January Meeting: Eco Vigilantes Protect Endangered Species

Consider this sentence from the NY Times: “Sea Shepherd… describes itself as an eco-vigilante group, flies a variation of the Jolly Roger on its ships and often cites the motto, ‘It takes a pirate to catch a pirate.’” Sea Shepherd tries to stop bad guys from wiping out endangered ocean species or nail them for illegal fishing.

Sea Shepherd's David Hance

Sea Shepherd’s David Hance

David Hance is the Chief Operating Officer of this group and he’ll be our January meeting speaker. He’ll brief us on their efforts in the northern Sea of Cortez, where they’re working with the Mexican government and other groups to protect the critically endangered Vaquita Porpoise, which they estimate now numbers just 60.

In fact, Sea Shepherd has just stopped six fishing boats illegally fishing in the Sea of Cortez, turning them over to Mexican authorities.

The meeting is Tuesday, January 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.

A shot of the crew of one of Sea Shepherd's "vigilante" ships.

A shot of the crew of one of Sea Shepherd’s “vigilante” ships.

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.

And then, they became pirates.

It happens every year—at a time of goodwill and peace on earth, normally pleasant AYC sailors release their inner Kraken and go for the things in shiny wrappings. The 2016 Party was no different and for all who were there, you can be a pirate till race season starts again. If you missed it, put down the eye patch, fold the Jolly Roger and promise you will never miss the party again.

Commodore Bruce Andress started the evening dressed in his signature “Santa on Vacation” outfit. New club members were welcomed followed by a well-received presentation of things to come in 2017. Bill and Barbara Cunningham presented a stunningly long line of new burgees they had collected over the summer. Thank you!

The Trophy presentation followed with the giant Governor’s Cup going to Paul Miachika and the brand new AYC Governor’s Cup rodeo buckles to Mike Hester (Monohull) and Brett Johnston (Multihull).

Fleet Captain John Riddell then demonstrated that PowerPoint is not a fossilized relic and can still be used to show strangely bizarre pictures of the Commodore motor racing, the Vice Commodore dancing in Seoul, the Rear Commodore looking like Warren Beatty (or was it George Hamilton?).

John went on to introduce the new Regatta formats for 2017 and beyond, including a new Ruth Beals format, the Triple Crown, and other “From the fertile mind of the Fleet Captain—this is going to be fun!” Stay tuned.

Bruce then started the “gift exchange/pirates gone wild” highlight of the evening. With over 50 gifts exchanged, most pirated several times, the action was fast and at times hysterical. Strangely, Bethany Tuvene could not hang on to a bottle of booze to save her life. In the end, she did walk away with a Jim Beam Honey.

And then there was the Blunder Bucket. The nominations for the most blunderesque moments were several, but there was a clear winner from the start. Two GovCups ago there was a SolCat upside down jammed against the dam. This time the nomination was to the same person, different boat! The SolCat was replaced by an awesome Nacra Inter 20 and on the drive home after the first time out sailing it, amazingly a set of very pricey composite sails somehow ended up on the freeway! A trashed jib was recovered but the main was never seen again. And the winner is: Josh Kimble! Well done, kiddo! Previous BB winners are proud of you!

Here are some really mediocre photos. The prestigious “Official Club Photographer” position, by the way, is open. If you do have some quality images, please share!

Commodore Bruce doing his best MC
Josh, Brett and John. Brett with his new rodeo buckle.
Mike telling new Viper owner Freddy, “You too can have a rodeo buckle one day.”
A table full of pirates with two hulls.


Tempe Town Lake Fall Series Final Results

Another light wind day concluded the fall series at Tempe Town Lake and even though Mike Hester managed to best Paul Miachika in the two Laser races, it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome Paul’s season lead, making Paul the fleet champion. Dave Haggart won the 14.2 fleet, Emory Heisler the Bucc fleet, and Frederick Moor the Portsmouth.

The scores for the final week and the series final scores are posted on the results page, or click here.

Here are some pictures shot by Mike Ferring.

Hester, Johnston & Miachika Win Governor’s Cup Trophies

In a day made for fast sailing, Mike Hester and Brett Johnston scored belt buckles and Paul Miachika walked off with the giant trophy.

Mike took the monohull fleet and Brett the multi-hull fleet in the first of the new “Triple Crown” series that will include the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta and the Tall Cactus. Mike’s Viper 640 beat second place finisher Scott Richards’s Thistle by a PHRF-adjusted time of about 8½ minutes. Paul Liszewski’s Hobie 33 finished third. Brett’s Nacra 20 was an adjusted 7½ minutes ahead of Scott Agan on his G-Cat 5.7. Trent Sellens was third on a Corsair F27. Here is a complete list of results for the Triple Crown regatta.

AYC Club Champ Paul Miachika took on the Governor’s Cup Pursuit Race in—believe it or don’t—a Laser and did a horizon job on the fleet to win the giant Governor’s Cup trophy. Mike Ferring and crew finished second in their J/80 and Emory Heisler (monohull winner of April’s Tall Cactus) finished third.

The races started with white caps twisting off the tops of waves, with strong puffs and then moderated a bit as the day went on.

Thanks to PROs Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen and their race committee crew. Thanks also to seven skippers who took ASF Adult Beginning Sailing graduates aboard for the race, to give them a taste of this game we play.

Mike Hester won the monohull division of the "Triple Crown" Governor's Cup in a Viper 640. This is Dave Evans's Viper. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester won the monohull division of the “Triple Crown” Governor’s Cup in his Viper 640. This is Dave Evans’s Viper. Photo: Mike Ferring


Scott Agan waves from his second-place finishing G-Cat 5.7 as he passes the crew of Melissa Kay, which had finished the shorter Pursuit Race. Photo: Mike Ferring

Scott Agan waves from his second-place finishing G-Cat 5.7 as he passes the crew of Melissa Kay, which had finished the shorter Pursuit Race. Photo: Mike Ferring

Scott Johnston ripping into the multi-hull lead at the 2016 Governor's Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Brett Johnston ripping into the multi-hull lead at the 2016 Governor’s Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

The start of the "Triple Crown" monohull race. Photo: Michele Korszeniewski

The start of the “Triple Crown” monohull race. Photo: Michele Korszeniewski

Victor Felice

Victor Felice aboard his Nacra at the Governor’s Cup. Photo: Marc Benoist