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.



New Year’s Sailing

We go sailing sometimes just because we can. On New Year’s Day we can. Without chipping through the ice.

Mike's J/80 warming up for a Saturday race. Photo: Peter Hartleb

Mike’s J/80 warming up for a Saturday race. Photo: Peter Hartleb

On Wednesday (1/1/2014!) we’ll join the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club for a casual sail on Lake Pleasant and then convene at the Pleasant Harbor Marina Waterfront Grille (their spelling) to watch football, eat, and consume adult beverages.

We’ll gather at the dam at 2pm and then head north, maybe making it around Horse Island if the the wind is better than the forecast (70 degrees but very light wind). Rhonda Brewer of LPSC has come up with some football trivia questions that she’ll loft to the fleet on VHF channel 68. Keep track of them on paper and Rhonda will offer the answers when we get back to the Grill (my spelling).

Rhonda suggests wearing your name badge so we get to know each other better. For AYC people, that would mean your membership card.


Blustery Governor’s Cup Regatta

The wind was so strong when the 2013 Governor’s Cup was scheduled to start that organizer Ralph Vatalaro decided to postpone for half an hour. Then another half hour. And some of the entrants decided it was still too much and turned back to the city.

Chris Smith's J/80 in close pursuit of Paul Liszewski's Hobie 33 at just past the halfway point of the 2013 Governor's Cup Regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

Chris Smith’s J/80 in close pursuit of Paul Liszewski’s Hobie 33 at just past the halfway point of the 2013 Governor’s Cup Regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

Bob Whyte and Ryan Kroelinger aboard the spectator boat Melissa Kay. Photo: Mike Ferring

Bob Whyte and Ryan Kroelinger aboard the spectator boat Melissa Kay. Photo: Mike Ferring

They missed a nice day on the water. Wind slowly dropped in velocity, but still the first boat across the finish line, Paul Liszewski’s Hobie 33, Rollin’ in the Deep, covered the 26 mile course in less than four hours. Chris Smith’s J/80, Sloop Dogg, was close behind. When the PHRF handicap was applied, a visitor from Las Vegas corrected over both to win possession of the big cup (click here for scores).

Glenn Frank towed from Las Vegas for the event and since he might need a bigger trailer to tow the trophy home, we’ll plan to put it on display in Tempe.

Go for a wild ride on Rock Star Victor Felice’s Mermaid Rescue.

Thanks to Ralph for putting the race together, based on Mike Parker’s course design.

Pirate Party Booty

Good times, lots of great gifts (lots of booze), and good stories filled the night Tuesday (12/10). The restaurant looked festive with lights and snowflakes and Tom Errickson brought an adorable, big, inflated Polar Bear that we set up by the gift table.

Kyle Clark started with a nice bottle of rum and ended up with this. Photo: Emory Heisler

Kyle Clark started with a nice bottle of rum and ended up with this. Photo: Emory Heisler

Tom and Emory Heisler did a great job getting everyone riled up to pirate gifts. And pirate they did. Poor Kyle Clark was the night’s big loser. He went from a lovely bottle of special rum to a bilge pump!

One of the members pointed out to Emory that the awarding of the Blunder Bucket is to done at the Holiday party so Emory solicited nominations. He got five or six, but in the end, he and his worthy crew Jonathan Abel-Millman were the unanimous winners for improperly rigging the Bucc’s spinnaker on TTL, head to clew.

Tony Chapman was a close second for letting his crew fall overboard, which is ironic because Tony first nominated his crew for falling off the boat—but then Leo Baumann pointed out that while he wasn’t there to personally witness the event, it seemed to him more like it was the man at the tiller who blundered.

—By Lori Reger

Tom Errickson and Gene Walentiny unearthing a gift. Photo: Emory Heisler

Tom Errickson and Gene Walentiny unearthing a gift. Photo: Emory Heisler

The Winning Boats for Fall Lake Pleasant Racing

The results from the final week of Fall racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page or by clicking here. Cool temperatures and brisk breeze polished off a windy season.

Congratulations to the fleet winners: Steve Grothe, C22; George Tingom, C22 Saturday-only; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Brett Johnston, Multi-hull; Victor Felice, PHRF Non-Spin; Norm Anderson, PHRF Spin; Trey Harlow, Thistle; Greg Jackson, Sport Boat.

Santana 20s in breeze. Photo: Victor Felice

Santana 20s in breeze. Photo: Victor Felice

US Sailing Instructor Class is Full!

Some 50 boats sailed on Tempe Town Lake Sunday, October 27. Photo: Phil Freedman

Kids and adults learning to sail on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Phil Freedman

Great news! ASF President George Tingom reports that the January US Sailing level one small boat instructor class is full and cannot accept any further students.

Now there will the 12 new instructors available to teach the ASF classes.

The class is extensive and taught by one of the best: the instructor of instructors, Ray Treppa. The classes are all day on January 4-5 and 11-12 in Tempe, with on-the-water work at Tempe Town Lake.

The news that the class has filled is in sharp contrast to the last two years when the class had to be canceled for lack of participation.

If you wanted to enroll in this class but missed out, make sure George has your name for future classes. Call ASF president George Tingom at 480.948.3814 or email him.

Register for the Governor’s Cup Distance Race

Court Roberts shows off the gigantic Governor's Cup trophy. Photo: Mike Ferring

Court Roberts shows off the gigantic Governor’s Cup trophy. Photo: Mike Ferring

Registration is open for the Governor’s Cup long distance race, scheduled for Saturday, December 14. The race courses are now posted here.

There’s no charge for entry. All you have to do is fill out this simple form. Then, it’s 26 miles across Lake Pleasant—a feat accomplished by zig-zagging from end to end and back again. Here’s the one-page Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.

While it’s a race, it’s also just a nice day on the water. And it could extend into the evening in light air, with the moon nearly full to offer some aid to navigation.

The winner of the race gets his or her name engraved on that gigantic trophy and gets to show it off for the next year. The rest of us get a nice day zig-zagging.

We’ll all start together at 10 am at a start line near the dam at the south end of the lake. You’re on your honor to round the correct rounding marks and islands and to report your time at finish to scorer Dave Christensen. Dave will crunch the PHRF handicaps and determine the finishing order.

You may also sail just half the distance and be scored for half distance. Click the box on the entry form. There’s no giant trophy for this option, but you’ll have bragging rights until next year.

Organizer Ralph Vatalaro plans to make sure everyone knows exactly where those rounding marks are this time and he’ll issue a route in a couple weeks. Email Ralph with questions.