Light Wind Birthday Regatta

Awards at the The scourge of any sailing regatta: light wind. Give us wind and pretty much everything else takes care of itself, right?

This year the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup was a light wind wonder. But you had fun anyway, right?

Here are the results.

Here are shots of the awards presentations. Photos by Chris Smith.

 

Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Stephanie Roble is February’s Meeting Speaker

Stephanie Roble

Stephanie Roble

On January 14, Terry Hutchinson and Stephanie Roble were named US Sailing’s 2014 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Before she picks up her new Rolex during a ceremony in New York, Stephanie will be our monthly meeting speaker. Really!

The meeting is Tuesday, February 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.

Stephanie Roble won the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship and placed third at the ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship. Based on her 2014 match racing results, she begins the New Year as the top American match racer and is ranked number three in the world.

Last year she was also a member of the Etchells World Championship winning team, crewed on the seventh-place finisher at the J/70 North American Championship and the fifth place-finisher at the Melges 20 North American Championship.

Stephanie is 25 years old. She began by sailing dinghies and scows at Lake Beulah Yacht Club in her hometown of East Troy, Wisconsin, and she graduated from Old Dominion University in Virgina, where she twice earned ICSA All-American Honors (2010, 2011).

Rear Commodore Chris Smith says Stephanie made a big effort to fit our meeting into a multi-city trip, flying in the day of the meeting and jumping on a red-eye on the way out. Chris says let’s show our appreciation and “Let’s pack the house!”

Chris’s home run streak continues this spring with these speakers: March 10, Tom Ehman America’s Cup veteran and director of external affairs for Oracle Team USA; April 14, John Nichols, author of A Voyage for Madmen and Sea Change; May 12, Tom Leweck, storied off-shore racer and founder of Sailing Scuttlebutt News.

Roble-boat

Competing in the Lysekil Match Racing Championships. Photo: Dan Ljungsvik/LWM

 

Sign Up for Spring Racing

Ready to get back to racing? Tempe Town Lake sailors went after each other at the end of January. Lake Pleasant opened for action two weeks later on Saturday, February 7.

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The Gibbs family on their last boat (since replaced by a Catalina 25).

The Gibbs family on their Santana (since replaced by a Catalina 25).

You’ll find all the race documents on the racing page.

The TransLoch Series again is part of the Lake Pleasant action, an opportunity for sailors who like long-distance runs rather than races around the buoys (and it’s a great way to start for people new to the sport).

Otherwise, AYC veterans know the drill: fun on the water. Lasers, Capri 14.2, Buccaneer 18 and Portsmouth boats go at it on TTL. Catalina 22, Santana 20, Thistle, PHRF Non-Spin, Spin, and Sportboat race at Lake Pleasant.

Next Event: 2015 Birthday Regatta

Registration is now closed. 

Here comes the biggest event of the AYC year. Sign up now for the 2015 Birthday Regatta, played Friday-Sunday, January 16-18. Here’s more information on the registration page.

Regatta organizer Cindy Pillote says expect the event to be run a lot like the last two years, with the Saturday night dinner at the Pleasant Harbor Marina Waterfront Grill.

Checking out the scores during the 2014 Birthday Regatta. Photo: Peter Howson.

Checking out the scores during the 2014 Birthday Regatta. Photo: Peter Howson.

Blunder Bucket Runoff: Victor vs Victor!

An epic face-off. Victor Felice versus… well, Victor Felice. Who fumbled the biggest blunder of the fall season?

Victor campaigned for the honor of Biggest Blunder.

Victor campaigned for the honor of Biggest Blunder.

Victor had been campaigning for the win for weeks, even plugging his “exploits” on Facebook (see picture). He’d distributed a video in two versions of one of his, mmm, boo boos—one censored, the other not. And why not campaign? The Blunder Bucket is one of AYC’s highest honors, the winners’ plaques displaying the names of some of our most well-known members, some many times.

So here are the stories, each worthy of the Blunder Hall of Fame:

  1. Racing at Lake Pleasant, Victor and the crew slipped past one of Lake Pleasant’s famous sunken islands, the ones marked with many floating buoys. Actually, they didn’t quite slip past the island, which they learned when the J/24 Mermaid Rescue lurched to a stop. They’d run aground. Okay, that’s not that unusual. So they did it again the next race.
  2. Helping teach impressionable new sailors for ASF at Tempe Town Lake, Victor invited the two students on his boat to clip their keys to his carabiner that he then tossed into his bag before setting off for an afternoon of grueling, light-wind instruction. When the wisps of wind fluttered to a stop, Victor offered a further bit of instruction: here’s how you get the boat to the dock when the wind’s not blowing. Grabbing the mast, he rocked side to side until, you guessed it, the boat capsized, flipping students (but not Victor) into the water. Oh, and the whole cluster of keys, including the students’ keys, including one student’s keys to her boss’s house where she was house-sitting for the weekend!

This last nomination came from witness Joe Motil, who knows a thing or two about losing his keys into the dark muck of Tempe Town Lake. You see, he’d won the Blunder Bucket for that stunt in Spring 2010. Joe eventually found his keys when the lake emptied. But no students’ keys were harmed in that one.

As you can imagine, these two Blunders actually tied in the voting. Victor versus Victor. So emcee Tom Errickson called for a runoff vote. Which Victor won. For the TTL trick, of course, since it’s right up there in Blunder annals with Don DeFreze driving his mom’s car into the water. Haven’t heard that one? Then watch this.

Victor Felice proudly shows off the coveted AYC Blunder Bucket, awarded twice a year for the best sailing blunders. Now apparently he's showing that he had a hand in Vesta running aground in the Volvo Ocean Race!

Victor Felice proudly shows off the coveted AYC Blunder Bucket, awarded twice a year for the best sailing blunders. Now apparently he’s showing that he had a hand in Vesta running aground in the Volvo Ocean Race! Photo and Photoshop by Victor Felice

Catamarans Walk on the Monohulls at Governor’s Cup 2014

Last to start, first to finish! Brett Johnston won the 2014 Arizona Governor’s Cup Regatta sailing his Nacra Inter 20 Catamaran. Brett and his crew Crew (that’s really his son’s name) picked their way through 32 entrants in light and shifty zephyrs for this year’s regatta. Brett had the last start time, one hour and five minutes after the first boat to start in the pursuit race.

Brett gets to keep the gigantic Governor’s Cup trophy (see picture) for the next year. He’ll accept the trophy at Tuesday’s monthly meeting.

In fact, all the entered catamarans dusted the monos, making the best of the light air and finishing about four hours after they started. Best finishing mono was Court Roberts in his Melges 24, working his way into the cat fight.

The event organizer was Cruising Captain Tom Errickson, who opted for a simple format this year: A pursuit race where the slowest boats start first and the fastest start last. Start near the dam, sail around Horse and Balance Rock islands, then the unnamed island at the south end of the lake (an island that’s the only one in that area with vegetation), do most of it again (Horse, Balance, No-Name), and finish at the no-wake buoys at the north ramp.

After the race, everybody was invited to the Pleasant Harbor Marina Grill for a no-host bar and some munchies. Entry fee is $10, member or nonmember, and everyone is invited.

Tom notes with a wink that this Governor’s Cup had Jan Brewer on the race committee boat. Yeah, really. But this Jan Brewer might bear only a passing resemblance to the one occupying the Governor’s office.

Yeah! Brett and Crew Johnston won the Governor's Cup and get to keep it for the next year.

Yeah! Brett and Crew Johnston won the Governor’s Cup and get to keep it for the next year.

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor's Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor’s Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Lake Pleasant Results

It was a fine, windy Saturday followed by a blustery, nutty Sunday−only a half dozen boats showing up to face the heavy wind. Brian Willess decided to come out and offered thanks to the safety boat crew, saying, “They did a great job helping us get the Selina Kyle NACRA 6.0 catamaran pointy side up again. All the guys worked very hard when helping us. Please pass on our gratitude.”

Watch Victor Felice’s entertaining 8 minute video.

Let’s also congratulate the winners: Mike Baros, C22; George Tingom Saturday-only C22; Charles Landis, PHRF Non-Spin; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Court Roberts, PHRF Sportboat; Mike Hester, Thistle (on a tie-breaker over Skip Kempff); Steve Dolter, TransLoch.

The final week of Fall racing at Lake Pleasant  are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

Victor Felice and his brave crew in nutty-windy. Photo: Victor's brave stern pulpit camera.

Victor Felice and his brave crew in nutty-windy. Photo: Victor’s brave stern pulpit camera.

 

Ultimate Sailing Pictures Dazzle November Meeting

Sharon Green signed calendars and books for members at the November meeting.

Sharon Green signed calendars and books for members at the November meeting. Photo: Chris Smith

Sharon Green shot her first sailing pictures of her father racing in Canada and since those early days (and a heady first published picture), she’s been refining her craft at the biggest regattas in the world. And from literally millions of images she’s made in her career, she selected one thick coffee table book full that she called, Thirty Years of Ultimate Sailing. And then she gave us a taste of it all.

Coaxed to the November monthly meeting by Rear Commodore Chris Smith, Sharon offered a multimedia presentation of photos, each one a dazzling triumph of photography.

She’s perhaps best known for her calendar, Ultimate Sailing, that features highlight shots from the year, but she’s also diversified into clothing items and various other sailing stuff on her extensive website. You’ve undoubtedly seen Sharon’s work many more places, including the covers of sailing magazines.

Below, a photo album of our own, pictures of the meeting taken by Chris Smith:

 

Order AYC Branded SLAM Merchandise Online Now

Ryan Hanks models the SLAM hat, vest, and shirt at the October AYC monthly meeting. Photo: Chris Smith

Ryan Hanks models the SLAM hat, vest, and shirt at the October AYC monthly meeting. Photo: Chris Smith

Arizona sailors will soon be looking really good.

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AYC has arranged to get deep discounts for a very limited time on stylish SLAM sailing merchandise, including hats, shirts, vests, and sailing bags. The gear will be the official Birthday Regatta offering, headlined by sharp gray technical shirts accented with dark gray spears and the green AYC logo. The shirts are available in both long and short sleeves. Normally selling for $50 each, you can order them for just $35 for the long-sleeve shirt and $33 for the short-sleeve version.

The other items are a cotton cap with logo and clip-on cap leash, a gray, medium weight vest, and a small sailing bag. All carry the AYC logo and all are offered at discount. The cap is normally $21.95, but AYC is selling it for $15. The vest retails for $75, but AYC is discounting it to $50. And the sailing bag is $30, but AYC will sell it to you for $20.

AYC will order a limited quantity of shirts and hats and they’ll be available until sold out. The vests and sailing bags are available for purchase only until December 15. To ensure that you get the products you want in the sizes you need, be sure to order before the December 15 date.

 

Maryellen Ferring fires up the crowd to sell SLAM merchandise for the upcoming Birthday Regatta. Photo: Chris Smith

Maryellen Ferring fires up the crowd to sell SLAM merchandise for the upcoming Birthday Regatta. Commodore Peter Lehrach applauds in the background. Photo: Chris Smith

Ultimate Sailing Photography: A Sharon Green Splash at November Meeting

Sharon Green in pursuit of another ultimate sailing picture.

Sharon Green in pursuit of another ultimate sailing picture.

Sharon Green has snapped some of the greatest−the Ultimate−sailing pictures of the last 30 years. In November, she’ll let us feast on them at the AYC monthly meeting.

The meeting is Tuesday, November 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.

Sharon is perhaps best known for her calendar, Ultimate Sailing, that features highlight shots from the year. She’s also diversified into clothing items and various other sailing stuff on her extensive website. But you’ve undoubtedly seen her work many more places.

Ultimate Photographer Sharon Green

Ultimate Photographer Sharon Green

From her official bio: Sharon has been published in major boating publications, both locally and internationally, since she first took up a camera while still in high school. She has worked on eight America’s Cups and countless other high profile campaigns and regattas. In recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments in photography Sharon was awarded an honorary Masters Degree from the prestigious Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her daughter Michaela and son Kieran.

Sharon is happiest when she’s on the water or hanging from a helicopter in search of the elusive image that can be called Ultimate Sailing.

“My greatest satisfaction is when it all comes together: the anticipation, planning, organizing, traveling and epic conditions that combine to create a thrilling photograph. The pursuit of Ultimate Sailing images never seems to grow old. Three decades and I still love the challenge of creating memorable images for my clients and the calendar.”

Here’s a video of Sharon in action:

 

On the line for a J/70 regatta.

On the line for a J/70 regatta. Photo: Sharon Green

Sailing on the edge.

Sailing on the edge. Photo: Sharon Green

 

Beals Champ: Maryellen Ferring

Maryellen Ferring with crew Mike Ferring holding the trophy for winning the 2014 Ruth Beals Regatta. Photo: Victor Felice

Maryellen Ferring with crew Mike Ferring holding the trophy for winning the 2014 Ruth Beals Regatta. Photo: Victor Felice

Maryellen Ferring hefted the Ruth Beals Trophy Saturday (11/8), winning the 10th annual race for women at the helm. The race is named for AYC’s founder.

Maryellen and crew Mike Ferring took the win with two first place and one second place finishes in light air at Tempe Town Lake. Last year’s winner, Cindy Pillote, finished second with crew Wilson Davis. Suzette Bush was third with two different crew. All competitors sailed Capri 14.2s.

Thanks to AYC Fleet Captain Steve Brown for heading the race committee and RC workers Bob Whyte and Victor Felice.

Maryellen and Mike look back to make sure they're not gaining! Photo: Dennis Davis

Maryellen and Mike look back to make sure they’re not gaining! Photo: Dennis Davis

 

Glittering Lake Pleasant Weekend

There’s nothing quite like a windy weekend to make for fun sailing and we had plenty of it November 1&2.

The turnout was surprisingly light, especially given the favorable conditions. Thistles led the fleets and staged a great final showdown between Mike Hester and returning Thistle ace Skip Kempff, with Mike snatching the fall season win by a tie-breaker, winning the final race on Sunday. (Thistles will be on race committee during the season’s final weekend.) Like to see all the results? Here they are.

Thanks to Commodore Peter Lehrach for devoting his Saturday to creating one smokin’ meat-packed dinner!

Pictures below by Mike Ferring: