Startling Finish to AYC Championship Regatta

Seven fleet champions faced off in C14s at Tempe Town Lake for the 2013 Club Championship. Photos: Mike Ferring

Seven fleet champions faced off in C14s at Tempe Town Lake for the 2013 Club Championship. Photos and Words: Mike Ferring

It was almost like an act of god.

Trey Harlow and crew Mike Hester went into the seventh and final race of the championship regatta ahead by one point and holding the tie breaker. They would be tough to beat. Martin Lorch and son Cedric would need to finish two places ahead to take Martin’s fourth club championship.

As usual, the wind had been mostly light and fluky on Tempe Town Lake, but ripples from the west suggested a nice, moderate air finale for the fleet champs in their Capri 14.2s.

The course: a simple windward-leeward. As the seven competitors swept downwind to the leeward mark, Trey and Mike held a small lead and the tactical inside rounding position. All it would take would be a smooth rounding and they could cover Martin all the way to the finish—and the championship.

The rounding went fine. Trey trimmed for the upwind finish, Martin chasing from a couple of boat lengths back.

And then it happened. On port tack, Trey’s boat suddenly skidded off to the right, as if the centerboard weren’t down—but it was—and he couldn’t hold the boat on the beat.

Martin looked around, amazed. “What happened?” he asked Cedric. “What happened?”

Trey still doesn’t know. When they tacked to starboard, the boat tracked true.
Back on port, it slid. And as it slid, so did the hopes of a second championship in a row. At the race finish, Martin and Cedric were in first place and Trey and Mike were at the back of the pack.

See the final results at the bottom of the page. Lots of volunteers made the day work, led by Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock, including the 14.2 fleet, JM Kiel, Mike Ferring, Diana Simpson, Dick Krebill, Steve Brown, Decker Williams, Cindy Pillote, Greg Fine, and Andrea Love.


Trey Harlow approaches the leeward mark with inside position for the rounding. Photos: Mike Ferring

Trey Harlow approaches the leeward mark with inside position for the critical final rounding in race seven. Photos: Mike Ferring


Martin Lorch drops into line behind Trey to round second.

Martin Lorch drops into line behind Trey to round second.

Trey and Mike Hester trim in for the upwind finish only to find they can't hold port tack close-hauled.

Trey and Mike Hester trim in for the upwind finish only to find they can’t hold port tack close-hauled.

There were certain distractions.

There were certain distractions.


Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
Lorch 2 3 3 2 1 3 1 15
Harlow 3 1 1 4 3 1 7 20
Tingom 6 6 2 1 4 5 3 27
Sheller 1 2 5 6 2 6 6 28
Jackson 4 4 6 5 6 2 2 29
Davis 5 5 4 3 5 4 4 30
Anderson 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 47


Party Time: Commodore’s Celebration Saturday, May 18

Chef Dionot

Chef Dionot

Reservations are now closed for this big event, with almost 90 people signed up. If you failed to register in time and would like to go, contact Mike Ferring to see if we can squeeze you in.
Mike and Maryellen Ferring invite you to the year’s big party, the Commodore’s Celebration.
When: Saturday evening, May 18, with wine and beer beginning at 6pm, dinner at 7pm, and awards about 7:30
Where9382 E Bahia Dr,  Scottsdale
What: Wine tasting, gourmet dinner (see menu below) and much mingling with your sailing buddies
How Much: $49 for adults, $19 for children; cash bar
Why: Honor winners and workers and to bring on the new AYC Board of Directors
Dress Code: Informal
Who: Kids and guests welcome

Intriguing idea: Take a big space in North Scottsdale, sprinkle in some boats and collector cars, add true gourmet food… and make it stirring.

Rear Commodore Bob Whyte has engaged executive chef Pascal Dionot to prepare the dinner, which Chef Dionot says will include flavors of both classic European items and the Sonoran desert.

Last year's party. Photo: Mike Ferring

Last year’s party. Photo: Mike Ferring

Chef Dionot was first trained in France, Germany and Spain before heading to the U.S. His background includes Executive Chef positions at several notable Washington, D.C. fine dining restaurants, including the historic Hay-Adams Hotel, the Georgetown Club, and Restaurant 2941 in Northern Virginia. Pascal went on to develop and teach the professional culinary program at l’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland for 18 years before relocating to Scottsdale where he founded Classic Cooking Academy in 2006.

Expected Buffet Menu
Mixed Greens Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Carmelized Pecans, and Blue Cheese, Grilled Vegetables, Rolls and Butter
Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes with Jicama Slaw or Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine on Sweet, Creamy Polenta
Desserts include Chocolate Mesquite Brownies with Vanilla Ice Cream, Assorted Fruit Tarts plus a Coffee Station
Also: There will be a vegetarian option

Wine Tasting Event at 6pm will be hosted by Phoenix Wine of Scottsdale

Here’s a list of people who have registered to attend the Commodore’s Celebration

Some of the classic cars that will share our space.

Some of the classic cars that will share our space.


The cars:
1964 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
2005 Panoz Esperante
2007 Eagle Roadster (street legal, open wheel)
1957 Corvette resto-mod with a ZO6 engine
1982 Delorean
1969 Lotus Elan
Tesla roadster

Register for AYC-US Sailing Powerboat Class May 16 and 19

Instructor Rob Gibbs

Instructor Rob Gibbs

Rob Gibbs will conduct a powerboat training class on two days in May. The classroom portion is Thursday, May 16 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm at the Tempe Police Department, Apache Substation. The on-the-water portion will be on Sunday, May 19, from 8am to 1pm at Lake Pleasant.

The course is offered by the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) as a courtesy to AYC members—for no charge. Since we need additional certified boat drivers for AYC events, if you’re not a member, you may take the course for just $50 if you intend to help on race committee.

Tempe Town Lake Scores

Congratulations to the winners of the Tempe Town Lake racing series. The fleet champs are the same for both spring and the combined fall-spring: it’s Matt Davis in Buccs; George Tingom in C14, Dmitri Lusnikov in Laser, and Clay Poulson in Portsmouth.

The results for the last weekend of the Spring Series are posted on the results page or by clicking here. The combined scores for the fall and spring can be found here.

Gorgeous Day for Tall Cactus

The sun and the wind cooperated for the Tall Cactus Regatta Saturday (4/27), as organizer Mike Parker sent boats this way and that before we stumbled over the confused wind of Humbug, scrambling the results.

Tall Cactus brought out Scott McClintock and the Rio Hondo 40 with Emory Heisler at the helm. Photo: Mike Parker

Tall Cactus brought out Scott McClintock and the Rio Hondo 40 with Emory Heisler at the helm. Photo: Mike Parker

Boats left the start line near Pleasant Harbor Marina in order of PHRF rating, slower boats followed by faster ones and non-spins sent on a shorter course than the spins—just the kind of fun design that suits a for-fun regatta like this one.

The spins headed to the Coles Bay marker, trying to make out which floating white post was the one with the right words on it. Chuck Sears decided on a “no wake” for rounding, and then we all charged off for Castle Creek, around Balance Rock and Horse and then to the chaos of Humbug, to pick our way through the warm-weather revelers, trying to adjust to wind that’s this way and then that way, stopping and then big-puffing.

Greg Jackson on his Viper and Court Roberts on his Melges 24 decided to risk spinnakers after the first twisty blow forced everybody to pull them down NOW. It worked and Greg barely finished ahead of Court at the finish, joining Chuck Sears who had already arrived. Bob Worrall onboard Spirit, his C22, was the first non-spin across, chased by various other C22s.

Mike Parker stoked up the fire for an evening on the beach and a proper end to a fun day on the water.

Here’s a link to pictures that Mike took.

Watch the Club Championship Races Saturday

It’s the highlight of the racing year when the fleet champions from all the active AYC fleets duke it out in one-design boats. This Saturday (5/4), starting about 11 am at Tempe Town Lake, they’ll go at it in C14s. And you can watch from the comfort of the grassy knoll.

Bring a chair, non-alcoholic beverages (TTL rules) and a pot luck dish and join the spectators as 8 fleet champs fight the fluky winds of TTL for your entertainment.

Cheer on this year’s competitors: TTL champs George Tingom (C14), Matt Davis (Buccaneer), George Sheller (Laser) [competing since he’s a member and winner Dmitri Lushnikov is not] and Lake Pleasant champs Greg Jackson (Sportboat), Norm Anderson (PHRF Spin), Martin Lorch (Santana 20) Steve Campo (Catalina 22) and Trey Harlow (Thistle and defending AYC Champ).


The fleet champs will compete in C14s on Tempe Town Lake.

Thanks to Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock for setting up the event and sorting through the rules and thanks to the C14 fleet and ASF for providing the boats.

Interested in the race documents? Here they are.

While AYC Races, LPSC Kicks Back with Lobster

What do you get when a great idea is paired up with hard work and a dedicated volunteer group? A fantastic Lake Pleasant Sailing Club (LPSC) weekend at Lake Pleasant!

Roland Cleveland and his group of volunteers put on a great LPSC inaugural event the weekend of April 18-21. Even a last-minute change of venue didn’t throw a wrench in the works. By Friday night, the campers were circled, the sailboats were secure, the campfire was lit and the marshmallows were melting.

Saturday morning brought more sailboats, campers, kayaks, etc. Around noon, 10 LPSC sailboats gathered near Scorpion Bay to begin a game of Follow the Leader around the lake. Led by Deedy and Doug Payne on Island Time, the crews showed off their best tacking and gybing maneuvers. The event ended when 15+ mph winds forced the crews to quickly lower their sails and seek a safe anchorage.

Dinner was quite the affair as the grills were fired up, the water was set to boil, and the side dishes began to appear on the tables. Hamburgers, hotdogs, and even lobster filled the plates of hungry sailors and campers alike.

Sunday morning dawned sunny and cool, as some members took to the water in boats and kayaks for an end of the weekend cruise. Others chose to pack up and head home to prepare for the work week. As the chairs were folded and the gear stowed, everyone agreed this event is sure to become a yearly tradition.

—Rhonda Brewer, LPSC

Perfect Conditions for High School Championship

Cedric Lorch and the V for Victory! Photos: Phil Freedman

Cedric Lorch signals V for Victory! Photos: Gerald Byrnes

After the first race of the 2013 Arizona State High School Sailing Championship, after hearing the yells from the winning boat, it was apparent whose names would be etched on the championship aulde mug trophy.

Cedric Lorch (son of multi-year AYC club champion Martin Lorch) from Valley Lutheran HS and Mitchell Wenger from Connolly Middle School took home the hardware. But of the seven boats racing, the team of Graydon Sharp and Peter Blake kept the heat on with steady finishes and took second, just four points behind.

Race committee chairman, high school sailing coach, and instructor George Tingom said that this year’s event was by far the best for the championship and thinks next year’s could be even stronger.

“We have a fantastic core of volunteers that will make this event a strong foundation for high school sailing in Arizona,” he says. “We’re hopeful of fielding a bigger turnout of between ten to fourteen boats culminating with a barbeque.”

This year’s champions vow to be back for a repeat.

—Words by Philip Freedman

Rounding the mark at the 2013 High School Championship Regatta.

Rounding the mark at the 2013 High School Championship Regatta.

(Corrected Results with Throw-outs)

1st Place 6 Points – (Cedric Lorch / Mitchell Wenger)

2nd Place 10 Points – (Graydon Sharp / Peter Blake)

3rd Place 15 Points (Bharath Tata / Jake Xu)

4th Place 19 Points (Luke Marino / Lliya Panfilinco)

5th Place 22 Points (Madison Cordova / Isabella Hutchinson)

6th Place 22 Points (Alec Arthur / Daniel Moore)

7th Place 30 Points (Wilson Davis / Austin / Lannitti)


Wing-on-wing downwind at the Championship Regatta.

Wing-on-wing downwind at the Championship Regatta.


Competitors surround organizer George Tingom. Champ Cedric Lorch holds the hardware.

Competitors surround organizer George Tingom. Champs Cedric Lorch and Mitchell Wenger  hold the hardware.







Tall Cactus Regatta Sails Saturday, April 27

Register now for the Tall Cactus Regatta:

[button link=”″ size=”large” bg_color=”#00703c”]Register Now[/button]

Here’s a list of people entered so far.

We call it the Tall Cactus Regatta, an easy-breezy tour of Lake Pleasant from the north launch area at Pleasant Harbor, meandering though coves and around islands, ending up in the upper end of Humbug Cove.

Once you arrive, set your anchor, and wrap up a well deserved siesta, the smell of an outback BBQ will be drifting over the anchorage, followed shortly by the club runabout motoring by to collect you for food, a bit of competition for the bean pot, and Mike Parker’s special secret rum punch.

This may be the year we get a Catalina 22 into First to Finish. Almost had it last year.


Saturday, April 27, 9am skippers meeting. 11am start. The starting sequence will be based on PHRF rating of your boat, with the highest numbers leaving first.

Three courses: Spin, non-spin, and dinghy will be published on the web, available by email, and at Lake Pleasant before the race.

Cost: $25 per entry. Each entry comes with one dinner. Each additional dinner is $10. Kids under 16 eat free.

Menu: Salmon burger, Pork Ribs, Chicken, Top Sirloin Steak, Salad, Rolls, Desert, Kid Food, and Drinks.

Entry and dinner purchases will be available at and you can enter just the race (and not order dinners) at the Skippers Meeting.

—Mike Parker, Cruising Captain

Lake Pleasant Vista. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Vista. Photo: Mike Ferring

AYC Board Election Underway

The election is underway for the 2013-2014 AYC Board of Directors. Most members have received an email notifying them to vote online, the first year this convenient method has been available. Nineteen members chose to receive mailed, paper ballots. The benefits of electronic voting are huge. It’s much less expensive and time-consuming for the club and it’s easier for members, taking only seconds and not requiring a 46-cent postage stamp.

Here are the nominees:

Cindy Pillote

Cindy Pillote

One-Year Terms
Commodore: Cindy Pillote
Vice Commodore: Peter Lehrach
Rear Commodore: Christina Campo
Fleet Captain: Greg Woodcock
Cruising Captain: Ralph Vatalaro

Two-Year Terms
Membership Director: Andrea Love
Junior Staff Commodore: Mike Ferring

Continuing on the board are Emory Heisler, who will become Senior Staff Commodore, and Thom Dickerson, Membership Director. The board will also choose a Treasurer (Tony Chapman has agreed to continue) and Secretary (we’re open to suggestions).

Electronic voting will continue until Monday, May 13 at 6pm MST. Paper ballots must be mailed to Mike Ferring, 525 W Monte Vista Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85003 postmarked May 9 or earlier or a ballot may be brought by the voting member in person at the time and place designated for the election. The votes will be counted at 6pm MST on Tuesday, May 14, at the Caddy Shack@Rolling Hills.



LPSC Pancake Breakfast Saturday, April 6 – $5

pancakesWhether you prefer to call them pancakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes, Hobo Nickels, or Flap Sams, this breakfast food is too good to pass up. Come to Lake Pleasant and make a day of it with the educational event to follow or to head out for the day of AYC racing.

Pancakes and other breakfast attractions will be served starting at 8am on Saturday (April 6)  and run to around 10am. You’ll find us at Ramada #1 and 2 closest to the Sailboat Shop. Cost is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children ages 4-12.

Some important perspective on the morning: A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. In Britain it is made without a raising agent, and is similar to a crêpe. In America, a raising agent is used (typically baking powder). The American pancake is similar to a Scotch pancake or drop.

They may be served at any time with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, fruit, syrup, chocolate chips, or meat. In America, they are typically considered to be a breakfast food. In Britain and the Commonwealth, they are associated with Shrove Tuesday, commonly known as Pancake Day, when perishable ingredients had to be used up before the fasting period of Lent.

Please join the finest batch of LPSC sailors around as we pay homage to the delectable pancake!

—Rhonda Brewer, LPSC

Taking America’s Cup to the Max

The cup is coming but what got us there?

AC72For the April monthly meeting, Philip Freedman offers his view of America’s Cup 34 and what it takes to compete for the sport’s oldest trophy. The meeting is at 7 pm, Tuesday, April 9, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. Visitors are welcome.

A meteor has hit the America’s Cup and the dinosaurs have disappeared. The oldest sports trophy has become of age. In one of the biggest sport upgrades in history, the America’s Cup has roared into the 21st century and you better use a fast shutter speed to take a shot. This summer in San Francisco Bay, the 34th America’s Cup will be defended against three countries wanting to take it out of the U.S. An estimated 600,000 will watch the competition from the banks of San Francisco Bay. Never before has the America’s Cup been sailed in a bay rather than in the ocean where few could see.

These are not just sailboats, but 72-foot-long catamarans with 13-story hard-wing masts that go twice the spend of the wind and rise out of the water onto small foils. Their crew of 11 not only wears heart monitors, life jackets and helmets, but will take physical requirements to the limits.

So come spend a fun evening and hear how college, youth sailing and the twelve meters got us to where we are today. Phil warns: This will be fun.

Phil Freedman is an AYC member and longtime sailor who fielded the entry Betsy Ross for the 1990 America’s Cup challenge.