Vote for Your Next AYC Board of Directors

“It’s time for the membership to elect the Arizona Yacht Club’s Board of Directors for 2016-2017.” says Commodore Chris Smith. “As you know, AYC is a 100% volunteer club, so let’s acknowledge with our votes the members who are committed to keeping the club on course by serving as members of the Board.”

If you’re a Full, Life, or Honorary Life member of AYC, you should have received an email message from votingplace.net with a link to voting that will end at 6pm on May 9th. If you didn’t get the email, please contact Mike Ferring. Junior members are not eligible to vote.

When you sign on to vote, use the email we have in your record and your last name (without the Sr or Jr part). The designated time and location for the election is May 10 at 6pm at the Caddy Shack in Tempe (before the next monthly meeting). If you do not vote online, you may be present at that time to vote by paper ballot. All votes will be counted and reported at that time.

Commodore candidate Bruce Andress at the helm of "Bitchen" Photo: Charles Landis

Commodore candidate Bruce Andress at the helm of “Bitchen” Photo: Charles Landis

The proposed officers are Bruce Andress, Commodore; Victor Felice, Vice Commodore; Jason Donkersley, Rear Commodore; John Riddell, Racing Fleet Captain; Tom Errickson, Cruising Fleet Captain; Mark Howell, Two-Year Membership Director; and Chris Smith, Junior Staff Commodore. In addition, Bob Whyte will continue in the second year of his term as Membership Director, Peter Lehrach will serve as Senior Staff Commodore, and the new board as its first official act will elect two more members of board, a Treasurer and Secretary. You’ll see the names of the proposed officers on the ballot and a brief bio of each, and you will also be able to write in alternate names if you wish.

Chris Smith continues, “Before I turn over the helm to the new Commodore, I want to return to what I said at the beginning of my term—it has been an honor and a privilege to serve as Commodore. I also want to thank the current members of the Board for devoting so much time and effort to making this club work. The return on investment is apparent at every AYC regatta, membership meeting, and event.”

Enter the AYC Tall Cactus Fun Run

The format for the Tall Cactus regatta is a straight duplicate of the Governor’s Cup Regatta. If you enjoyed that one, you should like this one too.

Here’s the link to the Racing page with the race documents and the “sign up” button.

This is a “pursuit” race, where boats start based on PHRF rating, with the slower boats beginning first at 11 am and faster boats starting throughout the next hour or so. The start line is near the dam, at the mouth of Pleasant Harbor Marina. Boats will charge up the lake, around Horse and Balance Rock and then back south around the “island with vegetation” in the vicinity of the 10-lane boat ramp, taking all islands to port. Here’s nice, big color map of the lake for reference.

After making the loop twice, the first boat across the finish line at the “no wake” buoys near the north launch ramp will be the overall winner. Boats should keep track of their own finishing positions.

Then, adjourn to the bar for (included in your entry) appetizers and (not included) beverages. Entry is just $10. Questions? Check with event organizer Tom Errickson.

The Melges 24 of Court Roberts. Photo: Tom Errickson

The Melges 24 of Court Roberts. Photo: Tom Errickson

Fleet Champs Crowned for 2015-2016

Congratulations to the winners of the Spring Race Series: Charles Ellis, C22; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin (on a tie-breaker with Tom Baker); Mike Ferring, PHRF Sportboat; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Skip Kempff, Thistle. And to the fleet champs for the Fall-Spring Combined: Charles Ellis, C22; Tom Baker, PHRF Spin; Mike Ferring, PHRF Sportboat; Skip Kempff, Thistle.

The scores for week 5 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here. The combined scores for Fall & Spring are here.

The TTL Spring Series was cut short by a lake lacking water, but that doesn’t diminish the accomplishments of the TTL Fall-Spring Fleet Champs: Cindy Pillote, Buccaneer; Dave Haggart, C14; Paul Miachika, Laser; Clay Poulson, Portsmouth.

The combined scores for Tempe Town Lake Fall & Spring are here.

The winners at both lakes will square off to determine the AYC Club Champion on Saturday, May 7, probably in Santana 20s. Steve Brown is working out the details.

Catalina 22 fleet champ Charles Ely says, "That way!" Photo: Chris Smith

Catalina 22 fleet champ Charles Ely says, “That way!” Photo: Chris Smith

April Meeting: No Motors, No Support, Just Get to Alaska

Have you heard of this crazy race? They nail $10,000 to a tree in Ketchican, Alaska, and the first entrant to to make it 750 miles up the inside passage from Port Townsend, Washington, grabs it. Second prize: a set of steak knives.

Race to Alaska Race Boss Daniel Evans

Race to Alaska Race Boss Daniel Evans

Race Boss Daniel Evans will be our April monthly meeting speaker. The (crazy) race and his description of it make it sound like this could be one of the most fun meetings of the year. Here’s what he says about this second go-round of the Race to Alaska:

“Some say it’s like the Iditarod, with a chance of drowning…or being eaten by a bear…or sucked into a whirlpool. We’re fielding a fleet of teams covering the sailing and rowing spectrum, from high tweak fast cats to backyard boats and even a canoe. A canoe!”

The meeting is Tuesday, April 12, 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.

As he tells it, “We’ll guarantee blisters, mild hypothermia, and the cathartic elation that comes from accomplishing something others would call impossible.” Last year 35 teams started and 15 finished.

Daniel will  spin the tale of the inaugural year and tell how the race is shaping up for this year. He says, if you’re one of those people who always needs to prep for an event, you can find out more at r2ak.com.

Who is this guy? His bio: An Alaska upbringing, decades of teaching outdoor instruction for Outward Bound and others, mountain climber, professional mariner, schooner captain, and he even runs a volunteer tugboat crew for Port Townsend’s annual Wooden Boat Festival. As a cherry on top of his risky resume, Daniel’s also the father of a three-year-old.

One of the crazy entrants in this crazy race.

One of the crazy entrants in this crazy race.

AYC Hosts C14.2 and Fireball National Regattas

The regatta T-shirt by Pirate's Den.

The regatta T-shirt by Pirate’s Den. Click here for a bigger picture.

On Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, Lake Pleasant will be the site of National Championship races for two fleets: the Catalina/Capri 14.2  and Fireball.

Anyone with one of the two boats is welcome (and encouraged) to register for the race. The race documents and sign-up button are on the Racing page. If you’d like to adopt a C14.2 for the event, you’ll find a red button on the registration page. Press the button and reserve one of five boats that will be brought to the lake for the event. You’ll donate $75 to the Arizona Sailing Foundation and $250 will be held as a damage deposit.

Note: The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club will be offering a pancake breakfast for just $5 at the ramada near the Sailboat Shop that morning, starting at 8 am.

AYC member Clay Poulson is president of the United States International Fireball Association and has invited members to make the trip to Arizona for the races. Dave Haggart is the Fleet Captain of the AYC C14.2 fleet and volunteered to bring the national regatta here this year, moving it from its usual home at Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego.

To make it happen, a number of AYC members have stepped up to help, including Fleet Captain Steve Brown and a host of others including PRO Wendy Larsen. Victor Felice is helping publicize the event and Mark Macomber arranged for the poster and the regatta T-shirt you see above.

Power hiking on a Fireball with Clay Poulson. Photo: Chris Smith

Power hiking on a Fireball with Clay Poulson. Photo: Chris Smith

Fickle Lake Pleasant: Week Two Results

Mostly light air, but a nice weekend on the water for week two of the spring series. Thanks to the Thistle fleet for making RC and dinner happen so well with so small a fleet.

The scores for week 2 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or you can click here.

Now, a story from Mike Ferring:

It was the first race Sunday morning, one of those famous first races of the day when the wind begins to die early. It was dropping fast as we rounded the windward mark on w/l, as we hoisted the spinnaker on our J/80, Melissa Kay. But as we did, the halyard jumped the sheave and jammed, leaving the spin a few feet short of a full hoist. More serious, we knew we wouldn’t be able to get the sail down.

We were in second place in the smallish, five-boat Sunday morning Sportboat Fleet, with Chris Smith’s Sloop Dogg only a few boat lengths back. Dave Evans was a distant fourth, having jumped the start. Dog Year was fifth. The wind was shutting down for everybody except Dave, who was scooting up the west side with the only breeze on the lake.

The culprit: The spiin halyard stuck next to the sheave. Photo: Mastclimber Maryellen Ferring

The culprit: The spin halyard stuck next to the sheave. Photo: Mastclimber Maryellen Ferring

Bob Whyte suggested we give up on the race and take the time to send Maryellen up the mast to pry the halyard out of the gap next to the sheave. We dropped sails, Maryellen strapped into the bosun’s chair and Chris Hardin and Bob hoisted her to the top of the mast. By now the wind had completely stopped and even though Sloop Dogg had drifted past us, she was only a few boat lengths away. Amazing.

Chris Smith saw that the only breeze on the lake was the one Dave was enjoying to the west and crept off to find it. Maryellen was still at the masthead. We were resigned to last place. She pried it loose and we brought her down.

Wait, what’s this? A slight wisp of wind now ruffled across the water. Were we actually still in this race? We hurriedly raised sails and found ourselves on a rumb line to the leeward mark. We rounded, headed back north toward the finish line where we crept across in an amazed third place behind Steve Brown and Wendy and Dave’s Dog Year, which had found some wind too.

Lake Pleasant, you are a fickle mistress.

Our halyard issues weren’t over, of course. While leading the last race of Sunday morning, the thing jammed again and this time we were dog meat, retiring and limping into the slip, but still amazed at our good fortune.

 

Catalina 22 fleet leader Charles Ely says, "That way!" Photo: Chris Smith

Catalina 22 fleet leader Charles Ely says, “That way!” Photo: Chris Smith

March Meeting: Sail on an Ocean Adventure

It’s many a sailor’s dream: Cast off and sail the islands of the Pacific with no schedule. At the AYC March monthly meeting, Sharon and Steve Hendricks of Tucson will tell us how they did it, a six-year journey that they say included an almost-devastating storm and a pirate encounter off Columbia, but was highlighted by beautiful and enchanting islands and wonderful people.

Sharon & Steve Hendricks mug

Sharon & Steve Hendricks

The meeting is Tuesday, March 8, 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.

Sharon Reed-Hendricks is the author of poetry books, Sharon Shares Her Heart and From Where Eagles Soar—and she and husband Steve wrote a book about their sailing adventures called One Man’s Dream, One Woman’s Reality, available here or from Amazon.

Steve Hendricks is retired Director of Facilities at Hawaii Pacific University. He and Sharon have a home in Tucson and divide their time between Hawaii and traveling the mainland in their latest adventure, a 35 foot motor home.

Here's the route the Hendricks took during their adventure.

Here’s the route the Hendricks took during their adventure.

 

The book they wrote after their trip.

The book they wrote after their trip.

 

Chris Snow of North Sails One Design for February Meeting

Chris Snow of North Sails

Chris Snow, head of North Sails One Design

Chris Snow is in charge of the global operations for North One Design and a small boat sail specialist and he’s our February meeting speaker.

In addition to his 26 years with North Sails in San Diego, Chris has found time to do some sailing, racking up impressive results, particularly in J/24s. He’s seven-time National Champion, two-time North American Champ and finished in the top 10 of the J/24 Worlds seven times as skipper and tactician.

The meeting is Tuesday, February 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.

Happy Birthday!

Mixed conditions, a little chilly, but by all accounts another fun Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup! Thanks to the very many people who made it happen.

Congratulations to the fleet winners: Matt Davis, Buccs; Gary Overbeck, Montgomery/Sage; Trent Sellens, Multi-Hull; Bob Worrall, PHRF Non-Spin; Al Lehman-Steve Quant, PHRF Spin; Greg Woodcock, Santana 20; Tom Errickson, TransLoch; Mike Hester, Viper; and you too Clay Poulson, Portsmouth.

Here are all the results.

And how about that football game? Crazy stuff, but a fun backdrop for a Saturday night party.

Commodore Chris Smith had to miss Saturday and Sunday since he was sick, and Peter Burgard offered this nice note to Chris:

“Chris, your crew at AYC did a nice job with the weekend activities. On the race course the Committee Boat communicated with sailors advising if the postponement flag was up or down, repeating the fleet start sequence and start & finish line protocol. It was information that spared the crews from having to monitor the Committee Boat flags and placards until their time to start which was much appreciated.

“The dinner Saturday night was a hoot. The food was good, there was plenty of it and there were two serving lines. The band played to my deaf ear blues tunes just loud enough to be heard, which was pretty cool. Not to forget the Arizona Cardinals game was on and the crowd was really pumped up. You would have enjoyed being there.

“Two final items, the AYC staff at the park entrance braved cold mornings to provide a friendly greeting to arriving sailors. What a great way to begin the weekend. And your Race Chairperson Peter showed up at the crack of dawn in his pajama pants to help Glenn and the Tucson crew with the Sunday AM coffee service.

“FYI, twelve TSC Sailors were on the water this past weekend.”

Pete Burgard & the Crew of Bandito

Juan Mauri Explains the Joy of Mast Rake and We Welcome New Members

Juan Mauri sketches the forces that play on a sailboat.

Juan Mauri sketches the forces that play on a sailboat.

Let’s see if I have this right. Upwind you want the center of effort over the center of rotation and downwind the center of effort should be forward of the center of rotation. Get those right and the boat will be balanced; get it wrong and there’s little you can do to get the boat to sail the way you want. Adjusting your mast rake even one degree can make all the difference.

Pro Sailor and sailing supply company proprietor Juan Mauri flew in from Texas to explain this at the January meeting—and also to ask how we can get more sailors and boats out on the water. Interestingly, he said that building boats that sail with smaller crews had a perverse effect, reducing the number of sailors because all those extra crew people are now on shore.

The board of directors this month voted in seven new club members and three of them were at the meeting to receive a welcome from Commodore Chris Smith and the crowd.

Chris Smith welcomes new members Mike Maloney and Kim Stuart.

Chris Smith welcomes new members Mike Maloney and Kim Stuart.

New member Jonathon Magick.

New member Jonathon Magick.

Terry Copeland joins AYC.

Terry Copeland joins AYC.

Freshly back from a trip to Australia, Emory Heisler says if you have a chance to sail there, do it! He holds an exchange burgee.

Freshly back from a trip to Australia, Emory Heisler says if you have a chance to sail there, do it! He holds an exchange burgee.

Buy a Birthday Regatta T-Shirt

A limited number of Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup T-shirts will be available at registration when you check in for the event. The shirts feature a full color copy of the original art done for the Birthday Regatta by watercolor artist Andrea Merican, a J/105 at full tilt. The shirts are just $15. (The original art will also be up for auction Saturday night.)

Here’s what it looks like:

Birthday T-Shirt 2016

2016 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Registration is now open for the 56th annual AYC Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Here’s the online registration form.

Dillon’s has now taken over operation of the Pleasant Harbor Marina restaurant where we’ll have the Saturday night celebration and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) auction. As a result, we’re expecting that the food will take a step up from the last couple years.

Here’s all the information and the race documents.

Once again the regatta will feature the TranLoch race, a lap around Horse, Balance Rock and Unnamed islands for sailors who would rather race for distance instead of rounding marks.

Once again, the AYC event is the first-in-the-nation Leukemia Cup regatta, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in its battle against blood cancers. Over the years, the regatta has raised over $500,000 for the cause.

The crew of Bitchen' crosses the finish. Photo: Charles Landis

The crew of Bitchen’ crosses the finish. Photo: Charles Landis

Tempe Town Lake Final Fall Results

Congratulations to the Tempe Town Lake fleet champs: Cindy Pillote, Buccaneer 18; Dave Haggart, C14; Paul Miachika, Laser; and Alex Smith, Portsmouth.

The scores for the last week of racing at Tempe Town Lake for 2015 are posted on the results page, or click here.

TTL-Debbie Borgman Photos (18 of 23)

Laser fleet fall champ Paul Miachika. Photo: Debbie Borgman