The scores for the first week of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page or by clicking here.
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Jeannie Socrates defines determination.
After being battered but never beaten in previous attempts, two years ago she headed off for another try to sail nonstop and solo around the world. This time she made it.
Come hear her amazing story at the October monthly meeting, Tuesday, October 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.
In honor of her accomplishment, Jeannie received the Ocean Cruising Club’s Special Award and its Barton Cup. This year she was presented with the Cruising Club of America’s Blue Water Medal and the Royal Cruising Club’s Seamanship Medal.
You can read more about Jeannie’s exploits here, including the knockdown that ended her previous nonstop attempt. A blow like that would stop most of us, but not her.
As the Cruising Club of America’s citation reads, “On October 22nd, 2012, Socrates set out again, determined to complete the journey nonstop. She started from Victoria [Canada], and sailed around the world by way of Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia), the South East Cape (Tasmania). From there, Socrates sailed up the Tasman Sea, where avoidance of a tropical storm forced her to sail west of Fiji and on north, passing west of the Hawaiian Islands. After 259 days alone and unassisted at sea, Socrates sailed past the Ogden Point breakwater in Victoria, on July 8, 2013 at 2:26 a.m., completing her nonstop goal and becoming the first woman to sail nonstop around the world on a route that started and finished in North America and the oldest woman to sail solo nonstop around the world.”
Now that we’ve had Opening Day at Lake Pleasant, it’s time to gear up for Tempe Town Lake!
The competition looks typically stiff in the Capri 14.2 and Laser fleets, but the Buccaneer 18 fleet needs to gather some steam after a few years of diminishing numbers. You can retrieve all the needed documents and register to race in the series on the racing page.
Racing and race committee training will begin at 3pm on Sunday (9/28) and will extend through the fall, with the final races Sunday, December 18. Because of earlier sunset, the November and December races will begin at 2pm.
For a while Saturday (9/20), it looked as if we might not get enough wind to race, but the wind finally arrived, the season opened with a bang (see below), and we were off and running. Sunday the wind was nice for the Bart’s Bash race, then held for one decent race, and then went into hiding for the rest of the day, sending everyone home early.
The results from the season opener are posted on the results page or you’ll find them by clicking here.
We did it! We actually got 34 boats to the starting line for Bart’s Bash, a worldwide happening that will go down as the world’s largest sailing event. Named for Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who died during practice for the America’s Cup last year, it honored his memory while raising money to train kids to sail.
Were you there? Download the certificate on the right.
As expected, when all the returns are in, it will also set a new Guinness World Record for the largest sailing event.
The race on Sunday morning (9/21) at 8:30 am brought an exciting outpouring of racing boats, some 34 arriving on time to take the starting signal and run a short windward-leeward to a north mark and then to the finish.
Victor Felice helped organize the AYC Bash and shot the needed pictures and video. Candis and Jeff Middlebrook acted as the required witnesses. Victor and Mike Ferring struggled through the lengthy and complex Bart’s Bash and Guinness requirements. Dave Christensen thrashed through the scoring.
Mostly it was the crews and captains of 34 boats who made it happen.
Clubs all over the world joined the Bash, though most were centered in Bart’s home country, the UK. Here’s some background on it. You’ll find some familiar names on the list of participants, such as Jimmy Spithill and Ben Ainslee.
At the monthly meeting next Tuesday (9/9): John Sangmeister, who won the America’s Cup in 1987 with Dennis Conner and won the 2013 TransPac on his 72’ trimaran. Check out Tritium Racing’s Facebook page. And watch their triumphant arrival in Hawaii to win the TransPac.
The meeting is Tuesday, September 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.
John’s boat is Tritium, a former ORMA 60 Tri skippered by Jean Le Cam. A posting on Sailing Anarchy says the floats were stretched by the Artemis America’s Cup team to 72ft to trial their wing sail and curved foils. Campaigned on short notice by John in TransPac 2013, the team barely missed the outright race record by 2 1/2 hours.
The party will be at Bluewater Grill, 1720 East Camelback Road (where Camelback crosses over the 51 freeway). A good selection of beers available for the happy hour price of $4, plus some wine choices. AYC will pop for some hors d’oeuvres. To find us, when you walk through the door of the restaurant, just walk straight back to the private room.
The idea is really just to have fun and meet some new people, to connect with someone who might be good crew or a race entrant who’s looking for help. Questions? Check with Steve Brown.
The August AYC meeting will feature sailing coach and sailing equipment supplier Rod Favela. In addition to his own coaching, Rod is on the faculty of the NorthU-Offshore Sailing School Performance Race Week in Captiva, Florida.
Rod was active in the creation of the Viper 640 fleet and now works with the VX One sportboat−and the rise of sportboats will be the focus of his monthly meeting talk. What are they? What accounts for their growing popularity? What are the physical demands of sailing them? In what ways are they different to sail from other boats?
The meeting is Tuesday, August 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.
Rod Favela started sailing in 1988 at age 11 in his hometown of Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. His intro to sailing was in the honorable Sunfish, as at that time the country did not have an Opti fleet. Rod quickly moved on to becoming part of the national sailing team and alternated sailing J/24s , Solings and Star.
After his move to the US in 2005, he actively sailed on Hobie 33, J/24, J/105, J/109, Melges 32, Henderson 30, J/122 and then says he was “obsessed” with the Viper 640 and went full-on with the VX One. Alternating with some catamaran sailing and windsurfing, most of his sailing hours have been spent on dinghies, once again going back to his roots of sailing closer to the water.
Nowadays, Rod sails in Texas, at Rush Creek Yacht Club where he’s helping grow the VX One in the Southwest. His sailing supply business is Vela Sailing Supply.
Keith Magnussen of Ullman Sails offers one key tip for a contented crew: Make sure they have fun. Bottom line.
Keith spoke at the July monthly meeting (7/9) with several tips for captains. Keep the suggestions positive. Make sure people understand their roles. Make sure they get a beer. And if they’re giving up their weekend for a ride on your boat, make sure they leave with a smile.
Besides the tips for organizing a crew, Keith laid out some suggestions to help go fast, beginning with making sure the boat’s as light as it can be. He recommends marking lines and spreaders for repeatable trim. And at the start: don’t barge. All basics, but important.
Tucson Sailing Club’s Marshall Williamson also spoke at the meeting, showing some enticing shots of TSC’s twice-yearly regattas in San Carlos, Mexico. Marshall dangled an attractive mix: nice wind and fun parties. TSC’s next regatta is Halloween weekend and the next on Memorial Day weekend 2015. Here’s a link to their site.
For August, Rear Commodore Chris Smith has scheduled Rod Favela, a high energy coach, teacher, and sailing supply guy (Vela Sailing Supply) to talk about sport boat racing. Rod was involved with the Viper 640 and is now pitching the VX-1 sport boat. That meeting is Tuesday, August 12.
The annual Kinnikinick weekend is Friday-Sunday, August 1-3 this year. No need to register; just show up in the cool pines of Northern Arizona.
Once again Steve Nahkala will be heading up the trip to the cool and people will begin to filter into the campsite Friday, ready to enjoy the remote 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 a prescription for sailing chaos: Take a dozen men who barely know each other, throw them in a frat-house hot-house, mix in gallons of beer and vodka, drop them on a 37-foot boat that most of them have never sailed, on a race course that’s a complete mystery to them, outlaw speed and nav instruments, give them 45 minutes to practice, and put them up against 10 well-drilled, well-honed competitors.
Oh, and just to make things interesting, make most of the dozen captains of their own boats with their own ideas of speed and tactics. And as an icebreaker, one of them greets another one by announcing, “I don’t like you and I don’t know how I can sail with you.”
So, how did it come out?
Not bad, actually.
None of this is made up and some of it you’d never believe anyway, but for the third year AYC membership director John Riddell patched together a crew of guys from the club with the express goal of their getting to know each other, of mingling experience with inexperience—heading off to have fun while trying not to make fools of themselves in front of the best of the West Coast sailing glitterati. First year’s results: last. Second year: next to last. Third year: third from last. At this rate, it’s victory in 2022!
The venue is the Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, a very well organized and run regatta that this year drew 142 boats, including a couple TP52s and boats that are even bigger. Tony Chapman told me before the regatta that he thinks it’s the best on the coast and he’s been going for years. In fact, all the AYC Vipers were there to compete. And Chris Smith towed his J/80 for this event and another race that sails to Catalina. In all, there were probably over 30 AYC people racing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We all gathered Thursday in a very nice rented house not far from Long Beach Yacht Club and a short walk to the clatter of 2nd Avenue’s row of restaurants and shops. I never got an exact count, but there were at least 15 men sharing this four bedroom, 2½ bath house. What they did at night is the stuff of next-day legend, but what happens in Long Beach, you know, stays there. Animal House didn’t have much on this bunch of much-older-than-thats.
So we gathered in a meeting where John Riddell cracked jokes and made it clear that he was pretty sure he knew what he was doing on big boats and he expected us to follow instructions and no backtalk. He said in the past he had a habit of shouting instructions (and other words) from the back of the boat to the front of the boat and this year he damn well wasn’t going to do that (a vow he broke constantly all three days). Everybody talked; some listened. It was very loud.
I woke up at 6-something Friday morning to the smell of frying bacon and sausage. Peter Lehrach would stand in front of the frying pans for a couple hours each morning stacking eggs and bacon for the gathering mob. Thanks, Peter. And then Adam “The Badger” Torel would mass-assemble a countertop of sandwiches to bag for lunch. Adam was John’s able organizer off the water.
The 11 racing boats lined up stern-to in slips in front of Long Beach Yacht Club, each boat rented from the club for the regatta. They’re 1990 Catalina 37s, built for the Congressional Cup match racing regatta that was already famous when Frank Butler custom built these 11-of-a-kind boats that have been used for that prestigious event ever since. They’re maintained perfectly. This weekend they had crispy new sails.
You’ll see in the picture that our team was outfitted in new team shirts, another Riddell LBRW tradition. We were the “Crazy Train,” a name that fit comfortably. Other teams were also wearing team shirts and moving around the boats with a studied familiarity. A couple teams sail these boats nearly every week. Others sail as a team on other kinds of boats. They all knew what they were doing.
With all of 45 minutes permitted before the first gun, we had enough time to figure out pretty much what everybody should sorta do. Fortunately, helmsman Trey Harlow had drafted his friend JB to handle the front of the boat, so the front and the back were in good hands. The middle? Some work needed. Some position-swapping. Some encouragement from John.
The boat is big and heavy and slow to respond and likes to keep moving, gathering speed slowly out of tacks. That’s about all we knew when the first gun sounded and we approached the much-too-short start line. Late. John said he wasn’t ready to mix it up with the fast guys this early, especially after last year, but we won’t talk about that.
Tenth. Out of 11. Race and repeat. Ninth. Not so bad when you consider the size of the hill we had to climb. I was assigned the job of standing at the back of the boat trying to look useful—something I’m pretty good at faking. Not a bad gig, really, with a nice view. But main trimmer Jason Donkersley aggravated a back injury and was carted off to the ER and suddenly I had a new job Saturday: main trimmer. Cool. The view’s not as nice, craning your neck to watch the trim and judging whether the top batten tell tale is stalling 50% of the time as John prescribed or 35% of the time, which he knew wasn’t enough, or not at all, which I darn well knew was the right way (as one of the many “captains” trimming on this boat).
And BANG. Saturday’s first race saw us on the starting line at speed and actually freaking leading at the windward mark and only giving back two places to finish THIRD! “See we know how to sail this boat!” John shouted across the water to no one in particular.
Hubris, of course. The next race we went this way and the wind went that way and we were gargling salt water in last place. Last. The pain was palpable. We recovered for a 9th in the third race of the day and went into Saturday night clinging to 9th overall by one point and staring at a 7-point gap to 8th. On Sunday we scored an 8th and a finale fifth and left the race course feeling very good about the distance we’d come.
Los Alamitos Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club offered up noisy, liquid parties each night and we got a chance to compare our day with the Viper guys and hear about that mark rounding where Chris Smith was supposed to leave it to starboard and a boat three times his size was supposed to round to port and, wow, it all came out all right. And the expensive Velocitek? Kicked overboard. Fortunes of war.
As we scattered for the airport or a highway dash across the desert, I think everyone was savoring a weekend well spent. I know I was. The weather was gorgeous. The boats and races were fun. Fifteen or so guys in a house worked better than I ever thought it would. Thank you, John Riddell, you crazy SOB, for driving this insane experiment.
First there are the sailors of the Viper fleet. All of them headed for Long Beach June 27-29 for the Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. And then there were the misfits of the Crazy Train, a dozen guys thrown together to sail a Catalina 37. And Chris Smith and his team on his J/80 sailing the longer “random leg” course. A couple dozen or so AYC people altogether.
How did it go? Far as I could tell, everybody was having a good time with slightly lighter than usual wind, lots of sun, and temperatures in the 70s. Yes, 70s. Why would this not be good? And the LBRW was a very well organized event with 142 entries sailing over three days.
Court Roberts edged Tony Chapman for local honors in the 23-boat Viper fleet, finishing 10 and 11. Chris Smith grabbed fifth in his segment of the random leg. And the misfits? More on this later, but they were feeling pretty good with a 9th out of a 11 given the size of the challenge.
The series is underway, with actual cool temps when it’s time to rig the boats (80+, which we think is cool in Arizona); not so much when it’s time to put them away.
The morning summer series is the brainchild of Greg Woodcock, who thought sailing in the morning made more sense than doing it in the heat of the afternoon and managed to get Tempe approval. At the same time, he simplified it all so that everyone sails together (no separate fleets) and nobody keeps score. Members pay just $20 for six race days and the Adopt-a-Boat program is active.
So it’s no longer the Heat Stroke Series, but it’s become Cool Summer Sunday, a twist of a different kind. The change of time has increased participation from next to none to a few, 9 boats signed up for the series and this day five boats were on the water (including Greg, sailing with his grandson). Katherine Roxlo has generously agreed to be race committee for four of the six races days.
Sound like fun? There’s still time to sign up!
How do you organize a crew that’s never sailed together? How do you organize them for a regatta? For anyone who’s shuffled crew before (wouldn’t that be everyone?), it’s a vital question. At July’s monthly meeting we’ll see what Keith Magnussen suggests.
Keith has been an integral part of the Ullman Sails Viper 640 program, doing much of the R&D and assisting with the advancement of sail design in this high performance class.
The meeting is Tuesday, July 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.
Some of Keith’s resume highlights include Ultimate 20 North American Champ in 2013 as tactician, second overall in the recent Newport to Ensenada race as navigator and helm, second in class in the 2011 Transpac as watch captain, and first overall in the 2012 Long Beach Race Week as tactician aboard a Viper 640. He’s now optimizing two boats for the 2015 Transpac, a Jeanneau 45 and a J/125.
Keith grew up racing in Southern California and started working for Ullman Sails four years ago. Now he deals with a wide range of boats, from the Viper to 70-foot cruising boats−and he says that’s what keeps the job exciting. Below is a YouTube clip of Keith describing the Ullman way of sailmaking, shot by the website Sea Ya, which has this additional information on their visit to the loft.
In addition to Keith’s presentation, we’ll hear from Marshall Williamson of the Tucson Sailing Club. He’ll fill us in on the club’s San Carlos Regatta, a twice-annual event that happens within a day’s drive of here. Marshall began racing in the Philadelphia area, crewed for races in Annapolis, and has been crewing at Lake Pleasant with Gene Muller on his J/24. He’ll fill us in on the kind of sailing and racing you can expect at San Carlos.
Come 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.
This was a Commodore’s Celebration of a different kind: a Luau with fire dancers, hula dancers, and AYC dancers. Sizzled with some awards, music, and a changing of the guard.
New Commodore Peter Lehrach called for continued high level of excitement for the club heading into the next year and welcomed his board of directors: Senior Staff Commodore Mike Ferring, Junior Staff Commodore Cindy Pillote, Vice Commodore Christina Campo, Rear Commodore Chris Smith, Fleet Captain Steve Brown, Cruising Captain Tom Errickson, Membership Directors John Riddell and Dianna Andress, and (elected by the board that night), Secretary Lori Reger and Treasurer Tony Chapman.
Outgoing Commodore Cindy Pillote presented the night’s top award to Mike Ferring, the US Sailing Sportsmanship Award, otherwise known as the MVP award. And Mike scored a unique double: winning the coveted Blunder Bucket for creating a new way to break a mast at Tempe Town Lake by driving the boat under overhanging rowing shells.
The ASF Jerry Linderman Most Improved Junior Racer award went to Peter Blake. The Wayne Jason Tucker Most Improved Junior award was given to Ian Altobelli. And the Heavy Lifting Award for contribution to ASF was given to Don Hubele. Who immediately dropped it.
This year, the Commodore’s Celebration turns Polynesian. How about a luau?
It’s the way you’d expect it to happen in Hawaii, with the entertainment, food, and style of the islands, but somewhat closer to home. Mesa. Here’s a link to the Royal Islanders site and its spirit of Aloha. And here’s the map of the location.
Cindy Pillote invites you to the year’s big party, the Commodore’s Celebration.
When: Saturday evening, May 17, with partying beginning at 6pm, dinner at 7pm, and awards about 7:30
Where: 7820 E. McDowell Rd. Mesa, AZ 85207
What: Entertainment, fun dinner and much mingling with your sailing buddies
How Much: $50 for adults, $25 for children; cash bar
Why: Honor winners and workers and to bring on the new AYC Board of Directors
Dress Code: Informal
Who: Kids and guests welcome
The Menu: Kalua Pork, Teriyaki Chicken, Rice, Hawaiian Baked Beans, Tropical Fruit Salad, and Punch
Adult Beverages: Beer and wine at $5 each in cash.
Make it six times. Martin Lorch is closing in on the records of the most-decorated sailors in AYC history after winning his sixth Club Championship Saturday (5/11) at Lake Pleasant. Martin and crew Kyle Clark stood up to the challenge from a half dozen other competitors on the water and one more on the hill to emerge the repeat winner. (More on that “hill” part in a moment.)
It was a brilliant day for a sailboat race, with comfortable temperature and wind that varied from light to heavy, testing both the competitors and the Catalina 22s they were sailing. One boat didn’t make it to the finish. As Victor Felice was getting ready to start the fifth race, the rudder came adrift on Steve Dolter’s boat, calling for a tow back to the dock and, unfortunately, an end to Victor’s day.
When the wind kicked up, the fleet changed down from Genoas to jibs. That meant that the 12-foot long whisker poles designed for Genoas were too long for the jibs and on at least two boats there were no shorter poles available. That produced a protest and request for redress from Thistle fleet champ Jason Rziha. Jason contended that when Kyle Clark couldn’t clip the pole to the mast (as required in RRS rule 50.2), he held it next to the mast. Protest. And when Jason got on the same boat for the next race and his crew Trey Harlow couldn’t clip the pole onto the mast, he demanded redress for not being provided sufficient equipment.
After a lengthy protest hearing on the hill after racing, a committee of Greg Woodcock, George Tingom, and Bob Worrall ruled that the pole issue hadn’t materially altered the outcome and disallowed it, keeping the results unchanged. Jason muttered, “Until the appeal.” So we shall see.
Jason and Trey finished in second place. Steve and Sarah Grothe finished third, hurt by fouling in one race while in second place and doing particularly ugly penalty turns.
Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock organized the event (in great detail) and served as Principal Race Officer. The rest of the Race Committee were: Gail Kiel, Beck Houston, Cindy Pillote, Mike & Maryellen Ferring, Bob Whyte and Jim Colceri.
Boats were graciously provided by Martin Lorch, Steve Dolter, Bob Worrall, George Tingom, J.M. Kiel, Mike Baros, Rudy Pinon and Steve Grothe (whose boat was an unused spare).
Only three people in the 48 year history of the Club Championship have won more times than Martin Lorch: Al Lehman Jr. and Skip Kempff with seven each and Don Hubele with 10. Don won his last Championship in 1980, but he’s still winning Laser races today at Tempe Town Lake.
|Victor Felice||6||5||7||6||DNS (8)||DNS (8)||DNS (8)||48|
The champs of all the AYC fleets will step onto Catalina 22s this Saturday (5/10) and compete for the club’s most valued trophy: the Club Championship Cup. You’re invited to float your boat to watch, cheer, jeer, and enjoy a day on the water.
Once again the favorite has to be Martin Lorch, current holder of the Cup, Santana 20 fleet champ, and four-time winner of this event. Actually, there are two Lorches qualified for the race, with Martin’s son Cedric also qualifying by winning the C14 fleet at Tempe Town Lake.
The competitors will gather at Spinnaker Point at 8 am for a Skippers’ Meeting, then will help rig boats graciously loaned by members of the C22 fleet before heading out for a 10:30 am first gun. The regatta will be up to eight short races, with the skippers and their crews switching boats between races to equalize any differences in the performance of the boats.
2014 Club Championship entrants and their fleets are: 2013 Club Champion & Santana 20, Martin Lorch; Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; PHRF Non Spin, Victor Felice; PHRF Spin, Norman Anderson; PHRF Sportboat, Chris Smith; Thistle, Jason Rziha; Buccaneer 18, Emory Heisler; Laser, George Sheller; Capri 14.2, Cedric Lorch. Unfortunately, George Sheller and Norm Anderson aren’t able to make it and will miss the regatta.
Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock has planned and will oversee the event as Principle Race Officer. Others on the officiating team are Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Mike and Maryellen Ferring, Cindy Pillote, and Gail Kiel.
Dr. Bob Beers first conceived of the Club Championship in 1967 and set up the Deed of Gift that defines the event and prescribes who may participate. After decades running the event without formal documents, they were instituted about eight years ago and you’ll find this year’s race documents on the racing page.