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Mike Hester Wins Club Championship

John Mayall and Mike Hester, Club Champs. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester and John Mayall coped with shifting Tempe Town Lake wind better than 8 other competitors Saturday (5/13) to take the 2017 Club Championship trophy.

This is Mike’s and John’s third Club Championship. Three other club champions finished second-fourth: Martin Lorch, Paul Miachika, and Dave Haggart. Mike and John will be formally presented the trophy at the Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe on Friday night, June 9.

TTL challenged all 9 teams with wind that ranged from light to puff-me-over, shifting from east to west, but usually blowing from the southeast, enough wind confusion that the race committee was constantly debating where to set the course.

All the top teams had a rough race or two, being called OCS and having to catch up or having to overcome a missed puff. Mike and John managed to work their way through the fleet on those bad starts to minimize the impact—and then were able to sprint out to the lead on other races, winning three. See the scores below. And here are three dozen pictures of the racing.

Congratulations to all 9 teams and thanks to the many people who pitched in to bring off the successful day. Race committee: PRO Mike Ferring, Mike Bernard, Lori Reger, Vanessa Wisbaum, Tony Chapman, and George Sheller. Chief Hospitality Officer Maryellen Ferring with Larry Green, Dave Henning, Ralph Vatalaro, and a couple others who will escape unnamed.

2017 Club Champs Mike Hester and John Mayall with the big cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Club Championship Scores

Sailor Race 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Hester 1 1 3 4 2 1 4 2 18
Lorch 2 2 2 5 1 3 5 4 24
Miachika 6 5 6 2 3 4 1 1 28
Haggart 5 3 5 1 7 2 2 3 28
Richards 4 4 8 3 4 5 3 DNS 10 41
Worrall 3 6 1 6 8 6 7 5 42
Heisler 9 7 4 7 5 7 6 7 52
Rahn 8 9 7 8 6 8 OCS 6 62
Liszewski 7 8 RET DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75

The class photo: The 9 fleet champs and crews who competed in the 2017 regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring




Championship Regatta 2017 Slideshow

Here are three dozen pictures taken by Mike Ferring during the 2017 Club Championship Regatta at Tempe Town Lake, won by Mike Hester and John Mayall.

Wide view of the Championship Race from the Rural Avenue Bridge. Photo: Dave Henning

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 or call 520.625.3982.

April Meeting: Extreme Sailing!

Sailing will go to the Extreme in October in San Diego, foiling cats rising out of the water in a wild show of speed. The city is the latest entry in the world tour of the Extreme Sailing Series, a collection of professional, sponsored teams racing a fleet of foiling GC32 catamarans, “flying” just in front of thousands of spectators.

Matt Reynolds. Credit - Lloyd Images

Matt Reynolds. Credit – Lloyd Images

In April, San Diego Extreme Series CEO Matt Reynolds will introduce AYC to the series and invite us to take it all in on October 19-21. The Race Village will be based at Harbor Island, and the racing action will take place close to shore as a kind of “stadium” racing venue. The series started in 2007 with racing catamarans, but last year switched to the GC32, the foiling boats. Here’s more about the boats.

They just raced in March at Muscat in Oman. Next up in April is Qingdao, China. Then it’s on to the Madeira Islands, Hamburg and Cardiff, and then San Diego and Los Cabos, Mexico

The meeting is Tuesday, April 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.

Extreme Series at the last stop of 2016, Sydney harbor.

Extreme Series at the last stop of 2016, Sydney harbor.


Tempe Town Lake Draws Family Racing

Sure, the wind was shifty and sometimes light, but it was a nice day on the water at Tempe Town Lake on Sunday (2/26). Most fun, it brought out some of the kids. Will Zornik put daughter Heidi and son Conrad on his Laser, where they were great crew. Conrad played bowman and figurehead. Amazingly, despite the extra weight, on the first race Will and team got a great start, picked up a favorable shift on the last leg and won!

Meanwhile, Rob Gibbs on his Laser trailed behind son Colin aboard a Bic O’Pen, coaching him around the course in the Portsmouth fleet. Colin announced to Rob that he wanted to race this spring and delighted dad decided to coach rather than race himself. Colin looked very confident—and very well dressed for the part.

Results of the day are posted on the results page, or click here.

A slideshow of Mike Ferring’s pictures are below:

Conrad, Heidi, and Will Zornik before one of the races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Conrad, Heidi, and Will Zornik before one of the races. Photo: Mike Ferring

March Meeting: Boathouse for Tempe Town Lake?

Kim Knotter, Executive Director, Rio Salado Foundation

Kim Knotter, Executive Director, Rio Salado Foundation

The Rio Salado Foundation is making another run at building a $5-million boathouse on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake. Storage on the lower floor, offices and meeting space on the top. Sound like something nice to have?

At the March monthly meeting, Rio Salado’s Executive Director Kim Knotter will lay out the plans and the hopes and dreams for you to ogle. If you’ve been following this story, this will be familiar. The organization has been trying to get the concept off the ground for years and has been sitting on $1.2 million in funds as seed money, most of it from SRP. Kim will tell us how they hope to get the seed to grow.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 14, 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.

Kim Knotter was named Executive Director in July 2013 and has worked in nonprofit management and fundraising in Phoenix for over 20 years. She has served with some of the Valley’s most notable charities including The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Planned Parenthood of Arizona, Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix Art Museum, and Ballet Arizona. Kim is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Planned Giving Round Table of Arizona.

Tempe Town Lake Results for Weekend Two

Two Sundays of Tempe Town Lake racing and two Sundays of strong wind! The racing on February 12 was as good as it gets, with good wind from start to finish, blowing from the west. Lasers, C14s, and Buccs were out to play, with Portsmouth on Race Committee training.

The scores from week two of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here.

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

2017 Starts with REGATTAS

The 2107 season starts with TWO regattas. On January 21, ladies take the helm in the RUTH BEALS CUP. This year we will be celebrating the founder of the AYC on Lake Pleasant. As of January 9th, 12 boats have already signed up for the event—this a significant challenge for the Cup! With a mixed fleet of boats in a handicap race on a new course, we will definitely see some very interesting and tactical sailing.


The Second event of 2017 is the LEUKEMIA CUP/First in the Nation/Birthday Regatta. Also on Lake Pleasant, this is always by far the largest and most complete event of the year.

Many completely new events and features have been added to this year’s regatta making it a very complete weekend. For the first time, racing will be mainly handicap racing (not the usual fleets); the Vipers are back in full swing; a new Club Challenge for cruisers has been added; a full day SUP event on the north ramp beach; we have chartered ‘The Phoenix’ for a Saturday afternoon Regatta Cruise for friends and family; Saturday and Sunday will see  the first “Lunch on the Lake” (a pontoon boat with your pre-ordered lunch will deliver it to you!); many new sponsors and participants; wide distribution print media (full page newspaper ads, full color ad in Trends Magazine); promotional support from the SCYA and so much more! And yes, there will be a giant tent at Spinnaker Point courtesy of H2OMG—the hydroplane races held the weekend after us.



Ruth Beals Cup Goes the Distance

The Ruth Beals course will be heart-shaped.

The Ruth Beals course will be heart-shaped.

Since AYC began this women-at-the-helm championship race, it’s been fought at Tempe Town Lake in C14s. Not this year. Try keel boats for long distance at Lake Pleasant. This is another twist from the fertile mind of Vice Commodore Victor Felice. To add a triple twist, he’s laid out a course shaped like a heart.

The race is named for the founder of AYC, Ruth Beals, and offers a chance for the women of the club to compete against other women. Men are allowed to crew, but not to get too close to the tiller. Here’s a link to the registration information for the race, which will be run on Saturday, January 21, starting at 10 am.

Maryellen Ferring (shown on the home page picture) has held the cup for the last two years, but won’t be defending since she’ll be out of the country when the race is run.

Tempe Town Lake Week 6 Results

A blustery Sunday afternoon made for great sailing for a hearty bunch of TTL sailors. The wind tipped over 15 mph much of the time, meaning lots of races and a few trips into the drink.

The scores for week 6 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here.

Pushing to the front: Paul Miachika. Photo: Mike Ferring

Pushing to the front: Paul Miachika. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Fall Series Final Results

A great couple days of racing for our final weekend of the fall series! Very good wind on both days, especially Sunday morning (where were all you people?). Thanks to fine race committee work from the Thistle fleet.

Congratulations to the fleet champs: Bob Worrall, C22; Brett Johnston, Multi-hull; Tom Baker, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mike Hester, PHRF Sportboat; Dan Schott, Thistle.

The final week of racing for the fall series at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page or click here.

Running from Horse, PHRF Spin boats chase downwind. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Running from Horse, PHRF Spin boats chase downwind. Photo: Bill Cunningham

2016 Governor’s Cup & Triple Crown


The 2016 Governor’s Cup Regatta will take place on December 3rd at Lake Pleasant and this year introduces something new, different and exciting.

Here’s the scoop. There are two categories: A pursuit race much as we’ve done it the last several years and a straight-up PHRF race.

The Pursuit Race is an informal twice-around-the lake long distance sailing event starting at 10 am. The winner takes home the traditional really big trophy. Info and registration here. Registration is $10.

The Other Race is a full blown PHRF twice-around-the-lake race. Two sections will be scored, Monohull boats (starting slower-rated boats at 10:30 and faster-rated ones at 10:35) and Multi Hull (starting at 11). Registration is $25.

The 2016 Governor’s Cup is also the first of three regattas that comprise the AYC TRIPLE CROWN. The new Triple Crown combines our three non-series regattas: The Governor’s Cup, the Leukemia Cup-Birthday Regatta and the Tall Cactus. Further information and registration for all of these regattas will now happen at a new AYC website,

The new site is intended to help promote these three events outside of Arizona, throughout the Southwest and Pacific Coast.

None of the things the club does can happen without the dedication and commitment of members and volunteers. Thank you to all involved.

Tempe Town Lake Wk 3

The scores from week 3 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here. There was no wind for week 4 and so no races and no race results. It was described as “bob and bake.”

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.

Lake Pleasant Week 1

The first weekend of Lake Pleasant racing began with a whimper and ended with a blast: light wind on Saturday gradually got stronger later; the wind was too heavy for racing Sunday morning (and then the steering went out on Wicked Awesome). Despite a strong registration by the multi-hull fleet, the turnout for the weekend was light.

The scores are posted on the results page, or you’ll find them here.

Multi-hulls head for the windward mark in light wind. Photo: Charles Landis

Multi-hulls head for the windward mark in light wind. The multis have shown up in force this fall, registering the most boats of any fleet. Photo: Charles Landis

Register Now for Fall Race Series

Registration is open for the fall race series at both Lake Pleasant and Tempe Town Lake. Click here to get all the documents and to punch the “sign up now” button.

The big news of course is that we’re back with a full slate of races at Tempe Town Lake after limping through a spring with the lake empty because of the installation of the new steel dam. The new State Farm complex, the new Vela apartments, and a few other scattered lakeside developments will affect the wind on the lake, so hope for reliable E-W wind!

Fleet Captain John Riddell says that the PHRF Non-Spin fleet may be back and running at Lake Pleasant after a couple seasons of light participation. Once again, the Catalina 22s have elected to count races toward their championship from Saturday only. Other fleets are also running as they did in the spring.

The first race at TTL is Sunday, September 18. The first race weekend at LP is Saturday-Sunday, September 24-25.

TTL-Debbie Borgman Photos (20 of 23)

Capri 14.2s racing at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Crew Event at September Monthly Meeting

Come a little early for the September monthly meeting and mingle with people who need crew and people who would like to crew. The gathering starts at 6pm Tuesday and may meander into the meeting and beyond.

The club will pop for some hors d’ouveres at 6 to get things underway.

Check out upcoming AYC racing events, including registering for the fall series, attending the free Introduction to Sailboat Racing class, and signing up for the crew list.


The Outrage Now Has a Wicked Name

Update: The board of directors in its wisdom has chosen Wicked Awesome as the winner of this contest from some 55 entries.

By Victor Felice

Boat NamingRemember the ’70 hit by America, A Horse With No Name? In the desert you can remember your name. That is, if you had one to begin with!

The Boston Whaler Outrage has been with us for a while now, working hard at dropping marks, assisting the occasional misfortune, and acting as full-size wind indicator (if you can smell her, the wind is coming from there!). BUT… she was never given a name. Privately, and occasionally publicly too, she has been called many things but the old girl needs her own true identity.

By the time we start racing again this fall, she will have her name and YOU get to submit what you think is should be. There are no rules and no limits. Ultimately the Board will choose one winner and you will become instantly famous (for maybe 14 minutes) and win a SLAM AYC bag.

Submit your suggestion(s) by email now to: You can include as many names as you wish except Boaty McBoatface.


AYC’s Championship Race Chases the Wind

Paul Miachika and crew Rob Gibbs are the 2016 AYC Club Champions. There’s no second place in this regatta, but if there were, it would be Skip Kempff, followed by Mike Ferring, then Dave Haggart and Tom Baker, then Charles Ellis and finally Cindy Pillote.

The race committee and competitors ended up chasing the wind all day when the fleet champs came to Lake Pleasant Saturday (5/7) to decide the 2016 Club Champion.

The wind came in all types and directions and everyone struggled to keep up. The scores showed the results, with all skippers turning in a good race and often several bad ones, keeping the regatta close right to the end.

A big thanks to the Santana 20 fleet, whose members turned out seven boats for the day of racing. While there were considerable differences in the way the boats were rigged, they proved to be fairly even matched. Mark Howell calculated that “the fastest boat had 19 points (averaged a 2.7 finish) and slowest 33 (4.7). For seven boats, fourth place is in the middle—not a real big spread.”

And many thanks to the team of race committee volunteers headed by PRO Wendy Larsen and to Racing Fleet Captain Steve Brown, who organized and carried off this annual regatta.

Here’s a race-day video shot and edited by Victor Felice.

The class photo: The skippers and crew line up before racing for the Championship 2016. Photo: Mike Grijalva

The class photo: The skippers and crew line up before racing for the Championship 2016. Photo: Mike Grijalva


One of the light wind race starts. Photo: Dave Howell

One of the light wind race starts. Photo: Mark Howell


Laser champ Paul Miachika and crew Rob Gibbs signal their finishing spot: Club Champs. Photo: Victor Felice

Laser champ Paul Miachika and crew Rob Gibbs signal their finishing spot: Club Champs. Photo: Victor Felice


Tom Baker at the helm of one of the Santana 20s. Photo: Victor Felice

Tom Baker at the helm of one of the Santana 20s. Photo: Victor Felice

Register for the Commodore’s Party May 14

When’s the last time you rode a carousel with your kids? Hung out in a classic car? Visited with all your friends from the Arizona Yacht Club?

On Saturday night, May 14, you’ll have the chance to do all three! Bring the whole family to the Commodore’s Party at the Martin Auto Museum, 17641 N. Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix (between Bell Rd and Union Hills on the east side of the freeway) (map) from 6 to 9 pm. (Here’s more about Mel Martin and his museum.)

We’ll have heavy, Italian-style hors d’hoeuvres and beverages for all ages—from the young to the young-at-heart. We can ride the carousel all evening long! And if you have a classic car yourself, drive it on over for the evening and park out front.

The bar will include beer and wine, vodka, gin and whiskey. The hors d’hoeuvres include Stuffed Mushroom caps, Firecracker Rolls, Pistachio Mozzarella on Skewers. Pasta for the kids if they’re finicky eaters.

Adults are $50 and children 12 and under are ONLY $15. Sign up here or by clicking the button:

Sign Up Now

Mel Martin at the museum in 2012. Photo: Larry Edsall

Mel Martin at the museum in 2012. Photo: Larry Edsall