Sailing News RSS feed for this section

Renew Your AYC Membership

Renew your AYC membership today by clicking on this link. Update your member profile and full members pay the $150 per year dues (life members pay no dues). If you have any trouble, contact Mike Ferring.

Cool Summer Sunday Races

Two Buccs, a Laser, and a C14 all headed for the finish on a Sunday morning.

Two Buccs, a Laser, and a C14 all headed for the finish on a Sunday morning. Photo: Katherine Roxlo

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!

Cindy Pillote with crew Tony Chapman (behind the sail) downwind on a pleasant Sunday morning. Photo: Katherine Roxlo

Cindy Pillote with crew Tony Chapman (behind the sail) downwind on a pleasant Sunday morning. Photo: Katherine Roxlo

Otto’s Great Interlake Rescue

InterlakeRescueLike a lot of boat projects, the one Otto Shill envisioned turned out to be a little bit more complicated than expected. Instead of a light fiberglass fluff and buff, Otto’s project began to look more like boat building than boat fixing.

It started with a derelict donation he bought from the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF)−and I hope they didn’t charge him much. The project reached completion when sailed with his father on Tempe Town Lake.

The journey was much longer, one that began long ago with a sail on Lake Pleasant.

Here’s Otto’s story.

 

Victor’s Sandpaper Spring: Tuesday’s Meeting

Victor Felice's J/24. Photo: Chris Smith

Victor Felice’s J/24. Photo: Chris Smith

When Victor Felice decided to spruce up his J/24 Mermaid Rescue, he didn’t go halfway. He wanted to make it cleaner and faster and was prepared to put in the sweat equity to make it happen. Tuesday night, he’ll show you how he did it, from the haul-out to the fun time when the crew splashed the Mermaid again.

The meeting is Tuesday, June 10, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Victor loves to sail and he loves to shoot video of his sailing, so he’ll be bringing some of the action to the meeting, including this video of the first time back in the water on May 31.

Rear Commodore Chris Smith will also be there to tell us about his race to Catalina on his J/80.

Martin Lorch Wins AYC Championship. Again.

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.)

Pin end favored. The rush to the start. Photos: Mike Ferring

Pin end favored. The rush to the start. Photos: Mike Ferring

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.

Kyle Clark (left) and tussled Martin Lorch at the end of a long and successful day of racing. It was Martin's fifth Championship.

Kyle Clark (left) and tussled Martin Lorch at the end of a long and successful day of racing. It was Martin’s sixth Championship.

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.

Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
Martin Lorch 5 2 2 1 1 3 1 15
Jason Rziha 2 6 1 2 2 4 2 19
Steve Grothe 1 7 3 3 3 1 3 21
Emory Heisler 3 1 6 4 6 2 4 26
Chris Smith 4 3 4 5 5 6 6 33
Cedric Lorch 7 4 5 7 4 5 5 37
Victor Felice 6 5 7 6 DNS (8) DNS (8) DNS (8) 48
Tight windward rounding. Jason in the lead.

Tight windward rounding. Jason in the lead.

And the race downwind.

And the race downwind.

Steve and Amy Grothe turn to head upwind.

Steve and Sarah Grothe turn to head upwind.

White caps in the afternoon breeze.

White caps in the afternoon breeze.

Cedric is learning well. High school champ, C14 champ and now a player in the annual Championship Regatta. Ably assisted by Chrisann Tortora and Rick Johnson.

Cedric focuses. High school champ, C14 champ and now a player in the annual Championship Regatta. Ably assisted by Chrisann Tortora and Rick Johnson.

The race committee. Bob Whyte, Jim Colceri and (behind the camera Mike Ferring) and...

The race committee. Bob Whyte, Jim Colceri and (behind the camera Mike Ferring) and…

(left to right) Gail Kiel, Cindy Pillote, Becky Houston, Maryellen Ferring and PRO Greg Woodcock.

(left to right) Gail Kiel, Cindy Pillote, Becky Houston, Maryellen Ferring and PRO Greg Woodcock.

Cedric Lorch chasing the Grothes.

Cedric Lorch chasing.

The trash-talking C14 champ Cedric Lorch in still another picture!

The trash-talking C14 champ Cedric Lorch in still another picture!

Emory Heisler fixes on the chicken downwind.

Emory Heisler fixes on the chicken downwind.

Martin Lorch out front on the turn to the run.

Martin Lorch out front on the turn to the run.

Second place finisher Jason Rziha turns, trailing the red protest banner in race six. In first place at the time, they hit the mark seconds later and a few minutes later did a penalty turn that took them out of first.

Second place finisher Jason Rziha turns, trailing the red protest banner in race six. In first place at the time, they hit the mark seconds later and a few minutes later did a penalty turn that took them out of first.

Bruce Brown: How to Stay Safe on a Boat

Bruce Brown points to a graph showing boating accidents. Photo: Mike Ferring

At the March AYC monthly meeting, Bruce Brown points to a graph showing boating accidents. Photo: Mike Ferring

The most important thing you can do to stay safe on a boat is: stay on the boat. Once you’re in the water, recovery is difficult, especially with today’s fast boats that leave a crew overboard far behind in short order.

Safety expert Bruce Brown offered a string of tips to the March monthly meeting, including the use of jacklines and safety harnesses, PFDs, and recovery techniques.

Bruce presented six challenges to rescues and offered 8 strategies to make them successful. In the ocean, crew recovery is considerably more complicated than in our generally calm lakes. Spotting a crew member (or even being aware someone’s gone overboard) is one of the biggest challenges. Quickly marking approximate location by GPS and keeping a spotter with eyes on the person are critical—and the person in the water can help by waving and pulling on a brightly-colored hood.

It’s also important to practice, practice, practice. Learn to bring the boat to a quick stop and then return quickly. When the water’s cold, the crew overboard can lose dexterity quickly, then have trouble thinking clearly, and then face hypothermia.

Here are two other documents Bruce left with us:

Monthly Meeting: Bruce Brown and Safety at Sea

Bruce-Brown

We’re pretty sure this is Bruce Brown’s back, a picture taken as he was teaching a Safety-at-Sea seminar in California (he hasn’t sent us any pictures so we snatched this from Facebook). You’ll see another side of Bruce at the meeting.

If you attend a safety-at-sea seminar on the West Coast, you’re likely to meet this guy: Bruce Brown. At this month’s meeting, he’ll tell us the best methods for crew overboard recovery and suggest the best choices for personal safety equipment. And we’ll have a report on it shortly.

Bruce is a multi-time Past President of the United States Marine Association; he’s an instructor for the Coast Guard 100 Ton License Program; and he has extensive offshore racing experience, including skippering on the TransPac; and he specializes in evaluating safety products, such as life rafts, marine communication, and heavy weather forecasts.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 11, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Also on the program, a couple short videos from John deCastro, who was a Course Marshall for the America’s Cup last fall. He’ll briefly share some of his experiences.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Best not to have any of these hovering over your boat in distress.

Best not to have any of these hovering over your boat in distress.

Slick America’s Cup Recap

7b684c98ca94db5fcf0e86aaab02c2a4e5229391The Wall Street Journal has put together a nice recap of the America’s Cup comeback of Team Oracle, complete with various video bits and an interview with Jimmy Spithill.

Here’s the link.

Monthly Meeting: Safety at Sea with Bob Steel

February’s monthly meeting features noted sailor and safety-at-sea expert Bob Steel. Bob will talk about inshore and ocean racing with updates on weather forecasting and safety efforts. He calls it Smooth Ocean Sailing. You’ll find his extensive resume below.

February meeting speaker Bob Steel at the helm.

February meeting speaker Bob Steel at the helm.

The meeting is Tuesday, February 11, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Bob Steel
Sailing Resume

Born Sydney, Australia
44 years in the Marine Industry
Managing Yacht construction restoration, repair, maintenance, electronic installation & rigging.
Project Management sail & power
Responsible for planning & prep multiple offshore ocean races, sail up to 8oft
Nautor Swan Finland expert for factory delivered boats & current clients
Currently: Principal, Steelmaritime.

Member Transpac Yacht Club
Cruising Club Of America
Ancient Mariners Sailing Society
Society Naval Architects & Marine Engineers
California Yacht Brokers Association
Licensed California Yacht Broker
Board Member, Newport Sea Base, Sea Scout sailing

Highlights of Races as sailing pro responsible for total boat prep & safety

Transpac to Hawaii  Six times
Warrior           50ft Chance  1st Class A
Sunset Blvd    50ft Hollman 1st Cass  A
Aorangi           55ft Lapworth  Charter to US Naval Academy            Transpac to Tahiti
Mir, 78 ft Ketch. Walter Cronkite & James Michener on board after race, cruise Bora Bora to Raetaiea
Bermuda Race   Two times
Warrior          50ft Chance    2nd Class A
Southern Ocean Racing Circuit
High Roler 46ft Peterson  1st Class A  Dennis Conner
Mazatlan Race
Warrior    50ft Chance     1st class A
Trans Atlantic
Buccaneer   70ft Spencer
Fastnet    Force 9
Indigo   46 ft Frers       Survived
Inshore Races
St Francis Big Boat
Saudade    48ft S&S         Ist  Rheem series
Jet Steam   44ft Peterson  1st
Atlantic Series
Cal Cup
Windward Passage    70ft Guerney  1st
Ullman  Series
Taxi Dancer  70ft Reichel Pugh. 1st Class A
Ensenada  Race
Miz Blu  59ft Swan Owners Rep  for Walter Cronkite guest skipper
Stars & Stripes  Dennis Conner   1st Finish 1st Class A  First Overall
Cabo Races  Three times
Condor 70 ft Alan Andrews
Recent Deliveries
Newport to Costa Rica
Mehetebel   76ft Pedrick Sloop
Fiji to New Caledonia, Lord Howe Island to Sydney, Australia
Van Diemen 65ft  Muir Sloop
Newport Beach to Avalon
America   120ft Schooner
Currently racing
Its Ok    50ft   Andrews
Condor 70ft    Andrews

And lots of racing & cruising ahead for this year.

Mast Killer Strikes Again!

Lurking over the driveway entering and leaving the Tempe Town Lake launch area is the sailor’s nastiest enemy: a rust-colored, camouflaged mast-killing bar pointed at the spreaders of careless crossers.

Sunday it killed another one.

An ASF C14 sailboat punched off its trailer by the mast-killing bar. Photo: George Tingom

An ASF C14 sailboat punched off its trailer by the mast-killing bar. Photo: Dennis Davis

George Tingom has tried to keep score of the number of crumpled masts and boats tossed off their trailers by the mast killing bars, but he long ago lost track. He and I have tried to work out a better solution with the City of Tempe, but nothing we’ve thought of seems to satisfy the risk control people or avoids heavy cost of redesign and reconstruction. So, for more than a decade, the bars have stalked us, killing and maiming the unwary.

The bars hit just above the spreaders of a C14 sailboat on a trailer and they’ve been put there to prevent sailboaters from driving near the high power lines that parallel highway 202. Too close, they say, and the power lines could arc to the mast and perhaps hurt someone. Or induced static electricity could zap a nearby boat with a mast.

Sunday’s incident knocked one of the ASF boats off its trailer, but the mast survived the attack. The boat was one being fixed up and sailed by a high school student.

Moments earlier, I too got a stern reminder that you should look overhead before towing a sailboat. Turning a corner inside the fenced area, my boat’s mast struck one of the visiting University of Minnesota rowing shells that were sticking way out and overhanging the drive. I’ll be calling Catalina in a minute to order a new mast, my third for the boat. What happened to the first one? The mast-killing bar got it.

The boat was eased back onto the trailer with minimal damage. Photo: George Tingom

The boat was eased back onto the trailer with minimal damage. Photo: Dennis Davis

Exciting 2014 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Exciting action at the 2014 Birthday Regatta. Photo: Court Roberts

Exciting action at the 2014 Birthday Regatta. Photo: Court Roberts

Good wind and close competition produced a strong 2014 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

On Saturday, boats were starting, finishing, and X-coursing continually, scoring as many as 6 races in a single day for a single fleet. Some of the fleets finished the two-day event with 8 or more races, while the Vipers got in 12 in three days.

Not only were there a lot of races, but they were competitive as well, with two fleets needing tie-breakers to determine a winner, PHRF Spin (Lehman/Quant squeaking past Johnson/Bennett) and Wrinkle Boat (Stan Susman besting Gary Overbeck).

The other fleet winners were: Matt Davis, Buccaneer; Bob Worrall, C22; Brett Johnston, Multi-Hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mark Folkman, Viper 640.

Here are the results of the weekend.

Here are some excellent pictures from the event taken by Peter Howson.

Dennis Lynde won the new “TransLoch” fleet race Saturday, heading a list of a dozen who came to play in this fun fleet (winning extra handicap with such things as cooking on the barbecue during the race).

One nasty event: the collision of Chuck Sears’ Monsoon and Dave Spira’s Bucc on Saturday, producing damage, but no injuries.

The weekend continues to be a good fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with lots of help from Tony Chapman. Tony estimates that the event brought in more than $20,000 for LLS, aided by 48 boats entering the Leukemia Cup.

Much credit goes to event organizer Emory Heisler, who has put the Birthday Regatta together the last two years, setting it up so that it once again makes money and takes less effort. Nonetheless, Emory says there were 30+ volunteers who made it happen. He thanks Principal Race Officers Bob and Star Malouff of Dillon Lake, Colorado. And he thanks the marina staff for “giving us such a great environment and helping coordinate logistics.”

Meredith Townsend from Sailing World visited and sailed all weekend. Emory’s friend Peter Howson from San Diego was the photographer and we’ll have lots of pictures soon.

We had 84 boats registered, 78 boats raced and 77 races were run over the 3 day event.

 

Keeping the Club Floating High

There was a large and interested turnout for Tuesday night’s meeting (1/14) reviewing the financial affairs of the Arizona Yacht Club—and a clear consensus among the group that AYC is an inexpensive club, that it’s time to ratchet up dues and entry fees, and that it’s essential to keep the club on a sound footing.

The biggest cost we face is Lake Pleasant racing, but it’s also our most important activity. As Steve Nahkala said, “It’s why I belong to AYC.”

Over the last two years, the fleet captains have slowly increased race fees, especially those for nonmembers, to close the gap between revenue and expenses, but Lake Pleasant racing is still a big consumer of club dollars. (Tempe Town Lake racing takes in a bit more than it spends, thanks to the ability to use ASF equipment.)

In contrast, club dues have remained unchanged since 2003, when they were boosted from $75 to $125 per year. If dues had kept pace with the Consumer Price Index, they would have been $158 last year.

Club treasurer Tony Chapman

Club treasurer Tony Chapman

When former Commodore Bill Hutchinson asked what the club was doing to keep a healthy reserve in order to be ready when equipment replacements are needed, Treasurer Tony Chapman replied, “Bingo. That’s the heart of the question tonight.” In fact, reserves are hovering around $20,000 after drifting down the last few years in which when the club was breaking even or losing money (last year we were about $170 in the black).

Some members questioned the decision to purchase the Boston Whaler Outrage, with its higher operating cost, instead of sticking with the aluminum bass boat that’s been the runabout for the last dozen years. Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock responded by saying that the bass boat was an accident waiting to happen and had to be patched together to make it out onto the water. Lake Pleasant Fleet Captain Bruce Andress noted that one of the big expenses was avoidable repairs when people were careless in the way they took care of the boats. (The board attempted to address that issue by requiring certification for all club boat operators.)

When asked if the group was ready to raise the dues, the response was overwhelmingly yes. Now it’s up to the board to propose the next step. If they think it’s time for a dues increase, the move would need to be approved by a vote of members, probably at the same time as the vote for next year’s officers.

Here’s a link to the current AYC budget. And here’s an explanation of how the club operates.

 

The Big Christmas Party

December’s membership meeting brings the annual AYC gift exchange, a gift exchange with a twist. You might say twisted, even. The meeting is at 7 pm, Tuesday, December 10, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.

Here’s how the gift exchange works:

  • You bring a wrapped gift valued at about $20.
  • You pick a number from a hat to determine the order we select gifts.
  • We’ll have two people called to the front of the room at the same time.
  • Each person can choose to pick a wrapped gift from the pile or play pirate and take the gift from someone who’s already opened one.
  • Gifts can be “pirated” only twice before they’re safe from further theft.

Some of the gifts can be pretty weird, but if you’re looking for a prized gift suggestion: Liquor always seems to bring applause!

What’s the Christmas gift exchange like? Here’s what happened in 2011.

Getting Stronger by Getting Together with LPSC

Arizona Yacht Club and Lake Pleasant Sailing Club have stepped up efforts to work together, to promote the sport of sailing and to increase participation in each other’s events.

There have been two meetings of representatives of the two clubs. The second this week developed some specific steps to explore, explained in this report:

An AYC/LPSC joint committee has been created to build a bridge between the two groups. Ralph Vatalaro and Mike and Maryellen Ferring are representing AYC while Tim and Rhonda Brewer are representing the LPSC. The purpose of the committee is to increase communication, share information and co-plan events that are of interest to members of both groups. The initial meeting occurred Tuesday, October 29 at the House of Tricks restaurant in Tempe. Over glasses of wine, fabulous dinners and even a dessert or two, they suggested these next steps.

  • Staging a low-key sailing event on January 1, with members of both clubs invited to spend a couple of hours sailing and meeting at the Waterfront Grille for food, drinks, and football.
  • Setting up a sailing event for late winter or early spring that would encourage members of each club to team up with some members of the other club. We talked about trading crews, a poker run, or even a Capture the Flag theme.
  • To promote understanding, each club—AYC racing and LPSC cruising—the group discussed an information exchange. Mike and Maryellen volunteered to present a program at an LPSC membership meeting tentatively titled, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sailboat Racing in Just 30 Minutes. The program would include information on start procedures, fleet descriptions, ratings, protocols, etc. as well as an invitation to race with AYC. Tim and Rhonda Brewer or other interested LPSC members might reciprocate with a presentation about cruising and exploring Lake Pleasant or raft-up protocols and expectations.
  • The group discussed the possibility of joining forces to get more boats for a Catalina Cruise in July 2014. (Both clubs have had cruises to Catalina, but attendance has collapsed for both.)
  • Maryellen invited all LPSC women to the casual Women Who Sail parties. A couple dozen women interested in sailing gather quarterly for wine and appetizers at one of the women’s homes. Rhonda will talk to the Board to get approval to share LPSC email addresses for invitations.

All members of the group left the meeting encouraged about the plans. If you have feedback, questions or suggestions, please contact Ralph, Maryellen, Mike, Rhonda or Tim.

LPSC_LOGOLPSC has several events planned between now and the end of the year, as Rhonda describes:

The last few months of 2013 are filled with fun events, both on land and water. Besides the Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas party planned by Mary, Robin and Crystal, we have five more exciting events lined up.

On November 9 and 10 John Bagwell and Roland Cleveland are planning a Walk the Plank raft-up/camping party in Two Cow cove. Those of us on boats will raft up in the cove while the RVers and tent campers will set up on shore. The fun officially begins on Saturday, however, rumor has it that some members are planning to set up campsites on Friday afternoon.

As a complement to the Walk the Plank event, Tim and Rhonda Brewer have planned a Show Us Your Booty sail beginning at 10 am in front of the dam. Basically, we will chase each other around the lake exchanging “booty” between boats.

On November 17 LPSC members will host guests on the third Sunday Sail. Response to the September and October sails was extremely positive, so please consider joining the November sail as a host boat.

To prepare ourselves for 2014, on December 28 Tim and Rhonda will host a Tack Into 2014 sail. It will be similar to the Follow the Leader sail last spring, however, the fleet will be required to change tack and follow a new leader every 15 minutes.

Following the Tack Into 2014 sail on December 28, we hope everyone will gather in the barbeque area of PHM to share in a Potluck Dock Party. Please consider attending this party even if you don’t participate in the Tack Into 2014 sail. This is a great way to spend the end of 2013 with friends who share the love of sailing!

AYC’s Clay Poulson Fireballs the Worlds

Clay Poulson at the pin end of a very long starting line.

Clay Poulson and Mianne Erne at the pin end of a very long starting line.

I know the Fireball I sail with the Arizona Yacht Club is a bit of an oddball dinghy, and lots of Zonie sailors have tried to get me to sail with the Thistles, the Buccaneers, or such.

Honestly, I would have immediately joined one of the other fleets if I hadn’t been involved with something really cool.

The three photos show how cool Fireballs are. These are taken from the 2013 Fireball European and World Championships held a few weeks ago in Porto Roz, Slovenia. The 2013 Fireball Championships drew 79 boats together, from 10 different countries, for 8 days of exciting racing.

The photo with the long line of boats just off the start line lets you really imagine the action that was to follow. My World’s captain, Mianne Erne, and I are visible sailing on #SUI 15063. We lined up with the 75+ boats nearly 40 different times over the eight days of racing. Lots of aggressive sailors led to plenty of general recalls and then black flags. Then you had to negotiate a vast course with lots of fast moving boats. Some mid-fleet mark roundings were chaos as a dozen Fireballs would converge on the buoy at the same time. It was a truly awesome week of racing.

Porto Roz and neighboring Piran are ancient seaports historically linked to the Venetian Republic. These old Venetian ties give the entire Istrian Peninsula a very Italian flavor. The seafood is glorious and half the price of the Italian tourist restaurants far across the water. The marina at Porto Roz was beautiful, extending for nearly a kilometer along the shore with numerous restaurants, stores, hangers for the boats, chandleries, and rows of million dollar yachts.

Fireballs downwind.

Fireballs downwind.

The Fireball class is a really exciting international class to sail with. Fireball International has fleets in about 20 different countries. There are yearly regional, national, continental, and world championships. The last four Fireball World Championships have been held in Barbados in 2010, Sligo, Ireland in 2011, Mandurah, Australia in 2012, and Slovenia this year. The next three will be held in Thailand in 2014, Wales in 2015, and South Africa in 2016. Fireball International tries to find diverse venues and puts on a great show at all of these events. There are usually big sponsors with grand opening and closing ceremonies and then lots of dinners and parties in between.

Fireball USA generally holds three big regattas a year were we try and draw our far-flung fleet together. Our biggest regattas are usually held in Tampa, Florida; Cascade Locks in Oregon; and Rye, New York. We make an effort to work closely with Canadian Fireball to maximize the number of boats we are able to put on the water at any given event.

The Fireball, with its three sails and trapeze, is a great, fun boat to sail. The international aspect of the class makes for wonderfully interesting regattas. The Fireball class is definitely Fast, Fun, and Friendly.

Clay Poulson, AYC Portsmouth Fleet Captain
President, United States International Fireball Association

Fireballs churn the water at the Worlds.

Fireballs churn the water at the Worlds.

 

 

November Meeting: John Jourdane, 300,000 miles under sail

How’s that for a headline?

John Jourdane figures he’s sailed over 300,000 miles, including 51 trips between the West Coast and Hawaii, 12 trans-Atlantic crossings, and three trips around the world. But that’s just the beginning of his story.

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

A couple of those around-the-world trips were as a navigator in the Whitbread series—and he was regarded as one of the best on the planet in that role. Roy Disney sailed with John on Pyewacket and said, “John Jourdane is an old friend, a wonderful sailor and navigator, but more importantly, a wonderful teller of tales of the sea, and of the slightly crazy individuals who find it to be a race track.”

Sounds like a book blurb, doesn’t it? It is. John’s written two books about his adventures and some other well-known friends offered blurbs too. Such as Peter Isler: “Jourdane has a storyteller’s knack for sharing tales of the sea with the rest of us.” Or John Rousmaniere: “A sailor with a remarkable history of colorful voyages, Jourdane knows how to tell wonderful stories of boats and sailors.” And here’s a little more from a Sailing World blog.

John Jourdane will offer some of those stories for our next monthly meeting. The meeting is Tuesday, November 12, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

John Jourdane navigated aboard Roy Disney's Pyewacket.

John Jourdane navigated aboard Roy Disney’s Pyewacket.

Entry for Governor’s Cup Regatta

Sailing a marathon around Lake Pleasant.
    Check above if you want to go half distance only and be scored for half distance. No prizes will be awarded but lots of glory!
    1. My boat will be equipped to conform to USCG, US SAILING, Arizona State, and Fleet safety requirements. 2. The AYC Fleet Captain, or his representative, may inspect my boat before or after any race. 3. I hereby release the Arizona Yacht Club, any sponsoring group, its officers, agents, or committee people from any and all liability for any injury to myself or damage to my boat arising out of conduct of the race, to the extent that such release does not discharge the insurance policies of my boat.

LPSC Boys & Girls Club Sail

The Annual LPSC Boys & Girls Club Sail will be Saturday, October 12, a premier outreach event.

This year we’re planning to host 21 kids and 8 staff members from the Glendale Boys and Girls Club for the day at Lake Pleasant. In addition to taking the kids for a sail, we’ll teach workshops in the morning (safety, knots, sailing terms and lines and sails). We will then serve them lunch at the Pleasant Harbor Marina BBQ area.

It is always such a fun day and the kids absolutely love it. If you happen to be around the marina Saturday morning or early afternoon, stop by the barbeque area to greet our future fleet members.

—Rhonda Brewer, LPSC

Magical, Mystical Opti Class

The Opti group, getting ready to sail. Photo: Mark Howell

The Opti group, getting ready to sail. Photos: Mark Howell

Mark Howell was watching and listening as 9 kids and 9 Opti sailboats lined up on the plastic dock at Tempe Town Lake last Sunday afternoon.

Actually, he called it eavesdropping and this is what he heard about sailing theory:

  1. Hang on to the tiller and the mainsheet.
  2. Sit on the opposite side of the boat from the sail.

Then, he said, “they pushed them off the dock one by one, and they were sailing.  Magic.”

Let’s hope it’s the first sail of a lifetime of sailing fun.OptiDock

And then they pushed off and sailed.

And then they pushed off and sailed.

Welcome AYC’s New Mark Boat

Shiny new AYC mark boat. Photo: David Cummings

Shiny new AYC mark boat. Photo: David Cummings

AYC’s new 23-foot Boston Whaler Outrage will be ready for action on Opening Day of the Lake Pleasant racing season.

The boat was partially paid for by a $10,000 grant from US Sailing, which Rob Gibbs successfully applied for. The rest of the purchase of the boat, a trailer, motor repair, and preparation (roughly another $10,000) comes from your AYC treasury. We hope to recover a chunk of the money from sale of the current runabout plus some other assorted assets, such as a trailer and motor.

Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock has spent untold hours acquiring the boat and getting it ready for the water, working with Complete Marine in Tempe and Gene Walentiny’s Glendale Marine. Besides repairing the motor and its tilt mechanism, Gene donated a pair of swim platforms for the back of the boat to make recovery of swimming sailors easier.

AYC member Dave Cummings removed a fish tank and did substantial clean-up of the boat. Lake Captain Bruce Andress helped out along the way. And the board of directors chipped in with loads of advice.

The new whaler promises to be a much more seaworthy and stable platform than the 18-foot aluminum runabout it replaces. The added length will also mean better storage for the club’s race marks. In the runabout, workers had to walk on the marks to move around the boat.

A new boat and motor like this one would be approximately $90,000, so this comes at quite a saving, but the 20+ year old Whaler comes with a salt water history (it was purchased from a private party in the Long Beach area). The Yamaha outboard has been a particular concern, however Glendale Marine was able to get it running well and gave us a one-year warranty on the repair. The board opted for fixing the motor rather than buying a new one because the roughly $17,000 price of a replacement would have depleted the club reserves. The board hopes to get a few years’ service out of this motor before needing to face the cost of a replacement unit.

In addition to doing duty as the race-day mark boat, the Whaler will be used for powerboat training classes and any operator of the boat will need to be over 18 years old and have passed the US Sailing Powerboat Operating Course.