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Welcome to Tempe Town Canyon

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.

George Sheller has forwarded this PDF of the complex so you can see where this monster will go.

An artist’s conception of the massive new The Watermark Tempe office complex.

Tucson Sailing Club Invites You to Mexico

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.

You’ll find some exotic sailing with the Tucson Sailing Club.

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.”

Here’s a schedule of what’s happening. And here’s a link to the TSC website where you’ll find registration information.

Questions: Race Chairman Peter Burgard, at burgardjd@aol.com or call 520.625.3982.

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

Vote for the Next AYC Board of Directors

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.

Mike Ferring

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.

Mike Bernard aboard his Laser at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

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.

Hobies Compete at Rocky Point

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.

Hobies compete at Rocky Point.

Hobies compete at Rocky Point.

Follow Olympic Sailing Online and on TV

You’ll have ample opportunity to watch Olympic sailing this year, with regular online and television coverage of events.

Here’s a link to a page with the schedule, links, and daily newsletter.
And here’s Craig Leweck’s blog on World Sailing.

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.

The US Olympic sailing team.

The US Olympic sailing team.

Starting the Burgee String from Scratch

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.

Susan Kisarek exchanges burgees with AYC's Mark Howell.

Susan Pisparek exchanges burgees with AYC’s Mark Howell.

AYC member Bill Cunningham exchanges burgees with Johnpatrick O'Brien, Rear Commodore of Fayerweather Yacht Club in Black Rock Harbor, Connecticut.

AYC member Bill Cunningham exchanges burgees with Johnpatrick O’Brien, Rear Commodore of Fayerweather Yacht Club in Black Rock Harbor, Connecticut.

Membership Renewal Time

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.

From left: Charlie and Debi Fife, Martin Lorch, Carol Ohlin, Mary Kay Farrington Lorch, Alexia Lorch, Tom Ohlin, Joyce Seale, and Dennis Lynde

From left: Debi and Charlie Fife, Martin Lorch, Carol Ohlin, Mary Kay Farrington Lorch, Alexia Lorch, Tom Ohlin, Joyce Seale, and Dennis Lynde. Joyce says George Sheller was also there, but he was the only one actually out sailing.

Former AYC Commodores Joyce Seale, Martin Lorch, and Tom Ohlin. Joyce and Tom are Honorary Life members.

Former AYC Commodores Joyce Seale, Martin Lorch, and Tom Ohlin. Joyce and Tom are Honorary Life members.

Consider Taking a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course

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.

The class tries out various flares on the beach in Santa Barbara. Photo: Art Vasenius

The class tries out various flares on the beach in Santa Barbara. Photo: Art Vasenius

Bruce Brown is the guy with the lime green PFD around his neck and the tether keeping him the classroom. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

Bruce Brown is the guy with the lime green PFD around his neck and the tether keeping him the classroom. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

AYC Hosts C14.2 and Fireball National Regattas

The regatta T-shirt by Pirate's Den.

The regatta T-shirt by Pirate’s Den. Click here for a bigger picture.

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.

Power hiking on a Fireball with Clay Poulson. Photo: Chris Smith

Power hiking on a Fireball with Clay Poulson. Photo: Chris Smith

Chris Smith and the Sweet Bitter End

Chris Smith (right) and Match Racing Champ Taylor Canfield hanging out at the Bitter End Yacht Club

Chris Smith (right) and Match Racing Champ Taylor Canfield hanging out at the Bitter End Yacht Club

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!

Chris just wrote a brilliant love poem to the place for Scuttlebutt, which you can read here.

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:

The view from a room at the Bitter End Yacht Club. Somewhat distorted panorama shot by iPhone.

The view from a room at the Bitter End Yacht Club. Somewhat distorted panorama shot by iPhone.

Tempe Town Lake Scheduled to Close for More than a Month Next Spring

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.

A frame of the City of Tempe's video showing a simulation of the dam in operation.

A frame of the City of Tempe’s video showing a simulation of the dam in operation.

Dave and Wendy Boatworks Gears Up

Christensen-mini-crane

The Mini 650 sailboat emerging from the garage and being loaded on Dave’s home-built trailer. They floated the boat in 2012.

You remember the saga of Dog Year, the Open 6.50 Meter (aka Mini 650) that Dave Christensen and Wendy Larsen built in their garage? Let the saga continue.

Dave has now announced that he’s found another use for all those wood clamps he bought to build the boat. He’s building another one, this time a 28-foot trawler powered by an outboard. This too begins with nothing more than plans and a pile of plywood.

Dave told the AYC monthly meeting that he and Wendy are planning the new boat to use for retirement in a few years. It’s a snug home that they figure would be good for the area around San Juan islands and maybe for an inland swing around the Eastern U.S.

Dog Year is a 20-foot  boat that was built in a 19-foot garage, which meant punching a cutout into a bedroom. With a 28-foot boat under construction at the DandW Boatworks, this time they’ll take pretty much the entire bedroom.

Dave and Wendy are going with power this time.

Dave and Wendy are going with power this time.

 

 

Here's a cutaway view.

Here’s a cutaway view.

Why (and How) You Should Race Your Cruising Boat

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard's O'Day. Photo: Chris Smith

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard’s O’Day. Photo: Chris Smith

Sometimes it seems as if cruisers and racers are different breeds. One values comfort and a cocktail at anchor while the other wants screeching heel angles and screaming mark roundings. But some of us think both things are a kick and would like to see more cruisers try racing. But how? And (of course) why?

Sail magazine is offering excellent information on sailboat racing for cruisers, including an explanation of “why” that boils down to:

  1. It’s fun.
  2. It makes you a better sailor.

Scuttlebutt‘s Craig Leweck says he tells people, that “To race is only to ‘sail with a purpose.’ Much like most forms of exercise, you begin with a plan to test yourself, and racing is not so much a competition as it is an opportunity to assess one’s sailing skills.”

Sail magazine takes it from there, quoting renowned naval architect and yachtsman Uffa Fox, saying “Once you race every fault is pointed out in the way other boats sail away from you, and when you do anything well this too is revealed as you start sailing away from the rest of the fleet.”

Here’s a link to the excellent Sail introduction to racing for cruisers.

AYC offers several entry-level races for cruisers who want to try out racing. There are two “pursuit” races (see the Sail article for an explanation) each year: the Governor’s Cup December 5 and the Tall Cactus on April 23 of next year. In both cases, boats start in reverse order of their PHRF rating (yes, see Sail article) so the start is simple and uncrowded. Then it’s just a matter of sailing the course as fast as you can.

The other opportunity is the “TransLoch” series (named by Tom Errickson), which is a low-pressure, longer-distance race around Lake Pleasant conducted at the same time as the buoy races for the fall and spring series and at the annual Birthday Regatta. Unfortunately, no one signed up for the TransLoch this fall and it’s not being run. Why didn’t they? I’ve heard various explanations, but I think it’s a combination of “tried it and didn’t like it” and “it wasn’t fair and I couldn’t win.” In my opinion, the TransLoch might rise again with some retooling and some new rules that might raise the fun factor. Until then, maybe the cruisers will come out for the TransLoch at the Birthday Regatta or join the racers for the Governor’s Cup and Tall Cactus.

What do you say?

A featured picture from Sail magazine. They stress that the most important thing in racing is to have fun. Photo: Cate Brown

A featured picture from Sail magazine. They stress that the most important thing in racing is to have fun. Photo: Cate Brown

September Sailboat Racing Seminars

Fleet champs celebrating on Rolling on the Deep. Photo: Chris Smith

Fleet champs celebrating on Rolling on the Deep. Photo: Chris Smith

We have two sailboat racing sessions scheduled for mid-September, one for experienced racers and the other for sailors new to the sport. Best of all, both are free.

Introduction to Sailboat Racing class will be Wednesday, September 16, from 6:30-9 pm. To register, please fill out this form. More information here. We’ll give you a high-speed introduction to the basics, from how to register to race to how to start. The class is conducted by Mike and Maryellen Ferring.

Advanced Sailboat Racing seminar will happen the next night, Thursday, September 17 from 6:30-9 pm. The seminar will feature four of AYC’s Club Champions (16 championships among them), Dave Haggart, Martin Lorch,  and Skip Kempff. To register, please fill out this form. We’ve asked the three to offer presentations on tactics, light wind sailing, and starts, and then we’ll open the seminar to questions from you. What do you want to know?

Both sessions will be held at the Tempe Police Department Apache Substation at 1855 E Apache Parkway, near McClintock (map).

 

Campos Pull Out of the Transpac

Saturday morning (7/18): Christina and Steve Campo have abandoned their Transpac effort and are returning to LA.

The Transpac tracking system tells the story. Their lime green icon is pointed back at the mainland while the rest of the competitors are moving toward Honolulu. The brief description explains that they had a problem with the rudder on their Hobie 33, but the crew is safe and well. They were moving at a reduced speed of just three knots.

You can follow their progress here. Look for the boat Bazinga.

The tracking snapshot on Saturday morning (six hours delayed).

The tracking snapshot on Saturday morning (six hours delayed). That three-pronged object way out in front is the trimaran Lending Club 2, which was not in the race but has now finished, setting a new speed record for the trip of three days, 18 hours, knocking a day off the record. The next wave of fast boats can be seen just off the California coast, but on Saturday morning they were caught in light air and were moving slowly.

 

campo-transpac2015

Christina and Steve Campo moments before they shoved off for a little sail to Honolulu in Transpac 2015. Unfortunately they won’t be getting leis in Hawaii.

 

Slide Show: Volvo Ocean Race Blitzes Newport

Mike and Maryellen Ferring flew to Newport, RI, to see the Volvo Ocean Racers’ only U.S. stop on their chase around the world. Here are pictures that Mike took over the course of three days.

AYC Elects Chris Smith Commodore

Members of AYC have elected the slate of candidates proposed for the AYC Board of Directors, headed by Chris Smith.

Here’s the entire slate:

  • Commodore: Chris Smith
  • Vice Commodore: Bruce Andress
  • Rear Commodore: Victor Felice
  • Junior Staff Commodore: Peter Lehrach
  • Racing Fleet Captain: Steve Brown
  • Cruising Captain: Tom Errickson
  • Membership: Bob Whyte

In addition, Cynthia Pillote moves to Senior Staff Commodore and John Riddell continues in the second year of a two-year term as membership chairman. At its first meeting the new board elected its final two members, Secretary Lori Reger and Treasurer Tony Chapman.

The membership also voted to make a small change in the club bylaws that would affect new members’ dues. Effective immediately, in addition to the initiation fee, new members will pay dues prorated for the time remaining in the AYC year.

Chris Smith

Commodore Chris Smith

Carefree Highway is Cleaner Today

Thanks to Thom Dickerson and a band of AYC highway cleaners, the Carefree Highway near mile post 25 is a bunch cleaner today. Thom reports that they filled about 40 bags with litter and then headed to the Wild Horse Saloon for lunch. Great work!

Highway cleaning crew with Mike Parker, Jo and Mike Grijalva, Mike Yarnell, Dennis and Claudia Swift and Chuck Sears. Thom Dickerson is behind the camera.

Highway cleaning crew with Mike Parker, Jo and Mike Grijalva, Mike Yarnell, Dennis and Claudia Swift and Chuck Sears. Thom Dickerson is behind the camera.

Greet the New Members

Commodore Peter Lehrach greeted the new AYC members at the October meeting, including the ones in these shots. Each new member receives a roster, a card, and a burgee.

Joe Ashton has been sailing a Capri 14.2 in the adopt-a-boat program. Photos: Chris Smith

Joe Ashton has been sailing a Capri 14.2 in the adopt-a-boat program. Photos: Chris Smith

Nat Kemberling and wife Anne will be racing their new J/105. There should be room from children Tyler, Annabelle, and Zander

Nat Kemberling and wife Anne will be racing their new J/105. There should be room from children Tyler, Annabelle, and Zander

Ian Parkinson has been racing with Victor Felice and says, "I thought I should become a full member."

Ian Parkinson has been racing with Victor Felice and says, “I thought I should become a full member.”

Peter Weiskopf and wife Cindy have a Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 on the coast and plan to sail here too.

Peter Weiskopf and wife Cindy have a Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 on the coast and plan to sail here too.