Archive | February, 2018

Do You Daydream of Tropical Sailing?

And if not, why not?

One of the great benefits of knowing how to sail is access to gorgeous yachts in beautiful places. Clear green water, steady trade breeze, warm evenings with a  piña colada. Mmmm. Oops, sorry, I drifted off there for a minute.

You’ve seen the tantalizing beauty shots in sailing magazines. At the next AYC monthly meeting, Tom White of The Moorings yacht charters will tap into your wanderlust and show you how to make the fantasy come true.

Tom will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, March 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces restaurant (that’s apparently what they’re calling it now) at Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

A Moorings charter catamaran saunters through a typical BVI backdrop in a typical BVI breeze.

Celebrating 60 Years of AYC with a Big Weekend

Scott Agan aboard a Stray Cat. Photo: Mike Ferring

Up and down wind marked the 2018 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup: Sometimes flat-lined; other times spiked and screaming. Lake Pleasant showed lots of its faces for the weekend, the water decorated with some 65 boats for the occasion of the club’s 60th birthday.

Here are the results.

Congratulations to the 8 fleet winners: Bob Worrall (racking up nothing but bullets on his final scorecard) in PHRF Non-Spin (Jib & Main); Paul Miachika in Laser; Jerry Montgomery in Pocket Cruiser; Jim Tomes in Multi-Hull; Martin Lorch in PHRF Spin; Mike Hester (by one point over Al Lehman Jr. and Steve Quant) and Emory Heisler in Portsmouth. And Doug McMillan won Saturday’s Cruising race.

Huge thanks go to Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen and their crew of Race Committee and to Regatta Chairman Bruce Andress, ably assisted by Rob Gibbs (whose Desert Winds Sailboats sponsored and heavily donated to the Leukemia Cup auction) and loads of others, including the Tucson Sailing Club (breakfast), Tiller and Kites and Roxx Vodka (Friday night happy hour), Al and Sandy Lehman (for the what I think I heard was the 43rd time helping with the event) and a host of others. It takes village to put on this annual craziness.

Some of the action at the weekend’s big regatta. Photo: Joanne Aspinall

Saturday’s RC Boat Committee. Photo: Mike Ferring

PROs Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen. Photo: Mike Ferring

Artsy shot through the sail. Photo: Mike Ferring

Multis on the start Friday. Photo: Mike Ferring

And now the scores! Martin Lorch celebrates first place on Saturday’s races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Who gets the first piece of the 60th Birthday cake?! Photo: Mike Ferring

Rob Gibbs works the crowd for the Leukemia Cup auction. Event chairman Bruce Andress to his left. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sunday awards gathering at the end of the big weekend. Photo: Mike Ferring

Emory Heisler accepts the trophy from Bruce and Dave for winning the Portsmouth class. Photo: Mike Ferring

What’s it like to sail the Oracle Team USA cat?

Hard. Very hard. And complicated.

Speaking to February’s AYC monthly meeting, Oracle Team USA tactician Andrew Campbell said that despite the level of competition, sailing is sailing, with tactics similar to the ones he started learning as a Sabot sailor in San Diego almost three decades ago. The rest? Sailing the America’s Cup boat in Bermuda required a level of fitness unmatched in sailing, pumping maximum heart rate through a 20-minute race, dashing in coordinated choreography across the platform, and keeping the boat flying with controls less sophisticated than a foiling moth.

The complexity of the boat was amazing, for instance offering the ability to fine-tune the shape of the wing by adjusting camber differently from top to bottom depending on wind conditions. The team collected immense amounts of data that they spent hours analyzing in order to improve speed and handling.

In the end, of course, it wasn’t enough, but Andrew believes that Oracle Team USA might have been able to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand if they’d been able to compete in wind conditions more suited to their boat. More wind or less wind, he says, would have moved ETNZ out of its sweet spot and moved Oracle into its design target, enabling the US team to overcome the excellent sailing and design of the Kiwis.

How about the next America’s Cup in Auckland? The planned design will be a huge challenge, he says, but the boats will be fast and more maneuverable, with less energy spent pumping oil through the hydraulic system and more spent sailing. Watch for the personable and able Andrew Campbell to be part of it all.

 

Andrew Campbell at February’s AYC meeting. Photo: David Newland