The scores for week 3 of racing on Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
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The final results are now in and we not only broke the Guinness World Record for most boats participating in a regatta, we crushed it. Worldwide that day, 16,870 boats participated, sailing a distance roughly equivalent to twice around the world. Arizona Yacht Club was one of more than 500 clubs participating. Bart’s Bash also raised more than $400,000 for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, which helps kids learn to sail.
We actually got 34 boats to the starting line for Bart’s Bash, named for Andrew “Bart” Simpson, who died during practice for the America’s Cup last year.
Were you there? Download the certificate on the right.
You’ll find the Bart’s Bash results here. After much research, I’ve figured out that the “speed” number you’ll see is meters/second multiplied by a “Bart’s Number,” a handicap number that bears little resemblance to anything else you’ll see anywhere else (but clearly penalizes multi-hulls). Click on an entrant’s name to see the detail. I’ve submitted all the required documentation so that now AYC will be part of the Guinness World Record for largest regatta. Many thanks to the 31 finishing boats and AYC race committee that made it happen!
Victor Felice helped organize the AYC Bash and shot the needed pictures and video. Candis and Jeff Middlebrook acted as the required witnesses. Victor and Mike Ferring struggled through the lengthy and complex Bart’s Bash and Guinness requirements. Dave Christensen thrashed through the scoring.
Mostly it was the crews and captains of 34 boats who made it happen.
A weekend of contrasts: No wind Saturday. LOTS of it on Sunday. After optimistically drifting for a couple hours or so on Saturday, the race committee sent everybody off on a short dawdle that they then cut short. Sunday? Wow, was that fun! Strong northerly wind held until about noon, letting most fleets get in four races and some wild ones: boats over, boats planing at high speed−a rash of crazy fun.
The scores for week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
The scores for the second weekend of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or you’ll find them by clicking here.
A pleasant weekend on Lake Pleasant, a light air weekend but with fiercely-fought battles in every fleet. Here are the scores.
Thanks to the Catalina 22 fleet for work on race committee and for the secret recipe baked beans.
During one race, Victor Felice (J/24 Mermaid Rescue) had a bumpy encounter with the submerged island near the south mark—and since he thinks it would be neat to win the Blunder Bucket, consented to share his onboard video with you. As he explains it, he’s anxious to be publicly humiliated and, sure, he thinks others might learn something from it. Anyway, here’s his expletive expurgated video. Thanks, Victor, and good luck with the Blunder Vote in December!
The scores for the first week of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page or by clicking here.
Now that we’ve had Opening Day at Lake Pleasant, it’s time to gear up for Tempe Town Lake!
The competition looks typically stiff in the Capri 14.2 and Laser fleets, but the Buccaneer 18 fleet needs to gather some steam after a few years of diminishing numbers. You can retrieve all the needed documents and register to race in the series on the racing page.
Racing and race committee training will begin at 3pm on Sunday (9/28) and will extend through the fall, with the final races Sunday, December 18. Because of earlier sunset, the November and December races will begin at 2pm.
For a while Saturday (9/20), it looked as if we might not get enough wind to race, but the wind finally arrived, the season opened with a bang (see below), and we were off and running. Sunday the wind was nice for the Bart’s Bash race, then held for one decent race, and then went into hiding for the rest of the day, sending everyone home early.
The results from the season opener are posted on the results page or you’ll find them by clicking here.
Here’s a prescription for sailing chaos: Take a dozen men who barely know each other, throw them in a frat-house hot-house, mix in gallons of beer and vodka, drop them on a 37-foot boat that most of them have never sailed, on a race course that’s a complete mystery to them, outlaw speed and nav instruments, give them 45 minutes to practice, and put them up against 10 well-drilled, well-honed competitors.
Oh, and just to make things interesting, make most of the dozen captains of their own boats with their own ideas of speed and tactics. And as an icebreaker, one of them greets another one by announcing, “I don’t like you and I don’t know how I can sail with you.”
So, how did it come out?
Not bad, actually.
None of this is made up and some of it you’d never believe anyway, but for the third year AYC membership director John Riddell patched together a crew of guys from the club with the express goal of their getting to know each other, of mingling experience with inexperience—heading off to have fun while trying not to make fools of themselves in front of the best of the West Coast sailing glitterati. First year’s results: last. Second year: next to last. Third year: third from last. At this rate, it’s victory in 2022!
The venue is the Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, a very well organized and run regatta that this year drew 142 boats, including a couple TP52s and boats that are even bigger. Tony Chapman told me before the regatta that he thinks it’s the best on the coast and he’s been going for years. In fact, all the AYC Vipers were there to compete. And Chris Smith towed his J/80 for this event and another race that sails to Catalina. In all, there were probably over 30 AYC people racing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We all gathered Thursday in a very nice rented house not far from Long Beach Yacht Club and a short walk to the clatter of 2nd Avenue’s row of restaurants and shops. I never got an exact count, but there were at least 15 men sharing this four bedroom, 2½ bath house. What they did at night is the stuff of next-day legend, but what happens in Long Beach, you know, stays there. Animal House didn’t have much on this bunch of much-older-than-thats.
So we gathered in a meeting where John Riddell cracked jokes and made it clear that he was pretty sure he knew what he was doing on big boats and he expected us to follow instructions and no backtalk. He said in the past he had a habit of shouting instructions (and other words) from the back of the boat to the front of the boat and this year he damn well wasn’t going to do that (a vow he broke constantly all three days). Everybody talked; some listened. It was very loud.
I woke up at 6-something Friday morning to the smell of frying bacon and sausage. Peter Lehrach would stand in front of the frying pans for a couple hours each morning stacking eggs and bacon for the gathering mob. Thanks, Peter. And then Adam “The Badger” Torel would mass-assemble a countertop of sandwiches to bag for lunch. Adam was John’s able organizer off the water.
The 11 racing boats lined up stern-to in slips in front of Long Beach Yacht Club, each boat rented from the club for the regatta. They’re 1990 Catalina 37s, built for the Congressional Cup match racing regatta that was already famous when Frank Butler custom built these 11-of-a-kind boats that have been used for that prestigious event ever since. They’re maintained perfectly. This weekend they had crispy new sails.
You’ll see in the picture that our team was outfitted in new team shirts, another Riddell LBRW tradition. We were the “Crazy Train,” a name that fit comfortably. Other teams were also wearing team shirts and moving around the boats with a studied familiarity. A couple teams sail these boats nearly every week. Others sail as a team on other kinds of boats. They all knew what they were doing.
With all of 45 minutes permitted before the first gun, we had enough time to figure out pretty much what everybody should sorta do. Fortunately, helmsman Trey Harlow had drafted his friend JB to handle the front of the boat, so the front and the back were in good hands. The middle? Some work needed. Some position-swapping. Some encouragement from John.
The boat is big and heavy and slow to respond and likes to keep moving, gathering speed slowly out of tacks. That’s about all we knew when the first gun sounded and we approached the much-too-short start line. Late. John said he wasn’t ready to mix it up with the fast guys this early, especially after last year, but we won’t talk about that.
Tenth. Out of 11. Race and repeat. Ninth. Not so bad when you consider the size of the hill we had to climb. I was assigned the job of standing at the back of the boat trying to look useful—something I’m pretty good at faking. Not a bad gig, really, with a nice view. But main trimmer Jason Donkersley aggravated a back injury and was carted off to the ER and suddenly I had a new job Saturday: main trimmer. Cool. The view’s not as nice, craning your neck to watch the trim and judging whether the top batten tell tale is stalling 50% of the time as John prescribed or 35% of the time, which he knew wasn’t enough, or not at all, which I darn well knew was the right way (as one of the many “captains” trimming on this boat).
And BANG. Saturday’s first race saw us on the starting line at speed and actually freaking leading at the windward mark and only giving back two places to finish THIRD! “See we know how to sail this boat!” John shouted across the water to no one in particular.
Hubris, of course. The next race we went this way and the wind went that way and we were gargling salt water in last place. Last. The pain was palpable. We recovered for a 9th in the third race of the day and went into Saturday night clinging to 9th overall by one point and staring at a 7-point gap to 8th. On Sunday we scored an 8th and a finale fifth and left the race course feeling very good about the distance we’d come.
Los Alamitos Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club offered up noisy, liquid parties each night and we got a chance to compare our day with the Viper guys and hear about that mark rounding where Chris Smith was supposed to leave it to starboard and a boat three times his size was supposed to round to port and, wow, it all came out all right. And the expensive Velocitek? Kicked overboard. Fortunes of war.
As we scattered for the airport or a highway dash across the desert, I think everyone was savoring a weekend well spent. I know I was. The weather was gorgeous. The boats and races were fun. Fifteen or so guys in a house worked better than I ever thought it would. Thank you, John Riddell, you crazy SOB, for driving this insane experiment.
First there are the sailors of the Viper fleet. All of them headed for Long Beach June 27-29 for the Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. And then there were the misfits of the Crazy Train, a dozen guys thrown together to sail a Catalina 37. And Chris Smith and his team on his J/80 sailing the longer “random leg” course. A couple dozen or so AYC people altogether.
How did it go? Far as I could tell, everybody was having a good time with slightly lighter than usual wind, lots of sun, and temperatures in the 70s. Yes, 70s. Why would this not be good? And the LBRW was a very well organized event with 142 entries sailing over three days.
Court Roberts edged Tony Chapman for local honors in the 23-boat Viper fleet, finishing 10 and 11. Chris Smith grabbed fifth in his segment of the random leg. And the misfits? More on this later, but they were feeling pretty good with a 9th out of a 11 given the size of the challenge.
The series is underway, with actual cool temps when it’s time to rig the boats (80+, which we think is cool in Arizona); not so much when it’s time to put them away.
The morning summer series is the brainchild of Greg Woodcock, who thought sailing in the morning made more sense than doing it in the heat of the afternoon and managed to get Tempe approval. At the same time, he simplified it all so that everyone sails together (no separate fleets) and nobody keeps score. Members pay just $20 for six race days and the Adopt-a-Boat program is active.
So it’s no longer the Heat Stroke Series, but it’s become Cool Summer Sunday, a twist of a different kind. The change of time has increased participation from next to none to a few, 9 boats signed up for the series and this day five boats were on the water (including Greg, sailing with his grandson). Katherine Roxlo has generously agreed to be race committee for four of the six races days.
Sound like fun? There’s still time to sign up!
Make it six times. Martin Lorch is closing in on the records of the most-decorated sailors in AYC history after winning his sixth Club Championship Saturday (5/11) at Lake Pleasant. Martin and crew Kyle Clark stood up to the challenge from a half dozen other competitors on the water and one more on the hill to emerge the repeat winner. (More on that “hill” part in a moment.)
It was a brilliant day for a sailboat race, with comfortable temperature and wind that varied from light to heavy, testing both the competitors and the Catalina 22s they were sailing. One boat didn’t make it to the finish. As Victor Felice was getting ready to start the fifth race, the rudder came adrift on Steve Dolter’s boat, calling for a tow back to the dock and, unfortunately, an end to Victor’s day.
When the wind kicked up, the fleet changed down from Genoas to jibs. That meant that the 12-foot long whisker poles designed for Genoas were too long for the jibs and on at least two boats there were no shorter poles available. That produced a protest and request for redress from Thistle fleet champ Jason Rziha. Jason contended that when Kyle Clark couldn’t clip the pole to the mast (as required in RRS rule 50.2), he held it next to the mast. Protest. And when Jason got on the same boat for the next race and his crew Trey Harlow couldn’t clip the pole onto the mast, he demanded redress for not being provided sufficient equipment.
After a lengthy protest hearing on the hill after racing, a committee of Greg Woodcock, George Tingom, and Bob Worrall ruled that the pole issue hadn’t materially altered the outcome and disallowed it, keeping the results unchanged. Jason muttered, “Until the appeal.” So we shall see.
Jason and Trey finished in second place. Steve and Sarah Grothe finished third, hurt by fouling in one race while in second place and doing particularly ugly penalty turns.
Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock organized the event (in great detail) and served as Principal Race Officer. The rest of the Race Committee were: Gail Kiel, Beck Houston, Cindy Pillote, Mike & Maryellen Ferring, Bob Whyte and Jim Colceri.
Boats were graciously provided by Martin Lorch, Steve Dolter, Bob Worrall, George Tingom, J.M. Kiel, Mike Baros, Rudy Pinon and Steve Grothe (whose boat was an unused spare).
Only three people in the 48 year history of the Club Championship have won more times than Martin Lorch: Al Lehman Jr. and Skip Kempff with seven each and Don Hubele with 10. Don won his last Championship in 1980, but he’s still winning Laser races today at Tempe Town Lake.
|Victor Felice||6||5||7||6||DNS (8)||DNS (8)||DNS (8)||48|
The champs of all the AYC fleets will step onto Catalina 22s this Saturday (5/10) and compete for the club’s most valued trophy: the Club Championship Cup. You’re invited to float your boat to watch, cheer, jeer, and enjoy a day on the water.
Once again the favorite has to be Martin Lorch, current holder of the Cup, Santana 20 fleet champ, and four-time winner of this event. Actually, there are two Lorches qualified for the race, with Martin’s son Cedric also qualifying by winning the C14 fleet at Tempe Town Lake.
The competitors will gather at Spinnaker Point at 8 am for a Skippers’ Meeting, then will help rig boats graciously loaned by members of the C22 fleet before heading out for a 10:30 am first gun. The regatta will be up to eight short races, with the skippers and their crews switching boats between races to equalize any differences in the performance of the boats.
2014 Club Championship entrants and their fleets are: 2013 Club Champion & Santana 20, Martin Lorch; Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; PHRF Non Spin, Victor Felice; PHRF Spin, Norman Anderson; PHRF Sportboat, Chris Smith; Thistle, Jason Rziha; Buccaneer 18, Emory Heisler; Laser, George Sheller; Capri 14.2, Cedric Lorch. Unfortunately, George Sheller and Norm Anderson aren’t able to make it and will miss the regatta.
Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock has planned and will oversee the event as Principle Race Officer. Others on the officiating team are Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Mike and Maryellen Ferring, Cindy Pillote, and Gail Kiel.
Dr. Bob Beers first conceived of the Club Championship in 1967 and set up the Deed of Gift that defines the event and prescribes who may participate. After decades running the event without formal documents, they were instituted about eight years ago and you’ll find this year’s race documents on the racing page.
Another Sunday filled with BIG puffs and small lulls for the TTL racers. The scores from week 7 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
From 20kts+ to 0 to 20kts+ all with in 5 minutes, Lake Pleasant served up a great final weekend of racing.
Congratulations to the Spring Series Winners: Steve Grothe, C22; Greg Atwell, Multi-Hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Norm Anderson (by one point over Tom Baker!), PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Chris Smith (by two over Mike Ferring), PHRF Sportboat; Jason Rziha, Thistle; Steve Dolter, TransLoch.
And the Combined Fall-Spring Winners: Steve Grothe, C22; Brian Willess, Multi-Hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Norm Anderson, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Chris Smith, PHRF Sportboat; Jason Rziha, Thistle. All but Multi-Hull will represent their fleets in the Club Championship Regatta in May.
March went out like a lion, as the wind blew over 15 most of the afternoon (3/31) for the TTL spring series. And most everybody stayed upright. The scores from week six of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.
By the way, if you’re interested in what the City of Tempe is doing to replace the TTL dam, here’s information on an upcoming public meeting.
Lake Confusing lived up to its name on the weekend (3/23-24), with lots of shifts and mostly light to no wind. In spite of that we got in several races. And it was warm. And Martin Lorch’s dinner was fabulous. Here are the results, subject to some corrections to come.
The TransLoch fleet suffered most, with only three boats able to complete the distance by the 4 o’clock cutoff. Here are the (revised) scores.
Light wind and light turnout for this weekend (3/16) of Tempe Town Lake racing. Here are the results.
High winds, no winds—Lake Pleasant served up a full helping this weekend.
Saturday the wind topped out at 30 mph and kept everybody on the edges of their boats. Speed records tumbled. Fortunately, no boats.
The scores can be found on the results page or by clicking here. And this second weekend for the TransLoch fleet