Archive | May, 2013

Giant State Farm Center on TTL

It’s happening: an enormous building project on the south shore of Tempe Town Lake, the biggest building project in the history of Arizona in fact.

Here’s the story in the Business Journal and another in the Arizona Republic.

state farm logo 315 304After years with no development at the lake during the weak economy, State Farm insurance will open this gargantuan complex, some 1.9 million square feet plus some 40,000 square feet of retail space.

Heidi Kimball, Sunbelt Holdings vice president, said construction would start as soon as the development partners can get their building permits approved and State Farm plans to move in during 2017. She says Marina Heights will include five buildings of four to 18 stories with two levels of underground parking.

Great for the Tempe economy, but the biggest question of all, of course, is how this will affect sailing. More interruption of the already-twisty wind can not be a good thing.

Register Now for Heat Stroke Series

Colin and Rob

Rob Gibbs and son Colin on TTL. Photo: Mike Ferring

The next AYC racing series is about to begin: the annual Heat Stroke series at Tempe Town Lake.

You can register by hitting the button on the racing page.

This low-key summer racing series can be a lot of fun since you might as well be on the water when it’s 106 degrees outside, right? Bring your water canon to cool competitors.

Exciting New Sport Boat for ASF Intermediate Sailors

Gerald Byrnes tries out the new O'pen Bic on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Phil Freedman

Gerald Byrnes tries out the new O’pen Bic on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Phil Freedman

The Arizona Sailing Foundation has bought four new O’pen Bic sport boats for Junior ASF sailors.

ASF president George Tingom says the boats will fill a need to offer a high performance alternative to the Optis for young sailors who have topped out and are looking for something faster and sportier.

The name is a play on the name of the product we all know—the ubiquitous Bic ballpoint pen. But the boat is a play on the new shape of sailing—high performance.

It’s thermoformed polyethylene and rotomolded construction with full roach, fully-battened, clear mylar mainsail. With an open transom, there’s none of that Opti bailing stuff if the boat takes on water.

The O’pen is an international one-design class and you can tell from the promotional video that kids really enjoy them.

Meet the New Members – Kiel and Felice

J.M. and Gail Kiel (pronounced “keel” as on a boat)

J.M. has been a sailor since he was teenager on Lake Erie and then on the Texas Gulf Coast when his family moved there. Gail became a sailor as well when they got married. They spent five years living aboard a 53-foot pilothouse ketch in the Pacific NW including trips up to Canada and Alaska. They have owned a variety of sailboats but their current boats include a Lido 14, a Catalina 22, and a C&C 31. They enjoy both cruising and racing.

Victor Felice and Priska Felice (pronounced fell-EE-chay)

I should have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth–instead my baby pictures show what seems to be a tiller. How did that happen?! I was born in Malta when the Queen still ruled the rocks. Growing up on an island we subscribed to the three S’s–school, soccer and sailing. My first boat was a Mirror 10 that was raced in every season, every regatta and if no one else was out, I’d race a dolphin. All my friends had Mirrors so the competition was lively and fierce. When not trashing our little boats we always were pressed into crew service on the bigger boats–I particularly enjoyed sailing on Swans.

By my late teens I attended an American college in Switzerland on Lake Lugano. Great place for the Mirror! My elaborate transportation plans were in place, called my father and as he listened in silence I waited for his reaction. “No.” But why?! He figured I would most likely not be returning to Malta so he gave my boat to the local boys’ orphanage. He was right–and I am glad my Mirror sailed on.

Half a lifetime later my wife Priska and I spend two weeks in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. The Club Med has a small fleet of Hobies (the tourist “I have no idea what I am doing” ones, 16’s and even 2 Max’s). Ah, but I DO know what I am doing! That is where Priska first became a sailing widow. The following year–same thing! By the time the vacation was ending, the decision was made. Time to buy a boat.

I told my best friend about it and he replied–no you are not. Excuse me?! No as in “No, you are not buying a boat – you are buying my J/24 that is sitting idle in San Francisco.” Not seeing the need to argue, the decision was easy. One great road trip later, that is how CAN2978 ended up in Lake Pleasant. From there, the name changed and the sail number changed from CAN to MLT. Incidentally, Priska still remains a widow, usually three days a week!

Priska, on the other hand, was born in Czechoslovakia, spent many years in Italy and met me in Scottsdale nearly 14 years ago when I was racing open wheel cars. Our common language is Italian which is what we speak at home. She does come sailing with me from time to time (it is very sweet when she pretends to care) but I do agree with her–a “real” sailboat should be at least 45 feet, and look like something Robin Leach would want to be seen on.

Which brings us back to the silver spoon….

Victor Felize aboard Mermaid. Photo: Chris Smith

Victor Felize aboard Mermaid. Photo: Chris Smith

True Story — When are you leaving?

Tom Hamilton

Tom Hamilton

When are you leaving? How’s that for an answer when your husband announces he wants to sail to New Zealand?

Emory Heisler passed along this link to a cute story about a Phoenix man who bought a 14-foot dinghy and then decided he’d like to sail to New Zealand. The New Zealand trip just whetted his appetite for more.

The story comes through StoryCorps, the public radio group that records the oral stories of regular Americans.

Fun Night at Commodore’s Party

Maryellen Ferring shows off the bubbly gift of thanks for Mike and Maryellen's work as Commodore. Photos: Mike Ferring and Chris Smith

Maryellen Ferring shows off the bubbly gift of thanks for Mike and Maryellen’s work as Commodore. Photos: Mike Ferring and Chris Smith

A night of many awards, excellent food, and good times. It was the 2013 Commodore’s Party and 95 people turned out to celebrate the end of an AYC year.

New Commodore Cindy Pillote handed Maryellen and me a fancy bottle of bubbly and a framed Commodore’s flag as a thank you, and the 2013-2014 Board of Directors took office. Here’s some of what I had to say during presentations.

Honorary Life Membership: The club’s highest lifetime honor, currently held by Joyce Seales, Tom Ohlin, Al and Sandy Lehman, and Mike Yarnell and Tia Renshaw. Now we add one more to that distinguished list. Someone who has been a an AYC stalwart for decades, a C22 sailor, 14.2 fleet captain, the center of the ASF high school sailing program, the guy who’s always there to do what needs to be done: George Tingom.

Keepers of the Flame: One year ago, things looked pretty grim for three parts of AYC that have long been strong. The flame was about to go out. Today those flames are really bright and getting brighter.

One was the annual Kinnikinick summer campout in the woods near Mormon Lake. Steve Nahkala loved that gathering and put the arm on a bunch of us, put fuel on the flame of Kinnikinick, and that bonfire is burning brightly. He’ll do it again this year and he asks that you plan to be there August 9-11.

The Laser fleet was dropping in size to a few hearty souls when George Sheller decided to go to work to build the fleet. He recruited, he put on a clinic, he staged casual Wednesday night racing, and the Laser fleet this year is at 10 boats.

Three-to-four years ago, the Catalina 22 fleet was our biggest, with numbers in the teens. Heading into last fall, it looked like the number would be (ouch) two. That’s when Steve and Christina Campo went to work. A clinic, a party, a newsletter, tuning tricks, and a million volts of Christina applied to the right places: Now there are 8 boats for Saturdays (and most of the fleet was at the party).

Maryellen hands Bruce Andress a "Heavy Lifting" trophy.

Maryellen hands Bruce Andress a “Heavy Lifting” trophy.

Heavy Lifting Awards: As always, we ask the board of directors to do most of the heavy lifting in the club, but it’s a huge help when people who aren’t on the board jump in.

Steve Brown helped a lot at Tempe Town Lake as Lake Captain.

And Bruce Andress did lots of heavy lifting at Lake Pleasant as Lake Captain, where lots of gear needs loads of maintenance.

For years, we’ve been rushing to the AYC website on Mondays to check our race scores where Dave Christensen has been decoding the chicken scratches and reading the chicken bones of the RC scores and turning them into numbers.

When you’ve come of the monthly meetings, you’ve been met at the door by Lori Reger, who’s been an enormous help to membership, assembling new member kits, following up with guests. And she’s been at TTL on Sunday afternoons to meet people who want to adopt a boat as she handled that program.

The US Sailing Sportsmanship award, AYC's MVP award, went to Rob Gibbs (left).

The US Sailing Sportsmanship award, AYC’s MVP award, went to Rob Gibbs (left).

US Sailing Sportsmanship Award: Each year we give an award to someone who has been an AYC Most Valuable Player. The award is called the US Sailing Sportsmanship Award and it’s awarded to someone who’s done great things for our club.

This year it went to a person who’s done it all. He was on the board as membership director. He’s raced every year at both lakes. He’s taught Start Sailing Right for something like 10 years for ASF. He’ll be on the ASF board this next year. He’s run the ship’s store.  He handled the online registration system. He managed the website. Last year he put on an introduction to sailing day at TTL to give rides to people who wanted to sail. He’s been a big advocate of powerboat training and has trained nearly all our certified powerboat operators… and will be out tomorrow morning to certify some more. Almost as a lark, he applied for a grant with US Sailing to be used to buy a powerboat… and got $10,000 that we used to buy a boat. Rob Gibbs is our 2013 recipient.

A critical part of AYC is attracting new people into the club and into leadership positions. If you’ve joined in the last year or if you’re joined just within the last few weeks as Mark and Mary Howell or Victor Felice or JM and Mary Kiel did, welcome and thank you.

Board of Directors Accomplishments

One year ago the Board targeted membership growth as a top goal for the year. Membership in the club had dropped into the 190s. Today it’s over 220 and rising.

The strong membership effort was led by directors Brenda Shears and Thom Dickerson, with a lot of help from Lori Reger. Wendy Larsen set up the mentor program to pair a current member with each new member to help new folks get oriented and active.

All board members did excellent work this year. For instance, Emory Heisler revamped the Birthday Regatta to become easier and less expensive to present. Peter Lehrach started and managed the adopt-a-highway program that put our name on signs along Carefree Highway near Lake Pleasant. Bob Whyte arranged the space and the dinner for the party. He kept the string of amazing meeting speakers going, with AYC members such as Dave and Wendy and Phil Freedman and Bill Hutchinson as well as some other familiar names such as Dave Perry, Andrew Campbell, and Annie Gardner. Greg Woodcock was always on top of issues, whether it was a boat problem or a race document that needed tweaking.

Cindy Pillote is Commodore for the coming year.

Cindy Pillote is Commodore for the coming year.

Here’s the 2013-2014 Board:
Emory Heisler, Sr Staff Commodore
Mike Ferring, Jr Staff Commodore
Lori Reger, Secretary
Tony Chapman, Treasurer
Thom Dickerson – second year Membership Director
Andrea Love – Membership Director
Greg Woodcock – Fleet Captain
Ralph Vatalaro – Cruising Captain
Christina Campo – Rear Commodore
Peter Leharach – Vice Commodore
Cindy Pillote – Commodore

The party drew 95 to socialize and commemorate the accomplishments of the year.

The party drew 95 to socialize and commemorate the accomplishments of the year.

John Mayall and George Tingom presented the ASF Heavy Lifting trophy to Phil Freedman.

John Mayall and George Tingom presented the ASF Heavy Lifting trophy to Phil Freedman.

Emma Davis picks up a juniors trophy.

Emma Davis picks up a juniors trophy.

Isabel Love receives the Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior award.

Isabel Love receives the Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior award.

Martin Lorch and son Cedric heft the Club Championship trophy. It's been a good year for Cedric, winning the High School Championship and two Blunder Buckets!

Martin Lorch and son Cedric heft the Club Championship trophy. It’s been a good year for Cedric, winning the High School Championship and two Blunder Buckets!

Christina Campo and Tony Chapman congratulate Emory Heisler.

Christina Campo and Tony Chapman congratulate Emory Heisler.

John Riddell and Mike Parker exchange lies before dinner.

John Riddell and Mike Parker exchange lies before dinner.

Rear Commodore Bob Whyte arranged for the great space and the amazingly good buffet dinner.

Rear Commodore Bob Whyte arranged for the great space and the amazingly good buffet dinner.

Resa Coats and Bill Hutchinson schmoozing before dinner.

Resa Coats and Bill Hutchinson schmoozing before dinner.

Startling Finish to AYC Championship Regatta

Seven fleet champions faced off in C14s at Tempe Town Lake for the 2013 Club Championship. Photos: Mike Ferring

Seven fleet champions faced off in C14s at Tempe Town Lake for the 2013 Club Championship. Photos and Words: Mike Ferring

It was almost like an act of god.

Trey Harlow and crew Mike Hester went into the seventh and final race of the championship regatta ahead by one point and holding the tie breaker. They would be tough to beat. Martin Lorch and son Cedric would need to finish two places ahead to take Martin’s fourth club championship.

As usual, the wind had been mostly light and fluky on Tempe Town Lake, but ripples from the west suggested a nice, moderate air finale for the fleet champs in their Capri 14.2s.

The course: a simple windward-leeward. As the seven competitors swept downwind to the leeward mark, Trey and Mike held a small lead and the tactical inside rounding position. All it would take would be a smooth rounding and they could cover Martin all the way to the finish—and the championship.

The rounding went fine. Trey trimmed for the upwind finish, Martin chasing from a couple of boat lengths back.

And then it happened. On port tack, Trey’s boat suddenly skidded off to the right, as if the centerboard weren’t down—but it was—and he couldn’t hold the boat on the beat.

Martin looked around, amazed. “What happened?” he asked Cedric. “What happened?”

Trey still doesn’t know. When they tacked to starboard, the boat tracked true.
Back on port, it slid. And as it slid, so did the hopes of a second championship in a row. At the race finish, Martin and Cedric were in first place and Trey and Mike were at the back of the pack.

See the final results at the bottom of the page. Lots of volunteers made the day work, led by Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock, including the 14.2 fleet, JM Kiel, Mike Ferring, Diana Simpson, Dick Krebill, Steve Brown, Decker Williams, Cindy Pillote, Greg Fine, and Andrea Love.

 

Trey Harlow approaches the leeward mark with inside position for the rounding. Photos: Mike Ferring

Trey Harlow approaches the leeward mark with inside position for the critical final rounding in race seven. Photos: Mike Ferring

 

Martin Lorch drops into line behind Trey to round second.

Martin Lorch drops into line behind Trey to round second.

Trey and Mike Hester trim in for the upwind finish only to find they can't hold port tack close-hauled.

Trey and Mike Hester trim in for the upwind finish only to find they can’t hold port tack close-hauled.

There were certain distractions.

There were certain distractions.

 

Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
Lorch 2 3 3 2 1 3 1 15
Harlow 3 1 1 4 3 1 7 20
Tingom 6 6 2 1 4 5 3 27
Sheller 1 2 5 6 2 6 6 28
Jackson 4 4 6 5 6 2 2 29
Davis 5 5 4 3 5 4 4 30
Anderson 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 47

  

Party Time: Commodore’s Celebration Saturday, May 18

Chef Dionot

Chef Dionot

Reservations are now closed for this big event, with almost 90 people signed up. If you failed to register in time and would like to go, contact Mike Ferring to see if we can squeeze you in.
Mike and Maryellen Ferring invite you to the year’s big party, the Commodore’s Celebration.
When: Saturday evening, May 18, with wine and beer beginning at 6pm, dinner at 7pm, and awards about 7:30
Where9382 E Bahia Dr,  Scottsdale
What: Wine tasting, gourmet dinner (see menu below) and much mingling with your sailing buddies
How Much: $49 for adults, $19 for children; cash bar
Why: Honor winners and workers and to bring on the new AYC Board of Directors
Dress Code: Informal
Who: Kids and guests welcome

Intriguing idea: Take a big space in North Scottsdale, sprinkle in some boats and collector cars, add true gourmet food… and make it stirring.

Rear Commodore Bob Whyte has engaged executive chef Pascal Dionot to prepare the dinner, which Chef Dionot says will include flavors of both classic European items and the Sonoran desert.

Last year's party. Photo: Mike Ferring

Last year’s party. Photo: Mike Ferring

Chef Dionot was first trained in France, Germany and Spain before heading to the U.S. His background includes Executive Chef positions at several notable Washington, D.C. fine dining restaurants, including the historic Hay-Adams Hotel, the Georgetown Club, and Restaurant 2941 in Northern Virginia. Pascal went on to develop and teach the professional culinary program at l’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland for 18 years before relocating to Scottsdale where he founded Classic Cooking Academy in 2006.

Expected Buffet Menu
Mixed Greens Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Carmelized Pecans, and Blue Cheese, Grilled Vegetables, Rolls and Butter
Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes with Jicama Slaw or Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine on Sweet, Creamy Polenta
Desserts include Chocolate Mesquite Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream, Assorted Fruit Tarts plus a Coffee Station
Also: There will be a vegetarian option

Wine Tasting Event at 6pm will be hosted by Phoenix Wine of Scottsdale

Here’s a list of people who have registered to attend the Commodore’s Celebration

Some of the classic cars that will share our space.

Some of the classic cars that will share our space.

 

The cars:
1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
2005 Panoz Esperante
2007 Eagle Roadster (street legal, open wheel)
1957 Corvette resto-mod with a ZO6 engine
1982 Delorean
1969 Lotus Elan
Tesla roadster