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=”http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1224245″ 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 www.arizonayachtclub.org 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.

The Sailing Life of Andrew Campbell

Andrew Campbell sailing a Star on the US Sailing Team.

Andrew Campbell sailing a Star on the US Sailing Team.

Olympian and 10-time national champion Andrew Campbell looks at the big sailing picture. Boil it down to something like this: explore and enjoy. Sure, there’s a lot we can learn about wind shifts and boat handling and that kind of thing, but a lot of the advice he offered the AYC monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 12 was bigger than that.

Here were his bullet points:

  • Clear air (get in it)
  • Practice like you mean it
  • Even when it’s uncomfortable
  • Sail weird boats
  • Sail with old friends
  • Make new friends (he got to meet President George W. Bush)
  • Sail against the best
  • Study and learn every chance you get
  • Sail with lots of people
  • Sail with kids (You never know what will inspire them)
  • Sail in new places

The big point is that you learn through these broad experiences, picking up something about sailing or just about life itself. Or you just have a good time with friends.

Whoa. Is this the the message from a cutthroat, world-class sailor? From a calm, focused one, it is.

Andrew is a 10-time national champion at the youth, high school, collegiate levels. Racing in the Laser and Star class, he competed on the Olympic Class World Cup level during 10 years on the US Sailing Team. He won the 2007 Pan Am Games, represented the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was ranked #4 in the World in the Star class in 2011. Now Andrew’s professional sailing and coaching experience has set him up to expand into big boats and match racing as well as writing for sailing publications.

Sailing Champion Andrew Campbell at the AYC monthly meeting.

Sailing Champion Andrew Campbell at the AYC monthly meeting.