Buccaneer 18 Championship Had It All!

By Rob Gibbs

From high winds to no wind, from recycling to composting, and from DC to Alaska, the 2019 running of the Buccaneer North American Championship had it all! The regatta was held at Lake Pleasant, Arizona from 22-26 October. We had teams from Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alaska and of course the home teams from Arizona. The food was magnificent, the camaraderie was jovial, and the competition fierce!

Kudos and Thanks!

Regattas don’t happen without a lot of effort and volunteers. All of the competitors gave much thanks to the Race Committee that consisted of PRO Wendy Larsen, Scorer Dave Christensen, Mark Boat Driver Mike Grijalva, Committee Members Jo Grijalva, Dale Buccanan, Chuck Landis, Bob Naylor, and Lori Reger. We also had Shore Crew! Deb Heisler helped organize the on-site food, which was a homemade TACO EXTRAVAGANZA on Wednesday night, and catered-in Mexican food on Friday night, as well as continental breakfast every morning and a sandwich and snack line.

Green Team Leader Deb Heisler and all the “Landfill Trash” that we produced in five days!

Clean Regatta

This event met all the criteria set by Sailors for the Sea to qualify for the Silver Level Clean Regatta Certification. This is no small feat. There were 13 Best Practices that we chose to comply with, some easy like giving out practical gear as regatta trophies. Others were more difficult, like composting and doing “paperless” regatta management. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Rear Commodore Deb Heisler for her efforts to earn this certification.

Racing Recap

The Tuesday practice afternoon was fluky even by Lake Pleasant standards, with the wind shifting from south to west from the 10 Lane Boat Ramp. Mostly, the practice day is just to make sure you put the boat together correctly and shake out the cobwebs a bit, so everyone had fun with it.

Wednesday morning race day came and it was all game faces. The Skipper’s Meeting came with just a few questions, and then it was go time. Four races, all in pretty good breeze, came and went, and a trend in the scores began to appear, but the real story was the forecast for Thursday.

With no wind forecast less than 20kts all day and gusts into the 40s forecast for Thursday, it was an easy, however disappointing, decision to cancel for the day. Several out-of-town groups found their way to local breweries as everyone sought shelter from the relentless wind. That night gusts were recorded over 50kts, which made Friday a tenuous decision for the Regatta Management Team. With racing set to start at 9, sustained winds in the high teens and gusts in the low 20’s, with 4 foot, wind-driven waves demanded yet another postponement.

Racing was then set to start at 10, and while the forecast had wind dissipating, those who jumped out on the water found out very quickly that mother nature had not been informed of the forecast. Now on the water, postponement with more signals ashore was decided as people took shelter at the north and south ramps and the Pleasant Harbor courtesy docks. Finally, at 11:30, after taking multiple readings on the water and reviewing several more forecasts, racing would start at 12:30.

The wind did dissipate some and the wind driven waves were in the 1-2 foot range by 12:30. The first race of the day tested skippers and crew as it was at the top end of the range for racing the Bucc 18. Everyone stayed upright and we got four solid races in as the wind continued to relent into the afternoon and overnight.

Saturday was the final day, and it started early with good breeze, but it wouldn’t be Lake Pleasant without a bit of a drifter, and the third and final race of the day ended on just that. A course that was shortened at the south mark.

Results

Joel Hurley and Tony Chapman – Bucc 18 Champs!

The Bucc Fleet has a strong history of honoring not only the winning skipper, but also the crew. On a two-person boat, the skipper and crew relationship is very important and can make or break the team. In fact, some of the owners were actually crewing their boats. The Bucc 18 Fleet Champion Trophy has both skipper and crew listed on it. In honor of one of Arizona Yacht Club’s winningest Bucc crew and one of the best sailors, either at the helm or as crew, that I’ve ever known. The Bucc 18 fleet commissioned the Crew Trophy in Honor of Dennis Martinelli. Finally, the B-Fleet trophy was created in order to encourage sailors to come out and improve their skills. But once you’ve won it, you are banished from the B’s! For all the scores, you can visit the scores page here.

  • The B-Fleet Trophy was awarded to Tom Gage and crew Sue Goodglick from Big Lake Sailing Club Alaska
  • In third place overall from Denver Sailing Association, Dave Spira with AYC crew Vanessa Wisbaum
  • In second place overall, from Potomac River Sailing Association, Jeff Neurauter with crew Heather Howard
  • Finally, in first place overall, from the Arizona Yacht Club, Joel Hurley with crew Antony Chapman. Joel and Tony had a total of 12 points over 11 races.

Additionally, we have some other awards: The Centurion award goes to the highest-finishing boat with a combined crew age over 100, which went to Dave Spira and Vanessa Wisbaum. The Oldest Boat award went to Jim Irwin for his early copy of the now revered Nickels Bucc. And the Sportsmanship award went to AYC’s own Dave Newland. His was the only boat to have a failure, which caused him to be the only capsize. It happened on Thursday morning, right after the second postponement. He didn’t let that bother him, though. He went in, fixed the boat, toweled off, and he and his crew Matt Baker got right back after it.

Thanks to Chuck Landis, Deb Heisler, Dave Spira, and Wendy Larsen for the photo gallery!

The whole BNAC 2019 Gang!

Monsoon Rain Didn’t Dampen Campers’ Spirits

A little late afternoon monsoon both Friday and Saturday didn’t keep the Annual AYC Campout from being tons of fun!

With a high temp of 80 and tucked in a stand of pine trees, Dairy Springs Campground was as hospitable a venue as you’d find to escape the Phoenix summer heat. The shelters included tents, trucks, and RVs. Kids brought their bikes and BB guns.

Breakfast was everything from low tech dutch oven to high tech butane stove cooking. The best part is always the BYO Meat cookout though! This year the grill saw beef steaks, brats, a ton of marinated chicken, a few pieces of salmon, baked ziti and meatballs, and even a cast iron skillet with Spanish rice! Desert was root beer floats, banana smores, pecan pie, and a few other things I’m sure I was too full to eat! Put it on your calendar for next year!

 

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Over 90 People at July Meeting!

A combination of our Amazing Speakers – Rear Commodore Deb Heisler and Former Commodore and USCG Capt Emory Heisler – and our new venue at R.T. O’Sullivans we had a turnout of over 90 people last night at our monthly meeting! Deb and Emory relayed their experiences on delivering northerly and southerly routes, with destinations including New York Harbor, BVI, Bermuda, and even Nova Scotia. Many people had dinner and beverages and so far the feedback about the food and service has been positive.

Every member has gotten an email survey link on the event. Even if you didn’t go, please take a look and answer the applicable questions. We know that the audio system had a technical problem, so we skipped that question this time, but we’ll add it back in once we work to get that problem fixed.

Gearing Up for the Fall!

Viper 640 on Lake Pleasant

I know you are hiding from the heat of the Summers in Arizona, but just as we have some of our hottest days, we want to get you thinking about this year’s sailing season!

First off…if you don’t own a boat, the AYC offers the Adopt-A-Boat Program at Tempe Town Lake so members can use an Arizona Sailing Foundation Capri 14.2 or Laser to race. Up at Lake Pleasant, Tiller and Kites now has an ocean of RACING boats to charter for the racing series! Whether you and your friends want to get on one of their many J24s and race in Spin or Non-Spin fleet, or you want to each charter a Coronado 15 and make up your own fleet, the choice is yours! Of course you will have to prove your skill during a check out sail…wait, what? You don’t know how to sail?

NO PROBLEM! The Arizona Sailing Foundation has announced it’s fall Learn to Sail Schedule. Adults learn in the Capri 14.2 and Kids start out in the Optimist on Tempe Town Lake. More advanced Juniors can continue to build their skills in the Opti, O’Pen Bic, or even Laser in our “MORE Junior Sailing” program.

Done that already or (heaven forbid) dinghies just not your thing? The Sailboat Shop at Lake Pleasant’s Scorpion Bay Marina and Go Sail Arizona at Pleasant Harbor Marina both offer ASA approved courses in keelboats. Tillers and Kites is an International Yacht Training School offering certification from dinghies all the way up through running spinnaker on a keelboat. And for combination of online-learning with on-the-water practical skill building check out Southwest Sailing and their NauticEd sailing education program.

We know everyone has a busy schedule, but plan now to make sailing one of the “big rocks” in your calendar that you plan everything else around!

John Mayall & Crew Joyce on Tempe Town Lake

“Dog Watch” at R.T. O’Sullivans

AYC Members got their first “taste” of our new Regular Meeting Venue, R.T. O’Sullivans in Scottsdale on Thursday night. Around 40 members and potential members showed up for fun, food, and camaraderie. The feedback was very positive! We’re looking forward to having our first Membership Meeting there next week on the 9th of July!

Members and Friends gather to partake of the Fellowship

 

Many of the usual “Pirates” approved of the new location!

Lots of positive feedback about the food!

AYC at Long Beach Race Week!

Team Cactus League Helmsman Joel Hurley on the Port Tack Layline

It was a little like a mini-meeting of AYC at Long Beach Race Week this year.

The AYC boats that participated were:

  • Tony Chapman’s Viper 640 Little Wing
  • Mike Hester’s Viper 640 Nectar Sled
  • Mike Grijalva’s Newport 41 Shockwave in the PHRF Random Leg Fleet
  • Paul Liszewski’s Hobie 33 Rolling in the Deep in the PHRF Random Leg Fleet
  • Rob Gibbs’s Catalina 37 Team Cactus League

Conditions were light on Friday but by the Summer Solstice picked up dramatically. Afternoon winds Saturday and Sunday topped 20kts and even the big heavy C37s looked fast! The Vipers spent the whole weekend on the Ocean courses while the C37s whizzed around the marks behind the breakwater.

It takes 8-10 to crew the Catalina 37, and nine of Team Cactus League were from AYC. The team this year was Helmsman Joel Hurley, Main Trimmer Dave Rawstrom, Lead Trimmer Josh McClain, Trimmer David Newland, Grinder Matt Baker, Grinder Toby Ambrose, Pit Master Grant Younger, Mast Princess Heather McClain, and Bowman Rob Gibbs. Our local knowledge expert and coach from the Long Beach area was Matt Rustigan. There were shore crew as well…Kim OlsonGibbs, Andi Baker, and Kaitlin Bowen managed “on shore operations” for the team.

Paul Liszewski and crew.

Vipers crew with at least three and Mike Hester sailed with his daughter Sarah and John Mayall. Tony sailed with Amerson Woods and Glenn Van Hell from the Long Beach area. Unfortunately Tony had damage to his mast track and was not able to race on Sunday.

In the Random Leg Fleet, Rolling in the Deep had Owner Paul Liszewski at the helm and Arizona crew Sean Brown and Bre (owners of the Olson 25 Stargazer) along with Keena, Tyler, and Ann from the Long Beach area. Shockwave‘s crew consisted of Mike Grijalva and his wife Jo, Frank Grijalva, Ricky Gilchrist, Jim Brock and Kevin Edwards.

Everyone left tired and looking forward to next year – June 26–28, 2020. Make your plans now! Let’s add to the number of AZ boats that show up to this WORLD CLASS event!

New Home for our Membership Meetings!

At the last meeting, the current management at Rolling Hills Golf Course asked us (and the LPSC) to remove our trophies and trophy cases and to remove our gear from their storage area. If you were there you noticed that there was a Golf League event scheduled at the same time as our meeting. They are making changes that will help them succeed as a Golf Venue and of course we want them to succeed!

But what is best for Rolling Hills isn’t necessarily the best for the AYC. The board has come to the decision that it is time to part ways with Rolling Hills. We wish them the best, but we feel there are other options that will better fit our needs.

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve been working with R.T. O’Sullivans at the corner of Hayden and Thomas to have our meetings there.

Why did we choose this location?

  • Not far from our current location.
  • Easy access to the highway.
  • A great, affordable Regular Menu.
  • Amazing specials (Tuesday’s are 2 for 1 Burgers!)
  • Flexible space that allows us to have our regular meetings or scale up to large meetings when we need it.
  • An in house AV System that allows us to mitigate noise issues and easily have speakers and presentations.
  • Plenty of parking.
  • The management and staff are really friendly and glad to have us there.

We are holding our next “Dog Watch” Happy Hour there on Thursday the 27th of June starting around 5:30 pm as they always do going until whenever! (The kitchen closes at Midnight and they kick everyone out at 2 am!) We hope you come out and check it out!

Our next General Membership Meeting is on Tuesday the 9th of July and will be held at this new location.

We will be soliciting feedback via email survey from all members about their experience in order to work with RT O’Sullivan’s management to make this a great change for us.

Your feedback will determine if we stay or if we go, so please come out and support Your Arizona Yacht Club as we make this very important change.

THANKS

Rob Gibbs
Commodore
Arizona Yacht Club

Catalina Flotilla – 19 July

Avalon Harbor

The Second Annual Officially Unofficial Flotilla to Catalina Island will be July 19th this year. Last year we had some great fun meeting up with some of the more traveled of our membership in Descanso Bay before being given a great spot in Avalon Harbor. Some of the best wind I’ve EVER had going to and from Catalina to Long Beach.

The closest location to depart from is Long Beach but the other options that are a single day would be Marina Del Rae, Huntington Beach, or even Dana Point. For those more adventurous, the trip from San Diego is an overnight sail. You can trailer your boat over and launch in several different locations in any of those harbors, but if you are so inclined to charter, there are several different places to charter from but here are some of the more popular and known ones: Marina Sailing, Harbor Yacht Club, and Sail Newport Beach.

For those who haven’t ever taken to the ocean, the sail to Catalina Island is a GREAT way to get a feel for what it’s like to sail in open water. It is truly one of the easiest sails to begin your blue water sailing resume with. For those who are blue water veterans, it is a great weekend getaway from the Arizona heat and a welcome return to friendly waters.

A flotilla is a very loose thing…so if you are going to be on the island for any reason during that time you should let us know! If you are sailing over, we can look out for one another and schedule a call in to ensure everyone is all good.

If you think you are going or if you might go but would like more information please take a moment to fill our this form and we’ll get all your questions answered!

Sorry. This form is no longer available.

Avalon, Catalina Island, California

 

What the Board Does with YOUR Money

Club Treasurer – Tony Chapman

Our club’s finances are not super complicated, but I wanted to take a moment to explain the “model” we are using. Every club operates a little differently, depending on what resources it has to offer and what their leadership feels is necessary to operate the club. As a member, you have a right to know how your money is spent and what we are doing to ensure that the club is financially sound.

Our club is a “Pay for what you use” club. That allows us to keep our annual dues very low, but it also means that every program or event attempts to pay for itself. There are a few exceptions to this but overall that is the goal. Here are some of the programs and their expenses:

The Race Series Program – This encompasses the racing at Tempe Town Lake, Lake Pleasant, as well as the Governor’s Cup, Ruth Bealls Cup, and the Tall Cactus. These programs have to pay for the lake user fees, fuel expenses, maintenance and upkeep on club equipment, and any expenses like food at social events that might be provided in conjunction with a race.

Birthday Regatta – This is such a big event, that we track it separately. In addition to Lake User Fees and fuel expenses, there are all kinds of other expenses, like catering, speaker fees, facility rental (think Big Tent), and other things that might change from year to year depending on the program. This event is the one that has the biggest potential to impact the club budget if something goes sideways, so we get updates from the Regatta Chairman in the months leading up to the event.

Commodore’s Party – This is one of the exceptions to the “pay for itself” rule. We don’t have a facility to host our own celebration, which adds to the cost of this event (as well as others). The AYC Boards over the years have set a precedent that, in order to keep the price of the ticket reasonable, we would subsidize the cost of the Commodore’s Party. This year there were three options and the venue and budget were voted on and approved by the board.

So where do your annual dues go? These revenues are spent on speakers and general membership meeting expenses, hosting the “Dog Watch” Happy Hours, printing the roster and membership cards, club insurance and membership dues in the Yachting Club of America and the Southern California Yachting Association, burgees that we give to our members, as well as making up any shortfalls in any of the programs when the don’t come up in the black. Any surplus goes into savings for major capital investments. The two largest in recent memory being “The Barge” pontoon boat and the “Wicked Awesome” Whaler.

And that is how it works. No smoke and mirrors, just making every attempt to use club funds to create the best sailing opportunities in the region and provide the most value to our members. Our long-time Treasurer Tony Chapman will be giving a short overview with actual numbers at the September Monthly Meeting so come out and discuss it with us!

Your Commodore’s Party!

The Commodore’s Party is so named because the Commodore puts it on, but it is about you…the membership of the club. More than most, our club is our members. It is the friendships we build and the memories we make. The Commodore’s Party is a celebration of what makes our club as great as it is…YOU!

Here are some pictures:

Isabella Hutchinson, last year’s High School Champion relinquishes the perpetual trophy to her brother Reese, this year’s Champion.[/caption]

After everyone toweled off and changed after enjoying the pool, the program started with awards given by the Arizona Sailing Foundation. Mike Parker, the Sailing Foundation President, awarded the following:

  • Heavy Lifting Award – Larry Green
  • High School Championship Trophy – Reese Hutchinson
  • Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior Award – William Steenken
  • Jerry Linderman Most Improved Junior Award – Ethan Wei

Colin Gibbs earned the top spot for the Junior Racing Fleet and got is name on the new Perpetual Trophy for the AYC Junior Champion.

Then the AYC Racing Awards followed. For the first time, there was a full fledged Junior Racing Fleet at Tempe Town Lake. The club has been gifted (by Rob and Kim -ed.) a perpetual trophy to award to the AYC Junior Champion. This year that Champion was Colin Gibbs.

And the most coveted racing trophy in the club, the AYC Club Champion Trophy, was won by Joel Hurley. Joel won the Laser Fleet championship at TTL and the Santana 20 Fleet championship at Lake Pleasant before taking the Championship Race on a Laser.

Joel Hurley wins the Club Championship Trophy. Next year Joel will volunteer to head up the Opti classes at Tempe Town Lake.

Every year we get to honor one individual for excellence in supporting and promoting the sport of sailing in our club. That honor is the AYC US Sailing Sportsmanship Award. This year’s winner, Emory Heisler, is a long time Club Member, past Commodore, US Sailing and ASA Instructor and all around great sailor.

Emory Heisler accepting the AYC US Sailing Sportsmanship Award

Dave Haggart gets the Blunder Bucket!

And finally, after three heated rounds of debate over who earned the coveted Blunder Bucket, this Spring’s honor goes to Dave Haggart who tried to launch his truck while retrieving his 14.2 at Tempe Town Lake, only to save it from the depths with the help of his son and a group of bystanders.

The last order of business was to thank this year’s Board of Directors and install the newcomers to the group. It’s been a great year and for those who are leaving their posts, the club thanks you very much for your service.

The members of the 2019-2020 Board of Directors:

  • Commodore: Rob Gibbs
  • Vice Commodore: Marc Danner
  • Rear Commodore: Deb Heisler
  • Racing Fleet Captain: Scott Richards
  • Cruising Fleet Captain: Heather McClain
  • Sr. Membership Director: Skip Kempff
  • Jr. Membership Director: Dave Henning
  • Sr. Staff Commodore: Mike Ferring
  • Jr. Staff Commodore: Bill Hutchinson
  • Secretary: Paul Wojcztak
  • Treasurer: Tony Chapman

Thank you for making your club one of the best in the country. We’ll see you on the water!

 

Commodore’s Party – Bring the Family!

Click Here to Sign Up for the Party

We’ll be at the OHasis Pool…the quieter pool at the Valley Ho

This year we’re having a POOL PARTY! We’ve worked with the Hotel Valley Ho to get our party guests pool access prior to the festivities! We’ll also have Yard Games – Cornhole, Giant Jenga, and Washers – for everyone as well.

You will have the Pool and Games available to you as early as 3pm. Our bar opens at 4:30, but there are several places on the property where you can get beverages and snacks before that.

The fun will continue into the evening when we start our traditional Dinner Party and Awards Ceremony. Our program starts with the ASF and other Junior Awards. Once all of those are given out we’ll have a G-rated movie for the kids on the patio if they don’t want to sit around with the adults.

Happy Hour and Reception will start at 4:30 (when the bar opens) and our Dinner will start around 6 and the program will start during dinner.

Dinner menu is:

Southwestern Caesar Salad
Fajita Station – Carne Asada or Grilled + Marinated Chicken Breast
Cheese Enchiladas
Vegetarian Mexican Rice and Vegetarian Refried beans
Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips with Salsa, Guacamole Black Beans, Diced Tomatoes
Dessert – Undecided as of yet…but it will be yummy!

Adults are $50/person
Kids are $15/person

SIGN UP NOW!

Dress for dinner is “It’s Hot But It’s a Nice Party” casual…

The areas we will be using are highlighted here – the OHasis Pool & Palm Court and the Sands Restaurant. We encourage anyone who is planning on have a “really good time” to also book a room for the night.

Another view of the pool area.

May Meeting – Pretty as a Picture

We had so many photos from the Tall Cactus and so many people asking for them we’re doing a GIVEAWAY at the May Monthly Meeting of a gift card to Canvas Prints so you can take whatever photo you’ve seen on the website or floating around Facebook and turn it into something real!

Our Tall Cactus Photographer, Krisitin Lisson and our very own unofficial Club Photographer, Mike Ferring have agreed to, at no charge, give the winner any photo they want at full resolution so you can make it a keepsake forever.

We’ll have a slideshow of the full set of photos from Tall Cactus running at the meeting so come and enjoy seeing yourself and your friends on the water!

Oh, and the By-Laws require me to also mention that we are doing the official BoD Election Ballot Counting at the meeting as well. No spoilers, but there are some clear winners emerging!

On Again – Off Again for the Final TTL Day

Junior’s Starting and 14.2s dialing up! (Photo Credit: Paul Wojtczak)

The final race day at TTL saw a mix of knock down wind to “drifting with purpose” wind. Juniors got in 6 races while the C14.2’s got 4 and the Portsmouth fleet complete 3 rounds of the marks.

Congratulations to our TTL season winners:

Portsmouth: Clay Poulson
C14.2: Dave Haggart
Laser: Joel Hurley
Junior Fleet: Colin Gibbs

See all the race results and the final combined scores on the Results Page.

Tall Cactus Brings Out the Best in AYC

I wanted to thank everyone who came out to our last big fun day at Lake Pleasant last weekend. I really enjoyed seeing everyone on the water having a good time. But more than that, it really highlighted what the AYC is. Friends and families that love sailing and love our club. As I finished each boat, EVERYONE had a smile on their face. We had families sailing together. We had husbands and wives sailing together. We had good ‘ole boys sailing together. The event was was run by 3 families. There were Sea Scouts and Scout Leaders. There was an 11 year old on a Laser racing his Dad on a Laser!

This club really has something for everyone. Fun family events, great social opportunities, some pretty serious racing in some very competitive fleets, and at the heart of it all, there is YOU. This club is nothing without its members. Members who bring their family and friends out to spend time together on the water. Thank you for letting me be a part of something so special.

Sincerely,

Rob Gibbs
Commodore

Here’s a video from Court Roberts

Photo Credit to Kristin Lisson (The Gal on the Photo Boat!)

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Tall Cactus – Great End to the Lake Pleasant Season!

Brunch at PHM

The day started with a brunch and some pre-race socializing at Pleasant Harbor. Everyone was excited or nervous about what was shaping up to be a downwind start. There was reasonably good wind all day.

The youngest skipper was Myles Danner on his Laser 4.7 rig! A regular in the Open Bic at Tempe Town Lake, he and his dad, Vice Commodore Marc Danner, were both out on Lasers. Myles does what he always does…smiled all the way around the race course!

We had a photo boat out and our guest photographer, Kristin Lisson, has over 3000 photos she is curating, so check back to see that slideshow when it is ready!

We had LPSC and TSC members come out and it was good fun all day long for everyone. Line honors was claimed by Dave Newland on Mike & Maryellen Ferring’s J70 (they were out racing some classic cars this weekend and were generous enough to lend their boat to their regular crew Dave!)

Full race results are posted here.

Myles Danner, Youngest Skipper on his Laser 4.7

A Downwind Start

 

 

 

 

2019-2020 Season Calendar – Winter is Coming!

Hi everyone…

We’re really excited about the 2019-2020 racing calendar! We have maintained the traditional Fall and Spring racing series, but have added 4 Saturdays across December and January at Lake Pleasant. We’re calling it “The Winter Series.” By default, it does not count towards the Championship, but your fleet can choose it by submitting Fleet Rules that define how you are choosing your Champion.

Why did we do this? MORE SAILING! Use this as an opportunity to try out a different fleet or boat; try out new crew; bring some kids along; work on your boat handling skills with your crew; See if you can try that one tactic that you thought was to risky to try in a race that counted for the Championship. GO HAVE FUN SAILING!

If you have questions please see your Fleet Captain, or you can always email or call me: Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org.

April’s Meeting – Full of Questions!

We hosted what seems to be an Annual Trivia Challenge for the April meeting – complete with cash prizes for the winners! Teams were grouped by table and the trivia was put together by your Rear Commodore Joshua McClain with the help of his wife and Cruising Fleet Captain Heather McClain. Questions ranged from questions about the Olympics to questions about our own club. For the full PDF of the questions, Click Here.

The Ultimate Winners of the Competition, dubbed “Tom’s Table”

The “Little Table” of New Member Nelson Passos and Bob LaBine

“The Bar Team” – Runners up…

The “Big Table” had some heavy hitters but couldn’t quite eek out “Team Bar”

The Mystery of the Missing Bean Pot!

Have you seen the Bean Pot Trophy?

This elusive trophy is needed for the Tall Cactus Regatta! This is the only known photograph of this legendary trophy.

As the story goes, it was given between our club and the Tuscon Sailing Club originally as part of the great “Tall Cactus Regatta.” If you have seen it, please contact Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org right away!

Your 2019-2020 AYC Board Nominees – Breaking with Tradition

Commodore Rob Gibbs

Official announcement: Notice of Election, May 14, 2019, at the Grill at Rolling Hills Golf Course at 6pm. Instructions for electronic voting will be emailed to all members of record as of April 1, 2019.

It is already time for AYC Board Elections. I am always amazed at how fast a Board Year goes by. I want to pull back the covers a little bit on the formation of the board and the traditions that have been involved over the past 60+ years.

In the past we’ve seen people make a 5 year commitment to the board by moving through the Commodore ranks from Rear, to Vice, to Commodore, then to Jr. Staff and Sr. Staff Commodore. This was a tradition that served the purpose of creating continuity and stability on the board from year to year. We broke with that tradition in the mid 2000’s, but since then have also had trouble finding a slate of willing board members. I would like to consider a revision to that tradition with the hope of providing that same continuity and stability.

Each Board Position cannot be done single handed. Each should have a committee of supporters. The AYC Fleet Captain already has the “Rules Committee” made up of all the Racing Fleet Captains and generally a new AYC Fleet Captain comes from that group. It was never the intent that each board member do all the work of their position themselves. Your support of these people is imperative to get the work of the club done. When each board member has a support group, continuity is created by “promoting from below.” A person that is “promoted” from the support group has knowledge of what has been going on. The other thing that does is allows a person to make a smaller commitment to the board. Instead of a 5 year commitment, they can choose a period that works for them. Maybe it is one term, maybe 3, but it gives them the choice.

This year, we break with tradition again. Many of the board members, myself included, really feel like we are just starting to get some traction and build momentum with the things we are doing and that if we move on now, some of these efforts will fall flat. Things like the Junior Racing Fleet, the 4th Tuesday “Dog Watch” Social, and even some of the changes being considered to the racing schedule. We feel like we need to follow through on these things and vacating positions or even moving on to another position will jeopardize our efforts.

It is with this in mind that, with your support, I have chosen to run for a second consecutive term as Commodore. Along with me running for a second term in their current position is Marc Danner at Vice Commodore and Heather McClain at Cruising Fleet Captain.

So “who will run the Birthday Regatta” you ask? Well, again, the tradition is that the Jr. Staff Commodore runs the Birthday Regatta. This year Bob Naylor, who was one of the instrumental players in helping pull together what has been called the best Birthday Regatta in recent memory, has agreed to be the Regatta Chairman. He will still work with the Jr. Staff Commodore for guidance and other formal approvals. Former Commodore Bill Hutchinson has agreed to be the Jr. Staff Commodore to provide that guidance.

The full slate of Board Nominees looks like this:

Commodore: Rob Gibbs
Vice Commodore: Marc Danner
Rear Commodore: Deb Heisler
Fleet Captain: Scott Richards
Cruising Fleet Captain: Heather McClain
Jr Membership Director: David Henning
Jr Staff Commodore: Bill Hutchison

Additionally, 2 more members filling 2 year roles are:

Sr Membership Director: Skip Kempff
Sr Staff Commodore: Mike Ferring

Finally, the 2 positions that are elected by the new board are:

Secretary: Paul Wojtczak
Treasurer: Tony Chapman

Thanks to our current board and to our new volunteers for their support. Now I ask that you help us too. There are so many activities that we do that require volunteer support. This year, make it a point to pick something, just one thing, to help with. Whether it is running one of our single day events like the Ruth Beal’s Cup or the Tall Cactus, or helping the Rear Commodore contact and book a speaker for our regular Membership Meetings, or agreeing to host a Dog Watch Happy Hour. Step up and help us make YOUR Club the best it can be this year!

George Sheller’s Account of the North American Laser District 23 Championship

By George Sheller, AYC Fleet Captain and Regatta Chairman

The Arizona Yacht Club hosted the North America Laser District 23 Championship on March 16-17 at Lake Pleasant in Arizona northwest of Phoenix. There were 13 registrants, 9 from Arizona and four from San Diego.

The day started with a one-hour postponement due to high winds (gusts to 30+ mph) and two-foot waves with whitecaps. Five races were run on Saturday, the first two in winds gusting to 15 mph or so. The last race was in light wind. This made for a complete range of sailing skills, including boat capsizes and righting!

Day two began with winds in the 10 to 15 mph range but after a huge wind shift and time to re-set the marks and line, the last race was in near 0 to 3 mph wind. Therefore, only 2 races were run. Typical Lake Pleasant racing.

Saturday evening the exhausted but happy sailors, some wives, the committee crew and a few friends enjoyed a meal and drinks at a ramada overlooking the lake with light winds and 70-degree weather. We believe all enjoyed the venue and the racing. We look forward to hosting the event again in two years.

Click for the official Overall Results and the Master’s Results. View more pictures on this post.

Most of the Laser District competitors pose with their pal Saguaro.