Kinnickinick Kool August 10-12


So cool you’ll wear a jacket around the fire.

We’ll be camping at Kinnickinick Lake, starting Friday, August 10. No charge for either camping or sailing.

Organizer Steve Nahkala plans to have bocce ball, forest golf, liar’s dice, horseshoes and other games. And it’s a fun place to bring the kids and your friendly dogs; we usually have a bunch of both. The lake is really great for dinghy sailing, and I would encourage you to bring a boat if possible. Tent camping is fine, along with any kind of camper or SUV with a mattress. We’ve had people camping in a Catalina 22 before, so anything is possible. We will for sure have a huge potluck dinner on Saturday night, so bring extra for everyone. And then there’s a campfire, wine tasting, sing-a-long, star watching, and possibly a marshmallow fight. S’mores of course.

People arrive early on Friday, sometimes as early as Thursday. In the many years I’ve been going there, we’ve usually had some rain, but not too much. The road into Kinnickinick is graveled dirt, but graded and maintained. I’ve never had a problem hauling everything from a Class A motor home to a tent.

Hope to see you there. Here’s a page with map. Our campground is free. Bring your Guitar or harmonica.

—Dennis Lynde

In this historic shot, Bill Hutchinson waves hello.





Looks like a game of liar’s dice under cover.









































































Renew Your AYC Membership Now

Please renew your AYC membership right now by clicking on this link.

For the few people who haven’t renewed membership for the coming year, your dues are due. The club bylaws require us to post the names of delinquent members by August 15 and suspend all privileges at the end of August. More to the point, we’d like you to continue with us and we’d like to be sure to include your name in the club roster.

The link will take you to our new online registration system called RegOnline. We think you’ll find it easier to use (and it’s much easier to administer). One neat trick: We have a link on the racing page of the website that will show you all the people signed up for an event as they register.

Because of the new system, we’ll need you to re-enter some of your account information, such as your boats or your kids’ names and ages. When you first go to the site, it will ask to send you an email to confirm who you are. When you click on the link in the email, it will return you to the RegOnline site with basic address and phone number information already entered. Just finish it up, pay, and enjoy another year of AYC.

Your support of the club last year brought us some great stuff:

  1. Speakers, including Olympic Laser Radial Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe, International Race Officer and America’s Cup Race Official Peter Reggio, World-Renowned Ocean Racer Peter Isler, North Sails Designer Garth Reynolds
  2. Five Race Series
  3. The Birthday Regatta/Leukemia Cup
  4. The Governor’s Cup Regatta
  5. The Tall Cactus
  6. The Party

Your membership renewal will help us have another great year!

Mike Ferring

U.S. Sailors Struggle at Weymouth

Match Racer Anna Tunnicliffe.

The U.S. contingent has had a disappointing Olympics so far, but one of the two Olympians who spoke to meetings of the Arizona Yacht Club is still in contention.

Anna Tunnicliffe’s women’s match racing team heads into the medal round Monday (8/6) with the slate of scores wiped clean. After starting the first week with a pair of tough losses (snagging a mark anchor in one), her team finished with a string of wins. The Australian team appears to be her strongest competition, winning 10 out of 10 matches in the preliminary round. Here’s a link to Anna’s blog to keep track of her exploits.

2008 Finn Silver Medalist Zach Railey missed the medal round, ending in 12th. His friend and training partner Jonas Hoegh-Christensen was a sensation in the class, leading Finn legend Ben Ainslie into the final medal round. But Ben rallied in the last few races, finished ahead of Jonas in the final race, and captured the gold, his 4th Gold and his fifth medal in the games. By doing it, he surpassed Paul Elvstrom, as the greatest sailor in Olympic history. Elvstrom won four straight gold medals from 1948-60.

“The goal was to compete for a medal,” Zach said after being eliminated. “After the first couple of races where things hadn’t gone my way, we knew we had to start taking more risk on the racecourse to give myself a chance. Obviously, when you start taking more risk there’s more reward and more downside. This week hasn’t gone the way we planned. We prepared well. We feel good about the preparation going into this. I take a lot of pride in preparing for big events. To not do well here is very upsetting. There are a lot of people who helped me get here and supported me, and I’d like to thank them.”

Oh, and who was that guy running the Finn races? None other than our speaker from last fall, professional race officer Peter “Luigi” Reggio!

Ben Ainslie celebrates after winning the gold in the Finn class.

Humboldt Bay To Trinidad Race Weekend Northern California

by Stephen Buck
The Beaufort scale defines winds of 22-27 knots as a strong breeze and 28-33 as a near gale. Those were the conditions facing the five starters of the 2012 Trinidad race. The Trinidad Race is the annual two day round trip from Eureka with an overnight on the mooring balls at Trinidad harbor. Race Committee for the Trinidad Race was a shared duty for the Commodore and Vice- Commodore for the two day race. As such, trips to Trinidad were a pleasant requirement of the job. I pulled the Saturday watch at the finish line. Strategically, the replica Trinidad Head lighthouse gave a good perspective of Prisoner Rock and the bell buoy which constituted the finish line. I settled in with binoculars and commenced scanning the horizon about 1300.
The effect of the wind on the ocean was striking. The northwest swells appeared to pile up onto Pilot Rock like a stone in a stream. There was a fair amount of “popcorn” and spindrift evident.
At about 165′ above sea level, the “distance to the horizon” formula yields an answer of about 15 miles. A sail would show farther than the horizon. A sail, in fact, appeared on the horizon a bit after I settled in. Meanwhile, I could just make out another sail approaching from the coast side. Garrett Coonrod on the Choate “Free Energy” chose the outer route making a long tack away from the coast. The Melges 24 “Flash Point” skippered by Court Roberts chose to battle crab pots and brave the surf near shore. With the stiff resistance of current and swells, the two leaders approached Trindad from the different tacks. To my amazement, the two sailboats reached the finish area at the same time. The race was decided on tactics, with Flash Point claiming the Starboard Tack rule to force Free Energy to yield the line. Free Energy was immediately blown down wind and recovered nicely to finish 50 seconds later for second place for day one.
While those relieved crews were settling in, I resumed searching the sea south. In the next hour, another sail approached from the seaward side. “Ru- Bun”, piloted by Curt Brown, was making a run for the finish. Taking a good line, the crew and boat slid by the north side of the bell buoy to finish just under seven hours for a third place finish.
Two boats were still out and I resumed scanning. A cell phone call revealed that John Bradley and
Hank Pierson on the F-31 catamaran, “Cathy Ray II”, broke a key component and retired earlier from the race to return to Eureka. That left Doby Class with brand new crew, David, still on the course. Patience was rewarded and Doby had taken the coast route to appear near the surf line. The shore is the sailboats natural enemy and from my vantage appeared to imperil the Muse. Later Doby later assured me that was not the case. The progress of the Muse was opposed by the considerable south setting current and NW swells. Eventually, the sea yielded to Doby and crew David to see them finish 9 hours and 37 minutes after starting the race. It should be noted that David thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
The wind persisted into Sunday and saw three boats finish the second day. Doby Class won day two on corrected time. Garret Coonrod finished first with an actual time of just over three hours but corrected to a third. Curt Brown and crew took second place both actual and corrected. Court Roberts chose the overland route to return due to the conditions. Everyone returned for a race rehash and several pots of chili at the clubhouse.
Now it is time to look forward to the Redwood Regatta on September 1 & 2. There will be signup sheets at the July Potluck for the various roles required to make the RR a successful event. Thanks in advance for helping.
Don’t forget the July 4th Poker Run coming up. Put your best poker face on and get out there!

Photo By: Court Roberts

Race Weekend Survey Results

Here’s the headline from the results of a survey about the number of race weekends racers would like for Lake Pleasant: Five. Five weekends rather than four.

There were 44 responses to the survey conducted July 5-9 and announced on the AYC Yahoo list. Of the 44, 28 said they entered a boat in the Lake Pleasant series last season. Of the rest, 12 crewed and five did not participate.

Two-thirds of the respondents said they preferred a five-weekend series for spring and fall. They drove home the message when we asked what they would do if the series were reduced from five weekends to four:

  • 10% of the respondents said they would participate more
  • 14% said they would participate less
  • 24% said they would participate the same but like it more
  • 52% said they would participate the same amount but like it less.

We also asked about interest in giving prizes for people who were able to race only on Saturdays. The response was lukewarm, with a rating of just under three on a five-point scale. However, since awards for Saturday-only participants wouldn’t affect those who race on both days, it might still be a viable idea.

—Mike Ferring, Commodore



Paul Liszewski Runs for the Border

Heading for a first place finish.

Paul Liszewski and his Hobie 33 crew won PHRF A in the Run for the Border 2 race out of San Diego on June 29-30, beating the second place boat on corrected time by just two minutes after more than 15 hours of racing.

Steve and Christina Campo joined Paul, Paul’s brother Joel Payne and Steve Nahkala on the Hobie 33, Rolling In The Deep. Christina reports, “Paul did an excellent job and Steve and I just loved the experience.”

New Member Introduction

Rick & Linda Gill hail from Scottsdale and have joined AYC after years of involvement with The Northport, NY, Yacht Club. Rick and Linda have served as members and chairpersons of various yacht club committees and Rick also served on the Board of Governors and as Treasurer for six years. Active cruisers, they have sailed to numerous ports in the Northeast on their Pearson 30, then Pearson 36, Pearson 42CC and finally their Nonsuch 30. They have also enjoyed cruising experiences in the BVIs. Rick has raced in various crew assignments, more recently in the Leukemia Cup on Lake Pleasant and the return leg of the New York Yacht Club Race from Newport to Bermuda. They are looking forward to many more cruising and racing experiences

Ralph Vatalaro’s first sailing experience was during a summer NROTC cruise when the XO’s daughter invited the Midshipmen for a day sail on the family Lightning. After that he was hooked—on sailing, that is. After doing his best impression of Ensign Pulver in His Majesty’s Navy, his sailing continued with a series of misadventures over the ensuing years: nearly colliding with a large buoy at night while at the helm in San Francisco Bay, running aground in front of a large power boat in Swan Creek entering Lake St. Clair, being hoisted to the top of the mast to retrieve a lost halyard after a MORC race at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit.

After moving to Arizona, his sailing adventures continued: being “found” by the Coast Guard in Lake Tahoe (their significant others reported them overdue—late for dinner), a holding tank almost overflowing in Avalon Harbor (had to make a hasty departure), powering their way through the mud in Knapp’s Narrows in the Chesapeake (wrong side of the channel?), returning to port after his crew threatened mutiny if they continued in a squall to Antibes, and last, but not least, being dumped into Lake Pleasant at the leeward mark when the skipper turned before the spinnaker take down. After all of this fun, Ralph is looking forward to finding a boat and getting back into racing with the AYC this fall!

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

AYC Team Wins Santa Cruz 27 Nationals

The Joe Hagen/John Ross Santa Cruz 27 Gotcha with Al Lehman Jr. and three other crew on board dominated the Santa Cruz 27 Nationals run last weekend (6/29-7/1) at the Richmond Yacht Club at Pt. Richmond, California.

The team was so strong that they locked up the championship after scoring five first place finishes in six races (combined with a third) and sat out the final race. Second place finisher James Clappier finished five points behind in the field of 14.

Our AYC guys had finished second in last year’s championship, run in conjunction with the Whidbey Island (WA) regatta.

Here are the scores.

AYC Sailors Team Up for Catalina 37 Championship

Team Comfortably Numb-LBRW 2012

Nine Arizona sailors joined forces to race in the Catalina 37 National Championships at Long Beach Race week June 22-24.  Together they rose to the challenge of taking their mostly “small boat” (14ft-20ft) experience up to this 37 footer racer and they “hung in there with the big boys.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the Catalina 37, it is a monohull sloop-rig boat built specifically for match racing, with symmetrical spinnaker and wheel steering.  The Long Beach Yacht Club has a fleet of 11 Catalina 37s and uses this fleet for the annual Congressional Cup, and also (who knew?) allows them to be chartered for Wednesday night racing and for special events like the Catalina 37 National Championship held during Long Beach Race Week.

John Riddell took advantage of this chartering opportunity to see if AYC could rally a team to participate. And lo and behold, John was able to find 9 AYC sailors willing to take on the challenge of getting a bunch of “skippers” to play nice in individual roles and to take their mostly-small-boat experience up a level.

Over the seven-race series Team Comfortably Numb stayed close with the fleet, crossing ahead of competitors in mid-fleet during most races, but fell to the back of the fleet by the end of every race due to lack of experience with the boat and some hardware failures (auto-releasing spin pole-ack!). And in two races, leeward mark roundings proved to be TCN’s downfall where spinnaker douses and jib raising ran into, um, let’s just say “problems.”

No matter. By all accounts, John Riddell’s brainchild worked and all 9 members of Team Comfortably Numb are ready to come back again next year to give it another shot, this time with a lot more experience under their belts. Here’s Team Comfortably Numb’s roster from back of the boat forward…

  • Tactician-Trey Harlow (Thistle)
  • Helmsman-Rick Johnson (Martin 242)
  • Main Trimmer-Emory Heisler (Buccaneer 18)
  • Jib/Spin Trimmer-Mike Axtman (J29)
  • Jib/Spin Trimmer-Rob Gibbs (Shock 23R)
  • Pit-Jason Donkersly (J29)
  • Mast-“Little Joe” Barnett (Megabyte)
  • Bow-John Riddell (Viper)
  • Chef/Floater-Adam Torel (new sailor!)

July Meeting: Game Night Competition

What do you call that metal loop thingy on the front of the mast? What’s the penalty for violating Rule 14? Who “won” Ye Blunder Bucket this spring?

If you can answer these questions, your team may be in line for some prizes at the AYC Monthly Meeting Game Night, Tuesday, July 12, starting at 7 pm (with dinner at 6 pm).

Like last year, we’ll split the crowd into teams, hand each team an electronic, interactive clicker, and flash questions on the screen. The team that gets the most right answers will be the winner. The questions will be a mixture of general sailing questions, some trivia, and some local knowledge. Bring your kids, because we’ll have some questions reserved just for them to answer.

The AYC 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.

July 2012 Compass Points

Click here to see the July Compass Points.

Summer sailing is here and in cooler places, including the annual trip to Catalina and the retreat to the pines of Kinnickinick.

Starting with this July Compass Points, members’ want ads will be posted for 90 days and then removed. We know you still want to sell that boat, so go wax it, redo the ad, take more pictures and get that thing sold.

Yes, the Heat Stroke series is hot; it’s supposed to be. In addition to the racers, there are folks showing up to Adopt-a-Boat just to sail. Hey, you new sailors come Adopt-a-Boat and join the fun on Sunday race days at Tempe Town Lake. Best way to improve your skills might be to join a race and follow the leader.

This month’s Compass Points collects the posts of the month of June, so you can print them out, frame them, laminate them, bronze them or put them in a notebook binder to remember it all.

—Decker Williams, Vice Commodore

Phil Freedman Writes College Sailing Book

Phil Freedman's new book.

Phil Freedman swept into town like a summer monsoon a couple years ago, deciding to move here from San Diego to be with his daughter Carina, who had enrolled at Arizona State University. Phil is a big personality and a lifetime sailor, so it was no surprise that he grabbed hold of the ASU sailing team and suddenly transformed it into something much bigger than it had been. He bought boats, “branded” the team with signs and clothes, and recruited lots of kids, most of whom had never sailed before. Along the way, Emory Heisler recruited Phil to be Vice Commodore.

Unfortunately, simultaneously, Phil was fighting some serious health problems that seem to have only gotten worse since. He resigned from the AYC board and hasn’t been able to give the ASU sailing team as much help as he wanted.

But he wrote and published a book. It’s called College Sailing Made Easy, a banquet of thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and concepts to help field a college racing team. Illustrated with cartoons and drawings and punctuated with humor, it covers everything from sail trim to how to order T-shirts. And it concludes with pictures of Phil’s favorite time sailing—when he actually fielded and drove a 12-meter America’s Cup challenger in San Diego.

If you’d like a copy of the book, contact Phil at this email or it’s available at Amazon for $12.95.

Big AYC Turnout for LBRW

Yes, that's Rick Johnson leaning on the wheel. Emory Heisler on main trim. Rob Gibbs on jib. Obscured by the boom is the afterguard, tactician, and AYC Club Champ Trey Harlow. Team Comfortably Numb was put together by John Riddell.

We had a herd of AYC members turn out for the Long Beach Race Week last weekend, enjoying sailing in a strong breeze against tough competition. The seven boats included four Vipers (Tony Chapman, Steve Brown, Greg Jackson, and Laurent Dion), Mike and Jo Grijalva’s Shockwave, Paul Liszewski’s Hobie 33, and a rag-tag bunch of guys tight-knit team of commandos who chartered a Catalina 37 and finished true to their name, Team Comfortably Numb. We hope to get a G-rated version of the story from Emory Heisler or Rob Gibbs.

Next up: The Marina del Rey to San Diego race followed by the weekend at the Isthmus on Catalina Island, hosted by the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club.

Full results available here.


MDR-SD Race and Catalina Weekend

Next up on the AYC calendar: the Marina del Rey to San Diego race plus the traditional weekend at the Isthmus on Catalina Island. The gathering at the Isthmus will happen Friday-Sunday, July 6-8. It includes games and food with the SMWYC, as usual. Contact Matt Clark of SMWYC to let him know you’re coming. And contact AYC Cruising Captain Mike Parker for further information.

This is the 45th year the race has been held, and our partners at the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club are hoping for a very big turnout. Here’s their appeal:

We’re doing the 45th MDR to San Diego Anniversary running of this prestigious event which in the past drew over 350 boats. This year, we would really like to reach 45 boats for the 45th running.

We’re planning on having a great pre-race party with a professional band, award-winning BBQ cookery from Big Mista and we’re expecting so many people that we’re hosting it in our parking lot.

It’s an easy event, starting right in our Marina, and now we have professional weather routing services for the race.

We’re starting the San Diego race on Saturday June 30th and will finish in San Diego on the 1st in time for the 4th of July on Wednesday.

We’re also having a return cruise to Catalina if you have the inclination, at the same time as Del Rey Yacht Club, which is going there on the 5th of July for the fireworks. Here’s the SD-MDR NOR.

Garth Reynolds on Light Air Sailing

What do you think of this sail trim for light air?

North Sails designer Garth Reynolds provided a full explanation of sail trim in light air during the AYC Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, 6/12. And he provided his PowerPoint slides to help understand it all.

You’ll find the slides here. And here’s a narrative of how they tuned and sailed a Viper 640 during a regatta in San Diego.

For just one week, North is also offering a 10% discount on all North One Design sails. Contact Garth for further information.