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August Meeting: Catamaran Master Designer Gino Morrelli

If you’ve ever sailed on a catamaran of any size or description, you’ve probably sailed on a Morrelli & Melvin boat. They’re that ubiquitous in catamaran design. America’s Cup? Certainly. Gunboats? Check. Leopards? Yup. Hobie Wave? Yes, sir. Really? Really.

gino_morrelli

Gino Morrelli

In August, company partner Gino Morrelli will be our guest speaker, giving us a peek at the dynamics of this dynamic sailing sector. We can’t imagine anyone better positioned to do it.

Here’s the official bio: “Gino started out working on race cars and boats in his family’s Southern California back yard as a teenager. He built his first boat with his dad and brother, a 33-foot Crowther trimaran in high school. Soon after he started his first company, Climax Catamarans, designing and building 18-square meter cats. He has been entrenched in onshore and offshore race-boat construction efforts since the early 80’s, designing and managing the construction of a French 60′ ocean racing catamaran, multiple Formula 40’s, the 1988 Stars & Stripes America’s Cup catamaran, Bol D’or racers, Little America’s Cup C-Class cats and many racing beach catamarans. Gino raced extensively on Stars and Stripes ’88 with Dennis Connor and Steve Fossett’s Morrelli & Melvin designed 125ft cat PlayStation, setting Atlantic W-E, 24 hour, Round Britain/Ireland records, and many more.”

The meeting is Tuesday, August 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.

The Morrelli & Melvin designed Gunboat Phaedro, which they re-outfitted and modified for more sail area to run in this year's Transpac. Their boats ran 1-3 in this year's race.

The Morrelli & Melvin designed Gunboat Phaedro, which they re-outfitted and modified for more sail area to run in this year’s Transpac. Their boats ran 1-3 in class in this year’s race.

Scot Tempesta Lives Up to Advance Billing

But then you knew he would.

Scot Tempesta takes home a cactus burgee. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Scot Tempesta takes home a cactus burgee. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Scot has been the ringmaster of Sailing Anarchy for 15 years, ever since he started it in a peak of “I’m not in the club” anger when Scuttlebutt didn’t publish a letter of his. He stirred the SA jambalaya for years until he figured out it would bubble and steam on its own and he could use his time better by attracting advertisers, which he’s done with great success. They may be wary of the tone and temperature of the thing, but he says it’s hard to deny the Google Analytics results, which he claims rank SA as the most popular sailing website by far.

Like most of us, he’s worried about the popularity of our sailing hobby: how do you attract new players, especially young people? How do you keep the kids interested if they can’t win races (they tend to drift away)? What about the whole foiling thing, which demands money, skill, and lots of wind. And here’s an intriguing question: What boat would you buy and what AYC fleet would you join if you’d just joined? Is there a fleet with momentum right now?

Besides sailing and s**t-stirring, Scot’s other career was as a radio talk show host in San Diego and he clearly has the talent for it. He could entertain for hours by himself, but it helps to have a few foils in the crowd—and John Riddell played the part perfectly, trying to defend Etchells against Scot’s attack. Scot is not an Etchells fan, thinking they represent a branch of uncomfortable, slow sailing despite their popularity with some of San Diego’s best sailors.

I clearly heard Scot say that he’d come back and talk with AYC again. Good idea!

Scot Tempesta (red shirt) surrounded by some of the monthly meeting crowd. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Scot Tempesta (red shirt) surrounded by some of the monthly meeting crowd. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

 

July Meeting: Who is Scot Tempesta and How Can He Say Those Things?

If Scuttlebutt is your serious older brother in a serious gray suit, then Sailing Anarchy is your potty-mouthed, brawling, drunken, bare-foot little brother who just won’t shut up.

Well, the kid’s coming to dinner.

Scot Tempesta

Scot Tempesta

Scot Tempesta sailed a lot and well, but earned his living as a radio talk show host in San Diego, the kind of job where meek and mild gets you unemployed. Scot pleads Not Guilty to both meek and mild and in 2000, when he thought every sailing publication was just too boring, he decided to shake things up. He called it Sailing Anarchy.

A couple years ago Scot described SA’s beginning to Ocean Racing magazine, saying at first he just did it to bitch about things: “Especially bitching about people like Dennis Conner, and Peter Isler, basically people that for various reasons I did not like. I did not like them personally, I didn’t like the way they went about sailing. I just thought I could not be the only person with views like that, and if even I was, I didn’t give a damn and just did it!”

Since then Sailing Anarchy has gotten only a little more respectable, with a bit more actual, you know, content and each web page is ringed with advertiser links from serious companies that don’t seem to mind being associated with anarchy.

So, hang on. Scot Tempesta will be our July meeting speaker.

The meeting is Tuesday, July 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 bit more that you probably didn’t know about Scot’s sailing background. He’s been a member of San Diego Yacht Club for three decades. He’s an accomplished sailor, winning the Lipton Cup for SDYC twice, has been two-time Schock 35 national champion, and has sailed five Transpacs and approximately 40 races to Mexico. He now sails the GP26 Sleeve of Wizard.

Scot claims Sailing Anarchy is the world's most-read sailing website.

Scot claims Sailing Anarchy is the most-read sailing website.

Sailing Tips from a World Champ

Champion sailor Bill Hardesty

Champion sailor Bill Hardesty

Bill Hardesty asked the crowd, “How many of you have a plan before the start?” Did you raise your hand? I did. But then he explained what he meant by a plan and suddenly mine looked pretty incomplete.

Bill Hardesty’s sailing resume is gold-plated: 10-time world champion, a 30-time national champ, and 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

When Bill makes a plan for a start, he breaks it down to the second before doing what we all need to do when a plan doesn’t quite match the situation: improvise.

And had you heard of the 20-80 rule? Short explanation: it’s the rule that keeps you from driving all the way to the layline on one tack, leaving yourself some margin for wind shifts or competing boats getting in the way. If you have 20% of one tack remaining and 80% of the other, it’s time to turn the boat.

We had a nice June turnout to hear this exceptional sailor, watching as he moved magnetic boats and sketched starts and mark roundings and kept us all engaged and thinking.

It takes a lot of people to make a meeting go smoothly and Commodore Chris Smith says, “Mike and Maryellen Ferring provided the white board, boats and markers. Peter Lehrach and Victor Felice helped with the set up and dismantling of the sound system and screen and Victor took some fun photos. Steve Brown brought the trophies. Lori Reger welcomed guests. Peter Lehrach worked with Jim Brewer to kick off preparations for next year’s Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup. And big thanks to Cindy Pillote for digging into her personal supply of AYC swag, which we gave to Bill.”

Bill Hardesty talks through what it means to have a plan before the start of a race. Photo: Chris Smith

Bill Hardesty talks through what it means to have a plan before the start of a race. Photos: Chris Smith

June Meeting: Champion Racer Bill Hardesty

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

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

The meeting is Tuesday, June 9, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

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

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

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

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

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

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.” 

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

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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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:

 

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

Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble is February’s Meeting Speaker

Stephanie Roble

Stephanie Roble

On January 14, Terry Hutchinson and Stephanie Roble were named US Sailing’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Before she picks up her new Rolex during a ceremony in New York, Stephanie will be our monthly meeting speaker. Really!

The meeting is Tuesday, February 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.

Stephanie Roble won the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship and placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship. Based on her 2014 match racing results, she begins the New Year as the top American match racer and is ranked number three in the world.

Last year she was also a member of the Etchells World Championship winning team, crewed on the seventh-place finisher at the J/70 North American Championship and the fifth place-finisher at the Melges 20 North American Championship.

Stephanie is 25 years old. She began by sailing dinghies and scows at Lake Beulah Yacht Club in her hometown of East Troy, Wisconsin, and she graduated from Old Dominion University in Virgina, where she twice earned ICSA All-American Honors (2010, 2011).

Rear Commodore Chris Smith says Stephanie made a big effort to fit our meeting into a multi-city trip, flying in the day of the meeting and jumping on a red-eye on the way out. Chris says let’s show our appreciation and “Let’s pack the house!”

Chris’s home run streak continues this spring with these speakers: March 10, Tom Ehman America’s Cup veteran and director of external affairs for Oracle Team USA; April 14, John Nichols, author of A Voyage for Madmen and Sea Change; May 12, Tom Leweck, storied off-shore racer and founder of Sailing Scuttlebutt News.

Roble-boat

Competing in the Lysekil Match Racing Championships. Photo: Dan Ljungsvik/LWM

 

Blunder Bucket Runoff: Victor vs Victor!

An epic face-off. Victor Felice versus… well, Victor Felice. Who fumbled the biggest blunder of the fall season?

Victor campaigned for the honor of Biggest Blunder.

Victor campaigned for the honor of Biggest Blunder.

Victor had been campaigning for the win for weeks, even plugging his “exploits” on Facebook (see picture). He’d distributed a video in two versions of one of his, mmm, boo boos—one censored, the other not. And why not campaign? The Blunder Bucket is one of AYC’s highest honors, the winners’ plaques displaying the names of some of our most well-known members, some many times.

So here are the stories, each worthy of the Blunder Hall of Fame:

  1. Racing at Lake Pleasant, Victor and the crew slipped past one of Lake Pleasant’s famous sunken islands, the ones marked with many floating buoys. Actually, they didn’t quite slip past the island, which they learned when the J/24 Mermaid Rescue lurched to a stop. They’d run aground. Okay, that’s not that unusual. So they did it again the next race.
  2. Helping teach impressionable new sailors for ASF at Tempe Town Lake, Victor invited the two students on his boat to clip their keys to his carabiner that he then tossed into his bag before setting off for an afternoon of grueling, light-wind instruction. When the wisps of wind fluttered to a stop, Victor offered a further bit of instruction: here’s how you get the boat to the dock when the wind’s not blowing. Grabbing the mast, he rocked side to side until, you guessed it, the boat capsized, flipping students (but not Victor) into the water. Oh, and the whole cluster of keys, including the students’ keys, including one student’s keys to her boss’s house where she was house-sitting for the weekend!

This last nomination came from witness Joe Motil, who knows a thing or two about losing his keys into the dark muck of Tempe Town Lake. You see, he’d won the Blunder Bucket for that stunt in Spring 2010. Joe eventually found his keys when the lake emptied. But no students’ keys were harmed in that one.

As you can imagine, these two Blunders actually tied in the voting. Victor versus Victor. So emcee Tom Errickson called for a runoff vote. Which Victor won. For the TTL trick, of course, since it’s right up there in Blunder annals with Don DeFreze driving his mom’s car into the water. Haven’t heard that one? Then watch this.

Victor Felice proudly shows off the coveted AYC Blunder Bucket, awarded twice a year for the best sailing blunders. Now apparently he's showing that he had a hand in Vesta running aground in the Volvo Ocean Race!

Victor Felice proudly shows off the coveted AYC Blunder Bucket, awarded twice a year for the best sailing blunders. Now apparently he’s showing that he had a hand in Vesta running aground in the Volvo Ocean Race! Photo and Photoshop by Victor Felice

Ultimate Sailing Pictures Dazzle November Meeting

Sharon Green signed calendars and books for members at the November meeting.

Sharon Green signed calendars and books for members at the November meeting. Photo: Chris Smith

Sharon Green shot her first sailing pictures of her father racing in Canada and since those early days (and a heady first published picture), she’s been refining her craft at the biggest regattas in the world. And from literally millions of images she’s made in her career, she selected one thick coffee table book full that she called, Thirty Years of Ultimate Sailing. And then she gave us a taste of it all.

Coaxed to the November monthly meeting by Rear Commodore Chris Smith, Sharon offered a multimedia presentation of photos, each one a dazzling triumph of photography.

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

Below, a photo album of our own, pictures of the meeting taken by Chris Smith:

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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 9, 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.

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.