Rain, Strong Wind Mark Leukemia Cup-Birthday Regatta Action

Friday: Gorgeous. Saturday: Not so much. Sunday: Better, but who needs cold and rainy?

Tony Chapman pulls off a tight leeward rounding and heads upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tony Chapman pulls off a tight leeward rounding and heads upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

When it was over, Jeff Grange had mowed down the Viper competition, his single “bad” race (a third) tossed out, leaving him with a total of 9 points in 9 scored races. Tim Carter and Tony Chapman fought an epic fight for second. Tim took a one-point lead on Friday and clung to it through Sunday.

Chris Winnard and Al Lehman Jr. dominated the PHRF Spin class on a Holder 20, also tossing a third to leave them with a perfect five points in five scored races. While Chris Smith was promoting SUP boards, his boat with guest crew took second place.

Bob Worrall took PHRF Non-Spin, Dave Scobie “Wrinkle Boat,” and Gordon Bagley won Multi-Hull. Gordon also gets the belt buckle for Multi-Hull and Jeff Grange gets buckled in Mono. Lots of sailors decided it was too wet, too windy, or overall much too crummy to sail, leaving all the fleets depleted.

The bright spot on the weekend came Friday, with good wind and partly cloudy skies. Friday’s Birthday Bash and Viper races were nearly perfect. The Bash Boats shot up to Balance Rock, looped over and around Horse, took Balance to port again and tacked south to the finish, with the first boats finishing in about 90 minutes. Rollin’ in the Deep did it fastest, notching both “line honors” and the corrected PHRF win.

Rain? Well, yes, and heavy wind. And as the races got started Saturday morning, a flash of lightning brought a radio call from the RC: Abandon. All the boats streaked for Pleasant Harbor Marina and an early lunch. By the 1 pm restart, heavy puffs blasted the course and later rain splattered everyone, reducing the number of boats deciding to race, but still permitting several races to complete.

We’ll learn soon how the real winner of the weekend came out: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which was the beneficiary of the regatta’s fundraising.

Here are the results of the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta.

Here are pictures shot by Mike Ferring during Viper racing and the the Birthday Rum Party on Friday:

Birthday 2017-1 High wire act. Photo; Mike Ferring[/caption]


Viper sails. Photo: Mike Ferring

Viper sails. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tempe Town Lake Results for Weekend Two

Two Sundays of Tempe Town Lake racing and two Sundays of strong wind! The racing on February 12 was as good as it gets, with good wind from start to finish, blowing from the west. Lasers, C14s, and Buccs were out to play, with Portsmouth on Race Committee training.

The scores from week two of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here.

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Lake Pleasant Spring 2017 Week One Results

The day started with a nice, fresh breeze and then slowly dissolved into one of those placid Lake Pleasant drifters. It was the first day of the Lake Pleasant Spring Series, an experimental one-day weekend event that turned into an experimental two-hour weekend instead.

After waiting out the wind, the fleets decided to head in by 2 pm, hoping for better when the series resumes after a long month break (punctuated by the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta).

The scores for the first week of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.


Greg Woodcock's Santana 20 takes a puff. Photo: Charles Landis

Greg Woodcock’s Santana 20 takes a puff. Photo: Charles Landis

Vipers and J/80 crossing the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Vipers and J/80 crossing the start line. Photo: Charles Landis


Finally, the weekend is here! The 2017 Leukemia Cup Regatta/Birthday celebration starts on Friday the 17th at Lake Pleasant.

For all the fans of Sailflow, Windy, NOAA, Wind Alert etc.. rejoice! The charts are not flat. For everyone else – the show goes on! Please take a look at aycregattas.com especially the activities page.

There is so much going on at the Regatta that irrespective of the climate, there could not be a better place to spend the weekend than at Lake Pleasant (ok, so I exaggerate a bit….but you get the idea!). Fantastic auction items, great swag, food, drink and most of all, sailing friends all in one place at the same time.

Clearly there may have to be some adapting to conditions, but that only makes it more interesting.

See you at the lake!!

Leukemia Cup & Birthday Regatta Bash

Here’s what’s happening at the 2017 AYC Leukemia Cup Regatta “First in the Nation” and Birthday Regatta, with a completely new date, format and events. All the regatta information and registration is on www.aycregattas.com. This site is continually being updated. The regatta is Friday-Sunday, February 17-19.

Sportboats charge for the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Sportboats charge for the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Here are the highlights:

A really big tent! The H2OMG event (hydroplane boat races the weekend after us) needed marks, a couple of boats and volunteers—which we have. We needed a really big tent—which they have. We’ve been working with H2OMG to combine resources and share/trade where possible.

Sponsors: Take a look at the sponsor page. All of those listed have contributed, assisted and provided goods or services to the regatta.

Portillo – Lunch on the Lake. New for 2017. On Saturday, 2/18, instead of soggy sandwiches and chips, Portillo’s will be delivering your pre-ordered lunch right on the lake. We will have a lunch break around midday. Sail up to the pontoon boat, grab your lunch and enjoy! A $20 lunch credit is included in the registration fee.

Pleasant Harbor Access – no more paying at the gate every day. Registration includes a three-day access pass to the Marina. Drive up, show your card and you’re in!

SUP – New for 2017 is a full day of SUP events, classes, demonstrations and racing on the “beach” by the North Ramp. Entry fee includes a one-day pass to enter Pleasant Harbor.

The Phoenix – New for 2017. AYC has chartered The Phoenix cruise boat for a private VIP cruise around the race course. Lake Pleasant Sailing Club is assisting with the operation of this event. To secure a seat for friends and family (and great photo ops) all you have to do is make a donation to the LLS (Details here.)

The Club Challenge – New for 2017. Created primarily for cruising boats, the Club Challenge is an AYC vs LPSC vs Tucson Sailing Club run around a challenging course. Two new trophies are awarded: One to the winning club (which they must defend in 2018) and one to the winning boat.

The Birthday Bash – Friday’s race open to all boats. This is a long course handicap race with a twist. For 2017 we will also be awarding a Line Honors trophy.

Regatta T-Shirts – New for 2017. This year, regatta T-shirts are printed on site. No ordering in advance, no running out of a certain size. You want it? They print it. The front of the shirt has the regatta poster; the back is fully customizable. Add your name, your boat’s name, a logo—all done on site in about five minutes.

The Trophies – Of course the second set of Triple Crown Rodeo Buckles will be awarded to a monohull and multi-hull boat. The “best on the water” during the regatta will walk away with one of these spectacular awards. The actual regatta trophies are secret. Let’s just say they follow the Embrace Your Inner Arizona theme.

The Auctionall items up for grabs are on listed here. If you have a product or service you would like to add to the auction, please contact us at info@aycregattas.com.

Accommodation – The Courtyard Marriott is offering a group discount rate at the hotel on I-17 and Happy Valley Road. Easy and quick access to the lake at a very comfortable hotel.

And there is so much more! Did we mention a carnival at Spinnaker Point? Yes, there will be that too!

Chrisann Tortora Wins 2017 Ruth Beals Cup

On a sunny, chilly Saturday, Chrisann Tortora sailed Mike Hester’s Viper 640 to victory and a grip on the shiny Ruth Beals Cup for 2017.

The Ruth Beals Cup is named for AYC’s founder and requires that a woman take the helm of the race boat, while permitting men in the crew. The race this year moved from its traditional Tempe Town Lake spot to Lake Pleasant and from C14 dinghies to PHRF boats, became a single long-distance race, and drew a very large entry of 20 boats, with 11 actually competing on January 28.

Here’s a video of some of the racing by Brian Willess (Multi Hull Nacra Inter20):

Ruth Beals Cup January 28

Registration remains open for the new Ruth Beals Cup date of Saturday, January 28. This is the women-at-the-helm championship now being held at Lake Pleasant as a PHRF long-distance race.

On the 28th, if there are penguins or polar bears on Lake Pleasant, we race. If the snowbirds keep heading south, we race. If you see an ark being built, we race! There will be a 2017 Ruth Beals Cup winner on the 28th.

Race info, registration and entries on: AYC Regattas


2017 Starts with REGATTAS

The 2107 season starts with TWO regattas. On January 21, ladies take the helm in the RUTH BEALS CUP. This year we will be celebrating the founder of the AYC on Lake Pleasant. As of January 9th, 12 boats have already signed up for the event—this a significant challenge for the Cup! With a mixed fleet of boats in a handicap race on a new course, we will definitely see some very interesting and tactical sailing.


The Second event of 2017 is the LEUKEMIA CUP/First in the Nation/Birthday Regatta. Also on Lake Pleasant, this is always by far the largest and most complete event of the year.

Many completely new events and features have been added to this year’s regatta making it a very complete weekend. For the first time, racing will be mainly handicap racing (not the usual fleets); the Vipers are back in full swing; a new Club Challenge for cruisers has been added; a full day SUP event on the north ramp beach; we have chartered ‘The Phoenix’ for a Saturday afternoon Regatta Cruise for friends and family; Saturday and Sunday will see  the first “Lunch on the Lake” (a pontoon boat with your pre-ordered lunch will deliver it to you!); many new sponsors and participants; wide distribution print media (full page newspaper ads, full color ad in Trends Magazine); promotional support from the SCYA and so much more! And yes, there will be a giant tent at Spinnaker Point courtesy of H2OMG—the hydroplane races held the weekend after us.



January Meeting: Eco Vigilantes Protect Endangered Species

Consider this sentence from the NY Times: “Sea Shepherd… describes itself as an eco-vigilante group, flies a variation of the Jolly Roger on its ships and often cites the motto, ‘It takes a pirate to catch a pirate.’” Sea Shepherd tries to stop bad guys from wiping out endangered ocean species or nail them for illegal fishing.

Sea Shepherd's David Hance

Sea Shepherd’s David Hance

David Hance is the Chief Operating Officer of this group and he’ll be our January meeting speaker. He’ll brief us on their efforts in the northern Sea of Cortez, where they’re working with the Mexican government and other groups to protect the critically endangered Vaquita Porpoise, which they estimate now numbers just 60.

In fact, Sea Shepherd has just stopped six fishing boats illegally fishing in the Sea of Cortez, turning them over to Mexican authorities.

The meeting is Tuesday, January 10, 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.

A shot of the crew of one of Sea Shepherd's "vigilante" ships.

A shot of the crew of one of Sea Shepherd’s “vigilante” ships.

Ruth Beals Cup Goes the Distance

The Ruth Beals course will be heart-shaped.

The Ruth Beals course will be heart-shaped.

Since AYC began this women-at-the-helm championship race, it’s been fought at Tempe Town Lake in C14s. Not this year. Try keel boats for long distance at Lake Pleasant. This is another twist from the fertile mind of Vice Commodore Victor Felice. To add a triple twist, he’s laid out a course shaped like a heart.

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. Here’s a link to the registration information for the race, which will be run on Saturday, January 21, starting at 10 am.

Maryellen Ferring (shown on the home page picture) has held the cup for the last two years, but won’t be defending since she’ll be out of the country when the race is run.

And then, they became pirates.

It happens every year—at a time of goodwill and peace on earth, normally pleasant AYC sailors release their inner Kraken and go for the things in shiny wrappings. The 2016 Party was no different and for all who were there, you can be a pirate till race season starts again. If you missed it, put down the eye patch, fold the Jolly Roger and promise you will never miss the party again.

Commodore Bruce Andress started the evening dressed in his signature “Santa on Vacation” outfit. New club members were welcomed followed by a well-received presentation of things to come in 2017. Bill and Barbara Cunningham presented a stunningly long line of new burgees they had collected over the summer. Thank you!

The Trophy presentation followed with the giant Governor’s Cup going to Paul Miachika and the brand new AYC Governor’s Cup rodeo buckles to Mike Hester (Monohull) and Brett Johnston (Multihull).

Fleet Captain John Riddell then demonstrated that PowerPoint is not a fossilized relic and can still be used to show strangely bizarre pictures of the Commodore motor racing, the Vice Commodore dancing in Seoul, the Rear Commodore looking like Warren Beatty (or was it George Hamilton?).

John went on to introduce the new Regatta formats for 2017 and beyond, including a new Ruth Beals format, the Triple Crown, and other “From the fertile mind of the Fleet Captain—this is going to be fun!” Stay tuned.

Bruce then started the “gift exchange/pirates gone wild” highlight of the evening. With over 50 gifts exchanged, most pirated several times, the action was fast and at times hysterical. Strangely, Bethany Tuvene could not hang on to a bottle of booze to save her life. In the end, she did walk away with a Jim Beam Honey.

And then there was the Blunder Bucket. The nominations for the most blunderesque moments were several, but there was a clear winner from the start. Two GovCups ago there was a SolCat upside down jammed against the dam. This time the nomination was to the same person, different boat! The SolCat was replaced by an awesome Nacra Inter 20 and on the drive home after the first time out sailing it, amazingly a set of very pricey composite sails somehow ended up on the freeway! A trashed jib was recovered but the main was never seen again. And the winner is: Josh Kimble! Well done, kiddo! Previous BB winners are proud of you!

Here are some really mediocre photos. The prestigious “Official Club Photographer” position, by the way, is open. If you do have some quality images, please share!

Commodore Bruce doing his best MC
Josh, Brett and John. Brett with his new rodeo buckle.
Mike telling new Viper owner Freddy, “You too can have a rodeo buckle one day.”
A table full of pirates with two hulls.


Tempe Town Lake Fall Series Final Results

Another light wind day concluded the fall series at Tempe Town Lake and even though Mike Hester managed to best Paul Miachika in the two Laser races, it wasn’t nearly enough to overcome Paul’s season lead, making Paul the fleet champion. Dave Haggart won the 14.2 fleet, Emory Heisler the Bucc fleet, and Frederick Moor the Portsmouth.

The scores for the final week and the series final scores are posted on the results page, or click here.

Here are some pictures shot by Mike Ferring.

Hester, Johnston & Miachika Win Governor’s Cup Trophies

In a day made for fast sailing, Mike Hester and Brett Johnston scored belt buckles and Paul Miachika walked off with the giant trophy.

Mike took the monohull fleet and Brett the multi-hull fleet in the first of the new “Triple Crown” series that will include the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta and the Tall Cactus. Mike’s Viper 640 beat second place finisher Scott Richards’s Thistle by a PHRF-adjusted time of about 8½ minutes. Paul Liszewski’s Hobie 33 finished third. Brett’s Nacra 20 was an adjusted 7½ minutes ahead of Scott Agan on his G-Cat 5.7. Trent Sellens was third on a Corsair F27. Here is a complete list of results for the Triple Crown regatta.

AYC Club Champ Paul Miachika took on the Governor’s Cup Pursuit Race in—believe it or don’t—a Laser and did a horizon job on the fleet to win the giant Governor’s Cup trophy. Mike Ferring and crew finished second in their J/80 and Emory Heisler (monohull winner of April’s Tall Cactus) finished third.

The races started with white caps twisting off the tops of waves, with strong puffs and then moderated a bit as the day went on.

Thanks to PROs Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen and their race committee crew. Thanks also to seven skippers who took ASF Adult Beginning Sailing graduates aboard for the race, to give them a taste of this game we play.

Mike Hester won the monohull division of the "Triple Crown" Governor's Cup in a Viper 640. This is Dave Evans's Viper. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester won the monohull division of the “Triple Crown” Governor’s Cup in his Viper 640. This is Dave Evans’s Viper. Photo: Mike Ferring


Scott Agan waves from his second-place finishing G-Cat 5.7 as he passes the crew of Melissa Kay, which had finished the shorter Pursuit Race. Photo: Mike Ferring

Scott Agan waves from his second-place finishing G-Cat 5.7 as he passes the crew of Melissa Kay, which had finished the shorter Pursuit Race. Photo: Mike Ferring

Scott Johnston ripping into the multi-hull lead at the 2016 Governor's Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Brett Johnston ripping into the multi-hull lead at the 2016 Governor’s Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

The start of the "Triple Crown" monohull race. Photo: Michele Korszeniewski

The start of the “Triple Crown” monohull race. Photo: Michele Korszeniewski

Victor Felice

Victor Felice aboard his Nacra at the Governor’s Cup. Photo: Marc Benoist

Tempe Town Lake Week 6 Results

A blustery Sunday afternoon made for great sailing for a hearty bunch of TTL sailors. The wind tipped over 15 mph much of the time, meaning lots of races and a few trips into the drink.

The scores for week 6 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here.

Pushing to the front: Paul Miachika. Photo: Mike Ferring

Pushing to the front: Paul Miachika. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Fall Series Final Results

A great couple days of racing for our final weekend of the fall series! Very good wind on both days, especially Sunday morning (where were all you people?). Thanks to fine race committee work from the Thistle fleet.

Congratulations to the fleet champs: Bob Worrall, C22; Brett Johnston, Multi-hull; Tom Baker, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mike Hester, PHRF Sportboat; Dan Schott, Thistle.

The final week of racing for the fall series at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page or click here.

Running from Horse, PHRF Spin boats chase downwind. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Running from Horse, PHRF Spin boats chase downwind. Photo: Bill Cunningham

2016 Governor’s Cup & Triple Crown


The 2016 Governor’s Cup Regatta will take place on December 3rd at Lake Pleasant and this year introduces something new, different and exciting.

Here’s the scoop. There are two categories: A pursuit race much as we’ve done it the last several years and a straight-up PHRF race.

The Pursuit Race is an informal twice-around-the lake long distance sailing event starting at 10 am. The winner takes home the traditional really big trophy. Info and registration here. Registration is $10.

The Other Race is a full blown PHRF twice-around-the-lake race. Two sections will be scored, Monohull boats (starting slower-rated boats at 10:30 and faster-rated ones at 10:35) and Multi Hull (starting at 11). Registration is $25.

The 2016 Governor’s Cup is also the first of three regattas that comprise the AYC TRIPLE CROWN. The new Triple Crown combines our three non-series regattas: The Governor’s Cup, the Leukemia Cup-Birthday Regatta and the Tall Cactus. Further information and registration for all of these regattas will now happen at a new AYC website, www.aycregattas.com.

The new site is intended to help promote these three events outside of Arizona, throughout the Southwest and Pacific Coast.

None of the things the club does can happen without the dedication and commitment of members and volunteers. Thank you to all involved.

Lake Pleasant Week 4 Results

Generally nice weekend, wasn’t it? Some decent wind, comfortable temperatures, well-run races by the Santana 20 bunch, and the best dinner so far this far, led by Peter Burgard.

The scores for week 4 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

Still Dreamin'. The beard says Tom Baker at the helm. Photo: Mike Ferring

Still Dreamin’. The beard says Tom Baker at the helm. Photo: Mike Ferring

From Martin Lorch’s email to his fleet after the weekend:

On Saturday Kim Stuart as PRO did a superb job with the help of:
On R/C:
Mile Maloney, 1st Officer
Gerald Byrnes, certified driver
Dale Buchanan (flag signaling officer)
On the Wicked Awesome (WA):
Mike Parker, Certified Driver
Vern Bybee, Mark and buoy specialist

On Sunday:
Yours truly as PRO, Jack-of-All Trades,
Gerald Byrnes Certified Driver

Dale Buchanan (Flag Signaling officer)
Vern Bybee, 1st scorer
In style on the beautiful Riddell Chris-Craft. (Nice loaned runabout. Our WA went on the fritz!)
Mike Parker certified driver and mermaid catcher
Erika Parker (committed mermaid! (mark and buoy specialist)

A special Pete and Judy Burgard from Tucson’s only Sparkey, who served a wonderful BBQ shredded beef open faced sandwich with green corn tamales (from a special source in Tucson, coleslaw, cowboy beans and apple pie, Sangria, Merlot and beer. Thank you

All performed without hitch. Nice winds on Saturday and a repeat on Sunday morning until the wind died around 11 am.

Thank you to you all.

We wish Amanda Woodcock a speedy recovery and the same to Dave Cummings who underwent surgery after he experimented doing Evel Knievel type stunts.

For those of you who were under the weather and could not make it. Get well soon.

Hope to see you at Lake Pleasant on the 19th and 20th of this month, the last weekend of the fall series.

Martin Lorch
Santana 20 Fleet Captain