Anna Tunnicliffe is ISAF Sailor of the Year

We have a tentative agreement from Anna Tunnicliffe to be our February speaker at the AYC membership meeting, just as Anna has been awarded her second Rolex ISAF Sailor of the Year honor.

Anna Tunnicliffe and crew

Anna Tunnicliffe and crew round a mark in women's match racing. Photo: US Sailing

The team won the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup Championship for women’s match racing and is preparing for the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth, England. Anna won the gold medal in Lasers in the last Olympics.

She was also honored with the ISAF Sailor of the Year trophy in 2009 and is one of three Americans to win the prestigious worldwide award. Fellow Laser Radial sailor and USSTAG teammate Paige Railey won the award in 2006, and Ed Baird, the America’s Cup winning helmsman of Alinghi, won in 2007.

Anna was also 2008, 2009 & 2010 Rolex US Yachtswoman of the Year. More information is available on her website.

Maryellen and Mike Ferring sailed with Anna at the Bitter End Yacht Club Pro-Am and she said that she expected to be able to accept our invitation to speak to the club at the meeting on Tuesday, February 14.

Dinghy beached on Peter Island BVI

Chartering the BVI for a couple of weeks each of the last 5 years in May or June has allowed excellent sailing and solitude not found during the winter “High Seasons”
Photo By: Brad Buckhout

November 2011 – Compass Points

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

The Fall Season is in full swing now, and that means the 2012 AYC Birthday RegaHa and Leukemia Cup are just around the corner. Join us November 8th to kick off the our Leukemia Cup Regatta fundraising season and help the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in their mission to cure blood cancers!

Before we get to 2012 though we still have lots to do in 2011. check it out in this month’s Compass Points!
1) Commodore’s Corner – We Need Your Help – Again

2) Birthday Regatta – Fund Raising Basics – Sail with Jobson!

3) November 8 Club Meeting – Peter Reggio

4) Welcome New AYC Members!

5) Sign Up for Governor’s Cup Regatta – Nov 26, 2011

6) The article that wasn’t….

7) Fleet of the Month – Merit 25

8) Your Photos on Our Website!

9) For Sale! Want Ads!

Commodores’s Corner – November 2011 – Help!?!

Ahoy Mateys – Your Board of Directors, your entire club in fact, is in trouble, again, and we need your help. Similar to the past several years, our board of directors has two empty chairs, again.  But that’s not all. 

Unfortunately our Vice Commodore and one of our Membership Directors have both had to step down for health or job reasons.  We all appreciate Philip Freedman and Roger Butterwick for their service to the Arizona Yacht Club,  but we also have to recognize that their departures just widen the gaps that we have been facing now for a couple of years.

Their departure leaves all of us with a challenge.  We all need a full board to operate our club and to provide the benefits and value that have kept the AYC alive and active for over 50 years. Frankly, we also need more help AROUND the board of directors too.   Your club’s success depends on YOUR participation, above and beyond showing up for racing and occasional RC.  Please, don’t wait to be asked.  Step up. Ask a Board Member, “What can I do to help?”

Please don’t wait to be asked to do a what you know you can do and you can see needs doing. Step up. That’s what sailors do. For myself,  being a latecomer to the sport, that “take care of each other” sailor attitude has always been one of my favorite aspects of sailing. “What can I do to help?” It’s what we do, whether it’s as big as a MAYDAY call, or as small as helping a short handed boat coming into the docks…or a making a couple phone calls, or pumping out the LP “barge” head, or helping to upgrade the rigging on one of our shared TTL boats. 

OK, so you ask, “What can I do to help?”  Well, here are a few things you can do, some big, some very small and simple but still very meaningful.

1) JOIN THE MEMBERSHIP WELCOME COMMITTEE: This committee will greatly assist the welcoming and “on-boarding” process for our club. We need to be more welcoming and helpful to our new members, but that’s a tall task for the small group left on the Board. This task only asks for one hour a month to make a copule calls and chat about AZ sailing with prospective or new AYC members. This one is EASY!  Please contact Brenda Shears to join the Membership Welcome Committee.

2) EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE:  First here, we can all help here by just being “gentler” on our AYC boats.  If we all just treat our AYC boats as if they are our own – they are – and with preparation considerations for the next time they’ll be used, then less maintenance will be needed.  Our committee boats and safety boats aren’t “rentals” with a hired staff to perform maintance. We need to care for OUR boats as they are OUR boats, because they ARE OUR BOATS.   In addition, just like our own personal boats, AYC boats need routine and even “special projects” efforts now and then. To lend a hand here, please contact Trey Harlow for LP boats and George Tingom for TTL safety boats and to help out with routine maintanance on the ASF/AYC fleet at TTL.

3) VOLUNTEER TO BE THE VICE COMMODORE: This is the biggest request of the bunch because it also implies you will run for Commodore next year and stay on the board the next three years as Commodore, Jr. Staff Commodore, and Sr. Staff Commodore. Primary short term duties for the VC is coordination and editing of Compass Points, and if we had a MARKETING COMMITTEE the VC would also Chair that committee. Contact Emory Heisler (602 / 679 0462) or any Board Member to discuss this position.

YOUR club’s success depends on YOUR participation, above and beyond showing up for racing and occasional RC. Please, don’t wait to be asked.

Step up.  Ask a Board Member, “What can I do to help?”

Emory Heisler
AYC Commodore

Peter Reggio: “A little too honest”

Peter “Luigi” Reggio is one of the top race officers in the world and certainly the most entertaining. In fact, he confesses, “I’m  probably a little too honest with what I say.”

Perfect! Just what we need for a lively AYC membership meeting and Luigi will be our guest speaker for the Tuesday (11/8) gathering, starting promptly at 7pm at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills (previously known as the 19th Tee).

AYC November speaker Peter "Luigi" Reggio

AYC November speaker Peter "Luigi" Reggio

He comes to us as part of the US Sailing Speaker Series, accompanied by a tasting of Old Pulteney Single Malt Whiskey, for those so inclined.

Why “Luigi”? He told Sailing World magazine: “There were five guys on the floor named Peter when I worked at North Sails-Connecticut in the 1970s. I got Luigi because of my last name. The  [nicknames] for the other four are unprintable.” His has stuck through nearly four decades of sailing experience, including serving as the Principal Race Officer for a host of national and world events, including the America’s Cup. But what about that AC job?

He told the members of the Golden Gate Yacht Club in April, “[In past AC races] they’d leave the starting line and speed test [to the windward mark] for seven minutes. That’s just boring, I’m sorry. I can’t tell you how boring an AC race is to run anyway. Well, 3½ mile beat! Snore.”

So Luigi is part of the brain trust coming up with a far more exciting plan. Here’s another quote from that same GGYC meeting: “What we did was set a windward mark and give them… two minutes upwind, round to starboard, set [spinnaker], and you have to jibe instantly to get back to the starting line. There’s a lot of stuff going on! They’ve got three or four minutes of the entry, that’s going on, they go upwind, they get there together—I guarantee you in two minutes they’re going to get to the top mark together—then they spin around and have a crash jibe which is usually really spectacular, especially in catamarans—when things go bad it’s kinda cool… The person watching TV is like, ‘Maybe something else bad will happen, maybe I’ll stick around.'”

If you saw the video from the AC45 World Series in Plymouth, you know it was anything but “just boring.” I think you can tell something from this little taste of Luigi. Anything but boring!

Welcome New Members!!

Bill Dingwell has his US sailing certification to Bareboat. He enjoys cruising and now wants to get involved with racing. He has two children and lives in Scottsdale.
Chuck and Irma Moretti are new members from Scottsdale who sail a J80. They are interested in participating in racing activities. They have a daughter and also look to contribute to the Junior Sailing program.

Daniel and Jillayne Packowski of Phoenix are on their 3rd boat: first a Catalina 38, then a Catalina 30, and now a Jeanneau 36. They love to sail and have joined the club as a way to connect with other people who are like minded.           
Gary and Elizabeth Roe, of Phoenix, have sailed in the past and want to get re-involved and meet other sailors through participation in AYC.  They now have a Catalina Capri 22 and want to improve their skills and possibly race.
Katie Runnels is our newest member. She is interested in participating in various aspects of our club including sailing instruction, junior sailing, publicity, and social activities. We can use that kind of commitment and participation. Welcome Katie!

Nick Warren is from the UK and has been racing dinghies since he was 8 yrs old.  He moved to Phoenix last August and wants to get back to doing some sailing. Nick, we hope you find fair weather here most the time!

Richard Warren is a Tempe resident is interested in cruising and racing. He is looking to AYC to connect him with others with a like interest in sailing and to gain more experience. 
Marc and Heidi Wildy have lived in Arizona for about 17 years, both originally from the North-East.  They have two young sons.  Marc has been sailing for years and describes his experience:  “I remember first sailing on a lake in New Hampshire when I was about 10, one of the other kids had a small single sail boat and he gave us rides and let us sail it ourselves when he wasn’t using it.  I have been sailing recreationally on and off ever since whenever I get the chance. I also remember receiving some kind of certification in Colorado many years ago, but only after requesting that they draw pictures to show the wind direction and what direction the boat(s) were heading for each question, as I had no knowledge of official sailing lingo.  In fact, I would most certainly have pronounced the ‘w’ in ‘leeward’ (gasp!) until reading never to do so just a few weeks ago!  What is unique about sailing to me is that in other sports like golf, soccer, etc, I have good days and I have bad days. But I’ve never had a bad day when I was able to get out and sail.”
Dave Willis has crewed the past few years with Skip Kempff in a Thistle. He is looking to “start learning the other end of a boat.” Dave hails from Glendale and was hearty enough to get involved with our Heat Stroke series this summer.
If you are a new member and have not been introduced through Compass Points, please send a brief writeup about you (and your family) to


Brenda Shears

Arizona Yacht Club Membership Director


Sign Up for Governor’s Cup Regatta – Nov 26, 2011

Ahoy AYC Friends and Families!
 I am excited to announce the 2011 Governors Cup Regatta at Lake Pleasant, 11am Saturday, November 26 2011. (Click HERE for Entry Form)
This year, as last, we will be sailing a 26.2 statute mile Marathon around and about most of the lake attractions and amenities.  I will conduct a Skippers Meeting at Spinnaker Point at 9am, just east of the Sailboat Shop. The start of the race will be at 11am in the Pleasant Harbor side of the lake, in the North Launch Bay.  We will sail up and down the lake, around islands and floating bathrooms, within “care package” delivery by our local pubs, and finally finishing at the same marks as the start.  There will be no penalty for leaving the course and stopping at any of the comfort stations as long as needed.  There will be a minimal entry fee of $5 for each participant.
All participants will be required to check in (as indicated on the course chart) as soon as safe and possible if retiring and upon finishing.  When a participating boat finishes, I will need your finish time INCLUDING SECONDS, boat ahead, and boat behind (if available).
I will have an “official” course chart available Online at on or before Wednesday, November 23 and also at 8am Saturday .
There will be several classes divided by racing abilities, potential, and Regatta Chairman caprice.  Entry Forms will be available Online and Saturday at the lake. Entry Forms will be accepted by mail, in person at Monthly Membership Meetings, Saturday at the lake.
Last year was sailed by every class of boat from 14′ dinghies to 33′ racing machines.  The top to boats to finish were separated by 3 seconds, and everyone was off the lake by dark.  The USCG Auxiliary was on hand and we anticipate they will be available for monitoring for any emergencies.
Please contact me for further info and check the website often for updates.
Michael Parker
AYC Cruising Captain

Fleet of the Month – Merit 25

This boat is a classic 25′ symmetrical spinnaker racer.  The AYC Merit Fleet includes over a dozen boats in Arizona imported from all over the country.

Merit 25 Specifications

  • LOA 24.4’ , LWL 20.5’, Beam 8.0’,S.A.(Sq. Ft.) 286, Displacement 2900, Ballast (lbs) 1050, Draft 4’,

Boasting a speedy PHRF rating of 168, these sleek fiberglass racers offer a roomy cabin with full sitting headroom, a 7.5’ V-berth, two additional cabin berths 7’ long, and a Lexan foredeck hatch.

The large, self bailing cockpit offers two lockers and backrests on the cockpit seats. Harken hardware is included, and all halyards are led aft to the cockpit. Jib tracks with track cars, Cunningham, split backstay, and 4:1 internal outhaul are all standard. In addition, each is equipped with two-speed primary winches and additional single-speed winches located on the cabin top. And, of course, full spinnaker gear.

Contact Steve Kusic for additional Merit 25 Fleet information, especially if you know of additional Merit 25’s available in the region.

Your Photos on Our Website!

We’ve updated the AYC Website to allow you to POST your photos directly to the site!  Of course, we’ll have to take a quick peek at them before we let them show up – it is a family friendly club after all…

Anyway, you can navigate to the page from the menu on the website or you can go directly to the page here:

We look forward to seeing your fantastic photos!

AYC Web Team


Racing Rules: What about that X course finish?

The Lake Pleasant “X Course” introduced some new wrinkles for racers, adding some action with its windward-leeward-windward-leeward design and with a downwind finish—the only one of our courses that (intentionally) ends with the wind behind the boats.

So, consider what happened when Greg Jackson and I converged for a finish downwind at the starboard end of the finish line. Picture this in your mind (since I won’t be sketching a nice diagram of it): As we closed in on the yellow finish ball, I was on port and Greg was on starboard. I stuck my bow between the ball and Greg to finish ahead, but Greg had to steer away to avoid me. Greg thought I’d fouled him; I thought not. What do you think?

Answer: No foul.

I posed the question to one of the world’s leading racing rules experts, Dick Rose, who writes the rules column for Sailing World magazine and who has been one of the key people in writing the rules for ISAF. Here’s his opinion:

Facts: Downwind finish. Greg on starboard, Mike on port. Overlapped when they reach the zone around the mark at the starboard end of the finish line, with Mike inside Greg. Mark to be left to starboard. Mike gets nose between finish ball at starboard end of the line and Greg, but Greg says he had to change course to avoid hitting Mike.

Rules applicable: Greg has right of way under rule 10. However, even though the two boats are on opposite tacks, they are overlapped because they are sailing downwind (see defintion Clear Ahead….Overlap). Because they were overlapped when the first of them reached the zone, Mike is entitled to mark-room from Greg under rule 18.2(b), first sentence. See definition mark-room. Mike was entitled to room from Greg to sail to the mark. That put a limitation on Greg’s right of way. Greg was required to give Mike that room even though Greg was on starboard and had to change course to do so.

If that’s what you thought, nice call. It’s a handy rule to remember on the X course.

Peter Isler’s Close Call

Peter Isler points out where Rambler's keel should be.

Peter Isler points out where Rambler's keel should be. Photos: Mike Ferring

(Note: Video excerpt of Peter’s talk available at the bottom of this post.)

Out of air, swimming madly, spotting two black dots, hoping they were a crewman’s boots, reaching for them. Snatched from the water, gasping for the best breath of air he’d ever had. It was Peter Isler’s watery escape from the huge monohull racing boat Rambler after her keel suddenly snapped off during heavy seas in the Fastnet, plunging to the bottom, unbalancing and turtling the boat in minutes.

Peter recounted the story in dramatic detail for the AYC membership meeting Tuesday night (10/11) before a packed house. The Rambler crew all survived, but it was clear from Peter’s description that there were several close calls and some of the crew might have been saved by a timely photograph. A photograph? Moments before the crash, a photographer took a scheduled shot of the crew on the rail, all properly lined up in PFDs. Even though everyone was supposed to wear PFDs on deck, it didn’t always happen. The picture did it.

Peter autographs his new book.

Peter autographs his new book.

Many in the room full of AYCers went home after the meeting clutching an autographed copy of Peter’s latest book, Peter Isler’s Little Blue Book of Sailing Secrets, a collection of random thoughts, recollections and suggestions from a life at sail. Here’s a guy who was the best college sailor in the country during his time at Yale, hanging out with people like Stan Honey, last year’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. He was onboard as Dennis Connor brought the America’s Cup back from Australia and has been part of four Cup campaigns since. He’s announced for ESPN and Versus Cup broadcasts. He’s participated in a Volvo around-the-world campaign. He’s helped develop the leading software for competition sailing. He’s written several books. And now he’s in demand as a motivational speaker. That’s some kind of life at sail.

Next month: another star attraction will appear at the AYC membership meeting, Tuesday, November 15, at 7pm at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills. Peter “Luigi” Reggio, one of the world’s top race officers and easily the funniest and most outspoken.

The Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills was filled with AYC people.

The Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills was filled with AYC people.

Here’s a portion of Peter’s talk, shot and edited by Mike Ferring:

Register Now for the Ruth Beals Cup

Registration is now open for the Ruth Beals Cup regatta, scheduled for Saturday morning, November 12, at Tempe Town lake.

This once-a-year regatta is organized to honor AYC’s founder, Ruth Beals, who passed away in November 2010.

Ruth Beals Insho, AYC Founder (picture 2005 by Mike Ferring)

Rules of the event require a woman at the helm and up to a dozen will face off in C14s, using either their own boats or an  ASF C14. The crew can be either male or female.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are now available on the AYC race page. Scroll down the page until you see the Ruth Beals information. Contact Race Organizer Pat Blumm to reserve your spot and then arrange to get him the entry form.
There is no fee for entry and there are prizes for the top finishers: gift certificates for purchases in the AYC Ship Store.

October 2011 – Compass Points

Compass PointsCLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Hallelujah!  Fall has fell!   And it’s no longer hot as…exactly!  AYC is back on the water in full force. This month you can check out our Fall Fleets, and remember it’s time to start planning for the AYC AZ Centennial Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup Regatta!


1) Commodore’s Corner – Birthday Regatta is Just Around the Corner

2) Birthday Regatta / Leukemia Cup are Just Around the Corner

3) 2011-12 Fall Season Entries

4) EDUCATION – TTL is Full and So are ASF Classes!

5) Freak September Haboob at TTL Boat Yard!

6) Arizona Republic Says “Sail to Fitness

7) Fleet of the Month – Capri 14.2

8) For Sale! Want Ads!