Boat Club that raised $4,000 in donations to PRSA and that pushed the club back into good financial condition

1997    Flying Scots disappear as a PRSA fleet

1998    PRSA launches its first website.  PRSA significantly increases its dues.  Membership is down to 100.

1999    Interlakes join PRSA as a fleet.  Hobie 20s are rarely seen on the river.
           Hamptons come back to PRSA as a fleet

2001    More than 10 Lasers show up every Sunday over the winter

2002    100 boats compete in the Leukemia/Presidentís Cup.  PRSA buys two committee boats: A 10-year old bayliner and another whaler



2005   PRSA members make generous contributions totaling over $10,000 to allow the club to purchase two brand new Carolina Skiff with brand new Yamaha 4-stroke engines.