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High School Championship May 5

The High School Championship will be decided on Saturday, May 5, at Tempe Town Lake in Lasers. Here are the documents and entry form.

Notice of Race
Sailing Instructions
Entry Form

Chase the Tall Cactus

Ready to chase the Tall Cactus? The race is Saturday, April 28, with the first boats starting at 9 am. This is a pursuit race, in the style of the Governor’s Cup, which attracted over 50 boats in December. Okay, it’s a carbon copy, except that this time everybody will find all the islands and the finish line. Or they should.

Sign up and find the documents on the Racing page.

The course takes you from a start line in the middle of the lake (exact position will vary depending on wind strength), north to take Horse and Balance Rock islands to port, then heading south to leave Bobcat Island to port and then finishing at Scorpion Bay Marina, where we’ll celebrate with club-provided nibbles and a cash bar. (Be sure to tip well; apparently some of you didn’t in December.)

Now, what was that about “Bobcat Island”? It’s the chunk of land that we’ve been calling “No Name Island” up to now, but Event Chairman Tom Errickson has learned it’s actually and officially called Bobcat Island. How to recognize it? It’s very hard to see until you’re right on top of it, since it blends into the hills behind. After rounding Balance Rock, if you set a course for about 150°, you’ll be pointing in the right direction. Aim to the right of the cell phone towers on the hill. You’ll need to clear the point at Two Cow Cove, near where the Sheriff’s station sits, and then head a little to the right.

The GPS coordinates are (approximately) 33°51′17″ N 112°16′50″ W or, in decimals, 33.854853 N 112.281728 W.

After Bobcat, go to Scorpion Bay Marina, round to the north of all the breakwaters and sail toward the shore. You’ll spot the finish line. Finish and then tie up and join us for adult beverages. Here’s a satellite picture of Scorpion showing the finish line.

Here are pictures showing Bobcat. The pictures were taken in early March, with high lake level.

That little island with a tuft of vegetation is Bobcat Island. Picture was taken from the Discovery Center looking north. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Bobcat Island is hard to see, even when you’re close. It blends in with the background. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

As you begin to round Bobcat, it emerges from the background. Photo: Mike Ferring

Strong Lake Pleasant Spring Racing

Lake Pleasant threw us a mixture of light and pleasant for the final weekend of the AYC Spring Race Series. Twisty on Saturday. Midday wind switch Sunday followed by a nice breeze.

Winning fisherman for the day was Bob Naylor!

When it was all over, we can congratulate the Spring fleet winners: Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; Multi-Hull, Jim Tomes; PHRF Spin Paul Liszewski (by one point over Martin Lorch); Sport Boat, Mike Hester; Thistle, Scott Richards. The newly reconstituted PHRF Non-Spin Fleet didn’t get the expected turnout, but that didn’t stop Carl Muehlenbeck from besting Marc Danner and his all-kid crew to win the spring.

Here are all of the Spring results.

The combined fall-spring scores produced these Fleet Champions who will compete in the Club Championship race: Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; Multi-Hull, Brett Johnston; Spin, Martin Lorch; Sport Boat, Mike Hester; Thistle, Scott Richards.

Here are the Fall-Spring combined.

Okay, would this be a Blunder Bucket nomination? It’s sort of a reverse-blunder bucket or a Beneficent Bucket award winner. Bob Naylor was loading his C22 onto the trailer when he discovered the boat and trailer had snagged a nice bass! He was a little worried about not having a fishing license and was running late to see his daughter head off for her prom, so it was trailer catch and release and clearly prize-worthy.

Close leeward rounding with the Sport Boat fleet. Photo: Charles Landis

 

Skip Kempff rounds ahead of Scott Richards in the spring series. Photo: Charles Landis

Sport boats starting within inches of the committee boat. Photo: Charles Landis

May Meeting: Weather for Sailors

Consider this quote from one of the most experienced navigators in the world: “To a sailor, understanding weather is as important as boat preparation and knowing how to tack.”

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

The navigator is John Jourdane and the quote introduces the book, Modern Weather for Sailors. It also introduces our May monthly meeting speaker, that same guy and the book’s author, John Jourdane.

The meeting is Tuesday, May 8, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

You may remember John from his November 2013 visit, when he regaled the club with stories of his travels. He’s sailed over 300,000 miles, covering the distance between the West Coast and Hawaii 54 times, crossing the Atlantic Ocean 12 times, and sailing around the world three times, including two Whitbread Round the World Races.

How’s that for preparation for explaining (briefly) this complex subject: weather and how it affects sailors.

 

John Jourdane’s book on sailing weather.

Coming Down to the Last LP Weekend

One more weekend to go before the standings are set for the Spring Race Series.

The next-to-last started off with excellent-but-shifty—nice wind, but tricky, moving from the south to the west and various places in between. It kept the racers and race committee on their toes.

Sunday went soft. Light wind. Minimal racing.

Week 4 Results.

Blowing toward the north mark. Photos: Mike Ferring

A study in right of way, according to the RRS 2017-2020. Photos: Mike Ferring

Sean Brown and crew came in classy blue team shirts. Photos: Mike Ferring

Oops. Photos: Mike Ferring

Commodore’s Celebration Saturday, May 19

Last year’s Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe went so well we decided to do it again. Will you join us?

Commodore’s Celebration Sign Up Here

Dress is business casual. Members and nonmembers are welcome to attend. Saturday, May 19. Cocktails at 6:30 pm, dinner at 7 pm.

Here’s a link to the Google map of the location.

The menu includes:

  • Soft Pretzels and Provolone Fondue
  • Caesar Salad
  • Meat Loaf with Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
  • Roasted Salmon with Cauliflower, Snow Peas
  • Baked Penne Pasta with Butternut Cream Sauce, Roasted Squash, Red Pepper, Herbed Ricotta
  • Apple Cobbler with Bourbon Caramel Dessert

This year’s Commodore at last year’s Commodore’s Celebration.

Here’s a slideshow the Commodore put together.

 

AYC Electronic Voting for Next Board Open Until May 7

If you were a voting-eligible member of the Arizona Yacht Club as of April 1, you’ve received an email allowing you to participate in the election of the next board of directors. Clicking on the link will automatically log you in to the ballot and voting takes only a minute or so.

Members may vote until Monday, May 7 at 6 pm, when electronic voting closes. Ballots will be counted at 6 pm Tuesday, May 8, at Aces at Rolling Hills, where we hold the monthly meeting.

The ballot includes this bunch: Rob Gibbs, Commodore; Marc Danner, Vice Commodore; Sharon Bell, Rear Commodore; George Sheller, Racing Fleet Captain; Heather McClain, Cruising Fleet Captain; Russ Hasty and Skip Kempff, Membership Director (two-year term); Mike Ferring, Jr Staff Commodore. Members may also write in candidates.

Bruce Andress moves to Sr Staff Commodore and Andrew Oliver will continue in the second year of his two-year term as Membership Director. The new board will elect a Secretary and Treasurer.

Rob Gibbs is a familiar face at AYC, currently Vice Commodore after replacing Mike Bernard when Mike’s health required his resignation. Rob has served as Membership Director and is serving as one of the key instructors for the Arizona Sailing Foundation. In addition to the adult Learn to Sail program and the Powerboat Safety classes, Rob teaches the Junior Performance Sailing class, which includes his son Colin.

The 2018 Junior Performance class. Rob Gibbs is the tall one on the right. Photo: Mike Ferring

Safety at Sea Seminar in San Diego June 23-24

Several of the big offshore races are stepping up requirements for Safety at Sea certifications and you’ll have a chance to take one of the two-day sessions June 23-24 at Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego.

Here’s the link to the registration page. Here’s a flyer with more information.

Organizer John Miller offers this update on requirements:

  • CCA (Newport to Bermuda) will require all racers on all boats to have an World Sailing two-day Safety at Sea (SAS) starting in 2020.
  • Pacific Cup has dropped the one-day and is only accepting the World Sailing two-day SAS for 2018.
  • TransPac is discussing and it is assumed that they will drop the one-day and only accept the World Sailing two-day for 2019.
  • WCC (ARC series) has dropped the one-day and will only accept the two-day starting in 2017.
  • Vic-Maui has recently clarified that the two-day is the only Offshore Certification program being accepted as part of its NOR’s.

He also notes:

  • Starting in June, you can renew/refresh (prior to expiration) your current two-day by taking the Hands-on (single day) training. No longer do you need to take the full two-day course.
  • Sailors can also UPGRADE their one-day SAS (prior to expiration) to a two-day by taking the Hands-on Training Only (one day commitment).

Questions? Contact John at this email address.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Loads O’Wind for St. Patrick’s Lake Pleasant Weekend

Puffy, of course, but lots of wind to make it a great, fun weekend on Lake Pleasant. Hang on, here’s comes another one!

Results here.

The lake hasn’t disappointed us this spring, with lots of good wind to drive the spring racing series. The Catalina 22 Race Committee did a good job of adjusting to wind that swung wildly from south to west and then someplace else.

Craig Seaman’s Renegade scratches its way upwind. Photo: Lucas Newland

 

The new Melissa Kay, Ferrings’ J/70 downwind. Photo: Lucas Newland

 

Martin Lorch (near) and Marshall Williamson heading to the leeward mark. Photo: Lucas Newland

April Monthly Meeting: Spectacular Sailing Photography

Photographer Daniel Forster

Daniel Forster will arrive at our April monthly meeting armed with a spectacular portfolio of sailing photos and a lifetime of sailing stories. Just to skim some off the top: He’s photographed the last 13 America’s Cups and 12 Olympic Games.

Now Daniel is one of the official photographers for the Rolex Yachting events, covering such regattas as the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta, St. Thomas, New York Yacht Club events, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, Rolex Swan Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Take a look at his website. Or watch this Vimeo video for a taste of great images.

Daniel will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, April 10, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces restaurant (that’s apparently what they’re calling it now) at Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

A J Boat against a brilliant sky. Photo: Daniel Forster

The amazing Comanche at speed. Photo: Daniel Forster

Blasting through the seas against granite skies at the Fastnet. Photo: Daniel Forster

New Trophies for AYC Racers

Thistle start picture used on the new trophy for Lake Pleasant winners. Photo: Mike Ferring

We’re making a major change in trophies this year that I hope you’ll like. Instead of giving a pickle dish or wine glass for each series, you’ll receive your own AYC Member Trophy plaque and add awards to it in the years to come.

The first time you’re eligible for a trophy, you’ll get one of these AYC Member Trophy plaques with space for 12 award plates describing how you finished in various races or series. As you win more (I’m looking at you Mike Hester), you’ll receive an additional trophy plate that you’ll stick on the plaque.

The trophies were custom made by Prisma Graphic in Phoenix. The plaque itself is an acrylic with the graphically-treated photo adhered to the back. The AYC disc on the upper left is a three-dimensional piece produced on two layers and attached to the front of the plaque.

The member trophy will look like one of these when filled with plates. Instead of a trophy for each time you place in a series, you’ll get a brass-colored plate to stick on the trophy.

Brilliant Conditions for the Second Weekend at Lake Pleasant

Racing at Lake Pleasant rarely gets any better than the conditions this weekend (March 3-4) at Lake Pleasant. After a light start Saturday, the wind built to a breezy crescendo, one so strong that the Spin fleet decided to loop Horse Island for two races.

Sunday didn’t really bother to build much, starting with good wind (from the south!) and staying that way. Yes, Spins went for the long run again, enjoying a bright, breezy one.

Results here, or on the Results page.

Bright sun, big breeze for the weekend’s Lake Pleasant racing. Photo: Jim Tomes

 

Marc Danner and team (daughter Avery and son Myles) getting the non-spin fleet going again, leading the Jib and Main fleet (JaM, note his T-shirt). Photo: Jim Tomes

 

John Mayall, Joel Hurley, and (barely visible) Mike Hester fly downwind in Mike’s Viper 640. Photo: Jim Tomes

Do You Daydream of Tropical Sailing?

And if not, why not?

One of the great benefits of knowing how to sail is access to gorgeous yachts in beautiful places. Clear green water, steady trade breeze, warm evenings with a  piña colada. Mmmm. Oops, sorry, I drifted off there for a minute.

You’ve seen the tantalizing beauty shots in sailing magazines. At the next AYC monthly meeting, Tom White of The Moorings yacht charters will tap into your wanderlust and show you how to make the fantasy come true.

Tom will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, March 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces restaurant (that’s apparently what they’re calling it now) at Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

A Moorings charter catamaran saunters through a typical BVI backdrop in a typical BVI breeze.

Celebrating 60 Years of AYC with a Big Weekend

Scott Agan aboard a Stray Cat. Photo: Mike Ferring

Up and down wind marked the 2018 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup: Sometimes flat-lined; other times spiked and screaming. Lake Pleasant showed lots of its faces for the weekend, the water decorated with some 65 boats for the occasion of the club’s 60th birthday.

Here are the results.

Congratulations to the 8 fleet winners: Bob Worrall (racking up nothing but bullets on his final scorecard) in PHRF Non-Spin (Jib & Main); Paul Miachika in Laser; Jerry Montgomery in Pocket Cruiser; Jim Tomes in Multi-Hull; Martin Lorch in PHRF Spin; Mike Hester (by one point over Al Lehman Jr. and Steve Quant) and Emory Heisler in Portsmouth. And Doug McMillan won Saturday’s Cruising race.

Huge thanks go to Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen and their crew of Race Committee and to Regatta Chairman Bruce Andress, ably assisted by Rob Gibbs (whose Desert Winds Sailboats sponsored and heavily donated to the Leukemia Cup auction) and loads of others, including the Tucson Sailing Club (breakfast), Tiller and Kites and Roxx Vodka (Friday night happy hour), Al and Sandy Lehman (for the what I think I heard was the 43rd time helping with the event) and a host of others. It takes village to put on this annual craziness.

Some of the action at the weekend’s big regatta. Photo: Joanne Aspinall

Saturday’s RC Boat Committee. Photo: Mike Ferring

PROs Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen. Photo: Mike Ferring

Artsy shot through the sail. Photo: Mike Ferring

Multis on the start Friday. Photo: Mike Ferring

And now the scores! Martin Lorch celebrates first place on Saturday’s races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Who gets the first piece of the 60th Birthday cake?! Photo: Mike Ferring

Rob Gibbs works the crowd for the Leukemia Cup auction. Event chairman Bruce Andress to his left. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sunday awards gathering at the end of the big weekend. Photo: Mike Ferring

Emory Heisler accepts the trophy from Bruce and Dave for winning the Portsmouth class. Photo: Mike Ferring

What’s it like to sail the Oracle Team USA cat?

Hard. Very hard. And complicated.

Speaking to February’s AYC monthly meeting, Oracle Team USA tactician Andrew Campbell said that despite the level of competition, sailing is sailing, with tactics similar to the ones he started learning as a Sabot sailor in San Diego almost three decades ago. The rest? Sailing the America’s Cup boat in Bermuda required a level of fitness unmatched in sailing, pumping maximum heart rate through a 20-minute race, dashing in coordinated choreography across the platform, and keeping the boat flying with controls less sophisticated than a foiling moth.

The complexity of the boat was amazing, for instance offering the ability to fine-tune the shape of the wing by adjusting camber differently from top to bottom depending on wind conditions. The team collected immense amounts of data that they spent hours analyzing in order to improve speed and handling.

In the end, of course, it wasn’t enough, but Andrew believes that Oracle Team USA might have been able to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand if they’d been able to compete in wind conditions more suited to their boat. More wind or less wind, he says, would have moved ETNZ out of its sweet spot and moved Oracle into its design target, enabling the US team to overcome the excellent sailing and design of the Kiwis.

How about the next America’s Cup in Auckland? The planned design will be a huge challenge, he says, but the boats will be fast and more maneuverable, with less energy spent pumping oil through the hydraulic system and more spent sailing. Watch for the personable and able Andrew Campbell to be part of it all.

 

Andrew Campbell at February’s AYC meeting. Photo: David Newland

 

Lake Pleasant Results Week 1

After a comfy-breezy Spring racing season start Saturday (1/27) that then turned into a becalmed Saturday, racing Sunday turned into a complete blowout. With wind hitting over 30mph, boats were scattered and multi-hulls capsized.

Mike Hester was seeing 15.5 kts under spinnaker on the run from Balance Rock, smiling a big smile until he tried to do a windward takedown. “Almost turtled the boat,” he says. “After we rounded the south mark and tacked, the boom broke at the gooseneck.”

Marc Danner was driving the Boston Whaler and went off to help. “We were assisting one of the Cats that turtled, but before that we had to give the Viper an anchor since they were drifting towards the rocks. They called us on the radio again as we were assisting the the Cat and told us the anchor wasn’t holding. We were dragging the Cat to No Name island so they could take down their sails.”

The Race Committee pontoon boat crew decided to pull up anchor and head off to help, ending the race. Marc says, “In that time we had three calls on the radio to assist other boats.”

Quite a race day!

Week 1 of racing at Lake Pleasant on the results page or click here.

Catalina 22s kick off the spring series on the mild Saturday racing. Photo: Lisa Schuff

Spring Racing Kicks Off

Cool temperature and a nice breeze greeted Lasers and Portsmouth sailors Sunday (1/21) at Tempe Town Lake, opening the spring racing season. Joel Hurley continued where he left off in the fall, winning two of three races, edging out Paul Miachika, who took the third. Mike Parker led Russ Hasty in Portsmouth.

Here are the race results (or check the results page).

It was always this close. Joel Hurley leading Paul Miachika. Photo; Mike Ferring

 

The Junior Performance Racing Class competed in their O’Pen Bics. Coach Rob Gibbs at right. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Intense! Russ Hasty in his Bucc. Photo: Mike Ferring

February: Oracle’s Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell

Five years ago, Olympic Laser sailor Andrew Campbell spoke to us at the Arizona Yacht Club. Now he’s been gracious enough to agree to a repeat visit, only this time he’s coming off an intense time as one of the tacticians for the Oracle Team USA America’s Cup campaign and one of the commentators for the television coverage of the event.

In 2016 he explained his America’s Cup role to Scuttlebutt, saying, “On the water I monitor multiple boats to make sure that we’re efficiently using our time. It doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that I’m also helping the mode choices for our boat, checking relatives against the other boat… and grinding our wingsheet, taking breaks while sprinting across the platform to the new helm to help steer through tacks and gybes.”

Andrew will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, February 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

After earning a spot as a four-time All-American at Georgetown University, Andrew went on to compete in the Laser class at the 2008 Olympics. (He met his wife, Jacqueline Schmitz, at Georgetown, where they were both members of the sailing team. They now have twin girls.)

The Campbells are a sailing family. Andrew’s father, Bill Campbell, is a three-time America’s Cup sailor who was part of Bill Koch’s team that won the Cup in 1992. Bill is also a former Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club.

USA Today quoted Bill Campbell saying his son’s mantra during his sailing career has been, “Keep showing up.” He tells a story of Andrew driving home from high school in La Jolla, Calif., and stopping at Mission Bay Yacht Club, where he kept a Laser.

“He’d stop, put the boat in the water, go out, tack a hundred times, jibe a hundred times, put the boat away and come home. He did that all the time,” Bill Campbell said.

“You keep showing up; you keep practicing. By showing up all the time, you’re doing more than the other guys. You’re getting better, and hopefully the results will show that. His commitment to the sport and his commitment to doing that was always impressive to me.”

Andrew Campbell (center) grinding in Bermuda.

Race Management Courses Available

AYC could use some more qualified race management people. Are you interested in learning more about how to run a regatta?

Here’s information on one coming up in Denver on April 7&8. The link for enrollment in the one-day race management course is here: http://www1.ussailing.org/enrollment/selectregistrant.aspx?courseid=13451835

They’ll also be doing a course for judges. That link is: http://www1.ussailing.org/enrollment/selectregistrant.aspx?courseid=13451836

The cost per class is $60 which includes course material, lite snacks and lunch. Upon completion of the course a link will be sent to take the test online.

Commodore Curtis Rist says they might be able to provide some lodging if folks need it.

Here’s his contact information: phone 303-779-2631 or mobile 719-648-1830. His email is rmsail.org 

Here’s a summary:
Sailing Assn of Intermountain Lakes
1570 South Logan Street
Denver, CO 80210
Contact: Curtis Rist
Instructors: Paul Kresge, Julie Rist

This course will run from 0900-1700.
Location: 8821 E. Amherst Avenue, Denver Colorado
Breakfast and lunch included.

You’ll also find these race management courses on the West Coast, if that’s more convenient:

One Day Race Management Seminar at Mission Bay Yacht Club
3/31/2018 – 3/31/2018
Mission Bay Yacht Club
1215 El Carmel Place
San Diego, CA 92109
Contact: Mark Townsend
Instructors: Stan Betts

$50 seminar fee includes course material, online testing, continental breakfast, fruit, iced tea, soft drinks and water all day. The Club snack bar will be available for lunch. Seminar will run from 0800 – 1700 and be held at the Mission Bay Yacht Club. Online registration closes on Monday, March 26th @ 2355 (Eastern).

One Day Race Management Seminar at King Harbor Yacht Club
3/31/2018 – 3/31/2018
King Harbor Yacht Club
280 Yacht Club Way
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Contact: Dorian Harris
Instructors: Bill Stump

This seminar will run from 0800-1700. A continental breakfast with a coffee and water station will be available. The galley will be open for lunch. The cost of the seminar is $40.

One Day Race Management Seminar at Sailing Assn of Intermountain Lakes
4/07/2018 – 4/07/2018 Add to your calendar

Winter at Lake Pleasant

January solitude, sailing in the desert… Mid 70’s. Photo: Charles Landis

View from the cockpit of Red Stripe, with Carl Muehlenbeck. Fun sailing in a steady 10-15.