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Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Regatta Chairman Bruce Andress.

You may now sign up for the 2018 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

Birthday Regatta Sign Up Now

The event is February 16-18, with Multi-Hulls and Vipers planning to score three days of racing and (so far) the other fleets opting for two. Boats in fleets not racing Friday (2/16) may practice at the Race Committee’s discretion.

Note that the registration deadline is Tuesday, February 6.

You’ll find the race documents on the Racing page.

Regatta Chairman Bruce Andress will have the regatta at Pleasant Harbor, as in the past, with the Saturday night dinner at the “Hook” building, the metal building near the entrance of the facility. He says Dillon’s Restaurant will cater the food.

Further information will be coming in the next few days, including such things as discounted slip fees and hotel rates.

Tempe Town Lake Fall Fleet Champs

Can we say roll-over tack? Laser champ Joel Hurley. Photo: Mike Ferring

In a fall season light on wind, credit the fleet champs who dodged and weaved to use zephyrs of air to stay in front.

Dave Haggart winning C14 of course. Not only does he sail magnificently in all conditions, but he has to do it after driving for a couple hours from Prescott!

And this fall, Joel Hurley mostly used an adopt-a-laser to win the fleet, showing off death-defying roll tacks to keep the boat moving. Imagine how he’ll do now that he’s bought his own boat.

When the Buccs were roll-tacked into the Portsmouth fleet, Mike Parker looked over his field of boats and chose an odd-ball Catalina 16.5 to win Portsmouth.

The next generation of sailors competed this fall in O’Pen Bics, learning more about racing sailboats from Rob Gibbs and fellow parents Will Zornik and Dave Haggart. Colin Gibbs used experience and talent to win the Bic season championship.

Congratulations to all!

Here are the full results for the fall season.

Next Gen: Ryan Zornik aboard an O’Pen Bic. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Parker took the Portsmouth class. Photo: Mike Ferring

A cluster of 14.2 sailors on race committee duty. Photo: Mike Ferring

Martin Lorch Lugs Off Governor’s Cup

Martin Lorch.

Martin Lorch and crew managed to out-race 50 other boats to take the gigantic Governor’s Cup at Lake Pleasant Saturday (12/2).

The wind was fairly typical for the lake, with moderate northerly wind until close to noon when it shut down completely, rising again as a light wind from the south an hour later. It’s a pattern that favored the early-starting boats in the pursuit race and George Tingom made it pay off for him, sailing solo in his Capri 14.2. George had a big lead in the race but made a fateful error when he rounded the wrong “unnamed island.”  George contends that the race chart was too vague, so he didn’t know which small island to round. As far as we know he was the only one to make this mistake, but it’s always most difficult to know which way to go when you’re leading the race!

Jim Tomes was the fastest and first multi-hull entrant to finish, capturing that fleet’s award. First multi-hull non-spin was Chris Picknally. First monohull non-spin was Richard Krebill in a Capri 14.2. Tony Krauss was the first of four Hobie 16s to finish.

In addition to the big trophy, winners in three divisions (spin, non-spin, multi-hull) won sailing bags donated by SLO Sail and Canvas, makers of sails, boat covers and other canvas products.

The race ended at the Scorpion Bay Marina Grill with a post-race party.

Thanks to Race Organizer Tom Errickson and his volunteers, Tom Ohlin senior and junior and Bill Cunningham. Dave Christensen consulted his well-worn chicken bones to come up with the handicap ratings and start times for the pursuit race.

Here is a picture of the handwritten finishing order at Scorpion.

Almost as big as he is: Martin Lorch hefts the Governor’s Cup, flanked by crew James Morphis and Katie Yearley. At right: Event Organizer Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Event Chairman Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Governor’s Cup winners aboard the Santana 20. Martin Lorch, Katie Yearley (behind the sail), and James Morphis. Photo: Mike Ferring

A happy member of Brandon and Jessica Rawlings’ crew. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rear Commodore Sharon Bell. Photo: Mike Ferring

Boat buddies. Kevin Edwards and Rick Johnson. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Shazam team poses in the team shirts. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tom Errickson to the rescue. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Rolling in the Deep slips along behind the islands as the morning wind disappears. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Lake Pleasant Fall Race Results

Strong wind greeted us on the final weekend of the fall race series, finally gasping for a lull on Sunday afternoon and leaving us with this list of winners: Steve Grothe overcame a missed first weekend by firing four bullets on the last Saturday, putting him ahead of Bob Worrall in Catalina 22 on a tie-breaker; Fred Rahn won multi-hull; Martin Lorch put his 222-rated Santana 20 up against the 88-rated Hobie 33 of Paul Liszewski and won PHRF Spin; Tony Chapman won PHRF Sportboat; and Jason Rziha beat Skip Kempff by three points in Thistle.

Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who competed this fall.

The scores for the final weekend of racing are on the results page, or by clicking here. 

After the racing, the champ buys at Wild Horse. Martin Lorch (left) pops for dinner for the Rolling in the Deep crowd and the photographer, Marshall Williamson.

Thistles rounding this fall. The final results were about this close, with Jason leading Skip. Photo: Charles Landis

Ruth Beals Cup 2017

Ellen Wesley is the 2017 Ruth Beals Cup champ, taking the overall honors at Lake Pleasant Saturday, November 11. Ellen sailed on one of Victor Felice’s J/24s and led much of the race, falling behind in light air rounding Balance Rock and then making it up with a bold move along the western shore when the wind died entirely. Counting on a whisper of thermal air movement, they ghosted up the shore and to a shortened course finish at “no name” island.

The scores for the 2017 Ruth Beals Cup are posted on the results page, or click here.

Maryellen Ferring finished second in her J/80 and Ryane Griffis was third in an Etchells. Eight boats were set to start the race, but Debbie Barlow’s Siren 17 lost a main halyard on the way to the race course and didn’t start.

We thank Fleet Captain George Sheller and Mark Howell for their work as the volunteer race committee. For speedy race results, they texted the finish times to scorekeeper Dave Christensen, who posted the results right after the finish.

Ellen Wesley won the Ruth Beals Cup despite the two characters flanking her.

Bob Whyte trims during the Ruth Beals Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Week 4 of Racing at Lake Pleasant

Score one for Perfect. Saturday (11/4) was as close to perfect as sailing gets: breezy, generally unshifty, and comfortable temps. I hope you were there. Sunday started out as one of those drifter things, with lots of boats timing out on a first race. Then, as some boats were about to give up, the wind came up from the south and it was game on. This time it was puffy and shifty, but we’ll take that over no wind any Sunday of the week.

The scores for week 4 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posed on the results page, or by clicking here.

Steve Grothe and daughter aboard Old Yeller. Photo: Mike Ferring

Slow boat, fast driver. Martin Lorch’s Santana 20 carries the highest PHRF number, but consistently clobbers the fast boats. Photo: Mike Ferring

Another Light Air Sunday on TTL

South wind wasping through the buildings on the south shore of the lake made it another light air weekend. Our respect for the sailors who had the patience to continue to “race.”

Here are the results.

Ruth Beals Race November 11 at Lake Pleasant

Ruth Beals Insho, AYC Founder (picture 2005 by Mike Ferring)After a record turnout in January, the all-woman Ruth Beals Cup Regatta will return to Lake Pleasant on Saturday, November 11, with the starting gun at 9:30 am. The race ran its first many years in C14s at Tempe Town Lake, but last year broke out with a race at Lake Pleasant in run-what-you-brung boats rated by PHRF handicap.

January’s race was won by Chrisann Tortora on Mike Hester’s Viper 640, leading some dozen competitors across the line.

Race documents and entry here.

The race is named for the founder of AYC, Ruth Beals, and offers a chance for the women of the club to compete against other women. Men are allowed to crew, but not to get too close to the tiller.

There will be a single long-distance race, following the TransLoch course from a start/finish, around Horse and Balance Rock and No-Name islands, back to the finish line. Then to Spinnaker Point for some wine and cheese.

John Mayall, Crisann Tortora, and Greg Jackson in 2010. Photo: Scott Jenkins

Weekend Two for Lake Pleasant Racing

Thank the Catalina 22s for putting on some good racing this weekend (10/7-8), topped off with an Octoberfest-style night at Spinnaker Point, dressed up with brats and a live Polka trio.

Here are the race results.

Bob Naylor enlisted the Polka band, which added a fun and slightly surreal tone to the usual post-race gathering.

Two accordions and a bass guitar and plenty of oom pah to accompany dinner. Photo: Mike Ferring

A nice turnout for a Saturday night dinner at Spinnaker Point. Brats and Polka. Photo: Mike Ferring

Joel Hurley Dominating Lasers at TTL

When Will Zornik heard that his young coworker Joel Hurley had raced in college, he recruited him for the Tempe Town Lake Laser fleet. Might have been a strategic mistake. Joel’s running away with the lead in the fall series on an adopt-a-boat.

With the wind blowing nicely on Sunday (10/1), the Lasers raced and raced and raced, running six races in all and exhausting themselves completely in 100° heat before shutting down at nearly 6 o’clock. The Portsmouth fleet fielded just two boats, with Mike Parker’s Capri 16.5 taking four races.

Here are the results.

Paul Miachika rounds the windward mark. Photo: Mike Ferring

Blustery Opening Weekend at Lake Pleasant

The Fall Series opening weekend was a blast—a blast of wind on both Saturday and Sunday!

Saturday (9/23) was the big day for participation, with 14 boats racing in the multi-hull races, zinging across the lake on double-digit reaches and big smiles. Overall, there are 41 entries for the fall, with more still trickling in, especially from the PHRF Spin fleet, which was on Race Committee, giving entrants an excuse to wait another couple weeks before they really have to sign up.

Unfortunately, the Santana 20s did not get the needed five boats to fleet, which means they’ll be folded into the spin fleet, creating a wide range of ratings for the spins. There are enough Santana 20s in the club, but several decided not to enter.

And the debut of the MarkSetBot, the robotic mark? “Awesome,” is how Paul Liszewski summed it up. “I had my doubts,” he said, “but it did an excellent job.” It was a day when normal, anchored marks went adrift (one getting beached on an island), but the robotic mark just treaded water at the end of the start line, not moving. Same on Sunday, when Roger Butterwick said that he too was a doubter, not believing the mark could remain motionless for hours, but he was convinced by the end of the day’s racing.

The “Munchies on the Hill” after racing also had a nice debut. Steve Nahkala brought a table of munchies and a cooler of beer to Spinnaker Point as we transition from Fleet Dinner to Fleet Nachos and Beer. Some 35 people came by, about the same as a dinner group. (But the Catalina 22 fleet is planning to offer a Fleet Dinner the next race Saturday, October 7.)

Here are the race results.

Mark Howell is the scorekeeping SuperSub while Dave Christensen is sight-seeing around Europe. It took Dave’s knack for reading chicken bones to sort out this weekend, especially the multi-hull fleet.

Tony Chapman calmly hikes as his Viper 640 decides whether to splash down. Tony spent the summer in heavy wind races in Lake Garda and The Gorge and honed his big wind skill. Left: Court Roberts and team applaud. Photo: Charles Landis

It’s True: The Race Mark is a Robot!

Tom Ohlin watches a test of the new MarkSetBot on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Mike Ferring

It’s a bit of a leap of faith, a broad jump really: The pin-end start mark on Lake Pleasant’s Opening Day (9/23) will be a robot.

The inventors call it MarkSetBot and AYC is one of six clubs in the nation beta-testing this new device (out of 40 clubs that said they’d like to do it). It’s an odd-looking contraption on the water, riding on two inflated catamaran hulls, propelled by an electric trolling motor, and guided by cell phone and GPS navigation. It skitters around on the water like a large play toy.

Lake Pleasant Lake Captain David Newland and I (Mike Ferring) have been working on this machine for several weeks now, finally getting to the point where we think it can work as the pin-end mark. Later it might become one of the other marks of the course. Tom Ohlin joined us as we ran the thing for over an hour on Wednesday (9/20) and it performed nicely.

The idea, of course, is to replace one of our regular marks with the robot so it can be placed remotely without relying on the Boston Whaler crew and without dangling 160+ feet of anchor rode below it. Because the RC wouldn’t need to move the Whaler into position and because nobody would need to lift and drop or drag all that rode, the course can be adjusted much faster and much more easily. Cool, huh?

The company reports that this last weekend (9/17) MarkSetBots made up the entire race course for the stadium race at Grosse Pointe (Michigan) Yacht Club run by Premiere Sailing League. There was a single RC boat with only one person on it. That person monitored for OCS and then acted as a judge boat motoring up the course. The course was changed in length and direction many times. At one point, there was a 90 degree wind shift and it took the MarkSetBots just 60 seconds to reposition. Wow.

The MarkSetBot is not without its, well, let’s call them “issues,” which means we’re moving cautiously and wondering whether this robot is  long-term for us. Just a few of the issues:

  • It’s big and unwieldy to launch and to store.
  • It needs to be assembled each time it’s used (and disassembled when we’re through with it).
  • It runs on a battery that needs to be charged.
  • It’s made up of lots of little bits that can be damaged, lost or wear out.
  • The cell phone interface is difficult to operate.
  • Operation requires training (and we have trouble getting people to take care of our boats).

So, that odd thing at the end of the start line? That’s your starting pin. Please don’t hit it.

The robot MarkSetBot at cruising speed during the Lake Pleasant test. Photo: Mike Ferring

Let the Season Begin!

After a summer of quiet Wednesday night races, it was great to see Tempe Town Lake teeming with boats Sunday (9/10) on the first day of TTL Racing and RC Training and the first day of ASF Opti classes.

The wind was a little light and the temperatures a bit, well, hot, but it was a fun day anyway. Vice Commodore and Laser sailor Mike Bernard led an effort to add gates to TTL racing and they were used for the first time this day.

Race results are here.

The Buccaneer fleet topped out at four entries for the season, which meant they were combined with the Portsmouth fleet and worked race committee.

Natalie Harper leads the Opti 1 class at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

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

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

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.

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