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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

 

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.

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.

Help ASF with Each Amazon Purchase

Do you shop at Amazon? Turns out the huge online merchant will give .5% (one-half percent) of the money from each of your purchases to the Arizona Sailing Foundation.

Your purchases cost the same. Amazon Prime still applies, if you’ve bought that service. ASF just gets a cut of all your dollars.

It’s simple. Instead of buying from amazon.com, you buy from smile.amazon.com. Sign up to have your purchases credited to ASF. That’s it. Takes less than a minute.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead. Route .5% of your money to ASF.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead in order to route .5% of your money to ASF.

Register Now for Sailing Classes

Registration is open now for the fall Arizona Sailing Foundation sailing classes. Click on Arizona Sailing Foundation Education in the navigation bar at the top of any AYC web page and then select the type of class you’d like to take.

With Tempe Town Lake back in business, the full offering of classes will be available there, including Adult Beginning Sailing, Opti 1&2 for kids, Junior Performance Sailing in the O’Pen Bics, and High School Sailing on Tuesday afternoons. All classes are led by US Sailing-certified instructors and each of these classes will accept students who have never sailed before.

If you have questions about the courses, contact Mike Ferring, who can either answer your question or direct you to someone who can.

C14-Learn-to-Sail

Two Adult Beginning Sailing students sailing with instructor Emory Heisler. initially all students in the class sail with an instructor, with two students to each instructor. Later the students will sail two in a boat with the instructor watching from a safety boat.

Consider Taking a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course

The US Sailing Safety at Sea course is an excellent way to get up to speed on staying safe on a sailboat. In one or two days, you’ll learn (or be reminded) about everything from PFDs and EPIRBS to weather and first aid. The two-day version of the course will even dump you in the water to try out some of this stuff.

You’ll find out more here, including being able to search and register for courses being offered within driving range of Arizona. For instance, there’s one scheduled for San Diego on July 30-31, at the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island. Here’s a flyer describing the course in more detail.

Maryellen and I just attended the one-day course at Santa Barbara, which was also taught by Bruce Brown, who you may remember from his talk to an AYC monthly meeting a couple years ago. Bruce is an excellent instructor and entertaining speaker and runs most of the courses on the West Coast, including the upcoming one in San Diego.

The class tries out various flares on the beach in Santa Barbara. Photo: Art Vasenius

The class tries out various flares on the beach in Santa Barbara. Photo: Art Vasenius

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

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

Successful Sailboat Racing Seminars

Martin Lorch on the panel of Club Champions. Photos: Mike Ferring

Martin Lorch on the panel of Club Champions. Photos: Mike Ferring

We had an excellent turnout for two racing seminars leading up to the start of the fall 2015 season, with 16 in an Introduction class and some 35 at the Advanced Sailboat Racing seminar.

The Advanced seminar was led by three AYC Club Champions, Skip Kempff, Martin Lorch and Dave Haggart, focusing on starts, wind, and tactics. Skip has long practiced the Vanderbilt start, using timed runs away from the start line in order to hit the line at speed on time, and he advocated that method for people new to the game. Martin offered a couple pages of wind tips to be ready for the shifty wind on our lakes. And Dave offered some tricks for herding your competitors in the direction you want them to go.

The sailors ranged in experience from beginners to champions, fueling a discussion that continued even after the meeting adjourned. Most of the beginners had been in the room the night before when Mike and Maryellen Ferring offered a fast course in fast racing, presenting an introduction to the sport that included documents, rules, race courses, start sequence, start tactics, wind shifts and more.

Now it’s time to take it all to the water.

Some 35 sailors gathered to hear advanced sailing tips and exchange ideas.

Some 35 sailors gathered to hear advanced sailing tips and exchange ideas.

September Sailboat Racing Seminars

Fleet champs celebrating on Rolling on the Deep. Photo: Chris Smith

Fleet champs celebrating on Rolling on the Deep. Photo: Chris Smith

We have two sailboat racing sessions scheduled for mid-September, one for experienced racers and the other for sailors new to the sport. Best of all, both are free.

Introduction to Sailboat Racing class will be Wednesday, September 16, from 6:30-9 pm. To register, please fill out this form. More information here. We’ll give you a high-speed introduction to the basics, from how to register to race to how to start. The class is conducted by Mike and Maryellen Ferring.

Advanced Sailboat Racing seminar will happen the next night, Thursday, September 17 from 6:30-9 pm. The seminar will feature four of AYC’s Club Champions (16 championships among them), Dave Haggart, Martin Lorch,  and Skip Kempff. To register, please fill out this form. We’ve asked the three to offer presentations on tactics, light wind sailing, and starts, and then we’ll open the seminar to questions from you. What do you want to know?

Both sessions will be held at the Tempe Police Department Apache Substation at 1855 E Apache Parkway, near McClintock (map).

 

Wilson Davis Will Compete at a US Sailing Junior Olympic Clinic and Regatta

Wilson Davis

Wilson Davis

Wilson Davis will compete at the Rochester Yacht Club at Lake Ontario, New York, representing Arizona Yacht Club. Surprisingly, Wilson’s father Dennis says Wilson will be the only US entrant, with everybody else coming from Canada. It all happens between July 31 and August 2.

US Sailing has been setting up the events at various places throughout the country, combining competition with high-level training for young sailors. Here’s more on the program.  And here’s more on the event. And here’s a video from US Sailing:

 

Cedric Lorch Wins His Third High School Championship

Cedric Lorch has now won the High School Championship for the third year in a row, each time teaming with different crew. This year Cedric teamed up with Alex Baros to snatch the 2015 crown at Tempe Town Lake, sailing in Capri 14.2s on Saturday, April 18.

The morning races were sailed in light air, but by afternoon the breeze stiffened and the regatta was completed in good wind.

Here is an account of the day from ASF high school coordinator and regatta organizer George Tingom.

Three-time winner Cedric Lorch (left) with crew Alex Baros (right) and event organizer George Tingom (the guy in the middle).

Three-time winner Cedric Lorch (left) with crew Alex Baros (right) and event organizer George Tingom (the guy in the middle).

Full Class for ASF Learn to Sail

The fall ASF Learn to Sail class is firing up this coming Saturday (10/11) with some 20 students, according to Rob Gibbs, the guy in charge.

We now have the minimum number of volunteers needed for the first weekend, when the Arizona Sailing Foundation puts one instructor on each of the C14 student boats to help the new students actually sail during their very first day of class.

Contact Rob if you can help. A US Sailing instructor certification is not necessary to help out, since the class will be overseen by Mike and Maryellen Ferring, both certified.

The ASF Learn to Sail class is the only US Sailing certified course in Arizona and over the years has taught hundreds of adults to sail. Here’s more information on the course.

TTL-wind-crop

Fame & Fortune: Sailing World Highlights AYC Birthday Regatta

A two-page picture spread opens the Sailing World coverage.

A two-page picture spread opens the Sailing World coverage.

Sailing World magazine has given the Arizona Yacht Club star treatment in the June issue: five full pages on January’s Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup.

The story by Meredith Powlison with photos by Meredith and Peter Howson plays on the usual “isn’t it amazing they sail in the desert” angle, but does an excellent job of taking it the next step, explaining about the lake, the club, and the sailing we do. Meredith crewed with Viper 640 skippers Jim Sears (visiting from California) and Trey Harlow (with Russ Marcellus on a borrowed boat) and on Chris Smith’s J/80 (with Sheila Reed, Craig Quist, and Peter Lehrach).

She extensively quotes several of our members, including Birthday Regatta Chairman Emory Heisler, Tony Chapman, Chris Smith, Peter Lehrach, and Sarah Hester. She also details how some of her races went awry when our Famous Lake Pleasant Breeze pulled some nasty trick, including a 180-degree wind shift.

The story is accompanied by some dazzling pictures, nicely laid out in Sailing World’s new picture-forward format. Unfortunately, if you don’t subscribe to the magazine (and you should), the story doesn’t seem to be available online, at least not yet. I think it’s their policy to hold online material from the magazine until subscribers have had a chance to read it.

Two more pages from the Sailing World coverage, including a Lake Pleasant map and shots of your AYC pals.

Two more pages from the Sailing World coverage, including a Lake Pleasant map and shots of your AYC pals.

Also, The Arizona Republic ran a story about the ASF High School Sailing program, written by an ASU student, Harmony Huskinson. “It’s a powerful feeling to know that you’re controlling this 100-pound piece of fiberglass,” she quotes Maddie Cordova as saying. Learning to sail, learning to right a capsized boat; it’s all part of the curriculum in the program. Here’s more information about the classes.

Cedric Lorch Repeats as High School Champion

High School coach George Tingom presents winning trophies to Madison Cordova and Cedric Lorch.

High School coach George Tingom presents winning trophies to Madison Cordova and Cedric Lorch.

He did it again. After the finish of the seventh race of the 2014 Arizona State High School Sailing Championship, the clear winners were skipper Cedric Lorch from Valley Lutheran HS and crew Madison Cordova from Veritas Preparatory Academy. Last year, Cedric teamed with Mitchell Wenger to win the 2013 championship.

The wind and temperature (4/19) were perfect for sailing this year, made even more interesting by wind shifts that helped the winning boats rise to the top.

Cedric and Madison swept the competition, and of the five boats racing, only the team of Wilson Davis and Peter Blake were able to break their string of victories. Bharath Tata and Jake Xu were very consistent, putting up five second place finishes to finish second for the day.

Race committee chairman, high school sailing coach, and instructor George Tingom said that this year’s event was by far the most enjoyable so far, both for the contestants and the crowd cheering from under the blue canvas shade along the north shore.

Strong wind pushed the High School Championship to seven races.

Strong wind pushed the High School Championship to seven races.

“We could have declared a winner early,” he said, “but the wind was very nice and all the kids were having fun. Three of the seven races were three times around using all of the distance allowed in the East Basin of Tempe Town Lake.

Said George, “We have a fantastic core of volunteers that without doubt will make this event a strong foundation for high school sailing in the state of Arizona. We’re hopeful of fielding a bigger turnout for next year’s race on Saturday April 18, 2015.”

The class portrait of the 2014 High School Championship competitors.

The class portrait of the 2014 High School Championship competitors.

Final – Corrected Results after one throw-out
1st Place 6 Points – (Cedric Lorch / Madison Cordova)
2nd Place 14 Points – (Bharath Tata / Jake Xu)
3rd Place 17 Points (Wilson Davis / Peter Blake)
4th Place 22 Points (Alec Arthur / Daniel Moore)
5th Place 24 Points (Ema Davis / Daniel Mobley)

Spiffing Up the ASF Fleet

More C14s are ready for classes. Photo: George Tingom

More C14s are ready for classes. Photo: George Tingom

On Saturday (3/15/14) many helpers got the last of the refitting the better hull 14.2s into sailing class condition. We now have ten 14.2s with good sails. ASF is committed to training sailors how to sail with decent equipment and to allow the ASF/AYC adopt-a-boat program to continue.

Those who helped on Saturday:  Michael Ferverda, Peter Blake, Brian Dye, Peter and Eric Schweizer, Don Hubele, Danny Moore, Martin Lorch, Phil Freedman and my friend from Atlanta, Greg Janos.

With 10 boats, our Adult Beginning Sailing class will have room for 20 students. We don’t have the dates set now, but the first of the four Adult Beginning Sailing Classes will start near the end of September and every other Saturday for four class days. We plan to hold the cost of the class at $350 per student. I’m taking names of those would like to sign up, with any overflow going on a waiting list.

—George Tingom

Fixing Up the ASF Boats for Spring

On two Saturdays (1/25 and 2/1) many helpers came to keep the ASF student boats in good condition.

As part of the High School Sailing class, students to volunteer three hours toward maintenance and upgrades. Also helping were sailors who are part of the “adopt-a-boat” program in cooperation with the Arizona Yacht Club. Others just helped. Thank you all.

Rick Johnson, Paula, Peter Blake, Dennis Davis, Ema Davis, Wilson Davis, Edgar, Jennie, Mike Ferring, Phil Freedman, Rob Gibbs, Paul Eyssautier, Mitchell Wenger (brought cookies too), Mark Howell, Madison Cordova, Gareth Minson, Emma Welch-Murphy, Danny Moore, Lisa Moore, Don Hubele, and Rick Gilchrist. (I may not have all names 100% correct.)

We still have three boats in need of repairs and trailers that require new bunks. Most of these are at my home so that we don’t have to buy TTL permits before we use the boats for instruction.

—George Tingom, ASF President

Fixing up the ASF Capri 14.2 sailboats in preparation for spring classes.

Fixing up the ASF Capri 14.2 sailboats in preparation for spring classes.

Spring ASF Classes Coming Soon to a Lake Near You

The spring salvo of Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) classes fires off soon: Kids’ classes beginning February 9 and the adult Learn to Sail class on February 15. High school classes are already underway.

Kids getting ready for Opti action.

Kids getting ready for Opti action.

The line-up includes two Opti classes for young sailors, an Opti I and Opti II. Those are joined this spring by the Junior Performance Racing Class, sailed in the new O’Pen Bic boats. That class is already full, but there’s still some room in the Opti classes. Sign up here.

If you know someone who’s always wanted to try sailing, the adult Learn to Sail class is just the ticket. Starting from “where’s the wind?” and progressing through tacks and jibes and capsize recovery and much more, the students graduate ready to handle a dinghy. There’s this most exciting part: they begin sailing on their very first day. No extended book time for these people. It’s a speedy trip from “here’s a boat” to “trim in and let’s go”!

More information and registration button here.

 

ASF Welcomes 11 New Sailing Instructors

A grueling pair of weekends, wrapping up after dark on Sunday, produced 11 new grads to help teach the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) classes.

Here are the graduates:

1 Kyle Brown
2 Rick Cotman
3 Dennis Davis
4 Ema Davis
5 Martin Lorch
6 Donny Mayfield
7 Daniel Mobley
8 Eric Schweizer
9 Lewie Wallace
10 Greg Woodcock
11 Chris Smith

The next time you see any of them, offer your congratulations.

All of the students have agreed to help with the training of future Arizona sailors. If you’d like join them, mention it to George Tingom. He says the next class will probably be three years from now.

US Sailing Instructor Class is Full!

Some 50 boats sailed on Tempe Town Lake Sunday, October 27. Photo: Phil Freedman

Kids and adults learning to sail on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Phil Freedman

Great news! ASF President George Tingom reports that the January US Sailing level one small boat instructor class is full and cannot accept any further students.

Now there will the 12 new instructors available to teach the ASF classes.

The class is extensive and taught by one of the best: the instructor of instructors, Ray Treppa. The classes are all day on January 4-5 and 11-12 in Tempe, with on-the-water work at Tempe Town Lake.

The news that the class has filled is in sharp contrast to the last two years when the class had to be canceled for lack of participation.

If you wanted to enroll in this class but missed out, make sure George has your name for future classes. Call ASF president George Tingom at 480.948.3814 or email him.

Magical, Mystical Opti Class

The Opti group, getting ready to sail. Photo: Mark Howell

The Opti group, getting ready to sail. Photos: Mark Howell

Mark Howell was watching and listening as 9 kids and 9 Opti sailboats lined up on the plastic dock at Tempe Town Lake last Sunday afternoon.

Actually, he called it eavesdropping and this is what he heard about sailing theory:

  1. Hang on to the tiller and the mainsheet.
  2. Sit on the opposite side of the boat from the sail.

Then, he said, “they pushed them off the dock one by one, and they were sailing.  Magic.”

Let’s hope it’s the first sail of a lifetime of sailing fun.OptiDock

And then they pushed off and sailed.

And then they pushed off and sailed.

AYC’s Wilson Davis Competes in O’Pen Bic Event in SF

Wilson Davis hikes on SF Bay. Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget, America's Cup

Wilson Davis hikes on SF Bay. Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget, America’s Cup

O’Pen Bic sailboats are high-performance fun for junior-high age kids and last weekend (8/17), AYC’s Wilson Davis (age 11) got a full dose of it at the O’Pen Bic event at the America’s Cup venue in San Francisco.

Here are four minutes of high speed coverage: