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.

Lake Pleasant Spring Series Starts Warm and Gorgeous

The Sportboats in light air downwind. Photo: Victor Felice

The Sportboats in light air downwind. Photo: Victor Felice

Saturday we had to wait for wind and Sunday the wind went away early, but with temperatures in the mid-70s, who could complain?

Some of the highlights: Tom Baker finished out front of Norm Anderson in PHRF Spin. Greg Woodcock gave Martin Lorch a fight, finishing the weekend just two points back. Greg Jackson headed the Sportboat bunch.

Good work by the Thistle and PHRF Non-Spin fleets, with high marks for Peter Burgard’s rib dinner.

The scores? Oh, here you go.

During a break in the action, Maryellen Ferring warms up on the bow of Melissa Kay. Photo: Victor Felice

During a break in the action, Maryellen Ferring warms up on the bow of Melissa Kay. Photo: Victor Felice

Fixing Up the ASF Boats for Spring

On two Saturdays (1/25 and 2/1) many helpers came to keep the ASF student boats in good condition.

As part of the High School Sailing class, students to volunteer three hours toward maintenance and upgrades. Also helping were sailors who are part of the “adopt-a-boat” program in cooperation with the Arizona Yacht Club. Others just helped. Thank you all.

Rick Johnson, Paula, Peter Blake, Dennis Davis, Ema Davis, Wilson Davis, Edgar, Jennie, Mike Ferring, Phil Freedman, Rob Gibbs, Paul Eyssautier, Mitchell Wenger (brought cookies too), Mark Howell, Madison Cordova, Gareth Minson, Emma Welch-Murphy, Danny Moore, Lisa Moore, Don Hubele, and Rick Gilchrist. (I may not have all names 100% correct.)

We still have three boats in need of repairs and trailers that require new bunks. Most of these are at my home so that we don’t have to buy TTL permits before we use the boats for instruction.

—George Tingom, ASF President

Fixing up the ASF Capri 14.2 sailboats in preparation for spring classes.

Fixing up the ASF Capri 14.2 sailboats in preparation for spring classes.

Monthly Meeting: Safety at Sea with Bob Steel

February’s monthly meeting features noted sailor and safety-at-sea expert Bob Steel. Bob will talk about inshore and ocean racing with updates on weather forecasting and safety efforts. He calls it Smooth Ocean Sailing. You’ll find his extensive resume below.

February meeting speaker Bob Steel at the helm.

February meeting speaker Bob Steel at the helm.

The meeting is Tuesday, February 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.

Bob Steel
Sailing Resume

Born Sydney, Australia
44 years in the Marine Industry
Managing Yacht construction restoration, repair, maintenance, electronic installation & rigging.
Project Management sail & power
Responsible for planning & prep multiple offshore ocean races, sail up to 8oft
Nautor Swan Finland expert for factory delivered boats & current clients
Currently: Principal, Steelmaritime.

Member Transpac Yacht Club
Cruising Club Of America
Ancient Mariners Sailing Society
Society Naval Architects & Marine Engineers
California Yacht Brokers Association
Licensed California Yacht Broker
Board Member, Newport Sea Base, Sea Scout sailing

Highlights of Races as sailing pro responsible for total boat prep & safety

Transpac to Hawaii  Six times
Warrior           50ft Chance  1st Class A
Sunset Blvd    50ft Hollman 1st Cass  A
Aorangi           55ft Lapworth  Charter to US Naval Academy            Transpac to Tahiti
Mir, 78 ft Ketch. Walter Cronkite & James Michener on board after race, cruise Bora Bora to Raetaiea
Bermuda Race   Two times
Warrior          50ft Chance    2nd Class A
Southern Ocean Racing Circuit
High Roler 46ft Peterson  1st Class A  Dennis Conner
Mazatlan Race
Warrior    50ft Chance     1st class A
Trans Atlantic
Buccaneer   70ft Spencer
Fastnet    Force 9
Indigo   46 ft Frers       Survived
Inshore Races
St Francis Big Boat
Saudade    48ft S&S         Ist  Rheem series
Jet Steam   44ft Peterson  1st
Atlantic Series
Cal Cup
Windward Passage    70ft Guerney  1st
Ullman  Series
Taxi Dancer  70ft Reichel Pugh. 1st Class A
Ensenada  Race
Miz Blu  59ft Swan Owners Rep  for Walter Cronkite guest skipper
Stars & Stripes  Dennis Conner   1st Finish 1st Class A  First Overall
Cabo Races  Three times
Condor 70 ft Alan Andrews
Recent Deliveries
Newport to Costa Rica
Mehetebel   76ft Pedrick Sloop
Fiji to New Caledonia, Lord Howe Island to Sydney, Australia
Van Diemen 65ft  Muir Sloop
Newport Beach to Avalon
America   120ft Schooner
Currently racing
Its Ok    50ft   Andrews
Condor 70ft    Andrews

And lots of racing & cruising ahead for this year.

Mast Killer Strikes Again!

Lurking over the driveway entering and leaving the Tempe Town Lake launch area is the sailor’s nastiest enemy: a rust-colored, camouflaged mast-killing bar pointed at the spreaders of careless crossers.

Sunday it killed another one.

An ASF C14 sailboat punched off its trailer by the mast-killing bar. Photo: George Tingom

An ASF C14 sailboat punched off its trailer by the mast-killing bar. Photo: Dennis Davis

George Tingom has tried to keep score of the number of crumpled masts and boats tossed off their trailers by the mast killing bars, but he long ago lost track. He and I have tried to work out a better solution with the City of Tempe, but nothing we’ve thought of seems to satisfy the risk control people or avoids heavy cost of redesign and reconstruction. So, for more than a decade, the bars have stalked us, killing and maiming the unwary.

The bars hit just above the spreaders of a C14 sailboat on a trailer and they’ve been put there to prevent sailboaters from driving near the high power lines that parallel highway 202. Too close, they say, and the power lines could arc to the mast and perhaps hurt someone. Or induced static electricity could zap a nearby boat with a mast.

Sunday’s incident knocked one of the ASF boats off its trailer, but the mast survived the attack. The boat was one being fixed up and sailed by a high school student.

Moments earlier, I too got a stern reminder that you should look overhead before towing a sailboat. Turning a corner inside the fenced area, my boat’s mast struck one of the visiting University of Minnesota rowing shells that were sticking way out and overhanging the drive. I’ll be calling Catalina in a minute to order a new mast, my third for the boat. What happened to the first one? The mast-killing bar got it.

The boat was eased back onto the trailer with minimal damage. Photo: George Tingom

The boat was eased back onto the trailer with minimal damage. Photo: Dennis Davis

Spring ASF Classes Coming Soon to a Lake Near You

The spring salvo of Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) classes fires off soon: Kids’ classes beginning February 9 and the adult Learn to Sail class on February 15. High school classes are already underway.

Kids getting ready for Opti action.

Kids getting ready for Opti action.

The line-up includes two Opti classes for young sailors, an Opti I and Opti II. Those are joined this spring by the Junior Performance Racing Class, sailed in the new O’Pen Bic boats. That class is already full, but there’s still some room in the Opti classes. Sign up here.

If you know someone who’s always wanted to try sailing, the adult Learn to Sail class is just the ticket. Starting from “where’s the wind?” and progressing through tacks and jibes and capsize recovery and much more, the students graduate ready to handle a dinghy. There’s this most exciting part: they begin sailing on their very first day. No extended book time for these people. It’s a speedy trip from “here’s a boat” to “trim in and let’s go”!

More information and registration button here.