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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.

Sign Up for the 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

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.

Here’s where you register.

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.” 

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.

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.

Stephanie Roble Accepts Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award

Stephanie Roble and Stewart Wicht, President & CEO of Rolex Watch

Stephanie Roble and Stewart Wicht, President & CEO of Rolex Watch

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.

Here’s a portion of the two emotional speeches:

 

Lake Pleasant Results

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.

Lake Pleasant Race Results. Photo: Chris Smith

Tempe Town Lake Results

Tempe Town Lake Scores for week 3 are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

Ferrings on their Capri 14.2 at TTL. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Ferrings on their Capri 14.2 at TTL. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Stephanie Roble Impresses a Huge AYC Meeting

Stephanie Roble

Stephanie Roble

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.

Here’s a link to Stephanie’s website. And here’s a link to donations to her effort.

25-year old Stephanie Roble (circled) almost lost among the high school class at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Chris Smith

25-year old Stephanie Roble (circled) almost lost among the high school class at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Chris Smith

Lake Pleasant Results

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.

Nat Kemberling's lovely J/105. Photo: Victor Felice

Nat Kemberling’s lovely J/105. Photo: Victor Felice

Tempe Town Lake Results

The scores from week 2 of racing can be found on the Results page, or by clicking here.

Tempe Town Lake Results

Week 1 of racing at Tempe Town Lake is posted on the results page, or by clicking here.