Archive | March, 2018

Loads O’Wind for St. Patrick’s Lake Pleasant Weekend

Puffy, of course, but lots of wind to make it a great, fun weekend on Lake Pleasant. Hang on, here’s comes another one!

Results here.

The lake hasn’t disappointed us this spring, with lots of good wind to drive the spring racing series. The Catalina 22 Race Committee did a good job of adjusting to wind that swung wildly from south to west and then someplace else.

Craig Seaman’s Renegade scratches its way upwind. Photo: Lucas Newland


The new Melissa Kay, Ferrings’ J/70 downwind. Photo: Lucas Newland


Martin Lorch (near) and Marshall Williamson heading to the leeward mark. Photo: Lucas Newland

Race Management Courses Available

AYC could use some more qualified race management people. Are you interested in learning more about how to run a regatta?

Here’s information on one coming up in Denver on April 7&8. The link for enrollment in the one-day race management course is here:

They’ll also be doing a course for judges. That link is:

The cost per class is $60 which includes course material, lite snacks and lunch. Upon completion of the course a link will be sent to take the test online.

Commodore Curtis Rist says they might be able to provide some lodging if folks need it.

Here’s his contact information: phone 303-779-2631 or mobile 719-648-1830. His email is 

Here’s a summary:
Sailing Assn of Intermountain Lakes
1570 South Logan Street
Denver, CO 80210
Contact: Curtis Rist
Instructors: Paul Kresge, Julie Rist

This course will run from 0900-1700.
Location: 8821 E. Amherst Avenue, Denver Colorado
Breakfast and lunch included.

You’ll also find these race management courses on the West Coast, if that’s more convenient:

One Day Race Management Seminar at Mission Bay Yacht Club
3/31/2018 – 3/31/2018
Mission Bay Yacht Club
1215 El Carmel Place
San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Mark Townsend
Instructors: Stan Betts

$50 seminar fee includes course material, online testing, continental breakfast, fruit, iced tea, soft drinks and water all day. The Club snack bar will be available for lunch. Seminar will run from 0800 – 1700 and be held at the Mission Bay Yacht Club. Online registration closes on Monday, March 26th @ 2355 (Eastern).

One Day Race Management Seminar at King Harbor Yacht Club
3/31/2018 – 3/31/2018
King Harbor Yacht Club
280 Yacht Club Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Contact: Dorian Harris
Instructors: Bill Stump

This seminar will run from 0800-1700. A continental breakfast with a coffee and water station will be available. The galley will be open for lunch. The cost of the seminar is $40.

One Day Race Management Seminar at Sailing Assn of Intermountain Lakes
4/07/2018 – 4/07/2018 Add to your calendar

Chase the Tall Cactus

Ready to chase the Tall Cactus? The race is Saturday, April 28, with the first boats starting at 9 am. This is a pursuit race, in the style of the Governor’s Cup, which attracted over 50 boats in December. Okay, it’s a carbon copy, except that this time everybody will find all the islands and the finish line. Or they should.

Sign up and find the documents on the Racing page.

The course takes you from a start line in the middle of the lake (exact position will vary depending on wind strength), north to take Horse and Balance Rock islands to port, then heading south to leave Bobcat Island to port and then finishing at Scorpion Bay Marina, where we’ll celebrate with club-provided nibbles and a cash bar. (Be sure to tip well; apparently some of you didn’t in December.)

Now, what was that about “Bobcat Island”? It’s the chunk of land that we’ve been calling “No Name Island” up to now, but Event Chairman Tom Errickson has learned it’s actually and officially called Bobcat Island. How to recognize it? It’s very hard to see until you’re right on top of it, since it blends into the hills behind. After rounding Balance Rock, if you set a course for about 150°, you’ll be pointing in the right direction. Aim to the right of the cell phone towers on the hill. You’ll need to clear the point at Two Cow Cove, near where the Sheriff’s station sits, and then head to the right.

The GPS coordinates are (approximately) 33°51′17″ N 112°16′50″ W or, in decimals, 33.854853 N 112.281728 W.

After Bobcat, go to Scorpion Bay Marina, round to the north of all the breakwaters and sail toward the shore. You’ll spot the finish line. Finish and then tie up and join us for adult beverages. Here’s a satellite picture of Scorpion showing the finish line.

Here are pictures showing Bobcat. The pictures were taken in early March, with high lake level.

That little island with a tuft of vegetation is Bobcat Island. Picture was taken from the Discovery Center looking north. Photo: Mike Ferring


Bobcat Island is hard to see, even when you’re close. It blends in with the background. Photo: Mike Ferring


As you begin to round Bobcat, it emerges from the background. Photo: Mike Ferring

April Monthly Meeting: Spectacular Sailing Photography

Photographer Daniel Forster

Daniel Forster will arrive at our April monthly meeting armed with a spectacular portfolio of sailing photos and a lifetime of sailing stories. Just to skim some off the top: He’s photographed the last 13 America’s Cups and 12 Olympic Games.

Now Daniel is one of the official photographers for the Rolex Yachting events, covering such regattas as the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta, St. Thomas, New York Yacht Club events, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, Rolex Swan Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Take a look at his website. Or watch this Vimeo video for a taste of great images.

Daniel will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, April 10, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces restaurant (that’s apparently what they’re calling it now) at Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

A J Boat against a brilliant sky. Photo: Daniel Forster

The amazing Comanche at speed. Photo: Daniel Forster

Blasting through the seas against granite skies at the Fastnet. Photo: Daniel Forster

Rob Gibbs Slated as Next Commodore

The AYC nominating committee has selected this bunch: Rob Gibbs, Commodore; Marc Danner, Vice Commodore; Sharon Bell, Rear Commodore; George Sheller, Racing Fleet Captain; Heather McClain, Cruising Fleet Captain; Russ Hasty and Skip Kempff, Membership Director (two-year term); Mike Ferring, Jr Staff Commodore.

Bruce Andress moves to Sr Staff Commodore and Andrew Oliver will continue in the second year of his two-year term as Membership Director. The new board will elect a Secretary and Treasurer.

Under the bylaws, additional people may be nominated by the end of March. If you wish to nominate someone, simply find two people to submit the nomination to Mike Ferring. Voting takes place during April, votes are counted at the May meeting, and the new board takes office immediately at the close of counting.

Rob Gibbs is a familiar face at AYC, currently Vice Commodore after replacing Mike Bernard when Mike’s health required his resignation. Rob has served as Membership Director and is serving as one of the key instructors for the Arizona Sailing Foundation. In addition to the adult Learn to Sail program and the Powerboat Safety classes, Rob teaches the Junior Performance Sailing class, which includes his son Colin.

The 2018 Junior Performance class. Rob Gibbs is the tall one on the right. Photo: Mike Ferring

New Trophies for AYC Racers

Thistle start picture used on the new trophy for Lake Pleasant winners. Photo: Mike Ferring

We’re making a major change in trophies this year that I hope you’ll like. Instead of giving a pickle dish or wine glass for each series, you’ll receive your own AYC Member Trophy plaque and add awards to it in the years to come.

The first time you’re eligible for a trophy, you’ll get one of these AYC Member Trophy plaques with space for 12 award plates describing how you finished in various races or series. As you win more (I’m looking at you Mike Hester), you’ll receive an additional trophy plate that you’ll stick on the plaque.

The trophies were custom made by Prisma Graphic in Phoenix. The plaque itself is an acrylic with the graphically-treated photo adhered to the back. The AYC disc on the upper left is a three-dimensional piece produced on two layers and attached to the front of the plaque.

The member trophy will look like one of these when filled with plates. Instead of a trophy for each time you place in a series, you’ll get a brass-colored plate to stick on the trophy.

Brilliant Conditions for the Second Weekend at Lake Pleasant

Racing at Lake Pleasant rarely gets any better than the conditions this weekend (March 3-4) at Lake Pleasant. After a light start Saturday, the wind built to a breezy crescendo, one so strong that the Spin fleet decided to loop Horse Island for two races.

Sunday didn’t really bother to build much, starting with good wind (from the south!) and staying that way. Yes, Spins went for the long run again, enjoying a bright, breezy one.

Results here, or on the Results page.

Bright sun, big breeze for the weekend’s Lake Pleasant racing. Photo: Jim Tomes


Marc Danner and team (daughter Avery and son Myles) getting the non-spin fleet going again, leading the Jib and Main fleet (JaM, note his T-shirt). Photo: Jim Tomes


John Mayall, Joel Hurley, and (barely visible) Mike Hester fly downwind in Mike’s Viper 640. Photo: Jim Tomes