Racing with The Stars… and Stripes!

Cruising Captain Heather McClain has organized an event for AYC members to race on two famous America’s Cup boats in San Diego Harbor, Stars and Stripes and Il Moro. It’s a trip Dave and Amy Henning took last year (that’s them grinding above) and Dave describes below..

It’s Saturday, July 18, from 12:30-4:30. Tickets are $125 for AYC members and $150 for non-members.

After the races, join us for dinner (not included in price) and a beach bonfire at Shelter Island. Hotel info coming soon. Limited space, so sign up soon.

San Diego America’s Cup Trip

By Dave Henning

Last summer, at the invitation of our new friends from the Nevada Yacht Club (NYC), Amy and I hopped aboard Stars and Stripes USA11, the 1992 America’s Cup entry, for a fantastic day of informal racing on San Diego Bay. Our hosts, both from NYC and from Sail USA11, were tremendously gracious, and we were treated to a wonderful experience.

During over a decade of chartering on San Diego Bay, we had always marveled at the majesty of this massive race boat as it went zooming past us, but we never seriously considered reserving a spot on board. When NYC offered to have AYC members join them for a trip, we decided this was our chance. The Nevada crew had reserved not only the American boat, but also Il Moro di Venezia ITA-15, the Italian entry from that vintage. With both boats crewed by experienced sailors, this excursion would not be a tourist’s luxury cruise, but instead an afternoon of racing at double-digit speeds.

The day began with a short presentation at Sail USA11’s little headquarters that covered the history of the America’s Cup and technical details of the design and manufacture of the boats we’d be sailing. We quickly moved onto the boats with a dozen NYC sailors on Il Moro and the remaining twenty or so (including us) on Stars and Stripes.

The hired crew consisted of men and women of all ages and sailing backgrounds, but each was incredibly friendly and helpful. While they handled some of the more advanced tasks like raising and lowering sails, all of us got a chance to grind the winches as much as we wanted and take the helm through a couple of maneuvers. In between all the boat handling, the crew found time to serve refreshments and take pictures at no additional cost to us.

Toward the very end of the day, we learned that the gentleman who had been coaching our group of grinders was actually Dr. Mark Niblack, a retired anesthesiologist and one of the two owners of the whole operation. From talking to Mark, it was clear that their company was never going to be a profit-making enterprise, but truly a labor of love. All of the crew were volunteers, happy to share their passion with us.

The Nevada Yacht Club made a whole weekend out of the event. After racing, we were invited to a dinner at Fiddler’s Green, a nearby restaurant completely covered in model sailboats and other memorabilia, followed by a beach-side bonfire in the evening.

We’d like to give special thanks to NYC Commodore Bobby Kawamura and Cruising Captain Mike Cox for opening their event up to AYC members and making us feel like part of their club from the start.

Tempe Town Lake Didn’t Disappoint

By Stacee Danner

Myles Danner looking comfortable on the Laser. Photo:: Sabrina Bryant

On Sunday (2/23), the wind didn’t disappoint, starting strong from the west for each fleet. What’s more? The first gun actually went off on time, unlike the previous two weeks when wind was light to non-existent.

The junior fleet raced five solid races, while the C14s competed in multiple races before they bowed out before the last start of the day, due to light winds. The Sunfish fleet sailed through the diminishing winds, and were officially the last ones on the water.

Smiles were seen on every sailor, due to the great winds, and great day out on the open water! A huge shout out and sincere thank you to Sabrina Bryant, who was on the mark boat and took several amazing pictures throughout the day.

When results are posted, you’ll find them here.

Click on the picture below to see the complete slide show from Sabrina.

Photos by Sabrina Bryant

Annual Holiday Celebration and Pirate Gift Exchange

 

Gene Walentiny demanded a pirate audit. Photo by Deb Heisler

By Deb Heisler and Marc Danner

This year the annual holiday party and pirate gift exchange was a great success with over 70 people attending.  As usual, there was lots of laughter, moans of defeat, and a few people who had to keep picking a new gift again and again, and again.  Like Gene Walentiny who got so tired he actually called for an audit. Sorry Gene, pick again!

Dave & Buster’s created a warm and welcoming venue with holiday decor, delicious food and the opportunity for the kids to get their game on.

The evening started with the welcoming of new member Jeff Coulter, and a  Birthday Regatta update by Bob Naylor. Next up, and on behalf of fellow sailor, Steve Campo,  his wife Christina shared Steve’s battle with Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma, a few of the struggles they faced,  and how they overcame it.  Steve is on his way to recovery but due to the effects of treatment was unable to attend.  She also expressed their appreciation for all of the support they received from AYC members.

Click here for a short video of the evening created by Deb Heisler

Commodore Rob Gibbs congratulates the youngest Blunder Bucket winner in AYC history, Myles Danner. Photo by Marc Danner

Prior to beginning the gift opening and pirating of the loot, Commodore Gibbs opened up nominations for the Blunder Bucket. Rob started by nominating previous winner Dave Haggart for never taking the award home. Throughout the night the nominations continued: Tony Chapman nominated Mike Hester for the largest fiberglass repair bill, Rob nominated David Newland and Matt Baker for sailing in heavy winds at Lake Pleasant and David at Tempe Town Lake during Wednesday Beer can races. During the Buccaneer 18 North American Championships, David decided to take the Bucc out when the races were postponed and turtled it. In the end, Myles Danner (11 years old) walked away with the Blunder Bucket for turtling his laser during the Governor’s Cup and losing his father’s rudder to the bottom of Lake Pleasant.  

The Governor’s Cup will be awarded to our winner, Court Roberts at the January meeting so we hope to see you there.

On behalf of the AYC Board, I want to thank each of you for engaging in this years events. Whether you were racing, planning, volunteering or simply showing up. It all matters and makes our club what it is. We race. We gather. We sail. We have fun! May your holidays be filled with love, laughter, and shared memories.

Photo By Deb Heisler

AYC Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup: February 7-9

By Bob Naylor

You can order Saturday night dinner here. Deadline for entry has passed, but you can still register with a late fee.

Celebrate the improbability of a yacht club thriving in the middle of the Arizona desert for 62-years! Happy Birthday, AYC! Register and race in the Birthday Regatta – top finishers in each class will be recognized with awards. These classes are expected:

  • Three-day racing: Multi-Hull, Viper 640
  • Two-day racing: Buccaneer 18, Catalina 22, Laser, PHRF non-spin (jib & main), PHRF Spin, PHRF Sport Boat, Santana 20, and Sunfish
  • One-day event: Cruising – PHRF distance race

Sail with us, over 200 sailors and “shore crew,” and 70+ boats. Sail under blue skies in front of the Black Mountains near Castle Hot Springs, Buzzard Neck and Humbug Bay. Celebrate with us under the stars, between the saguaro and ocotillo, with the burros and coyotes on Lake Pleasant, just 45 minutes northwest of Phoenix.

Our Keynote Speaker this year is award-winning nautical photographer Onne van der Wal. He will be on the water during the day taking photographs that will be shown during the dinner Saturday night. More about Onne van der Wal here.

Finally…this event doesn’t happen without help from a small army of Volunteers! This year you can sign up for what you’d like to do online using Sign-Up Genius. Check out the different needs and volunteer on this page.

To read more and sign up for the Birthday Regatta visit the Birthday Regatta webpage.

Sign Up for the November 23 Governor’s Cup Regatta

The Governor’s Cup regatta will be Saturday, November 23, with the first boats starting at 12:30 pm from a start line at the south end of Lake Pleasant.

This is a pursuit race, so your handicap determines the time you start and your start time will be posted on the AYC website the day before the race, November 22nd. 

Awards will be given for the top-finishing multi-hull and the top-finishing monohull boats. The Governor’s Cup (a perpetual trophy) will be awarded to the top-finishing boat in the fleet with the most entrants. In addition to the prize for winning there will be other prizes available for boats that finish the race. Awards will be presented at the December AYC meeting. A brunch will be served starting at 10:00 am at Spinnaker Point as a pre-race social. The regatta costs $10.00 and you can sign up now using this link.  

Almost as big as he is: Martin Lorch hefts the Governor’s Cup after winning in 2017, flanked by crew James Morphis and Katie Yearly. At right: that year’s Event Organizer Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Week 4 with Tucson Sailing Club Joint Gathering

By Marshall Williamson, Spin Fleet Captain 

The Lake Pleasant Fall Series experienced “No” to light winds on Saturday (11/2) and the usual stronger winds early Sunday, but diminishing by late morning. The C22s were sailing Saturday, while Santana 20s, Sportboats, and Thistles were out both days, getting in two finishes Saturday and four on Sunday.

Tucson Sailing Club: Photo by Marshall Williamson

Many thanks to the large number of spin fleet folks who came out for RC both days: Paul Liszewski, Steve Nahkala, and Bob Brie did a great job handling PRO duties. Cindy Williamson Creech spent all day Saturday photographing those on the water, seeking a full spinnaker, which was a rarity.  

The post-racing “social” at Spinnaker Point was a big hit, and drew a record crowd! Sponsored by AYC and Tucson Sailing Club, specialty burgers, zesty chicken, and cold beverages were enjoyed by all. Special thanks to the J/24 Jim Bird crew; Eric Whiteman and friend Sarah who brought a large pot of delicious vegan gumbo. Tom Creech contributed a tasty “Indiana corn salad” which rounded out dinner.

 

 

Governor’s Cup Camping Weekend

By Heather McClain ~ Cruising Captain

To our campers and glampers, AYC is having a camping weekend the same weekend as Governor’s Cup, November 22nd to 24th.

It will be located on the 10-lane boat ramp side of the lake. Reserve your spot now! We will have games of cornhole, washers, and disc golf. During the day there are tons of hiking trails to explore and we will have paddle boards (and kayaks if we can get our hands on them!) if you want to try out a new sport. There’s even a free Archery 101 class on Saturday morning. At night we will have live music around the campfire and s’mores.  And we will have THE GLOVE (those who attended the August campout know what I’m talking about)!

Click here to reserve your spot at Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  We are attempting to camp close to one another, as the campground is quite large.  If you want to camp near fellow AYC members, stay at the Desert Tortoise campground on Den Loop or Bajada Loop, campsites 133 to 162. Currently there are 11 spots left for the weekend. Please contact Cruising Captain Heather McClain with any questions. (cruising@arizonayachtclub.org) See you there!

Sail Like a Girl & Win – November Meeting

By Deb Heisler, Rear Commodore

Haley King Lhamon

Eight women, a 32-foot Melges, good manners, humor and determination were the mix that led the Sail Like a Girl team to victory in the 2018 Race to Alaska (R2AK). Co-Skipper Haley King Lhamon was part of this history-making, all-woman crew and is joining us at the November AYC monthly meeting.

Here’s a nice video profile from Cruising Club of America.

The meeting is Tuesday, November 12, at Dave & Buster’s, Tempe Marketplace (map). It’s near Lucille’s, Smokehouse. Please arrive early for dinner as our program begins at 7:00 pm. Guests are welcome.

The R2AK is a 750-mile boat race that must be completed with no motor and no outside support. Sixty percent of the teams finish. Each team has to navigate its way from Port Townsend, through the tides of the Inside Passage and finish in Ketchikan, Alaska. First place grabs the first-place prize of $10,000 nailed to a block of wood. Second place gets a set of steak knives.

With limited experience and a few novice sailors, the Sail Like a Girl team never imagined they would win this mettle-testing, endurance race, especially after colliding with a large log in the middle of the night. They just wanted to finish.

This is a race of extremes: cold water, squalls, currents that run up to 15 knots, and unyielding rain. The women’s Melges was outfitted with two stern-mounted “bikes” that turned propellers to move the boat when the wind died. And die, it did. The team ended up biking about half the time and finishing under pedal power.

Haley has been involved in racing since age eight. Listed among her other memorable races are co-skippering her J/35 Grace E on a nonstop, screaming broad reach to win Division II and the J/35 fleet in the 2002 Chicago-Mac Race and skippering a Snipe on the US team in the Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship in Uruguay in way too much wind, against Olympians.

Residing with her family on Bainbridge Island, Haley is past Commodore of the Port Madison Yacht Club. As the Sailing Coordinator at Bainbridge Island Parks & Recreation, she stays busy organizing classes and instructing. And as a volunteer, she coaches the Bainbridge Island High School Sailing Team and serves on the youth committee and board of The Sailing Foundation. Haley has a habit of saying yes because she doesn’t want to miss out on anything! I’m so glad she said yes to Arizona Yacht Club.

For a longer description of the race and biography of Haley, click here.

Sail Like a Girl Team at the finish bell.

Sail Like a Girl team aboard their Melges 32 Photo by: Richard Horst

Parking Lot – Speedway – Parking Lot – Lake Pleasant Weekend

By Marc Danner

Santana 20 Fleet on RC Saturday. Photo: Marc Danner

This past weekend the wind forecast looked promising and perfect weather.

The race committee boat on Saturday consisted of Martin Lorch, Greg Woodcock, Brian Hackman, Michael Parker, Josh and Vanessa. Marc, Myles, and Avery Danner joined Cedric Lorch on the Boston Whaler, working furiously to keep up with the shifting winds.

The fleet captains agreed to postpone the races due to the lack of wind. As the fleets sat in the boat parking lot enjoying the weather and conversation, around 1 pm the wind started to build out of the west, which prompted the start of racing for each fleet. The last two races were a north/south course and overall the day ended strong with decent wind.

Rolling in the Deep and red Solo cups! Photo: Marc Danner

Sunday’s races started with 10 kts of wind, which prompted an early start for the Thistle fleet. The race committee Sunday consisted of Greg Woodcock, Brian Hackman, and Marc and Myles Danner. Joel Hurley and Grant Younger provided support on the runabout.

Each fleet was able to get in three races, but unfortunately the last race was shortened, ending at the south mark. Each fleet decided to call it a day as the wind was reading 0 kts on the committee boat. 

In between races, the fleets continued to enjoy each other’s company. Rolling in the Deep played music and drank from their red solo cups! Overall, the weekend was a success. A big thanks to the Santana fleet for an awesome weekend!

Here are the race results.

Spin Fleet downwind. Photo: Marc Danner

Sport Boats downwind. Photo: Marc Danner

Ferrings pulling out their new spinnaker. Photo: Marc Danner

Myles and Avery Danner deflating the marks. Photo by Marc Danner

Annual Pirate Gift Exchange – RSVP for December Meeting

By Deb Heisler, Rear Commodore

On Tuesday, December 10, we will once again celebrate the year’s end with our AYC Annual Pirate Gift Exchange.  

Besides gifts and thievery, the Governor’s Cup Trophy will be presented and we’ll hear your Blunder Bucket nominations prior to casting votes for the lucky recipient of this semiannual award. 

Your RSVP and per-person fee includes hosting our meeting at Dave & Buster’s along with a banquet of delicious food. AYC is subsidizing the dinner to bring the cost down to $20 for adults. You must pay for dinner to attend.

As usual, the laughter and great company are complimentary!

RSVP here by Wed, December 4th

Price: Adult $20 per person, including tax and tip (regular buffet price is $27.99)

           Children – $13, which includes a $15 Powercard for game play

           Non-Members – $27.99 per person: includes tax and tip

Time: Dinner  6pm – Program begins at 7pm

Location:  Dave & Buster’s, Tempe Marketplace (map).  It’s near Lucille’s Smokehouse.

Heartland Banquet Menu:

  • Assorted smoked meats: pulled pork, chicken, chopped brisket & sliced Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage
  • Roasted Cotija Corn Bake
  • Roasted Tomato & Cucumber Salad
  • BBQ Baked Beans
  • Baked Mac & Cheese
  • Cornbread
  • Hawaiian Rolls
  • An array of regional BBQ Sauces from across the USA
  • Unlimited coffee, soda and tea

Pirating Process:

  • Bring a wrapped gift valued at around $20
  • Pick a number when offered (only if you’ve brought a gift of course)
  • When your number is announced you have two options: 
    • Pick an unwrapped gift or
    • Pirate a gift that someone else has already opened
  • After initial opening, a gift can only be pillaged two times

“A good sailor knows everything is always changing.” – Luanne Rice

Another Light Wind TTL Weekend

By Bob Naylor – Sunfish Fleet Captain  

Wind conditions for Sunday’s races (10/13) were less than favorable on an otherwise beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Sailors relied on their light-air tactics for much of the day while contending with periods of no wind, very light wind, 180-degree wind shifts, and the occasional, and all-too-brief, periods of 7 kt winds, which moved the fleets along nicely. The Lasers and C-14s eked out three races, and the Juniors and Portsmouth fleets each ran two races. At times, entire fleets drifted slowly backwards, and at other times, the wind was up enough that boats closed to the marks at speed.

No shortage of Safety Boat crew, ready for any contingency! (l-r):Tarah Garcia, Gary Oberbeck, John Edmonds, Jeff Bryant (coxswain), Bob and Robin Naylor. Photo by Rajesh Jha

The new Sunfish Fleet took its first ever turn on race committee, supporting a decent turnout of 20 boats across four fleets.  Eleven Lasers were on the line, with Rob Gibbs, Joel Hurley, and George Sheller each taking first place wins in three heats, and otherwise finishing somewhere in the top three in most races. David Newland and Paul Miachika also each notched 3rd place finishes.

Five Capri 14.2s faced-off in three races, with Team Ferring scoring a pair of first place finishes, and Team Henning taking the honors in the last race.  And it’s always fun to watch the Juniors race. Colin Gibbs, Ethan Wei, and Ryan Zornik campaigned their Bics for two races, with Colin and Ryan each taking a first place win.  

The Portsmouth Fleet was thin with just one boat on the lake. Craig Taylor raced his Butterfly against himself for two races, handily winning both heats against tough competition!

All in all, a decent Sunday afternoon on Tempe Town Lake despite the weak winds.

Move along folks. Nothing to see here. NO air. Photo by Rajesh Jha

C 14.2s heading to windward. Photo by Rajesh Jha

TTL Race Weekend #3

By Clay Poulson, Portsmouth Fleet Captain

Juniors downwind. Photo: Deb Heisler

Week three of the 2019 Tempe Town Lake race series turned out to be a dandy. The racing dinghy fleets were greeted with fairly steady westerlies ranging up to the mid teens. A bit up and down but generally, we had great wind for TTL.

The good winds attracted lots of sailors and with nearly 30 boats on the water representing five different fleets, the sailing was just great.

In action were Lasers, Sunfish, C14s, and the Juniors. Plus a gaggle of ASU students showed up with their FJs and asked if they could sail.

“Of course! All are welcome… you just have to show up.”

Those ASU boats did show up to sail. They had three boats and more then six sailors so they traded teams each race. We never knew who any of them were but they got in five good starts and five good races. Great to see you guys!

Starting and racing with them were the C14s. Whether old guy experience or a faster boat, the C-14s came around the course faster then those college kids’ FJs.

The first four races the C14s had match racing with the Ferrings and Scott Richards duking it out. The Ferrings took three of the races, a few by a wide margin, though the Richards team did squeak out one good win. Dave Henning showed up to make the fourth and fifth heats.

The Sunfish also got in five heats. Gary Oberbeck was the fastest boat all afternoon with a string of bullets. Jeff Bryant took most of the seconds, with Bob Naylor once sneaking into the back-up position. Tim Mitchell battled into the tough winds all day and had a line full of well earned thirds.

We also saw three Open Bics and one Radial Laser in the Junior class. The Bics looked awesome with their sporty lines and the kids hiking out with all their weight. Colin Gibbs and Myles Danner fought neck and neck, each earning two bullets and two seconds. Likewise Michael Haggart on the Laser and Ethan Wei traded positions with two threes and two fours apiece.

All great racing, though the big class this weekend at TTL was the Lasers with 13 boats on the line. I must say it was almost a clinic as club and class champion Joel Hurley ran away with four straight wins. Paul Miachika had a good consistent day with two seconds and two thirds. Scott Sharples had a single second and a third. Chuck Norris had a nice consistent day getting a second and Mike Bernard took the other third.

We did see very impressive sailing by the leading Laser and the committee did hear words of advice from our sailing champion which I will pass on to the other sailors.

After winning one race Joel, speaking half to the committee half to no one, said, “Those other guys don’t know how to change gears. I get away from them in the light stuff. They don’t loosen everything up… they just keep it all tight.”

A few words of honest advice for all dinghy racers out there: you need to learn to change gears.

Great sailing weekend at TTL!

Results of the racing. Revision for DNS scores due.

Maryellen and Mike Ferring wait for a start. Photo: Deb Heisler

TTL Fall Series Opening Day

By Marc Danner

The day started with the Junior More sailing class rigging boats with new sails! (The ASF board voted to replace the well-worn original sails with crisp new ones.) The kids practiced starts, rounding the marks in the right direction and trying capsize drills (to cool off).

There was excitement in the air with the new Sunfish fleet getting a pep talk from fleet captain Bob Naylor. Bob drummed up a fleet with eight entrants this summer so he had other Sunfish to race against in his (actually his wife’s) new boat.

The wind did not disappoint! As each fleet started, the wind continued to build from the southwest, testing everyone’s skills and dumping several in the drink. Commodore Rob Gibbs assisted boats as they lay on their sides.

Many fleets were able to get three or more races in before the wind became too strong to continue. The Junior fleet played in the water while others struggled to get back to the dock, but all made it safely.

Here are the results.

To cap it off, the day ended with a celebration gathering at Fates Brewery.

February Meeting: John Jourdane

Whitbread Round the World Race On “Fisher & Paykel, New Zealand” 

With John Jourdane  

John Jourdane – Photo Sailing World

Experience one of the most grueling yacht races on earth. 33,000 miles and nine months of sailing through storms, blizzards and icebergs.  Climb aboard 82-foot “Fisher & Paykel, New Zealand” with author and world-famous sailor-navigator, John Jourdane, who will recount his around the world race through a video of his experience.

The meeting is Tuesday, February 12, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at The Grill @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

 

4th Tuesday “Dog Watch” – O.H.S.O Paradise Valley – 22 January

 

OHSO continues to be a great location for our monthly “Dog Watch” events.  This month we will be at the OHSO Paradise Valley. Address: 10810 N Tatum Blvd #126, Phoenix, AZ 85028. Day: Tuesday, January 22. Time: 5:30 to… whenever…

What is this? A casual gathering of members and nonmembers just for the fun of it. It gathers maybe a dozen or so sailors who would just like to hang out, chat, and enjoy an adult beverage.

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday Beer Can Racing ~ Photo by Marc Danner

Wednesday night was the first of many hot nights out at Tempe Town Lake. The wind started to build out of the west with gusts of around 10kts.

Two boats started on the line with the one minute “call out” by the Ferrings. We were able to get in four races before they had to dash off for the Phoenix Mercury game!

This is great, low-pressure racing before next season. So if you just bought a boat or have one in the garage, come on out, hone your skills and have fun!

See you on the water next Wednesday. Here’s further information.

Marc Danner