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Here Come the Champions

As this is written, there’s one more Sunday of racing at Tempe Town Lake, but you can be pretty sure who some of the fleet champs will be at both lakes. Scores have not been posted for the last weekend at Lake Pleasant yet, but we can identify at least some of those champs too.

Congratulations to: Skip Kempff, Thistle; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Mike Ferring, PHRF Sport Boat; Joel Hurley, Santana 20. We’re waiting for confirmation on Catalina 22 and Multi-Hull winners. Dave Haggart will likely take C14 and Joel Hurley Laser. Portsmouth is still undecided. Those same names are expected to race in the Club Championship in Lasers at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, May 4. Colin Gibbs is leading the Junior Fleet at TTL, but isn’t eligible for the Club Championship.

The racing conditions at TTL on Sunday, April 7, were excellent, with comfortable temperatures and good wind. Here are some shots from Mike Ferring:

Women’s Sailing Education Programs

By Debbie Huntsman

A whole lotta luffin’ at the LAST meeting. Graphic: Debbie Huntsman

National Women’s Sailing Association presents: L.A.S.T. (Learn About Sailing Things)

Join the new monthly program at Lake Pleasant. Designed to serve as sailing education for women in a social setting, we will address a wide variety of subjects tailored to the group. (We want you to tell us what you want to learn about sailing!) You must sign up at the National Women’s Sailing Association site monthly to assure your spot.

April 28, 3-5 pm 
Step Aboard
Learn about the boat, how things work, basic crew duties and steps to take before leaving the dock. Attendees should bring a life jacket (we have a few loaners) and dress for sailing with non-skid, non-marking, closed toed shoes.

May TBD
Rules of the Road for Sailors
Understanding navigation rules is essential knowledge for all sailors. We will learn the basics then open the book to see the more complex.

June TBD
What’s in Your Sailing Purse? 
Things to bring, their purpose and use and things to leave home or in your vehicle.

We will learn about sailing things, socialize and enjoy refreshments courtesy of Tumbleweed Sailing.

Sign Up for Tall Cactus Fun Regatta

Start with a social gathering at Spinnaker Point from 10-noon, launch your boat, start at 2pm, dash around a couple islands and various marks and finish.

That’s this year’s Tall Cactus Regatta, our fun pretty-much-end-of-the-season regatta, Saturday, April 27. Register now on the Racing page, where you’ll also find the chart and the documents.

Principal Race Officer Rob Gibbs has answered one important question before you ask: Yes, you do have to sail around Horse and Balance Rock islands in addition to the drop marks at those locations.

A chunk of the Tall Cactus race chart showing the route around the northern islands of Lake Pleasant.

Updating the AYC Bylaws

Every three-to-four years we’ve been updating the AYC Bylaws to clarify, simplify, and update the document that governs how the club is run. Time to to it again.

On your election ballot this year are various non-controversial changes to the bylaws, including these changes:

  1. Eliminate the provision requiring publishing the names of people who have not paid renewal dues by mid-August. Time to stop “shaming.”
  2. Conduct elections by electronic ballot. We’ve actually been doing this for several years. We retain your right to vote by appearing at the election counting spot in person.
  3. Establish a method for certifying election results and setting a time for the new board to take office.
  4. Simplify the wording of rules for Board of Directors meetings and allow email votes on routine matters.
  5. Clarify and simplify the composition and responsibility of the Rules Committee. No actual change compared to how this has been handled forever.
  6. Simplify the section on appointed committees.
  7. Considerably simplify the process for amending or changing the bylaws.

Here’s a copy of the mark-up version of the changes for your review.

The changes were proposed by Junior Staff Commodore Mike Ferring. Commodore Rob Gibbs convened a review committee composed of himself, Emory Heisler, John Mayall, Mike Yarnell, Mike Ferring and Will Zornik, which agreed to the final version. The AYC Board then approved the changes and voted to put them on the ballot.

Changes to the AYC Bylaws are on the ballot this year.

Like to Learn About a Blokart?

Yes, Blokart. A sailing cart. No water required. A variation on a sailboat or an iceboat for speeded-crazed people like, well, you.

The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club (LPSC) has invited Charlie Quiroz of Musselman Honda Circuit kart racing track in Tucson to explain this nutty concept at the club’s meeting Tuesday, April 16, at 7pm, at Rolling Hills, the same place AYC meets. AYC members are invited to join in.

Here’s more about a Blowkart. And below is a typical video.

A basic Blowkart thrill machine.

 

LP Was Feeling Calm

So calm that on Saturday (3/30), “racing” became a drifting test. For example, the one time the C22 fleet started, it smashed through the fleet’s two-hour maximum time limit and the race needed to be abandoned (the breeze that tricked the RC from not shortening disappeared as quickly as it came).

On Sunday, the morning breeze looked good. Until it didn’t. But a few races went off.

Here are the scores.

Joel Hurley and Grant Younger winning the Santana 20 fleet. Drone photo: Mike Ferring

Extremely close downwind finish for C22 that ultimately didn’t score: the race went on too long. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sport Boat race committee. Drone photo: Mike Ferring

 

TTL Racing March 24

Light wind punctuated with some nice breeze offered a pretty good afternoon of racing for the Laser, Junior and C14 fleets March 24. The Portsmouth crew presented RC and Clay Poulson’s smorgasbord of Sunday afternoon treats. It’s Clay’s signature: bringing a charcuterie spread and other goodies to keep the RC smiling. Nice idea, right?

With just two weekends remaining in the spring series, the standings are firming up.

Here are the scores from Mark Howell.

Emily helps Grandfather George Tingom point the C14. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Scenic Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Buildings rising on the north edge of Tempe Town Lake to challenge our ability to judge the shifts. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Laser District Rumble at Lake Pleasant

The sailing weather was ideal for the Laser District Regatta at Lake Pleasant, March 16&17. Lots of wind under sunny sky with comfortable temperature. Even the water temperature wasn’t too bad, according to the Laser sailors who tried it out.

Ten boats competed, including four entries from Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego, running long w/l courses at the south end of the lake. After two days of racing, the California Laser racers dominated the Master’s category (aka older guys), taking four of the top five spots. Overall, AYC’s Joel Hurley took second on a tie-breaker to MBYC’s Dave Leuck.

This event was a George Sheller production: George has wanted to stage a district event for over a year and pulled it off this time, with lots of help, including from PRO Wendy Larsen, boat driver Mike Grijalva, and a troop of Sea Scouts. Kara Newland gets credit for the BBQ dinner Saturday night.

Read George’s account of the event.

Here are the overall results. And the Master’s Results.

The Laser starts were typically very close, with various general recall and OCS flags. Photo: Mike Ferring

Local Laser ace Joel Hurley finished second in the Laser Districts. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tight windward mark rounding. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Bernard deep in thought during a pause between races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Trying to stay in the front row in the bunched start. Photo: Mike Ferring

Paul Miachika downwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

David Newland figuring out this Laser stuff. Photo: Mike Ferring

Top Leukemia Cup Fundraisers

Lymphoma & Leukemia Society staffer Naomi Martinez told the AYC monthly meeting bunch Tuesday (3/12) that we’d raised just under $20,000 for LLS during February’s Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Regatta.

The top individual fundraisers were Tony Chapman and Debbra and Emory Heisler, each presented with a Leukemia Cup fundraising burgee to fly. Mike and Erika Parker were the third biggest fundraisers.

In addition to the money raised by individuals, the big auction items bumped the total, including The Moorings BVI charter and the Arizona River Runners Grand Canyon rafting trip.

Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman show off burgees from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, honoring their fundraising during February’s regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Saving a Person Overboard

If you’ve been following the investigation into the loss of a sailor in the Chicago-Mac race last year, you know that there were several key takeaways to prevent loss of life.

Here’s an excellent, brief description of the benefits of the LifeSling system and the necessity for practicing your MOB maneuvers, written for UK Sails by Adam Loory.

Fortunately, we never face conditions like the Chicago-Mac race in our inland lakes, but lots of members also sail in oceans, where dealing with crew overboard can mean life or death.

Practicing a crew overboard recovery using a LifeSling.

Laser Light Show at TTL

Will Zornik heads upwind inches ahead of Joel Hurley in the closely-contested Laser fleet. Photo: Mike Ferring

The 19-boat Laser fleet continues to be the headline entertainment at Tempe Town Lake after four rounds of the spring series.

Joel Hurley is leading the pack, with an 8-point lead over Will Zornik after 15 races. Rob Gibbs is in third with Mike Bernard close behind in fourth.

Newcomer Dersen Eddowes and Ryan Zornik are chasing Colin Gibbs in the Junior Fleet, the two tied just five points behind Colin after 11 races.

Here are the scores.

With favorable wind Sunday (3/3), the Lasers didn’t want to stop racing and got in seven before the 5:30 deadline.

Things are not nearly as close in Portsmouth, where the scores are based on who shows up that day. Sunday it was Clay Poulson in his Fireball, but Cindy Pillote continues to lead the series.

Look confusing? A typical scrum before the start for the Lasers at TTL. Photo: Mike Ferring

A serene afternoon at TTL, with Lasers in a knife fight. Photo: Mike Ferring

The lake sparkles for the Laser light show. Photo: Mike Ferring

AYC Hosts District Laser Championship

Arizona Yacht Club will host the 2019 Laser District 23 Championship Regatta on March 16 and 17. The event will be held on Lake Pleasant, launching from the 10-lane ramp and ramadas.

The U.S is divided into 26 Laser Districts, with District 23 encompassing Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Interest in District Championship Regattas can be wide ranging—we’ve heard from areas from San Diego to Portland, Oregon and even from the Dominican Republic.

Race documents, registration and scoring will be handled on the Regatta Network.

As a part of the International Laser Class Association format, the regatta will include an open race that will include all entrants and then four categories of competitors by age group: Apprentice Master (ages 35-44), Master (45-54), Grand Master (55-64), and Great Grand Master (65+).

We’ve created a unique trophy, a framed plaque with glass front, featuring an oil painting commissioned specifically for the event by Faye Crowe, a Colorado Architect. The painting shows three racing Lasers blazing across the water.

Wendy Larsen will be the Principal Race Officer and we’re looking for club members who would help put on the event. Contact me for more information.

George Sheller, Great Grand Master
AYC Racing Fleet Captain
Laser 184560

This original painting by artist Faye Crowe was commissioned by George Sheller to serve as the graphic for the District 23 Championship Regatta

 

 

Ripping Weekend for Lake Pleasant Racing

Apparently enough to keep people on shore, because one of the best race weekends of the year had limited participation, especially Sunday morning when four Thistles, two Santana 20s and two Sportboats limited the racing. Once the Thistles had turned in their traditional three races, the race committee pulled the marks and the day was finished.

Saturday it blew even stronger and brought out more boats: some Catalina 22s, five Sportboats, and a tangle of Thistles.

Results here.

Thanks to the PHRF spin fleet for putting on some excellent races!

Martin Lorch crosses the finish. Photo: Charles Landis

 

On a chilly Sunday morning, finishing first… in a T-shirt! Photo: Charles Landis

Women’s Sailing Gathering March 23

By Debbie Huntsman

Gathering of women for the Lake Pontchartrain Knot Tea Party.

Are you a woman interested in literally sailing into your future? Or perhaps you already know how to get across an ocean using the wind? Or maybe you’re just curious about sailing in the desert? The knot tie tea party is for all of you.

I’m the national Women’s Sailing Association president and will be the lead knot teacher at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, March 23, from 3-5 pm. This will be the first monthly National Women’s Sailing Association’s Learn About Sailing Things (L.A.S.T.) workshop for women sailors in the greater Phoenix area.

At the Knot Tie Tea Party you’ll socialize, drink tea (or a beverage you choose), learn to tie a few useful nautical knots or show others how it’s done if you are so skilled, and watch the sun as it lowers over the lake and we decide what to learn next about sailing.

The L.A.S.T. group will gather at the blue-topped shuttle shelter in the public parking lot at Pleasant Harbor. Turn right after you enter the facility and the lot is on your right. There’s a $6 fee to enter the park.

Our friends at Tumbleweed Sailing will provide refreshments…tea and crumpets. Bring your favorite tea cup.

If you’re able to join us, please RSVP to me by this email.

Regatta Extra: Dave Perry Critiques Your Sailing

Dave Perry spent Birthday Regatta Saturday, February 9, buzzing around Lake Pleasant on David Newland’s powerboat, shooting video of your sailing with simultaneous commentary. Scary, right? Well, yes, and fun. And highly educational.

The video is on Google Drive, so it’s best to view it on Chrome. I encountered a limit to the number I could view until I downloaded the vGet browser extension. That seems to work.

Click here to go to the video.

Here’s a log of the clips:

Dave Perry watching as Vipers approach the start line during the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Fun Shots

3 – Introduction

6 – Lotta people

68 – Kids

64 – Dogs

11 – Fred!

12 – Full chute

69 – AZ pride!

23 – RC at work

Starts

4 – Viper

7 – Santana

9 – PHRF

16 – PHRF non-spin

17 – Laser

18 – Laser

22 – Catalina

24 – Etchells

71 – PHRF

76 – Santana

92 – Viper

Dave Perry holds his small video camera, shooting the action and offering commentary. Photo: Mike Ferring

Upwind Trim & Tacks

5 – Viper

10 – PHRF

13 – Buccaneer

15 – Buccaneer

20 – Laser

25 – Etchells

29 – Viper

30 – Viper

32 – Viper

34 – Viper

40 – Santana

41 – Santana

42 – Santana

61 – 63 – Multihulls

73 – PHRF

Upwind Tactics

8 – Santana

14 – Buccaneer

19 – Laser

31 – Viper

33 – Viper

38 – Viper

43 – Santana

72 – PHRF

Windward Mark

26 – Etchells

35 – Viper

79 – Buccaneer

80 – Etchells

83 – Santana

85 – Rule 18.3, Tacking in the Zone

86 – Rule 18.3, Tacking in the Zone

David Newland chases around the race course to capture Dave Perry’s video. Photo: Mike Ferring

Downwind Trim & Gybes

28 – Catalina

36 – Viper

44 – Laser

87 – Viper

Downwind Tactics

39 – Santana

50 – PHRF

89 – Viper

Leeward Mark

37 – Vipers

45 – Laser

46 – Laser / PHRF

47 – 52 – PHRF

53 – Gaggle of boats

54 – Catalina

55 – Viper

57 – 58 PHRF non-spin

65 – Buccaneer

66 – Buccaneer

Finish – 70

Vipers in action at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Army of Volunteers

By Mike & Maryellen Ferring, Event Chairs

You’ve seen the pictures and the brief regatta write-up, right? Now here’s some of the backstory.

Dave Perry taunts the crowd at the Friday night Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup seminar. Photo: Mike Ferring

We started working on the regatta one year ago, locking in Dave Perry as the featured attraction. I think you’ll agree that Dave was magnificent: funny, teasing, and loaded with sailing tips. How he quieted a tent of 220-plus people for 90 minutes Saturday night was astonishing.

Maryellen went after donations and discounts. The four big auction items: The Moorings BVI charter vacation (Maryellen and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society); San Diego trip with Harbor Sailboats and Hilton Del Mar (Maryellen) and Bob Naylor added a $200 certificate from West Marine; Napa trip (Brooke Miller secured the Silverado Resort, Maryellen added B Cellars winery and the girl and the fig restaurant); Arizona River Runners Grand Canyon rafting trip (Marc Danner). Those four items raised about $9,000.

And Maryellen solicited a raft of smaller items to sell to support the regatta and a bunch of people came through, from Bill Gladstone of NorthU, Mary Kay Farrington Lorch for Vincent’s, Stacey Haggart for a hotel stay and Friday night cocktails from The Barley Hound. Lots of AYC members donated sails that we sent to Sea Bags of Maine to be converted into bags that became trophies and thank-you gifts. (If you received one, congratulations, and you may know that the big bags sell for $130 and the smaller ones for $70.)

Mike got this email at 1:07 pm Friday. Yikes. The team quickly came up with Plan B: burgers and dogs on the grill.

In November, Bob Naylor volunteered big-time help and over the last few months was a key player. He was our Pleasant Harbor liaison, working on such things as tent location and camping. He connected with Lake Pleasant Sailing Club, giving presentations at meetings and helping line up their Sunday breakfast. He set up and tore down the outside generator light and barricades, and helped throughout. When the food truck broke down on the way to the lake, he and crew buddy Rick Sipe manned the grill to churn out burgers and hot dogs.

We got a huge boost from Candace Voorhees at Arizona Taste catering, who offered a 50% in-kind donation for catering the Saturday night dinner. The dinner was fabulous. Party People provided a discount on the tent and Dave Shaw was a brilliant partner on getting the facilities set.

PRO Skip Kempff leads the skippers meeting Friday. Photo: Mike Ferring

Meanwhile, Tony Chapman was recruiting out-of-state Vipers and working out their logistics. Rob Gibbs created an entire fleet, the Etchells, by putting together a charter package with John Riddell. Emory Heisler hustled up a Bucc fleet. Their efforts helped replace the pocket cruisers, who’d turned out in numbers the last few years but didn’t make it this year.

Skip Kempff agreed to be Principal Race Officer and recruited a fine band of troops, led by fellow Thistler Scott Richards. Others on the team were Bob Labine, Tom Dickerson, Lori Reger, Jim Moye, Freeman Halle, Dale Buchanan, Toby Olvera, Elizabeth Olvera, Jose Vicente, Jeff Freeman, and Cathy Freeman.

That’s Mark Howell under the red cap, scoring hundreds of races over the three days. Mark was the regatta’s unsung hero. Photo: Mike Ferring

AYC Stalwart Scorekeeper Dave Christensen was traveling during the regatta, so Mark Howell stepped into the breech. You may have spotted a lone figure at the ramada just outside the tent overlooking the lake, surrounded by electronic gizmos, intently converting pictures sent from the RC boat into race results. That was Mark. He’ll be awarded the Croix de Pleasant for valor under fire.

By all accounts, the race officials did an excellent job coordinating the 70 boats on the water, running some 44 races on Saturday alone.

David Newland made sure the AYC boats were ready for action, gassing them and cleaning them. Then David launched his personal powerboat that we used as a photo platform for AYC pictures and Dave Perry’s videos.

Some of the crew that put it all together on site: (l-r) Brooke Miller, Jonni Biaggini, Maryellen Ferring, and Kara Newland. Photo: Mike Ferring

This mob runs on food, so we needed to provide the groceries. Saturday morning breakfast was led by Tucson Sailing Club’s Glenn Brostedt, who not only cooked but decided not to sail in order to spend hours cleaning up. Sunday morning the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club organized the continental breakfast. Carolyn Cronin bought the goodies and then dashed off to see her first grandson born as others served the bagels. A platoon of Sea Scouts greeted you for Sunday lunch, offering brats and chips. When they weren’t cooking, they were helping straighten up the trailer and tent. Sack’s Sandwiches made 42 Saturday sandwiches for racers and RC and had them ready at 6:45 am, the earliest in the day they’d ever prepared an order. Grand Canyon Brewing delivered two huge kegs of craft beer for your drinking pleasure (thanks to Brooke for setting that up too).

You were met at registration by familiar faces, Al and Sandy Lehman, who have been doing that job for, what, decades we guess. They held it all together from their motorhome base 50 feet away.

Now this thank-you list gets a little murky because many of you jumped in to help where needed and there’s no way we could have a complete list of helpers. We know our friend Jonni Biaggini flew in from California and was a big help. Others we noticed and can remember included Scott Matreyek, Theresa and Kevin Baker, Kara Newland, Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Ray and Mary Jo Chapman, and… well you know who you are and thank you.

And thanks to everyone who came to sail and party in the desert!

Rock ‘n Roll: Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup 2019

Close it up. The 61st birthday of the Arizona Yacht Club finished with a flourish, a Sunday morning of good racing in a chill wind, climaxing three days of celebration and the biggest regatta of the AYC calendar year.

Mark the numbers: 70 boats racing in 10 fleets. Over 220 for dinner Saturday night. The highlights: Resurrection of the tent on the hill. A fun, raucous evening with racing expert Dave Perry. Lots of racing.

The winners: Dave Spira, Buccaneer; Bob Worrall, Catalina 22; Ralph Vatalaro, Cruising (on a scoring revision); Dave Haggart, Etchells; Charles Landis, Jib and Main; Scott Sharples, Laser; Victor Felice, PHRF Spin; Brian Willess, Multi-Hull; Joel Hurley, Santana 20; Mike Hester, Viper.

Here are all the scores.

And here are the people who made it happen.

Below are gobs of pictures of the event and a drone video. Nearly all pictures by Mike Ferring

 

Joel Hurley managed to manhandle the Santana 20 fleet, including perennial champ Martin Lorch. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rockin’ On: Saturday at the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Overcast, chilly, but… enough wind much of the day Saturday, the second day of the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. In fact, it was enough for PRO Skip Kempff and the race committee to launch 44 races.

How did they do? The answers came Saturday night when racing expert Dave Perry showed the hits and misses (well, okay, nobody actually hit anybody). Crew work, spin sets, sail trim, mark roundings… how did you let him roll you! Dave entertained the capacity crowd for 90 minutes with video shot from David Newland’s powerboat as we chased around the course grabbing starts, roundings, and finishes.

Here are the day’s results, tabulated by Scorekeeper Mark Howell.

The regatta concludes Sunday.

Dave Perry entertains and educates Saturday night at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Vipers sail into the windward mark at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Off to Rockin’ Start

The wind was light for the first afternoon of racing at the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup, but blew enough to get a couple races in. Vipers, Etchells and Multi-Hulls opened the action Friday, with another half dozen fleets scheduled to join Saturday.

Here are the first day’s results.

The only glitch of the day came when the Back in Thyme food truck broke down on the way to the lake, scuttling plans for dinner. The BR&LC crew leapt into action and grilled burgers and hot dogs to fill the gap.

Then came the headliner of the weekend, sailing rock star Dave Perry, who delivered an entertaining seminar that went deep into the evening. Dave talked about tactics at the start and at roundings to a tent full of about 90 people, then answered questions for another half hour to about 35 die-hards.

More to come Saturday!

Crowded at the mark. Vipers slip through the scrum. Photo: Mike Ferring

Dinner on the lawn. The Friday night dinner by the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup tent. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Party

Click here to go to all the information about the February 8-10 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

International racing expert and speaker Dave Perry will headline the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup is nearly here and we have 69 boats racing and more than 220 people coming to the Saturday night dinner.

The event is headlined this year by sailing expert Dave Perry, who will present two seminars—one on Friday night and then a clinic Saturday night. Get racing tips Friday night and then see how well you followed his advice when he offers video of the day’s racing Saturday night.

In addition to great racing, the regatta this year will feature (we pledge) the best Saturday night dinner in AYC Birthday history, catered by Arizona Taste. All in all, it’s an event not to be missed.