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Ultimate Sailing Photography: A Sharon Green Splash at November Meeting

Sharon Green in pursuit of another ultimate sailing picture.

Sharon Green in pursuit of another ultimate sailing picture.

Sharon Green has snapped some of the greatest−the Ultimate−sailing pictures of the last 30 years. In November, she’ll let us feast on them at the AYC monthly meeting.

The meeting is Tuesday, November 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.

Sharon is perhaps best known for her calendar, Ultimate Sailing, that features highlight shots from the year. She’s also diversified into clothing items and various other sailing stuff on her extensive website. But you’ve undoubtedly seen her work many more places.

Ultimate Photographer Sharon Green

Ultimate Photographer Sharon Green

From her official bio: Sharon has been published in major boating publications, both locally and internationally, since she first took up a camera while still in high school. She has worked on eight America’s Cups and countless other high profile campaigns and regattas. In recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments in photography Sharon was awarded an honorary Masters Degree from the prestigious Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her daughter Michaela and son Kieran.

Sharon is happiest when she’s on the water or hanging from a helicopter in search of the elusive image that can be called Ultimate Sailing.

“My greatest satisfaction is when it all comes together: the anticipation, planning, organizing, traveling and epic conditions that combine to create a thrilling photograph. The pursuit of Ultimate Sailing images never seems to grow old. Three decades and I still love the challenge of creating memorable images for my clients and the calendar.”

Here’s a video of Sharon in action:

 

On the line for a J/70 regatta.

On the line for a J/70 regatta. Photo: Sharon Green

Sailing on the edge.

Sailing on the edge. Photo: Sharon Green

 

October Meeting: Solo, Nonstop Circumnavigator Jeannie Socrates

Jeannie aboard Nereida.

Jeannie aboard Nereida.

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.

Getting knocked around in the Southern Ocean.

Getting knocked around in the Southern Ocean.

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.”

America’s Cup and Transpac Winner at September Monthly Meeting

John Sangmeister

John Sangmeister

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.

John Sangmeister's Transpac-winning trimaran.

John Sangmeister’s Transpac-winning trimaran.

August Meeting: Sportboat Ace Rod Favela

Rod Favela at the helm of the speedy VX One.

Rod Favela at the helm of the speedy VX One.

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.

Tip for a Happy Crew: Make Sure It’s Fun

Ullman Sails' Keith Magnussen with Victor Felice and Jeff Coulter

Ullman Sails’ Keith Magnussen with Victor Felice and Jeff Coulter

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.

Keith Magnussen offers tips for crew at the AYC monthly meeting.

Keith Magnussen offers tips for crew at the AYC monthly meeting.

Marshall Williamson and Deana Pos of Tucson Sailing Club, with AYC's Mike Ferring, and (new member) Ryan Hanks.

Marshall Williamson and Deana Pos of Tucson Sailing Club, with AYC’s Mike Ferring, and (new AYC member) Ryan Hanks.

Viper Sailmaker is July’s Meeting Attraction

Keith Magnussen of Ullman Sails.

Keith Magnussen of Ullman Sails.

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.

The Ullman Loft. Photo: SeaYa.com

The Ullman Loft. Photo: SeaYa.com

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.

Some of the action you'll find at the Tucson Sailing Club's San Carlos regattas.

Some of the action you’ll find at the Tucson Sailing Club’s San Carlos regattas.

And some of the scenery that comes with it.

And some of the scenery that comes with it.

Bruce Brown: How to Stay Safe on a Boat

Bruce Brown points to a graph showing boating accidents. Photo: Mike Ferring

At the March AYC monthly meeting, Bruce Brown points to a graph showing boating accidents. Photo: Mike Ferring

The most important thing you can do to stay safe on a boat is: stay on the boat. Once you’re in the water, recovery is difficult, especially with today’s fast boats that leave a crew overboard far behind in short order.

Safety expert Bruce Brown offered a string of tips to the March monthly meeting, including the use of jacklines and safety harnesses, PFDs, and recovery techniques.

Bruce presented six challenges to rescues and offered 8 strategies to make them successful. In the ocean, crew recovery is considerably more complicated than in our generally calm lakes. Spotting a crew member (or even being aware someone’s gone overboard) is one of the biggest challenges. Quickly marking approximate location by GPS and keeping a spotter with eyes on the person are critical—and the person in the water can help by waving and pulling on a brightly-colored hood.

It’s also important to practice, practice, practice. Learn to bring the boat to a quick stop and then return quickly. When the water’s cold, the crew overboard can lose dexterity quickly, then have trouble thinking clearly, and then face hypothermia.

Here are two other documents Bruce left with us:

Ullman Sails Pro for April Meeting

Erik Shampain

Erik Shampain

Ullman Sails professional sailor Erik Shampain is our April monthly meeting speaker. Erik has an extensive sailing resume that begins with growing up on a boat and headlines such things as a course record and race sweep in the Pacific Cup, an Etchells World Championship title and Melges 24 National Championship.

The meeting is Tuesday, April 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.

“One of the most challenging things I’ve done is the Transpac, double-handed—twice,” says Erik. He did it once on a 33-foot boat and once on a 35-foot boat.

“Alone with your thoughts for hours at a time; it’ll get to you. Over a 12-day race you’ve basically second-guessed every decision you’ve ever made. I was asked what would happen if I didn’t get along with my co-skipper. My answer was always, doesn’t matter, we’re on the opposite shift. I never see him!”

Erik Shampain’s father worked on racing boats when Erik was growing up and Erik has clearly taken to the sport. This year he’s racing with a Farr 40, a Melges 20, various J/70s and his own Hobie 33.

Erik at work.

Erik at work.

Monthly Meeting: Bruce Brown and Safety at Sea

Bruce-Brown

We’re pretty sure this is Bruce Brown’s back, a picture taken as he was teaching a Safety-at-Sea seminar in California (he hasn’t sent us any pictures so we snatched this from Facebook). You’ll see another side of Bruce at the meeting.

If you attend a safety-at-sea seminar on the West Coast, you’re likely to meet this guy: Bruce Brown. At this month’s meeting, he’ll tell us the best methods for crew overboard recovery and suggest the best choices for personal safety equipment. And we’ll have a report on it shortly.

Bruce is a multi-time Past President of the United States Marine Association; he’s an instructor for the Coast Guard 100 Ton License Program; and he has extensive offshore racing experience, including skippering on the TransPac; and he specializes in evaluating safety products, such as life rafts, marine communication, and heavy weather forecasts.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 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.

Also on the program, a couple short videos from John deCastro, who was a Course Marshall for the America’s Cup last fall. He’ll briefly share some of his experiences.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Best not to have any of these hovering over your boat in distress.

Best not to have any of these hovering over your boat in distress.

Monthly Meeting: Safety at Sea with Bob Steel

February’s monthly meeting features noted sailor and safety-at-sea expert Bob Steel. Bob will talk about inshore and ocean racing with updates on weather forecasting and safety efforts. He calls it Smooth Ocean Sailing. You’ll find his extensive resume below.

February meeting speaker Bob Steel at the helm.

February meeting speaker Bob Steel at the helm.

The meeting is Tuesday, February 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.

Bob Steel
Sailing Resume

Born Sydney, Australia
44 years in the Marine Industry
Managing Yacht construction restoration, repair, maintenance, electronic installation & rigging.
Project Management sail & power
Responsible for planning & prep multiple offshore ocean races, sail up to 8oft
Nautor Swan Finland expert for factory delivered boats & current clients
Currently: Principal, Steelmaritime.

Member Transpac Yacht Club
Cruising Club Of America
Ancient Mariners Sailing Society
Society Naval Architects & Marine Engineers
California Yacht Brokers Association
Licensed California Yacht Broker
Board Member, Newport Sea Base, Sea Scout sailing

Highlights of Races as sailing pro responsible for total boat prep & safety

Transpac to Hawaii  Six times
Warrior           50ft Chance  1st Class A
Sunset Blvd    50ft Hollman 1st Cass  A
Aorangi           55ft Lapworth  Charter to US Naval Academy            Transpac to Tahiti
Mir, 78 ft Ketch. Walter Cronkite & James Michener on board after race, cruise Bora Bora to Raetaiea
Bermuda Race   Two times
Warrior          50ft Chance    2nd Class A
Southern Ocean Racing Circuit
High Roler 46ft Peterson  1st Class A  Dennis Conner
Mazatlan Race
Warrior    50ft Chance     1st class A
Trans Atlantic
Buccaneer   70ft Spencer
Fastnet    Force 9
Indigo   46 ft Frers       Survived
Inshore Races
St Francis Big Boat
Saudade    48ft S&S         Ist  Rheem series
Jet Steam   44ft Peterson  1st
Atlantic Series
Cal Cup
Windward Passage    70ft Guerney  1st
Ullman  Series
Taxi Dancer  70ft Reichel Pugh. 1st Class A
Ensenada  Race
Miz Blu  59ft Swan Owners Rep  for Walter Cronkite guest skipper
Stars & Stripes  Dennis Conner   1st Finish 1st Class A  First Overall
Cabo Races  Three times
Condor 70 ft Alan Andrews
Recent Deliveries
Newport to Costa Rica
Mehetebel   76ft Pedrick Sloop
Fiji to New Caledonia, Lord Howe Island to Sydney, Australia
Van Diemen 65ft  Muir Sloop
Newport Beach to Avalon
America   120ft Schooner
Currently racing
Its Ok    50ft   Andrews
Condor 70ft    Andrews

And lots of racing & cruising ahead for this year.

Keeping the Club Floating High

There was a large and interested turnout for Tuesday night’s meeting (1/14) reviewing the financial affairs of the Arizona Yacht Club—and a clear consensus among the group that AYC is an inexpensive club, that it’s time to ratchet up dues and entry fees, and that it’s essential to keep the club on a sound footing.

The biggest cost we face is Lake Pleasant racing, but it’s also our most important activity. As Steve Nahkala said, “It’s why I belong to AYC.”

Over the last two years, the fleet captains have slowly increased race fees, especially those for nonmembers, to close the gap between revenue and expenses, but Lake Pleasant racing is still a big consumer of club dollars. (Tempe Town Lake racing takes in a bit more than it spends, thanks to the ability to use ASF equipment.)

In contrast, club dues have remained unchanged since 2003, when they were boosted from $75 to $125 per year. If dues had kept pace with the Consumer Price Index, they would have been $158 last year.

Club treasurer Tony Chapman

Club treasurer Tony Chapman

When former Commodore Bill Hutchinson asked what the club was doing to keep a healthy reserve in order to be ready when equipment replacements are needed, Treasurer Tony Chapman replied, “Bingo. That’s the heart of the question tonight.” In fact, reserves are hovering around $20,000 after drifting down the last few years in which when the club was breaking even or losing money (last year we were about $170 in the black).

Some members questioned the decision to purchase the Boston Whaler Outrage, with its higher operating cost, instead of sticking with the aluminum bass boat that’s been the runabout for the last dozen years. Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock responded by saying that the bass boat was an accident waiting to happen and had to be patched together to make it out onto the water. Lake Pleasant Fleet Captain Bruce Andress noted that one of the big expenses was avoidable repairs when people were careless in the way they took care of the boats. (The board attempted to address that issue by requiring certification for all club boat operators.)

When asked if the group was ready to raise the dues, the response was overwhelmingly yes. Now it’s up to the board to propose the next step. If they think it’s time for a dues increase, the move would need to be approved by a vote of members, probably at the same time as the vote for next year’s officers.

Here’s a link to the current AYC budget. And here’s an explanation of how the club operates.

 

Next Meeting: “State of the Club”

Our January Monthly Meeting will present a picture of the “State of the Club,” led by Commodore Cynthia Pillote and Treasurer Tony Chapman.

Tony Chapman has been the club's treasurer for a very long time (thank you Tony) and is a serious competitive sailor, competing in a Buccaneer and Viper 640 at regattas all over the country. Tony was the recipient of this year's AYC Sportsmanship Award, given to someone deemed to be a "most valuable player" for AYC.

Treasurer Tony Chapman will present information on the club’s financial condition.

This is an opportunity for club members to get a full understanding of the club’s financial position, to ask questions and offer feedback on the direction we need to take for the future.

The meeting is Tuesday, January 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.

Here’s a copy of the 2013-2014 AYC budget for your review before the meeting.

Pirate Party Booty

Good times, lots of great gifts (lots of booze), and good stories filled the night Tuesday (12/10). The restaurant looked festive with lights and snowflakes and Tom Errickson brought an adorable, big, inflated Polar Bear that we set up by the gift table.

Kyle Clark started with a nice bottle of rum and ended up with this. Photo: Emory Heisler

Kyle Clark started with a nice bottle of rum and ended up with this. Photo: Emory Heisler

Tom and Emory Heisler did a great job getting everyone riled up to pirate gifts. And pirate they did. Poor Kyle Clark was the night’s big loser. He went from a lovely bottle of special rum to a bilge pump!

One of the members pointed out to Emory that the awarding of the Blunder Bucket is to done at the Holiday party so Emory solicited nominations. He got five or six, but in the end, he and his worthy crew Jonathan Abel-Millman were the unanimous winners for improperly rigging the Bucc’s spinnaker on TTL, head to clew.

Tony Chapman was a close second for letting his crew fall overboard, which is ironic because Tony first nominated his crew for falling off the boat—but then Leo Baumann pointed out that while he wasn’t there to personally witness the event, it seemed to him more like it was the man at the tiller who blundered.

—By Lori Reger

Tom Errickson and Gene Walentiny unearthing a gift. Photo: Emory Heisler

Tom Errickson and Gene Walentiny unearthing a gift. Photo: Emory Heisler

The Big Christmas Party

December’s membership meeting brings the annual AYC gift exchange, a gift exchange with a twist. You might say twisted, even. The meeting is at 7 pm, Tuesday, December 10, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.

Here’s how the gift exchange works:

  • You bring a wrapped gift valued at about $20.
  • You pick a number from a hat to determine the order we select gifts.
  • We’ll have two people called to the front of the room at the same time.
  • Each person can choose to pick a wrapped gift from the pile or play pirate and take the gift from someone who’s already opened one.
  • Gifts can be “pirated” only twice before they’re safe from further theft.

Some of the gifts can be pretty weird, but if you’re looking for a prized gift suggestion: Liquor always seems to bring applause!

What’s the Christmas gift exchange like? Here’s what happened in 2011.

October Meeting: Astonishing Around-the-World Sailing Story

Yoh Aoki

Yoh Aoki

Yoh Aoki is one of the world’s great dreamers. Imagine building a 21-foot boat in your backyard at age 19. And at 21, setting sail around the world.

It took more than three years, but Yoh survived dismastings and a complete capsize (a wave flipped his boat upside down before another one flipped him right-side up) and made the circumnavigation, including sailing around Cape Horn. That backyard boat is now in the Guinness World Records as the smallest ever to sail around the world using Cape Horn.

Thirty years after that amazing trip Yoh Aoki now runs a Japanese ASA sailing school and will be our October monthly meeting speaker. The meeting is Tuesday, October 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.

 

Want to Learn to Charter and Sail to Catalina?

Avalon harbor on Catalina Island, a great charter destination. Photo: Ralph Vatalaro

Avalon harbor on Catalina Island, a great charter destination. Photo: Ralph Vatalaro

Or how about the British Virgin Islands?

Before the monthly meeting in September, Cruising Captain Ralph Vatalaro will give you specific information on how to take the big of step of chartering a boat and sailing it yourself. He’ll be checking interest in putting together an AYC charter trip so you can take the step with friends and expert guidance.

If you’ve thought about chartering but were concerned about whether you could do it, you need to be there.

This “pre-meeting” will begin at 6pm on Tuesday, September 10, 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.

If you’ve already done some chartering (or lots of it), we’d love to have you come by and share your expertise. Pull up a chair, order a beer, and let’s talk.

 

Catalina 22 National Commodore is September Meeting Speaker

C22 National Commodore Don Boyko

C22 National Commodore Don Boyko

September’s AYC Monthly Meeting features the new Commodore for the C22 National Association, Don Boyko, from San Marcos, CA. Don is working to build C22 action in the West.

The meeting is Tuesday, September 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.

Also, we’re planning a “pre-meeting” on cruising and chartering, beginning at 6pm. Come on by!

One of the big western events for Catalina 22s is Don’s 5th annual “Post Thanksgiving Day Weekend” at Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego. It includes free vehicle and trailer parking, free launching, free dockage for the weekend, free use of the MBYC facilities, and the galley will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner during the entire weekend.

He’s also planning a 2014 West Coast Cruise next July, starting at Mission Bay Yacht Club. They’ll spend a couple days in Mission Bay, then sail around Pt. Loma and into San Diego Bay for the rest of the week. Home port in the south bay will be at the Chula Vista Marina, which offers great facilities, with a restaurant and bar located right at the marina and the best sailboat ramp on San Diego Bay.

Don and his wife have been very active in the San Diego area, organizing various events, including that Thanksgiving weekend cruise. He’s also written often for the Catalina 22 Main Brace publication and is active on Internet forums—enough so that he was asked to take the Commodore slot. Don wrote an interesting bio for us that you can read here.

August Meeting: Sailing Game Night

Is this a Blunder or a Crash? Miss the hiking straps and it could be a Rule 14 kerplunk. Photo: Sailing World

Is this a Blunder or a Crash? Miss the hiking straps and it could be a Rule 14 kerplunk. Photo: Sailing World

How closely are you following the the America’s Cup action? Who leading the semi-final series? How do those boats go so fast?

If you can answer these questions, your team may be in line for some prizes at the AYC Monthly Meeting Game Night, Tuesday, August 13, starting at 7 pm (with dinner at 6 pm).

Like the last two years, we’ll split the crowd into teams, hand each team an electronic, interactive clicker, and flash questions on the screen. The team that gets the most right answers will be the winner. The questions will be a mixture of general sailing questions, some trivia, and some local knowledge. Bring your kids, because we’ll have some questions reserved just for them to answer.

The AYC 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.

What’s happening at Pleasant Harbor Marina?

The Maricopa Water District plans some major upgrades for Pleasant Harbor Marina, now that it has taken over the operation.

The General Manager of the district, Glen Vortherms, told AYC at the July monthly meeting that they’ve already taken steps to upgrade service and facilities and they’ll continue to take steps over the coming months. Mr. Vortherms said they’ve stopped being surprised by the growing list of items that need repair and replacement, such things as missing parts for air conditioners to malfunctioning gas pumps (which were installed without a permit or inspection by the fire department).

He also said they’ve been amazed at the wide swings in rates customers pay for slips, as much as $400 per month variation for the same slip size. No more, he promised, saying that there will be published and non-negotiated rates in the future (while assuring Bill Hutchinson that he’ll get to keep his great contract rate through its term).

That much-disliked perimeter boom that made exiting the marina difficult and made navigating to the north boat ramp so tough? Already gone. Portions of it may go back when there’s heavy debris that needs to be kept out of the slips.

Several members urged Mr. Vortherms to set a low rate for overnight slip rental during AYC race weekends, suggesting he’d gain when we spend money in the restaurant and store. And we’d gain by not having to pull our boats out of the water.

Overlooking Pleasant Harbor Marina

June Meeting: Sailing Around the World Scared

Camille Gannon

Camille Gannon

For the June monthly meeting, come hear the fascinating story of a woman who overcomes her fears to go ocean sailing.

The meeting is at 7 pm, Tuesday, June 11, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. Visitors are welcome.

Camille Gannon wrote a book about her exploits and the blurb of the book begins this way: Camille Gannon cannot swim. In fact, she suffers from a gut-wrenching fear of drowning. At the peak of her professional career, her husband, Peter, reveals his lifelong dream of circumnavigating the world on a sailboat, with Camille as first mate.

So begins a nearly two-year saga where Camille must suppress her fears and dreams and find the will to accept a life of isolation and her own inadequacies as a sailor. Living within the confines of a 44-foot sailboat, experiencing the awesome power of nature on the open sea, and enduring the intrusion of crew members along the way, she struggles to support Peter as they island-hop across the South Pacific. While landfalls and shore leaves are fascinating adventures, cruising is not all blue lagoons, sunsets, and tailwinds. Yet Camille’s anxiety slowly evolves into confidence in her abilities as a sailor, a wife, and a woman.

The book is called Woman Overboard and she promises it will resonate with all women faced with the choice of enabling the passion of a beloved mate when doing so means personal sacrifice and confrontation with their fears. The memoir is a warm-hearted glimpse into the life of a cruising couple as they discover the true meaning of bon voyage.