January solitude, sailing in the desert… Mid 70’s. Photo: Charles Landis
January solitude, sailing in the desert… Mid 70’s. Photo: Charles Landis
Now that we have a new and reliable motor on the back of the club’s Boston Whaler, the board has decided it’s time to sell the old safety boat, the Commodore’s Yield, and they’d like to offer it first to club members.
The lean description is that it’s a 2001 18-foot Alumacraft with a 90 horsepower Johnson outboard and a Yacht Club brand trailer. The boat is in serviceable but not pretty condition and will be priced accordingly. It’s currently being stored at Lake Pleasant. Contact Fleet Captain George Sheller if you’re interested.
Brats, buddies, and boats. We called it Hoot at the Lake and about 50 people turned out for a fun few hours at Tempe Town Lake Saturday (9/30).
The wind was light, but it didn’t deter lots of us from sampling a buffet of sailboats, including O’Pen Bics, Lasers, 14.2s, and Mike Bernard’s nice Sabot. Rob Gibbs brought two Desert Sailboats SUP boards to try. Sharon Bell brought games. Martin Lorch tended the BBQ. The Ferrings brought the food. Mike Bernard floated the boats. Andy Oliver was event chairman and supplied the tow vehicle.
Remember the smoke that billowed off the aging, often failing motor on the transom of the AYC Boston Whaler?
You have a new, 175hp Evinrude E-TEC pushing the old girl now and it’s a beauty. With lots of work by Lake Pleasant Lake Captain David Newland, with the work of Gene Walentiny and the Valley Marine team, the Yamaha is gone and the Evinrude glistens.
David and Commodore Mike Ferring took the boat out for a test run Sunday (8/27) and she performed beautifully, standing up on plane with a nice nudge of the throttle. The former lagging steering is now tight and quick.
Your club has invested around $22,000 in the upgrade, believing that safety and efficiency on the lake are our most important priorities. The new motor comes with an 8-year warranty.
In addition to buying the motor and the attendant controls and gear, David has put in sweat equity—lots of sweat—fixing systems, replacing the rub strip, and generally sprucing up the boat. He found several problems lurking beneath the floorboards, including a few gallons of oil that were supposed to be polluting the air but were in fact gurgling down below from a split connector. David also managed to sell the old motor for $600, which he invested in other fixes.
You’ll also recall that the AYC pontoon boat was damaged during the monsoon that clobbered Pleasant Harbor Marina. David has worked through the repairs and the insurance settlement so that the boat and the damaged trailer will be ready in time for the start of the fall racing season.
Tempe Town Lake racers know Rich/Dick (“either,” he says) Krebill as the guy who single-hands a tomato red C14 (Tomato Sloop) around the marks, since wife Peggy gave up her crew spot. In the summer they retreat to a no frills (and no power, running water, phone, you name it) cabin they built in Wyoming. They also sail a Catalina 22 in this beautiful and remote spot, racing in an annual regatta. This year Rich and pal Charlie Kulp won in a wild, storm-tossed event that was nicely and entertainly reported by non-sailor Terry Allen on PinedaleOnline.com. Reprinted here with permission.
By Terry Allen
Little Shay Paravicini and I had a discussion about pirates during the Pinedale Boat Club’s Annual Sailing Regatta on Fremont Lake.
“They go, Aarrgghhh,” she said. “We have a pirate boat and I’m a pirate girl and pirate girls go, Aarrgghhh! Daddie’s a pirate and he likes to eat fish and drink beer and rum, but he isn’t racing today, Jason is the only pirate in today’s race.”
Lucky for me, Jason “The Pirate” Essington had invited me a year ago to come along for this year’s race, the 47th. They have held this race every year since 1970. His boat is named, Opa’s Dream. Opa is German for “Grandpa.” Opa’s Dream is Bert Reinow’s old boat, he left left it to his god daughter Leslie Hagenstein. Jason maintains and sails it to keep Bert’s dream of sailing on Fremont lake alive. Opa’s Dream weighs about 5000 pounds and the next heaviest boat in this race weighs about 2000 pounds. It takes more wind to get us going, but it is real good in the unpredictable squalls that kick up here.”
While I was waiting for the race to start I talked to a few other racers. David Pendell sails Rosie. “I used to sail Nirvana, but used to spend too much time upside down, bailing and other situations, so we got Rosie, who is more understanding of older gentlemen. Oh yeah, at last year’s race we saw a funnel cloud.”
I got a news tip from Allan and Sharon Holmes who summer at the cabins in Sylvan Bay, telling me about Richard and Peggy Krebill who have summered at Sylvan Bay for 50 years. “They are in the 80’s, and they sail a boat with a frowny face on it,” Allan said.
I never did find a frowny face anywhere, but I did find Rich and Peggy Krebill who have sailed this race for about seventeen years. Turns out they live in a home they built themselves with lumber they had cut at the old mill that used to be out in Daniel. “We don’t have hot water in the cabin,” said Peggy. “We use a solar shower. If we get a sunny day we get a pretty hot shower right out of the bag. If we don’t get a sunny day, then we warm up some water on the wood stove. That is the stove we cook our food on, too. That stove used to belong to the American Legion and my Mom bought it for us when the Legion got a new one.”
Jason gave me a heads up to go to the head if I needed to because it might not be easy out there. Once I got in the boat he gave me three spots I was allowed to be in and told me not to be offended if he yelled at me. I’m used to this advice as I get the same advice from cowboys when I do rodeo and branding stories. So far I ain’t walkin’ funny, so I’ll keep listening.
The start of the race is sort of like Musical Chairs for boats. You get a five minute blow on an air horn and in that five minutes all the boats run all over the place close to the orange mark buoy and try to be right at it when the start horn blows. It gets pretty tight and it’s a little like bumper cars, but no one yelled at anyone too bad. I couldn’t tell exactly where the line was but everyone seemed to know who got across the start line first and that’s when the beer came out and the trash talking started. We were in the doldrums just like Magellan and the insults were creative. Jason opened a beer for me with his wedding ring. “Titaniun,” he said. “Gold ain’t much good for opening beer.”
We were looking for “texture” in the surface which indicates wind, but it took a long time coming. Every time a dark front with a little lightning moved in, we thought we’d get going. But it didn’t happen…until it happened suddenly. One minute we were commenting on David Payne’s big fat toes and the next we were grabbing at anything with an edge so we wouldn’t go over the side. Someone turned cowboy music up loud and there were cowboy whoops and “yeehaw’s” all over the fleet as the wind almost threw everyone off their feet. I crashed into one side of the cabin or the other until I learned to anticipate the changes, but I cracked a few body parts pretty good in the process.
Luckily, my camera has never left my hands in spite of all the spills I’ve taken over the years, so I just kept shooting as I scrambled. Unfortunately, I must have bumped my head so I can’t remember how I ended up leaving my camera in the cabin and joining Jason and David pulling sail lines. It ain’t easy pulling on those little skinny twiney things. As I pulled my line I watched my camera roll around the cabin floor and then it was joined by my camera bag…which spilled out all the lens’s, batteries, filters and mixed together on the floor with beer bottles, radios, life jackets, Cheetos, bikini bottoms and lake spray. Damn, I was missing some good shots…so I scampered down there and got back to work.
Jason and David were shouting Viking songs into the wind as they stood at 90 degrees off level or is it 45? Hope you like that shot. Somehow, in spite of the waves coming over the front of the boat, they kept their eyes on the second marker and kept steering toward it…tho Dave did ask me to clean his glasses at least once.
After awhile we looked around us and it seemed a few boats were giving up and dropping their sails or trying to. It felt good to be in Jason’s boat. He and David worked together like they’d been handling this stuff all their lives, so I felt totally secure. Never had a moments misgiving. I was a little disappointed that we turned around, too…until I realized we had capsized boats and people overboard in the race.
Riley Bennett had flipped and his mast was pointed toward the bottom of the lake. Riley Wilson on his little Butterfly was nowhere to be seen; Howard Bartlett had been thrown overboard and had been in the cold water twenty minutes since he’d last been seen. We also were unable to raise the boat with the Merman and his Mermaids from New York on the radio. Every boat that could get underway joined to the search and rescue.
Jason was on the radio trying to account for everyone but I couldn’t figure out a single word that came thru that radio. It sounded like a heavy metal song mixed together with sounds of someone getting murdered and finger nails on a chalk board.
Eventually everyone was accounted for; Riley was able to get his boat halfway up with the help of two boats pulling on opposite ends and then dragging him to Sandy Beach. Monte Bolgiano said they were so far over water was coming into the cockpit of his boat, Time Traveler. I was glad we headed in when we did. I found myself pretty focused on weighing my barfing options…a small plastic bag or crowd Jason and heave over the side. Then I’d look at the horizon and try to take my mind off it. Stepping onto dry land got me on the road to recovery, but I needed something more.
I found Howard “twenty minutes in the water” Bartlett all bundled up in the lodge and he admitted he was hypothermic. “One boat came close and I held up my hand in the waves, but there was so much rain, hail and wind they didn’t see me as they went by,” he said. So just like the movies I went up to the bar and brought us both down a Jameson Whiskey. I know, Kenna Tanner…I forgot. Whiskey isn’t a good way to fight if off since it will pull the cool blood from your extremities into your core, further lowering your body temp. That is why we have people like you and Tip Top Search and Rescue who train and train and train…so they won’t make things worse for their friends like I just did. But, we liked it anyway, didn’t we Howard?
So guess who won the race?
Eighty-one year old Richard Krebill and his buddy, seventy-year old Charlie Kulp. I sat with them and Peggy and told them of my high time on the lake and asked them what their secret was. “Well, we didn’t have any beer,” said Richard.
I’ll just leave that there, since I didn’t pursue it with Richard either. Some topics we just can’t entertain.
Update from Jason: “The airport reported at 4:35 on Sunday that we had NW winds at 29mph with gusts to 48mph. The north component to the wind generates pretty good sized waves on Fremont lake, we probably had 2 to 3 foot waves.”
AYC Honorary Life member Mike Yarnell has boxed up a library of classic sailing and racing books and is offering them to club members to borrow or buy. We’ll have them at the August 8 monthly meeting for you to check out.
Two storms on Friday and Saturday night (7/14 & 7/15) blasted Lake Pleasant, churning the lake, ripping up docks and hurling boats into each other.
Bruce Andress reports Monday (7/17) that Pleasant Harbor Marina is closed to the public and has very extensive damage, enough that he says repairs will run into the millions of dollars. Besides the private boats damaged, Bruce says that the AYC pontoon boat was blown some 30 yards by the wind, skittering across the economy storage lot and ramming into a cabin cruiser. The AYC boat has some damage, mostly to the trailer, and the cruiser has a hole in the side.
On Friday night, a reported 160 boats were damaged at Scorpion Bay Marina and docks were trashed. The marina closed Saturday except to members sorting through the damage. Many of the boats had been scarred by bashing against the docks. Power boats that were tied with sterns to the dock had banged into the docks until fiberglass broke and crumbled. As of 6 o’clock Saturday night, the power was still out.
Rear Commodore Sharon Bell’s boat had a puncture wound on the port side, a damaged bimini and broken stanchion, but came out better than boats nearby when her dock came adrift.
The dark clouds of another monsoon storm formed Saturday afternoon, clearing boats off the lake as high winds, surging water, and heavy rain banged against the marinas. This time the heaviest damage was to Pleasant Harbor Marina, where the walkway to the marina was wiped out and boats in the dry storage area were toppled.
The boat belonging to Dave Christensen and Wendy Larsen was knocked over. Rick Johnson’s boat was damaged. Steve Kusic’s boat was knocked off the trailer.
Dave wrote on Facebook: “The best thing that can be said is no one was hurt! It could’ve been very bad. The boat that is laying on its side on the right side of the picture [above], the owners were in the cockpit when it went over. They climbed to the the high side as it went. If they had fallen under….”
Wendy added that there were three holes in the hull of Dog Years and that 9 boats were knocked over.
Steve Kusic reported: “Runaway got knocked off of her trailer and landed on the boat next to her. The damage to Runaway looks minimal but the trailer is pretty tweaked possibly totaled. Runaway looks to still be seaworthy, thankfully.”
The Shoreline Yacht Club and US Sailing will present a Safety at Sea seminar on Sunday, July 2. The moderator will be Bruce Brown, who spoke to AYC about this time last year and does an excellent job with these vital seminars.
Call Marion Seaman at 310.632.4748 to reserve a spot.
Another huge office complex is about to rise on the shore of Tempe Town Lake, making sailing this tiny lake just that much more challenging. Hope for an east or west wind whistling down the canyon of buildings.
It’s called The Watermark Tempe, a 600,000 square foot office complex that will go up on the north shore, east of the marina and nestling up against Rural Road. It faces the massive State Farm office complex on the south shore, which has disturbed the already-disturbing wind currents on the lake.
The Tucson Sailing Club is headed for Mexico over Memorial Day weekend and would like you to come along. It’s the club’s spring trip to San Carlos, with lots of party and lots of sailing.
Marshall Williamson says, “Whether your boat is made for speed, or padded for comfort, whether you’re new to racing or an ocean racing veteran, you’ll have a great time racing with us! We invite you to participate.”
Questions: Race Chairman Peter Burgard, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520.625.3982.
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:
The polls are open for members to vote for the next AYC Board of Directors. You’ve received a link to online voting by email and it should take only a couple minutes for you to vote. When you log in to vote, the system will ask for your information from the AYC member files: your email and your last name.
You can vote for the nominated slate of officers or write in the name of a person. Here’s the rundown.
Several of the current officers declined to run this time, so you’ll find some new and some familiar names on the list.
Commodore: Mike Ferring. Yes, for the third time this guy is running for Commodore. Mike was Commodore in 2006-2007 and 2012-2013. He’s AYC’s Webmaster, ASF Board Member, Fleet Captain of the Sportboat Fleet, and races a 14.2 and J/80.
Vice Commodore: Mike Bernard. TTL racers recognize Mike as a die-hard Laser sailor. Mike’s retired from Intel.
Rear Commodore: Peter Burgard. Ask Peter to rattle off the list of boats in his personal fleet. Peter lives in Tucson, retired after 20+ years in purchasing at UA and another 11 with Amphitheater Schools. He’s active in the community and is past Commodore of the Tucson Sailing Club, organizer of this May’s San Carlos regatta. You’ll find Peter and wife Judy serving dinner after Saturday’s (4/22) Lake Pleasant racing as part of the Santana 20 fleet.
Membership: Andy Oliver. Andy is a Thistle sailor and has been one of the teachers for the Adult Beginning Sailing class for ASF. He’s also been helping Lori Reger greet people at the monthly meetings.
Fleet Captain: George Sheller. A semi-sorta-retired architect, George is a longtime AYC member, former Commodore, and current advocate for Laser sailing.
Others on the ballot from the current board: Bruce Andress moving on to Junior Staff Commodore and Tom Errickson running again for Cruising Captain. Remaining on the board in the second year of two-year terms are Chris Smith as Senior Staff Commodore and Mark Howell as Membership Director. The new Board appoints a Treasurer and Secretary. Expect Tony Chapman and Scott Richards to fill those roles.
Online voting will continue until 6pm May 8. Votes will be counted at the Caddy Shack at Rolling Hills at 6pm Tuesday, May 9, and you may present a written ballot in person at that time.
This year’s Hobie 16 and 18 North Americans were just a drive away from AYC, in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (aka Rocky Point) on the Sea of Cortez, October 10-14.
In the Hobie 16 class Francisco Figueroa and Jolliam Berrios (PUR) won their third championship followed by Tom Korzeniewski and Karen Grisko (USA). The Hobie 18 class winners are Ken Marshack/Valerie Pioszak (USA) followed by Jim and Barbie Doty (USA). Here are the full results.
You’ll have ample opportunity to watch Olympic sailing this year, with regular online and television coverage of events.
Here’s the blurb from US Sailing:
Two-time U.S. Olympic Sailing medalist Randy Smyth will be joined by America’s Cup winner and veteran sailing commentator Gary Jobson in the NBC broadcast booth for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Jobson and Smyth will cover two classes per day during the live broadcast, which will be available on NBCOlympics.com. Replays of the daily program will appear online shortly after the conclusion of the live broadcast.
In addition to the daily live broadcast on NBCOlympics.com, a 30-minute recap of each day’s racing, also narrated by Jobson and Smyth, will appear on the MSNBC and CNBC television networks after the conclusion of racing each day. This program will include recaps from more classes than the two that were covered live each day. The precise broadcast schedule of this program has yet to be determined, but it will be aired daily between 1pm and 5pm Arizona Time from August 8th to August 18th (sailing competition dates).
Rio 2016 NBC sailing coverage will be produced by a team led by Chris Lincoln, a five-time Emmy award-winning director of live sports and entertainment programming, and the recipient of the IOC Golden Rings awards for his direction of the London 2012 Olympic sailing broadcast.
Arizona Yacht Club’s long string of yacht club burgees is gone. It didn’t come home after the Birthday Regatta this year and is presumed lost or stolen. We’ve filed a police report in case it pops up on Craig’s List. Watch for it. We don’t know how many burgees were on the string, collected over decades, but it was almost certainly over 100 and probably more like 200.
So, we’re starting over.
New burgee number one is from the Lewes Yacht Club at Lewes, Delaware, at the mouth of Delaware Bay. LYC’s Susan Pisarek exchanged burgees June 25 with AYC Membership Director Mark Howell. If you’re traveling to a yacht club and would like to exchange burgees, the club will give you one to swap.
AYC member Bill Cunningham is cruising the Northeast with a bunch of our burgees and (as you’ll see below) is collecting lots of exchanges to get the string rolling.
All AYC members have now received an invoice for next year’s dues (or non-dues for Life and Honorary Life members) and the membership team hopes you’ll renew right away so we don’t have to send you the increasingly sad and pleading emails. The 2016-2017 dues are payable by July 1.
If you plan not to renew your membership (you know, if you’ve been transferred to Fargo or something), please tell us that too.
Life and Honorary Life members pay no dues, but we need you to update your contact information each year.
Here’s a shot of some of those longtime AYC members, gathered together when former Commodore Joyce Seale visited from her New Zealand home.
The US Sailing Safety at Sea course is an excellent way to get up to speed on staying safe on a sailboat. In one or two days, you’ll learn (or be reminded) about everything from PFDs and EPIRBS to weather and first aid. The two-day version of the course will even dump you in the water to try out some of this stuff.
You’ll find out more here, including being able to search and register for courses being offered within driving range of Arizona. For instance, there’s one scheduled for San Diego on July 30-31, at the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island. Here’s a flyer describing the course in more detail.
Maryellen and I just attended the one-day course at Santa Barbara, which was also taught by Bruce Brown, who you may remember from his talk to an AYC monthly meeting a couple years ago. Bruce is an excellent instructor and entertaining speaker and runs most of the courses on the West Coast, including the upcoming one in San Diego.
On Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, Lake Pleasant will be the site of National Championship races for two fleets: the Catalina/Capri 14.2 and Fireball.
Anyone with one of the two boats is welcome (and encouraged) to register for the race. The race documents and sign-up button are on the Racing page. If you’d like to adopt a C14.2 for the event, you’ll find a red button on the registration page. Press the button and reserve one of five boats that will be brought to the lake for the event. You’ll donate $75 to the Arizona Sailing Foundation and $250 will be held as a damage deposit.
Note: The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club will be offering a pancake breakfast for just $5 at the ramada near the Sailboat Shop that morning, starting at 8 am.
AYC member Clay Poulson is president of the United States International Fireball Association and has invited members to make the trip to Arizona for the races. Dave Haggart is the Fleet Captain of the AYC C14.2 fleet and volunteered to bring the national regatta here this year, moving it from its usual home at Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego.
To make it happen, a number of AYC members have stepped up to help, including Fleet Captain Steve Brown and a host of others including PRO Wendy Larsen. Victor Felice is helping publicize the event and Mark Macomber arranged for the poster and the regatta T-shirt you see above.
I think Maryellen and I get credit for introducing Chris Smith to the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, luring him there with promises of sailing with some of the greats in the sport. Typical of Chris, he took that modest introduction and ran with it: he’s been there some 10 times already!
As I write this, Maryellen and I have just returned from a few days at BEYC, our sixth stay, not counting two stops on charter boats. We love it as fanatically as Chris, though we’re going to have to get busy if we’re going to catch up with his frequent visitor score.
I would add one thing to what he says in the Scuttlebutt review. You’ll find sailboats on the sand at many resorts, but it would be rare to find them in such good condition, with new or nearly-new sails, and presided over by such an excellent bunch of watersports nuts as you’ll find at BEYC.
Here’s a view from the back door of our room:
Replacing the current inflated rubber Tempe Town Lake dam with concrete and steel will shut down the lake—probably next spring—for a period the city estimates will be more than one month, severely affecting activities for Arizona Yacht Club and the Arizona Sailing Foundation.
Tempe Senior Boating Coordinator Alicia Jerger announced the plan in an email, saying the new concrete and steel dam will be finished in “February or March,” depending on weather delays. At that point the city will divert the TTL water and, she says, “It is anticipated that refilling of Town Lake, mostly using water exchange credits, will begin one month after the water is diverted. Tempe Town Lake will be closed to boating and water recreation once the water diverting has begun.”
The new steel gate dam system includes 8 gates that will be hydraulically controlled to open for flood control. Here’s a link to the Tempe web page that includes videos describing the new system.
Obviously closing the lake will throw the AYC and ASF schedules into chaos, especially since it’s not possible to plan much in advance for the closure.
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