Crew Event at September Monthly Meeting

Come a little early for the September monthly meeting and mingle with people who need crew and people who would like to crew. The gathering starts at 6pm Tuesday and may meander into the meeting and beyond.

The club will pop for some hors d’ouveres at 6 to get things underway.

Check out upcoming AYC racing events, including registering for the fall series, attending the free Introduction to Sailboat Racing class, and signing up for the crew list.

 

Follow Olympic Sailing Online and on TV

You’ll have ample opportunity to watch Olympic sailing this year, with regular online and television coverage of events.

Here’s a link to a page with the schedule, links, and daily newsletter.
And here’s Craig Leweck’s blog on World Sailing.

Here’s the blurb from US Sailing:

Two-time U.S. Olympic Sailing medalist Randy Smyth will be joined by America’s Cup winner and veteran sailing commentator Gary Jobson in the NBC broadcast booth for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Jobson and Smyth will cover two classes per day during the live broadcast, which will be available on NBCOlympics.com. Replays of the daily program will appear online shortly after the conclusion of the live broadcast.

In addition to the daily live broadcast on NBCOlympics.com, a 30-minute recap of each day’s racing, also narrated by Jobson and Smyth, will appear on the MSNBC and CNBC television networks after the conclusion of racing each day. This program will include recaps from more classes than the two that were covered live each day. The precise broadcast schedule of this program has yet to be determined, but it will be aired daily between 1pm and 5pm Arizona Time from August 8th to August 18th (sailing competition dates).

Rio 2016 NBC sailing coverage will be produced by a team led by Chris Lincoln, a five-time Emmy award-winning director of live sports and entertainment programming, and the recipient of the IOC Golden Rings awards for his direction of the London 2012 Olympic sailing broadcast.

The US Olympic sailing team.

The US Olympic sailing team.

Lake Law Enforcement for September Monthly Meeting

Would you like to know how to launch your boat with the trailer still attached? Like some tips on how to attract the attention of law enforcement while boating?

Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff John Ramsay has seen it all in his 30 years of lake duty and he’ll bring a bag load of stories, both comical and serious, when he joins us for the next AYC membership meeting.

Not only does Deputy Ramsay have vast experience with the craziness on our local lakes, but he also trains others to deal with it. He’s one of just 25 officers nationally to be certified to train lawmen on the water.

The meeting is Tuesday, September 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.

Lake Pleasant Vista. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Vista. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Outrage Now Has a Wicked Name

Update: The board of directors in its wisdom has chosen Wicked Awesome as the winner of this contest from some 55 entries.

By Victor Felice

Boat NamingRemember the ’70 hit by America, A Horse With No Name? In the desert you can remember your name. That is, if you had one to begin with!

The Boston Whaler Outrage has been with us for a while now, working hard at dropping marks, assisting the occasional misfortune, and acting as full-size wind indicator (if you can smell her, the wind is coming from there!). BUT… she was never given a name. Privately, and occasionally publicly too, she has been called many things but the old girl needs her own true identity.

By the time we start racing again this fall, she will have her name and YOU get to submit what you think is should be. There are no rules and no limits. Ultimately the Board will choose one winner and you will become instantly famous (for maybe 14 minutes) and win a SLAM AYC bag.

Submit your suggestion(s) by email now to: vice.commodore@arizonayachtclub.org. You can include as many names as you wish except Boaty McBoatface.

 

Sail Summer Wednesday Evenings

Just when you’ve cleared the “midweek hump” at work on hot summer Wednesdays, drive to Tempe Town Lake, launch a small boat, and head out for an hour or so of casual, run-what-ya-brung racing. First Wednesday action is May 25.

George Sheller is the organizer of this loosely-organized gathering. At about 5:30 he drops buoys in the lake and whistles one-minute race starts to anyone who shows up. If Ferrings are there with their automated start gadget, they’ll sound the countdown.

Usually the group includes a few Lasers and a C14 or two, maybe a Buccaneer or Fireball, and after the boats round the marks and cross the finish line, the winner is: well, who knows, because handicaps don’t apply and nobody keeps score. When it starts to get dark or the wind dies, when the boats are stowed, the group collects at a nearby tavern for dinner and a beer.

A single 360 turn clears penalties. We set short courses, getting lots of races in. 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 there are no trophies at the end, just a cold beer.

The best way to stay in touch with these Wednesday night races is to sign onto the Arizona Yacht Club Yahoo list and receive the occasional emails. (Sometimes races are canceled and you’ll be notified by email.)

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Laser on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbie Borgman

Safety at Sea Expert Offers Suggested Skills & Gear

Suddenly alone. Now what? You’re suddenly by yourself on your boat, scanning frothy waves for your crew. Now what do you do?

In July, sailing safety expert Bruce Brown will talked us through this frightening scenario. Bruce is the main presenter of US Sailing’s Safety at Sea seminars, seminars that are both very helpful and entertainingly delivered.

Here’s Bruce’s handout, a list of essential skills for anyone heading out on big water in a small boat. It’s fine for the skipper to know how to rescue someone, but what happens if it’s the skipper who goes for a swim? Can your crew execute a MOB recovery or call on the VHF in an emergency?

Bruce has been a prominent member of the sailing safety community for many years, a former president of the US Marine Safety Association and a member of the US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee since 2010.

July speaker Bruce Brown

July speaker Bruce Brown

SUPs and Fast Boats for August Monthly Meeting

Do you SUP? The SUP phenomenon (stand-up paddleboard for the uninitiated) is exploding and for the August monthly meeting, we’ll hear from Terri Carlin of Riverbound Sports in Tempe, a SUP sales and event outfit. She may have you wobbling on a SUP by the end of the meeting.

Actually, this is a meeting double header, offering not only Terri and SUP, but a presentation and Q&A with Pete Balish, someone who’s been close to some of the world’s top racing action. Pete’s been deeply involved in four America’s Cup campaigns in addition to many other sailing programs. He’s boat captain for the mini maxi Numbers with Brad Butterworth, for example. Please bring some probing questions for Pete.

The meeting is Tuesday, August 9, 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.

The Mini Max Numbers. Photo: Daniel Forster

The Mini Maxi Numbers. Photo: Daniel Forster

That's AYC's Chris Smith aboard a stand-up paddleboard. Chris has gotten so into the sport that he's offering lessons at http://www.bajaarizonasup.com/

That’s AYC’s Chris Smith aboard a stand-up paddleboard. Chris has gotten so into the sport that he’s offering lessons. Check it out at http://www.bajaarizonasup.com/

Starting the Burgee String from Scratch

Arizona Yacht Club’s long string of yacht club burgees is gone. It didn’t come home after the Birthday Regatta this year and is presumed lost or stolen. We’ve filed a police report in case it pops up on Craig’s List. Watch for it. We don’t know how many burgees were on the string, collected over decades, but it was almost certainly over 100 and probably more like 200.

So, we’re starting over.

New burgee number one is from the Lewes Yacht Club at Lewes, Delaware, at the mouth of Delaware Bay. LYC’s Susan Pisarek exchanged burgees June 25 with AYC Membership Director Mark Howell. If you’re traveling to a yacht club and would like to exchange burgees, the club will give you one to swap.

AYC member Bill Cunningham is cruising the Northeast with a bunch of our burgees and (as you’ll see below) is collecting lots of exchanges to get the string rolling.

Susan Kisarek exchanges burgees with AYC's Mark Howell.

Susan Pisparek exchanges burgees with AYC’s Mark Howell.

AYC member Bill Cunningham exchanges burgees with Johnpatrick O'Brien, Rear Commodore of Fayerweather Yacht Club in Black Rock Harbor, Connecticut.

AYC member Bill Cunningham exchanges burgees with Johnpatrick O’Brien, Rear Commodore of Fayerweather Yacht Club in Black Rock Harbor, Connecticut.

Cool Summer Camp-Out August 12-14

What, a more civilized summer camp-out? Organizer Steve Nahkala this year will move the AYC weekend in the pines from its traditional Kinnikinick spot to the Dairy Springs Campground. The new spot has amenities the old one doesn’t have. A paved road. Permanent toilets. Get this: running water. Clearly Steve’s getting soft.

But you can count on the features that has made Kinnikinick an AYC fixture, which boils down to hanging out with good friends in a cool place for a couple days. Swapping stories and playing silly games, headlined by Liar’s Dice and Pasture Golf.

Here’s much more on the event, including its history and what to expect.

In this historic shot, Bill Hutchinson waves hello.

In this historic shot, Bill Hutchinson waves hello.

June Meeting: SDYC Rear Commodore

Mike Dorgan

Mike Dorgan

Our June 14 guest will be Mike Dorgan, Rear Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club and owner of Dorgan Yachts, a San Diego yacht brokerage. Mike will be talking about all the different ways we Zonies can take advantage of the sailing playground in San Diego, including:

  • Bringing our boats to SD – slips and dry sail
  • Chartering boats in SD
  • Getting crew spots on SD boats for both racing and pleasure sailing
  • Where to cruise/day sail in and around SD

Mike has mounted Olympic campaigns in the Star class, campaigned both the Star and Etchells to world championship level, and he’s been on America’s Cup teams (which is how he made it to San Diego).

The meeting is Tuesday, June 14, 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.

Commodore’s Party 2016

Your new AYC Board of Directors is in charge now, taking office amid shiny classic cars at the annual Commodore’s Party held this year at the Martin Auto Museum. Here are some shots by Mike Ferring:

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The new Commodore is Bruce Andress; Vice Commodore is Victor Felice; Rear Commodore Jason Donkersley; Senior Staff Commodore Peter Lehrach; Junior Staff Commodore Chris Smith; Racing Fleet Captain John Riddell; Cruising Fleet Captain Tom Errickson; and Membership Directors Bob Whyte and Mark Howell. Tony Chapman will continue as Treasurer and the board has not chosen a Secretary.

The evening’s top award, the US Sailing Sportsmanship Award, was presented to Wendy Larsen for her willingness to jump in and help (including organizing the Commodore’s Party). Paul Miachika received the big punch bowl for Club Champion, accepted by his crew, Rob Gibbs. The Blunder Bucket went to Chris Smith, pretty much for being Chris Smith, but specifically for launching his spinnaker upside down.

ASF President Cindy Pillote recognized Scott Burkhardt for his considerable work organizing ASF’s educational programs, presenting him with the “Heavy Lifting” award. George Tingom was given a special award for his hard work and dedication to ASF over the years. Ethan Swartz received the Linderman Most Improved Junior award and Ema and Wilson Davis got the Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior Award.

 

AYC Debuts Private Label Dark Rum

Rescued mermaids, AYC rum, and the smiling conspirator Victor Felice

Rescued mermaids, AYC rum, and the smiling conspirator Victor Felice

With great finfare, Rear Commodore Victor Felice Tuesday night (5/10) announced what he believes is an AYC exclusive: the only yacht club in the country with its own private-label rum.

Distilled at the Thumb Butte Distillery in Prescott, this dark rum appears with the AYC logo in small-batch, numbered bottles that were sold at the meeting for the wholesale price of $25 per bottle.

The new rum arrived with two rescued mermaids, who posed out of water while a big crowd of AYCers sampled the new brew.

Victor and Thumb Butte distiller Dana Murdoch conspired to produce the new rum, which will also be served at the Commodore’s Party.

The distillery has been the winner of multiple awards, including Silver at the 2015 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition (Gin) and Bronze (Rye). Here’s more about Dana Murdoch.

A bottle from the first batch of AYC private-label rum. Photo: Mike Ferring

A bottle from the first batch of AYC private-label rum. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

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Another shot of Victor Felice and his rescued mermaids. Photo: Chris Smith

Consider Taking a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course

The US Sailing Safety at Sea course is an excellent way to get up to speed on staying safe on a sailboat. In one or two days, you’ll learn (or be reminded) about everything from PFDs and EPIRBS to weather and first aid. The two-day version of the course will even dump you in the water to try out some of this stuff.

You’ll find out more here, including being able to search and register for courses being offered within driving range of Arizona. For instance, there’s one scheduled for San Diego on July 30-31, at the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island. Here’s a flyer describing the course in more detail.

Maryellen and I just attended the one-day course at Santa Barbara, which was also taught by Bruce Brown, who you may remember from his talk to an AYC monthly meeting a couple years ago. Bruce is an excellent instructor and entertaining speaker and runs most of the courses on the West Coast, including the upcoming one in San Diego.

The class tries out various flares on the beach in Santa Barbara. Photo: Art Vasenius

The class tries out various flares on the beach in Santa Barbara. Photo: Art Vasenius

Bruce Brown is the guy with the lime green PFD around his neck and the tether keeping him the classroom. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

Bruce Brown is the guy with the lime green PFD around his neck and the tether keeping him the classroom. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

AYC’s Championship Race Chases the Wind

Paul Miachika and crew Rob Gibbs are the 2016 AYC Club Champions. There’s no second place in this regatta, but if there were, it would be Skip Kempff, followed by Mike Ferring, then Dave Haggart and Tom Baker, then Charles Ellis and finally Cindy Pillote.

The race committee and competitors ended up chasing the wind all day when the fleet champs came to Lake Pleasant Saturday (5/7) to decide the 2016 Club Champion.

The wind came in all types and directions and everyone struggled to keep up. The scores showed the results, with all skippers turning in a good race and often several bad ones, keeping the regatta close right to the end.

A big thanks to the Santana 20 fleet, whose members turned out seven boats for the day of racing. While there were considerable differences in the way the boats were rigged, they proved to be fairly even matched. Mark Howell calculated that “the fastest boat had 19 points (averaged a 2.7 finish) and slowest 33 (4.7). For seven boats, fourth place is in the middle—not a real big spread.”

And many thanks to the team of race committee volunteers headed by PRO Wendy Larsen and to Racing Fleet Captain Steve Brown, who organized and carried off this annual regatta.

Here’s a race-day video shot and edited by Victor Felice.

The class photo: The skippers and crew line up before racing for the Championship 2016. Photo: Mike Grijalva

The class photo: The skippers and crew line up before racing for the Championship 2016. Photo: Mike Grijalva

 

One of the light wind race starts. Photo: Dave Howell

One of the light wind race starts. Photo: Mark Howell

 

Laser champ Paul Miachika and crew Rob Gibbs signal their finishing spot: Club Champs. Photo: Victor Felice

Laser champ Paul Miachika and crew Rob Gibbs signal their finishing spot: Club Champs. Photo: Victor Felice

 

Tom Baker at the helm of one of the Santana 20s. Photo: Victor Felice

Tom Baker at the helm of one of the Santana 20s. Photo: Victor Felice

Register for the Commodore’s Party May 14

When’s the last time you rode a carousel with your kids? Hung out in a classic car? Visited with all your friends from the Arizona Yacht Club?

On Saturday night, May 14, you’ll have the chance to do all three! Bring the whole family to the Commodore’s Party at the Martin Auto Museum, 17641 N. Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix (between Bell Rd and Union Hills on the east side of the freeway) (map) from 6 to 9 pm. (Here’s more about Mel Martin and his museum.)

We’ll have heavy, Italian-style hors d’hoeuvres and beverages for all ages—from the young to the young-at-heart. We can ride the carousel all evening long! And if you have a classic car yourself, drive it on over for the evening and park out front.

The bar will include beer and wine, vodka, gin and whiskey. The hors d’hoeuvres include Stuffed Mushroom caps, Firecracker Rolls, Pistachio Mozzarella on Skewers. Pasta for the kids if they’re finicky eaters.

Adults are $50 and children 12 and under are ONLY $15. Sign up here or by clicking the button:

[button link=”http://arizonayachtclub.wildapricot.org/event-2233216/Registration” bg_color=”#00703c”]Sign Up Now[/button]

Mel Martin at the museum in 2012. Photo: Larry Edsall

Mel Martin at the museum in 2012. Photo: Larry Edsall

Tony Krauss Takes Multi, Emory Heisler & Tony Chapman Mono in the Tall Cactus

On a windy, puffy, shifty day, Tony Krauss of Tucson sailed a Hobie 16 to the multi-hull win and Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman took the mono-hull in an 18-foot Buccaneer—and it wasn’t even close.

Here’s a drone video of the event, produced by Duane Darling.
And here’s some on-board video of Chris Smith fighting his Laser in heavy wind.

This was the spring pursuit race, where all boats start based on their PHRF rating, with the boats with the biggest PHRF number heading off at 11am and then boats with lower numbers trickling off the line after them. If the PHRF ratings are right, if the conditions match the handicap, and if everyone sails skillfully, all boats finish at the same time.

Emory and Tony started at 11:27, put up the ‘chute and started passing boats. By the second lap of the course (dam-> Horse-> Balance-> Vegetation island-> and do it again), they were well in front and completed the 14-mile race in under 2½ hours. But Tony Krauss was even faster, finishing in just over two hours.

Crossing the finish second in mono was Steve Kusic and the Merit 25 Runaway team. In third was Mike Ferring and the J/80 Melissa Kay crew. Charles Landis aboard Circuitous finished fourth.

Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman aboard the winning Bucc. Photo: Tom Errickson

Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman aboard the winning Bucc. Photo: Tom Errickson

 

Chris Reinhard and crew at the Tall Cactus Regatta. Photo: Tom Errickson

Chris Reinhard and crew at the Tall Cactus Regatta. Photo: Tom Errickson

May Meeting: Something Very Different But Very Tasty

By Victor Felice, Outgoing Speaker Wrangler

After introducing the club members to the term “p**s off” when someone tried to “steal” the Rear Commodore’s bottle of booze at the Christmas Buccaneer Gift Exchange, I’m going to make amends at the next meeting.

May meeting speaker Dana Murdoch.

May meeting speaker Dana Murdoch.

I am, surprisingly, not an alcoholic and in fact rarely drink, yet my guest is none other than sailor and distiller Dana Murdoch–owner of the Thumb Butte Distillery in Prescott.

The winner of multiple awards including Silver at the 2015 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition (Gin) and Bronze (Rye), Dana will talk about and present the various spirits produced right here in Arizona. Rum, anyone? Here’s more about Dana.

But it doesn’t end there. Since this will be the last guest I present officially (did you vote? This term as RC is ending!), there will also be a very special, top secret guest too. This from someone who paints his boats pink, so we can only imagine what will happen.

You do not want to miss this!

The meeting is Tuesday, May 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.

AYC on KTVK TV: Victor Felice Plugs the Club

Victor Felice and his bright purple Nacra 5.8 have pumped AYC on the KTVK (channel 3) Your Life morning program, explaining how (yes, you’ve heard it before) there really is sailing in Arizona.

The 3:40 segment aired on Thursday, April 21 shot in the KTVK parking lot with program hosts Suzanne Bissette and Gina Salazar.

You can watch the segment on Victor’s website here.

Somewhere in that cluster of TV stuff and boat you can spot Victor's purple catamaran as KTVK prepares to tape his segment.

Somewhere in that cluster of TV stuff you can spot Victor’s purple catamaran as KTVK prepares to tape his segment.

California Coastal Cruising Expert Holly Scott at May LPSC Meeting

Holly Scott

Holly Scott

The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club invites you to the club’s May meeting with speaker Holly Scott, the author of the popular Charlie’s Charts Cruising Guides.

The meeting is at 7pm on Tuesday, May 17, at the same place we meet, the Caddy Shack in Tempe. She’ll talk about cruising the Channel Islands and the coast of Baja.

Holly will also be available from about 5:15 that night to talk with people who would like to know about sailing to Catalina this summer.

LP Nationals: John Mayall and Mike Hester Win C14; Debbie Kirby Takes Fireball

John Mayall and Mike Hester snagged the C14 National Championship trophy. Photo: Gerald Byrnes

John Mayall and Mike Hester snagged the C14 National Championship trophy. Photo: Gerald Byrnes

John Mayall and crew Mike Hester won the Catalina/Capri 14.2 Nationals contested at Lake Pleasant April 16&17, finishing ahead of multi-time winner Scott Finkboner. Martin Lorch finished third and George Tingom fourth. Hunter Parker and dad Mike won the Silver Fleet.

Debbie Kirby won the Fireball National Championship, taking a three-point win over Rob Thompson. Steve Goacher won the Classic division for older boats.

All of the racing happened in shifty wind on Saturday, with Sunday’s racing canceled because of high wind. The Fireballs managed to get five races in on Saturday, giving them a throw-out race, while the C14s got four races, with one race abandoned in the morning’s light wind.

Wendy Larsen was the PRO and other volunteers were: Steve Brown, Bob Whyte, Jo Grijalva, Mike Grijalva, John Riddell, Kalley Riddell, Kenny Nahkala, Gerald Byrnes, Peter Schweitzer, Pat Blumm, Lori Reger, Rick Cotman, and Jason Donkersley. And back-up from Dallas: Dave Christensen. Bruce Andress and Scott Burkhardt prepared ASF boats for use. The great Saturday breakfast was provided by the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club and Sunday Clay Poulson put on an amazing breakfast. Fleet Captains: Clay Poulson (Fireballs) and Dave Haggart (C14.2s).

Catalina/Capri 14.2 Scores. Fireball Scores.

The fleet of Fireballs fighting it out for the National win. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

The fleet of Fireballs fighting it out for the National win. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

 

Mike Hester got this Fireball shot while also helping John Mayall win C14

Mike Hester got this Fireball shot while also helping John Mayall win C14

 

The Fireball winners with PRO Wendy Larsen. Photo: Clay Poulson

The Fireball winners with PRO Wendy Larsen. Photo: Clay Poulson

 

Hunter and Mike Paker won the Silver Fleet trophy for C14. Photo: Gerald Byrnes

Hunter and Mike Paker won the Silver Fleet trophy for C14. Photo: Gerald Byrnes