2022 Commodore’s Celebration was a Fine Affair

On Saturday, May 14, the Arizona Yacht Club officially wrapped up its 2021-2022 year at the annual Commodore’s Celebration. Members mixed and mingled indoors and out at McDowell Mountain Golf Club, serenaded by the jazz stylings of Mike Gellar and Howard Alden as the Arizona sun offered up a dazzling sunset before the lights of the valley twinkled and blinked in the distance. With more than 80 members and guests attending, the crowd buzzed with excitement.

As dinner wrapped up, the presentations kicked off with a smattering of Blunder Bucket nominations between awards. Colin Gibbs passed the AYC’s Junior Champion trophy award to this year’s winner, Myles Danner. Fleet champs were recognized for their performance throughout the season and participation in the Club Championship races. Jen Lee and Joel Hurley accepted the ‘Punch Bowl’ trophy amid a standing ovation. Jen is the first woman in AYC’s history to hold the title of Racing Fleet Champion. Congratulations to Jen, her crew Joel, and all the sailors who braved the blustery day of competition on Lake Pleasant. It’s certainly one for the memory book.

Jen Lee and crew Joel Hurley with the ‘Punch Bowl’ Racing Champion trophy.
Marshall had the most nominations this year

Another season, another blunder! Or multiple blunders, as was the case for recipient Marshall Williamson. Nominations for Marshall came in from Mike Ferring, Cedric Lorch, and David Newland with additional witnesses present. Blunder #1 – after busting his mast a few years back and riveting it back together, it broke again. Blunder #2 – busted for speeding through the LP marina on the pontoon (Dave patched that up with the staff). Blunder #3 – taking the pontoon boat keys home to Tucson the same day as blunder #2. Luckily for the racers, one of Sean Brown’s crew was able to hot wire the pontoon for Sunday racing. This person wishes to remain anonymous for what might be obvious reasons.

In his good natured way and as a feeble attempt to share the blame, Marshall suggested to Dave that he might want to think about including a mention of the keys in the powerboat training. Dave entertained us by saying, ” that would be like explaining the purpose of the wheel, or a fender…or even the motor.” Good try Marshall!

Bob reviewed the nominees and at the mention of Marshall’s name, the crowd’s thunderous applause, whistles, and shouts, made it clear Marshall would take the beloved trophy home again!

ASF Director Emory Heisler recognized the many AYC members making great things happen in the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) arena. This includes the board, instructors, coaches and other helping hands. Junior Sailors received annual awards before the ASF Heavy Lifting Award was presented to past President, Mike Parker.

Avery Danner – Most improved Junior racer
Myles Danner with the Junior Championship Trophy

Treasurer Tony Chapman received the AYC Volunteer Service Award. This is Tony’s 18th year serving in the position, bringing knowledge and expertise to the key role. Tony has been a board member for the past 18 years, holding the record for any member serving for such an extended time! Tony continues to provide us with his historical club knowledge, a keen gift for all things financial, his calm and kind presence and of course his very cool accent.

The Volunteer Service Award goes to Tony Chapman, who is heading into his 18th year as the AYC Treasurer

Retrieved from a dark corner of the club’s dusty storage unit, Al and Sandy Lehman were presented with the old Cruising Champ Trophy. The Lehman’s received this trophy multiple times during their cruising years. The couple promises to keep the trophy in a place of honor and return it to the club if the cruising program ever decides to resurrect it as an award.

Outgoing Commodore Deb Heisler presented her board meimbers with personalized Yeti tumblers, engraved with the AYC logo, the board year and their name. Past Commodore Al Lehman acted as the Installation Officer, offering appreciation to the outgoing board and welcoming in the new 2022-2023 officers.

The program wrapped up as New Commodore, Bob Naylor thanked his predecessor for her hand at the helm, regaling the crowd with some funny stories, and outlining his plans for the upcoming year with a focus on membership and fleet growth, engagement, fun, and safety.

Photos by Mike Ferring