Registration Open for Fall Racing

Click on the link to the AYC Racing Page for all the information, race documents and the registration button for the 2019 fall racing action.

Racing begins at Tempe Town Lake on Sunday, September 8, and at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, September 21. Plug your ears for the opening gun at Lake Pleasant: we’re firing the club cannon this year to kick off the new season and will follow it up with an Opening Day celebration later in the day.

Looking for crew or wanting to crew? Commodore Rob Gibbs is revising the crew list system this year, so watch for his update. In the meantime, ask around and mark your calendar for a crew party on Saturday afternoon and evening, September 7.

If you’d like to know more about this game we play, consider signing up for the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class. It will be Thursday evening, September 19, from 6:30-9 at the Eisendrath House. Here’s much more about it. By the way, it’s free.

Lori Reger reflecting on sailing a Sunfish on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Bob Naylor has recruited enough Sunfish folks to create at TTL fleet for the fall. If you have a Sunfish under cover, knock the cobwebs off and bring it out to tangle with the other fish. Here’s background on the fleet.

The Ruth Beals Cup race for women at the helm has been moved to Saturday, October 12. Here’s more on that event.

All of the Arizona Sailing Foundation sailing classes are open for registration now, but the adult class is full. Click on the “education” link.

How to Get More Women Sailing

The poster for the inspirational movie “Maiden”

Have you seen the movie Maiden? It’s currently showing at the Harken’s theater at Fashion Square and it’s a truly inspirational and entertaining documentary tracing the 1989-1990 all-women’s campaign in the Whitbread Around-the-World race.

A boatload of women challenged the men in this grueling event, not only finishing the race, but coming in second in their division.

How do we get more girls and women into sailing? Here are two efforts to do that.

The first is simple. Fill out a survey, whether you’re a man or woman. Here’s the link. The survey is being conducted by the World Sailing Trust and it aims to determine how both men and women are introduced to the sport.

As they put it, “Its aim is to allow us to understand more about the realities of women and girls in sailing: what attracts them, what puts them off, why they drop out, the perceived and real barriers to participation that they might face and how this varies across countries, ages, classes and competition and different elements of the sport – racing vs recreational vs officials and, how we can increase women and girls’ participation.”

The second is Debbie Huntsman’s National Women’s Sailing Association, which joining with Tumble Weed Sailing to put on a WOWZR regatta November 1-3 (the weekend after AYC’s Ruth Beals Cup Regatta). Their event includes seminars and coaching culminating in racing.

More Bright AYC History: Arizona Highways 1962

Lido 14s racing in 1962. Click to see a bigger view.

Arizona Highways magazine in the 1960s was at the height of its fame: a lavish, glossy publication that was the state’s answer to Life magazine, with splendid color photographs shot with large format film cameras. In September of 1962, Arizona Highways chose to feature the nascent Arizona Yacht Club and Arizona sailing on the cover and in an extensive inside article.

Lori Reger found a copy of the magazine among our dusty treasures and then tracked down a digital copy in the Arizona Highways archives. Here it is as a slimmed-down PDF with the sailing section extracted.

Besides the high-production photographs, there are a few hundred words of description by writer Bill Dawn, most of them steam heated. If the copy had been acting, we’d say it was chewing the scenery. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Regattas are held every other week from September to May and the rock bound Arizonan dumps the desert sand from his boots and trades them for the crepe soled shoes of the sailor. The heat of the desert is exchanged for the heat of competition, the quiet air of the city for the cooling breeze that drifts above the water. The week’s tensions of profession or trade are quickly absorbed, becoming lost in the relaxed atmosphere and easy laughter of the week-end sailors.”

There’s also some actual description of Arizona sailing, when AYC racing was being done mostly in Lido 14s at Canyon Lake and sometimes at Saguaro and Roosevelt. Lake Pleasant then was much smaller and hard to reach.

They wrote, “Much is being done to improve Lake Pleasant, on the Agua Fria River. Heretofore the trip was a rugged one, the road very bad, the ‘natural launching ramp’ bumpy and steep, and the level of the lake uncertain. The brave one who made the trip, towing his sailboat through the heat and dust over the rough road could be certain of a wonderful sail on a beautiful, uncrowded waterway, surrounded here, not by steep walls, but by gentle, rolling hills and the same strange spectacle of desert landscape surrounding a body of water.”

There’s also a description of a Phoenix sailor who did very well in what they called the “Trans-Pac.”

“Owned and skippered by A. B. “Bob” Robbs, Jr., Phoenix, Arizona businessman, ‘Nam Sang’ completed the grueling 2,225 mile run from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 10 days, 16 hours, 26 minutes and 25 seconds. She finished at night amid the glare of searchlights playing back and forth across the Basin. The victory, bringing Robbs and his exhausted but exhilarated crew the Class A and overall fleet handicap championships, came over a fleet of 41 entrants.”

Arizona sailing making history 57 years ago.

“Nam Sang” in the Transpac from Arizona Highways magazine.

Historic Club Championship Photos

The 1995 Club Championship contest in Santana 20s. Photo: Bob Worrall

Bob Worrall was sorting through what he says were some 30,000 pictures he’s accumulated on his computer when he stumbled on some with some serious AYC history: shots from 1995 and 1997 of AYC Club Championship racing.

The 1995 Championship was run in Santana 20s and was won by Al Lehman Jr. with Willie Nowak as crew.

The 1997 Championship was run with Catalina 15s and was won by, yup, Al Lehman Jr., but this time with Darrell Carapetyan as crew.

Here’s a selection of Bob’s shots that I’ve tweaked a little in Photoshop:

August Meeting: Ocean Cleanup

By Debbie Heisler

4Ocean, cleaning the stuff that’s clogging the world’s oceans.

How will we clean up the mess that’s destroying our oceans? At August’s monthly meeting, Emilie Johnsen of 4ocean will tell us how their organization is attacking this massive problem.

It reminds me of that phrase, “In for a penny, in for a pound.” Or “If you’re going to take a risk at all, you might as well make it a big risk.”

It seems to me that the founders of this ocean cleanup company made a decision to take a big risk in an effort to start cleaning up the ocean one pound at a time. 4ocean employs people to remove trash from the ocean and coastlines while inspiring and educating others to work for cleaner oceans.

Emilie’s August speaking assignment: “Marine debris as a global issue, why it’s important to everyone, and what we can do to help every day.”

She says, “Plastic doesn’t only impact the ocean and marine life but people as well; plastic pollution has become both an environmental and socioeconomic issue that we can change for the better.”

Emilie’s the Education Supervisor at 4ocean and oversees all education initiatives and programs. She received her Master’s in Marine Biology at Nova Southeastern University, and uses her knowledge of marine ecosystems, plastic pollution, and recycling to help the company represent as the global leader in marine debris solutions.

She’s clearly not afraid of the big risk, telling us, “From reducing our single-use plastic to learning how to properly recycle, we can help guide you in the right direction! The ocean is the resource of all life on Earth. In order to protect ourselves, we must first protect the ocean.”

The meeting is Tuesday, August 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are now held at R.T. O’Sullivans at the corner of Hayden and Thomas. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Plan for the Summer Campout

The AYC Summer Campout will be August 2-4 this year, again at Dairy Springs campground, but this year as a joint venture with the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club.

You can just show up and grab a spot, but organizers Matt and Andi Baker can also reserve a spot for you. Email Andi to let them know you’re coming. And you can also reserve a spot on the parks website.

Think soft breezes, mesquite smoke from the campfire and lazy afternoons in hammocks. AYC Junior campers can participate in chopping wood, starting fires with flint and steel, and making cowboy coffee. For those with refined coffee taste we will be hosting the National Championship Latte in a Dutch Oven Barista Competition. Brush up on your coffee making skills, and bring your best Williams-Sonoma along.

We hope the Museum Fire will be well contained and we can expect blue sky. The Newman fire closure area just north of our Campground will NOT affect any planned activities.

Get in touch by contacting Andi Baker or commenting on the event page on Facebook or by calling 505.550.1218.

Here’s lots of information about this traditional summer getaway.

Read about the event and see pictures from two years ago at Dairy Springs.

Steve Nahkala tends the fire at an AYC summer campout. Photo: Mike Ferring

July Meeting: Yacht Delivery for Fun and Adventure

By Debbie Heisler

Note: New location for the monthly meeting. Information below.

Debbie and Emory Heisler in full-foul on one of their deliveries.

Have you ever dreamed of sailing across big blue oceans? What about being in total command of your own vessel for a vacation to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, or other areas of the world? Or getting paid to drive a charter boat for someone as a captain or just being crew? It’s all possible with a little planning and a sense of adventure.

Emory and I will share photos and stories of all the “fun” we had during our Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Atlantic Coast to Caribbean (and back and back and back again) sailboat delivery and sailing adventures. Newport, RI. City Island, NY. Chesapeake Bay. The Bahamas. Florida. Puerto Rico. BVIs. Bermuda… and back. Together we sailed over 5000 nm in six months on other people’s boats. Emory will also share his experience and guidance about the USCG Captain’s licensing process. It’s sure to be both fun and informative.

The meeting is Tuesday, July 9, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are now held at R.T. O’Sullivans at the corner of Hayden and Thomas. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Debbie’s favorite boat during their trips along the East Coast, a Vagabond 47 ketch.

Like to Play Host to an AYC Happy Hour?

By Heather McClain, Cruising Captain

AYC Volunteers needed—Easiest and most fun volunteer gig EVER!

AYC has been holding monthly Happy Hour gatherings (or “Dog Watch”) at various bars and restaurants around the Valley, either on Tuesday or Thursday from about 5:30p to, well, until people leave. The Dogs have been in different areas and different days to make it easy for members and nonmembers to find one they can attend nearby. The attendance varies from a handful to 20+.

So, how would you like to host one?

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Select one of the available dates for the Happy Hour you’ll host (see below).
  • Pick your favorite local bar/restaurant.
  • Show up at the right place and the right time, and buy up to $100 of appetizers (not beverages/alcohol) for AYC members and potential AYC members who attend.
  • Collect the contact info of the potential AYC members at happy hour (name, email, phone number).
  • Submit by email the contact info to Heather McClain and the receipt for reimbursement to Treasurer Tony Chapman.

Interested? Here are the available dates:

Thurs 8/22/19, Thurs 10/24/19, Tues 1/28/20, Thurs 2/27/20, Tues 3/24/20, Thurs 4/23/20, Tues 5/26/20, Thurs 6/25/20.

You want to host a Happy Hour but don’t know when? Contact me! We’ll work it out.

Happy Hour at 4 Peaks Brewing in Tempe.

Sailing Made to Scale

Here’s a problem we don’t often have on full-size boats. Photo: Mike Ferring

Is a Mallard on starboard an obstruction? Good thing the ducks on Estrella South Lake know how to paddle out of the way of fast-closing serious racers, close-hauled and chasing toward the windward mark.

The wind was light on this Saturday morning when a dozen SeaWind radio-controlled boats lined up for the start at a regatta presented by the West Valley R/C Mariners. In spite of the light stuff, the boats moved quite well on a w/l course roughly 40 yards long.

Multi-time AYC Club Champion Al Lehman Jr. is a recent convert to RC racing. Surprise: he’s good at it. Photo: Mike Ferring

On the shore, the dozen sailors and a couple race officers shuffled to keep pace with the boats and expertly trim sails and steer from a distance—a job made especially difficult with shifting wisps of breeze. No one spoke (or shouted at his crew). It felt like a tense championship tennis match.

Four of those sailors were AYC members: Al Lehman and Al Junior, Dave Nowak, and Dean Johnson (who recently joined AYC and races an Andrews Governor’s Cup 21 in PHRF Spin).

Dean says he’s been RC racing a decade or more and he’s an RC winner. Al Jr told us he picked up the hobby about 1½ years ago and loves it. As you probably know, Al is a champion sailor in full-size boats and has adapted quickly to RC. He said he finished third in the national championships in Sacramento last year.

Al and Al Jr are attracted to how easy it is to go sailing with RC: it’s cheap, takes no time to rig, and you can sail in the nearest pond. “Under $100 for sails,” Al Jr smiles. Try that with your big boat.

They explain that the one-meter SeaWind is just one of a number of RC boats being raced and point to the DragonFlite 95 as an easy-entry, up-and-coming class. Here’s more.

At the end of the day, Al Jr had won the regatta with Dean Johnson in second.

Jed Korthals reported to the racers that, “In race ten the windward mark mysteriously moved closer to the offset mark. It turns out that a fairly large turtle, with its foot caught on a fish hook and line, had entangled the windward mark. We were able to reel it in, free the turtle from its trapped leg, and reset the mark. Everyone, especially the turtle, seemed happy.”

Photos by Mike Ferring:

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday night organizer George Sheller. Photo: Mike FerringWhat are you doing Wednesday night? How about coming out for some highly casual racing at Tempe Town Lake?

We start racing at 5:30 and go until sundown. We do a one minute start sequence. One turn penalty. Short w/l courses.

This started as a Laser thing, but others started coming out, which was great. We all start together.

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 we don’t keep scores. This is good practice, with bragging rights and then (for those who want to) off to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Have questions?  Email me.

See you out there,
George Sheller

Help ASF with Each Amazon Purchase

Do you shop at Amazon? The huge online merchant will give .5% (one-half percent) of the money from each of your purchases to our Arizona Sailing Foundation. As of mid-June 2019, the “Amazon Smile” program has donated $333 to ASF.

Your purchases cost the same. Amazon Prime still applies, if you’ve bought that service. ASF just gets a cut of all your dollars.

It’s simple. Instead of buying from amazon.com, you buy from smile.amazon.com. Sign up to have your purchases credited to ASF. That’s it. Takes less than a minute.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead. Route .5% of your money to ASF.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead in order to route .5% of your money to ASF.

June Meeting: Bring a Joke

Look Scallywag, it’s a gathering of AYC pirates!

By Debbie Heisler, Rear Commodore

With summer vacations, family events and Arizona heat taking us to places like Croatia, Catalina, Yellowstone, and Greece, our June meeting is traditionally smaller in attendance.

For those of you traveling to more remote locations like Buckeye or Apache Junction we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday evening. Come early for dinner as we will host a “Get to Know” your Maties, Scallywags, Swashbucklers, and maybe a Rapscallion, Picaroon or two “Social Gathering.”

The meeting is Tuesday, June 11, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at The Grill @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Whichever sailing name you choose to use, these are your club members. Please join us for what is sure to be a fun gathering. Yes, you will be asked to interact with Buckos you don’t know, or think you do! Together we’ll all discover things we never knew (maybe never wanted to know) about each other. It will all be in good fun.

PS: Bring what you think is your best sailing/pirate/boat joke and we’ll make time for you to share it.

Joel Hurley Wins Club Championship

2019 AYC Club Champion Joel Hurley. Photo: Mike Ferring

Consistency did it. In six races, Joel Hurley scored no lower than third, turning 3-2-2-2-1-2 into the 2019 Club Championship.

Mike Hester kept it close right to the end, with three firsts and a second, but was dragged down by a first-race sixth place and fourth-race fourth. All the scores are shown below.

The game was played Saturday, May 4, in Lasers at Lake Pleasant. Five fleet champions and reigning Club Champ Scott Richards turned out for the event. In fact, the field included four former Club Champions (Hester, Haggart, Richards and Kempff). Three other fleet champions declined the invitation, saying they weren’t ready to race in a Laser.

Conditions were generally good for the regatta, with light to moderate wind and mild temperatures. This annual race-off to determine a Club Champion is contested in one-design boats and this time the Laser fleet provided the boats and most of the race committee (Bernard, Hasty, Newland, Sheller, Younger, Zornik). Mike Parker was PRO and Fleet Captain George Sheller was the organizer. LP Lake Captain David Newland provided his personal powerboat as the mark/safety boat. Maryellen Ferring brought the post-race eats.

 

Here are shots of the action by Mike Ferring:

Join Nevada Sailors on Stars & Stripes

The Nevada Yacht Club is organizing a group trip to San Diego to sail in a “race” between two America’s Cup boats and they’re inviting you to come with them.

They’re hoping to get enough people to match race Il Moro against Stars & Stripes, two of the boats that competed for the America’s Cup and are now being used as tourist attractions.

Here’s a little more information about their trip.

The non-member price for sailing with the group is $150/person.

Here’s a link to the Stars & Stripes site.

Stars & Stripes in tourist service in San Diego.

Here Come the Champions

As this is written, there’s one more Sunday of racing at Tempe Town Lake, but you can be pretty sure who some of the fleet champs will be at both lakes. Scores have now been posted for the last weekend at Lake Pleasant, so we know who won there.

Congratulations to Spring winners: Skip Kempff, Thistle; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Mike Ferring, PHRF Sport Boat; Joel Hurley, Santana 20; Steve Grothe, Catalina 22; Fred Rahn, Multi.

At TTL, Dave Haggart will likely take C14 and Joel Hurley Laser. Portsmouth is still undecided, but going into the final weekend, Clay Poulson has it pretty much locked up. Colin Gibbs is leading the Junior Fleet at TTL, but isn’t eligible for the Club Championship.

Some of those same names are expected to race in the Club Championship in Lasers at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, May 4. Here’s the expected line-up: Joel Hurley, Santana 20 and Laser; Dave Haggart, C14; Clay Poulson, Portsmouth; Bob Worrall, C22; Mike Hester, Sport Boat; Skip Kempff, Thistle; Scott Richards, reigning champ. Paul Liszewski (Spin) and Fred Rahn (Multi) have indicated they don’t wish to race in Lasers and will not compete.

Here are the TTL results.

Here are some shots from Mike Ferring:

Women’s Sailing Education Programs

By Debbie Huntsman

A whole lotta luffin’ at the LAST meeting. Graphic: Debbie Huntsman

National Women’s Sailing Association presents: L.A.S.T. (Learn About Sailing Things)

Join the new monthly program at Lake Pleasant. Designed to serve as sailing education for women in a social setting, we will address a wide variety of subjects tailored to the group. (We want you to tell us what you want to learn about sailing!) You must sign up at the National Women’s Sailing Association site monthly to assure your spot.

April 28, 3-5 pm 
Step Aboard
Learn about the boat, how things work, basic crew duties and steps to take before leaving the dock. Attendees should bring a life jacket (we have a few loaners) and dress for sailing with non-skid, non-marking, closed toed shoes.

May TBD
Rules of the Road for Sailors
Understanding navigation rules is essential knowledge for all sailors. We will learn the basics then open the book to see the more complex.

June TBD
What’s in Your Sailing Purse? 
Things to bring, their purpose and use and things to leave home or in your vehicle.

We will learn about sailing things, socialize and enjoy refreshments courtesy of Tumbleweed Sailing.

Sign Up for Tall Cactus Fun Regatta

Start with a social gathering at Spinnaker Point from 10-noon, launch your boat, start at 2pm, dash around a couple islands and various marks and finish.

That’s this year’s Tall Cactus Regatta, our fun pretty-much-end-of-the-season regatta, Saturday, April 27. Register now on the Racing page, where you’ll also find the chart and the documents.

Principal Race Officer Rob Gibbs has answered one important question before you ask: Yes, you do have to sail around Horse and Balance Rock islands in addition to the drop marks at those locations.

A chunk of the Tall Cactus race chart showing the route around the northern islands of Lake Pleasant.

Updating the AYC Bylaws

Every three-to-four years we’ve been updating the AYC Bylaws to clarify, simplify, and update the document that governs how the club is run. Time to to it again.

On your election ballot this year are various non-controversial changes to the bylaws, including these changes:

  1. Eliminate the provision requiring publishing the names of people who have not paid renewal dues by mid-August. Time to stop “shaming.”
  2. Conduct elections by electronic ballot. We’ve actually been doing this for several years. We retain your right to vote by appearing at the election counting spot in person.
  3. Establish a method for certifying election results and setting a time for the new board to take office.
  4. Simplify the wording of rules for Board of Directors meetings and allow email votes on routine matters.
  5. Clarify and simplify the composition and responsibility of the Rules Committee. No actual change compared to how this has been handled forever.
  6. Simplify the section on appointed committees.
  7. Considerably simplify the process for amending or changing the bylaws.

Here’s a copy of the mark-up version of the changes for your review.

The changes were proposed by Junior Staff Commodore Mike Ferring. Commodore Rob Gibbs convened a review committee composed of himself, Emory Heisler, John Mayall, Mike Yarnell, Mike Ferring and Will Zornik, which agreed to the final version. The AYC Board then approved the changes and voted to put them on the ballot.

Changes to the AYC Bylaws are on the ballot this year.

Like to Learn About a Blokart?

Yes, Blokart. A sailing cart. No water required. A variation on a sailboat or an iceboat for speeded-crazed people like, well, you.

The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club (LPSC) has invited Charlie Quiroz of Musselman Honda Circuit kart racing track in Tucson to explain this nutty concept at the club’s meeting Tuesday, April 16, at 7pm, at Rolling Hills, the same place AYC meets. AYC members are invited to join in.

Here’s more about a Blowkart. And below is a typical video.

A basic Blowkart thrill machine.

 

LP Was Feeling Calm

So calm that on Saturday (3/30), “racing” became a drifting test. For example, the one time the C22 fleet started, it smashed through the fleet’s two-hour maximum time limit and the race needed to be abandoned (the breeze that tricked the RC from not shortening disappeared as quickly as it came).

On Sunday, the morning breeze looked good. Until it didn’t. But a few races went off.

Here are the scores.

Joel Hurley and Grant Younger winning the Santana 20 fleet. Drone photo: Mike Ferring

Extremely close downwind finish for C22 that ultimately didn’t score: the race went on too long. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sport Boat race committee. Drone photo: Mike Ferring