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

Photos of Catalina 22 Clinic

Christina and Steve Campo organized an amazing clinic day for Catalina 22s on Saturday, September 22. A herd of C22s came out for the event, plus many new people interested in trying this racing thing. In the pictures taken by Tom Errickson, you’ll see the tent, the group, the boats on the water—and you’ll get a small sense of the energy.

On the same day, George Sheller organized a clinic for Laser sailors at Tempe Town Lake and it turned out to be another exciting success, with lots of sailors and lots of learning and tweaking for the season. As a result, there are a herd of Lasers competing in the TTL fall series.

The C22 fleet was celebrating the 40th birthday for their boat, the venerable Catalina 22.


Some of the boats that came out to play.


The fleet launched the AYC race committee boat and ran starts and races.

Explaining the starting sequence from the deck of the race committee boat.

Ladies Day at the Lake

AYC is pleased to support the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club’s third Ladies Day@the Lake on November 10.

Please pass this info along to any woman you know who would like to learn more about sailing. There will be something for every skill level. Instructors include Mike and Maryellen Ferring, Fran Weber — winner of the 2012 SCWSA Peggy Slater Award, Nancy Erley, Lynn Buchanan and other notable sailors.

The Ladies’ Day@the Lake is a day-long, sailing summit for women sponsored by Lake Pleasant Sailing Club (LPSC). 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.

Five packages are available to choose from, each specially designed with classes complementing each other to give the student a comprehensive day of instruction at their level of sailing experience. Our instructors have been carefully selected for their subject knowledge and instruction skills. A small teacher-to-student ratio in these courses will assure students will receive personal attention.

All instruction, light breakfast, use of boats, water, goodie bag, course materials and a box lunch are included in the $85 fee for the Day@the Lake. Take advantage of this sure-to-be-fun learning opportunity. Remember, course enrollment is limited and registration closes on November 3rd or when a course is full. Don’t be left watching from the shore!


Welcome Aboard / novice
Full day in the classroom and on-the-water
For the newbie to learn the ropes, parts of the boat and what makes a sailboat work. Then take the helm of a sailboat to practice capturing the power of the wind. (All day classroom, dock-side and on-the water instruction.) This package includes the basics of boating safety, sailing terminology, points of sail, rules for Arizona waterways with hands-on sailing experience.

Pleasure Sailing / novice & experienced
Day sailing, vacation cruising and blue water sailing
Its all about having more fun. During this package students will review rules of sailing, best safety practices, preparation to get your boat underway as well as learn tips and more from experienced sailors and cruisers.

The Accomplished Sailor / intermediate to advanced
Reach the next level
Women choosing this package will learn ways to better make the boat do what they want. Participants will practice essential skills, discover tips and use practical skill building exercises to take them to the next level.

Racing 101 / novice & experienced
For friendly competition
Sailboat racing offers many opportunities to hone skills and stretch sailing legs. As an introduction to the exciting world of sailboat racing, this course package will culminate in a just-for-fun race. (must know port and starboard!)

Take a Kayak / novice or experienced 
Learn the basics 
Get a solid start or refresh your knowledge for flat water kayaking. Course focuses on safely taking a kayak for exercise, enjoyment and exploring the far reaches of Lake Pleasant and elsewhere.

Further information and registration available here.
Debbie Huntsman
Lake Pleasant Sailing Club


We’re Looking for People to Help on Race Committee

Do you like to help run races? Like to be on the water?

We could use your help.

We’re looking for a few good people either to step in to help fleets that are short of people or to serve on a regular basis and provide needed expertise and continuity to the committees. If you’d like to help out, please contact Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock.

It’s a great social time on race committee—a good time to get to know people in the club. If you’re new to racing, it’s a perfect spot to observe the process, to see what starting maneuvers work best, and to make connections that could put you on a crew.

People are needed for both Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant.

Isabel Love Wins ASF-AYC Scholarship

Isabel Love’s successful AYC-ASF scholarship application.

Isabel Love will be sailing an ASF Opti class this fall, setting out on a lifetime of sailing that she says may one day see her sailing around the world. When you’re 8 years old, the entire world is open to you.

Isabel will receive $50 toward the tuition of the ASF class as part of a scholarship program for AYC members. She submitted one of the best applications we’ve ever seen, the essay and picture reproduced here.

If your child would like to learn to sail, consider ASF and remember the scholarship: here’s the link to the application. You’ll find more information on the education page.

Viper 640 North Americans

Hauling a trio of Vipers.

It’s a long way from Phoenix to Marblehead, Massachusetts, especially if you’re towing a trailer full of Vipers. Tony Chapman and Kelly Beaver made the trip for the regatta September 5-9, but Tony chose to crew for Tim Carter (Harbor City, CA) rather than sail his own boat, and the team finished a mid-pack 29th.

The overall winner was Pieter Taselaar with Willem van Waay and Nick Thompson aboard Bliksem. They managed to snatch the championship on the final day, overcoming a two-point deficit in Sunday’s only race to win the 2012 Viper 640 North American Championship by four points over Glyn Locke’s Fer de Lance. It’s Taselaar’s first in the Viper 640 NAs, but he’s an accomplished racer, winning a world championship in Melges 32s in 2009 and the Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship in 2011.

TTL ASF Work Day

Your help would be greatly appreciated. Please plan to join fellow sailors and club members down at Tempe Town Lake on September 15 as we do some much needed cleaning and maintenance on the ASF sailing education fleet of boats.

When: Saturday, September 15 from 8:00 am till noon.

Where: Tempe Town Lake Marina

What to bring: tools, scrub brush

Why: you will feel good about volunteering to help

Everyone is welcome and it would be wonderful to see anyone who has ever benefited from any of the Tempe Town Lake programs.

Hike to the Laser Fleet Clinic, Saturday, September 22

Laser Glitter on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

By George Sheller

Join the Laser Clinic at TTL from 1-4pm, on Saturday, September 22.

This will be designed as advanced clinic so us longtime sailors can learn some new stuff also. Therefore, I encourage all the Laser fleet to attend.

The first half will be a talk-around at a boat set up on shore. The set-up will be discussed, including why we do what we do, how to move around the boat and why, and the controls for various wind settings (that should be interesting because I’ll bet there are some differences in opinion—and maybe some misconceptions). Then we’ll move onto the water with student/teacher interface to practice what we talk about on land.

The final focus is to get the new people ready for the racing the next day. Countdown sequence, flags, location of the starts, where the marks will be set and how to start without fear. Mark roundings and a few simple rules of the road. Yes Mike [Bernard], we will advise them to stay away form crash ’em George.

We want sailing to be fun for the new sailors and we want to make them good enough to enjoy sailing and to eventually kick all of our butts.

 Anyone have kids? Bring them down. The top sailors in the world all have time in Lasers.

Lake Pleasant Committee Boat Work Party

It’s time to clean up and fix up the Lake Pleasant Committee Boat and runabout.

We’ll do it Thursday evening, September 20, beginning at 5pm. Please meet at Valley Marine, 7018 N. 53rd Ave., Glendale AZ 85301 (53rd Ave and Glendale). Some of the tasks that need to be done include:

  1. Replace Horns
  2. Move hardware that could snag a sail away from the side of the boat (especially hardware on the roof)
  3. Tighten the Ignition switch.
  4. Add step by step instructions to start the boat, where to put oil and gas, use the windlass, label the keys.
  5. Check the marks for leaks and patch.
  6. Check the mark rodes and anchors, noting those needing replacement.
  7. General Clean up.


AYC Sailors Place 3rd at Thistle Nationals


By: Ben Doane
Photos: Tina Deptula

The 2012 Thistle Nationals were held in San Diego at Mission Bay Yacht Club July 30 thru August 3. Two teams from Arizona Yacht Club made the trip to San Diego, Jason Rziha, Dan Perrine, and Antonia Johnson(3521) and Ben Doane, Trey Harlow, and Dennis Martinelli (3994).

Both teams were at MBYC the weekend of July 21 and 22 to compete in the Pacific Coast Championships. There were 21 boats registered and the wind was 6-12 kts. both days. We had 3 races each day for a total of 6. 3994 finished in 12th (Results). Our team had never raced together and it was a good way to practice. We were happy to get the cobwebs and major mistakes out of the way before Nationals. The boats stayed in San Diego while most of the sailors went home. My family and I stayed in San Diego and had fun visiting the city for the week. All week long the wind was 10-15 kts. and I was hopeful that it would stick around for the next week but, it didn’t.

The Thistle Class has very specific bylaws that direct the Nationals regatta (Bordes System). There were 60 boats registered that were split into 4 groups. There are two starts each race with 2 groups racing each other. Each group races the others thru 3 initial races before the fleet is split in half into Championship and President’s Divisions. The courses are also tightly controlled, they have to be a triangle, windward, leeward, finish (AYC’s Olympic) 5.6 to 7.3 nm in length.

Team 3994 was excited to get the racing underway. We felt we could do better than the last weekend. We wanted to focus on starts, strategy, and not making big mistakes. We wanted to have 1st row starts, play the middle of the course, and be consistent.

 Monday was 2 races in 6-12 kts. We had decent starts, 1 OCS that we had to go back and exonerate ourselves. We tried to play the middle of the course but, it was hard to find lanes to tack and found ourselves farther on the corner than we wanted to be. We stayed in the middle of the pack with a 17 and 15. We were just outside the cut and if we had a good race the next day we could make it.

Tuesday we went out for one race in about 8-12kts. We had another OK start and felt like the boat was moving ok but, ended with a 19. This was the last race before the cut and with that finish we would be in the President’s Division. 3994 had 51 points and the cut was made at 47. We were disappointed that we did not do better and make the cut but, tomorrow was another day and we start with zero points.

Wednesday, there were 2 races in 5-10 kts. We had MUCH better starts in the middle of the line for both races and came off the line in great position. We had pretty clear air and could work our strategy. We were pretty conservative and played the middle. We gave up a few boats that made out on the corners but, we had good boat speed and finished the day with a 4th and a 2nd. The wind was light and the boat felt bad but everyone else had to deal with the same conditions. Even though we had a heavy crew we found we did better in light wind (thanks Lake Pleasant).

Thursday was a little lighter than Wednesday, closer to 5-8 kts. We had a good start in the middle of the line with clear air and we were off. We led at every mark by several boat-lengths. The last downwind we started losing ground to one of the boats and rounded 2 boat-lengths ahead.  After a tacking duel we ended up in 2nd at the finish by a boat-length. We were pretty disappointed we lost the lead but, realized we finished the best race we had all week.  We were in 2nd place overall with 8 pts. 1st place had 5 pts and 3rd place had 10 pts.

Friday was 5-10 kts. with one race to go. The start was very crowded with several general recalls and a black flag eventually to get us going. This was one of the worst starts we had all week. We were buried in the middle of the line, no clear lanes to tack.  The one thing we knew was that the race was long enough we could make it back. At the windward mark we were 20 something, passed a few on the reaches and headed back upwind. We clawed our way back to the top half of the fleet upwind and finished with a 9th place.

After a great week sailing in the Nationals 3994 finished the regatta in 3rd place in the President’s Division (Results).  Every day, after the split, we climbed in the standings except the last day when we went down one place. When we could, we used our strategy, overall we had good starts, and we were pretty consistent. I was very happy with our regatta. MBYC hosted a great event and we had a great time racing.

Thank you Trey Harlow and Dennis Martinelli for a great week sailing and Stephanie Doane and Nina Harlow for watching the kids all week.


Racers and Crew Party Friday, September 7 from 5-7 pm

Racing season is nearly here!

Ready for some sailboat racing?

The Arizona season is coming fast and to help get you ready to race, we’re planning a party—a chance to get together with other racers, drink some beer or wine, and look for some crew-boat hookups for fall.

The party will be Friday, September 7, from 5-7 pm at AZ Wine & Beer at 2515 N. Scottsdale Road, just south of Thomas Road. Look for it in the center of the strip mall. And there’s lots of free parking.

They’ll offer some red and white wine options for $5 per glass and four different craft beers at a $2 or $3 discount. We’ll arrange for some munchies, too.

Who should come: Anybody interested in racing and would like to hang out with other racers. If you’re looking for crew or would like to crew, this is a great opportunity to match up people with the right resumes and personalities. You do not need to be a member of AYC to attend. Casual dress, of course.

Like to learn to race? Check out the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class, offered once a year in the fall.