Archive | October, 2018

No Zip TTL: Zip for Wind

Somehow we ghosted around the TTL race course for a single race, just a breath of air when there was any at all. We call this sailboat racing. I was 10 feet from the finish when a delicate puff came from the right instead of the left and there I was moving… backwards.

These are not the days that put the fun and romance in sailing, are they?

Results for Sunday, October 28.

Glass for a lake as Mike Ferring and Dave Haggart struggle to finish. John Mayall and Dick Krebill had already crossed. Photo: Will Zornik

Cindy Pillote Wins Ruth Beals Cup

Cindy Pillote won the 2018 Ruth Beals Cup that included five boats piloted by kids from the Foundation for Blind Children and entered by Tiller & Kites. Here’s a first-person account of the race from the perspective of Mike Ferring, the main-sheet trimmer on Melissa Kay.

The wind turned light as we approached the start line for the 2018 Ruth Beals Cup, on port and with about a minute to go. You’ve been there, right? Creeping to the line, but this time close enough just to keep moving. To our left, Cindy Pillote at the helm of Bob Worrall’s Catalina 22 Spirit.

“We could take her up,” I say to Maryellen, who’s driving our J/70. “No,” she says. Women are nicer than men, she says. And so we tack off the line instead of trying to sail past Cindy. The wind to the left looks better anyway.

By the time we get to Horse Island, our first rounding mark, we have a half mile lead on the fleet. You can guess what happens next. Our wind stops. The wind line from the south brings everybody to us, led by Morgan Marquis with Victor Felice on an Andrews 26. Victor’s Tiller & Kites has entered five boats in the Ruth Beals Cup, sponsored by the Foundation for Blind Children and carrying visually impaired kids they’ve been working with to learn to sail.

The wind sputters and pops as we round Horse and then Balance Rock. We’re barely moving. We’d sailed upwind to the islands from the south part of the lake and now the wind was shifting and we’d be sailing upwind to Bobcat. Our spinnaker stays in the bag while most of the boats behind us entered as non-spin and gained a PHRF bump because of it.

Finally staring at Bobcat, we see nothing but hazard buoys all the way to shore. Time to get brave. We pick out two likely suspects and sail through them. Nothing crunches. Aboard the Olson 25 Stargazer, Brianna Voron and Sean Brown and maybe others later decide not to risk it and retire.

We ease past Bobcat and finally raise the spin, still barely turning 3-4 knots as the wind offers a last gasp for the day. It’s enough to begin to open the gap with Morgan and the Andrews and put us over the finish first. Line honors. Maryellen has sailed well and she’s delighted.

We pop some beers and lean back to relax after just under three hours of racing. Here comes Morgan. Then Cindy. The C22 is rated at 270 and the J/70 at 114. She’s been sailing nicely and wasn’t that far behind us rounding Balance Rock. Some 44 minutes after our finish Cindy and Bob cross the line. And correct over us for first place. We’re second. Morgan is third and Jessica Rawlings fourth. We’re still pleased with our day and happy for Cindy. I email Scorekeeper Dave Christensen, who did the scoring from Dallas. How much did she get us by? Less than three minutes, he says.

Now to the Scorpion Bay restaurant for the post-race lies.

Cindy Pillote approaches the start of the Ruth Beals Cup 2018 with Bob Worrall peeking around the headsail. Photo: Mike Ferring

ASF Develops New Sailors

Page Keppel is high on sailing, learning in the ASF Opti class. Photo: Scott Keppel

Presley Keppel’s grandparents live in Seal Beach, California, and belong to Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Her dad Scott says, “Every time we go to California she wants to go sailing. We asked if she wanted to try an Opti 1 class and she yelled ‘Yes!’ She loved Opti 1 and will be doing the next class in the spring.”

The Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) has been introducing young and not-so-young sailors to the game for over 15 years. This fall, the Opti I program for kids was sold out, with 10 children trying out the Optimist 8-foot boats, guided by instructor Natalie Harper.

Natalie picked up the program after the departure of originators Kathleen and Dan Buckstaff, who did so much to get it going. Now Natalie has told the ASF board that after the spring class she’ll need to pass it on to someone new, since she’s won a promotion at work that will require her weekends. Natalie has done a brilliant job, so it’s a big hole to fill. If you or someone you know might be a good candidate for the volunteer position, please contact ASF President Cindy Pillote.

Momma and Ducklings. The Opti I class follows the safety boat. Photo: Scott Keppel

The wind was too strong for sailing, so it was chalkboard time. Photo: Scott Keppel

Presley and Page: new Opti friends. Photo: Scott Kappel

 

Lake Pleasant Delivers the Wind for Week 3

The wind returned for our third weekend of the Lake Pleasant fall race series. Excellent conditions for the sailors, but challenging for the race committee. It was warm and windy but very shifty, especially on Sunday when the race course kept moving and kept the committee and PRO Bob Worrall busy trying to anticipate the shifts.

The scores for week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

One of the most entertaining contests puts seven-time club champion Martin Lorch up against Joel Hurley in the Santana 20 fleet. Both are excellent sailors and after the weekend, Martin was ahead in the series 32-34 before throw-outs. Joel and crew Grant Younger are new to the boat and are still figuring it out: witness the Saturday calamity, “skying” the main halyard when the knot didn’t hold.

Laser champion Joel Hurley joined the Santana 20 fleet this fall, giving perennial winner Martin Lorch some tight competition. Here Martin stays just ahead of Joel downwind. This photo by David Newland was taken on weekend two.

Look familiar? This photo by David Newland was taken on weekend three.

Extremely Fun Extreme Series San Diego

Furious action aboard SAP Extreme. Raising and lowering the foiling dagger boards is tough work. Photo: Mike Ferring

Close racing? Oman Air won the four-day San Diego Extreme Series event (10/18-22) by finishing ahead of Alinghi in the 21st and final race. Yes, the 21st race. That’s close.

Several AYC members made the trip to San Diego to watch, including Martin, Mary Kay, and Cedric Lorch, Scott Agan, Jonathan Magick, Maryellen and me. Scott got a ride on a race boat during a race. Maryellen and I went out on one of the boats during a light-air morning test and got to act as crew (I even got a turn on the tiller). All of us got RIB rides, buzzing around the course chasing the racers. Some of my pictures below.

The races are run right off Shelter Island toward the city front, “stadium-style” racing designed to offer maximum view from shore. With seven of the 32-foot foiling catamarans competing, it’s quite a sight, especially during tight mark roundings.

Here’s a link to an account of the results.

And here are those pictures:

Making sharp turns on mark roundings on a foiling cat can be wild. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rogue Tomato – October Happy Hour!

We’re going WEST with this month’s 4th Tuesday Happy Hour on Tuesday October 23rd. This month we’ll be at Rogue Tomato! 18561 N 59th Ave #122, Glendale, AZ 85308. Starts at 5:30(ish) and goes until 8:00(ish). As always AYC will spring for some appetizers and you are welcome to wash it down with whatever you like!

Crisp Fall Series at Tempe Town Lake

Scott Sharples upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

The rain stopped, the sky cleared, the air turned crisp. Nice day on Tempe Town Lake.

The Laser turnout this fall has been spectacular, with lots of new racers joining the fleet, many in adopt-a-boats. As a result, there’s the experienced bunch at the head of the group and the less experience group fighting their own entertaining race farther back. Fun.

Sunday (10/14) was that kind of day, with the C14 fleet on race committee, with the Juniors sailing a shorter course, and the Opti classes adding to the entertainment of sails on Tempe Town Lake.

Here are the day’s results.

Here are some shots from me, Mike Ferring:

Amazing lighting on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Honorary Life Members – Mike and Maryellen Ferring

Mike & Maryellen Ferring

On Tuesday October 2, AYC’s Board, at the recommendation of all of the current Honorary Life Members, voted to make Mike and Maryellen Ferring Honorary Life Members as well.

According to the AYC Bylaws, “Honorary Life Membership may be granted to any Club Member whose services to the Club and the sport of sailing shall have been deemed outstanding over a period of years.” For several decades now Mike and Maryellen have served the AYC and ASF, as Board members, as Sailing Instructors and in general as “Ambassadors” for sailing in Arizona.
Here are some highlights of their outstanding service:

  • In 2010 Maryellen was recognized by the ASF with the “Heavy Lifting Award.”
  • Mike has long been the Webmaster of our website, one of the best in sailing.
  • Mike served as AYC Commodore on an unmatched record of three separate occasions (2006-07, 2012-13, 2017-18), always, as we all know, with a lot of help from Maryellen.
  • They were instrumental in bringing many of our featured speakers to meetings including the likes of Gary Jobson, North U founder Bill Gladstone, J-Boats president Jeff Johnstone, Oracle USA Tactician and Olympian Andrew Campbell, and many more.
  • In the Spring of 2014 Mike was recognized with Ye Blunder Bucket for “inventing a new way of decapitating a C14 mast: driving under rowing shells parked inside the fence and overhanging the drive.”
  • They are ever present in the racing results, at both Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant.
  • They represent the AYC and “sailing in the desert” wherever they go, literally around the country and all over the world.

Their constant presence and service, whether in the foreground or in the background, has been truly outstanding, greatly furthered the sport of sailing in Arizona and made our club a better one.

This list is by no means complete, but please join me in congratulating and thanking them for their service!

AYC Honorary Life Members: David and Hermine Shapiro (deceased), Joyce Seale, Tom and Carol Ohlin, Frank (deceased) and Marylou Bigelow, Al and Sandy Lehman, Mike Yarnell and Tia Renshaw, George Tingom, Mike and Maryellen Ferring

Commodore Ferring and Maryellen Awarding Trophies at the Commodore’s Celebration

Mike and Maryellen’s J70 – Melissa Kay

Maryellen and Mike Ferring at Some Exotic Location

 

Pleasant Pleases Plenty

It was one of the best racing weekends any of us could remember: good wind and comfortable temperatures nearly the entire time, perfect enough that each fleet scored a record number of races over the two days. Credit the wind and the multi-hull committee team that turned races quickly.

Rain forecast for Sunday morning instead struck overnight, leaving the sky clear at race time. The biggest surprise of the morning came when the race committee and Lake Captain David Newland arrived to find the Pleasant Harbor Marina launch dock floating 100 feet offshore—with the committee boats still tied to it. The RC were ferried to the dock and headed out while the PHM crew went to work to attach the dock back to the land.

After a couple light-air races Sunday morning, the wind came up again and with it the smiles of race teams that knocked off a half dozen races before stopping.

Ace scorekeeper Dave Christensen needed to do a lot of number crunching, but he did it and you’ll find the results here and on the Results Page.

 

Laser champion Joel Hurley joined the Santana 20 fleet this fall, giving perennial winner Martin Lorch some tight competition. Here Martin stays just ahead of Joel downwind. Photo: David Newland

That’s the Pleasant Harbor Marina launch dock floating offshore with the AYC RC boats still tied up. Photo: David Newland

Tony Chapman at full downwind chat. Photo: Scott Agan

The Ferrings’ J/70 Melissa Kay edges past the finish ball downwind. Photo: Scott Agan

What Interesting Sailors do YOU Know?

Rear Commodore Josh McClain with his wife and Cruising Captain Heather at Long Beach Race Week 2018

Your AYC has had some pretty amazing speakers on a pretty regular basis. That doesn’t happen on accident! It takes coordination and negotiation, but it all starts with “hey, it’d be great if…” or “I ran into So and So at this event and I think they’d be great…”

We want YOU to keep your ears and eyes open and help us continue to bring great speakers to Your Club. If you have an idea for a speaker or know someone who you think would be fun to have speak to us, send a note to Your Rear Commodore, Joshua McClain, at Rear.Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org, in fact, I bet you can think of someone RIGHT NOW!

 

Wind Whips TTL and Lasers Love It

Mike Bernard. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Hurricane Rosa brought a blast of wind to Tempe Town Lake Sunday afternoon (9/30), more or less straight out of the WNW and the Laser fleet got after it!

Several boats went over in the puffy, powerful wind and both safety boats were busy chasing the capsized craft. Laser sailors think that’s great sailing so they’re wet and smiling.

You’ll find results here and on our Results Page.

Here are some shots by Debbra Heisler and Ron Sands.

Lasers fly downwind. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Paul Miachika. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Scott Sharples. Photo: Ron Sands

 

Laser sunset. Photo: Ron Sands