Archive | October, 2015

Sailor, Film Director Dick Enersen Speaks at November Meeting

Scan Dick Enersen’s resumes (sailing and professional) and it would be easy to decide the guy’s had a heck of a life. Crew for the 1964 America’s Cup winner Constellation stands out on a page of standout competition and lots of cruising, especially lately in the San Juan islands aboard his boat, Brass Ring. And he was able to turn his sailing passion into film credits: a career in professional film production, mostly jobs that required sailing. In November, Dick will speak to our monthly meeting.

The meeting is Tuesday, November 10, 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.

Dick Enerson in a nice place.

Dick Enersen in a nice place.

That's Dick Enerson at the wheel.

That’s Dick Enersen at the wheel.

Tempe Town Lake Scheduled to Close for More than a Month Next Spring

Replacing the current inflated rubber Tempe Town Lake dam with concrete and steel will shut down the lake—probably next spring—for a period the city estimates will be more than one month, severely affecting activities for Arizona Yacht Club and the Arizona Sailing Foundation.

Tempe Senior Boating Coordinator Alicia Jerger announced the plan in an email, saying the new concrete and steel dam will be finished in “February or March,” depending on weather delays. At that point the city will divert the TTL water and, she says, “It is anticipated that refilling of Town Lake, mostly using water exchange credits, will begin one month after the water is diverted. Tempe Town Lake will be closed to boating and water recreation once the water diverting has begun.”

The new steel gate dam system  includes 8 gates that will be hydraulically controlled to open for flood control. Here’s a link to the Tempe web page that includes videos describing the new system.

Obviously closing the lake will throw the AYC and ASF schedules into chaos, especially since it’s not possible to plan much in advance for the closure.

A frame of the City of Tempe's video showing a simulation of the dam in operation.

A frame of the City of Tempe’s video showing a simulation of the dam in operation.

Lake Pleasant Results

Scores for week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or are available by clicking here.

Dave and Wendy Boatworks Gears Up

Christensen-mini-crane

The Mini 650 sailboat emerging from the garage and being loaded on Dave’s home-built trailer. They floated the boat in 2012.

You remember the saga of Dog Year, the Open 6.50 Meter (aka Mini 650) that Dave Christensen and Wendy Larsen built in their garage? Let the saga continue.

Dave has now announced that he’s found another use for all those wood clamps he bought to build the boat. He’s building another one, this time a 28-foot trawler powered by an outboard. This too begins with nothing more than plans and a pile of plywood.

Dave told the AYC monthly meeting that he and Wendy are planning the new boat to use for retirement in a few years. It’s a snug home that they figure would be good for the area around San Juan islands and maybe for an inland swing around the Eastern U.S.

Dog Year is a 20-foot  boat that was built in a 19-foot garage, which meant punching a cutout into a bedroom. With a 28-foot boat under construction at the DandW Boatworks, this time they’ll take pretty much the entire bedroom.

Dave and Wendy are going with power this time.

Dave and Wendy are going with power this time.

 

 

Here's a cutaway view.

Here’s a cutaway view.

Stormy Tempe Town Lake Racing

Paul Wojtczak tacking his Laser. Photos: Mike Ferring

Paul Wojtczak tacking his Laser. Photos: Mike Ferring

When a large fleet of Lasers and three Buccs showed up Sunday (10/18), so did some storm clouds, making a dazzling background for the sailing and sailing pictures. Since the rain and lightning held off until the boats were able to get three races in, nobody much minded.

Here are the race results.

And below are pictures Mike Ferring took. Besides the towering clouds, you’ll see some close racing, mostly between Mike Hester and Paul Miachika. But then there’s the picture of Mike going left when everyone else is going right. Mike was over early and was threading his way back behind the start line.

Sign up for 2015 Ruth Beals Cup Regatta

Ruth Beals Insho, AYC Founder (picture 2005 by Mike Ferring)Registration is now open for the 2015 Ruth Beals Cup to be held at Tempe Town Lake Saturday, November 14. Click here for race documents and entry link.

This annual event commemorates the founder of the Arizona Yacht Club, Ruth Beals, and is a woman-at-the-helm regatta (but the crew can be male or female).

The races are sailed on Capri 14.2 sailboats. You can use your own boat or pick one out on race day from the Arizona Sailing Foundation boats. Gates open for boat selection and rigging at 8:15 am and the first warning is at 9:30 am.

Entry fee is just $10 and includes a Chick-fil-A lunch (arranged by 2013 champ Cindy Pillote). Besides just being a good time on the water, the winner will have her name engraved on the Ruth Beals Cup.

The regatta was first launched in 2005 and has had a history of either very strong wind or almost none. What will happen this year?

If you have any questions, contact Fleet Captain Steve Brown.

Maryellen Ferring with crew Mike Ferring holding the trophy for winning the 2014 Ruth Beals Regatta. Photo: Victor Felice

Maryellen Ferring with crew Mike Ferring holding the trophy for winning the 2014 Ruth Beals Regatta. Photo: Victor Felice

Why (and How) You Should Race Your Cruising Boat

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard's O'Day. Photo: Chris Smith

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard’s O’Day. Photo: Chris Smith

Sometimes it seems as if cruisers and racers are different breeds. One values comfort and a cocktail at anchor while the other wants screeching heel angles and screaming mark roundings. But some of us think both things are a kick and would like to see more cruisers try racing. But how? And (of course) why?

Sail magazine is offering excellent information on sailboat racing for cruisers, including an explanation of “why” that boils down to:

  1. It’s fun.
  2. It makes you a better sailor.

Scuttlebutt‘s Craig Leweck says he tells people that, “To race is only to ‘sail with a purpose.’ Much like most forms of exercise, you begin with a plan to test yourself, and racing is not so much a competition as it is an opportunity to assess one’s sailing skills.”

Sail magazine takes it from there, quoting renowned naval architect and yachtsman Uffa Fox, saying “Once you race every fault is pointed out in the way other boats sail away from you, and when you do anything well this too is revealed as you start sailing away from the rest of the fleet.”

Here’s a link to that excellent Sail magazine introduction to racing for cruisers.

AYC offers several entry-level races for cruisers who want to try out racing. There are “pursuit” races (see the Sail article for an explanation), typically the Governor’s Cup and the Tall Cactus. Boats start in reverse order of their PHRF rating (yes, see Sail article) so the start is simple and uncrowded. Then it’s just a matter of sailing the course as fast as you can.

The other opportunity is the “TransLoch” series (named by Tom Errickson), which is a low-pressure, longer-distance race around Lake Pleasant conducted at the same time as the buoy races for the fall and spring series and at the annual Birthday Regatta.

What do you say?

A featured picture from Sail magazine. They stress that the most important thing in racing is to have fun. Photo: Cate Brown

A featured picture from Sail magazine. They stress that the most important thing in racing is to have fun. Photo: Cate Brown

Lake Pleasant Week 2 Results

One of our typical Lake Pleasant sailing weekends: some really nice wind, some drifting, some waiting for the wind to shift from one to the other.

The scores for this weekend of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or you can find them by clicking here.

Aboard Melissa Kay downwind in the Sportboat fleet.

Aboard Melissa Kay downwind in the Sportboat fleet.

SF Bay Sailing Instructor Misses October Meeting

OCSC Instructor Tim Han

OCSC Instructor Tim Han

Wednesday (10/14) Update: Unfortunately, Tim was knocked down by food poisoning and couldn’t make it to the AYC meeting. Instead, Commodore Chris Smith kicked off the October meeting with a great photo review of his participation in the Chicago-to-Mac race this last summer and then called up a half dozen others to talk about “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” Rear Commodore Victor Felice has booked Tim’s boss at OCSC, Anthony Sandberg, to talk to the club, probably in January. Now back to our recorded program, already in progress:

Our next meeting features OCSC sailing instructor Tim Han, who’s been teaching at the Berkeley, California, school for the last 10 years.

The meeting is Tuesday, October 13, 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.

OCSC Sailing is a large organization with some 40 instructors, 50 boats, and an overall staff of 75. It’s a San Francisco Bay sailing school and sailing club and says, “We offer sailing lessons, sailboat instruction, US Sailing Certification, sailboat charters, club membership, corporate teambuilding events, and bareboat vacations.”

Tim says he got hooked on sailing at age 16 and he’s a sailing nut—after teaching all day he says he likes to head out for more sailing. And get this: In the winter he teaches skiing.

“I’m always fascinated by the craft of sailing a boat well,” he says, “whether it’s a small dinghy or a large ocean racer. The fundamentals are beautifully simple. Balance wind and water using a hull and a sail. The practice is endlessly complex and rich. Someday, for a moment, I’ll get it perfect. Until then, I’ll keep at it and enjoy the ride.”

A glimpse of the school's fleet of J/24s, part of an overall fleet of 50. OCSC says half of its students are women.

A glimpse of the school’s fleet of J/24s, part of an overall fleet of 50. OCSC says half of its students are women.

Tempe Town Lake Results

It was a wild Sunday afternoon on Tempe Town Lake (10/4), with the wind varying between zero and 30, which can be just a little bit challenging when you’re racing a small sailboat. Ask the people who went swimming! The wind was (often) from the south side of the lake, where the new wind blockers (aka office buildings) wreak havoc, with bright streaks of wind ripping through the slots between the buildings while the rest of the lake lies quiet.

The scores for this second week of racing on Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or they’re available by clicking here.

TTL-Race-Results-Graphic-4-13