Brooke Miller Wins the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup

By Scott Richards

Brooke Miller won the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup. Jeff Coulter crew. Photo: Scott Richards

On a breathtakingly beautiful fall day at Lake Pleasant, a group of eight highly competitive women would have made our AYC founder proud. The Ruth Beals Cup is a regatta that mandates a woman at the helm of every boat and is considered by most as the Woman’s Club Championship. The skies were clear, and the wind gods were smiling, giving the ladies a perfect sailing breeze out of the north at 7 to 10 knots before the start. We had boats of all types and sizes registered ranging from the “sporty” J/70 and Melges 24 to the more “sophisticated” Impulse 26, Santana 20, Olson 25, Catalina 25, Merit 25, and a B-25.

The warning gun went off precisely at 9:30am as the women started into their pre-start routines and strategizing. As the time ran down, we could see a very competitive start emerging. During the last 10 seconds before the start we heard several “very direct conversations” (we don’t yell on a sailboat) between various boats to try to gain an advantage. Although, if I wasn’t mistaken, those were all male voices I heard, while I noticed that the women remained very calm at the helm of their boats. Anyway, the J/70, with Maryellen Ferring at the helm, and the Melges 24, with Stacy Loula steering took the early lead at the start.

Stacey Loula pilots the Melges 24 (foreground) and Maryellen Ferring the J/70 in very light wind. Photo: Greg Woodcock

The speed difference between all the boats became very apparent about halfway up the first leg as the ladies had their sights on Horse Island. The wind had diminished slightly to 5-6 knots as the Melges 24 and J/70 sprinted away from the fleet. But wait, this race has only begun, and everyone knew the real racing would begin while rounding the two northern islands.

As expected, the wind lightened considerably on the north side of the islands and the Impulse 26, with Elaine Charteris on the tiller, surged into the lead after navigating a most efficient path around Horse Island. This left the sporty boats wondering what happen as they had a good view of Elaine’s transom. While the J/70 and Melges 24 were struggling a bit navigating the treacherous island winds, the Santana 20, with Brooke Miller driving, slowly started to sneak up behind the leaders. As exciting as it was, the Melges 24 team regained their composure and with the help of a nice shaft of wind made the turn south in the lead.

“Luminosity that encircled the boat,” writes Scott Richards. Photo: Skip Kempff

As you can imagine, the rescue boat was primed and positioned to catch the anticipated great pictures of all the boats popping their chutes while making the turn south to No Name (Bobcat) Island. You could feel the anticipation in the air, and we could tell that the J/70 team was itching to get their asymmetric flying after having some challenges on the east-west leg. And pop it did – I think I heard several oohs and ahhs as the J/70 introduced a bright turquoise front sail that seemed to generate a luminosity that encircled the boat as it climbed the mast and filled with air. Cameras were flashing from all angles as Maryellen proudly made her way through the left-hand turn.

Moments after that, the Melges 24 rounded the island and was in clear water as she jibed and her asymmetric went immediately into a prolonged hourglass. The turquoise sail was flying strong as the J/70 pushed her bow into the lead for the first time. Unfortunately, the J/70 got a little too close to the island and fell into a huge hole, giving the Melges, Impulse, and Santana some time to regroup. A couple more boats rounded the islands, not too far behind, which included the Olson 25, skippered by Lulu Baydoun, and the Catalina 25, with Pam Neff on the helm.

The downwind leg consisted of the “haves” and “have nots.” The boats that took the eastern-center course were the haves and the western shore boats were the have-nots. The J/70 and the Santana 20 took the eastern option while the Impulse 26 and the Melges 24 decided to go west. East was right and west was wrong. The J/70 made a brilliant move eastwardly and rolled the Melges 24 that was literally appearing to be standing still along the western shoreline. Commentary after the race, with the eventual winner, suggested that the Santana 20 chose the eastern route after Brooke recalled a previous conversation with Maryellen that said, “when the wind diminishes go east my lady.” That turned out to be most valuable information.

The boats finally made it to the yellow mark in front of Bobcat Island with the J/70 with a big lead, followed by the Melges 24, Santana 20 and the Impulse 26. At this point the south breeze was starting to fill in, but it was still fighting with the morning northerly. The J/70 did well coming up to the finish until she was about 300 yards away and the wind died. This allowed the three boats coming up from the south mark to make some time gains as the prevailing south breeze started to take hold.

All and all it was a fantastic day on the lake and we were all impressed and proud of the all the fine women skippers. All the boats finished, and it seemed like everyone had a great day. I would like to give a special shout out to the Merit 25, with Ellie Carrol on the tiller with her the kids as crew and to the B-25, with Elizabeth Allard at the helm. They really made the race committee’s day when they cheered loudly as they crossed the finish line to close out the regatta.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Ruth Beals Cup winner, Cindy Pillote, could not attend this year due to an injury so we were guaranteed a new champion. A big congratulations to the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup winner, Brooke Miller with crew Jeff Coulter (driving my boat… Woohoo!). Maryellen Ferring came in second for the second year in a row and sailed a great race. Rounding out the top three was Elaine Charteris in third place.

Editor’s Note: Big thanks to the race committee of Scott Richards, Skip Kempff and Greg Woodcock.

 

Maryellen Ferring rounds the Bobcat mark in no wind in the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup. Photo: Greg Woodcock

Elaine Charteris aboard Shazam with Marshall Williamson. Photo: Scott Richards

Elizabeth Allard at the helm of the B-25, sparkling on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Skip Kempff

Stacey Loula and the Melges 24 team at the start. Photo: Skip Kempff

The Amazing Jerome Rand

Jerome Rand heels to port, remembering being slapped around by rough seas. Photo: Mike Ferring

Jerome Rand got a standing ovation when he finished speaking at the AYC October monthly meeting and I don’t recall that ever happening before. But then, it was quite the story he told.

The tale really needs to begin with his 2012 trek along the Appalachian Trail, beginning to end, which he described as being even more intense than sailing around the world—constantly having to look down and concentrate for 10-12 hours a day to avoid stumbling.

After that adventure, Jerome immediately began planning for the next one, that trip around the world.

He went back to work at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands and began scheming and saving. He decided to buy a Westsail 32 full-keel boat, choosing it for its history of strength and reliability. He would sail single-handed and nonstop in this 1974 boat. He had no sponsors or backers, just his own savings and his amazing drive to explore his limits.

Jerome Rand speaks to the October monthly meeting. Photo: Mike Ferring

The trip took 271 days, punctuated by the terror of being knocked down, suffering hours with bare pole in a cyclone, hanging on through pitching seas in the Southern Ocean, shivering uncontrollably during weeks of freezing cold, and running out of food after making it around Cape Horn. There was the proof: pictures of a skinny sailor, down from 190 pounds to maybe 140. Fortunately, his father negotiated a food drop at the Falkland Islands that saw him through to the Caribbean.

It was his biggest mistake, he says, confusing the term “serving” on the freeze-dry package for “meal,” which it definitely wasn’t. It left him dreaming of thick, juicy hamburgers. In fact, real food and the human voice were the things he missed most about being a civilian on hard ground.

There were offsets for the risk and the suffering. Jerome showed a video of a blazing sunset panorama framed by a rich rainbow. He lay on the bow pulpit of the boat for hours watching dolphin escorts. At the meeting, he played video of huge whales swimming alongside and, yes, under his little boat, feeling as if they could toss the boat aside with the flick of a tail.

Throughout the trip, Jerome was able to shoot 170 character digital updates to his family that his mother then posted to Facebook. (They were the PG version of his trip since he didn’t want to scare Mom.) Now he’s able to bring the story to the rest of us in talks, a feature story in Sail magazine, and a book he’s hoping to publish. Judging by the reaction at AYC, this next journey should be a rewarding one.

Excellent turnout for solo circumnavigator Jerome Rand. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Jerome Rand entertains the AYC bunch with stories and pictures of his trip around the world. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Jerome met some AYCers when he was Watersports Director at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI. From left: Chuck Sears, Joe Motil, Maryellen Ferring, Bonnie Motil, Chris Smith, Bob Whyte, Mike Ferring and Jerome. Photo: Martin Lorch

 

LP Fall Week Two Proves Flukey

And how unusual is that?

On Saturday we gave some serious thought to giving up when the wind failed to show until well into the afternoon, but when it arrived we enjoyed some good racing, bouncing west-east on windward-leeward courses.

Sunday arrived with with strong north wind and let us get enough races in before going slack… and heading home.

Mike Hester on his Viper picked up where he left off in the spring, by leading the Sport Boats despite some stiff competition from Court Roberts and the Melges 24 team. Mike tested his new fiberglass repair Saturday by slamming into Laurent Dion’s Viper, but apparently avoided a return to the shop.

Yes, Joel Hurley was a clear first in Santana 20 and Rollin’ in the Deep kept rolling in Spin while Marshall Williamson in Shazam has shown huge improvement from past seasons (maybe it’s that new sail). You’ll find all the results here.

Photo above of spins headed to the start line was taken by Joel Hurley.

 

Rockin’ Opening Day

It started with a bang and kept going from there.

Joe and Bonnie Motil handled the breakfast. Photo: Deb Heisler

Okay, Opening Day 2019’s opening cannon shot was actually just after Joe and Bonnie Motil’s beautiful breakfast spread, just after Fleet Captain Scott Richards’ welcoming and just before everyone headed out for a magnificent day on the water.

When the racing concluded, the show began. Rear Commodore Deb Heisler was the event organizer and a crowd of volunteers stepped in to help her present dinner, awards, and music to about 60+ sailors.

Mike Ferring’s Saturday and Sunday racing photos and some dinner photos below, but first, let’s offer some credit to the volunteers from Deb’s playbook.

It was Steve Dolter and his B Sides pal Greg playing the Beatle’s tunes. Bob Naylor handled the club trailer, including inventory and cleaning. Joe and Bonnie did breakfast. Maryellen Ferring handled dinner. Martin Lorch was on grill. Ralph Vatalaro mixed the Dark & Stormies. And there were lots of others who pitched in, including Lori Reger, Rob and Colin Gibbs, Emory Heisler, Bob Nesbit, Mark Trainor (who constructed the water filtration system), Scott Richards, Cindy Pillote, Brian Hackman, and more.

Martin Lorch and Joel Hurley picked up where they left off last season: match racing for the lead. Here Joel luffs Martin from leeward. Photo: Mike Ferring

Race Committee both days included David Newland and James Dishong on Whaler, Tony and Neil Chapman, Jim Colceri, Elizabeth Allard, Mike and Maryellen Ferring, Court Roberts, and Mark Trainor on the RC boat.

Deb is trying to turn us all green and drove an effort for recycling and composting. The filtration system system does an amazing job of taking tap water from the hose and turning it into good-tasting stuff that avoids mounds of plastic bottle waste.

Race results are available here.

Ruth Beals Race October 12 at Lake Pleasant

Ruth Beals Insho, AYC Founder (picture 2005 by Mike Ferring)The all-woman Ruth Beals Cup Regatta will return to Lake Pleasant on Saturday, October 12, with the starting gun at 9:30 am. It’s for women at the helm in run-what-you-brung boats rated by PHRF handicap.

Race documents and registration available here.

The race is named for the founder of AYC, Ruth Beals, and offers a chance for the women of the club to compete against other women. Men are allowed to crew, but not to get too close to the tiller.

There will be a single long-distance race, following the familiar course from a start/finish in the south portion of the lake, around Horse and Balance Rock and a mark north of No-Name island (also called Bobcat), back to a finish line in mid-lake. It’s more or less the same course we’ve used for the Governor’s Cup and the Tall Cactus Regatta.

Cindy Pillote is the defending champion, teaming up with Bob Worrall in his C22 to win in light air one year ago. Maryellen Ferring finished second in her J/70.

Gentle Breeze for TTL Week Two

Jeff Bryant rounding a mark in his Sunfish. Photo: Mike Ferring

That’s the gentle way to describe the generally breeze-less race day (9/15). It didn’t prevent a dozen Lasers, a few Sunfish, Clay Poulson (his own fleet of one Portsmouth) and the Juniors from testing whether they could still move. They did it enough to lay down a few races.

Results? Here they are and here’s that story.

When Dave Christensen retired from race scoring in the spring, Mark Howell bravely volunteered to score both lakes until the club could come up with another answer. Fleet Captain Scott Richards recruited Joel Hurley to score, evaluated various computer scoring programs, and has settled on Sailwave to replace our existing software (which is quite complicated).

The goal is to post results quickly after race days, ideally the same day as the races. Here is the results page.

See, it’s important to stay low in light air to avoid any aerodynamic drag. Photo: Mike Ferring

Joel Hurley winds up for a roll tack at the mark. Photo: Mike Ferring

Stacey and Dave Haggart coaching the juniors. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lori Aoki’s Sunfish in the sparkles of a Sunday afternoon. Photo: Mike Ferring

Around the World Solo Nonstop: October Meeting

Bearded Jerome Rand after 271 days at sea.

Imagine sailing 271 days at sea. Around the world. By yourself and without stopping. On a 32-foot boat built in 1975. Frightening idea? Foolish? Probably. But that’s what Jerome Rand did and he lived to tell us about it.

Jerome is our speaker at the next AYC monthly meeting, beginning at 7p on Tuesday, October 8, at Dave & Buster’s at Tempe Marketplace (map). It’s near Lucille’s Smokehouse. Arrive early for dinner (and avoid ordering during the meeting). Members and guests are welcome.

Since returning home safely, Jerome has been presenting the story of his incredible journey. In the 271 days at sea, supplies and food fell short, equipment broke down, and the harsh environment took its toll. Being farther from land than rescue can reach, it was up to him to deal with all the problems as they came, all while living in isolation aboard the tiny vessel. It’s a story of perseverance and just trying to hold mind, body and boat together from beginning to end.

Jerome kept photos and video of his trip and will bring those to show us, along with charts and diagrams of the journey. He started in Gloucester, Massachusetts, headed across the North Atlantic almost to the Azores, then turned south. Passing by the Cape Verde Islands on the way to the Equator, the route passed the North East Trade winds and then plunged into the Doldrums. From there it was south on a heading for Cape Town, South Africa, to pass into the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean gales and south of Australia, New Zealand, and finally Cape Horn. Then, once again he crossed the South Atlantic and North Atlantic on the way home to Gloucester.

Mike and Maryellen Ferring got to know Jerome as the charismatic, fun director of watersports at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands. They followed Jerome’s trip on Facebook (yes, even in ocean isolation there’s Facebook) and are delighted to have him speak at the October AYC gathering.

The 32-foot Westsail that Jerome sailed nonstop around the world. Built in 1975, it’s the only Westsail 32 to complete a nonstop circumnavigation.

Clay Poulson at Fireball Worlds

Clay Poulson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Fireball sailor Clay Poulson travels the world for his import business and manages to race Fireballs all over the world as well. This warm August he’s racing at the North American and World Championships at Pointe Claire Yacht Club of Montreal.

Clay finished 29th out of 40 entries in the North American Championship and 33rd (and first from the U.S.) out of 42 entries in the World Championship.

Results here.

Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff of the Royal Thames Yacht Club won first place.

Rounding on the trap at the Fireball Worlds in Montreal.

A mass start for the 2019 Fireball Worlds in Montreal.

Opening Day Celebration Sept 21

By Deb Heisler

I’ve been briefed that on past Opening Days we’ve had dinner and a movie with popcorn, a chili competition, tacos and a Mariachi band, USCG boat inspections, and even a burn the summer flip-flops ceremony.

Well, this year, pull out and don your favorite, decorative, or plain old silly sailing socks and cover those summer, moisture-deprived dogs. Just for fun, fashion, or flamboyancy. And because I know you probably have a pair.

Opening Day cannon fire. Well, maybe not THIS cannon.

Arizona Yacht Club will hold our Opening Day Celebration on Saturday, September 21, at the Lake Pleasant Spinnaker Point Ramada. We’re dusting off the cannon and starting our opening day with a BANG!

When it was suggested we use the cannon, I had visions of large artillery mounted on wheels–so if for no other reason, I’m going in order to see and hear this mini military equivalent. (Note: Lake Pleasant security has been notified so no one panics when the blast goes off.)

The first race horn will sound at 12:30 p.m. and after racing we’ll have some food, drink (BYOB), fun, and live music. The music will be provided by The B-Sides, a two-man band of acoustic and electric guitars. Band leader and C22 sailor Steve Dolter says The B-Sides plays a selection of about 40-songs and specialize in the “B-side” of Beatles albums.

Here’s the day’s lineup:

9:30       Coffee, juice and a variety of homemade breakfast burritos from Big Joe and Bonnie
10:30     Fire the cannon – Start pistol? Nah, we have a cannon. Go big or go home!
12:30     First warning – Don’t be late.
12:35     First race starts with a cannon BOOM.
5:00     Dinner, BYOB drink, and live music. Enjoy a delicious meal and relive the day’s racing or talk about what you did over summer break. It’s all good when you’re with friends.
6:00       Prizes – You get a chance to go home with something unexpected and useful.

Come join us to kick off and celebrate another great season of AYC racing. This is for the entire club, whether you race at Lake Pleasant, Tempe Town Lake or not at all.

VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED

Below are some areas where we need YOUR HELP. If you’re not racing in this event, please consider giving some time to make it a fun day for everyone. Call or text me at 602.214.2053 or email Rear.commodore@arizonayachtclub.org

  • Dinner: Maryellen Ferring, our preeminent party planner, is leading dinner plans and needs a few helping hands.
  • Show up/help with set up (9:00)
  • Set up food table: Breakfast and Dinner
  • Wo/Man the Grill (Martin Lorch- AKA Grill Master needs a helper)
  • Monitor trash & recycling containers (Yes, we’ll recycle at this event)
  • Clean up: including taking down tables/chairs and help reloading the trailer

AYC Sailors at Viper Worlds

Action at the Viper Worlds off Long Beach. Photo: Sharon Green

AYC sailors were two of the 41 entries in the Viper 640 World and North American Championships this last week (8/20-24) at Los Alamitos Yacht Club in Long Beach. Mike Hester finished 32nd and Tony Chapman 34th and Mike is looking for a recommendation for a good fiberglass repair place, saying his boat was broadsided during the start to the last race.

Tony’s boat was crewed by Edward “Buttons” Padin and former AYCer Lucinn Sahali, who’s now living in the Monterey area. Mike’s boat was crewed by John Mayall and Ruta Bandziulis.

The Viper website reported, “Marcus Eagan, Andrew Eagan, and Jackson Benvenutti (Mandeville, LA) [won] both the Goslings 2019 Viper 640 World Championship and the 2019 Viper 640 North Americans. Hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA), the four-day Championship consisted of 13 races in atypical Long Beach conditions – light, 8-10 knots except for the final race on Day 2 and the last two on the final day when winds were mid to high teens. It was a regatta where sailors were faced with a wide range of conditions and those atop the podium had to be capable of dealing with them all.”

Full results here.

Ace sailing photographer Sharon Green (ultimatesailing.com) shot some of the action and collected random shots of some of the sailors, including Mr. Chapman.

Tony Chapman, photographed at the Viper Worlds in Long Beach. Photo: Sharon Green

Buffing Boats for Fall Action

Part of the executive team overseeing the fall boat preparation at Tempe Town Lake. (l to r) Grant Younger, Russ Hasty, Marc Danner and Mike Bernard. Photo: Mike Ferring

A large group of volunteers turned out at Tempe Town Lake Saturday, August 24, to prepare the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) boats for fall classes and the AYC Adopt-a-Boat program.

By the time the morning work party finished, the boats were washed and prepped for action. New covers went on several of the Catalina 14.2s. New sails are ready for the O’Pen Bics. New parts are in place for the Lasers. The safety boats have new Bimini covers.

Adopt-a-Boats help boost the entry list for both 14.2 and Laser, making them two of the largest fleets in club racing. It’s a great entry point for people new to the game to try racing without having to own a boat.

The ASF Adult Learn to Sail class begins Saturday, September 7 and Opening Day for Tempe Town Lake racing and race committee training is the following day, Sunday, September 8. The adult class, is now full.

Myles Danner washed the cockpit of most of the Catalina 14.2s. Photo: Mike Ferring

Both of the ASF safety boats got replacement Bimini tops. Photo: Emory Heisler

David Newland and Grant Younger sort through Laser parts to assemble a complete boat. Background: Scott Sharples and Mike Bernard. Photo: Mike Ferring

Logan Frenchak is getting involved in sailing and volunteered to help prepare boats. Photo: Mike Ferring

Crew Party: September 7

When: Saturday, September 7, from 4 to 7 pm.
Where: Royal Gardens Condominium Pool & Clubhouse, 1917 E. Medlock Drive, Phoenix (plenty of parking available along the street). See map

The location.

Fall racing starts Sunday, September 8, so if you’re a skipper in need of crew or are interested in becoming crew, this event is for you. As always, everyone is welcome to come just shoot the breeze, take a dip in the pool, grab a bite, have a drink, and talk sailing.

  • AYC will serve hot dogs, brats and burgers
  • Bring a dish to share, side dish, dessert, etc.
  • BYOB – We’ll have cups or you can bring your own reusable container. No glass outside the clubhouse.
  • BYOC – There are a dozen + chairs outside around the pool, but if you want bring your favorite lawn or camping chair, please do.

Opportunities for involvement:

  • Show up early/help with set up
  • Participate: bring a dish or dessert
  • Help clean up

Please connect with Deb Heisler to coordinate what to bring and give her a loose RSVP (for food planning) at 602.214.2053 (call or text) or by email at Rear.commodore@arizonayachtclub.org

Interested in learning to race? Sign up for the Introduction to Sailboat Racing Class. This class is offered only once a year so get your spot secured! The next FREE class will be Thursday evening, September 19, 2019 from 6:30-9pm.

 

September Meeting: North Sails One Design

 

Eric Doyle of North Sails

The AYC September monthly meeting will feature North Sails One Design sailor Eric Doyle, one of the top Star boat sailors in the world and an America’s Cup veteran. The meeting is at 7p on Tuesday, September 10, at Dave & Buster’s at Tempe Marketplace (map). It’s near Lucille’s Smokehouse. Arrive early for dinner.

Eric started sailing as a kid on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, “Because it was so bloody hot you kind of had to be on the water in order to survive.” During college in Mobile, Alabama, he sailed Stars for the first time with the local fleet. “When I got out of college and was done racing small boats, I thought that the Star was just the coolest thing ever and started racing them.”

That led to an Olympic campaign ahead of the 1992 Games, and that in turn led to an important phone call.

“Vince Brun called me and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come work for North Sails in San Diego, there’s a great Star fleet out here. I think it’ll help your career.’ So I packed up, pulled my Star boat out here, and started working for him.”

In 1999, Eric won the Star World Championship and his first Gold Star. “129 boat fleet, that was a highlight for sure.” More recently, he and crew Payson Infelise won the 2018 North Americans. “We’re feeling pretty strong right now. So, hopefully we can continue rolling along.”

Since first starting at North in 1992, Eric has done some big boat sailing as well, including an America’s Cup campaign with Dennis Conner and two with Oracle. But in 2017 the opportunity came to return to the Star—and to San Diego. Now, as Class Leader for North Sails, he’s brought his Cup experience back to help improve one design sails. “It’s taken me two years to get the [Star] sails where they are now. We have made some nice improvements.”

Eric Doyle of North Sails competing in a Star.

AYC Sailors Splash at Mission Bay

In August, four AYC sailors packed their Lasers off to Mission Bay Yacht Club for one-design races in the Pacific. David Newland describes what happened.

By David Newland

David Newland on the big water of the Pacific. Photo: Lori Lorenz

When AYC hosted the Laser District race in March, five members from San Diego’s Mission Bay Yacht Club came to join the fun… and they’re not even in our District!

We talked about supporting each other’s future races, and I take those conversations seriously as traveling to different venues is a great opportunity to race, learn and meet new people in our sport.

I got with Mark Young, MBYC’s Laser Fleet Captain, soon after our event to review MBYC’s calendar. MBYC OD in August. Yup! No brainer. Ocean course, too. That was about the length of our conversation, so I shot out an interest-sparking email to the AYC Laser Fleet.

Rob Gibbs, Paul Miachika, Paul Wojtczak and I made the trek west, with only Paul Miachika having solid ocean experience (just this summer he attended the Masters US Nationals at Monterey Peninsula YC and the Masters PCC’s at Cascade Locks, Oregon).

Rob handled logistics by getting a triple-Laser trailer rigged and fueled up the RV. He, Paul Wojtczak and I made camp at Campland on the Bay in Mission Beach. Campland is a very clean and well managed facility, and even I held to their strict nighttime no-noise rules.

MBYC, founded in 1927, has prime real estate right on Mission Bay, including a nice stretch of beach and grass that made for easy launching for some 15 Lasers and a handful of multihulls. The Laser Fleet hosted a BBQ Friday night. And Saturday night we cleaned up for a full-spread Luau with a fabulous buffet, a live band and hula dancers! Both nights took place right on their private beach.

MBYC managed our racing well, knowing that some Laser racers are actually 2020 Olympic hopefuls. Rob was able to lock a third-place finish on race three, which put a nice smile on his face! Paul Miachika had some strong finishes as well but got held up by kelp on race seven.

Paul Wojtczak and I kept at it, trying to gain some ocean racing insight with each race. Or, maybe we were distracted by the dolphin and seals that liked messing around our course. We learned much about ocean racing but know we’re just scratching the surface.

Thank you, MBYC, for being gracious hosts! Did I mention this race was free? Thanks for that, too! What a solid and grounded group of sailors with a fantastic, good vibe YC! We’ll be back.

A cluster of Lasers at the Mission Bay One Design races. Photo: Lori Lorenz

Registration Open for Fall Racing

Click on the link to the AYC Racing Page for all the information, race documents and the registration button for the 2019 fall racing action.

Racing begins at Tempe Town Lake on Sunday, September 8, and at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, September 21. Plug your ears for the opening gun at Lake Pleasant: we’re firing the club cannon this year to kick off the new season and will follow it up with an Opening Day celebration later in the day.

Looking for crew or wanting to crew? Commodore Rob Gibbs is revising the crew list system this year, so watch for his update. In the meantime, ask around and mark your calendar for a crew party on Saturday afternoon and evening, September 7.

If you’d like to know more about this game we play, consider signing up for the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class. It will be Thursday evening, September 19, from 6:30-9 at the Eisendrath House. Here’s much more about it. By the way, it’s free.

Lori Reger reflecting on sailing a Sunfish on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Bob Naylor has recruited enough Sunfish folks to create at TTL fleet for the fall. If you have a Sunfish under cover, knock the cobwebs off and bring it out to tangle with the other fish. Here’s background on the fleet.

The Ruth Beals Cup race for women at the helm has been moved to Saturday, October 12. Here’s more on that event.

All of the Arizona Sailing Foundation sailing classes are open for registration now, but the adult class is full. Click on the “education” link.

How to Get More Women Sailing

The poster for the inspirational movie “Maiden”

Have you seen the movie Maiden? It’s currently showing at the Harken’s theater at Fashion Square and it’s a truly inspirational and entertaining documentary tracing the 1989-1990 all-women’s campaign in the Whitbread Around-the-World race.

A boatload of women challenged the men in this grueling event, not only finishing the race, but coming in second in their division.

How do we get more girls and women into sailing? Here are two efforts to do that.

The first is simple. Fill out a survey, whether you’re a man or woman. Here’s the link. The survey is being conducted by the World Sailing Trust and it aims to determine how both men and women are introduced to the sport.

As they put it, “Its aim is to allow us to understand more about the realities of women and girls in sailing: what attracts them, what puts them off, why they drop out, the perceived and real barriers to participation that they might face and how this varies across countries, ages, classes and competition and different elements of the sport – racing vs recreational vs officials and, how we can increase women and girls’ participation.”

The second is Debbie Huntsman’s National Women’s Sailing Association, which joining with Tumble Weed Sailing to put on a WOWZR regatta November 1-3 (the weekend after AYC’s Ruth Beals Cup Regatta). Their event includes seminars and coaching culminating in racing.

More Bright AYC History: Arizona Highways 1962

Lido 14s racing in 1962. Click to see a bigger view.

Arizona Highways magazine in the 1960s was at the height of its fame: a lavish, glossy publication that was the state’s answer to Life magazine, with splendid color photographs shot with large format film cameras. In September of 1962, Arizona Highways chose to feature the nascent Arizona Yacht Club and Arizona sailing on the cover and in an extensive inside article.

Lori Reger found a copy of the magazine among our dusty treasures and then tracked down a digital copy in the Arizona Highways archives. Here it is as a slimmed-down PDF with the sailing section extracted.

Besides the high-production photographs, there are a few hundred words of description by writer Bill Dawn, most of them steam heated. If the copy had been acting, we’d say it was chewing the scenery. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Regattas are held every other week from September to May and the rock bound Arizonan dumps the desert sand from his boots and trades them for the crepe soled shoes of the sailor. The heat of the desert is exchanged for the heat of competition, the quiet air of the city for the cooling breeze that drifts above the water. The week’s tensions of profession or trade are quickly absorbed, becoming lost in the relaxed atmosphere and easy laughter of the week-end sailors.”

There’s also some actual description of Arizona sailing, when AYC racing was being done mostly in Lido 14s at Canyon Lake and sometimes at Saguaro and Roosevelt. Lake Pleasant then was much smaller and hard to reach.

They wrote, “Much is being done to improve Lake Pleasant, on the Agua Fria River. Heretofore the trip was a rugged one, the road very bad, the ‘natural launching ramp’ bumpy and steep, and the level of the lake uncertain. The brave one who made the trip, towing his sailboat through the heat and dust over the rough road could be certain of a wonderful sail on a beautiful, uncrowded waterway, surrounded here, not by steep walls, but by gentle, rolling hills and the same strange spectacle of desert landscape surrounding a body of water.”

There’s also a description of a Phoenix sailor who did very well in what they called the “Trans-Pac.”

“Owned and skippered by A. B. “Bob” Robbs, Jr., Phoenix, Arizona businessman, ‘Nam Sang’ completed the grueling 2,225 mile run from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 10 days, 16 hours, 26 minutes and 25 seconds. She finished at night amid the glare of searchlights playing back and forth across the Basin. The victory, bringing Robbs and his exhausted but exhilarated crew the Class A and overall fleet handicap championships, came over a fleet of 41 entrants.”

Arizona sailing making history 57 years ago.

“Nam Sang” in the Transpac from Arizona Highways magazine.

Historic Club Championship Photos

The 1995 Club Championship contest in Santana 20s. Photo: Bob Worrall

Bob Worrall was sorting through what he says were some 30,000 pictures he’s accumulated on his computer when he stumbled on some with some serious AYC history: shots from 1995 and 1997 of AYC Club Championship racing.

The 1995 Championship was run in Santana 20s and was won by Al Lehman Jr. with Willie Nowak as crew.

The 1997 Championship was run with Catalina 15s and was won by, yup, Al Lehman Jr., but this time with Darrell Carapetyan as crew.

Here’s a selection of Bob’s shots that I’ve tweaked a little in Photoshop:

August Meeting: Ocean Cleanup

By Debbie Heisler

4Ocean, cleaning the stuff that’s clogging the world’s oceans.

How will we clean up the mess that’s destroying our oceans? At August’s monthly meeting, Emilie Johnsen of 4ocean will tell us how their organization is attacking this massive problem.

It reminds me of that phrase, “In for a penny, in for a pound.” Or “If you’re going to take a risk at all, you might as well make it a big risk.”

It seems to me that the founders of this ocean cleanup company made a decision to take a big risk in an effort to start cleaning up the ocean one pound at a time. 4ocean employs people to remove trash from the ocean and coastlines while inspiring and educating others to work for cleaner oceans.

Emilie’s August speaking assignment: “Marine debris as a global issue, why it’s important to everyone, and what we can do to help every day.”

She says, “Plastic doesn’t only impact the ocean and marine life but people as well; plastic pollution has become both an environmental and socioeconomic issue that we can change for the better.”

Emilie’s the Education Supervisor at 4ocean and oversees all education initiatives and programs. She received her Master’s in Marine Biology at Nova Southeastern University, and uses her knowledge of marine ecosystems, plastic pollution, and recycling to help the company represent as the global leader in marine debris solutions.

She’s clearly not afraid of the big risk, telling us, “From reducing our single-use plastic to learning how to properly recycle, we can help guide you in the right direction! The ocean is the resource of all life on Earth. In order to protect ourselves, we must first protect the ocean.”

The meeting is Tuesday, August 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are now held at R.T. O’Sullivans at the corner of Hayden and Thomas. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Plan for the Summer Campout

The AYC Summer Campout will be August 2-4 this year, again at Dairy Springs campground, but this year as a joint venture with the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club.

You can just show up and grab a spot, but organizers Matt and Andi Baker can also reserve a spot for you. Email Andi to let them know you’re coming. And you can also reserve a spot on the parks website.

Think soft breezes, mesquite smoke from the campfire and lazy afternoons in hammocks. AYC Junior campers can participate in chopping wood, starting fires with flint and steel, and making cowboy coffee. For those with refined coffee taste we will be hosting the National Championship Latte in a Dutch Oven Barista Competition. Brush up on your coffee making skills, and bring your best Williams-Sonoma along.

We hope the Museum Fire will be well contained and we can expect blue sky. The Newman fire closure area just north of our Campground will NOT affect any planned activities.

Get in touch by contacting Andi Baker or commenting on the event page on Facebook or by calling 505.550.1218.

Here’s lots of information about this traditional summer getaway.

Read about the event and see pictures from two years ago at Dairy Springs.

Steve Nahkala tends the fire at an AYC summer campout. Photo: Mike Ferring