Archive | October, 2013

Getting Stronger by Getting Together with LPSC

Arizona Yacht Club and Lake Pleasant Sailing Club have stepped up efforts to work together, to promote the sport of sailing and to increase participation in each other’s events.

There have been two meetings of representatives of the two clubs. The second this week developed some specific steps to explore, explained in this report:

An AYC/LPSC joint committee has been created to build a bridge between the two groups. Ralph Vatalaro and Mike and Maryellen Ferring are representing AYC while Tim and Rhonda Brewer are representing the LPSC. The purpose of the committee is to increase communication, share information and co-plan events that are of interest to members of both groups. The initial meeting occurred Tuesday, October 29 at the House of Tricks restaurant in Tempe. Over glasses of wine, fabulous dinners and even a dessert or two, they suggested these next steps.

  • Staging a low-key sailing event on January 1, with members of both clubs invited to spend a couple of hours sailing and meeting at the Waterfront Grille for food, drinks, and football.
  • Setting up a sailing event for late winter or early spring that would encourage members of each club to team up with some members of the other club. We talked about trading crews, a poker run, or even a Capture the Flag theme.
  • To promote understanding, each club—AYC racing and LPSC cruising—the group discussed an information exchange. Mike and Maryellen volunteered to present a program at an LPSC membership meeting tentatively titled, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sailboat Racing in Just 30 Minutes. The program would include information on start procedures, fleet descriptions, ratings, protocols, etc. as well as an invitation to race with AYC. Tim and Rhonda Brewer or other interested LPSC members might reciprocate with a presentation about cruising and exploring Lake Pleasant or raft-up protocols and expectations.
  • The group discussed the possibility of joining forces to get more boats for a Catalina Cruise in July 2014. (Both clubs have had cruises to Catalina, but attendance has collapsed for both.)
  • Maryellen invited all LPSC women to the casual Women Who Sail parties. A couple dozen women interested in sailing gather quarterly for wine and appetizers at one of the women’s homes. Rhonda will talk to the Board to get approval to share LPSC email addresses for invitations.

All members of the group left the meeting encouraged about the plans. If you have feedback, questions or suggestions, please contact Ralph, Maryellen, Mike, Rhonda or Tim.

LPSC_LOGOLPSC has several events planned between now and the end of the year, as Rhonda describes:

The last few months of 2013 are filled with fun events, both on land and water. Besides the Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas party planned by Mary, Robin and Crystal, we have five more exciting events lined up.

On November 9 and 10 John Bagwell and Roland Cleveland are planning a Walk the Plank raft-up/camping party in Two Cow cove. Those of us on boats will raft up in the cove while the RVers and tent campers will set up on shore. The fun officially begins on Saturday, however, rumor has it that some members are planning to set up campsites on Friday afternoon.

As a complement to the Walk the Plank event, Tim and Rhonda Brewer have planned a Show Us Your Booty sail beginning at 10 am in front of the dam. Basically, we will chase each other around the lake exchanging “booty” between boats.

On November 17 LPSC members will host guests on the third Sunday Sail. Response to the September and October sails was extremely positive, so please consider joining the November sail as a host boat.

To prepare ourselves for 2014, on December 28 Tim and Rhonda will host a Tack Into 2014 sail. It will be similar to the Follow the Leader sail last spring, however, the fleet will be required to change tack and follow a new leader every 15 minutes.

Following the Tack Into 2014 sail on December 28, we hope everyone will gather in the barbeque area of PHM to share in a Potluck Dock Party. Please consider attending this party even if you don’t participate in the Tack Into 2014 sail. This is a great way to spend the end of 2013 with friends who share the love of sailing!

Tempe Town Lake Results

Some 50 boats sailed on Tempe Town Lake Sunday, October 27. Photo: Phil Freedman

Some 50 boats sailed on Tempe Town Lake Sunday, October 27. Photo: Phil Freedman

Great fall weather brought loads of sailboats to Tempe Town Lake on Sunday, October 27. Phil Freedman said he counted 50, including the Opti class, tryouts on the new O’Pen Bics, and the fall series racing.

The scores are posted on the results page or you’ll find them here.

The O'Pen Bics were available for test drives, recruiting juniors to the February class in these exciting new boats. Photo: Phil Freedman

The O’Pen Bics were available for test drives, recruiting juniors to the February class in these exciting new boats. Photo: Phil Freedman

Weekend Two: Racing at Lake Pleasant

The scores from this past weekend of racing can be found on the Results page or by clicking here.

AYC’s Clay Poulson Fireballs the Worlds

Clay Poulson at the pin end of a very long starting line.

Clay Poulson and Mianne Erne at the pin end of a very long starting line.

I know the Fireball I sail with the Arizona Yacht Club is a bit of an oddball dinghy, and lots of Zonie sailors have tried to get me to sail with the Thistles, the Buccaneers, or such.

Honestly, I would have immediately joined one of the other fleets if I hadn’t been involved with something really cool.

The three photos show how cool Fireballs are. These are taken from the 2013 Fireball European and World Championships held a few weeks ago in Porto Roz, Slovenia. The 2013 Fireball Championships drew 79 boats together, from 10 different countries, for 8 days of exciting racing.

The photo with the long line of boats just off the start line lets you really imagine the action that was to follow. My World’s captain, Mianne Erne, and I are visible sailing on #SUI 15063. We lined up with the 75+ boats nearly 40 different times over the eight days of racing. Lots of aggressive sailors led to plenty of general recalls and then black flags. Then you had to negotiate a vast course with lots of fast moving boats. Some mid-fleet mark roundings were chaos as a dozen Fireballs would converge on the buoy at the same time. It was a truly awesome week of racing.

Porto Roz and neighboring Piran are ancient seaports historically linked to the Venetian Republic. These old Venetian ties give the entire Istrian Peninsula a very Italian flavor. The seafood is glorious and half the price of the Italian tourist restaurants far across the water. The marina at Porto Roz was beautiful, extending for nearly a kilometer along the shore with numerous restaurants, stores, hangers for the boats, chandleries, and rows of million dollar yachts.

Fireballs downwind.

Fireballs downwind.

The Fireball class is a really exciting international class to sail with. Fireball International has fleets in about 20 different countries. There are yearly regional, national, continental, and world championships. The last four Fireball World Championships have been held in Barbados in 2010, Sligo, Ireland in 2011, Mandurah, Australia in 2012, and Slovenia this year. The next three will be held in Thailand in 2014, Wales in 2015, and South Africa in 2016. Fireball International tries to find diverse venues and puts on a great show at all of these events. There are usually big sponsors with grand opening and closing ceremonies and then lots of dinners and parties in between.

Fireball USA generally holds three big regattas a year were we try and draw our far-flung fleet together. Our biggest regattas are usually held in Tampa, Florida; Cascade Locks in Oregon; and Rye, New York. We make an effort to work closely with Canadian Fireball to maximize the number of boats we are able to put on the water at any given event.

The Fireball, with its three sails and trapeze, is a great, fun boat to sail. The international aspect of the class makes for wonderfully interesting regattas. The Fireball class is definitely Fast, Fun, and Friendly.

Clay Poulson, AYC Portsmouth Fleet Captain
President, United States International Fireball Association

Fireballs churn the water at the Worlds.

Fireballs churn the water at the Worlds.

 

 

November Meeting: John Jourdane, 300,000 miles under sail

How’s that for a headline?

John Jourdane figures he’s sailed over 300,000 miles, including 51 trips between the West Coast and Hawaii, 12 trans-Atlantic crossings, and three trips around the world. But that’s just the beginning of his story.

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

A couple of those around-the-world trips were as a navigator in the Whitbread series—and he was regarded as one of the best on the planet in that role. Roy Disney sailed with John on Pyewacket and said, “John Jourdane is an old friend, a wonderful sailor and navigator, but more importantly, a wonderful teller of tales of the sea, and of the slightly crazy individuals who find it to be a race track.”

Sounds like a book blurb, doesn’t it? It is. John’s written two books about his adventures and some other well-known friends offered blurbs too. Such as Peter Isler: “Jourdane has a storyteller’s knack for sharing tales of the sea with the rest of us.” Or John Rousmaniere: “A sailor with a remarkable history of colorful voyages, Jourdane knows how to tell wonderful stories of boats and sailors.” And here’s a little more from a Sailing World blog.

John Jourdane will offer some of those stories for our next monthly meeting. The meeting is Tuesday, November 12, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

John Jourdane navigated aboard Roy Disney's Pyewacket.

John Jourdane navigated aboard Roy Disney’s Pyewacket.

Tempe Town Lake Racing

Beautiful weather, nice breeze, great sailing. Scores on the results page or by clicking here.

Entry for Governor’s Cup Regatta

Falling spars, lines everywhere, topped with sails

Norm Anderson's Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

During Saturday’s races (10/5), as the RC boat’s wind speed indicator was showing 21+ knots, Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak Merit 25 suddenly—very suddenly—dismasted. Crash! Here’s Norm’s description of what happened:

Big winds and choppy waves. We had it in tight and guess conditions were at a max. The mast broke just below the spreaders. Tom Errickson also looked at the mast break and we decided there was no apparent reason. The shrouds and stays were fine, so it just was a failure in the mast itself.

We had a spare mast and boom from a boat we salvaged out of LA a few years back (a Merit 25) and it was the correct mast. We had to do some swapping of shrouds and after we tuned it, we were good to go. The lines weren’t set up as we wanted, but as you could see, we made it work. Missed the first two races, but made it to the third and WON! How about that for persistence?

I can tell you what it was like up close—falling aluminum spars, lines everywhere and topped off with sails. Fortunately, the sails were unharmed.

It was just a bit disconcerting as being in the back of the boat, the jagged edges of the masts (virtually in half) came down about a foot from my face. Sometimes you are good, and sometimes lucky. I like the lucky part.

One for the books.

Norm

Norm’s hard-working crew: Paul and Anthony Miachika, Ed Chamberlin and John Gallagher

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith

Lake Pleasant Opening Day Scores

Close rounding. Photo: Chris Smith

Close rounding. Photo: Chris Smith

Lake Pleasant showed it’s ready for the fall season by giving a bit of everything on the first weekend—but mostly delivering strong, strong wind.

Congratulations to everyone who persevered through gusts well into the 20s, and a special note for Norm Anderson and his crew. After being dismasted on Saturday and being towed to shore, there they were Sunday, missing the first three races while making repairs, but making it out in time to win race four! Here’s Norm’s account of what happened.

Scores are on the results page or by clicking here.

Santana 20 champ Martin Lorch with son Cedric and Kyle Clark in a big downwind run. Background: tough new competition from John Riddell. Photo: Chris Smith

Santana 20 champ Martin Lorch with son Cedric and Kyle Clark in a big downwind run. Background: tough new competition from John Riddell. Photo: Chris Smith

Norm Anderson's Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith

 

Greg Woodcock seems to be doing some kind of crash move... and crashing. Photo: Chris Smith

Greg Woodcock seems to be doing some kind of crash move… and crashing. Photo: Chris Smith

Mike Yarnell and Jason Schwyn go to work to get the right side up on Mike's Thistle. Photo: Chris Smith

Mike Yarnell and Jason Schwyn go to work to get the right side up on Mike’s Thistle. Photo: Chris Smith

On a happier note: Rob Gibbs, Haley, Emory Heisler and Kim Olson Gibbs out for a (breezy) afternoon of racing. Photo: Chris Smith

On a happier note: Rob Gibbs, Haley, Emory Heisler and Kim Olson Gibbs out for a (breezy) afternoon of racing. Photo: Chris Smith

Tempe Town Lake Scores

Week two of racing results at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page or by clicking here.

Saturday Night Dinner at Pleasant Harbor Marina

Sunrise at Pleasant Harbor Marina. Photo: Chris Smith

Sunrise at Pleasant Harbor Marina. Photo: Chris Smith

We’ll try an experiment Saturday night (10/5) for the usual post-race dinner. Pleasant Harbor Marina’s Waterfront Grille.

The Sport Boat Fleet has arranged for AYC racers to overnight in slips at Pleasant Harbor Marina for $20 per night. (The usual fee is $30/night.) The amenities on the dock include Wi-Fi, showers and restroom facilities, pump-out station, electricity, washer & dryer (coin op), and fuel dock.

See Shannon Waugh at the marina office between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 5 to rent your slip. The marina accepts cash and credit cards and does require that you bring your boat registration to rent the slip. Contact Shannon with any questions (928-501-5269 or shannonw@pleasantharbor.com).

From the slips, head over to the Waterfront Grille at 5:30 where $10 will get you a buffet of hot dogs, burgers, bratwurst, potato salad, and mac salad. Two bucks will get you your first Blue Moon on tap.

Not in a slip? Not a problem. You can drive over and park in the members’ lot at the marina without getting towed, or you can call the marina golf cart shuttle (602-625-7776) to take you from Spinnaker Point (and, for that matter, from the members’ parking lot) to the Waterfront Grille.

We’re going to have a corner of the Waterfront Grille to ourselves, which will make it easier to see photos (and maybe video?) from Saturday’s racing on the widescreen TV.

See you on the water and at the Waterfront.

Chris Smith
Sport Boat Fleet Captain

October Meeting: Astonishing Around-the-World Sailing Story

Yoh Aoki

Yoh Aoki

Yoh Aoki is one of the world’s great dreamers. Imagine building a 21-foot boat in your backyard at age 19. And at 21, setting sail around the world.

It took more than three years, but Yoh survived dismastings and a complete capsize (a wave flipped his boat upside down before another one flipped him right-side up) and made the circumnavigation, including sailing around Cape Horn. That backyard boat is now in the Guinness World Records as the smallest ever to sail around the world using Cape Horn.

Thirty years after that amazing trip Yoh Aoki now runs a Japanese ASA sailing school and will be our October monthly meeting speaker. The meeting is Tuesday, October 8, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

 

LPSC Boys & Girls Club Sail

The Annual LPSC Boys & Girls Club Sail will be Saturday, October 12, a premier outreach event.

This year we’re planning to host 21 kids and 8 staff members from the Glendale Boys and Girls Club for the day at Lake Pleasant. In addition to taking the kids for a sail, we’ll teach workshops in the morning (safety, knots, sailing terms and lines and sails). We will then serve them lunch at the Pleasant Harbor Marina BBQ area.

It is always such a fun day and the kids absolutely love it. If you happen to be around the marina Saturday morning or early afternoon, stop by the barbeque area to greet our future fleet members.

—Rhonda Brewer, LPSC

Magical, Mystical Opti Class

The Opti group, getting ready to sail. Photo: Mark Howell

The Opti group, getting ready to sail. Photos: Mark Howell

Mark Howell was watching and listening as 9 kids and 9 Opti sailboats lined up on the plastic dock at Tempe Town Lake last Sunday afternoon.

Actually, he called it eavesdropping and this is what he heard about sailing theory:

  1. Hang on to the tiller and the mainsheet.
  2. Sit on the opposite side of the boat from the sail.

Then, he said, “they pushed them off the dock one by one, and they were sailing.  Magic.”

Let’s hope it’s the first sail of a lifetime of sailing fun.OptiDock

And then they pushed off and sailed.

And then they pushed off and sailed.

Entry for Ruth Beals Cup

Tight turn at the mark.

Tight turn at the mark.