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Sailing Made to Scale

Here’s a problem we don’t often have on full-size boats. Photo: Mike Ferring

Is a Mallard on starboard an obstruction? Good thing the ducks on Estrella South Lake know how to paddle out of the way of fast-closing serious racers, close-hauled and chasing toward the windward mark.

The wind was light on this Saturday morning when a dozen SeaWind radio-controlled boats lined up for the start at a regatta presented by the West Valley R/C Mariners. In spite of the light stuff, the boats moved quite well on a w/l course roughly 40 yards long.

Multi-time AYC Club Champion Al Lehman Jr. is a recent convert to RC racing. Surprise: he’s good at it. Photo: Mike Ferring

On the shore, the dozen sailors and a couple race officers shuffled to keep pace with the boats and expertly trim sails and steer from a distance—a job made especially difficult with shifting wisps of breeze. No one spoke (or shouted at his crew). It felt like a tense championship tennis match.

Four of those sailors were AYC members: Al Lehman and Al Junior, Dave Nowak, and Dean Johnson (who recently joined AYC and races an Andrews Governor’s Cup 21 in PHRF Spin).

Dean says he’s been RC racing a decade or more and he’s an RC winner. Al Jr told us he picked up the hobby about 1½ years ago and loves it. As you probably know, Al is a champion sailor in full-size boats and has adapted quickly to RC. He said he finished third in the national championships in Sacramento last year.

Al and Al Jr are attracted to how easy it is to go sailing with RC: it’s cheap, takes no time to rig, and you can sail in the nearest pond. “Under $100 for sails,” Al Jr smiles. Try that with your big boat.

They explain that the one-meter SeaWind is just one of a number of RC boats being raced and point to the DragonFlite 95 as an easy-entry, up-and-coming class. Here’s more.

At the end of the day, Al Jr had won the regatta with Dean Johnson in second.

Jed Korthals reported to the racers that, “In race ten the windward mark mysteriously moved closer to the offset mark. It turns out that a fairly large turtle, with its foot caught on a fish hook and line, had entangled the windward mark. We were able to reel it in, free the turtle from its trapped leg, and reset the mark. Everyone, especially the turtle, seemed happy.”

Photos by Mike Ferring:

Help ASF with Each Amazon Purchase

Do you shop at Amazon? The huge online merchant will give .5% (one-half percent) of the money from each of your purchases to our Arizona Sailing Foundation. As of mid-June 2019, the “Amazon Smile” program has donated $333 to ASF.

Your purchases cost the same. Amazon Prime still applies, if you’ve bought that service. ASF just gets a cut of all your dollars.

It’s simple. Instead of buying from amazon.com, you buy from smile.amazon.com. Sign up to have your purchases credited to ASF. That’s it. Takes less than a minute.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead. Route .5% of your money to ASF.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead in order to route .5% of your money to ASF.

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday night organizer George Sheller. Photo: Mike FerringWhat are you doing Wednesday night? How about coming out for some highly casual racing at Tempe Town Lake?

We start racing at 5:30 and go until sundown. We do a one minute start sequence. One turn penalty. Short w/l courses.

This started as a Laser thing, but others started coming out, which was great. We all start together.

This is not an official AYC event, so you’re on your own in terms of a boat, liability and fun. We start promptly at 5:30 pm and if you miss one or two races it’s no big deal since we don’t keep scores. This is good practice, with bragging rights and then (for those who want to) off to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Have questions?  Email me.

See you out there,
George Sheller

June Meeting: Bring a Joke

Look Scallywag, it’s a gathering of AYC pirates!

By Debbie Heisler, Rear Commodore

With summer vacations, family events and Arizona heat taking us to places like Croatia, Catalina, Yellowstone, and Greece, our June meeting is traditionally smaller in attendance.

For those of you traveling to more remote locations like Buckeye or Apache Junction we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday evening. Come early for dinner as we will host a “Get to Know” your Maties, Scallywags, Swashbucklers, and maybe a Rapscallion, Picaroon or two “Social Gathering.”

The meeting is Tuesday, June 11, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at The Grill @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Whichever sailing name you choose to use, these are your club members. Please join us for what is sure to be a fun gathering. Yes, you will be asked to interact with Buckos you don’t know, or think you do! Together we’ll all discover things we never knew (maybe never wanted to know) about each other. It will all be in good fun.

PS: Bring what you think is your best sailing/pirate/boat joke and we’ll make time for you to share it.

Joel Hurley Wins Club Championship

2019 AYC Club Champion Joel Hurley. Photo: Mike Ferring

Consistency did it. In six races, Joel Hurley scored no lower than third, turning 3-2-2-2-1-2 into the 2019 Club Championship.

Mike Hester kept it close right to the end, with three firsts and a second, but was dragged down by a first-race sixth place and fourth-race fourth. All the scores are shown below.

The game was played Saturday, May 4, in Lasers at Lake Pleasant. Five fleet champions and reigning Club Champ Scott Richards turned out for the event. In fact, the field included four former Club Champions (Hester, Haggart, Richards and Kempff). Three other fleet champions declined the invitation, saying they weren’t ready to race in a Laser.

Conditions were generally good for the regatta, with light to moderate wind and mild temperatures. This annual race-off to determine a Club Champion is contested in one-design boats and this time the Laser fleet provided the boats and most of the race committee (Bernard, Hasty, Newland, Sheller, Younger, Zornik). Mike Parker was PRO and Fleet Captain George Sheller was the organizer. LP Lake Captain David Newland provided his personal powerboat as the mark/safety boat. Maryellen Ferring brought the post-race eats.

 

Here are shots of the action by Mike Ferring:

Join Nevada Sailors on Stars & Stripes

The Nevada Yacht Club is organizing a group trip to San Diego to sail in a “race” between two America’s Cup boats and they’re inviting you to come with them.

They’re hoping to get enough people to match race Il Moro against Stars & Stripes, two of the boats that competed for the America’s Cup and are now being used as tourist attractions.

Here’s a little more information about their trip.

The non-member price for sailing with the group is $150/person.

Here’s a link to the Stars & Stripes site.

Stars & Stripes in tourist service in San Diego.

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 now been posted for the last weekend at Lake Pleasant, so we know who won there.

Congratulations to Spring winners: Skip Kempff, Thistle; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Mike Ferring, PHRF Sport Boat; Joel Hurley, Santana 20; Steve Grothe, Catalina 22; Fred Rahn, Multi.

At TTL, Dave Haggart will likely take C14 and Joel Hurley Laser. Portsmouth is still undecided, but going into the final weekend, Clay Poulson has it pretty much locked up. Colin Gibbs is leading the Junior Fleet at TTL, but isn’t eligible for the Club Championship.

Some of those same names are expected to race in the Club Championship in Lasers at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, May 4. Here’s the expected line-up: Joel Hurley, Santana 20 and Laser; Dave Haggart, C14; Clay Poulson, Portsmouth; Bob Worrall, C22; Mike Hester, Sport Boat; Skip Kempff, Thistle; Scott Richards, reigning champ. Paul Liszewski (Spin) and Fred Rahn (Multi) have indicated they don’t wish to race in Lasers and will not compete.

Here are the TTL results.

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.