Wind makes for a great day at TTL

Photo: Clay Poulson hangs on to his Fireball.

By Bob Naylor, Sunfish Fleet Captain

Our Tempe Town Lake (TTL) Spring Series has suffered from abysmally light winds this year. That wasn’t the case this past Sunday! The Wind Gods heard our pleas and treated us kindly, providing really nice air blowing 5 to 12-knots out of the west / southwest – all afternoon. It was sunny, warm, and beautiful, and TTL was hopping with boats – skippers had to dodge donut boats, dragon boats, kayaks, paddle-boards, and a half-dozen Iowa Hawkeyes rowing sculls.

Sunfish Fleet was on Race Committee with a mix of experienced sailors and interested newbies helping PRO Lori Reger tee-up and score race after race, all afternoon long. Twenty-one (21) sailboats were on the water, with Lori and team delivering 25-total races.

Paul Miachika’s Laser Fleet had a strong showing with 9-boats. They finished a total of 6-very competitive races, with the lead position frequently contested and changing. At the end of the day, Paul took home 4-bullets, and Mike Hester took 2. Dave Newland claimed 4-second place finishes, with Gordon Briner and Mike Hester taking the other 2. George Sheller, Greg Romano, Gordon Briner, and Paul Miachika divvied-up the third place finishes for the day. Rumor has it 2 or 3 Laser skippers went for brief accidental swims; but, only Greg Romano admits to it! Blame the adopt-a-boat!

Six (6) C-14.2s launched Sunday, completing 5-races. George Tingom had a great day, pushing Hot-T to 3-first place finishes, and a second and third place finish. Hot on his tail was Dick Krebill’s orange Tomato Sloop, which claimed 2-first place finishes, and a second and third place finish. Mike Ferring took 2-second place finishes, and Will Zornik had 1. Will also had 2-third place finishes, and Joanne Aspinall also scored a 3rd place finish.

Two (2) Buccaneers skippered by Emory Heisler and Alex Kaye were joined by Clay Poulson single-handing his Fireball, and Dale Zobel in his Nomad 18, to round-out the Portsmouth Fleet. Emory was smokin’ – he and crewman Bruce Lee took 4 out of 5 first place finishes, falling to second in the other race. Clay took line honors once, and took 2-second and third place finishes. Alex took 2-seconds and 3-thirds. And Dale also went home with a third place finish. Portsmouth Fleet delivered a lot of entertainment value, with Clay frequently hanging from the trapeze of his Fireball, and the Buccs getting lots of use from their colorful spinnakers.

Juniors Ryan Zornik and Myles Danner were a ton of fun to watch. Both seemed so at-ease and confident on their boats. They may be small, but they punched way above their weight on Sunday, completing a total of 9-races! Myles took 4-first place finishes before Ryan answered back with 5-wins. Those guys had a heck of a day.

Many thanks to the Sunfish Fleet Race Committee volunteers: Lori Reger, Dave Henning, Randy Adolphs, Olivia Jackman (… and her friend Katie), and Mary Thoma. And special thanks to Mindy Murdock, Roberto Ibarra (… and his daughter Christian) and Jared Middlebrook – they’re all new to the TTL sailing scene, and interested in sailing and AYC – it was their first time helping with Race Committee, and all were a hugh help running and scoring the races.

As the last sailboats finished racing and headed for the docks, Dave Henning throttled-up the pontoon boat and turned west. Motoring down the lake to pull the windward mark, we happened upon Craig Taylor and his young daughter and their little dog, contentedly sailing into the warm late-afternoon sun on their Butterfly. We exchanged greetings, and Craig remarked how he’d been waiting on a new mast, and that he’s now able to sail his boat again. Father and daughter and family dog, sunshine, a fresh breeze, waves on the water, smiles, a pleasant exchange … all after a fun, full, day of spirited club racing. It was the perfect ending to a great day of Arizona sailing with AYC.