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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

Unofficial Summer Sailstice at TTL – 21 June!

2014SummerSailsticeCome down and cool off at Tempe Town Lake on the longest day of the year, Saturday, June 21 at 4pm! And since we can’t not race, we’ll do one-minute on-the-water starts. Everyone just go! Pride is the prize! Afterward we’ll meet up a Pho Cao for some additional cooling off. No entry fee, no NOR or SI, just come out and sail.

Sign up, win prizes, get more info!  Click Here!

AYC Board Election Underway

The election is underway for the 2013-2014 AYC Board of Directors. Most members have received an email notifying them to vote online, the first year this convenient method has been available. Nineteen members chose to receive mailed, paper ballots. The benefits of electronic voting are huge. It’s much less expensive and time-consuming for the club and it’s easier for members, taking only seconds and not requiring a 46-cent postage stamp.

Here are the nominees:

Cindy Pillote

Cindy Pillote

One-Year Terms
Commodore: Cindy Pillote
Vice Commodore: Peter Lehrach
Rear Commodore: Christina Campo
Fleet Captain: Greg Woodcock
Cruising Captain: Ralph Vatalaro

Two-Year Terms
Membership Director: Andrea Love
Junior Staff Commodore: Mike Ferring

Continuing on the board are Emory Heisler, who will become Senior Staff Commodore, and Thom Dickerson, Membership Director. The board will also choose a Treasurer (Tony Chapman has agreed to continue) and Secretary (we’re open to suggestions).

Electronic voting will continue until Monday, May 13 at 6pm MST. Paper ballots must be mailed to Mike Ferring, 525 W Monte Vista Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85003 postmarked May 9 or earlier or a ballot may be brought by the voting member in person at the time and place designated for the election. The votes will be counted at 6pm MST on Tuesday, May 14, at the Caddy Shack@Rolling Hills.

 

 

March Meeting: Sailing Coach Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell sailing a Star on the US Sailing Team.

Andrew Campbell sailing a Star on the US Sailing Team.

Fresh off an Olympic Star campaign, Andrew Campbell is a busy sailing coach and tactician… and our March Monthly Meeting Speaker. Would you like a boatload of racing tips? Andrew’s your guy. He’ll speak at 7 pm, Tuesday, March 12, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.

His bio on the Andrew Campbell website describes his work as a tactician on the Farr 40 Nightshift, his coaching, and much more. It says, “As a professional sailor, coach and writer, Andrew draws from experience in Olympic and top international sailboat racing. He is a ten-time national champion at the youth, high school, collegiate levels. Racing in the Laser and Star class, he competed on the Olympic Class World Cup level during 10 years on the US Sailing Team. He won the 2007 Pan Am Games, represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was ranked #4 in the World in the Star class in 2011. Andrew’s professional sailing and coaching experience has enabled him to expand into big boats and match racing as well as writing for sailing publications.”

AndyCampbell

Andrew Campbell

AYC welcomes nonmembers at our events, including the monthly meetings.

Annie Gardner on Multihulls for February AYC Monthly Meeting

annie_gardner

Annie Gardner

International sailor and broadcaster Annie Gardner will be our headline guest for the spring, giving us her view of the rise in multihull sailing, led by the intense interest in the coming America’s Cup competition in San Francisco.

Annie will speak at the February meeting, at 7 pm, Tuesday, February 12, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.

You may remember Annie from her role on America³, the women’s America’s Cup contender. She was chosen for the team from 700 applicants and sailed as navigator on the boat. Her qualifications for the team: A Silver Medal in Olympic Boardsailing exhibition in the 1984 games and a host of national and international Hobie cat and boardsailing titles.

She’s continued to compete, and as recently as 2006 won a bronze medal in the women’s multihull class at the ISAF World Sailing Games and was a watch captain and helmswoman on the winning boat in the 2009 Chicago-Mackinac race. She teaches sailing and coaches, including for the annual North U-Offshore Racing School.

But in addition to the sailing resume, Annie’s dynamic personality and style has made her a natural in announcing and producing sailing television. For instance, she did TV color commentary on one of the AC 45 World Series weekends.

AYC’s monthly meetings are open to the public and anyone interested in sailing is encouraged to attend. Here’s more on the club and the meeting.

This summer’s America’s Cup competition in multi-hulls promises to be the wildest of all time, within easy spectating distance from the waterfront in San Francisco. Here’s a look:

Rules Guru Dick Rose Visits AYC Friday, Nov 30

New rules will govern how we play the game of sailboat racing beginning the first of the year. Like to know what they are?

One way: Read the new rules thoroughly and compare with the current rules.

Rules guru Dick Rose during his last appearance at AYC in 2007. Photos: Mike Ferring

Another way: Ask the man who helped write them.

Dick Rose has been helping write the international rules of sailing for 20 years and it’s no exaggeration to say he knows every period and italicized word—and, more important, he knows how they affect you on the race course. With the 2013-2016 RRS kicking in at the beginning of the year, we asked him to return to Phoenix to lead a seminar on the changes. It will be Dick’s third appearance at AYC and he never fails to impress the crowd with his knowledge and his quick decyphering of complex situations.

Besides writing the rules, Dick helps interpret them for readers of Sailing World magazine. You may have read his clear, interesting monthly column.

The seminar is set for Friday night, November 30, starting at 6:30, at the Apache Substation of the Tempe Police Department, 1855 E. Apache Blvd. Tempe, AZ 85281. See a Map. We ask you to sign up so we know how many are coming. AYC members may attend for free; nonmembers will pay $20.

We need a count of people attending, so please sign up here.

Dick Rose at the 2007 rules seminar.

November Meeting: Common Sailing Mistakes

Rob Harring

Our Tuesday, November 13 speaker is Rob Harring, former J/World San Diego Senior Instructor and current Beneteau yacht dealer.

At J/World, Rob saw firsthand the sailing mistakes that we all make that slow us down and we’ve titled his appearance, What It Takes To Make Rob’s Top Ten List of Common Sailing Mistakes—And How to Correct Them to Make Your Boat Go Faster.

Rob grew up sailing on Lake Geneva, Wis. and crewed for his dad from the age of 4, so sailboats are in his blood. As a young man he was competitive in the 150-boat E-Scow fleet on the lake and went on to sail as a collegiate sailor at USC, where he took 4th in the College Nationals in the Sonar class. Rob really knows how to make a sailboat go fast.

The meeting begins at 7 pm at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. (map) Dinner at 6. Non-members are welcome to attend.

Besides Rob’s appearance and the joy of hanging out with the rest of us at the meeting, there’s this incentive: we’ll give away a pair of Hobie Segundo Polarized Sunglasses (retail $210), courtesy of Hobie, the official sunglasses of US Sailing.

Win these $210 sunglasses at the November meeting.

Amy Grothe Repeats as Ruth Beals Winner

When we began to rig the seven entries for the Ruth Beals Cup at 7:30 Saturday morning, the wind was signaling a perfect sailing day. Cool, comfortable and 8-10 kts of wind. Then it all changed.

Phil Freedman got this shot of boats reaching before the start sequence in the Ruth Beals Cup Regatta.

By 8:30 there were whitecaps blowing across Tempe Town Lake with puffs pushing 20 kts and building. The entry list began to shrink to die-hards. The brave and foolhardy.

Brenda Shears and Decker Williams capsized and couldn’t get back into the boat, shredding part of the jib. They retired to watch from the busy committee boat.

Chrisann Tortora and Tony Chapman headed for shore to keep dry and spectate for most of the rest of the morning.

Still circulating, waiting for a start, were the teams of Amy and dad Steve Grothe, Cindy Pillote and Greg Jackson, and Sheila Reed and Maryellen Ferring.

This was the Ruth Beals Cup Regatta for women at the helm and it has a history of too much wind or too little. Today the legend grew. Too much.

Race one: Amy got an early lead and tacked to round the windward mark. And capsized. Cindy moved to the lead heading to the leeward mark. And capsized. Sheila seized the lead and took it to the finish. Then capsized.

With everyone wet, it would have been a good time to declare the day complete, but not for this bunch.

Race two: Amy broke into the lead and held off Cindy to the finish. Race three: Amy and Steve crossed the finish hiked out and moving fast, clinching the championship and a year of bragging rights, their second, having won in 2009. Cindy took second by one point over previous winner Sheila Reed.

Many thanks to Sheila and Cindy for organizing the event and to Mike Bernard and Clay Poulson who did a spectacular job helping me on race committee, joined by Decker and Brenda, who were drafted to help when they needed to pull out of the race.

Next year maybe we could have some “normal” wind?

Phil Freedman’s shot of the winners didn’t come out, so we offer this shot, taken when Amy and Steve won the Cup in 2009.

Ruth Beals Cup Saturday, October 27

The annual Ruth Beals Cup Regatta for women at the helm will be Saturday morning, October 27 at Tempe Town Lake.

Organizers Sheila Reed and Cindy Pillote say that the Skippers’ Meeting will be a 8am and the first warning at 9am. Racing will end by noon.

This annual regatta honors AYC founder Ruth Beals (history here) by requiring that the Capri 14.2 sailboats be driven by women, though a man can act as crew. There will be room for a dozen entries, using personally-owned boats or using one of the Arizona Sailing Foundation boats on a first-come, first-served basis.

There’s no charge for entry and there are actual, valuable prizes for the first three finishers. And breakfast for all.

Click here to go to the racing page and scroll down to get the race documents and entry information.

Tight turn at the mark.

Dave Perry Leaves Us Laughing… and Better Sailors

Dave Perry sketches the options for a mark rounding during the October AYC meeting. Photo: Mike Ferring

The most critical times of any race are when bunches of boats compete for the same bit of water at the same time: during starts and mark roundings. So here’s Dave Perry’s prescription:

  1. Build space to leeward at the start line so you can accelerate at the gun.
  2. Don’t get caught in the bad-air parade at the windward mark.
  3. Take your turn at the leeward mark.

Okay, there was a bit more to it in the space of more than two hours this hall-of-fame sailor spent moving magnetic boats around a white board and showing video of boats converging. I hope you were there. This was a meeting packed with tips and hints for anyone who races and a meeting full of fun for anyone who doesn’t.

Dave Perry entertaining the October AYC meeting. Photo: Bob Whyte

Before the meeting, Dave waved off the wireless microphone. “I don’t use those,” he said seriously and it was immediately obvious that he knew what he was talking about as his voice boomed through the Caddy Shack. He drew in the crowd by asking people to stand who drove Buccs and Thistles and Catalina 22s and so on and asking who drove and who crewed and then urging the crew members to yell back at their drivers in return for all those times the crew gets blamed for poor finishes that are usually the fault of the person holding tiller. We loved it of course.

For a two-minute snippet of Dave’s talk, click here to see a YouTube video recorded by Rear Commodore Bob Whyte.

Dave’s visit to Phoenix (his first ever) was part of the US Sailing Speakers Series and included Scotch tasting by sponsor Old Pulteney. He made this stop on his way from San Francisco to his home in Connecticut after working with Artemis Racing at the America’s Cup AC45 World Series. He advises the team on rules, which are still evolving to match the unbelievable performance of the boats.

After riding on the back of one of the 45s, what did he think? “Scared,” he said. And with the 72-footers pushing the boundaries of sailing, he says no one’s quite sure what will happen. The teams planned to have sailed the first copy of the new boats about 15 days by now, he said, but only Team New Zealand has had more than a few days on the water and all of the teams have come limping back with broken bits on the boats. Artemis broke its wing when trying it out on a trimaran. Hang on. This could be nuts.

Fun fact: At Yale, Dave roomed with Peter Isler and navigation ace and “the man who invented football’s first-down yellow line,” Stan Honey. All have gone on to fame and glory. Two of the three have spoken to AYC within the last year. Can Stan Honey make it three-some? Stay tuned.

A large crowd laughed through two hours of Dave Perry’s presentation. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

October Meeting: Dave Perry with “Tactics in Crowds”

Our October 8 speaker: Dave Perry

Our headline meeting of the fall: Hall of Fame sailor and teacher Dave Perry. Special meeting date to meet Dave’s schedule: Monday, October 8, but the regular meeting time and place, the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. (map) Dinner at 6. And come prepared for a longer than usual meeting, about two hours (but if you need to leave early, we’ll be taking an intermission).

Also, come prepared to taste some more of that sweet Old Poultney Scotch. Just as they did with “Luigi” last year, Old Poultney is pouring tastes of the good stuff.

Oh, back to sailing. What’s Dave’s subject? Tactics in Crowds. What happens when you approach the start or mark in a herd of boats that all want to go first? Dave will offer the entertaining answers, backed by what he says are some spectacular videos.

Dave is one of the country’s top sailing coaches and he’s fresh from coaching the US Sailing Team women’s match racing team for this summer’s Olympic Games. He currently chairs the US Sailing Appeals Committee, was rules advisor for U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and he’s rules advisor for Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 2013 America’s Cup.

Here’s his bio:

Dave grew up on Long Island Sound in Connecticut, racing Lightnings. He received his undergraduate degree at Yale University, and has received an honorary Doctorate of Education from Piedmont College. He is Chairman of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, and is a Senior Certified Judge.

He has authored three books on the sport, Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing, Winning in One-Designs, and Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes. He is a two-time All American sailor and Intercollegiate Dinghy National Champion, 5th place finisher at the 1979 Laser Worlds, two-time Congressional Cup winner (1983 & 84), Silver Medalist in the 1983 Soling Pre-Olympic regatta, 2003 Ideal 18 North American champion, and the 2006, 2008 and 2011 winner of the U.S. Match Racing Championship for the Prince of Wales Trophy (a championship he also won in 1982!).

He is a member of the Sailing World Hall of Fame, and recipient of US Sailing’s W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy for Sportsmanship and Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction. He was the Rules Advisor and Afterguard Coach for Victory Challenge, Sweden’s 2007 America’s Cup Team, and the Rules Advisor for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. From 2009-2012, he was the coach for the US Sailing Team Alphagraphics women’s match race team, and is the Rules Advisor for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 2013 America’s Cup. He has conducted hundreds of “rules talks” and seminars on the sport, and is best known for his clear, humorous and highly interactive presentations.

Register for Fall Series

Opening Day Technical Shirt by Pirate’s Lair.

Fall series registration is now open.

Click here to go to the racing page with the registration links and race documents for Lake Pleasant or Tempe Town Lake or both.

Not sure which fleet to participate in?  Click to See Who’s Registered

Racers and Crew Party Friday, September 7 from 5-7 pm

Racing season is nearly here!

Ready for some sailboat racing?

The Arizona season is coming fast and to help get you ready to race, we’re planning a party—a chance to get together with other racers, drink some beer or wine, and look for some crew-boat hookups for fall.

The party will be Friday, September 7, from 5-7 pm at AZ Wine & Beer at 2515 N. Scottsdale Road, just south of Thomas Road. Look for it in the center of the strip mall. And there’s lots of free parking.

They’ll offer some red and white wine options for $5 per glass and four different craft beers at a $2 or $3 discount. We’ll arrange for some munchies, too.

Who should come: Anybody interested in racing and would like to hang out with other racers. If you’re looking for crew or would like to crew, this is a great opportunity to match up people with the right resumes and personalities. You do not need to be a member of AYC to attend. Casual dress, of course.

Like to learn to race? Check out the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class, offered once a year in the fall.

Racers and Crew Party Friday, September 7 from 5-7 pm

Racing season is nearly here!

Ready for some sailboat racing?

The Arizona season is coming fast and to help get you ready to race, we’re planning a party—a chance to get together with other racers, drink some beer or wine, and look for some crew-boat hookups for fall.

The party will be Friday, September 7, from 5-7 pm at AZ Wine & Beer at 2515 N. Scottsdale Road, just south of Thomas Road. Look for it in the center of the strip mall. And there’s lots of free parking.

They’ll offer some red and white wine options for $5 per glass and four different craft beers at a $2 or $3 discount. We’ll arrange for some munchies, too.

Who should come: Anybody interested in racing and would like to hang out with other racers. If you’re looking for crew or would like to crew, this is a great opportunity to match up people with the right resumes and personalities. You do not need to be a member of AYC to attend. Casual dress, of course.

Like to learn to race? Check out the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class, offered once a year in the fall.

August Meeting: Dave & Wendy Boatworks

The Mini 6.50 is craned onto its trailer.

The Mini 6.50 is craned onto its trailer.

 

For the August monthly meeting, Dave Christensen and Wendy Larsen will tell us what it’s like to build an ocean racer in a suburban two-car garage. Besides showing pictures of the the building of their Mini 6.50, they’ll actually bring the boat for us to see and touch.

For those of us who have been following the project since Dave muttered something about knocking a hole in Wendy’s garage, we’ve been wondering if this massive undertaking would ever actually get wet. In August, they’ll offer the proof, along with stories of the incredible time and work it’s taken to reach this point. Think sanding. Lots and lots of sanding.

The meeting begins at 7pm at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. (map) Dinner at 6.

See the saga at the Dave and Wendy Boatworks website.

Also in August: A pre-meeting meeting. If you’ve wondered what it was like to charter a boat in some exotic destination, come talk with people who have been there. Ralph Vatalaro joins Mike and Maryellen Ferring to explain the ins and outs of international chartering. RSVP for this 6 pm pre-meeting meeting to Mike at commodore@arizonayachtclub.org. Space is limited.

Race Weekend Survey Results

Here’s the headline from the results of a survey about the number of race weekends racers would like for Lake Pleasant: Five. Five weekends rather than four.

There were 44 responses to the survey conducted July 5-9 and announced on the AYC Yahoo list. Of the 44, 28 said they entered a boat in the Lake Pleasant series last season. Of the rest, 12 crewed and five did not participate.

Two-thirds of the respondents said they preferred a five-weekend series for spring and fall. They drove home the message when we asked what they would do if the series were reduced from five weekends to four:

  • 10% of the respondents said they would participate more
  • 14% said they would participate less
  • 24% said they would participate the same but like it more
  • 52% said they would participate the same amount but like it less.

We also asked about interest in giving prizes for people who were able to race only on Saturdays. The response was lukewarm, with a rating of just under three on a five-point scale. However, since awards for Saturday-only participants wouldn’t affect those who race on both days, it might still be a viable idea.

—Mike Ferring, Commodore

 

 

AYC Sailors Team Up for Catalina 37 Championship

Team Comfortably Numb-LBRW 2012

Nine Arizona sailors joined forces to race in the Catalina 37 National Championships at Long Beach Race week June 22-24.  Together they rose to the challenge of taking their mostly “small boat” (14ft-20ft) experience up to this 37 footer racer and they “hung in there with the big boys.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the Catalina 37, it is a monohull sloop-rig boat built specifically for match racing, with symmetrical spinnaker and wheel steering.  The Long Beach Yacht Club has a fleet of 11 Catalina 37s and uses this fleet for the annual Congressional Cup, and also (who knew?) allows them to be chartered for Wednesday night racing and for special events like the Catalina 37 National Championship held during Long Beach Race Week.

John Riddell took advantage of this chartering opportunity to see if AYC could rally a team to participate. And lo and behold, John was able to find 9 AYC sailors willing to take on the challenge of getting a bunch of “skippers” to play nice in individual roles and to take their mostly-small-boat experience up a level.

Over the seven-race series Team Comfortably Numb stayed close with the fleet, crossing ahead of competitors in mid-fleet during most races, but fell to the back of the fleet by the end of every race due to lack of experience with the boat and some hardware failures (auto-releasing spin pole-ack!). And in two races, leeward mark roundings proved to be TCN’s downfall where spinnaker douses and jib raising ran into, um, let’s just say “problems.”

No matter. By all accounts, John Riddell’s brainchild worked and all 9 members of Team Comfortably Numb are ready to come back again next year to give it another shot, this time with a lot more experience under their belts. Here’s Team Comfortably Numb’s roster from back of the boat forward…

  • Tactician-Trey Harlow (Thistle)
  • Helmsman-Rick Johnson (Martin 242)
  • Main Trimmer-Emory Heisler (Buccaneer 18)
  • Jib/Spin Trimmer-Mike Axtman (J29)
  • Jib/Spin Trimmer-Rob Gibbs (Shock 23R)
  • Pit-Jason Donkersly (J29)
  • Mast-“Little Joe” Barnett (Megabyte)
  • Bow-John Riddell (Viper)
  • Chef/Floater-Adam Torel (new sailor!)

Garth Reynolds on Light Air Sailing

What do you think of this sail trim for light air?

North Sails designer Garth Reynolds provided a full explanation of sail trim in light air during the AYC Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, 6/12. And he provided his PowerPoint slides to help understand it all.

You’ll find the slides here. And here’s a narrative of how they tuned and sailed a Viper 640 during a regatta in San Diego.

For just one week, North is also offering a 10% discount on all North One Design sails. Contact Garth for further information.

Garth Reynolds of North Sails Returns in June

Garth Reynolds of North Sails

He was a hit last July; now he’s coming back for a return engagement: North Sails designer Garth Reynolds will be our speaker at the AYC June meeting. His assignment: Light Air Sailing. Not that we ever have any of that.

Join us at 7 pm, Tuesday, June 12, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. Guests are welcome to attend.

Garth will be leaving the San Diego North loft soon to take a promotion to the Boston loft, where he’ll work under JB Braun, the designer for the Oracle America’s Cup effort. (Braun is in charge of the aero for Oracle’s new 72-foot boat.)

For this meeting, Garth has gotten North to offer a discount on sails for AYC only. You’ll receive a 10% discount on one-design sails purchased within 7 days of his presentation. Normally those sails are put on sail only in September. Here’s a list of all the one-design fleets covered by the offer.

Describing sail design during last year's AYC meeting.

Admire the Clean Highway 74

Your Highway Clean-up Crew: (l-r) Maryellen Ferring, Larry Green, Wendy Larsen, David Ross, Keith Kintigh, Brenda Shears, Emory Heisler, Organizer Peter Lehrach, and Mike Ferring. )

Next time you drive to Lake Pleasant on highway 74, please look left and right and admire the clean roadside between mile marker 25 and the Lake Pleasant Parkway intersection.

Soon you’ll see a sign there that says the area was cleaned by your Arizona Yacht Club. Ten of us put on glaring yellow-green vests and gloves to do it on Saturday morning (5/19).

I didn’t like people who litter even before spending 2½ hours cleaning up after them. Now? Is capital punishment too strong?

Peter Lehrach organized this work party, coordinating with the oh-so-strict rules of the Arizona Department of Transportation and providing the vests (thank you Cox), the gloves, the poker sticks, and the hydration.

At the post-clean-up lunch at Wild Horse West, we voted the two marijuana pipes the most interesting find of the day. Plastic bottles and tire fragments were the most common, followed closely by beer cans and bottles and cigarette packs.

Now here’s the good news: to keep that sign announcing that AYC keeps that road clean, we get to do this three times a year and next time you can help. Next time it’ll be cooler. And next time it should go faster because the area shouldn’t be quite so big a mess and because of Things We Learned. Some “Things”: this isn’t your front lawn so don’t worry about picking up every small scrap. If we go for the major items, we can move at almost ambling speed. Peter says ADOT estimated it should have taken us an hour to cover the distance; it took us several times that long and we didn’t make it all the way to the end before giving up and heading in for a beer.

Maryellen Ferring's chic clean-up outfit: Keith Musto would be proud.