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.


Join the Spring Racing Series

Sure, the East was just hit by a snow storm, but we’re ready to begin the spring racing series in Arizona.

Sign up now for race series at either Tempe Town Lake (racing beginning January 26) or Lake Pleasant (beginning February 8). The registration information is here.

Coming off the successful Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup, we’re fired up for more competitive sailboat action.

Catalina 22s at speed. Photo: Chris Smith

Catalina 22s at speed. Photo: Chris Smith

Exciting 2014 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Exciting action at the 2014 Birthday Regatta. Photo: Court Roberts

Exciting action at the 2014 Birthday Regatta. Photo: Court Roberts

Good wind and close competition produced a strong 2014 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

On Saturday, boats were starting, finishing, and X-coursing continually, scoring as many as 6 races in a single day for a single fleet. Some of the fleets finished the two-day event with 8 or more races, while the Vipers got in 12 in three days.

Not only were there a lot of races, but they were competitive as well, with two fleets needing tie-breakers to determine a winner, PHRF Spin (Lehman/Quant squeaking past Johnson/Bennett) and Wrinkle Boat (Stan Susman besting Gary Overbeck).

The other fleet winners were: Matt Davis, Buccaneer; Bob Worrall, C22; Brett Johnston, Multi-Hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mark Folkman, Viper 640.

Here are the results of the weekend.

Here are some excellent pictures from the event taken by Peter Howson.

Dennis Lynde won the new “TransLoch” fleet race Saturday, heading a list of a dozen who came to play in this fun fleet (winning extra handicap with such things as cooking on the barbecue during the race).

One nasty event: the collision of Chuck Sears’ Monsoon and Dave Spira’s Bucc on Saturday, producing damage, but no injuries.

The weekend continues to be a good fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with lots of help from Tony Chapman. Tony estimates that the event brought in more than $20,000 for LLS, aided by 48 boats entering the Leukemia Cup.

Much credit goes to event organizer Emory Heisler, who has put the Birthday Regatta together the last two years, setting it up so that it once again makes money and takes less effort. Nonetheless, Emory says there were 30+ volunteers who made it happen. He thanks Principal Race Officers Bob and Star Malouff of Dillon Lake, Colorado. And he thanks the marina staff for “giving us such a great environment and helping coordinate logistics.”

Meredith Townsend from Sailing World visited and sailed all weekend. Emory’s friend Peter Howson from San Diego was the photographer and we’ll have lots of pictures soon.

We had 84 boats registered, 78 boats raced and 77 races were run over the 3 day event.


Women’s Sailing Convention

We would love to see you at the Women’s Sailing Convention at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport February 1!

Classes (and fun) for everyone from novice to expert. If you haven’t yet attended this convention, this 25th anniversary event would be a great time to do so.

On-the-water: Offered as single morning or afternoon classes, qualified instructors lead courses in anchoring, docking, overboard procedures, and boat operation on various skill levels. There’s even an afternoon race with trophy awards at dinner.

On-the-land: Experienced and enthusiastic instructors offer dry-land classes during two morning and two afternoon sessions. New courses this year include Basic Nav Rules and Bowlines, Maintenance Mania, How to Heave a Line, and DIY Canvas Basics.

If you’re interested, but don’t have a ride, let us know and we will try to put people together that might want to carpool.

Learn more here.

Brenda Shears and Julie Thompson

The Women's Sailing Convention is February 1.

The Women’s Sailing Convention is February 1.

Keeping the Club Floating High

There was a large and interested turnout for Tuesday night’s meeting (1/14) reviewing the financial affairs of the Arizona Yacht Club—and a clear consensus among the group that AYC is an inexpensive club, that it’s time to ratchet up dues and entry fees, and that it’s essential to keep the club on a sound footing.

The biggest cost we face is Lake Pleasant racing, but it’s also our most important activity. As Steve Nahkala said, “It’s why I belong to AYC.”

Over the last two years, the fleet captains have slowly increased race fees, especially those for nonmembers, to close the gap between revenue and expenses, but Lake Pleasant racing is still a big consumer of club dollars. (Tempe Town Lake racing takes in a bit more than it spends, thanks to the ability to use ASF equipment.)

In contrast, club dues have remained unchanged since 2003, when they were boosted from $75 to $125 per year. If dues had kept pace with the Consumer Price Index, they would have been $158 last year.

Club treasurer Tony Chapman

Club treasurer Tony Chapman

When former Commodore Bill Hutchinson asked what the club was doing to keep a healthy reserve in order to be ready when equipment replacements are needed, Treasurer Tony Chapman replied, “Bingo. That’s the heart of the question tonight.” In fact, reserves are hovering around $20,000 after drifting down the last few years in which when the club was breaking even or losing money (last year we were about $170 in the black).

Some members questioned the decision to purchase the Boston Whaler Outrage, with its higher operating cost, instead of sticking with the aluminum bass boat that’s been the runabout for the last dozen years. Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock responded by saying that the bass boat was an accident waiting to happen and had to be patched together to make it out onto the water. Lake Pleasant Fleet Captain Bruce Andress noted that one of the big expenses was avoidable repairs when people were careless in the way they took care of the boats. (The board attempted to address that issue by requiring certification for all club boat operators.)

When asked if the group was ready to raise the dues, the response was overwhelmingly yes. Now it’s up to the board to propose the next step. If they think it’s time for a dues increase, the move would need to be approved by a vote of members, probably at the same time as the vote for next year’s officers.

Here’s a link to the current AYC budget. And here’s an explanation of how the club operates.


ASF Welcomes 11 New Sailing Instructors

A grueling pair of weekends, wrapping up after dark on Sunday, produced 11 new grads to help teach the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) classes.

Here are the graduates:

1 Kyle Brown
2 Rick Cotman
3 Dennis Davis
4 Ema Davis
5 Martin Lorch
6 Donny Mayfield
7 Daniel Mobley
8 Eric Schweizer
9 Lewie Wallace
10 Greg Woodcock
11 Chris Smith

The next time you see any of them, offer your congratulations.

All of the students have agreed to help with the training of future Arizona sailors. If you’d like join them, mention it to George Tingom. He says the next class will probably be three years from now.

Join the “TransLoch” Cruising Race

You’ve heard of the TransPac. Now there’s a shorter race called the TransLoch. It “trans” Lake Pleasant and it’s custom created for cruisers, right down to the fun-friendly PHRF adjustments.

DreamCatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

DreamCatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

It will be Saturday, January 18, starting at 10:45 am, run in conjunction with the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Here’s the description of the course.

The TransLoch Cruising course shall be from the start line, around the North side of Horse Island, then around the North side of Balance Rock, then around the South side of the small unnamed island at the south end of Lake Pleasant near the dam Overlook Visitors Center (33*51.07 N, 112*16.57 W) then to the finish line. Round all marks to port.

The TransLoch Cruising Class shall be limited to boats that are fully equipped to cruise, including a full interior with galley and head, minimum  of two anchors, Dacron or Nylon sails only and operational motor.
Finish order will be determined using Southern California PHRF handicap.
Handicap adjustments will be allowed as follows:

  1. Towing a dinghy – 10
  2. Cooking on BBQ – 6
  3. Children under 6 years of age or a dog – 2 each

Sailing instructions and advice will be available on VHF Channel 68
Starts will be broadcast on VHF with countdown.

Here’s a map with the information. Here’s more information on the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

Enter here:

[button link=”” bg_color=”#00703c”]Sign Up Now[/button]

The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Are Here!

The annual Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup sailing weekend is here!

Green registration button here.

Click here to see who has signed up so far.

Now there’s a Cruising Fleet option, the “TransLoch.” Boats will start at a (safe) interval from the racing boats, sail around a few islands and return. There’s a nice turnout for this fun trip. Here’s more information.

Friday: 11am
Saturday: 9am
Sunday: none

Friday: all 1pm, last start no later than 1630
Saturday: Vipers and Multi-Hulls: 9am, last start no later than 1630
Saturday: all others: 11am, last start no later than 1630
Sunday: all 9am, last start no later than 1400

Friday: Marina, Fish Fry (cash at bar)
Saturday: Marina, Italian Feast-tickets purchased in advance with registration (food available at bar also)

In person at Marina
Vipers, contact Tony Chapman

Wild Horse West (corner of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Carefree Highway
8415 W Carefree Hwy, Peoria, AZ 85383
Mention Birthday Regatta and 15% will go to LLS

Buccaneer 18, Matt Davis, X, W/L
Catalina 22, Steve Campo, Triangle, X, W/L
TransLac Cruising, Tom Errickson, point-2-point
Multi-Hull, Chuck Sears, Triangle, X, W/L
PHRF-Non, Victor Felice, X, W/L, Triangle
PHRF-Spin, Bruce Andress, X, W/L
Portsmouth, Joe Barnett, X, W/L (will be sailing with the Bucc Fleet)
Santana 20, Martin Lorch, X, W/L
Viper, Greg Jackson, X, W/L
Wrinkleboats, Jerry Montgomery/Gary Oberbeck, Triangle, X, W/L

Emory Heisler
Event Chairman

Next Meeting: “State of the Club”

Our January Monthly Meeting will present a picture of the “State of the Club,” led by Commodore Cynthia Pillote and Treasurer Tony Chapman.

Tony Chapman has been the club's treasurer for a very long time (thank you Tony) and is a serious competitive sailor, competing in a Buccaneer and Viper 640 at regattas all over the country. Tony was the recipient of this year's AYC Sportsmanship Award, given to someone deemed to be a "most valuable player" for AYC.

Treasurer Tony Chapman will present information on the club’s financial condition.

This is an opportunity for club members to get a full understanding of the club’s financial position, to ask questions and offer feedback on the direction we need to take for the future.

The meeting is Tuesday, January 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 copy of the 2013-2014 AYC budget for your review before the meeting.

Brilliant New Year’s Sailing Day

If the rest of 2014 goes like day one, it should be a great year.

LPSC's Rhonda Brewer posing football trivia questions on the radio. Photo: Janet Cohen

LPSC’s Rhonda Brewer posing football trivia questions on the radio. Photo: Janet Cohen

A dozen or so boats from AYC and the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club gathered in sunny, 70-degree temperature and fair wind to show what it’s like to live in Arizona.

Rhonda Brewer posed football questions on VHF radio while the fleet milled around celebrating the day and then convened at the Waterfront Grill for $5 hamburgers and $2 beer.

The New Year's Day Crew: Becky Houston, Ralph Vatalaro, Mike Ferring and Maryellen Ferring. And behind the camera: Bob Whyte

The New Year’s Day Crew: Becky Houston, Ralph Vatalaro, Mike Ferring and Maryellen Ferring. And behind the camera: Bob Whyte

On our boat, Cruising Captain Ralph Vatalaro, former Rear Commodore Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Maryellen and I hoisted the spin and sped around Horse Island while Maryellen popped a couple bottles of celebratory champagne. A very nice way to start a new year.

The Ferrings' J/80 and Tom Errickson's colorful Erickson 26 on New Year's Day. Photo: Janet Cohen

The Ferrings’ J/80 and Tom Errickson’s colorful Ericson 26 on New Year’s Day. Photo: Janet Cohen

DreamCatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

Dreamcatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

A fun, family cruise. Photo: Bob Whyte

A fun, family cruise. Photo: Bob Whyte

Fall Series Winners at TTL

Congratulations to the winners—and all the participants—of the fall race series at Tempe Town Lake!

Martin Lorch and son Cedric heft the Club Championship trophy. It's been a good year for Cedric, winning the High School Championship and two Blunder Buckets!

Cedric Lorch with father Martin as crew (usually) won the fall C14 fleet championship at Tempe Town Lake. This picture was taken as Martin accepted the club championship trophy in May.

Emory Heisler is the Buccaneer fleet winner. In C14, Cedric Lorch takes the prize. New Laser sailor (and longtime Thistler) Ben Doane wins in Laser. And in the very lightly-contested Portsmouth class, Clay Poulson reigns.

Here are the scores.

Now, an explanation of the way the Buccaneers have been scoring their races, which will be up for discussion for all fleets for fall of 2014.

The RRS scoring method (A4.2) says, “A boat that did not start, did not finish, retired after finishing or was disqualified shall be scored points for the finishing place one more than the number of boats entered in the series.”

The Bucc fleet felt that this inflicted too great a penalty on boats that missed a race day and have had a fleet rule that says that instead of scoring “one more than the number of boats entered in the series,” they would score one more than the number of boats that had shown up to compete that day.

As an example, if there are 10 boats signed up for the series and you missed a race day, under the RRS you’d be scored “11” for each race run that day. However if, say, three boats competed that day and you missed it, you’d be scored “4” for each race run. It could affect the series outcome, though we throw out 20% of each boat’s finishes, which mitigates the effect of missing a day.

Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock noted that the RRS is clear that this scoring change can only be made by changing A4.2 in the Sailing Instructions, so the Bucc fleet’s change will need to be written into the SIs. And other fleets like the Bucc rule and will consider adopting it in fall of 2014 (the first time it could be done without disrupting our club championship). If you’d like this rule adopted, let your fleet captain know.