Viper 640 Class Wins Big Contract

By the thinnest of margins the Gulf Yachting Association (GYA) has chosen the Viper 640 over the VX One as the new boat to sail in its historic inter-club Capdevielle Championship series. The decision is a big boost to the boat many Arizona Yacht Club members sail.

The GYA has used the Flying Scot for almost 50 of the nearly 100 years the series has been run and has spent the last several years choosing a replacement, starting with a list of 50 candidates. They wanted something seriously sporty, but not so difficult to sail that older or less athletic sailors would be unable to use it.

Tony Chapman aboard his Viper. Photo: Chris Smith

Tony Chapman (center) aboard Court Robert’s (right) Viper. Photo: Chris Smith

AYC member Tony Chapman says he’s been helping promote the boat for about six months as a member of the class executive committee and as the accountant for Rondar Raceboats, the constructor of Vipers. He says, “It’s difficult to predict how many boats will be involved but since there were 27 clubs that voted, we assume that each voting club plus possibly two or three members from most of the clubs will be buying Vipers over the next two years.”

Needless to say, the class will benefit from that many more boats on the water and it will float the used boat market for quite a while.

AYC’s Viper 640 population is growing this fall, with several new entrants, including Dave Evans, John Riddell, Mike Hester, and Mike Parker.

The Gulf Yachting Association rings the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Houston. It was organized to promote the sport on the Gulf Coast and nearby areas. Founded in 1901 and reorganized in 1920, the GYA has grown from the original six clubs to over 30 member organizations.

A Viper skims across Lake Pleasant

Wild Ride


September: Photographer, Explorer Daniel Fox

Daniel Fox

Daniel Fox

Post-meeting information: Daniel Fox presented some extraordinary pictures along side some amazing stories. Like the time he stared down a brown bear. Twice. Or the time he barely survived crashing on an Oregon beach when a wave split his ocean kayak in two. Daniel offered lots of his personal philosophy, including the value of solitude and the benefits of using “delete” on piles of digital photos.

Here’s how Daniel explains who he is on his website: “Explorer and storyteller, Fox uses his narrative to inspire the public to reconnect with the wilderness. Sometimes philosophical, sometimes poetic, his stories, his photos and his videos capture the viewers through all their senses, leaving them sifting through their memories and remembering their own moments when they felt connected.”

It promises to be an interesting presentation when Daniel Fox fills the projection screen at September’s AYC monthly gathering.

The meeting is Tuesday, September 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.

Here’s more from Daniel’s website: “He is the founder of W.I.L.D., an initiative that raises funds to send under privileged youth to wilderness immersion camps. Fox believes that immersion in nature is an important part of our development, especially during our early, formative years when it is so critical to discover who we are, develop strong self-esteem, begin to adopt leadership skills, challenge our physical well-being and acquire the capacity to live a balance life in a world dominated by technology Knowing the importance of today’s youth in shaping the future, his effort is targeted on giving youth, especially under-privileged teens, the opportunity to experience first-hand the positive impact nature can have on their lives through wilderness immersion camps.”

Rear Commodore Victor Felice (on the left) mimics the sea lion (right) as he introduces speaker Daniel Fox. Photo: Chris Smith

Rear Commodore Victor Felice (on the left) mimics the sea lion (right) as he introduces speaker Daniel Fox. Photo: Chris Smith

One of Daniel's sailing images, from San Francisco Bay.

One of Daniel’s sailing image, from San Francisco Bay.

September Sailboat Racing Seminars

Fleet champs celebrating on Rolling on the Deep. Photo: Chris Smith

Fleet champs celebrating on Rolling on the Deep. Photo: Chris Smith

We have two sailboat racing sessions scheduled for mid-September, one for experienced racers and the other for sailors new to the sport. Best of all, both are free.

Introduction to Sailboat Racing class will be Wednesday, September 16, from 6:30-9 pm. To register, please fill out this form. More information here. We’ll give you a high-speed introduction to the basics, from how to register to race to how to start. The class is conducted by Mike and Maryellen Ferring.

Advanced Sailboat Racing seminar will happen the next night, Thursday, September 17 from 6:30-9 pm. The seminar will feature four of AYC’s Club Champions (16 championships among them), Dave Haggart, Martin Lorch,  and Skip Kempff. To register, please fill out this form. We’ve asked the three to offer presentations on tactics, light wind sailing, and starts, and then we’ll open the seminar to questions from you. What do you want to know?

Both sessions will be held at the Tempe Police Department Apache Substation at 1855 E Apache Parkway, near McClintock (map).


Gino Morrelli Says It’s “Back to the Future”


Gino Morrelli’s company is even making high-performance composite paddle boards! Photo: Chris Smith

What’s one path to designing the fastest boats in the world? One way, says Gino Morrelli, is to look at square riggers. What? Really. They didn’t have stainless steel for rigging, so they had to hold everything together with hemp. Today, substitute something made of composites (steel is disappearing from the fast boats), but use techniques from the days of wooden ships.

Today’s advanced boats are turning things upside down in other ways, too. Gino says the hulls of catamarans used to be broad at the top and sharp at the bottom. Today, it’s the opposite in order to get buoyancy lower.

Gino plays our game at the very highest level, designing boats for everything from America’s Cup to Disneyland, from Gunboats to Hobie Waves. He helped design Oracle’s first winning boat and the Team New Zealand entry in AC34 and he’s now helping devise the rules for AC35 (tip: it’s looking like it’ll be a 50-foot boat).

This accomplished man heads Morrelli & Melvin and hangs out with the rich and successful, but he’s a very approachable and enthusiastic guy—self-taught, amazingly. He told Tuesday night’s AYC monthly meeting that he built his first boat with his father in the back yard. Within a very few years he was building catamarans that ran at the front of international races.

What about foiling? It’s every third word in boat design, he says. At first they’ve been used for boats that teeter on the bleeding edge, but they’re beginning to show up in more everyday boats. Gino says they’re now foiling microwaves, refrigerators, and air conditioners, fast cruisers that we would never imagine could rise up in the water.

Asked to do a postmortem on Team New Zealand’s loss in San Francisco, Gino says there were various mistakes by TNZ and various improvements to the boat for Oracle Team USA, but he points to one big change from the first races to the last: Oracle learned how to come out of the tacks with more speed. That made all the difference.


Gino Morrelli was involved in the design of both these boats for the last America’s Cup competition. Photo: Mike Ferring


Tucson Sailing’s Mexican Regatta Oct 23-25

Tucson Sailing Club's Mexican Regatta

Tucson Sailing Club’s Mexican Regatta

The Tucson Sailing Club invites AYC to join the 45th Fall Regatta October 23-25, followed by a cruise on the Sea of Cortez for anyone who has the time.

Commodore Mike Mulcahy writes, “The Fall Regatta is an open water race around the islands in the large bay outside the anchorage and Marina at San Carlos. Winds permitting, one of the two race days may follow the coast to Algodones Bay around the buoy there and return. The cruise scheduled this year will travel to San Pedro Bay with a horseshoe sand beach an easy day sail from San Carlos. Some sailors will stay, enjoying the water and scenery of this beautiful anchorage. Those sailors with more time may spend the next week to 14 days traveling to the Midriff Islands, remote anchorages each a different special place.”

AYC and TSC member Peter Burgard is the event chairman. Here’s more information from the TSC site.

Kicking Back at a Cool Place for Summer Sailing

By Mike Ferring

Marg Woods and John Stephenson.

Marg Woods and John Stephenson.

John Stephenson is one of the nicest guys anyone could ever sail with: capable, calm, a fine chef and lots of fun. And I’m not just saying that because he invited Maryellen and me to sail part of the SUNORA with him and Marg Woods out of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, though that certainly helps.

This was the 20th time they’ve run this week-long regatta, sailing from place to place through the gorgeous surroundings of northern Lake Superior. Fourteen boats took part with 12 of them sailing for the regatta’s first place burgee (the other two were powerboats along for the party). They’d sail for a few hours each day and then raft up in some spectacular spot for the night, collecting in various cockpits for social hour.

We joined the game in progress on the lay day, day four, when they ran the only buoy race of the week and then followed it with a group dinner, bonfire, and concert by a couple great folk/blue grass guys. In the days that followed, we put on our race faces and trimmed hard through usually excellent wind, a couple squalls, and the occasional lull. Combined with John and Marg’s first three days on the C&C 37, our two firsts and a third were good enough to win the event.

But winning was clearly a small part of SUNORA (SUperior NOrth-shore RegattA). The big part was the camaraderie and the fun. They were wonderfully welcoming to two people from blistering Phoenix, letting us join this party of families and friends. You can get a taste of it from the pictures:

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The Campos Rudder Saga: Bazingaplooee

By Steve and Christina Campo

Preparing our Hobie 33 Bazinga for the 2015 Transpac was a two-year challenge, but with the help of the experts in San Diego it was a wonderful experience.

We painstakingly went through every nut and bolt on Bazinga, leaving nothing to chance. One of the major focuses of the refit was the rudder. Anybody familiar with the Transpac knows that the number one reason for boats not to finish is rudder failure. The boat was inspected by the original Hobie builder out of Dana Point and nobody knows Hobies better than Spartan Marine.

The rudder skin was removed down to the stainless shaft, exposing the three stainless cross members and their welds. The welds were massive and looked new. The rudder was then re-skinned and brought back to original. A sleeve was added to the upper aluminum rudder tube, increasing its strength. Rudder tube bushings and Delrin washers were replaced. This work was completed 1½ years before Transpac and had been tested in a dozen races without incident. We dropped the rudder in April to have another look and all appeared good.

We hired weather routing expert Rick Shema, “The Weather Guy,” to plot our route from Point Fermin to the finish at Diamond Head in Oahu and his plan was flawless. He predicted our arrival in 12 days and 7 hours. We were ready.

On the fifth day at sea and 700 miles from the start, around 5 pm, the watch crew was alarmed to find the tiller and rudder pointing in different directions. They couldn’t steer. The wind was blowing 18 knots and we were in 15-foot seas. We were still trying to figure out what was wrong when we saw the rudder came out from under the boat and float away.

Now the real work began. No rudder, heavy seas, and only a few hours of daylight remaining.

Mod 1: We attempted to fabricate a rudder with an aluminum spin pole and a too-large blade made from a fiberglass bunk. The pole failed with the first wave over the stern and folded in half. What works well in 10 knots of wind definitely does not work well in 20+ knots and large seas. We decided to throw the sea drogue over the side and comfortably beam-reach through the night. All was good until we sailed into a high pressure system and slowed dramatically. The drogue brought us to a stop.

Mod 2: Reaching strut with the back-up tiller handle and a hatch board from the V-berth held together with gorilla tape, clamp, nuts and bolts and attached with Dyneema line to the stern rail at the high point and the toe rail at the lower point. We cut plastic water jugs into strips for sleeves. That got us through the high. There was nothing more realistic to do than to sail at a little over one knot, covering 10 miles in 10 long hours. We were still 625 miles from Point Fermin. Eventually the next day the wind picked up and we were back to 5-6 kts. At this speed, the reaching strut couldn’t handle the pressure, nor could we. The tiller was in line with the blade and we had no leverage.

Mod 3: We cut the broken spin pole in half, set the handle at 45 degrees and re-attached the hatch board with gorilla tape, clamp, nuts and bolts and attached to stern rail and toe rail. We called Rick Shema on the sat phone to get the latest weather information and he suggested we heave-to for two days, allowing tropical disturbance Dolores to pass. We headed north and as the wind increased the pulpit started to bend and welds began to fail. We continued to lash the pulpit together.

The Bill Lee Mod 4: Slide the carbon spin pole off the stern with two spin sheets run through the spin blocks. Attach the pole to the stern and run the spin sheets to the tiller. The arrangement worked, but it didn’t take long for us to be worn out. We could only do 30-minute watches. Five hundred miles to go.

Mod 5: Wrap spin sheets around winches and grind to head up or fall off; very labor intensive.

Mod 6: Combination of sea drogue and spin pole rudder system proved to be the best balance in the varying wind and sea conditions. Three hundred miles to go.

Coast Guard San Diego hails Bazinga on the radio wanting to know our status. We plan to sail as far as possible and then motor until we can get to within 40 miles in order for Vessel Assist to tow us in. Copy. Let them know when we’re 100 miles out and when we start to motor.

One hundred miles out we start the motor. At 40 miles out we hail Vessel Assist. Whoa, not so fast. They inform us they won’t come out until we’re out of gas. So we keep motoring through the morning hours. We drain gas from the generator to get us to SD Bay. Mark Butler and Steve Harrison meet us and tow us to SDYC.

We hail Coast Guard SD and thank them for keeping an eye on us.

Vessel Assist hails us and wants to tow us back to SDYC. We thank them for all they did for us, but we’re under tow by friends.

Back on dry land, we could investigate the rudder failure. When the boat came out of the water we saw four inches of stainless steel rudder shaft protruding from the bottom of the boat where the rudder used to be. The shaft had sheared at the top of the blade, most likely from corrosion from the inside out. With no pitting or corrosion on the outside of the tube, it would be next to impossible to foresee an internal failure.

The Campos in happier times, as they prepared to leave for the trip.

The Campos in happier times, as they prepared to leave for the trip.

Wilson Davis Will Compete at a US Sailing Junior Olympic Clinic and Regatta

Wilson Davis

Wilson Davis

Wilson Davis will compete at the Rochester Yacht Club at Lake Ontario, New York, representing Arizona Yacht Club. Surprisingly, Wilson’s father Dennis says Wilson will be the only US entrant, with everybody else coming from Canada. It all happens between July 31 and August 2.

US Sailing has been setting up the events at various places throughout the country, combining competition with high-level training for young sailors. Here’s more on the program.  And here’s more on the event. And here’s a video from US Sailing:


August Meeting: Catamaran Master Designer Gino Morrelli

If you’ve ever sailed on a catamaran of any size or description, you’ve probably sailed on a Morrelli & Melvin boat. They’re that ubiquitous in catamaran design. America’s Cup? Certainly. Gunboats? Check. Leopards? Yup. Hobie Wave? Yes, sir. Really? Really.


Gino Morrelli

In August, company partner Gino Morrelli will be our guest speaker, giving us a peek at the dynamics of this dynamic sailing sector. We can’t imagine anyone better positioned to do it.

Here’s the official bio: “Gino started out working on race cars and boats in his family’s Southern California back yard as a teenager. He built his first boat with his dad and brother, a 33-foot Crowther trimaran in high school. Soon after he started his first company, Climax Catamarans, designing and building 18-square meter cats. He has been entrenched in onshore and offshore race-boat construction efforts since the early 80’s, designing and managing the construction of a French 60′ ocean racing catamaran, multiple Formula 40’s, the 1988 Stars & Stripes America’s Cup catamaran, Bol D’or racers, Little America’s Cup C-Class cats and many racing beach catamarans. Gino raced extensively on Stars and Stripes ’88 with Dennis Connor and Steve Fossett’s Morrelli & Melvin designed 125ft cat PlayStation, setting Atlantic W-E, 24 hour, Round Britain/Ireland records, and many more.”

The meeting is Tuesday, August 11, 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 Morrelli & Melvin designed Gunboat Phaedro, which they re-outfitted and modified for more sail area to run in this year's Transpac. Their boats ran 1-3 in this year's race.

The Morrelli & Melvin designed Gunboat Phaedro, which they re-outfitted and modified for more sail area to run in this year’s Transpac. Their boats ran 1-3 in class in this year’s race.

Join/Renew US Sailing and Get Sailing World Magazine

US Sailing wants you as a member and it’s offering two incentives for you to join. First, AYC gets a credit toward training materials. Second, you get a one-year subscription to either Sailing World or Cruising World magazine.

For you to get the bonus, you need to use this link. You’ll find a drop-down menu, select Arizona Yacht Club, and continue. The bonus is good for either a renewal or new membership in our national sailing organization. Deadline for signing is July 31.


Scot Tempesta Lives Up to Advance Billing

But then you knew he would.

Scot Tempesta takes home a cactus burgee. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Scot Tempesta takes home a cactus burgee. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Scot has been the ringmaster of Sailing Anarchy for 15 years, ever since he started it in a peak of “I’m not in the club” anger when Scuttlebutt didn’t publish a letter of his. He stirred the SA jambalaya for years until he figured out it would bubble and steam on its own and he could use his time better by attracting advertisers, which he’s done with great success. They may be wary of the tone and temperature of the thing, but he says it’s hard to deny the Google Analytics results, which he claims rank SA as the most popular sailing website by far.

Like most of us, he’s worried about the popularity of our sailing hobby: how do you attract new players, especially young people? How do you keep the kids interested if they can’t win races (they tend to drift away)? What about the whole foiling thing, which demands money, skill, and lots of wind. And here’s an intriguing question: What boat would you buy and what AYC fleet would you join if you’d just joined? Is there a fleet with momentum right now?

Besides sailing and s**t-stirring, Scot’s other career was as a radio talk show host in San Diego and he clearly has the talent for it. He could entertain for hours by himself, but it helps to have a few foils in the crowd—and John Riddell played the part perfectly, trying to defend Etchells against Scot’s attack. Scot is not an Etchells fan, thinking they represent a branch of uncomfortable, slow sailing despite their popularity with some of San Diego’s best sailors.

I clearly heard Scot say that he’d come back and talk with AYC again. Good idea!

Scot Tempesta (red shirt) surrounded by some of the monthly meeting crowd. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Scot Tempesta (red shirt) surrounded by some of the monthly meeting crowd. Photo: Chrisann Tortora


Haggarts Snag Third at C14 Nationals

AYC’s Dave and Stacey Haggart finished a strong third in the Capri 14.2 Nationals held the weekend of July 11-12 at Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego. Martin and Cedric Lorch took fifth in the regatta.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that perennial champion Scott Finkboner had a couple weak (for him) races and finished a lowly second. Complete results available here.

A start during the 2015 C14 Nationals at Mission Bay Yacht Club.

A start during the 2015 C14 Nationals at Mission Bay Yacht Club. That’s Martin and Cedric Lorch closest to the camera.

Ready for Some Kool Kinnikinick Kamping?

Steve Nahkala works the barbeque at Kinnikinick.

Steve Nahkala works the barbeque at Kinnikinick.

The annual Kinnikinick weekend is Friday-Sunday, July 31-August 2 this year. No need to register; just show up in the cool pines of Northern Arizona.

Once again Steve Nahkala will be heading up the trip to the cool and people will begin to filter into the campsite Friday, ready to enjoy the remote beauty of the location and the fun gathering of AYCers and friends. The activities are as rustic as the surroundings, with “pasture golf” and horse shoes and Liar’s Dice.

Here’s much more information on the event, including map directions.

Campos Pull Out of the Transpac

Saturday morning (7/18): Christina and Steve Campo have abandoned their Transpac effort and are returning to LA.

The Transpac tracking system tells the story. Their lime green icon is pointed back at the mainland while the rest of the competitors are moving toward Honolulu. The brief description explains that they had a problem with the rudder on their Hobie 33, but the crew is safe and well. They were moving at a reduced speed of just three knots.

You can follow their progress here. Look for the boat Bazinga.

The tracking snapshot on Saturday morning (six hours delayed).

The tracking snapshot on Saturday morning (six hours delayed). That three-pronged object way out in front is the trimaran Lending Club 2, which was not in the race but has now finished, setting a new speed record for the trip of three days, 18 hours, knocking a day off the record. The next wave of fast boats can be seen just off the California coast, but on Saturday morning they were caught in light air and were moving slowly.



Christina and Steve Campo moments before they shoved off for a little sail to Honolulu in Transpac 2015. Unfortunately they won’t be getting leis in Hawaii.


July Meeting: Who is Scot Tempesta and How Can He Say Those Things?

If Scuttlebutt is your serious older brother in a serious gray suit, then Sailing Anarchy is your potty-mouthed, brawling, drunken, bare-foot little brother who just won’t shut up.

Well, the kid’s coming to dinner.

Scot Tempesta

Scot Tempesta

Scot Tempesta sailed a lot and well, but earned his living as a radio talk show host in San Diego, the kind of job where meek and mild gets you unemployed. Scot pleads Not Guilty to both meek and mild and in 2000, when he thought every sailing publication was just too boring, he decided to shake things up. He called it Sailing Anarchy.

A couple years ago Scot described SA’s beginning to Ocean Racing magazine, saying at first he just did it to bitch about things: “Especially bitching about people like Dennis Conner, and Peter Isler, basically people that for various reasons I did not like. I did not like them personally, I didn’t like the way they went about sailing. I just thought I could not be the only person with views like that, and if even I was, I didn’t give a damn and just did it!”

Since then Sailing Anarchy has gotten only a little more respectable, with a bit more actual, you know, content and each web page is ringed with advertiser links from serious companies that don’t seem to mind being associated with anarchy.

So, hang on. Scot Tempesta will be our July meeting speaker.

The meeting is Tuesday, July 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.

Here’s a bit more that you probably didn’t know about Scot’s sailing background. He’s been a member of San Diego Yacht Club for three decades. He’s an accomplished sailor, winning the Lipton Cup for SDYC twice, has been two-time Schock 35 national champion, and has sailed five Transpacs and approximately 40 races to Mexico. He now sails the GP26 Sleeve of Wizard.

Scot claims Sailing Anarchy is the world's most-read sailing website.

Scot claims Sailing Anarchy is the most-read sailing website.

LLS Features AYC’s Tony Chapman in Leukemia Cup Advertisement

This ad will appear in the July 2015 Sailing World and Cruising World magazines.

This ad will appear in the July 2015 Sailing World and Cruising World magazines.

In July, when you open your Sailing World or Cruising World magazine, you’ll see our Tony Chapman in an ad for the Leukemia Cup Regattas, noting the good they do to raise money to fight blood cancers for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

At our annual Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup, Arizona Yacht Club has raised over $500,000 for LLS and the ad notes that Tony has been responsible for more than $100,000. Not by himself, he stresses, but with the help of all of us.

“A large portion has come from my fellow sailors,” he says, “and it makes me realize that as sailors we all support each other almost like family and like no other community I’ve ever been a part of, even when we may be competitors on the race course.”

Tony Chapman

Tony Chapman

Raising money for LLS is very personal for Tony. Thirty-five years ago, his father died of acute myeloid leukemia and he’s made it his mission to help fight the disease. This year he’s raised just under $12,000, the number it takes to qualify for the annual “Fantasy Sail” with leukemia survivor and Leukemia Cup chairman Gary Jobson. Tony, Chris Robertson and Emory Heisler have all been on past Fantasy Sails that commemorate top fundraisers.

Once again in January 2016, AYC will be presenting a first-in-the-nation Leukemia Cup and you’ll have an opportunity to pitch in to help LLS.

Here’s the full-size ad as it will appear in the magazines.


Sailing Tips from a World Champ

Champion sailor Bill Hardesty

Champion sailor Bill Hardesty

Bill Hardesty asked the crowd, “How many of you have a plan before the start?” Did you raise your hand? I did. But then he explained what he meant by a plan and suddenly mine looked pretty incomplete.

Bill Hardesty’s sailing resume is gold-plated: 10-time world champion, a 30-time national champ, and 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year.

When Bill makes a plan for a start, he breaks it down to the second before doing what we all need to do when a plan doesn’t quite match the situation: improvise.

And had you heard of the 20-80 rule? Short explanation: it’s the rule that keeps you from driving all the way to the layline on one tack, leaving yourself some margin for wind shifts or competing boats getting in the way. If you have 20% of one tack remaining and 80% of the other, it’s time to turn the boat.

We had a nice June turnout to hear this exceptional sailor, watching as he moved magnetic boats and sketched starts and mark roundings and kept us all engaged and thinking.

It takes a lot of people to make a meeting go smoothly and Commodore Chris Smith says, “Mike and Maryellen Ferring provided the white board, boats and markers. Peter Lehrach and Victor Felice helped with the set up and dismantling of the sound system and screen and Victor took some fun photos. Steve Brown brought the trophies. Lori Reger welcomed guests. Peter Lehrach worked with Jim Brewer to kick off preparations for next year’s Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup. And big thanks to Cindy Pillote for digging into her personal supply of AYC swag, which we gave to Bill.”

Bill Hardesty talks through what it means to have a plan before the start of a race. Photo: Chris Smith

Bill Hardesty talks through what it means to have a plan before the start of a race. Photos: Chris Smith

June Meeting: Champion Racer Bill Hardesty

Bill-Hardesty-mugCan you handle another great meeting speaker? How about 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bill Hardesty?

Bill has won ten world championships: As tactician for two world championships in the Melges 24, one in the Farr 40, one in the Melges 20, three World Match Race Tour overall wins, and as helmsman for three Etchells world championships. Oh, and he finished a lousy second in last year’s J/70 Worlds. In other words, the guy can sail.

The meeting is Tuesday, June 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.

From Bill’s online bio: Bill was born in Iowa and moved to San Diego at age three, where he lives today. He first stepped on a sailboat at age five, sailing catamarans with his father. He joined Mission Bay Yacht Club and sailed sabots in their junior program. He was successful even at a young age, winning two Sabot Nationals, three Youth Championships, and the High School Doublehanded Nationals.

Bill then went on to sail in college at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York. During his college career he received five All-American Skipper awards, won three National Championships and was College Sailor of the Year in 1998. He majored in marine engineering. After college he briefly campaigned the Laser but then took a break from sailing to work for a power plant in LA and then a manufacturing company in San Diego.

Here’s his very nice website with a little more information and some pictures.

Bill Hardesty (on the boat on the left) goes surfing. Photo: Sara Proctor

Bill Hardesty (on the boat on the left) goes surfing. Photo: Sara Proctor

Great Ride for the Commodore’s Celebration

Commodore's Celebration 2015-37

Dennis Davis cradles Ye Blunder Bucket and hefts the ASF Heavy Lifting Award, a double winner at the 2015 Commodore’s Celebration. Photos: Mike Ferring

The weather was perfect, the crowd raucous, the prizes many for the 2015 Commodore’s Celebration aboard the tour boat Phoenix on Lake Pleasant.

Dennis Davis, daughter Ema, and son Wilson were big winners for the night: all the Davises for the ASF “Heavy Lifting” award for contributions to the foundation and (on a very close vote) Dennis for the prized Ye Olde Blunder Bucket. Dennis edged out Paul Liszewski for the Bucket, charged with not sailing his Santana 20 even though it’s been in his driveway for a year and a half. (Paul came up short for turtling a 14.2 in light air at the club championship races.)

Emily Nowak was awarded the Wayne Jason Tucker award for most-improved junior; Sean, Bailey, and Claria Kohnen the Jerry Linderman Award for Most Improved Junior.

Dave Christensen received the Sportsmanship Award as an AYC “MVP” for his work keeping the scores for hundreds of races every year and for his many other contributions, from repairing boats to serving as race PRO.

And Dave and Stacey Haggart received the big punch bowl as the 2015 Club Champions. New to the club, the two dominated both the 14.2 fleet and the club championship this year.

Chris Smith officially took office as AYC Commodore, urging members to take people sailing in order to build excitement for the sport and to build membership.

Some 88 people shared the night, beginning with a tailgate party in the parking lot hosted by Sloop Dogg’s Chris Smith, moving onto the Phoenix for dinner and a cruise around the lake, watching the sunset under partly cloudy sky and very comfortable temperature.

Here are pictures taken by Mike Ferring.