Sail Summer Wednesday Evenings

Just when you’ve cleared the “midweek hump” at work on hot summer Wednesdays, drive to Tempe Town Lake, launch a small boat, and head out for an hour or so of casual, run-what-ya-brung racing. First Wednesday action is May 25.

George Sheller is the organizer of this loosely-organized gathering. At about 5:30 he drops buoys in the lake and whistles one-minute race starts to anyone who shows up. If Ferrings are there with their automated start gadget, they’ll sound the countdown.

Usually the group includes a few Lasers and a C14 or two, maybe a Buccaneer or Fireball, and after the boats round the marks and cross the finish line, the winner is: well, who knows, because handicaps don’t apply and nobody keeps score. When it starts to get dark or the wind dies, when the boats are stowed, the group collects at a nearby tavern for dinner and a beer.

A single 360 turn clears penalties. We set short courses, getting lots of races in. This is not an official AYC event, so you’re on your own in terms of a boat, liability and fun. We start promptly at 5:30 pm and if you miss one or two races it’s no big deal since there are no trophies at the end, just a cold beer.

The best way to stay in touch with these Wednesday night races is to sign onto the Arizona Yacht Club Yahoo list and receive the occasional emails. (Sometimes races are canceled and you’ll be notified by email.)

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman