Phil Freedman’s Sailing Flash Cards

Phil Freedman’s latest offering, following his “College Sailing Made Easy” book.

AYC member and certified gadfly Phil Freedman has quickly followed his first self-published book (College Sailing Made Easy) with a second, a clever collection of simple sailing terms presented as flash cards. Call it, College Sailing Made Easy Flash Cards. See: clever.

The 150-page book is mostly made up of 120-plus sailing glossary terms, presented two-to-a-page, in alphabetical order. A pair of scissors could turn the book into flash cards for quick study by new sailors. Phil concludes the book with some sailing tips and philosophy and a repeat from the first book of the impressive collection of pictures showing his involvement in the San Diego America’s Cup challenge in the early 90s.

The new book hit the starting line on time and at speed. Phil says it sold about 100 copies in the first few days on Amazon.

Phil also forwarded us an interesting piece on “How to do a Chicken Jibe.” Read it here.

Lake Pleasant Sailing Club’s Busy November

The calendar year may be winding down, but the LPSC is gearing up for our busiest time of the year.

On November 10, the LPSC will be hosting the third annual Ladies Day at the Lake. This very popular event is a day-long, sailing or kayaking summit for women. It is designed to introduce women to and/or enhance their skills in recreational boating through both land-based seminars and on-the-water workshops.

November 16-18 will find several LPSC members enjoying a fun late fall weekend of sailing and friendship at Roosevelt Lake.

November will end with a L.A.S.T. Friday study session. This monthly event is the brainchild of our current Commodore, Debbie Huntsman. Although Debbie has relocated to New Orleans, she still attends these sailing-based study sessions in spirit.

Finally, LPSC members will celebrate the holidays with a party on December 8. Besides sharing food, drink, and conversation, members are invited to catch a shuttle ride compliments of John Bagwell, our vice-commodore, to the Tempe Parade of Lights. As always, AYC members are invited to join LPSC events and activities.

Rhonda Brewer, LPSC Newsletter Editor

Amy Grothe Repeats as Ruth Beals Winner

When we began to rig the seven entries for the Ruth Beals Cup at 7:30 Saturday morning, the wind was signaling a perfect sailing day. Cool, comfortable and 8-10 kts of wind. Then it all changed.

Phil Freedman got this shot of boats reaching before the start sequence in the Ruth Beals Cup Regatta.

By 8:30 there were whitecaps blowing across Tempe Town Lake with puffs pushing 20 kts and building. The entry list began to shrink to die-hards. The brave and foolhardy.

Brenda Shears and Decker Williams capsized and couldn’t get back into the boat, shredding part of the jib. They retired to watch from the busy committee boat.

Chrisann Tortora and Tony Chapman headed for shore to keep dry and spectate for most of the rest of the morning.

Still circulating, waiting for a start, were the teams of Amy and dad Steve Grothe, Cindy Pillote and Greg Jackson, and Sheila Reed and Maryellen Ferring.

This was the Ruth Beals Cup Regatta for women at the helm and it has a history of too much wind or too little. Today the legend grew. Too much.

Race one: Amy got an early lead and tacked to round the windward mark. And capsized. Cindy moved to the lead heading to the leeward mark. And capsized. Sheila seized the lead and took it to the finish. Then capsized.

With everyone wet, it would have been a good time to declare the day complete, but not for this bunch.

Race two: Amy broke into the lead and held off Cindy to the finish. Race three: Amy and Steve crossed the finish hiked out and moving fast, clinching the championship and a year of bragging rights, their second, having won in 2009. Cindy took second by one point over previous winner Sheila Reed.

Many thanks to Sheila and Cindy for organizing the event and to Mike Bernard and Clay Poulson who did a spectacular job helping me on race committee, joined by Decker and Brenda, who were drafted to help when they needed to pull out of the race.

Next year maybe we could have some “normal” wind?

Phil Freedman’s shot of the winners didn’t come out, so we offer this shot, taken when Amy and Steve won the Cup in 2009.

Governor’s Cup Regatta Offers Long-Distance Fun

By Mike Parker, AYC Cruising Director

Does the little sailboat racer inside of you feel a bit cramped, congested, or perhaps confined?

Don’t race much, but want to have a “semi structured” event to cruise our fine Lake Pleasant—perhaps exploring new stretches of water?

Is that a trophy or what? Court Roberts hefts the Governor’s Trophy, won last year aboard his Melges 24. Photo: Mike Ferring

Leave our excellent “round the buoys” racing for a day and stretch your sea legs for 26.2 miles up, down, and around Lake Pleasant in the  Arizona Yacht Club 2012 Governors Cup Regatta.

Aside from the fame and fortune, you could become the proud caretaker for 12 glorious months of the largest trophy AYC has to offer.

This year’s regatta will be similar to last year’s, with a start off the south Pleasant Harbor Marina entrance buoy, crisscrossing the lake, and ending up at the north ramp No Wake zone.

Preliminary guidelines (really):

  • There will be strategic legs that round the floating pottys (just in case crew needs to go)
  • Uber close legs near the bar/restaurants on the water, with phone numbers on the map for pickup orders
  • Open water legs (as much as we have in Arizona) will be scheduled for the later parts of the race, just in case darkness falls before the end
  • Multiple classes with take-home trophies for top finishers
  • A special prize for the most “Holiday Inspired” boat and crew (and TLAPD is a Holiday)
  • Minimal entry fee and NO WHINING! — mostly because your Cruising Director wants to race too this year.

And this addition:

I have received some questions about the Governor’s Cup Regatta that I would like to share with those interested, along with my answers.

  1. Will there be a short course for small boats.
  2. YES, there will be a “Half Marathon” of 13.1 miles, same start – Portsmouth only
  3. Will there be a Single Handed class? If I have 5 boats that want to race single-hand that can fall into ONE rating system, I will make it happen. Fleets will be determined from registrations completed Tuesday, November 20.
  4. Will there be “Course Marks” distinguished from other navigation aids? The course marks are islands, floating potties, and navigation buoys. All are listed in order and GPS coordinates are included on the long race SI.
  5. For the buoys, your requirement is to round one buoy in the direct vicinity, along a line of buoys. You can round whatever one is more convenient, trying not to gain a DISTANCE advantage. I have tried to make the approaches to the buoy lines equidistant from the previous mark. Of course, not as sexy as 7 Vipers rounding one mark all together with the yelling and churning up the water, but you can watch that during the Fall and Spring  Series and the Birthday Regatta.
  6. YOU will be the Race Committee. Keep an eye on your fellows on the water, encourage and assist as needed.

I have received some questions about the Governor’s Cup Regatta that I would like to share with those interested, along with my answers.

1.       Will there be a short course for small boats

a.       YES, there will be a “Half Marathon” of 13.1 miles, same start – Portsmouth only

2.       Will there be a Single Handed class

a.       If I have 5 boats that want to race single handed that can fall into ONE rating system, I will make it happen.  Fleets will be determined from registrations completed Tuesday, November 20.

3.       Will there be “Course Marks” distinguished from other navigation aids?

a.       The course marks are Islands, Floating Potties, and navigation buoys.   All are listed in order and GPS coordinates are included on the long race SI.

b.      For the buoys, your requirement is to round one buoy in the direct vicinity, along a line of buoys.  You can round whatever one is more convenient, trying not to gain a DISTANCE advantage.  I have tried to make the approaches to the buoy lines equidistant from the previous mark.   Of course, not as sexy as 7 Vipers rounding one mark all together with the yelling and churning up the water, but you can watch that during the Fall and Spring  Series and the Birthday Regatta.

4.       YOU will be the Race Committee.  Keep an eye on your fellows on the water, encourage and assist as needed. 

Buccaneer 18s Sailing on Mill Avenue

So you’re strolling down Mill Avenue and happen to look up at one of the “Downtown Tempe” posters and what do you see? A Buccaneer 18!

The photo brings together an interesting group of AYC Bucc sailors in one shot.

The boat is my first Erin Morgan, #5060, on one of its early sails in 2003, skippered by David Rawstrom with me as crew and sailing with Pat Blumm’s sail #2900 because the sails that came with the boat had a few “problems” (i.e. holes).

Congratulations to AYC and the Bucc Fleet for being part of the Mill Avenue District campaign!

Ruth Beals Cup Saturday, October 27

The annual Ruth Beals Cup Regatta for women at the helm will be Saturday morning, October 27 at Tempe Town Lake.

Organizers Sheila Reed and Cindy Pillote say that the Skippers’ Meeting will be a 8am and the first warning at 9am. Racing will end by noon.

This annual regatta honors AYC founder Ruth Beals (history here) by requiring that the Capri 14.2 sailboats be driven by women, though a man can act as crew. There will be room for a dozen entries, using personally-owned boats or using one of the Arizona Sailing Foundation boats on a first-come, first-served basis.

There’s no charge for entry and there are actual, valuable prizes for the first three finishers. And breakfast for all.

Click here to go to the racing page and scroll down to get the race documents and entry information.

Tight turn at the mark.

A Successful Trashy Sunday

AYC highway cleaning crew picking up 60 bags of litter from the side of Carefree Highway. Photos: Brenda Shears

On October 14, 15 AYC volunteers generously offered their time and effort to maintain our club’s commitment to the Adopt-a-Highway program. The weather was perfect as we filled 60 large blue trash bags with items that had been carelessly discarded by motorists driving along the Carefree Highway near Lake Pleasant. Afterward, we celebrated our achievement at the Wild Horse Saloon with a well-deserved lunch and good cheer. Thanks to all who participated!

The pick-up crew (l to r): Thom Dickerson, Pierce Cunningham, Emory Heisler, Lori Reger, Keith Kintigh, Jo Grijalva, Mike Grijalva, organizer Peter Lehrach, Tia Renshaw, Mike Yarnell, Renata Richards, Larry Green, Ken Guest, Paul Eyssautier, and (not pictured because she was behind the camera) Brenda Shears.

Dave Perry Leaves Us Laughing… and Better Sailors

Dave Perry sketches the options for a mark rounding during the October AYC meeting. Photo: Mike Ferring

The most critical times of any race are when bunches of boats compete for the same bit of water at the same time: during starts and mark roundings. So here’s Dave Perry’s prescription:

  1. Build space to leeward at the start line so you can accelerate at the gun.
  2. Don’t get caught in the bad-air parade at the windward mark.
  3. Take your turn at the leeward mark.

Okay, there was a bit more to it in the space of more than two hours this hall-of-fame sailor spent moving magnetic boats around a white board and showing video of boats converging. I hope you were there. This was a meeting packed with tips and hints for anyone who races and a meeting full of fun for anyone who doesn’t.

Dave Perry entertaining the October AYC meeting. Photo: Bob Whyte

Before the meeting, Dave waved off the wireless microphone. “I don’t use those,” he said seriously and it was immediately obvious that he knew what he was talking about as his voice boomed through the Caddy Shack. He drew in the crowd by asking people to stand who drove Buccs and Thistles and Catalina 22s and so on and asking who drove and who crewed and then urging the crew members to yell back at their drivers in return for all those times the crew gets blamed for poor finishes that are usually the fault of the person holding tiller. We loved it of course.

For a two-minute snippet of Dave’s talk, click here to see a YouTube video recorded by Rear Commodore Bob Whyte.

Dave’s visit to Phoenix (his first ever) was part of the US Sailing Speakers Series and included Scotch tasting by sponsor Old Pulteney. He made this stop on his way from San Francisco to his home in Connecticut after working with Artemis Racing at the America’s Cup AC45 World Series. He advises the team on rules, which are still evolving to match the unbelievable performance of the boats.

After riding on the back of one of the 45s, what did he think? “Scared,” he said. And with the 72-footers pushing the boundaries of sailing, he says no one’s quite sure what will happen. The teams planned to have sailed the first copy of the new boats about 15 days by now, he said, but only Team New Zealand has had more than a few days on the water and all of the teams have come limping back with broken bits on the boats. Artemis broke its wing when trying it out on a trimaran. Hang on. This could be nuts.

Fun fact: At Yale, Dave roomed with Peter Isler and navigation ace and “the man who invented football’s first-down yellow line,” Stan Honey. All have gone on to fame and glory. Two of the three have spoken to AYC within the last year. Can Stan Honey make it three-some? Stay tuned.

A large crowd laughed through two hours of Dave Perry’s presentation. Photo: Mike Ferring


Lake Pleasant Opening Day Fiesta!

Our friends in the North are covering their boats for the long winter, but the Arizona Yacht Club has just fired off the cannon for Opening Day. Temperatures settled into the 90s, wind teased us, and the Catalina 22 fleet prepared a fiesta of fish and chicken tacos spiced with the salsa of a Mariachi band.

Many thanks to Christina and Steve Campo for the evening’s dinner and entertainment and to the entire Catalina 22 crew for an excellent weekend of racing.

Spinnaker Point dinner on Opening Day, with bright green tables and bright, brassy music.

Christina Campo and the Mariachi. Photo: Sheila Gordon

Steve and Christina Campo at the grill, prepping the tacos. Photo: Sheila Gordon

Los Mariachi setting the tone for dinner with a view.

A lot of AYC good times have been shared by this bunch: Peter Schweizer, George Tingom, Don DeFreze, and Bob Worrall. Photo: Sheila Gordon

Sailing Discovery Day at Tempe Town Lake

We’d like to invite everyone to the first Sailing Discovery Day at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday October 13 from 1pm to 5 pm. Stop by before you go to the Tempe Oktoberfest party!

Who should come: Anyone who’s interested in learning more about sailing, sailing in Arizona, our club, or fun people in Arizona.

We’ll have several types of boats there and with any luck there will be a comfortable breeze to take some rides and get your first sailing experience. We’ll also have information regarding classes and other ways to get involved in the sport of sailing!

Get to Know New Members

Mike & Dana Blumberg are from Milwaukee and met at Milwaukee Yacht Club; they’ve been married for 26+ years. Dana grew up sailing, starting on a Sunfish at her grandparent’s cottage in Michigan. She raced on Lightning’s with her family, sailing both locally and nationally. She was on the Huffer’s sailing team at UW-Madison, then served as an instructor for many years at a camp in Northern Wisconsin. Mike campaigned a Soling nationally for 9 years, crewed on an E-boat, Melges 24 and has raced Lasers for seven years. Together they’ve sailed many Chicago-Mac races on a Soverel 33, J/35, Mumm 36 and Nelson-Merek 43, cruised on Lake Michigan and in the BVI. They’re not fully settled in Arizona yet and expect it to take up to a year to do it. Mike is starting a new business selling equipment to manufacturing companies here in the Southwest. Right now Mike is in Green Valley and Dana is still in Milwaukee. We look forward to seeing more of them as their move progresses.

Sheila and Jeff Gordon. Sheila’s sailing experience began at the age of 18, sailing a sunfish on an inland lake in Michigan. At 25 she moved aboard a 1940 Atkin Eric double-ended cutter, where she lived for the next seven years. She and her partner cruised the Florida Keys and Bahamas extensively before selling the boat and building a log cabin in Michigan. There they captained and crewed on a Columbia 36 in Lake Huron, the North Channel and Georgian Bay until purchasing a Tartan 26, which they sailed from Au Gres, Michigan to Mackinac Island many times. Sheila raced only a little, but has been crewing with Larry Green on Lake Pleasant aboard Bonne Chance. Jeff is new to sailing and hopes to learn the basics and the jargon. They hope to spend part of their retirement on a boat in the Caribbean.

Marco Hidalgo is new to sailing. He took Start Sailing Right in the spring of 2012. He says he’s enjoyed meeting all of the friendly AYC members and learning about sailboats and racing. Marco is a competitor and was an avid racquetball player. He moved to Phoenix from Albuquerque where he was captain of the University of New Mexico’s Lobo Racquetball Team. He’s crewed here on a Buccaneer and a Viper and looks forward to more AYC sailing and the upcoming race series.

The Love Family, Jesus, Andrea, Isabel (age 8) and Ian (age 6), are new to sailing. Andrea grew up in Rhode Island and has been around and on boats for years but never took sailing lessons. She’s looking forward to lessons now that she lives in the desert. Since Jesus grew up along the Sea of Cortez and loves the water, he’s also eager to learn. Isabel can’t wait for her Opti I class to start in a few weeks. The Loves say they’re excited about getting involved with AYC, being active members, learning the ropes, and getting out on the water. If anyone needs a novice crew, the Loves are your team!

If you’re a new member and have not been introduced through Compass Points, please send a brief write-up about you (and your family) to

Brenda Shears and Thom Dickerson
Arizona Yacht Club Membership Directors

October Meeting: Dave Perry with “Tactics in Crowds”

Our October 8 speaker: Dave Perry

Our headline meeting of the fall: Hall of Fame sailor and teacher Dave Perry. Special meeting date to meet Dave’s schedule: Monday, October 8, but the regular meeting time and place, the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. (map) Dinner at 6. And come prepared for a longer than usual meeting, about two hours (but if you need to leave early, we’ll be taking an intermission).

Also, come prepared to taste some more of that sweet Old Poultney Scotch. Just as they did with “Luigi” last year, Old Poultney is pouring tastes of the good stuff.

Oh, back to sailing. What’s Dave’s subject? Tactics in Crowds. What happens when you approach the start or mark in a herd of boats that all want to go first? Dave will offer the entertaining answers, backed by what he says are some spectacular videos.

Dave is one of the country’s top sailing coaches and he’s fresh from coaching the US Sailing Team women’s match racing team for this summer’s Olympic Games. He currently chairs the US Sailing Appeals Committee, was rules advisor for U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and he’s rules advisor for Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 2013 America’s Cup.

Here’s his bio:

Dave grew up on Long Island Sound in Connecticut, racing Lightnings. He received his undergraduate degree at Yale University, and has received an honorary Doctorate of Education from Piedmont College. He is Chairman of the US Sailing Appeals Committee, and is a Senior Certified Judge.

He has authored three books on the sport, Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing, Winning in One-Designs, and Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes. He is a two-time All American sailor and Intercollegiate Dinghy National Champion, 5th place finisher at the 1979 Laser Worlds, two-time Congressional Cup winner (1983 & 84), Silver Medalist in the 1983 Soling Pre-Olympic regatta, 2003 Ideal 18 North American champion, and the 2006, 2008 and 2011 winner of the U.S. Match Racing Championship for the Prince of Wales Trophy (a championship he also won in 1982!).

He is a member of the Sailing World Hall of Fame, and recipient of US Sailing’s W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy for Sportsmanship and Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction. He was the Rules Advisor and Afterguard Coach for Victory Challenge, Sweden’s 2007 America’s Cup Team, and the Rules Advisor for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. From 2009-2012, he was the coach for the US Sailing Team Alphagraphics women’s match race team, and is the Rules Advisor for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 2013 America’s Cup. He has conducted hundreds of “rules talks” and seminars on the sport, and is best known for his clear, humorous and highly interactive presentations.

Help Clean the Highway for Fun and AYC Visibility

Watch for the AYC sign on Carefree Highway. Photo: Peter Lehrach

Peter Lehrach is looking for a half dozen volunteers to take a nice walk along highway 74 on a Sunday morning and join him for brunch. Please email him if you can help on Sunday, October 14.

Next time you drive Carefree Highway to Lake Pleasant, watch for the Arizona Yacht Club signs. This one is at mile marker 25. You’ll see another when you’re headed the other way.

A bunch of us earned that sign one warm June morning by filling lots of purple bags with nasty roadside trash. Credit Peter for pushing the “adopt a highway” idea, gathering the clean-up crew, collecting the vests, gloves, pokers, and bags, sitting through the required training exercise, filing the paperwork, following up (through a change of DOT offices), and celebrating the arrival of the sign in August.

Sailing Video Contest Supporting ASF

Hey everyone!

There have been some pretty cool videos floating around the web from club members—and now we’re going to have a contest!  From NOW until the end of the Spring Season, submit your video (send me the link and I’ll put it on our site – and you’ll get a chance to win some AYC swag in the form of shirts and hats.

How does this support ASF?  Get your GoPro sport camera and accessories (mounts, floaty back doors, batteries, etc.) from the AYC website and the partnership proceeds will be donated to the ASF. Click on the link below to go to the GoPro store right now and order.

Buy GoPro HERO Camera at

Or if you can’t see that image:
Official GoPro® Store