What We Do Throughout the Year
Unlike most Yacht Clubs that focus on summer action, the Arizona climate pours our season into the time between September and May. Our monthly meetings click off year ‘round on the second Tuesday and guests are welcome to come. Here’s a typical calendar of events:
September brings the start of our official racing season. We often have a “tune up” or practice day before the first weekend of racing so people can dust off their boats (literally!) and we can check out the Race Committee gear. Tempe Town Lake fall racing usually starts first in mid-September, followed by the Lake Pleasant “Opening Day.”
October – November
Racing continues alternate weekends at Lake Pleasant and Tempe Town Lake. Members keep close watch on the race scores as they compete for a series win. They also keep an eye out for gaffes made by their competitors for nominations for Ye Blunder Bucket! The Arizona Sailing Foundation usually starts its learn-to-sail courses around the beginning of October as well. During the fall we also bring the small boats to race at Lake Pleasant for Dinghy Days weekend and we feature women at the helm at our Ruth Beals Cup regatta, which honors the club’s founder.
Our membership meeting in December features a Pirate Gift Exchange and awards Ye Blunder Bucket to a “deserving” individual.
Our biggest event of the year is the annual Birthday Regatta. This feature event draws the biggest entry of the year, around 70 boats, and surrounds it with lots of social events.
January – April
We roll out another series of races at both lakes and the Arizona Sailing Foundation triggers a second round of sailing classes. As a diversion, some fleets will travel to the West Coast to race in the water off San Diego or Los Angeles. Our season ends at the end of April or the first weekend in May. And sometime in there we wedge in our Tall Cactus Regatta, racing around the Lake Pleasant islands.
This is the month that we bring it all to a close as the Arizona temperature pops over 100. The winners of each fleet compete in a winner-take-all Club Championship Regatta to crown the year’s top sailor. We finish the season with our Commodore’s Party, dispensing club trophies and empaneling a new Board of Directors.
June – August
It’s HOT in Arizona, so the club goes quiet; only a handful of diehards run the Wednesday night “Heat Stroke” races at Tempe Town Lake (water guns highly encouraged). Many people head for cooler places, including coastal races. Some of us escape to higher ground for the annual family camping outing.