Close Finish for Ruth Beals Winner

By Joanne Aspinall and Deb Heisler

Women’s 100m final, Barcelona Olympics 1992.  Men’s Wimbledon Final 2019. Men’s 100-metre butterfly final, Beijing Olympics 2008.  Arizona Yacht Club Ruth Beals Cup 2022. What do these have in common?  Daring competitors with incredibly close finishes!

We’re sure Ruth Beals would be proud of this year’s women-at-the-helm race. Earlier in the week, the forecast had adrenaline flowing; winds predicted for a steady 10-12 knots and gusts up to 24. On race day everyone was eager to hit the start line, and nine boats raced across beautiful Lake Pleasant under clear skies and in very windy conditions. 

Nearly half of the skippers took the helm on their boat for the first time, including our second and third-place winners, Olivia Jackman and Fay Powell. The smallest boat entered was Bob Naylor’s Sunfish, skippered by Joanne Aspinall, who took fourth place, then raced in strong winds at TTL on Sunday. Kudos to each of you for going outside of your comfort zone! 

So what about that close finish?  In this year’s run-what-you-brung PHRF race, the difference between first and second place was only three seconds. Yes, you heard that right, THREE SECONDS! So first place went to Lori Lorenz, sailing the J/92 Dreamline; second place went to Olivia Jackman, sailing The Implication a Santana 20; and third place went to Fay Powell, sailing on Ripple, another Santana 20. View results here

“We were thrilled beyond measure to cross the finish line first and very honored to take the win. Kudos to the entire crew – we sailed the heck out of that race! It felt good to have the family out on the water again. Cheers to Ruth Beals for encouraging us to get out on the water and inspiring women to take the helm.”

– Lori Lorenz, 2022 Ruth Beals Cup winner

Lori also stated, “Our family shared Ruth’s passion for encouraging new sailors. In this case it was five kids aboard their dad’s small sailboat trying to figure out how to juggle a tuna sandwich, a fouled jib sheet, and a 2-year-old who was tethered to the lifeline (brother David Newland). We learned many life lessons during those trips and picked up a bit of sailing knowledge along the way. This weekend we were excited to have the Newland siblings on board, plus our next generation of sailors, to continue the sailing legacy. We all felt our dad out there rooting us on, including the moment we fouled the jib sheet.”

Almost 40 people attended the after-race social and awards ceremony on the patio at Wild Horse West. When Regatta organizer Deb Heisler asked David Newland to come up and present his boat’s skipper and sister, Lori Lorenz, with the winning trophy, there was an explosion of screams, shouts, and applause. It was a fun ending to a great day of racing!

A big thanks to all who participated in this year’s Regatta by offering a boat, being crew, being a cheerleader, or supporting your skipper’s attendance in other ways. Maryellen Ferring put together Skippers bags with some goodies that included the mixings for pre or post-race cocktails. Nice touch!

As always, the racing couldn’t happen without a race committee team. We thank Greg Woodcock for serving as PRO and Dave and Debbie Nowak for helping on the pontoon boat. Cedric Lorch drove the Mark Set/Safety boat along with crew and photographers Jason Van Doren and Bob Worrall.

Photos: Bob Worrall and Jason Van Doren.
They can be viewed and downloaded from SmugMug – Ruth Beals Gallery.