June 2012 – Compass Points


May was a great conclusion to our AYC year, with a new Club Champion, a loud Party, and roadside trash pick-up. Okay, maybe the trash pick-up wasn’t as fun as the first two, but it got a ton of debris off of the littered shoulders of Carefree Highway and will put our name on a sign that’s about a mile from the Pleasant Harbor turn.

Next up: summer sailing here and in cooler places, including the annual trip to Catalina and the retreat to the pines of Kinnickinick.

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

CA Laser Masters – AYC’s Paul Miachika Relives the “Old Days”

AYC 1st Year Member Paul Miachika participated in the California Laser Masters Championship in San Diego on the May 5th/6th weekend. His verdict: “It was a blast.” Here’s his report.

Fifteen salty dogs did battle on the Pacific Ocean in front of Mission Beach with sailors coming from as far away as Colorado and Northern California. Winds were on the lighter side (5 to 10 knots) for the most part, with the windiest race being the last with a steady 12 to 15 knots of wind, but from the south rather than the traditional west. There were big rollers coming in (5 to 6 feet) from the west with wind chop on top which made focusing on steering through the waves upwind vitally important in addition to normal close-quarter issues. The other big variable was the ever-menacing presence of loose kelp; if it caught on your dagger board or rudder you were dragging an instant sea anchor.

I started off strong with a hard fought finishes of 6, 10, 4, 6 on the first day and was leading a group of 4 other sailors holding down 5th place overall and 3rd in the Grand Masters division (55-64yrs). My starts were good but my sail was not up to par in the choppy conditions and resulted in some boat speed issues, although choosing the right route upwind was the key.

Sunday’s results were not as good despite being lent a newer sail from eventual 2nd overall winner Dave Leuck. The first 2 races I played the starboard side of the course, expecting a gradual clocking of the southerly breeze that didn’t come. (Went too fast in the wrong direction.) In the 3rd and final race the wind was up and had a great start and was battling for position rounding the top mark in 3rd place. Felt like the old days hiking my a** off and looking back at boats instead of seeing them in front of me.

Still had some “rust” and with the waves coming from the west but the wind from the SSW, it made running downwind tricky. A wave kicked me over on the first downwind leg and I capsized. Pretty embarrassing. Worked hard to get it righted but ended up the next three legs trying to catch up. Overall regatta position 8th. Not a bad result considering almost 30 years since I competed at a high level.

The winner, Doug Hart, is a phenomenal sailor. At 58 and 165 pounds he is in great shape, makes his boat go fast upwind and downwind and is a local so the winds didn’t fool him. With four firsts and three seconds and with handicap adjustments, he blew the rest of the field away. The Grand Master division had six sailors and all were good ones. Met lots of nice people including Nils Andersson, the Laser Fleet Captain and race organizer who was super helpful.

I strongly recommend other Laser (and non-Laser sailors) who can organize getting to the coast to participate in any Master or regular Laser regattas in the future to do so. Mission Bay Yacht Club is a fabulous club and the setting can’t be beat. Neither could the open keg set up on the yacht club balcony for the Master Laser sailors! (Photos courtesy of Julie and Paul Miachika.)

Paul Miachika

Julie and Paul Miachika at MBYC

Editor’s Note: Laser Master’s are broken into four age divisions: Apprentice (35-44 years old), Master (45-54 years old), Grand Master (55-64 years old) and Great Grand Master (65+). At the highly competitive but very fun World Championships you race against competitors only in your age division. In North America the Masters typically race as one fleet but score in their age divisions.

Mike & Tia Watch Close Finish of VOR Leg 7

Celebrating Abu Dhabi's Close Win. Photo: Mike Yarnell

You think your last race was close? Try sailing for more than 11 days, 3590 nm and winning (or losing) by five minutes and 27 seconds. Or slipping back to 5th by just a minute and 42 seconds!

That’s what happened at the Volvo Ocean Race leg from Miami to Lisbon. And AYC Honorary Life Members Mike Yarnell and Tia Renshaw were at the dock waiting as the boats finished.

Mike writes, “It was fun—although a long wait. We arrived about 6 p.m. at the Lisbon Volvo Ocean Village (after walking a couple of miles from Belem to Algis) and the first boat came in after 11 p.m. Then we waited around until just after midnight for the exit from the team area of the winning boat crew and the presentation on stage.”

Mike and Tia are vacationing in Lisbon, helping the struggling Portuguese economy. The Volvo Ocean Racers should help it too. They’re spending plenty to be ready to depart on the next leg, Saturday, June 9.

Marina del Rey to San Diego to Isthmus 2012

It’s one of the fun weeks of the summer: the Marina del Rey to San Diego race followed by the gathering at Catalina Island at the Isthmus.

Here’s the notice of race for the MDR-SD portion, the weekend of 6/30-7/1.

Then we’ll gather at the Isthmus on July 6-8 for the annual event with the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club (SMWYC). For those who haven’t done this before, you should know that our friends from SMWYC put on a great weekend, with barbeque, volleyball, horseshoes, and a fun race of some kind for the Commodores or the Commodore’s representative. AYC participation has dropped off in the last couple years, but Cruising Captain Mike Parker says he plans to be there and hopes you’ll join him.

More details of the Isthmus event still to come.

Remembering the Old Daze of AYC

In the spring of 2011 we gathered seven of AYC’s most experienced members and put them at a picnic table in Encanto Park. Tell us about the old days, we said. And they did.

Here you’ll see Martin Lorch, Pat Guthrie, Bob Frazier, Al Lehman, Tom Ohlin, Don DeFreze, and Dennis Lynde as they recount the stories.

The video was produced and edited by Mike Ferring.

Garth Reynolds of North Sails Returns in June

Garth Reynolds of North Sails

He was a hit last July; now he’s coming back for a return engagement: North Sails designer Garth Reynolds will be our speaker at the AYC June meeting. His assignment: Light Air Sailing. Not that we ever have any of that.

Join us at 7 pm, Tuesday, June 12, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe. Guests are welcome to attend.

Garth will be leaving the San Diego North loft soon to take a promotion to the Boston loft, where he’ll work under JB Braun, the designer for the Oracle America’s Cup effort. (Braun is in charge of the aero for Oracle’s new 72-foot boat.)

For this meeting, Garth has gotten North to offer a discount on sails for AYC only. You’ll receive a 10% discount on one-design sails purchased within 7 days of his presentation. Normally those sails are put on sail only in September. Here’s a list of all the one-design fleets covered by the offer.

Describing sail design during last year's AYC meeting.

Admire the Clean Highway 74

Your Highway Clean-up Crew: (l-r) Maryellen Ferring, Larry Green, Wendy Larsen, David Ross, Keith Kintigh, Brenda Shears, Emory Heisler, Organizer Peter Lehrach, and Mike Ferring. )

Next time you drive to Lake Pleasant on highway 74, please look left and right and admire the clean roadside between mile marker 25 and the Lake Pleasant Parkway intersection.

Soon you’ll see a sign there that says the area was cleaned by your Arizona Yacht Club. Ten of us put on glaring yellow-green vests and gloves to do it on Saturday morning (5/19).

I didn’t like people who litter even before spending 2½ hours cleaning up after them. Now? Is capital punishment too strong?

Peter Lehrach organized this work party, coordinating with the oh-so-strict rules of the Arizona Department of Transportation and providing the vests (thank you Cox), the gloves, the poker sticks, and the hydration.

At the post-clean-up lunch at Wild Horse West, we voted the two marijuana pipes the most interesting find of the day. Plastic bottles and tire fragments were the most common, followed closely by beer cans and bottles and cigarette packs.

Now here’s the good news: to keep that sign announcing that AYC keeps that road clean, we get to do this three times a year and next time you can help. Next time it’ll be cooler. And next time it should go faster because the area shouldn’t be quite so big a mess and because of Things We Learned. Some “Things”: this isn’t your front lawn so don’t worry about picking up every small scrap. If we go for the major items, we can move at almost ambling speed. Peter says ADOT estimated it should have taken us an hour to cover the distance; it took us several times that long and we didn’t make it all the way to the end before giving up and heading in for a beer.

Maryellen Ferring's chic clean-up outfit: Keith Musto would be proud.

Trey Harlow Wins Club Championship

Trey Harlow and Dave Willis, 2012 Club Champs

Thistle sailor Trey Harlow is the AYC 2012 Club Champ.

After seven races in Thistles at Lake Pleasant Saturday, 5/5, Trey and crew Dave Willis were the clear winners over a field of fleet champions. There is no second place in the club championship, but let’s just say that official numbers (see below) put reigning champ Martin Lorch in that unofficial spot.

The windward-leeward races were run in a wide variety of conditions, from drifting to a couple gusts that must have topped 30 kts. Many thanks to the Thistle fleet for providing the one-design boats and to a flock of race committee people, including PRO Ben Doane.

Besides Trey and Martin, competitors included Matt Davis, Mike Ferring, Greg Woodcock, George Sheller, and Alexia Lorch. Norm Anderson was not able to make the event.

The Class Photo: Fleet Champs & Crew. From left: Greg Woodcock, Dan Perrine, Martin Lorch, Mike Davis, Steve & Christina Campos, Sheila Reed, Alexia Lorch, George Sheller, Champ Trey Harlow, Matt Davis, Mike Ferring and Peter Lehrach. Not pictured: Dave Willis (but he's in the shot above).

Here is the scoring:

R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
Trey Harlow 1 1 2 7 1 1 2


Martin Lorch 2 2 1 5 3 3 5


Matt Davis 3 5 3 1 7 2 1


Mike Ferring 4 4 4 2 2 4 3


Greg Woodcock 6 3 5 3 4 5 4


George Sheller 5 6 7 4 5 6 DNF (6)


Alexia Lorch 7 7 6 6 6 DNS (7) DNS (7)


Rock & Roll into 2012-2013

90 people attended The Party at the Fiesta Inn. Photos: Mike Ferring

The Party lived up to its name Saturday night (5/12).

Headed by the band, Los Big Grandes, with lead guitar player and J/80 sailor Chris Smith, some 90 members and guests celebrated the end and the beginning of AYC membership years.

The new board took office: Mike Ferring as new (and returning) Commodore heading a team that includes Joe Motil (Sr Staff Commodore), Emory Heisler (Jr Staff Commodore), Decker Williams (Vice Commodore), Bob Whyte (Rear Commodore), Greg Woodcock (Fleet Captain), Mike Parker (Cruising Captain), Brenda Shears (Membership Director), Thom Dickerson (Membership Director), Tony Chapman (Treasurer), and Peter Lehrach (Secretary).

The Club’s top annual honor is the U.S. Sailing Sportsmanship Award, our Most Valuable Player honor, and this year it went to Tony Chapman, recognizing the leadership role he’s played in the organization for several years, including as treasurer for both AYC and ASF.

Trey Harlow and Dave Willis with the punch bowl

Martin Lorch handed over the big punch bowl, the AYC Club Championship trophy, to Trey Harlow and his crew, Dave Willis. The two won the prize in last weekend’s seven-way championship race. Trey also handed out nicely framed photos to the winners of the year’s fleets.

Al and Sandy Lehman and Mike Yarnell and Tia Renshaw were officially presented with their Honorary Life Member status (including shirts displaying their new standing).

ASF President John Mayall presented the Wayne Jason Tucker Award for most improved Junior to Ema Davis and the “Heavy Lifting” Award to Danielle Kiel for supporting junior sailing.

Somehow the PHRF Spin fleet at the Tall Cactus regatta won the Blunder Bucket. Their blunder: not hanging around for dinner or spending the night.

Then it was time for some rock and roll and even some blues. Emory Heisler stepped in to join the band as guest lead vocalist on a couple songs. Los Big Grandes made the trip from Tucson for the event, for which we thank them hugely. Their only pay: a big bottle of tequila.

Pictures from Chrisann Tortora available here.

Emory Heisler, guest singer.

AYC 2012-2013 Board of Directors Election Results



95 Ballots were received, 89 were “accepted” (mailed by 5/1 and received by 5/8, signed by member on outer envelope for checking with Membership Roster), and all Board of Directors Candidates received at least 83 votes from the 89 ballots counted.

Immediately following vote counting a Board of Directors meeting was held with the NEW Board. The new board, chaired by new Commodore Michael Ferring, elected our Secretary and Treasurer positions completing our 2012-2013 AYC Board of Directors (see below).

The AYC Bylaw change to modify the definition of “Junior Member” was approved 80 YES to 9 NO (“Juniors” can now be up to 25 years old).

The AYC Bylaw change to allow “Electronic Voting” was approved 82 YES to 7 NO (please remember that “manual” voting will still be an option for any members desiring to receive paper ballots in the future.)

Congratulations – and THANK YOU – to our new AYC Board of Directors:

  • Sr. Staff Commodore – Joe Motil (2nd year of 2-year term)
  • Jr. Staff Commodore – Emory Heisler (1st year of 2-year term)
  • Commodore – Michael Ferring (his 2nd “tour of duty”)
  • Vice Commodore – Decker Williams
  • Rear Commodore – Bob Whyte
  • Racing Fleet Captain – Greg Woodcock
  • Cruising Fleet Captain – Michael Parker
  • Membership Director – Brenda Shears (2nd year of 2-year term)
  • Membership Director – Thom Dickerson (1st year of 2-year term)
  • Treasurer – Tony Chapman
  • Secretary – Peter Lehrach

Thank you to our outgoing Sr. Staff Commodore Greg Jackson for your 5 years of service, and also thank you to everyone that voted for your support of our voting process.

Fair Winds! to our new and FULLY STAFFED AYC Board of Directors.

Emory Heisler
Election Committee Chairman

Fleet of the Month – Catalina 22

The Catalina 22 is a classic, one of the most popular one-design sailboats in the world. More than 15,000 boats manufactured for over 35 years make them readily available and relatively inexpensive.

The older boats are as competitive as the newest ones, providing a level playing for everyone.

We may not sail the fastest or highest-tech boat on the lake, but for flat-out, boat-on-boat racing, the Catalina 22 fleet at Lake Pleasant is awesome. Great competition is the name of the game—double digit numbers of boats wanting the “front row” at the line and six-plus boats converging on marks. Make a mistake and four or five boats blow by. Positions are constantly in flux. Deciding who to cover? Might as well flip a coin.

Want to learn more about the fleet, ride along for a race, find a boat, or join the fleet? Contact the Fleet Captain and let’s get started!

Fleet Captain: Martin Lorch 602.954.8324

Championship Race: Thistles at Lake Pleasant

The annual AYC Championship Race will be Saturday, May 5, with the first gun at 9:30.

This face-off pits 8 fleet champs against each other in Thistles at Lake Pleasant to see who can hold the Big Cup for the next year. The captains include reigning Champ Martin Lorch (who qualified again by winning C22), Thistle winner Trey Harlow, PHRF Spin’s Norm Anderson, PHRF Non-Spin’s Greg Woodcock, Sportboat’s Mike Ferring, C14 winner Alexia Lorch, Buccaneer champ Matt Davis, and Laser winner George Sheller.

Thistle fleet captain Ben Doane volunteered to be the PRO for the event, sailed round-robin in 8 Thistles. Ben and Trey were kind enough to share their boats and their sailing and tuning tips with the other competitors during an informal orientation at Lake Pleasant Sunday, April 29. In a mixture of light and puffy air, a pack of non-Thistlers tried to identify too many lines while stumbling over the center trunk of the boat and hiking on the too-skinning gunwales, while being guided by the comforting hands of Ben and Trey. This could be interesting.

Race documents can be found here.

Spectators are welcome to watch the race and Ben says he’s still looking for a few more race committee members. Contact him at this email address.

May 2012 – Compass Points

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

It’s May, end of the line for the 2011-2012 AYC year and time for Congratulations and Thank Yous!

  • Congratulations to our Fleet Champions and best of luck to them in the Championship of Champions – the AYC Championship!
  • Thank You!!! to all the sailors and their families that do so much to make our club so great, from the Board of Directors to the volunteers that all made 2011-2012 a great year of sailing in the desert.

REMEMBER TOO…IT’S TIME FOR THE PARTY!  Our AYC Membership meeting 5/8/2012 has no program.  We’ll be counting votes  election of our new board and for Bylaw changes.  You’re welcome to stop by and socialize and help with the counting.

And then we’ll hope to see you at THE PARTY to recognize the “Changing of the Guard”, to announce the election and Bylaw results and to celebrate 2011-2012 together!

Check it all out in this month’s COMPASS POINTS!

  1. Commodore’s Corner – Thank You AYC!
  2. Get Ready for “THE PARTY”
  3. Bob Worral Takes Line Honors – Greg Jackson 3-peats at Tall Cactus
  4. Arizona High School Sailing Champs: Luke Marino and Jack Griffin
  5. Congratulations to AYC Fleet Champions
  6. Trash Talk – AYC Keeps it Clean – Join in the Fun 5/19 at Lake Pleasant
  7. Not What You See from Cruise Ships – Martin Lorch Shares San Jaun Sailing
  8. Fleet of the Month – Thistle
  9. For Sale! Want Ads!

May 2012 Calendar of Events

      • SATURDAY, MAY 5
        • AYC CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP Races at Lake Pleasant
      • TUESDAY, May 8
        • 7:00pm Election Vote Count at Tempe Rolling Hills – Caddie Shack
      • SATURDAY, MAY 12
        • 6:00pm THE PARTY! Food! Music! Friends! Fun!!!

Commodore’s Corner – May 2012

Wow! What a year! We had our share of “headwinds” and “windshifts” but all in all together we—your Board and all of us volunteers—turned out another fabulous year of desert sailing.

As I write my last “Corner” it’s time to say thank you to recognize a few of our more outstanding successes from AYCs 2011-2012 sailing year:

  1. OUTSTANDING MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS!  Maryellen and Mike Ferring, you turned out an exceptional series of programs with national and international sailing stars and experts together with our own local cruising experts.  Thank you Maryellen and Mike!
  2. CRUISING FLEET CONTINUED RESURGENCE!  Michael Parker, you continued sharing your love of  “non-buoy” racing and cruising with us all, all to OUR benefit with the Governor’s Cup, Tall Cactus, and don’t miss the upcoming Catalina Cruise in July!  Thank you Michael for keeping the cruising fleet activities growing!
  3. RACING, RACING, RACING!  Trey Harlow, you MORE than just delivered on the water, you also delivered in the “Delivery Room!” We all know racing is by far racing what we do the most of in AYC (despite having a new little sailor in the house) Trey and many, many volunteer hands on RC, on boat maintenance and elsewhere made for another excellent year of racing.  Thank you Trey – and Nina too!
  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY REGATTA!  Joe and Katherine Motil you two together with a host of volunteers including new and long-time members and even non-members provided the entire Southwest with another great celebration of our Club and of “winter” sailing in the desert.  Thank you Joe and Katherine and all involved!
  5. ARIZONA SAILING FOUNDATION-ASF: John Mayall, George Tingom, Lisa Lake, Leo Bauman, Greg Dean and a cast of US Sailing Certified Instructors and other “Just happy to be on the water” volunteers continued this great legacy of the Arizona Yacht Club. Our ASF classes continue to overflow and the ASF team continues to ensure our passion for sailing is passed on to many new sailors every year thanks to their efforts.  Thank you ALL!
  6. “VIRTUAL” VICE-COMMODORE:  Thank you Rob Gibbs and Mike Ferring and “yours truly”  for combining to fill the vacant Vice Commodore role and deliver club communications – i.e. our website and Compass Points.  And, yes, we may have missed a topic or a deadline here and there, but by and large we kept up the great AYC tradition of excellent, frequent and comprehensive coverage of all things happening in and around the AYC and ASF.  Thank you Rob and Mike for all your extra efforts!
  7. “MY” BOARD:   Thank you each and every one of you for your guidance, your engagement, your TOLERANCE of me and my many faults and frailties.  Together, we did a job that we all can and should very proud of.   I am.  Thank you all!

And lastly, let me thank all of you in the AYC that brought me into the club 10 years ago with such joy, passion and commaraderie.  Thank you for your trust to allow me to be your Commodore this past year.  Thank you for your kind words—and your challenging requests :),  and for making this such a great club and great “family” of people who make sailing in the desert so wonderful for all of us!

Fair winds!   Arrr!

Emory Heisler
AYC Commodore

This Year It’s The Party! Saturday Night, May 12

NOTE: Bring green folding money for the cash bar. No credit cards.

What it is: The AYC End-of-Year Party and Changing of the Guard
Where it is: The Fiesta Inn, 2100 South Priest, Tempe
When it is: Saturday night, May 12, with cocktails at 6, dinner at 7 and dancing as late as you and the band can hack it.
Why: Congratulate, Recognize, Award, Celebrate!
Dress code: Business casual or whatever moves you. (Dave Christensen can wear his flip flops.)
The band: Los Big Grandes with sailor/guitarman Chris Smith

Los Big Grandes with Chris Smith on the right.

Oh, sure, we’ll pass out some awards and swear in the new board, but mostly it’s a time to have fun with your sailing pals, enjoy a nice dinner and rock out. We promise to keep the speeches to an absolute minimum and the fun to an absolute maximum.

The band is led by J/80 sailor Chris Smith, the band coyly called Los Big Grandes, and they’re huge. Muy humongous gigante. Rock and roll. Yes, they’re loud, but we’ll have room for people who just want to talk, too. But come dance.

The dinner: You have a choice of four main courses, all including salad and dessert.

  1. Citrus Marinated and Grilled Chicken Breast with Mango Pineapple Salsa
  2. Roulade Medallions of Pork Loin stuffed with Apple Chutney and topped with Demi-Glace
  3. Oven Roasted Fillet of Halibut with Basil Butter topped with Tomato, Kalamata Olive and Red Onion Balsamic Relish
  4. Chile-Rubbed New York Strip topped with Mushrooms, Onions and Bacon Ragout. Served with Merlot Sauce

Registration is closed for this event.

Children? Bring them! We have chicken fingers or mac & cheese for the kids at $14.95, cheaper than a baby sitter and more fun by far.

Questions? Contact Mike or Maryellen Ferring.

The entrance to The Party. The bar is just to your left. Belly up.

The room before we've filled it with tables and Maryellen has decorated it with centerpieces. The band will be off there to the left.

Worrall Flashes to Humbug First; Jackson Wins

The 2012 Tall Cactus Regatta and Siesta is now in the books.  Mike Parker will be posting pics and video of the beautiful sailing conditions and the picture-perfect downwind sailing first leg of the regatta, followed by pictures of the finish line busted open by a Catalina 22: Spirit, driven by Bob Worrall. Bob was closely followed by Greg Jackson’s Viper, flying down the canyon with spinnaker flying just 15 seconds behind but “adjusting” in over Bob for a 3-peat victory!

The racing was followed by the fun and food by all including some rattlesnake sitings and the Bean Pot was duly awarded to the Spin Fleet representative after a fierce battle (and a bit of skulduggery by the Non-spin fleet).

Mike offers a great BIG thanks to Patty Rosky for the encouragement and moral support all day, to Bob Worrall for tending the steaks and salmon, to Kyle Clark for the use of his dinghy, and all the folks who made it a pleasure to share a fine meal and fireside chat (minus the fire) in to the late afternoon.

High School Sailing Champs: Luke Marino and Jack Griffin

2012 High School Champions Jack Griffin and Luke Marino

Luke Marino and Jack Griffin slipped past last year’s champs to grab this year’s High School Sailing Championship, held at Tempe Town Lake Saturday, April 21.

After three light-air races in the morning, last year’s winning team of Alexia Lorch and Scott Soethe were just two points behind Luke and Jack. After a lunch break, the wind picked up and everyone headed out for one more deciding race. Luke and Jack won, sealing the championship.

Luke is a Washington High School student in Arizona’s Glendale district. And Jack is a student at Ward Traditional Academy in Tempe. They were awarded a perpetual trophy that they can display at their schools and were given individual trophies to keep.

The high school championship is run by the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) and was organized by George Tingom. The Principal Race Officer was Arizona State University student Gerald Byrnes.

While the championship isn’t limited to students who participate in ASF’s Tuesday after-school sailing class, both Luke and Jack are in the program. Three years ago, Jack also won the most improved junior sailor award as part of the ASF Opti Program.

Information on the ASF high school class is available here.

George is already planning the next championship and says that unless a special Tempe event forces a date change, the event will happen Saturday, April 15, 2013.