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June Meeting: Champion Racer Bill Hardesty

Bill-Hardesty-mugCan you handle another great meeting speaker? How about 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bill Hardesty?

Bill has won ten world championships: As tactician for two world championships in the Melges 24, one in the Farr 40, one in the Melges 20, three World Match Race Tour overall wins, and as helmsman for three Etchells world championships. Oh, and he finished a lousy second in last year’s J/70 Worlds. In other words, the guy can sail.

The meeting is Tuesday, June 9, 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.

From Bill’s online bio: Bill was born in Iowa and moved to San Diego at age three, where he lives today. He first stepped on a sailboat at age five, sailing catamarans with his father. He joined Mission Bay Yacht Club and sailed sabots in their junior program. He was successful even at a young age, winning two Sabot Nationals, three Youth Championships, and the High School Doublehanded Nationals.

Bill then went on to sail in college at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York. During his college career he received five All-American Skipper awards, won three National Championships and was College Sailor of the Year in 1998. He majored in marine engineering. After college he briefly campaigned the Laser but then took a break from sailing to work for a power plant in LA and then a manufacturing company in San Diego.

Here’s his very nice website with a little more information and some pictures.

Bill Hardesty (on the boat on the left) goes surfing. Photo: Sara Proctor

Bill Hardesty (on the boat on the left) goes surfing. Photo: Sara Proctor

Haggarts Dominate 2015 Championship Race

Dave and Stacey Haggart clobbered AYC’s other fleet champs. Annihilated them. Stomped ’em. Humbled ’em. Sound like an exaggeration? Consider this: Five races, five firsts. At that point Martin Lorch waved the white flag even though he still had a mathematical chance to win. Game over.

It was only in the first race that Haggarts were challenged, working their way through the fleet and solidifying first place with a perfect tack on Skip Kempff, drenching him with bad air.

The 2015 AYC Club Championship Regatta was played out at Tempe Town Lake in Capri 14.2s, starting with light wind and ending with a brisk breeze. On the water were sailors with a combined 15 championships—Skip Kempff, 7; Martin Lorch, 6; Mike Hester (crewing for Will Zornik), 2. And spectating, 10-time champ Don Hubele. Champs, make room for Dave Haggart.

Here are the scores.

Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total
Dave Haggart 1 1 1 1 1 5
Martin Lorch 4 4 3 2 2 15
Skip Kempff 2 2 6 4 3 17
Will Zornik 5 3 2 5 4 19
Matt Davis 3 5 5 3 6 22
Mike Baros 6 6 4 6 5 27
Paul Liszewski 7 7 7 7 DNS (8) 36


Steve Brown was the event organizer; Mike Ferring the PRO. Other committee members were John Mayall, Kathleen Roxlo, and Jordan Brown. A number of others helped out with boat exchanges.

Members of the 14.2 fleet who loaned their boats for the regatta were Ferrings, Haggarts, Bill Hutchinson, Martin Lorch, John Mayall, and George Tingom. ASF also loaned a boat.

Dave and Stacey Haggart demonstrate their dominance, leading the mob home. Photos: Mike Ferring

Dave and Stacey Haggart demonstrate their dominance, leading the mob home. Photos: Mike Ferring

The wind came up nicely in the afternoon, pushing competitors to full-hike.

The wind came up nicely in the afternoon, pushing competitors to full-hike.

Paul Liszewski flips Ferrings' boat at the windward mark. (Click for bigger size)

Paul Liszewski flips Ferrings’ boat at the windward mark. (Click for bigger size)

Competitors took a midday break for lunch.

Competitors took a midday break for lunch.

A young Mr. Riddell thinks there's nothing quite like some watermelon with your sailboat race.

Tate Riddell thinks there’s nothing quite like some watermelon with your sailboat race.

Congratulations to AYC Fleet Champions

Now it’s all over but the Club Championship for Spring 2015 racing. The Champ Regatta will be at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday, May 2, with the first gun at 9:30. Even if you’re not racing, come watch!

Congrats to the TTL fleet winners.

Spring and Fall-Spring: Buccaneer 18, Matt Davis; Capri 14.2, Dave Haggart; Laser, Will Zornik; Portsmouth, Clay Poulson for spring and Lori Reger for fall-spring.

The spring scores are here.

The combined fall-spring scores are here.

Some wild and windy racing for the final weekend of the spring series at Lake Pleasant. Congratulations to the season and fleet champions! Click here to see Chris Smith’s photos of the day.

Spring: Catalina 22, Bob Worrall; PHRF Non-Spin, Jerry McLaughlin; PHRF Spin, Tom Baker; PHRF Sportboat, Court Roberts; Santana 20 (tie), Martin Lorch and Mike Parker (Martin wins tie-breaker); Thistle, Skip Kempff.

Fall-Spring: Catalina 22, Mike Baros; PHRF Non-Spin, Charles Landis; PHRF Spin, (tie) Paul Liszewski and Tom Baker (Paul wins tie-breaker); Santana 20, Martin Lorch; PHRF Sportboat, Court Roberts; Thistle, Skip Kempff; TransLoch, Steve Dolter.

The scores for week 5 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

The combined Fall 2014 & Spring 2015 scores are also posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

spin-parade

A spinnaker parade on the final day of spring racing. Photo: Chris Smith

 

Court Roberts Wins Blustery Tall Cactus

The 2015 Tall Cactus Regatta was one to remember for the 19 boats that raced in breezy and blustery conditions. Knockdowns and round-ups were the conversation at the post-race get-together.

Court Roberts, sailing his Melges 24 was first to finish the 14 nm course in just over 2 1/2 hours. The pursuit race with slower boats starting before faster boats brought a very close finish, with the second-place Catalina 22 of Scott Battle only seconds ahead of the third-place J/80 of Chris Smith.

—Tom Errickson, Event Chairman

The winning Melges 24 of Court Roberts. Photo: Tom Errickson

The winning Melges 24 of Court Roberts. Photo: Tom Errickson

LPSC Cinco de Mayo Raft-up

The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club has decided to invite AYC members to the club’s annual Cinco de Mayo Raft-up on Saturday, May 2. (Normally this big LPSC flotilla is restricted to its members.)

The event is in Two Cow Cove (see map) and boats will start gathering around 1 pm. You can monitor the traffic on VHF channel 68. Here’s a flyer with further information.

LPSC offers a word of warning: Lake Pleasant party boaters are shooting for a world record raft-up of 1000+ boats tied together in Humbug! Traffic at launch ramps and parking lots could be intense.

LPSC-Cinco-de-Mayo-Raft

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).

Celebrate on the Water with the Commodore

The air-conditioned interior of the Phoenix tour boat.

The air-conditioned interior of the Phoenix tour boat.

Sign Up Now

It’s been a great year. The Birthday Regatta. Racing at LP and TTL. Capacity crowds at meetings. New members. So let’s celebrate! Join your Commodore and fellow members and friends for Arizona Yacht Club’s Party of the Year on the Phoenix on Lake Pleasant. It’s going down (the party, not the boat) Saturday, May 9. The three-hour cruise, complete with music, food, drink, and more, departs promptly at 6 pm. Boarding starts at 5:30.

Sloop Dogg Racing (Chris Smith) will host a complimentary (Free!) and complimentary (You look great!) pre-party Happy Hour and a Half starting at 4:30 pm near the shuttle waiting area in the parking lot at the top of the hill.

AYC volunteers will ferry guests from the top of the hill to the marina boardwalk.

We’ve arranged to be able to enter the marina without paying the gate fee. Just tell the person at the gate that you’re there for the Commodore’s Celebration.

So, No Gate Entry Fee + Food + A Sunset Cruise on Lake Pleasant = $45 per adult and $35 per child. The food will be an Italian buffet and bottled water. Adult beverages will be available for $5 each (some fancy ones a bit more) and soft drinks for $2.50 at the on-board cash-only bar.

There will be dancing: Appropriate footwear recommended, barefoot dancing encouraged.

The Phoenix is a 65-foot, 149-passenger, air-conditioned vessel with an enclosed main deck and an open-air, canopy-covered upper deck. Each deck can seat up to 100. There are two restrooms on board and the boat is handicap accessible. You can learn more about the boat and its crew by visiting: lakepleasantcruises.com.

The Phoenix, our party room for the Commodore's Celebration.

The Phoenix, our party room for the Commodore’s Celebration.

Results for Spring Series at Tempe Town Lake

The scores for the last week of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

The combined scores for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 are also on the results page, or by clicking here.

Tempe Town Lake Results for Week 7.

The scores for week 7 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

Tall Cactus Regatta April 25

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor's Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor’s Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

Here are this event’s entries and start times.

How about a fun run around Lake Pleasant?

That’s the format for the Tall Cactus regatta this year. A straight duplicate of the Governor’s Cup Regatta. If you enjoyed that one, you should like this one too.

Registration is now closed for this event. Here’s a link to the NOR/SI.

This is a “pursuit” race, where boats start based on PHRF rating, with the slower boats beginning first at 11 am and faster boats starting throughout the next hour or so. The start line is near the dam, at the mouth of Pleasant Harbor Marina. Boats will charge up the lake, around Horse and Balance Rock and then back south around the “island with vegetation” in the vicinity of the 10-lane boat ramp, taking all islands to port. Here’s nice, big color map of the lake for reference.

After making the loop twice, the first boat across the finish line at the “no wake” buoys near the north launch ramp will be the overall winner. Boats should keep track of their own finishing positions.

Then, adjourn to the bar for (included in your entry) appetizers and (not included) beverages. Entry is just $10. Questions? Check with event organizer Tom Errickson.

The Tall Cactus course.

The Tall Cactus course, just like the Governor’s Cup course in December.

Scuttlebutt Founder Tom Leweck Booked for May Meeting

Tom Leweck

Tom Leweck

Have you heard the scuttlebutt?

I’ve heard that our May monthly meeting speaker will be none other than Tom Leweck, the founder of that most-read online sailing publication, Sailing Scuttlebutt, now run by Tom’s son Craig.

Tom began Scuttlebutt in 1997, when the Web was in its infancy. Then and now his pals loved hearing the sailing gossip and news from Tom, who is a consummate storyteller. Show up at the May meeting and Tom will regale you with lots of stories too.

The meeting is Tuesday, May 12, 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.

Tom calls himself, “The Original Curmudgeon” and lives up the honor. While working as a public relations guy, he was also a winning sailor and can still make a boat go fast. He says in May his topics will cover the waterfront, including “dinghy racing, keel boats, Transpac, Mexican Races, Scuttlebutt…and what’s important about our sport, and what’s not.” 

Tempe Town Lake Results for Week 6

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.

April Monthly Meeting Features Peter Nichols

Not your standard book author mug shot.

Not your standard book author mug shot.

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.

Best-Days-of-Our-Lives-1

Carefree Highway Cleanup Success

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 Parkway 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.

Highway Cleaners (l to r): Peter Lehrach, Martin Lorch, Mike & Maryellen Ferring, Thom Dickerson. Not pictured because she was taking the picture: Katherine Roxlo

Highway Cleaners (l to r): Peter Lehrach, Martin Lorch, Mike & Maryellen Ferring, Thom Dickerson. Not pictured because she was taking the picture: Katherine Roxlo

Lake Pleasant Results for Week 4

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.

Help Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup March 28

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.

A previous AYC work party. A highway cleaning crew with Mike Parker, Jo and Mike Grijalva, Mike Yarnell, Dennis and Claudia Swift and Chuck Sears. Thom Dickerson is behind the camera.

A previous AYC work party: Mike Parker, Jo and Mike Grijalva, Mike Yarnell, Dennis and Claudia Swift and Chuck Sears. Thom Dickerson is behind the camera.

Tempe Town Lake Results for March 15th

The scores for week 5 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

Lake Pleasant Results-March 8-9

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).

Victor and Jeff come up with improvements on the staid, old RRS.

Victor and Jeff come up with improvements on the staid, old RRS. Click on picture for bigger view.

America’s Cup Honcho Tom Ehman Questions Cup’s Future

Tom Ehman and That Trophy.

Tom Ehman and That Trophy.

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).

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Temp Town Lake Results

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.