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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.

Warm? How About a Weekend in the Pines?

Steve Nahkala works the barbeque.

As I write this, the temperature in Phoenix is flirting with 120 degrees and a weekend in the cool country of Northern Arizona sounds pretty nice.

The annual AYC Summer Campout (formerly the Kinnikinick campout) is Friday-Sunday, July 28-30 this year. No need to register; just show up in the cool pines.

Once again Steve Nahkala will be heading up the trip, which will be held at Dairy Springs Campground by Mormon Lake. Steve moved the gathering to this new spot last year and says it’s more civilized than the traditional unimproved Kinnikinick site. People will begin to filter into the campsite Friday, ready to enjoy the 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 much more information on the event, including map directions.

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday night organizer George Sheller. Photo: Mike FerringWhat are you doing Wednesday night? How about coming out for some highly casual racing at Tempe Town Lake?

We start racing at 5:30 and go until sundown. We do a one minute sequence. I have a whistle and signal: 5 short blasts is “AP down,” followed by a 10 second gap, then one long as the start of the one-minute countdown. I try to give 3 shorts at 30 seconds, 2 at 20, 1 at 10 and then one long for the start. A single 360 turn clears penalties. We set short courses, so we’ve gotten up to seven races in. If the Ferrings are there, we use their automated starting gadget.

This started as a Laser thing, but others started coming out, which was great. We all start together.

This is not an official AYC event, so you’re on your own in terms of a boat, liability and fun. We start promptly at 5:30 pm and if you miss one or two races it’s no big deal since we don’t keep scores. This is good practice, with bragging rights and then (for those who want to) off to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Have questions?  Email me.

See you out there,
George Sheller

A Night to Remember

2016-2017 Commodore Bruce Andress. Photo: Mike Ferring

The 2017 Commodore’s Celebration was a night to remember, especially for Lori Reger, who received the AYC Sportsmanship Award recognition for her many contributions to the club over the years: as secretary, as monthly meeting greeter, as adopt-a-boat wrangler and a whole host of other things.

Paul Miachika will probably remember it too—the night he traded the Club Championship trophy for the Blunder Bucket! Paul ceded the Club Championship punch bowl to Mike Hester and John Mayall, this year’s champs. And Rob Gibbs offered a stirring nomination of Paul for a small trailering boo boo. Seems he didn’t tie down the front of his Laser to the trailer. That turned into a big deal when heading down the 101, he looked in the rear view mirror and saw the boat take flight, crashing on the port stern quarter and back flipping some 15 feet in the air. Fortunately nobody hurt, but Paul was suddenly in the market for a new boat.

Colin Gibbs earned the Linderman Most Improved Junior Award. Photo: Mike Ferring

Cindy Pillote presented the Linderman Most Improved Junior trophy to Colin Gibbs and the Heavy Lifting Award to his dad Rob. Bella Hutchinson accepted the High School Championship trophy; she crewed for Peter Blake in the competition. Miles Danner will receive the Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior Award when he comes home from vacation.

The experimental “Triple Crown” concept didn’t produce a winner this year, but Bruce Andress decided to dedicate it to longtime AYC member Jim Ney, who died recently.

Bruce will remember this as the night he handed over the Commodore’s chores and I’ll remember it as the night I formally took them on… again. Round three as Commodore. The new board, with several new faces, stood for applause.

The Commodore’s Celebration was held at The Yard in Tempe and proved to be an excellent location, especially when dressed up with Maryellen Ferring’s centerpieces and bright balloons.

Here are pictures I took (or were taken by others using my camera).

Motley Crue: Most of the 2017-2018 AYC Board of Directors. Photo: David Newland

 

2017 Tall Cactus

Lake Pleasant served up ideal winds and perfect conditions for the 2017 Tall Cactus. Steve Kusic won the monohull category and Brett Johnston the multi-hull, and now get to wear fancy trophy belt buckles. Scores are posted on the results page, or click here.

Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen, RC mavens. Photo: Mike Ferring

Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe

Registration is now closed for this event.

This is the social event of the year for the Arizona Yacht Club, a gathering of friends highlighted by presentation of trophies and installation of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

Dress is business casual. Members and nonmembers are welcome to attend. Cocktails at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7 pm.

Here’s a link to the Google map of the location.

The menu includes:

  • Caesar Salad
  • Soft Pretzels and Provolone Fondu
  • Fried Chicken with Biscuits, Snow Peas
  • Roasted Salmon with Cauliflower, Snow Peas
  • Baked Penne Pasta with Butternut Cream Sauce, Roasted Squash, Red Pepper, Herbed Ricotta
  • Dessert

Mike Hester Wins Club Championship

John Mayall and Mike Hester, Club Champs. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester and John Mayall coped with shifting Tempe Town Lake wind better than 8 other competitors Saturday (5/13) to take the 2017 Club Championship trophy.

This is Mike’s and John’s third Club Championship. Three other club champions finished second-fourth: Martin Lorch, Paul Miachika, and Dave Haggart. Mike and John will be formally presented the trophy at the Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe on Friday night, June 9.

TTL challenged all 9 teams with wind that ranged from light to puff-me-over, shifting from east to west, but usually blowing from the southeast, enough wind confusion that the race committee was constantly debating where to set the course.

All the top teams had a rough race or two, being called OCS and having to catch up or having to overcome a missed puff. Mike and John managed to work their way through the fleet on those bad starts to minimize the impact—and then were able to sprint out to the lead on other races, winning three. See the scores below. And here are three dozen pictures of the racing.

Congratulations to all 9 teams and thanks to the many people who pitched in to bring off the successful day. Race committee: PRO Mike Ferring, Mike Bernard, Lori Reger, Vanessa Wisbaum, Tony Chapman, and George Sheller. Chief Hospitality Officer Maryellen Ferring with Larry Green, Dave Henning, Ralph Vatalaro, and a couple others who will escape unnamed.

2017 Club Champs Mike Hester and John Mayall with the big cup. Photo: Mike Ferring


Club Championship Scores

Sailor Race 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Hester 1 1 3 4 2 1 4 2 18
Lorch 2 2 2 5 1 3 5 4 24
Miachika 6 5 6 2 3 4 1 1 28
Haggart 5 3 5 1 7 2 2 3 28
Richards 4 4 8 3 4 5 3 DNS 10 41
Worrall 3 6 1 6 8 6 7 5 42
Heisler 9 7 4 7 5 7 6 7 52
Rahn 8 9 7 8 6 8 OCS 6 62
Liszewski 7 8 RET DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75

The class photo: The 9 fleet champs and crews who competed in the 2017 regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

 

 

2016-2017 Racing Season Results

With the final, windy weekend of the spring race series finished, congratulations to everyone who came out to play this year!

The Lake Pleasant Spring Series fleet champs are: Charlie Ellis, C22; Fred Rahn, Multi-Hull; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mike Hester, PHRF Sportboat; Scott Richards, Thistle; Carl Muelenbeck, TransLoch.

That means that the combined Fall and Spring results produce these fleet champs for the year: Bob Worrall, C22; Fred Rahn, Multi-Hull; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mike Hester, PHRF Sportboat; Scott Richards, Thistle.

The Tempe Town Lake Spring Series fleet champs are: Emory Heisler, Buccaneer; Dave Haggart, C14; Paul Miachika, Laser; Colin Gibbs (yes, that Colin Gibbs), Portsmouth.

Producing these fleet champs for the year: Emory Heisler, Buccaneer; Dave Haggart, C14; Paul Miachika, Laser; Frederick Moor, Portsmouth.

And that means the following sailors are eligible for the Club Championship, which will be sailed Saturday (5/13) at Tempe Town Lake in C14 sailboats: Dave Haggart, Emory Heisler, Mike Hester, Paul Liszewski, Martin Lorch, Paul Miachika, Fred Rahn, Scott Richards and Bob Worrall.

The scores for the Spring series can be found on the results page or by clicking here: Tempe Town Lake Week 8And the combined  Fall 2016 & Spring 2017. Lake Pleasant Week 5. And the combined Fall 2016 & Spring 2017.

Gear Up for the Tall Cactus

The final event of the AYC sailing year is the Tall Cactus Regatta, which will be sailed on Saturday, May 20, at Lake Pleasant. This is a long-distance race that delivers a final fancy belt buckle to the winner. You can register here.

Vice Commodore Victor Felice has put together two all-women teams for the regatta, putting them on his two bright-pink J/24s. Here are the boats and crews: J/24 Tiller and Kites Mermaid Rescue MLT2978: Wendy Larsen, Dianna Andress, Michelle Herridge Bailey, Kristeen Teague. J/24 Tiller and Kites Mermaid Revolution MLT2162: Stacey Loula, Ellen Wesley, Monique Palermo, Susan Pew.

Hard to miss one of Victor Felice’s J/24s when it’s on the lake.

 

Lake Pleasant Week 4 Results

Odd weekend of racing at Lake Pleasant. Light wind Saturday, but just enough to get a couple good races in. Light start Sunday with a burst of nice wind, followed by light wind, followed by….

The scores for week 4 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

 

Paul Miachika Competes in Laser Midwinters West

AYC’s reigning Club Champion, Paul Miachika, took his Laser to the biggest West Coast race on March 24-26 and while he says the “young’uns” beat him, it was an excellent event.

Reports Paul, “85 Lasers (53 Radial and 32 Standard Rig) raced out of California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, CA at the premier Spring Laser regatta on the West Coast. Great wind, great weather, top notch competition, excellent race committee, and on-shore hospitality made this a memorable event.”

Here are a couple shots from sailing photographer Tom Walker:

Paul Miachika at the 2017 Laser Midwinters West.

Paul mixes it up with a herd of Lasers at the Laser Midwinters West off Venice Beach, California

Lake Pleasant Week 3 Results

The weekend kicked off with some of the best wind of the year, chased Sunday morning with a nice breeze before the usual midday collapse when all the fleets decided to call it a day. Many thanks to the Multi-Hull fleet for race committee duty under difficult circumstances and the very first time they’ve taken it on.

The scores for week 3 at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

Vipers racing at the 2017 Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

April Meeting: Extreme Sailing!

Sailing will go to the Extreme in October in San Diego, foiling cats rising out of the water in a wild show of speed. The city is the latest entry in the world tour of the Extreme Sailing Series, a collection of professional, sponsored teams racing a fleet of foiling GC32 catamarans, “flying” just in front of thousands of spectators.

Matt Reynolds. Credit - Lloyd Images

Matt Reynolds. Credit – Lloyd Images

In April, San Diego Extreme Series CEO Matt Reynolds will introduce AYC to the series and invite us to take it all in on October 19-21. The Race Village will be based at Harbor Island, and the racing action will take place close to shore as a kind of “stadium” racing venue. The series started in 2007 with racing catamarans, but last year switched to the GC32, the foiling boats. Here’s more about the boats.

They just raced in March at Muscat in Oman. Next up in April is Qingdao, China. Then it’s on to the Madeira Islands, Hamburg and Cardiff, and then San Diego and Los Cabos, Mexico

The meeting is Tuesday, April 11, 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.

Extreme Series at the last stop of 2016, Sydney harbor.

Extreme Series at the last stop of 2016, Sydney harbor.

 

Tempe Town Lake Week 5

It was a light-wind Sunday for the fifth week of racing (and RC training) at Tempe Town Lake. Of course, inevitably, the wind filled in a bit as we pulled the boats out of the water.

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

TTL Ferring 2-2017-Colin Gibbs-cover

Colin Gibbs on an O’Pen Bic. Photo: Mike Ferring

Week 4 of racing at Tempe Town Lake

The scores for week 4 at Tempe Town Lake at posted on the results page, or click here.

Lake Pleasant Week 2

The scores for week 2 of racing on Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

March Meeting: Boathouse for Tempe Town Lake?

Kim Knotter, Executive Director, Rio Salado Foundation

Kim Knotter, Executive Director, Rio Salado Foundation

The Rio Salado Foundation is making another run at building a $5-million boathouse on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake. Storage on the lower floor, offices and meeting space on the top. Sound like something nice to have?

At the March monthly meeting, Rio Salado’s Executive Director Kim Knotter will lay out the plans and the hopes and dreams for you to ogle. If you’ve been following this story, this will be familiar. The organization has been trying to get the concept off the ground for years and has been sitting on $1.2 million in funds as seed money, most of it from SRP. Kim will tell us how they hope to get the seed to grow.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 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.

Kim Knotter was named Executive Director in July 2013 and has worked in nonprofit management and fundraising in Phoenix for over 20 years. She has served with some of the Valley’s most notable charities including The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Planned Parenthood of Arizona, Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix Art Museum, and Ballet Arizona. Kim is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Planned Giving Round Table of Arizona.

Rain, Strong Wind Mark Leukemia Cup-Birthday Regatta Action

Friday: Gorgeous. Saturday: Not so much. Sunday: Better, but who needs cold and rainy?

Tony Chapman pulls off a tight leeward rounding and heads upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tony Chapman pulls off a tight leeward rounding and heads upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

When it was over, Jeff Grange had mowed down the Viper competition, his single “bad” race (a third) tossed out, leaving him with a total of 9 points in 9 scored races. Tim Carter and Tony Chapman fought an epic fight for second. Tim took a one-point lead on Friday and clung to it through Sunday.

Chris Winnard and Al Lehman Jr. dominated the PHRF Spin class on a Holder 20, also tossing a third to leave them with a perfect five points in five scored races. While Chris Smith was promoting SUP boards, his boat with guest crew took second place.

Bob Worrall took PHRF Non-Spin, Dave Scobie “Wrinkle Boat,” and Gordon Bagley won Multi-Hull. Gordon also gets the belt buckle for Multi-Hull and Jeff Grange gets buckled in Mono. Lots of sailors decided it was too wet, too windy, or overall much too crummy to sail, leaving all the fleets depleted.

The bright spot on the weekend came Friday, with good wind and partly cloudy skies. Friday’s Birthday Bash and Viper races were nearly perfect. The Bash Boats shot up to Balance Rock, looped over and around Horse, took Balance to port again and tacked south to the finish, with the first boats finishing in about 90 minutes. Rollin’ in the Deep did it fastest, notching both “line honors” and the corrected PHRF win.

Rain? Well, yes, and heavy wind. And as the races got started Saturday morning, a flash of lightning brought a radio call from the RC: Abandon. All the boats streaked for Pleasant Harbor Marina and an early lunch. By the 1 pm restart, heavy puffs blasted the course and later rain splattered everyone, reducing the number of boats deciding to race, but still permitting several races to complete.

We’ll learn soon how the real winner of the weekend came out: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which was the beneficiary of the regatta’s fundraising.

Here are the results of the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta.

Here are pictures shot by Mike Ferring during Viper racing and the the Birthday Rum Party on Friday:

Birthday 2017-1

High wire act. Photo; Mike Ferring

 

Viper sails. Photo: Mike Ferring

Viper sails. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Spring 2017 Week One Results

The day started with a nice, fresh breeze and then slowly dissolved into one of those placid Lake Pleasant drifters. It was the first day of the Lake Pleasant Spring Series, an experimental one-day weekend event that turned into an experimental two-hour weekend instead.

After waiting out the wind, the fleets decided to head in by 2 pm, hoping for better when the series resumes after a long month break (punctuated by the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta).

The scores for the first week of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

 

Greg Woodcock's Santana 20 takes a puff. Photo: Charles Landis

Greg Woodcock’s Santana 20 takes a puff. Photo: Charles Landis

Vipers and J/80 crossing the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Vipers and J/80 crossing the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Leukemia Cup & Birthday Regatta Bash

Here’s what’s happening at the 2017 AYC Leukemia Cup Regatta “First in the Nation” and Birthday Regatta, with a completely new date, format and events. All the regatta information and registration is on www.aycregattas.com. This site is continually being updated. The regatta is Friday-Sunday, February 17-19.

Sportboats charge for the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Sportboats charge for the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Here are the highlights:

A really big tent! The H2OMG event (hydroplane boat races the weekend after us) needed marks, a couple of boats and volunteers—which we have. We needed a really big tent—which they have. We’ve been working with H2OMG to combine resources and share/trade where possible.

Sponsors: Take a look at the sponsor page. All of those listed have contributed, assisted and provided goods or services to the regatta.

Portillo – Lunch on the Lake. New for 2017. On Saturday, 2/18, instead of soggy sandwiches and chips, Portillo’s will be delivering your pre-ordered lunch right on the lake. We will have a lunch break around midday. Sail up to the pontoon boat, grab your lunch and enjoy! A $20 lunch credit is included in the registration fee.

Pleasant Harbor Access – no more paying at the gate every day. Registration includes a three-day access pass to the Marina. Drive up, show your card and you’re in!

SUP – New for 2017 is a full day of SUP events, classes, demonstrations and racing on the “beach” by the North Ramp. Entry fee includes a one-day pass to enter Pleasant Harbor.

The Phoenix – New for 2017. AYC has chartered The Phoenix cruise boat for a private VIP cruise around the race course. Lake Pleasant Sailing Club is assisting with the operation of this event. To secure a seat for friends and family (and great photo ops) all you have to do is make a donation to the LLS (Details here.)

The Club Challenge – New for 2017. Created primarily for cruising boats, the Club Challenge is an AYC vs LPSC vs Tucson Sailing Club run around a challenging course. Two new trophies are awarded: One to the winning club (which they must defend in 2018) and one to the winning boat.

The Birthday Bash – Friday’s race open to all boats. This is a long course handicap race with a twist. For 2017 we will also be awarding a Line Honors trophy.

Regatta T-Shirts – New for 2017. This year, regatta T-shirts are printed on site. No ordering in advance, no running out of a certain size. You want it? They print it. The front of the shirt has the regatta poster; the back is fully customizable. Add your name, your boat’s name, a logo—all done on site in about five minutes.

The Trophies – Of course the second set of Triple Crown Rodeo Buckles will be awarded to a monohull and multi-hull boat. The “best on the water” during the regatta will walk away with one of these spectacular awards. The actual regatta trophies are secret. Let’s just say they follow the Embrace Your Inner Arizona theme.

The Auctionall items up for grabs are on listed here. If you have a product or service you would like to add to the auction, please contact us at info@aycregattas.com.

Accommodation – The Courtyard Marriott is offering a group discount rate at the hotel on I-17 and Happy Valley Road. Easy and quick access to the lake at a very comfortable hotel.

And there is so much more! Did we mention a carnival at Spinnaker Point? Yes, there will be that too!