A few hardy souls launched at the end of the dragon boat races and enjoyed a warm afternoon with occasional breeze. The scores from week 6 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
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April’s AYC meeting will bring us Peter Nichols, spinning stories of living and working as a charter captain on an engineless wooden sailboat in the Caribbean, crossing the Atlantic single-handed, and the stories behind the stories of some great, best-selling books.
Peter has written A Voyage for Madmen (finalist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year), Evolution’s Captain, and three other books of fiction, memoir, and non-fiction. His novel Voyage to the North Star was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC literary award. His novel The Rocks will be published on May 26.
Rear Commodore Chris Smith says, “I tell everybody that A Voyage for Madmen and Sea Change are two of my favorite books of all time. Not just favorite sailing books, but favorite books of any kind.”
The meeting is Tuesday, April 14, 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.
Peter Nichols has taught creative writing at a number of universities, including Georgetown University, Bowdoin College, New York University in Paris, and the University of Arizona. Before turning to writing full time, he held a 100-ton USCG Ocean Operator’s license and was a professional yacht delivery skipper for 10 years. He has also worked in advertising in London, as a screenwriter in Los Angeles, been a shepherd in Wales, and sailed alone in a small boat across the Atlantic.
Now that’s a bio we’d all like to have!
Here’s a taste of his writing, an article he wrote in Cruising World magazine about sailing with his son in the BVI. Click on the picture to download the PDF.
A hardy band of AYC highway litter pickers picked a peck of blue bags full of filth and declared, “We’re making progress.”
It’s true. The first time AYC litter pickers picked the sides of Carefree Highway around the Lake Pleasant Boulevard intersection, the junk stacked high. This time, the crew worked the west end of the Adopt-a-Highway length and completed the job in less time than expected (sending us off to Wild Horse for lunch that could have been called brunch).
We do this a couple times a year to keep the highway clean (getting there) and to have the Arizona Yacht Club name posted on signs around the 25 mile marker. If you’d be willing to pitch in for a couple hours next fall, please contact Thom Dickerson, the smiling straw boss.
Litter pickers on Saturday, March 28: Thom Dickerson, Peter Lehrach, Martin Lorch, Katherine Roxlo, Mike & Maryellen Ferring.
The scores for week 4 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
It was a great weekend to be on the water, with sun and warm temperatures, even if we had to contend with occasional wind. Applause goes to the Santana 20 fleet for race committee work and especially to fleet captain Martin Lorch and his sous chef Kyle Clark for a spectacular spinnaker point dinner Saturday.
We need your help to do a good deed, hang out with some AYC pals, and get some publicity for the club.
We’ll meet at 8 am on Saturday, March 28, at the intersection of Lake Pleasant Road and the Carefree Highway to clean up our stretch of highway 74.
The yacht club will provide the safety vests, gloves, pick-up sticks, plastic garbage bags, and plenty of water. We’ll clean the west half mile, starting at the traffic light at Lake Pleasant Road and the Carefree Highway and working our way west.
When we’ve piled purple plastic bags eyeball high, before 11 am, we’ll retire to the Wild Horse Saloon for lunch, paid for by the yacht club.
Would you help? Contact Thom Dickerson if you can.
The scores for week 5 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
Scores for week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are on the results page, or by clicking here.
As the wind sank low in the north, Victor Felice and Jeff Coulter began conjuring rules (click on the picture to make it a little bigger).
Turns out Tom Ehman is refreshingly candid about what’s happening with the next America’s Cup. As he gears up for his 12th straight campaign, Tom has serious questions about taking the competition to the small island nation of Bermuda and he was willing to share those questions with nearly 100 people who turned out for the AYC monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 10.
As you know, the America’s Cup has been smashing through traditional barriers, lifting the Cup up on foils, skimming across the excitement of 72-footers and introducing the AC pre-season bash called the World Series. (The World Series begins very soon−in June at Cagliari on Sardinia in the Mediterranean.)
And Bermuda? What a shock that was when the AC announced it was skipping a return to San Francisco, ignoring an invitation from San Diego, and planning to race the 35th AC on a 20-square mile island in the Atlantic, population 65,000.
Tom has run a gauntlet of roles since he started with the Cup in 1980, including rules advisor, team executive, event manager, and chairman of the Challenger Commission. For the past four campaigns, Tom has been Head of External Affairs for Oracle Team USA and the AC spokesman for the host Golden Gate Yacht Club. He’s Vice Commodore of GGYC.
His official bio describes him as a former collegiate and North American sailing champion, winner of the 1976 Championship of Champions, and at age 25 the youngest-ever Executive Director of the USA’s national sailing association – indeed, the youngest of any national governing body for an Olympic sport in America. He is the only person of long-standing involvement in the Cup who has worked only for American campaigns−New York YC, San Diego YC, St. Francis YC, and now Golden Gate YC.
Here are pictures taken by Chris Smith (except the one of Chris that Tom took).
Tempe Town Lake veteran George Sheller muttered, “I’ve never seen it this bad” as we crossed paths during Sunday’s races. Neither have I. Puffs. Twists. Lulls. Survival mode. Some of it induced by the new State Farm office complex? Maybe. There was one streak across the lake where we went from reaching on port to reaching on starboard to reaching on port within 20 feet. And not once, but each time we crossed it.
− Mike Ferring
The scores for Week 4 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
Stephanie Roble, our February meeting speaker, has accepted her Rolex as US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. Stephanie was presented the award at the prestigious New York Yacht Club on Thursday, February 26.
“I feel so lucky to be a part of a lot of teams; teamwork is what I’m in love with right now,” she said, crediting her crew, Janel Zarkowsky and Maggie Shea. “You need your team to be successful; this award is for all of them.
“I’m beyond the moon excited right now. This is such a special award, and to see all the sailors who’ve won this before and to join this list means so much to me. It’s extremely motivating.”
Terry Hutchinson received the Rolex for Yachtsman of the Year.
Light wind but a beautiful day Saturday kicked off our second weekend of Lake Pleasant racing. And Sunday morning began with a whisper that turned into a shout.
The scores for the second week of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
Tempe Town Lake Scores for week 3 are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
And then she grabbed a red eye to head back to Miami to sail before flying on to the New York Yacht Club to accept one of the sport’s highest honors, the Rolex for the Yachtswoman of the Year.
Let’s back up.
First Stephanie Roble flew into Phoenix and headed to Tempe Town Lake to talk with the ASF high school sailing class, looking only slightly older than her audience at 25, but bringing literally a world of sailing experience.
She won the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship last year and placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship. Based on her 2014 match racing results, she began the New Year as the top American match racer and is ranked number three in the world. Wow.
What tips did she offer the high school kids? She suggested that they keep detailed notes on their sailing, tracking where they’d been, what the wind was, what they’d done to go fast, and so on. She said her notes kept her focused on going faster and performing even better.
When she got to the packed AYC meeting that night at 7, some 100 people applauded as she offered detailed tactics for match racing, upwind and down, the “dial-up” at the start and moves that would help win. She spiced up the rundown with some astonishing videos, including a killer start sequence and a crushing crash.
While we don’t match race at AYC, Stephanie suggested that knowing some match racing techniques can be a big help in fleet racing, too. Going head to head with a competitor? A match racing move could make the difference.
Then she got on that red eye.
A fun, sunny, sometimes breezy first weekend of the spring racing series. How did you do?
The scores for the first weekend of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
The scores from week 2 of racing can be found on the Results page, or by clicking here.
Week 1 of racing at Tempe Town Lake is posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
Awards at the The scourge of any sailing regatta: light wind. Give us wind and pretty much everything else takes care of itself, right?
This year the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup was a light wind wonder. But you had fun anyway, right?
Here are shots of the awards presentations. Photos by Chris Smith.
On January 14, Terry Hutchinson and Stephanie Roble were named US Sailing’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Before she picks up her new Rolex during a ceremony in New York, Stephanie will be our monthly meeting speaker. Really!
The meeting is Tuesday, February 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.
Stephanie Roble won the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship and placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship. Based on her 2014 match racing results, she begins the New Year as the top American match racer and is ranked number three in the world.
Last year she was also a member of the Etchells World Championship winning team, crewed on the seventh-place finisher at the J/70 North American Championship and the fifth place-finisher at the Melges 20 North American Championship.
Stephanie is 25 years old. She began by sailing dinghies and scows at Lake Beulah Yacht Club in her hometown of East Troy, Wisconsin, and she graduated from Old Dominion University in Virgina, where she twice earned ICSA All-American Honors (2010, 2011).
Rear Commodore Chris Smith says Stephanie made a big effort to fit our meeting into a multi-city trip, flying in the day of the meeting and jumping on a red-eye on the way out. Chris says let’s show our appreciation and “Let’s pack the house!”
Chris’s home run streak continues this spring with these speakers: March 10, Tom Ehman America’s Cup veteran and director of external affairs for Oracle Team USA; April 14, John Nichols, author of A Voyage for Madmen and Sea Change; May 12, Tom Leweck, storied off-shore racer and founder of Sailing Scuttlebutt News.
Ready to get back to racing? Tempe Town Lake sailors went after each other at the end of January. Lake Pleasant opened for action two weeks later on Saturday, February 7.
The TransLoch Series again is part of the Lake Pleasant action, an opportunity for sailors who like long-distance runs rather than races around the buoys (and it’s a great way to start for people new to the sport).
Otherwise, AYC veterans know the drill: fun on the water. Lasers, Capri 14.2, Buccaneer 18 and Portsmouth boats go at it on TTL. Catalina 22, Santana 20, Thistle, PHRF Non-Spin, Spin, and Sportboat race at Lake Pleasant.
Registration is now closed.
Here comes the biggest event of the AYC year. Sign up now for the 2015 Birthday Regatta, played Friday-Sunday, January 16-18. Here’s more information on the registration page.
Regatta organizer Cindy Pillote says expect the event to be run a lot like the last two years, with the Saturday night dinner at the Pleasant Harbor Marina Waterfront Grill.