Club Championship Duel in the Desert

The champs of all the AYC fleets will step onto Catalina 22s this Saturday (5/10) and compete for the club’s most valued trophy: the Club Championship Cup. You’re invited to float your boat to watch, cheer, jeer, and enjoy a day on the water.

Santana 20 champ Martin Lorch with son Cedric and Kyle Clark in a big downwind run. Background: tough new competition from John Riddell. Photo: Chris Smith

Santana 20 champ Martin Lorch with son Cedric and Kyle Clark in a big downwind run. Photo: Chris Smith

Once again the favorite has to be Martin Lorch, current holder of the Cup, Santana 20 fleet champ, and four-time winner of this event. Actually, there are two Lorches qualified for the race, with Martin’s son Cedric also qualifying by winning the C14 fleet at Tempe Town Lake.

The competitors will gather at Spinnaker Point at 8 am for a Skippers’ Meeting, then will help rig boats graciously loaned by members of the C22 fleet before heading out for a 10:30 am first gun. The regatta will be up to eight short races, with the skippers and their crews switching boats between races to equalize any differences in the performance of the boats.

2014 Club Championship entrants and their fleets are: 2013 Club Champion & Santana 20, Martin Lorch; Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; PHRF Non Spin, Victor Felice; PHRF Spin, Norman Anderson; PHRF Sportboat, Chris Smith; Thistle, Jason Rziha; Buccaneer 18, Emory Heisler; Laser, George Sheller; Capri 14.2, Cedric Lorch. Unfortunately, George Sheller and Norm Anderson aren’t able to make it and will miss the regatta.

Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock has planned and will oversee the event as Principle Race Officer. Others on the officiating team are Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Mike and Maryellen Ferring, Cindy Pillote, and Gail Kiel.

Dr. Bob Beers first conceived of the Club Championship in 1967 and set up the Deed of Gift that defines the event and prescribes who may participate. After decades running the event without formal documents, they were instituted about eight years ago and you’ll find this year’s race documents on the racing page.

Cedric Lorch Repeats as High School Champion

High School coach George Tingom presents winning trophies to Madison Cordova and Cedric Lorch.

High School coach George Tingom presents winning trophies to Madison Cordova and Cedric Lorch.

He did it again. After the finish of the seventh race of the 2014 Arizona State High School Sailing Championship, the clear winners were skipper Cedric Lorch from Valley Lutheran HS and crew Madison Cordova from Veritas Preparatory Academy. Last year, Cedric teamed with Mitchell Wenger to win the 2013 championship.

The wind and temperature (4/19) were perfect for sailing this year, made even more interesting by wind shifts that helped the winning boats rise to the top.

Cedric and Madison swept the competition, and of the five boats racing, only the team of Wilson Davis and Peter Blake were able to break their string of victories. Bharath Tata and Jake Xu were very consistent, putting up five second place finishes to finish second for the day.

Race committee chairman, high school sailing coach, and instructor George Tingom said that this year’s event was by far the most enjoyable so far, both for the contestants and the crowd cheering from under the blue canvas shade along the north shore.

Strong wind pushed the High School Championship to seven races.

Strong wind pushed the High School Championship to seven races.

“We could have declared a winner early,” he said, “but the wind was very nice and all the kids were having fun. Three of the seven races were three times around using all of the distance allowed in the East Basin of Tempe Town Lake.

Said George, “We have a fantastic core of volunteers that without doubt will make this event a strong foundation for high school sailing in the state of Arizona. We’re hopeful of fielding a bigger turnout for next year’s race on Saturday April 18, 2015.”

The class portrait of the 2014 High School Championship competitors.

The class portrait of the 2014 High School Championship competitors.

Final – Corrected Results after one throw-out
1st Place 6 Points – (Cedric Lorch / Madison Cordova)
2nd Place 14 Points – (Bharath Tata / Jake Xu)
3rd Place 17 Points (Wilson Davis / Peter Blake)
4th Place 22 Points (Alec Arthur / Daniel Moore)
5th Place 24 Points (Ema Davis / Daniel Mobley)

Perfect Day for 2014 Tall Cactus

Tall-Cactus-Steve-Brown

Jamie Hamza and Steve Brown toast a win on Steve’s winning Viper 640. Behind the camera: Chrisann Tortora

Lots of wind and sun made the 2014 Tall Cactus regatta nearly perfect—sprinting from Pleasant Harbor Marina, around the Cole’s Bay marker, Balance Rock, and to the no-wake buoys at the North Ramp entrance. Less than two hours for winner Steve Brown and his Viper 640. Just a few minutes later Scott Battle crossed the line in 4th, putting his Catalina 22 first in the non-spin division.

It began with a staggered start, the C22s at 11 am, the Vipers and Dave Christensen’s Mini 650 some 40 minutes later and the rest arrayed in between. Spotty wind at the start spread the fleets until things began to even out later in the north leg, a downwind number.

And it all wrapped up over shishkabobs at Spinnaker Point, with living trophies presented by event organizer Ralph Vatalaro—appropriately, small cactus plants that one day may grow to mighty Tall Cactus.

The J/80s make nice. Left: Maryellen and Mike Ferring, Brian Dye, Bob White and Becky Houston; Right: Chris Smith, Peter Lehrach, Mike Grijalva, and Greg Jackson. Photo: Chris Smith

The J/80s make nice. Left: (l to r) Maryellen Ferring, Brian Dye, Bob White, Becky Houston and Mike Ferring; Right (l to r): Peter Lehrach, Greg Jackson, Mike Grijalva, and Chris Smith. Photo: Chris Smith

 

Cruising Captain and event organizer Ralph Vatalaro presents a prickly prize to Scott Battle (right) and crew Doug McMillan.

Cruising Captain and event organizer Ralph Vatalaro presents a prickly prize to Scott Battle (right) and crew Doug McMillan. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Lake Pleasant Final Results for 2013-2014

Stan Ferris offers this interpretation of the Saturday wind gusts.

Stan Ferris offers this interpretation of the Saturday wind gusts.

From  20kts+ to 0 to 20kts+ all with in 5 minutes, Lake Pleasant served up a great final weekend of racing.

Congratulations to the Spring Series Winners: Steve Grothe, C22; Greg Atwell, Multi-Hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Norm Anderson (by one point over Tom Baker!), PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Chris Smith (by two over Mike Ferring), PHRF Sportboat; Jason Rziha, Thistle; Steve Dolter, TransLoch.

And the Combined Fall-Spring Winners: Steve Grothe, C22; Brian Willess, Multi-Hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Norm Anderson, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Chris Smith, PHRF Sportboat; Jason Rziha, Thistle. All but Multi-Hull will represent their fleets in the Club Championship Regatta in May.

Final Weekend and Spring 2014 Series Final
TransLoch fleet
Combined Fall 2013 & Spring 2014

 

Tempe Town Lake Results

More wind needs more weight on the rail. Ferrings with three crew on a windy Sunday. Photo: Colleen Jimenez

More wind needs more weight on the rail. Ferrings with three crew on a windy Sunday. Photo: Colleen Jimenez

March went out like a lion, as the wind blew over 15 most of the afternoon (3/31) for the TTL spring series. And most everybody stayed upright. The scores from week six of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

By the way, if you’re interested in what the City of Tempe is doing to replace the TTL dam, here’s information on an upcoming public meeting.

AYC Election for the Next Board of Directors

The annual election of AYC officers has begun. Here are the nominees:

Peter Lehrach

Peter Lehrach has been nominated to be the next AYC Commodore.

Commodore: Peter Lehrach
Vice Commodore: Christina Campo
Rear Commodore: Chris Smith
Junior Staff Commodore: Cynthia Pillote
One-Year Membership Director: Dianna Andress
Two-Year Membership Director: John Riddell
Fleet Captain: Steve Brown
Cruising Captain: Tom Errickson

In addition, the board selects a Treasurer and Secretary. Tony Chapman has agreed to continue as Treasurer and Lori Reger will continue as Secretary. Continuing on the board as Senior Staff Commodore, Mike Ferring.

The nominating committee: Martin Lorch, Matt Davis, George Tingom, J.M. Kiel, George Sheller, Bruce Andress, Victor Felice, Chris Smith, Ben Doane, Mike Parker, Tom Errickson, Jeff Sloan, Cindy Pillote (non voting).

In addition to voting for officers, you’ll be asked to decide whether to increase the annual dues from $125/year to $150/year. The increase requires a two-thirds majority in order to pass. (AYC dues have not increased for more than 10 years.)

A link to voting has been emailed to all the full members of record as of April 1. If you didn’t receive the link, contact Mike Ferring. If you requested a paper ballot, you’ll need to return it postmarked by May 9 or bring it to the counting session at the Caddy Shack by 6pm on Tuesday, May 13. With electronic voting, the counting takes about one minute, so don’t be late.

Sun, Breeze and Grog for April 12 Tall Cactus

[button link=”http://arizonayachtclub.wildapricot.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1831141&eventId=875650&EventViewMode=EventDetails” bg_color=”#00703c”]Sign Up Now[/button]

The Tall Cactus Regatta returns to Lake Pleasant on April 12. Sign up by clicking on the button above. Note: This is a new registration system, so let us know what you think of it. You’ll pay through the PayPal system, but you’ll have the option of paying as a PayPal guest using any credit card.

Tall_Cactus_GraphicFor this annual event, we’re looking forward to a casual sunny cruise around the islands and coves of Lake Pleasant, finishing up at Pleasant Harbor.

After the finish, we’ll gather at Spinnaker point to celebrate our success at navigating Lake Pleasant’s treacherous waters with a tot of grog and other refreshments at a barbeque.

We would like to extend a hearty invitation to our friends in the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club and other sailing groups to join us in this annual floating fiesta.

Details:

  • Saturday, April 12, 9 am skippers meeting, 11 am start. The starting sequence will be based upon the PHRF rating of your boat, with the highest numbers starting first.
  • Cost: $25 per entry. Each entry comes with one dinner. Each additional dinner is $10. Kids under 16 eat free.

Here is the chart for the windier day, which it appears we’ll have: About 12 miles

Starting times for currently registered boats:

PHRF Type Start
270 Catalina 22
11:00:00
249 Capri 16 11:04:12
246 Tanzer 22 11:08:48
216 Laguna 26 11:10:48
219 Merit 22 11:14:12
174 Santana 23 11:23:12
126 J/80 11:32:48
111 Viper 640 11:35:48
90 Open 6.50m
11:36:00

 

—Ralph Vatalaro (with Michael Parker)

Mild Lake Pleasant Results

Saturday's challenging wind pattern: left, right, up, down. Submitted by Bob Whyte

Saturday’s challenging wind pattern: left, right, up, down. Submitted by Bob Whyte

Lake Confusing lived up to its name on the weekend (3/23-24), with lots of shifts and mostly light to no wind. In spite of that we got in several races. And it was warm. And Martin Lorch’s dinner was fabulous. Here are the results, subject to some corrections to come.

The TransLoch fleet suffered most, with only three boats able to complete the distance by the 4 o’clock cutoff. Here are the (revised) scores.

Bruce Brown: How to Stay Safe on a Boat

Bruce Brown points to a graph showing boating accidents. Photo: Mike Ferring

At the March AYC monthly meeting, Bruce Brown points to a graph showing boating accidents. Photo: Mike Ferring

The most important thing you can do to stay safe on a boat is: stay on the boat. Once you’re in the water, recovery is difficult, especially with today’s fast boats that leave a crew overboard far behind in short order.

Safety expert Bruce Brown offered a string of tips to the March monthly meeting, including the use of jacklines and safety harnesses, PFDs, and recovery techniques.

Bruce presented six challenges to rescues and offered 8 strategies to make them successful. In the ocean, crew recovery is considerably more complicated than in our generally calm lakes. Spotting a crew member (or even being aware someone’s gone overboard) is one of the biggest challenges. Quickly marking approximate location by GPS and keeping a spotter with eyes on the person are critical—and the person in the water can help by waving and pulling on a brightly-colored hood.

It’s also important to practice, practice, practice. Learn to bring the boat to a quick stop and then return quickly. When the water’s cold, the crew overboard can lose dexterity quickly, then have trouble thinking clearly, and then face hypothermia.

Here are two other documents Bruce left with us:

Ullman Sails Pro for April Meeting

Erik Shampain

Erik Shampain

Ullman Sails professional sailor Erik Shampain is our April monthly meeting speaker. Erik has an extensive sailing resume that begins with growing up on a boat and headlines such things as a course record and race sweep in the Pacific Cup, an Etchells World Championship title and Melges 24 National Championship.

The meeting is Tuesday, April 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.

“One of the most challenging things I’ve done is the Transpac, double-handed—twice,” says Erik. He did it once on a 33-foot boat and once on a 35-foot boat.

“Alone with your thoughts for hours at a time; it’ll get to you. Over a 12-day race you’ve basically second-guessed every decision you’ve ever made. I was asked what would happen if I didn’t get along with my co-skipper. My answer was always, doesn’t matter, we’re on the opposite shift. I never see him!”

Erik Shampain’s father worked on racing boats when Erik was growing up and Erik has clearly taken to the sport. This year he’s racing with a Farr 40, a Melges 20, various J/70s and his own Hobie 33.

Erik at work.

Erik at work.

Spiffing Up the ASF Fleet

More C14s are ready for classes. Photo: George Tingom

More C14s are ready for classes. Photo: George Tingom

On Saturday (3/15/14) many helpers got the last of the refitting the better hull 14.2s into sailing class condition. We now have ten 14.2s with good sails. ASF is committed to training sailors how to sail with decent equipment and to allow the ASF/AYC adopt-a-boat program to continue.

Those who helped on Saturday:  Michael Ferverda, Peter Blake, Brian Dye, Peter and Eric Schweizer, Don Hubele, Danny Moore, Martin Lorch, Phil Freedman and my friend from Atlanta, Greg Janos.

With 10 boats, our Adult Beginning Sailing class will have room for 20 students. We don’t have the dates set now, but the first of the four Adult Beginning Sailing Classes will start near the end of September and every other Saturday for four class days. We plan to hold the cost of the class at $350 per student. I’m taking names of those would like to sign up, with any overflow going on a waiting list.

—George Tingom

Windy Weekend Lake Pleasant Race Scores

Approaching Horse Island at a gallop on Saturday. Photo: Ferring GoPro

Approaching Horse Island at a gallop on Saturday. Photo: Ferring GoPro

High winds, no winds—Lake Pleasant served up a full helping this weekend.

Saturday the wind topped out at 30 mph and kept everybody on the edges of their boats. Speed records tumbled. Fortunately, no boats.

The scores can be found on the results page or by clicking here. And this second weekend for the TransLoch fleet can be found here.

Monthly Meeting: Bruce Brown and Safety at Sea

Bruce-Brown

We’re pretty sure this is Bruce Brown’s back, a picture taken as he was teaching a Safety-at-Sea seminar in California (he hasn’t sent us any pictures so we snatched this from Facebook). You’ll see another side of Bruce at the meeting.

If you attend a safety-at-sea seminar on the West Coast, you’re likely to meet this guy: Bruce Brown. At this month’s meeting, he’ll tell us the best methods for crew overboard recovery and suggest the best choices for personal safety equipment. And we’ll have a report on it shortly.

Bruce is a multi-time Past President of the United States Marine Association; he’s an instructor for the Coast Guard 100 Ton License Program; and he has extensive offshore racing experience, including skippering on the TransPac; and he specializes in evaluating safety products, such as life rafts, marine communication, and heavy weather forecasts.

The meeting is Tuesday, March 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.

Also on the program, a couple short videos from John deCastro, who was a Course Marshall for the America’s Cup last fall. He’ll briefly share some of his experiences.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Checking out safety equipment in a pool.

Best not to have any of these hovering over your boat in distress.

Best not to have any of these hovering over your boat in distress.

Lake Pleasant Racing

Victor Felice rounds the leeward mark. Photo: Chris Smith

Victor Felice rounds the leeward mark. Photo: Chris Smith

It was a chamber of commerce weekend at Lake Pleasant (Feb 22-23), with nice breeze and temperatures pushing 80. After a delay waiting for the wind to shift Saturday, the breeze continued to fill, making for some great race conditions. Meanwhile, back on shore, Peter Lehrach lit the fire in his big smoker at 6:30 am to deliver tasty meat for hungry sailing carnivores.

The race scores (see TransLoch below) are here.

This was the first outing for the TransLoch fleet and 8 boats showed up for the long run around Horse and Balance Rock islands and then back to the finish line. The race brought out some never-ever race people and some been-a-while race people, such as Craig Seaman, who hadn’t raced his J/27 since being transferred to Atlanta a decade ago.

You’ll find the results here. (The Delta correction gives all boats not flying a spinnaker a 20 second bump.)

Power hiking with Clay Poulson. Photo: Chris Smith

Power hiking with Clay Poulson. Photo: Chris Smith

Steve Dolter and Doug McMillen topped the list of TransLoch competitors. Photo: Chris Smith

Steve Dolter and Doug McMillen topped the list of TransLoch competitors. Photo: Chris Smith

Nat and Anne Kimberling helped Peter Lehrach (with menacing knife) deliver dinner. Photo; Chris Smith

Nat and Anne Kimberling helped Peter Lehrach (with menacing knife) deliver dinner. Photo; Chris Smith

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard's O'Day. Photo: Chris Smith

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard’s O’Day. Photo: Chris Smith

Bill Hutchinson and Steve Groce. Photo: Chris Smith

Bill Hutchinson and Steve Groce. Photo: Chris Smith

Survey Shows Widespread Support for Raising AYC Reserves

Here are the results of a member survey conducted the week of February 17 about AYC finances. Seventy-seven members completed the survey, presented online using Constant Contact’s survey system. All responses were confidential.

Headlines and Executive Summary:

Members value membership. Is AYC worth the money you pay? The result is a resounding “yes.” Using a five-point scale, with one being “lousy” and five “outstanding,” respondents rate AYC 4.0 for the value they think they get for the money they spend. Breaking it down, 35% rate AYC’s value at the top score of  5; 42% rate it a 4; and just over 20% rate it a 3 or lower.

Who are the 20% who don’t rate it as highly? Speaking generally, they’re people who don’t race (50% race vs. 72% of those who rate it higher), but there’s no pattern for how long they’ve been members of the club. Not surprisingly these people don’t think dues should be raised, but think racing fees should go up. And they’re more likely to say it’s more important for the club to cut costs than to raise revenue.

The AYC survey showed widespread support for building the cash reserves.

The AYC survey showed widespread support for building the cash reserves.

It’s reassuring to learn that members rate the club’s value highly, but the main purpose of the survey was to learn how members think the club should deal with dues, fees, and expenses.

The survey found members overwhelmingly agree that it’s a good idea to try to increase financial reserves to be ready for the day when equipment needs to be replaced.

86% of the respondents think it’s important to build reserves. The few who disagree (14%) tend to be the people who think the club is poorly run or isn’t concerned enough about keeping costs down—or who simply don’t want to pay more money.

65% think it’s more important to raise revenue than it is to cut costs. 31% think the opposite.

Clearly the members of the board of directors think they’re being responsible stewards of the club checkbook, saving money wherever possible and spending no more than necessary to present the quality of equipment and programs members expect. A minority of respondents isn’t so sure. They haven’t studied club spending of course, but they’re sure there’s money to be saved. “Every line item needs to be reviewed for cost savings,” wrote one. “Anywhere possible,” said another. (In fact, Commodore Cindy Pillote has appointed a committee to review the spending line by line to look for ways to economize.)

Over the last two years, the fleet captains have increased entry fees about 15%, with nonmembers paying even higher increases. Respondents believe racing fees should increase further by a high margin (62%-31%). 32% say raise them 10%; 20% say 20%; and 18% say raise them by 5% or less. Objections to raising fees? Mostly concern that higher fees would drive away entries.

The club dues are $125/year and have not increased in some 10 years. Is it time to bump them up? 71% say they would support a dues increase. How much? 32% say raise dues to $150; 19% say $175; and 9% say $200. The ones who don’t want an increase are inclined to think that dues are high enough already or that if we would economize, an increase wouldn’t be necessary.

The board will decide at its next meeting whether to submit a proposal for a dues increase to the general membership. The increase would need to be approved in a vote, probably at the same time as the next election of officers.

AYC Dues-Fees Survey.

Interested in learning more about how the club works? Here’s an explanation and link to the bylaws. And here’s the current budget.