About Admin

Author Archive | Admin

Winter at Lake Pleasant

January solitude, sailing in the desert… Mid 70’s. Photo: Charles Landis

View from the cockpit of Red Stripe, with Carl Muehlenbeck. Fun sailing in a steady 10-15.

Day’s End

Roosevelt Lake’s Salome Cove at day’s end. I loved the idyllic single sailboat anchored in the background for the evening. They had the entire cove to themselves. So peaceful. Photo By: Eric Heaton

Unofficial Summer Sailstice at TTL – 21 June!

2014SummerSailsticeCome down and cool off at Tempe Town Lake on the longest day of the year, Saturday, June 21 at 4pm! And since we can’t not race, we’ll do one-minute on-the-water starts. Everyone just go! Pride is the prize! Afterward we’ll meet up a Pho Cao for some additional cooling off. No entry fee, no NOR or SI, just come out and sail.

Sign up, win prizes, get more info!  Click Here!

Pre-Season Powerboat Classes

We have two powerboat class sessions scheduled before the racing heats up (and unfortunately before the weather cools off!).

31 Aug is an “Accelerated” course.  If you already have powerboat experience, you can take the Boat US Course online found here, then come challenge the US Sailing test, and then we’ll go out on the water and do some drills to prove your seaworthiness.

The next “full class” is being offered the evening of 5 Sept for the classroom portion and then 14 Sept for the on the water portion.

Either way, please go to this link to sign up.

Each course is limited to 12 students, so please sign up today!

Birthday Regatta Ends in Strong Breeze

Heavy wind capped the 2013 Birthday Regatta.

Heavy wind capped the 2013 Birthday Regatta.

Strong wind on the final day of the Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup weekend brought a nice conclusion to a successful event, and left everyone feeling good about the big changes this year.

Congratulations to the fleet winners (and everyone who came out to have fun): Matt Davis in Buccaneer; Steve Campo in Catalina 22; Scott Sharples in Laser; Norm Anderson in Merit 25; Stan Susman in Montgomery 17; Brett Johnston in Multi-Hull; Dianna Andress in PHRF Non-Spin; Mike Hester in PHRF Spin; Joe Barnett in Portsmouth; and James Sears in Viper.

The turnout was very good, with PHRF Spin entering 13 boats and Montgomery 17 and Viper entering 12 each.

This year brought a major revision in the weekend: the elimination of the big tent, replaced by Saturday dinner at the Grille at Pleasant Harbor Marina. The change meant something important to AYC: a profitable event! Thanks to Emory Heisler for innovating and organizing the event and to all the volunteers and participants for making it a success!

Final Results

Friday Results







SCYA Midwinters Merchandise Orders


Hey everyone…

The SCYA Midwinters shirts and hats are available from Pirate’s Lair.

Click here for the order form.


Sign up for SCYA Mid Winter Regatta!

2013 SCYA MidwinterLogo

Arizona Yacht Club will be hosting the Southern California Yachting Association Midwinter Regatta during February 2013, at both Lake Pleasant and Tempe Town Lake.

Our club provides members a variety of ‘round the buoys racing opportunities, which we hope captures everyone’s level of commitment ,ranging from the 8 to 10 race day Spring and Fall Series, to the 5 race day “Saturday Only” Series at Lake Pleasant, to the two – three day events like the Birthday Regatta and Midwinter Regatta. Then, there is also the “long distance” Governor’s Cup and Tall Cactus Regattas. So if you would enjoy racing for a weekend or two, scored with others of the same persuasion, sign up for the Midwinter Regatta. SCYA has supplied us with neat sun visors for all the signed up skippers and some towels we are offering to the first three boats signed up in a single fleet. SCYA is also supplying trophies which will be awarded after the last day of racing.

For a flyer outlining detals Click Here.

Notice of Race





Governor’s Cup Registration is OPEN
Click Here to get in on the fun!

Day’s Schedule:

Back when it all started.

9am Saturday — skippers meeting, Spinnaker Point
Mike Parker will have available copies of the course map.
11am Saturday is the start of the regatta just outside the Pleasant Harbor Marina South entrance.
Check in as soon as feasible to:
480-270-2443 text or voice, or else send an email to sailarrrr@gmail.com

Here’s the Full-Length Course:

(Click for Map)

Start between the dam pumps and the south Pleasant Harbor entrance, then follow this course, taking all marks to port:

  1. Coles Bay Buoy
  2. Balance Rock
  3. Horse Island
  4. Humbug Bay buoy
  5. Balance Rock
  6. 10-lane No-Wake
  7. Honeymoon Cove Floating Potty
  8. Castle Creek buoy
  9. Finish between no wake buoys in the Pleasant Harbor north launch ramp bay

And here’s the Half-Length Course for Portsmouth boats only: (Click for Map)

Start at between the dam pumps and the south Pleasant Harbor entrance and then:

  1. Castle Creek Bouy
  2. Balance Rock
  3. Horse Island
  4. Balance Rock
  5. 10-Lane No-Wake (any)
  6. Finish at North Ramp No Wake (any)

Buccaneer 18s Sailing on Mill Avenue

So you’re strolling down Mill Avenue and happen to look up at one of the “Downtown Tempe” posters and what do you see? A Buccaneer 18!

The photo brings together an interesting group of AYC Bucc sailors in one shot.

The boat is my first Erin Morgan, #5060, on one of its early sails in 2003, skippered by David Rawstrom with me as crew and sailing with Pat Blumm’s sail #2900 because the sails that came with the boat had a few “problems” (i.e. holes).

Congratulations to AYC and the Bucc Fleet for being part of the Mill Avenue District campaign!

Lake Pleasant Racing Photos

Mark roundings during the last race Sunday (10/21) at Lake Pleasant.
Photos: Dennis Lynde



Sailing Discovery Day at Tempe Town Lake

We’d like to invite everyone to the first Sailing Discovery Day at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday October 13 from 1pm to 5 pm. Stop by before you go to the Tempe Oktoberfest party!

Who should come: Anyone who’s interested in learning more about sailing, sailing in Arizona, our club, or fun people in Arizona.

We’ll have several types of boats there and with any luck there will be a comfortable breeze to take some rides and get your first sailing experience. We’ll also have information regarding classes and other ways to get involved in the sport of sailing!

Sailing Video Contest Supporting ASF

Hey everyone!

There have been some pretty cool videos floating around the web from club members—and now we’re going to have a contest!  From NOW until the end of the Spring Season, submit your video (send me the link and I’ll put it on our site – Web@arizonayachtclub.org) and you’ll get a chance to win some AYC swag in the form of shirts and hats.

How does this support ASF?  Get your GoPro sport camera and accessories (mounts, floaty back doors, batteries, etc.) from the AYC website and the partnership proceeds will be donated to the ASF. Click on the link below to go to the GoPro store right now and order.

Buy GoPro HERO Camera at GoPro.com

Or if you can’t see that image:
Official GoPro® Store

AYC Sailors Place 3rd at Thistle Nationals


By: Ben Doane
Photos: Tina Deptula

The 2012 Thistle Nationals were held in San Diego at Mission Bay Yacht Club July 30 thru August 3. Two teams from Arizona Yacht Club made the trip to San Diego, Jason Rziha, Dan Perrine, and Antonia Johnson(3521) and Ben Doane, Trey Harlow, and Dennis Martinelli (3994).

Both teams were at MBYC the weekend of July 21 and 22 to compete in the Pacific Coast Championships. There were 21 boats registered and the wind was 6-12 kts. both days. We had 3 races each day for a total of 6. 3994 finished in 12th (Results). Our team had never raced together and it was a good way to practice. We were happy to get the cobwebs and major mistakes out of the way before Nationals. The boats stayed in San Diego while most of the sailors went home. My family and I stayed in San Diego and had fun visiting the city for the week. All week long the wind was 10-15 kts. and I was hopeful that it would stick around for the next week but, it didn’t.

The Thistle Class has very specific bylaws that direct the Nationals regatta (Bordes System). There were 60 boats registered that were split into 4 groups. There are two starts each race with 2 groups racing each other. Each group races the others thru 3 initial races before the fleet is split in half into Championship and President’s Divisions. The courses are also tightly controlled, they have to be a triangle, windward, leeward, finish (AYC’s Olympic) 5.6 to 7.3 nm in length.

Team 3994 was excited to get the racing underway. We felt we could do better than the last weekend. We wanted to focus on starts, strategy, and not making big mistakes. We wanted to have 1st row starts, play the middle of the course, and be consistent.

 Monday was 2 races in 6-12 kts. We had decent starts, 1 OCS that we had to go back and exonerate ourselves. We tried to play the middle of the course but, it was hard to find lanes to tack and found ourselves farther on the corner than we wanted to be. We stayed in the middle of the pack with a 17 and 15. We were just outside the cut and if we had a good race the next day we could make it.

Tuesday we went out for one race in about 8-12kts. We had another OK start and felt like the boat was moving ok but, ended with a 19. This was the last race before the cut and with that finish we would be in the President’s Division. 3994 had 51 points and the cut was made at 47. We were disappointed that we did not do better and make the cut but, tomorrow was another day and we start with zero points.

Wednesday, there were 2 races in 5-10 kts. We had MUCH better starts in the middle of the line for both races and came off the line in great position. We had pretty clear air and could work our strategy. We were pretty conservative and played the middle. We gave up a few boats that made out on the corners but, we had good boat speed and finished the day with a 4th and a 2nd. The wind was light and the boat felt bad but everyone else had to deal with the same conditions. Even though we had a heavy crew we found we did better in light wind (thanks Lake Pleasant).

Thursday was a little lighter than Wednesday, closer to 5-8 kts. We had a good start in the middle of the line with clear air and we were off. We led at every mark by several boat-lengths. The last downwind we started losing ground to one of the boats and rounded 2 boat-lengths ahead.  After a tacking duel we ended up in 2nd at the finish by a boat-length. We were pretty disappointed we lost the lead but, realized we finished the best race we had all week.  We were in 2nd place overall with 8 pts. 1st place had 5 pts and 3rd place had 10 pts.

Friday was 5-10 kts. with one race to go. The start was very crowded with several general recalls and a black flag eventually to get us going. This was one of the worst starts we had all week. We were buried in the middle of the line, no clear lanes to tack.  The one thing we knew was that the race was long enough we could make it back. At the windward mark we were 20 something, passed a few on the reaches and headed back upwind. We clawed our way back to the top half of the fleet upwind and finished with a 9th place.

After a great week sailing in the Nationals 3994 finished the regatta in 3rd place in the President’s Division (Results).  Every day, after the split, we climbed in the standings except the last day when we went down one place. When we could, we used our strategy, overall we had good starts, and we were pretty consistent. I was very happy with our regatta. MBYC hosted a great event and we had a great time racing.

Thank you Trey Harlow and Dennis Martinelli for a great week sailing and Stephanie Doane and Nina Harlow for watching the kids all week.


Register for Fall Series

Opening Day Technical Shirt by Pirate’s Lair.

Fall series registration is now open.

Click here to go to the racing page with the registration links and race documents for Lake Pleasant or Tempe Town Lake or both.

Not sure which fleet to participate in?  Click to See Who’s Registered

Storm Approaches

Approaching storm after sailing 8-18-12
Photo By: Charles Landis

Video – AYC @ Long Beach Race Week

Good fun had by all and some really GREAT sailing all weekend!  ENJOY!

Humboldt Bay To Trinidad Race Weekend Northern California

by Stephen Buck
The Beaufort scale defines winds of 22-27 knots as a strong breeze and 28-33 as a near gale. Those were the conditions facing the five starters of the 2012 Trinidad race. The Trinidad Race is the annual two day round trip from Eureka with an overnight on the mooring balls at Trinidad harbor. Race Committee for the Trinidad Race was a shared duty for the Commodore and Vice- Commodore for the two day race. As such, trips to Trinidad were a pleasant requirement of the job. I pulled the Saturday watch at the finish line. Strategically, the replica Trinidad Head lighthouse gave a good perspective of Prisoner Rock and the bell buoy which constituted the finish line. I settled in with binoculars and commenced scanning the horizon about 1300.
The effect of the wind on the ocean was striking. The northwest swells appeared to pile up onto Pilot Rock like a stone in a stream. There was a fair amount of “popcorn” and spindrift evident.
At about 165′ above sea level, the “distance to the horizon” formula yields an answer of about 15 miles. A sail would show farther than the horizon. A sail, in fact, appeared on the horizon a bit after I settled in. Meanwhile, I could just make out another sail approaching from the coast side. Garrett Coonrod on the Choate “Free Energy” chose the outer route making a long tack away from the coast. The Melges 24 “Flash Point” skippered by Court Roberts chose to battle crab pots and brave the surf near shore. With the stiff resistance of current and swells, the two leaders approached Trindad from the different tacks. To my amazement, the two sailboats reached the finish area at the same time. The race was decided on tactics, with Flash Point claiming the Starboard Tack rule to force Free Energy to yield the line. Free Energy was immediately blown down wind and recovered nicely to finish 50 seconds later for second place for day one.
While those relieved crews were settling in, I resumed searching the sea south. In the next hour, another sail approached from the seaward side. “Ru- Bun”, piloted by Curt Brown, was making a run for the finish. Taking a good line, the crew and boat slid by the north side of the bell buoy to finish just under seven hours for a third place finish.
Two boats were still out and I resumed scanning. A cell phone call revealed that John Bradley and
Hank Pierson on the F-31 catamaran, “Cathy Ray II”, broke a key component and retired earlier from the race to return to Eureka. That left Doby Class with brand new crew, David, still on the course. Patience was rewarded and Doby had taken the coast route to appear near the surf line. The shore is the sailboats natural enemy and from my vantage appeared to imperil the Muse. Later Doby later assured me that was not the case. The progress of the Muse was opposed by the considerable south setting current and NW swells. Eventually, the sea yielded to Doby and crew David to see them finish 9 hours and 37 minutes after starting the race. It should be noted that David thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
The wind persisted into Sunday and saw three boats finish the second day. Doby Class won day two on corrected time. Garret Coonrod finished first with an actual time of just over three hours but corrected to a third. Curt Brown and crew took second place both actual and corrected. Court Roberts chose the overland route to return due to the conditions. Everyone returned for a race rehash and several pots of chili at the clubhouse.
Now it is time to look forward to the Redwood Regatta on September 1 & 2. There will be signup sheets at the July Potluck for the various roles required to make the RR a successful event. Thanks in advance for helping.
Don’t forget the July 4th Poker Run coming up. Put your best poker face on and get out there!

Photo By: Court Roberts

AYC Sailors Team Up for Catalina 37 Championship

Team Comfortably Numb-LBRW 2012

Nine Arizona sailors joined forces to race in the Catalina 37 National Championships at Long Beach Race week June 22-24.  Together they rose to the challenge of taking their mostly “small boat” (14ft-20ft) experience up to this 37 footer racer and they “hung in there with the big boys.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the Catalina 37, it is a monohull sloop-rig boat built specifically for match racing, with symmetrical spinnaker and wheel steering.  The Long Beach Yacht Club has a fleet of 11 Catalina 37s and uses this fleet for the annual Congressional Cup, and also (who knew?) allows them to be chartered for Wednesday night racing and for special events like the Catalina 37 National Championship held during Long Beach Race Week.

John Riddell took advantage of this chartering opportunity to see if AYC could rally a team to participate. And lo and behold, John was able to find 9 AYC sailors willing to take on the challenge of getting a bunch of “skippers” to play nice in individual roles and to take their mostly-small-boat experience up a level.

Over the seven-race series Team Comfortably Numb stayed close with the fleet, crossing ahead of competitors in mid-fleet during most races, but fell to the back of the fleet by the end of every race due to lack of experience with the boat and some hardware failures (auto-releasing spin pole-ack!). And in two races, leeward mark roundings proved to be TCN’s downfall where spinnaker douses and jib raising ran into, um, let’s just say “problems.”

No matter. By all accounts, John Riddell’s brainchild worked and all 9 members of Team Comfortably Numb are ready to come back again next year to give it another shot, this time with a lot more experience under their belts. Here’s Team Comfortably Numb’s roster from back of the boat forward…

  • Tactician-Trey Harlow (Thistle)
  • Helmsman-Rick Johnson (Martin 242)
  • Main Trimmer-Emory Heisler (Buccaneer 18)
  • Jib/Spin Trimmer-Mike Axtman (J29)
  • Jib/Spin Trimmer-Rob Gibbs (Shock 23R)
  • Pit-Jason Donkersly (J29)
  • Mast-“Little Joe” Barnett (Megabyte)
  • Bow-John Riddell (Viper)
  • Chef/Floater-Adam Torel (new sailor!)

Humboldt Bay Yacht Club Whistler Series with Court Roberts #208 Melges 24


Photo By: Court Roberts

June 2012 – Compass Points


May was a great conclusion to our AYC year, with a new Club Champion, a loud Party, and roadside trash pick-up. Okay, maybe the trash pick-up wasn’t as fun as the first two, but it got a ton of debris off of the littered shoulders of Carefree Highway and will put our name on a sign that’s about a mile from the Pleasant Harbor turn.

Next up: summer sailing here and in cooler places, including the annual trip to Catalina and the retreat to the pines of Kinnickinick.

This month’s Compass Points collects the posts of the month of May so you can print them out, frame them, laminate them, bronze them or put them in a notebook binder to remember it all.