About Mike Ferring

Author Archive | Mike Ferring

It’s True: The Race Mark is a Robot!

Tom Ohlin watches a test of the new MarkSetBot on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Mike Ferring

It’s a bit of a leap of faith, a broad jump really: The pin-end start mark on Lake Pleasant’s Opening Day (9/23) will be a robot.

The inventors call it MarkSetBot and AYC is one of six clubs in the nation beta-testing this new device (out of 40 clubs that said they’d like to do it). It’s an odd-looking contraption on the water, riding on two inflated catamaran hulls, propelled by an electric trolling motor, and guided by cell phone and GPS navigation. It skitters around on the water like a large play toy.

Lake Pleasant Lake Captain David Newland and I (Mike Ferring) have been working on this machine for several weeks now, finally getting to the point where we think it can work as the pin-end mark. Later it might become one of the other marks of the course. Tom Ohlin joined us as we ran the thing for over an hour on Wednesday (9/20) and it performed nicely.

The idea, of course, is to replace one of our regular marks with the robot so it can be placed remotely without relying on the Boston Whaler crew and without dangling 160+ feet of anchor rode below it. Because the RC wouldn’t need to move the Whaler into position and because nobody would need to lift and drop or drag all that rode, the course can be adjusted much faster and much more easily. Cool, huh?

The company reports that this last weekend (9/17) MarkSetBots made up the entire race course for the stadium race at Grosse Pointe (Michigan) Yacht Club run by Premiere Sailing League. There was a single RC boat with only one person on it. That person monitored for OCS and then acted as a judge boat motoring up the course. The course was changed in length and direction many times. At one point, there was a 90 degree wind shift and it took the MarkSetBots just 60 seconds to reposition. Wow.

The MarkSetBot is not without its, well, let’s call them “issues,” which means we’re moving cautiously and wondering whether this robot is  long-term for us. Just a few of the issues:

  • It’s big and unwieldy to launch and to store.
  • It needs to be assembled each time it’s used (and disassembled when we’re through with it).
  • It runs on a battery that needs to be charged.
  • It’s made up of lots of little bits that can be damaged, lost or wear out.
  • The cell phone interface is difficult to operate.
  • Operation requires training (and we have trouble getting people to take care of our boats).

So, that odd thing at the end of the start line? That’s your starting pin. Please don’t hit it.

The robot MarkSetBot at cruising speed during the Lake Pleasant test. Photo: Mike Ferring

Picnic, Play, Party at the “Hoot at the Lake”

All for fun: The Hoot at the Lake party on Saturday, September 30, from 10am to 1pm at the Grassy Knoll at Tempe Town Lake.

Mike Bernard has planned a bunch of zany sailing games for  the Hoot, including such things as backward sailing, competition pitting 50+ codgers and kids, and some SUP board rides.

Sharon Bell is bringing her Corn Hole game and Horseshoes for dry land play.

Maryellen Ferring is heading up the food brigade, planning a barbecue at lake’s edge.

Andy Oliver is the Chairman in Chief.

There’s no charge and no registration to attend. Just drop by and have fun.

All of this rises out of that survey you completed this summer. You said you’d like more social events in the club. About half the people who responded to the survey said they’d come to a pure social gathering like this one.

Fun sailing on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbra Heisler

October Meeting: North U Founder Bill Gladstone

The October Monthly Meeting Speaker, North U’s Bill Gladstone. Photo: Mike Ferring

The crazy-windy 2016 Chicago to Mac was tossing our J/130 around like a toy when the helmsman (no, not me) made a bit of a mistake—the huge, green spinnaker suddenly wrapping around the headstay, wind blasts threatening to rip the spinnaker to bits. Raining, dead dark, we call for Bill. Bill Gladstone. He pokes his head up from below and calmly goes to work, unflappable despite the roar of the flapping sail, asking for a couple jibes to unwrap the sail and minutes later we’re back on course, sail intact.

This was Bill’s 28th Chicago to Mac, so he’s seen a lot of nutty stuff on Lake Michigan and lots of other places. He takes it all in calmly, with a smile and a laugh that help explain how he’s been able to take teaching performance sailing and turn it into a lifetime vocation. His business is North U, which presents seminars each year around the country plus the Regatta Experience and clinics in Ontario, Captiva Island, Florida, and St. Thomas.

In October, Bill will offer AYC a short version of one of his workshops, spinning stories as he suggests tactics, rules, and trim. Expect to be as much entertained as informed.

The meeting is Tuesday, October 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.

Bill’s racing experience covers the spectrum, including everything from dinghies to Maxies, ponds to oceans, and foredeck to helm. He has finished in the money at Key West Race Week, the SORC, Block Island Race Week, Chicago NOOD, Annapolis to Newport; Chicago to Mackinac, the Annapolis Fall Series, NYYC Race Week, and Queen’s Cup. Bill raced collegiately for Yale and was founder of the Chicago Sailing Club.

He’s been teaching sailing and racing for over forty years. Graduates of his seminars number in the thousands, including several dozen AYC members.

Bill Gladstone on the rail for the Chicago-Mackinac race in 2016. That’s Maryellen Ferring over Bill’s left ear. Photo: Mike Ferring

Let the Season Begin!

After a summer of quiet Wednesday night races, it was great to see Tempe Town Lake teeming with boats Sunday (9/10) on the first day of TTL Racing and RC Training and the first day of ASF Opti classes.

The wind was a little light and the temperatures a bit, well, hot, but it was a fun day anyway. Vice Commodore and Laser sailor Mike Bernard led an effort to add gates to TTL racing and they were used for the first time this day.

Race results are here.

The Buccaneer fleet topped out at four entries for the season, which meant they were combined with the Portsmouth fleet and worked race committee.

Natalie Harper leads the Opti 1 class at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Your New, Reliable Boston Whaler

The repowered AYC Boston Whaler parked at the Scorpion Bay restaurant dock. Photo: Mike Ferring

Remember the smoke that billowed off the aging, often failing motor on the transom of the AYC Boston Whaler?

Gone.

You have a new, 175hp Evinrude E-TEC pushing the old girl now and it’s a beauty. With lots of work by Lake Pleasant Lake Captain David Newland, with the work of Gene Walentiny and the Valley Marine team, the Yamaha is gone and the Evinrude glistens.

David and Commodore Mike Ferring took the boat out for a test run Sunday (8/27) and she performed beautifully, standing up on plane with a nice nudge of the throttle. The former lagging steering is now tight and quick.

An Evinrude E-TEC 175 now pushes the AYC Boston Whaler. Photo: Mike Ferring

Your club has invested around $22,000 in the upgrade, believing that safety and efficiency on the lake are our most important priorities. The new motor comes with an 8-year warranty.

In addition to buying the motor and the attendant controls and gear, David has put in sweat equity—lots of sweat—fixing systems, replacing the rub strip, and generally sprucing up the boat. He found several problems lurking beneath the floorboards, including a few gallons of oil that were supposed to be polluting the air but were in fact gurgling down below from a split connector. David also managed to sell the old motor for $600, which he invested in other fixes.

You’ll also recall that the AYC pontoon boat was damaged during the monsoon that clobbered Pleasant Harbor Marina. David has worked through the repairs and the insurance settlement so that the boat and the damaged trailer will be ready in time for the start of the fall racing season.

Commodore Mike Ferring and Lake Captain David Newland try out the new power on the AYC Boston Whaler. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

Jump Into the Busy September AYC Calendar

AYC’s September calendar is locked and highly loaded, with every weekend and some weekdays marked for action. Here’s a quick rundown:

Friday 9/8: Crew-Skipper party (or just call it a party-party) from 5-7pm at the Bluewater Grill at 1720 E Camelback in Phoenix. AYC will buy some hors d’oeuvres; you buy the beverages. Shake or stir. This is a chance to mingle with AYC members and if you need crew or you’d like to crew, a chance to find somebody with the right background, commitment, and personality to set you up for the fall.

Saturday 9/9: ASF Work Party. Starting at 8am we’ll gather at the Tempe Town Lake boat corral to spruce up the Arizona Sailing Foundation boats for the fall classes. Please help!

Saturday 9/9: The first class for ASF Junior Performance Sailing. This is a new approach, offering race training and race experience for young teens.

A little personal coaching from the safety boat on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sunday 9/10: Sunday afternoon Tempe Town Lake will be bristling with action, with ASF Opti and Junior Performance classes and the first day of racing and RC training. Racing begins at 3pm. This same program happens again on the following Sunday, 9/17.

Tuesday 9/12: The monthly meeting features some members who raced or cruised in interesting places, headlined by Mike and Jo Grijalva’s Transpac race and Chris Smith’s run in the Chicago to Mac.

Tuesday 9/19: High School Sailing begins its every-Tuesday sessions through the fall, beginning at 4pm and going until dark.

Thursday 9/21: The free Introduction to Sailboat Racing class from 6:30 to 9pm. Learn the basics of racing or bone up on how AYC does it compared to where you’ve raced before.

Saturday and Sunday 9/23 & 9/24: The first weekend of Lake Pleasant racing, beginning Saturday at 12:30pm and Sunday at 9am. PHRF Spin fleet is on Race Committee. After the racing, explain what really happened on the race course over a beer at Spinnaker Point. This year there will be no fleet dinners on Saturday nights, but plenty of post-race beer and nachos.

Saturday 9/30: From 10am to 1pm it’s come-have-fun time at Tempe Town Lake. We’ll launch some boats, play sailing games, toss some corn hole and horse shoes, and barbecue some burgers and brats.

A Wild Wyoming Sailing Rodeo

Tempe Town Lake racers know Rich/Dick (“either,” he says) Krebill as the guy who single-hands a tomato red C14 (Tomato Sloop) around the marks, since wife Peggy gave up her crew spot. In the summer they retreat to a no frills (and no power, running water, phone, you name it) cabin they built in Wyoming. They also sail a Catalina 22 in this beautiful and remote spot, racing in an annual regatta. This year Rich and pal Charlie Kulp won in a wild, storm-tossed event that was nicely and entertainly reported by non-sailor Terry Allen on PinedaleOnline.com. Reprinted here with permission.

By Terry Allen

Race Start. Photo: Terry Allen

Little Shay Paravicini and I had a discussion about pirates during the Pinedale Boat Club’s Annual Sailing Regatta on Fremont Lake.

“They go, Aarrgghhh,” she said. “We have a pirate boat and I’m a pirate girl and pirate girls go, Aarrgghhh! Daddie’s a pirate and he likes to eat fish and drink beer and rum, but he isn’t racing today, Jason is the only pirate in today’s race.”

Lucky for me, Jason “The Pirate” Essington had invited me a year ago to come along for this year’s race, the 47th. They have held this race every year since 1970. His boat is named, Opa’s Dream. Opa is German for “Grandpa.” Opa’s Dream is Bert Reinow’s old boat, he left left it to his god daughter Leslie Hagenstein. Jason maintains and sails it to keep Bert’s dream of sailing on Fremont lake alive. Opa’s Dream weighs about 5000 pounds and the next heaviest boat in this race weighs about 2000 pounds. It takes more wind to get us going, but it is real good in the unpredictable squalls that kick up here.”

While I was waiting for the race to start I talked to a few other racers. David Pendell sails Rosie. “I used to sail Nirvana, but used to spend too much time upside down, bailing and other situations, so we got Rosie, who is more understanding of older gentlemen. Oh yeah, at last year’s race we saw a funnel cloud.”

I got a news tip from Allan and Sharon Holmes who summer at the cabins in Sylvan Bay, telling me about Richard and Peggy Krebill who have summered at Sylvan Bay for 50 years. “They are in the 80’s, and they sail a boat with a frowny face on it,” Allan said.

I never did find a frowny face anywhere, but I did find Rich and Peggy Krebill who have sailed this race for about seventeen years. Turns out they live in a home they built themselves with lumber they had cut at the old mill that used to be out in Daniel. “We don’t have hot water in the cabin,” said Peggy. “We use a solar shower. If we get a sunny day we get a pretty hot shower right out of the bag. If we don’t get a sunny day, then we warm up some water on the wood stove. That is the stove we cook our food on, too. That stove used to belong to the American Legion and my Mom bought it for us when the Legion got a new one.”

Jason gave me a heads up to go to the head if I needed to because it might not be easy out there. Once I got in the boat he gave me three spots I was allowed to be in and told me not to be offended if he yelled at me. I’m used to this advice as I get the same advice from cowboys when I do rodeo and branding stories. So far I ain’t walkin’ funny, so I’ll keep listening.

The start of the race is sort of like Musical Chairs for boats. You get a five minute blow on an air horn and in that five minutes all the boats run all over the place close to the orange mark buoy and try to be right at it when the start horn blows. It gets pretty tight and it’s a little like bumper cars, but no one yelled at anyone too bad. I couldn’t tell exactly where the line was but everyone seemed to know who got across the start line first and that’s when the beer came out and the trash talking started. We were in the doldrums just like Magellan and the insults were creative. Jason opened a beer for me with his wedding ring. “Titaniun,” he said. “Gold ain’t much good for opening beer.”

Winners Rich Krebill and Charlie Kulp. Photo: Terry Allen

We were looking for “texture” in the surface which indicates wind, but it took a long time coming. Every time a dark front with a little lightning moved in, we thought we’d get going. But it didn’t happen…until it happened suddenly. One minute we were commenting on David Payne’s big fat toes and the next we were grabbing at anything with an edge so we wouldn’t go over the side. Someone turned cowboy music up loud and there were cowboy whoops and “yeehaw’s” all over the fleet as the wind almost threw everyone off their feet. I crashed into one side of the cabin or the other until I learned to anticipate the changes, but I cracked a few body parts pretty good in the process.

Luckily, my camera has never left my hands in spite of all the spills I’ve taken over the years, so I just kept shooting as I scrambled. Unfortunately, I must have bumped my head so I can’t remember how I ended up leaving my camera in the cabin and joining Jason and David pulling sail lines. It ain’t easy pulling on those little skinny twiney things. As I pulled my line I watched my camera roll around the cabin floor and then it was joined by my camera bag…which spilled out all the lens’s, batteries, filters and mixed together on the floor with beer bottles, radios, life jackets, Cheetos, bikini bottoms and lake spray. Damn, I was missing some good shots…so I scampered down there and got back to work.

Jason and David were shouting Viking songs into the wind as they stood at 90 degrees off level or is it 45? Hope you like that shot. Somehow, in spite of the waves coming over the front of the boat, they kept their eyes on the second marker and kept steering toward it…tho Dave did ask me to clean his glasses at least once.

After awhile we looked around us and it seemed a few boats were giving up and dropping their sails or trying to. It felt good to be in Jason’s boat. He and David worked together like they’d been handling this stuff all their lives, so I felt totally secure. Never had a moments misgiving. I was a little disappointed that we turned around, too…until I realized we had capsized boats and people overboard in the race.

Teamwork gets the cat back on her feet. Photo: Terry Allen

Riley Bennett had flipped and his mast was pointed toward the bottom of the lake. Riley Wilson on his little Butterfly was nowhere to be seen; Howard Bartlett had been thrown overboard and had been in the cold water twenty minutes since he’d last been seen. We also were unable to raise the boat with the Merman and his Mermaids from New York on the radio. Every boat that could get underway joined to the search and rescue.

Jason was on the radio trying to account for everyone but I couldn’t figure out a single word that came thru that radio. It sounded like a heavy metal song mixed together with sounds of someone getting murdered and finger nails on a chalk board.

Eventually everyone was accounted for; Riley was able to get his boat halfway up with the help of two boats pulling on opposite ends and then dragging him to Sandy Beach. Monte Bolgiano said they were so far over water was coming into the cockpit of his boat, Time Traveler. I was glad we headed in when we did. I found myself pretty focused on weighing my barfing options…a small plastic bag or crowd Jason and heave over the side. Then I’d look at the horizon and try to take my mind off it. Stepping onto dry land got me on the road to recovery, but I needed something more.

I found Howard “twenty minutes in the water” Bartlett all bundled up in the lodge and he admitted he was hypothermic. “One boat came close and I held up my hand in the waves, but there was so much rain, hail and wind they didn’t see me as they went by,” he said. So just like the movies I went up to the bar and brought us both down a Jameson Whiskey. I know, Kenna Tanner…I forgot. Whiskey isn’t a good way to fight if off since it will pull the cool blood from your extremities into your core, further lowering your body temp. That is why we have people like you and Tip Top Search and Rescue who train and train and train…so they won’t make things worse for their friends like I just did. But, we liked it anyway, didn’t we Howard?

So guess who won the race?

Eighty-one year old Richard Krebill and his buddy, seventy-year old Charlie Kulp. I sat with them and Peggy and told them of my high time on the lake and asked them what their secret was. “Well, we didn’t have any beer,” said Richard.

I’ll just leave that there, since I didn’t pursue it with Richard either. Some topics we just can’t entertain.

Update from Jason: “The airport reported at 4:35 on Sunday that we had NW winds at 29mph with gusts to 48mph. The north component to the wind generates pretty good sized waves on Fremont lake, we probably had 2 to 3 foot waves.”

When the storm rolled in, it got tippy out there. Photo: Terry Allen

August Meeting: The Future of Sailing

Launching the Opti. Photo: Mike Ferring

What is the future of sailing? I think we can agree the answer lies with the kids trimming the sails at an ASF Opti I class and their older brothers and sisters in Bics, Lasers, and anything else that sails to the wind.

What draws them to sailing when the competition is a fast-moving massive multi-player online game?

In August, we’ll find out what Colin Gibbs and Cedric Lorch think the answer is. We’ll hear from them and from dad Rob Gibbs and others who are putting together sailing programs for kids. This fall, the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) will launch a racing program for juniors, mostly in Bic O’Pens, and put them on the Tempe Town Lake race course at the same time as the adults. Can sailboat racing hold its own with the latest app?

The meeting is Tuesday, August 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.

The AYC Sailing and Racing Library

AYC Honorary Life member Mike Yarnell has boxed up a library of classic sailing and racing books and is offering them to club members to borrow or buy. We’ll have them at the August 8 monthly meeting for you to check out.

Here’s Mike’s very organized list of the books as an Excel file.

One of the books available in the Yarnell lending library.

Cool Weekend in the Pines

Nothing like a fistful of s’mores to bring the giggle to the campfire. Photo: Mike Ferring

The new AYC summer campout location works just fine: Dairy Springs Campground near Mormon Lake can be reached by paved roads, offers running water and permanent (if rustic) toilets, and even has nearby cabins for softies like your Commodore. It doesn’t have the aura of a tricky, hard-to-spell name like Kinnikinick, but that’s easy to overlook.

What hasn’t changed is a significant drop in temperature from the 100s of Phoenix to the 70s of the high country and the collection of friends ready to shoot the breeze, hike the hills, and take your 75¢ stake at Liar’s Dice. Add intervals of soothing rain and a hot grill to cook your dinner and this is a fun, casual, relaxing couple days.

Credit Steve, Angela and Kenneth for pulling it together once again and for talking the rest of us into dropping in.

Scroll down to see a slide show of pictures from Mike Ferring.

The traditional game of Liar’s Dice brings lots of laughs to an afternoon at the campground. Photo: Mike Ferring


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryellen and Mike Ferring mug for the camera while Steve Nahkala prepares a traditional breakfast. Photo: Dennis Lynde

Back on Trailers; All’s Right with the World

Dog Years is lifted back onto its trailer after being knocked over in the July monsoon storm. Photo: Wendy Larsen

An outpouring of help Saturday (7/22), including a crane and a forklift, put humpty dumpty back on the wall again.

It will be quite some time before Pleasant Harbor Marina is fully operational, but AYC’s members picked their boats off the hard gravel of the dry storage yard and plopped them back on trailers where they belong.

Dog Year, the Mini 650 of Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen, was the most damaged, with a big hole and some small ones needing repair. Fortunately, Dave has intimate knowledge of the innards of Dog Years and knows how to fix it. In fact, he’s had to repair damage twice before.

Steve Kusic’s boat had a mangled stern pulpit and a mangled trailer. Bruce Andress now has the boat on one of his trailers and will do the repairs.

All of the boats were put upright shortly after dawn Saturday following the damage a week earlier from blows from opening monsoons. Pleasant Harbor Marina isn’t doing as well. Damages there will take a long time to repair, though the marina reports that water and power have now been restored. They’re referring people to the PHM Facebook page.

Lots of hands help drop Steve Kusic’s mast on Runaway. The boat was back on a trailer and headed for repair. Photo: Mike Ferring

The walkway was still closed Saturday morning, July 22, after the monsoon storms. Photo: Mike Ferring

Shockwave Finishes the Transpac

After correcting for handicap, these are the finishing times for Shockwave’s division. She’s the fifth boat. The numbers show days/hours/minutes/seconds.

Mike and Jo Grijalva and their predominantly AYC crew arrived at the finish line of the Transpac at 11:44 am Hawaii time Tuesday, July 17.

They were placed 5th in their division, but after two weeks in the Pacific, the corrected times of the entire division were within a few hours of each other.

Ricky Gilchrist eyes the arrival pineapple warily. After two weeks at sea, they’re ready for a real cocktail! Photo: Al Lehman

Al and Sandy Lehman greeted son Santa Claus, oops, Al Jr., in Honolulu.

Monsoons Hit With Fury

Two storms on Friday and Saturday night (7/14 & 7/15) blasted Lake Pleasant, churning the lake, ripping up docks and hurling boats into each other.

Bruce Andress reports Monday (7/17) that Pleasant Harbor Marina is closed to the public and has very extensive damage, enough that he says repairs will run into the millions of dollars. Besides the private boats damaged, Bruce says that the AYC pontoon boat was blown some 30 yards by the wind, skittering across the economy storage lot and ramming into a cabin cruiser. The AYC boat has some damage, mostly to the trailer, and the cruiser has a hole in the side.

On Friday night, a reported 160 boats were damaged at Scorpion Bay Marina and docks were trashed. The marina closed Saturday except to members sorting through the damage. Many of the boats had been scarred by bashing against the docks. Power boats that were tied with sterns to the dock had banged into the docks until fiberglass broke and crumbled. As of 6 o’clock Saturday night, the power was still out.

Rear Commodore Sharon Bell’s boat had a puncture wound on the port side, a damaged bimini and broken stanchion, but came out better than boats nearby when her dock came adrift.

Dave and Wendy’s Dog Years on its ear. Photo: Wendy Larsen

The dark clouds of another monsoon storm formed Saturday afternoon, clearing boats off the lake as high winds, surging water, and heavy rain banged against the marinas. This time the heaviest damage was to Pleasant Harbor Marina, where the walkway to the marina was wiped out and boats in the dry storage area were toppled.

The boat belonging to Dave Christensen and Wendy Larsen was knocked over. Rick Johnson’s boat was damaged. Steve Kusic’s boat was knocked off the trailer.

Dave wrote on Facebook: “The best thing that can be said is no one was hurt! It could’ve been very bad. The boat that is laying on its side on the right side of the picture [above], the owners were in the cockpit when it went over. They climbed to the the high side as it went. If they had fallen under….”

Wendy added that there were three holes in the hull of Dog Years and that 9 boats were knocked over.

Steve Kusic reported: “Runaway got knocked off of her trailer and landed on the boat next to her. The damage to Runaway looks minimal but the trailer is pretty tweaked possibly totaled. Runaway looks to still be seaworthy, thankfully.”

One of the many boats in the dry storage area knocked over in the monsoon. Photo: Victor Felice

 

Sailing Bingo Night in July

Just for fun.

A purely fun, social monthly meeting. You’ll have an AYC Bingo card. You and your table of sailing wizards will be called on to answer sailing questions. If you get the answer right, everyone in the room gets to mark the square. First to Bingo wins a fabulous prize.

Maryellen Ferring with a little help from Mike will run this game and we’re thinking up questions now. Not stumpers, just good sailing questions in 25 different categories.

To help beat the heat, the Caddy Shack will bring in $3 root beer floats, $5 with the very tasty addition of a shot of Jack Daniel’s.

The meeting is Tuesday, July 11, 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.

Can you answer a question about this year’s America’s Cup?

Safety at Sea Seminar July 2 in Long Beach

Bruce Brown is the guy with the lime green PFD around his neck and the tether keeping him the classroom. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

The Shoreline Yacht Club and US Sailing will present a Safety at Sea seminar on Sunday, July 2. The moderator will be Bruce Brown, who spoke to AYC about this time last year and does an excellent job with these vital seminars.

Here’s a flyer with further information.

Call Marion Seaman at 310.632.4748 to reserve a spot.

Warm? How About a Weekend in the Pines?

Steve Nahkala works the barbeque.

As I write this, the temperature in Phoenix is flirting with 120 degrees and a weekend in the cool country of Northern Arizona sounds pretty nice.

The annual AYC Summer Campout (formerly the Kinnikinick campout) is Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 this year. No need to register; just show up in the cool pines.

Once again Steve Nahkala will be heading up the trip, which will be held at Dairy Springs Campground by Mormon Lake. Steve moved the gathering to this new spot last year and says it’s more civilized than the traditional unimproved Kinnikinick site. People will begin to filter into the campsite Friday, ready to enjoy the beauty of the location and the fun gathering of AYCers and friends. The activities are as rustic as the surroundings, with “pasture golf” and horse shoes and Liar’s Dice.

Here’s much more information on the event, including map directions.

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday night organizer George Sheller. Photo: Mike FerringWhat are you doing Wednesday night? How about coming out for some highly casual racing at Tempe Town Lake?

We start racing at 5:30 and go until sundown. We do a one minute sequence. I have a whistle and signal: 5 short blasts is “AP down,” followed by a 10 second gap, then one long as the start of the one-minute countdown. I try to give 3 shorts at 30 seconds, 2 at 20, 1 at 10 and then one long for the start. A single 360 turn clears penalties. We set short courses, so we’ve gotten up to seven races in. If the Ferrings are there, we use their automated starting gadget.

This started as a Laser thing, but others started coming out, which was great. We all start together.

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 we don’t keep scores. This is good practice, with bragging rights and then (for those who want to) off to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Have questions?  Email me.

See you out there,
George Sheller

A Night to Remember

2016-2017 Commodore Bruce Andress. Photo: Mike Ferring

The 2017 Commodore’s Celebration was a night to remember, especially for Lori Reger, who received the AYC Sportsmanship Award recognition for her many contributions to the club over the years: as secretary, as monthly meeting greeter, as adopt-a-boat wrangler and a whole host of other things.

Paul Miachika will probably remember it too—the night he traded the Club Championship trophy for the Blunder Bucket! Paul ceded the Club Championship punch bowl to Mike Hester and John Mayall, this year’s champs. And Rob Gibbs offered a stirring nomination of Paul for a small trailering boo boo. Seems he didn’t tie down the front of his Laser to the trailer. That turned into a big deal when heading down the 101, he looked in the rear view mirror and saw the boat take flight, crashing on the port stern quarter and back flipping some 15 feet in the air. Fortunately nobody hurt, but Paul was suddenly in the market for a new boat.

Colin Gibbs earned the Linderman Most Improved Junior Award. Photo: Mike Ferring

Cindy Pillote presented the Linderman Most Improved Junior trophy to Colin Gibbs and the Heavy Lifting Award to his dad Rob. Bella Hutchinson accepted the High School Championship trophy; she crewed for Peter Blake in the competition. Miles Danner will receive the Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior Award when he comes home from vacation.

The experimental “Triple Crown” concept didn’t produce a winner this year, but Bruce Andress decided to dedicate it to longtime AYC member Jim Ney, who died recently.

Bruce will remember this as the night he handed over the Commodore’s chores and I’ll remember it as the night I formally took them on… again. Round three as Commodore. The new board, with several new faces, stood for applause.

The Commodore’s Celebration was held at The Yard in Tempe and proved to be an excellent location, especially when dressed up with Maryellen Ferring’s centerpieces and bright balloons.

Here are pictures I took (or were taken by others using my camera).

Motley Crue: Most of the 2017-2018 AYC Board of Directors. Photo: David Newland

 

Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe

Registration is now closed for this event.

This is the social event of the year for the Arizona Yacht Club, a gathering of friends highlighted by presentation of trophies and installation of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

Dress is business casual. Members and nonmembers are welcome to attend. Cocktails at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7 pm.

Here’s a link to the Google map of the location.

The menu includes:

  • Caesar Salad
  • Soft Pretzels and Provolone Fondu
  • Fried Chicken with Biscuits, Snow Peas
  • Roasted Salmon with Cauliflower, Snow Peas
  • Baked Penne Pasta with Butternut Cream Sauce, Roasted Squash, Red Pepper, Herbed Ricotta
  • Dessert

Mike Hester Wins Club Championship

John Mayall and Mike Hester, Club Champs. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester and John Mayall coped with shifting Tempe Town Lake wind better than 8 other competitors Saturday (5/13) to take the 2017 Club Championship trophy.

This is Mike’s and John’s third Club Championship. Three other club champions finished second-fourth: Martin Lorch, Paul Miachika, and Dave Haggart. Mike and John will be formally presented the trophy at the Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe on Friday night, June 9.

TTL challenged all 9 teams with wind that ranged from light to puff-me-over, shifting from east to west, but usually blowing from the southeast, enough wind confusion that the race committee was constantly debating where to set the course.

All the top teams had a rough race or two, being called OCS and having to catch up or having to overcome a missed puff. Mike and John managed to work their way through the fleet on those bad starts to minimize the impact—and then were able to sprint out to the lead on other races, winning three. See the scores below. And here are three dozen pictures of the racing.

Congratulations to all 9 teams and thanks to the many people who pitched in to bring off the successful day. Race committee: PRO Mike Ferring, Mike Bernard, Lori Reger, Vanessa Wisbaum, Tony Chapman, and George Sheller. Chief Hospitality Officer Maryellen Ferring with Larry Green, Dave Henning, Ralph Vatalaro, and a couple others who will escape unnamed.

2017 Club Champs Mike Hester and John Mayall with the big cup. Photo: Mike Ferring


Club Championship Scores

Sailor Race 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Hester 1 1 3 4 2 1 4 2 18
Lorch 2 2 2 5 1 3 5 4 24
Miachika 6 5 6 2 3 4 1 1 28
Haggart 5 3 5 1 7 2 2 3 28
Richards 4 4 8 3 4 5 3 DNS 10 41
Worrall 3 6 1 6 8 6 7 5 42
Heisler 9 7 4 7 5 7 6 7 52
Rahn 8 9 7 8 6 8 OCS 6 62
Liszewski 7 8 RET DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75

The class photo: The 9 fleet champs and crews who competed in the 2017 regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring