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.

Ruth Beals Champ: Cindy Pillote

Cindy Pillote and Chrisann Tortora lift the Ruth Beals Cup trophy for 2013. Photos: Mike Ferring

Cindy Pillote and Chrisann Tortora lift the Ruth Beals Cup trophy for 2013. Photos: Mike Ferring

AYC Commodore Cindy Pillote is the Ruth Beals Cup champ.

With Chrisann Tortora on crew, Cindy finished the two-race regatta with three points—a win and a second place—to capture the trophy. Seven boats competed in the women-at-the-helm races in light air on Tempe Town Lake Saturday (11/9) in the regatta named to honor AYC founder Ruth Beals.

Two-time former champ Amy Grothe and father Steve won the first race easily, but then were tripped up by the light air of race two, sliding back to a fourth place finish while Cindy and Chrisann were able to keep their boat moving to win.

Third place went to Sheila Reed and Maryellen Ferring. Lori Reger and Andrea Love took fourth by snagging a wisp of a puff in race two and driving past a pack of boats into second place. Ema Davis and Madison Cordova finished fifth overall and two ASU racing team contenders came in sixth and seventh: Kylie Jenkins and Elena Sacco.

Mike Ferring, Bob Whyte and George Tingom were race committee.

Hoping for a puff. Amy and Steve Grothe.

Hoping for a puff. Amy and Steve Grothe.

 

The seven boats of the Ruth Beals Cup regatta head for the windward mark.

The seven boats of the Ruth Beals Cup regatta head for the windward mark.

Making a port start work at the Ruth Beals Cup regatta.

Making a port start work at the Ruth Beals Cup regatta.

Light wind marked the 2013 edition of the Ruth Beals Cup. Last year, wind was 20+. Go figure.

Light wind marked the 2013 edition of the Ruth Beals Cup. Last year, wind was 20+. Go figure.

Getting Stronger by Getting Together with LPSC

Arizona Yacht Club and Lake Pleasant Sailing Club have stepped up efforts to work together, to promote the sport of sailing and to increase participation in each other’s events.

There have been two meetings of representatives of the two clubs. The second this week developed some specific steps to explore, explained in this report:

An AYC/LPSC joint committee has been created to build a bridge between the two groups. Ralph Vatalaro and Mike and Maryellen Ferring are representing AYC while Tim and Rhonda Brewer are representing the LPSC. The purpose of the committee is to increase communication, share information and co-plan events that are of interest to members of both groups. The initial meeting occurred Tuesday, October 29 at the House of Tricks restaurant in Tempe. Over glasses of wine, fabulous dinners and even a dessert or two, they suggested these next steps.

  • Staging a low-key sailing event on January 1, with members of both clubs invited to spend a couple of hours sailing and meeting at the Waterfront Grille for food, drinks, and football.
  • Setting up a sailing event for late winter or early spring that would encourage members of each club to team up with some members of the other club. We talked about trading crews, a poker run, or even a Capture the Flag theme.
  • To promote understanding, each club—AYC racing and LPSC cruising—the group discussed an information exchange. Mike and Maryellen volunteered to present a program at an LPSC membership meeting tentatively titled, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sailboat Racing in Just 30 Minutes. The program would include information on start procedures, fleet descriptions, ratings, protocols, etc. as well as an invitation to race with AYC. Tim and Rhonda Brewer or other interested LPSC members might reciprocate with a presentation about cruising and exploring Lake Pleasant or raft-up protocols and expectations.
  • The group discussed the possibility of joining forces to get more boats for a Catalina Cruise in July 2014. (Both clubs have had cruises to Catalina, but attendance has collapsed for both.)
  • Maryellen invited all LPSC women to the casual Women Who Sail parties. A couple dozen women interested in sailing gather quarterly for wine and appetizers at one of the women’s homes. Rhonda will talk to the Board to get approval to share LPSC email addresses for invitations.

All members of the group left the meeting encouraged about the plans. If you have feedback, questions or suggestions, please contact Ralph, Maryellen, Mike, Rhonda or Tim.

LPSC_LOGOLPSC has several events planned between now and the end of the year, as Rhonda describes:

The last few months of 2013 are filled with fun events, both on land and water. Besides the Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas party planned by Mary, Robin and Crystal, we have five more exciting events lined up.

On November 9 and 10 John Bagwell and Roland Cleveland are planning a Walk the Plank raft-up/camping party in Two Cow cove. Those of us on boats will raft up in the cove while the RVers and tent campers will set up on shore. The fun officially begins on Saturday, however, rumor has it that some members are planning to set up campsites on Friday afternoon.

As a complement to the Walk the Plank event, Tim and Rhonda Brewer have planned a Show Us Your Booty sail beginning at 10 am in front of the dam. Basically, we will chase each other around the lake exchanging “booty” between boats.

On November 17 LPSC members will host guests on the third Sunday Sail. Response to the September and October sails was extremely positive, so please consider joining the November sail as a host boat.

To prepare ourselves for 2014, on December 28 Tim and Rhonda will host a Tack Into 2014 sail. It will be similar to the Follow the Leader sail last spring, however, the fleet will be required to change tack and follow a new leader every 15 minutes.

Following the Tack Into 2014 sail on December 28, we hope everyone will gather in the barbeque area of PHM to share in a Potluck Dock Party. Please consider attending this party even if you don’t participate in the Tack Into 2014 sail. This is a great way to spend the end of 2013 with friends who share the love of sailing!

Tempe Town Lake Results

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

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

Great fall weather brought loads of sailboats to Tempe Town Lake on Sunday, October 27. Phil Freedman said he counted 50, including the Opti class, tryouts on the new O’Pen Bics, and the fall series racing.

The scores are posted on the results page or you’ll find them here.

The O'Pen Bics were available for test drives, recruiting juniors to the February class in these exciting new boats. Photo: Phil Freedman

The O’Pen Bics were available for test drives, recruiting juniors to the February class in these exciting new boats. Photo: Phil Freedman

AYC’s Clay Poulson Fireballs the Worlds

Clay Poulson at the pin end of a very long starting line.

Clay Poulson and Mianne Erne at the pin end of a very long starting line.

I know the Fireball I sail with the Arizona Yacht Club is a bit of an oddball dinghy, and lots of Zonie sailors have tried to get me to sail with the Thistles, the Buccaneers, or such.

Honestly, I would have immediately joined one of the other fleets if I hadn’t been involved with something really cool.

The three photos show how cool Fireballs are. These are taken from the 2013 Fireball European and World Championships held a few weeks ago in Porto Roz, Slovenia. The 2013 Fireball Championships drew 79 boats together, from 10 different countries, for 8 days of exciting racing.

The photo with the long line of boats just off the start line lets you really imagine the action that was to follow. My World’s captain, Mianne Erne, and I are visible sailing on #SUI 15063. We lined up with the 75+ boats nearly 40 different times over the eight days of racing. Lots of aggressive sailors led to plenty of general recalls and then black flags. Then you had to negotiate a vast course with lots of fast moving boats. Some mid-fleet mark roundings were chaos as a dozen Fireballs would converge on the buoy at the same time. It was a truly awesome week of racing.

Porto Roz and neighboring Piran are ancient seaports historically linked to the Venetian Republic. These old Venetian ties give the entire Istrian Peninsula a very Italian flavor. The seafood is glorious and half the price of the Italian tourist restaurants far across the water. The marina at Porto Roz was beautiful, extending for nearly a kilometer along the shore with numerous restaurants, stores, hangers for the boats, chandleries, and rows of million dollar yachts.

Fireballs downwind.

Fireballs downwind.

The Fireball class is a really exciting international class to sail with. Fireball International has fleets in about 20 different countries. There are yearly regional, national, continental, and world championships. The last four Fireball World Championships have been held in Barbados in 2010, Sligo, Ireland in 2011, Mandurah, Australia in 2012, and Slovenia this year. The next three will be held in Thailand in 2014, Wales in 2015, and South Africa in 2016. Fireball International tries to find diverse venues and puts on a great show at all of these events. There are usually big sponsors with grand opening and closing ceremonies and then lots of dinners and parties in between.

Fireball USA generally holds three big regattas a year were we try and draw our far-flung fleet together. Our biggest regattas are usually held in Tampa, Florida; Cascade Locks in Oregon; and Rye, New York. We make an effort to work closely with Canadian Fireball to maximize the number of boats we are able to put on the water at any given event.

The Fireball, with its three sails and trapeze, is a great, fun boat to sail. The international aspect of the class makes for wonderfully interesting regattas. The Fireball class is definitely Fast, Fun, and Friendly.

Clay Poulson, AYC Portsmouth Fleet Captain
President, United States International Fireball Association

Fireballs churn the water at the Worlds.

Fireballs churn the water at the Worlds.

 

 

November Meeting: John Jourdane, 300,000 miles under sail

How’s that for a headline?

John Jourdane figures he’s sailed over 300,000 miles, including 51 trips between the West Coast and Hawaii, 12 trans-Atlantic crossings, and three trips around the world. But that’s just the beginning of his story.

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

John Jourdane. Photo: Sailing World

A couple of those around-the-world trips were as a navigator in the Whitbread series—and he was regarded as one of the best on the planet in that role. Roy Disney sailed with John on Pyewacket and said, “John Jourdane is an old friend, a wonderful sailor and navigator, but more importantly, a wonderful teller of tales of the sea, and of the slightly crazy individuals who find it to be a race track.”

Sounds like a book blurb, doesn’t it? It is. John’s written two books about his adventures and some other well-known friends offered blurbs too. Such as Peter Isler: “Jourdane has a storyteller’s knack for sharing tales of the sea with the rest of us.” Or John Rousmaniere: “A sailor with a remarkable history of colorful voyages, Jourdane knows how to tell wonderful stories of boats and sailors.” And here’s a little more from a Sailing World blog.

John Jourdane will offer some of those stories for our next monthly meeting. The meeting is Tuesday, November 12, 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.

John Jourdane navigated aboard Roy Disney's Pyewacket.

John Jourdane navigated aboard Roy Disney’s Pyewacket.

Falling spars, lines everywhere, topped with sails

Norm Anderson's Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak dismasted. No one hurt. Photo: Chris Smith

During Saturday’s races (10/5), as the RC boat’s wind speed indicator was showing 21+ knots, Norm Anderson’s Blue Streak Merit 25 suddenly—very suddenly—dismasted. Crash! Here’s Norm’s description of what happened:

Big winds and choppy waves. We had it in tight and guess conditions were at a max. The mast broke just below the spreaders. Tom Errickson also looked at the mast break and we decided there was no apparent reason. The shrouds and stays were fine, so it just was a failure in the mast itself.

We had a spare mast and boom from a boat we salvaged out of LA a few years back (a Merit 25) and it was the correct mast. We had to do some swapping of shrouds and after we tuned it, we were good to go. The lines weren’t set up as we wanted, but as you could see, we made it work. Missed the first two races, but made it to the third and WON! How about that for persistence?

I can tell you what it was like up close—falling aluminum spars, lines everywhere and topped off with sails. Fortunately, the sails were unharmed.

It was just a bit disconcerting as being in the back of the boat, the jagged edges of the masts (virtually in half) came down about a foot from my face. Sometimes you are good, and sometimes lucky. I like the lucky part.

One for the books.

Norm

Norm’s hard-working crew: Paul and Anthony Miachika, Ed Chamberlin and John Gallagher

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith

Bob Whyte and Peter Lehrach tow Blue Streak home after her dismasting. The new mark/safety boat performed perfectly on its first outing. Photo: Chris Smith