2023 Dinghy Days-A Dolphin Jumped onto a Sunfish?

By David Newland

Well, that’s what I heard, but I have seen no photo evidence. With 47 dinghies hitting the water at Lake Pleasant this past weekend, you’d expect some shenanigans. Fortunately, that was about it! What we did have was a fun competition with six fleets getting 6-8 races in over two days.

The event started Friday with a clean-up of the Spring Canyon Beach area just east of the North Ramp at Lake Pleasant. This has been a great launch area for dinghies, but the multi-year construction project of dock repair/replacement at Lake Pleasant Marina had closed this area to boaters. 

Commodore Marshall Williamson was able to talk the Maricopa Water District management into allowing us access again, but we needed a clean-up crew. We had 8+ volunteers show up Friday, and we pulled pounds of material from the grounds to get this area safe to use. Thanks to new members Barry Bond, Marsha Vifquain, and Julie and Kevin Mitchell, who dug in along with Gordon Briner, Mike Bernard, Lee Perry, and Marshall to get it done. This was an absolute game-changer for this event, as we had nearly 70% of the boats launch from here. 

Saturday conditions were very nice, though light breeze. We started at 12:30, and the Race Committee got off 3-4 races. Afterward, nearly 60 racers, crew, and Race Committee gathered at Spinnaker Point for a BBQ with Grill Master’s Martin Lorch and Ed Scheletsky manning AYC’s new grill. 

We started Sunday in beautiful morning conditions, with 8-10 knots of breeze and a few higher gusts, with the wind slowly fading until shutting down at the typical 10:41 a.m. A good three races were run on a fantastically set X Course by the Race Committee. 

Congratulations to three fleets that are either new or mounting a resurgence! Buccaneer 18s had a strong showing with six boats; MC Scows, new to the AYC scene, had seven entries; and students from Brophy H.S. and ASU raced nine FJ’s! ICLAs (Lasers) had a strong showing with 13 entrants (with some ASU and ILCA district talent from Salt Lake City), Sunfish had seven entrants, and Portsmouth rounded out the event with five boats. 

A special thank you to Junior Member Sean Kenealy from ASU, who rounded up nearly 20 entries for this event and coordinated, delivered, and returned a gaggle of boats that took him two trips to/from Lake Pleasant to TTL. Many of these boats belonged to AYC members who loaned them for this event. 

Also, thank you to our star-studded Race Committee, with Mike Ferring as PRO, Martin Lorch as PRO back-up, Maryellen Ferring as scorekeeper, and Roger Pawley and Don Weaver handling all other assigned duties. On the Whaler, we had a special fly-in guest named Joel Hurley accompany Cedric Lorch and Paul Tracy. Our event included a second powerboat operated by Josh Newland to help with fleet safety and tow assistance, with photography handled by Mya Radler. 

Congratulations to fleet winners:  Joel Oglesbee-Portsmouth, Antony Chapman-Buccaneer 18, Matt Grimsley-ICLA, Nick Theut-MC Scow, Jeff Bryant-Sunfish, and Patrick Gardiner/Tim Crawford-FJFull results are posted on the website. 

Link to SmugMug gallery-Dinghy Days 2023. Photos by Mya Radler and John Tapernoux.