Commodore’s Corner – October 2011

“I’m SAILING!!!!!”  We’ve all seen Bill Murray strapped to the mast shouting for joy that HE IS SAILING! I’m sure many of you had the same feelings as the fall season began this month and you and your crew headed back out no the water together.

As soon as Fall Season starts that also means it’s time to start thinking about the AYC BDR – the BIRTHDAY and LEUKEMIA CUP REGATTA!! Start going through your contact lists and get yourself ready to be part of our biggest AYC community service event of the year.

Lots of volunteers will be needed, as always, so be on the lookout for emails and phone calls from the BDR Committee to see how you can help to make this year’s installment another great success for sailing and for helping to CURE BLOOD CANCERS!

Hope to see you on the water!

Emory Heisler

Birthday Regatta / Leukemia Cup – Start Planning!

Heave open your pirate chests and help us build a Treasure Chest of loot for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! Our auction on January 14th needs booty, so come on, put up your share!

Ballgame tickets, time-shares, art, sports memorabilia, even a bottle of rum – they’re all worth silver and gold and will help us in our cause to Cure Blood Cancers!

Click here to contact Katherine Motil. or call her at (480) 967-6990, or contact Lisa Heisler or Cindy Pilote and they’ll keep it safe until the Birthday Regatta.

Fundraising website information will be out soon!    Have other questions?  Contact me and I’ll do my best to help you out!

Joe Motil (480) 967-6990
Birthday Regatta Chairman
Junior Staff Commodore

2011 Fall Racing Season Entries

63 Boats in 11 Fleets are signed up for the AYC Fall Season (only 8 Fleets are “ACTIVE” –
 those with 5 or more boats registered):

8-LP Catalina 22
8-LP PHRF Spin
6-LP Sportboat
6-LP Thistle
5-LP PHRF Non-Spin
4-LP Green
4-LP Portsmouth

8-TTL Capri 14.2
5-TTL Buccaneer 18
5-TTL Portsmouth
4-TTL Laser

Congratulations to the NINE Sailors sailing “both ways” and registered at both LP and TTL:
-Joe Barnett (LP Portsmouth-505, TTL-Portsmouth-Megabyte)
-Steve Brown (LP Portsmouth-Bucc, Bucc)
-Tony Chapman (Sportboat, Bucc)
-Mike Ferring (Sportboat, 14.2)
-Rob Gibbs (Green, Laser)
-Bill Hutchinson (PHRF, 14.2)
-Mike Parker (LP Portsmouth-Bucc, TTL Portsmouth-Megabyte)
-Clay Poulson (LP-Portsmouth, TTL-Portsmouth in Fire Ball)
-George Tingom (Catalina 22, 14.2)

Learn to Sail – TTL is Full, and So are ASF Classes

What a difference a year makes!  Last year we were “high and dry” with Aligators eating the TTL leftover fish.

FIFTY SEVEN students are signed up for ASF Classes this Fall!

High School Sailing 6
Intro to Racing 10
Opti 1 10
Opti 2 10
Single Hand Skill Development 4
Start Sailing Right 17


Late September “Haboob” at TTL

During the 9/24/2011 ASU-USC football game a spectacular “Haboob” descended on Sun Devil Stadium. It helped shut down a USC drive, but also had its way with the TTL SRP Marina.

A picture, or two, are worth several thousand words…
Strap down your boat….chalk the trailer tires….

ASF Boats all a-kilter







"Unhappy Campo"


Plan of a Tack: Sailing to Fitness

Arizona Republic reporter Ashley Macha interviewed Commodore Emory Heisler for the Republic’s series about outdoor activities to enjoy here in Arizona,

by Ashley Macha – Sept. 23, 2011 11:08 AM
The Arizona Republic

You don’t have to live near the ocean to set sail.  Arizona has many lakes and ideal weather for year-round sailing. 

Emory Heisler, Commodore for the Arizona Yacht Club, has been sailing and racing in Arizona most weekends for the past decade.  “Over the years, sailing has filled the adrenaline void for me when I haven’t been able to get up to the mountains for snow skiing,” he says. “It’s a stress that takes you away from your other stresses. But it’s a fun stress.”

Heisler, 54, an IT manager for United Health Care, first picked up sailing on trips to San Diego and started testing out Arizona waters by joining the Arizona Yacht Club .  “Conditions over here are so variable, you really have to pay attention to the wind,” Heisler says. “But it can help build pretty good sailors.”

You don't have to live near the ocean to set sail on the water. Arizona has many lakes and ideal weather for year-round sailing.

Sailing is a good way to get and stay fit.  “Smaller boats tend to be more athletic and keel boats less so, but not always,” Heisler says. “It takes lots of ‘sit-ups’ while ‘hiking out’  to keep a small boat from capsizing on windy days. And lots of agility and balance running around on a boat that’s heeling over one way and another.”

Heisler suggests that beginners start out by checking out different boats, working with a team or spending time on fellow sailors’ boats to build up skills and learn strategy, which plays a huge part in sailboat racing, he says.  “Strategy is always a factor, and part of what makes it so much fun and what keeps your adrenaline going.”

The club offers classes for juniors and adults ranging from novice to advanced. Novice adult classes are composed of four 2 1/2-hour classroom sessions and five four-hour, on-the-water sessions for $350. Participants also must be able to pass a swim test with a lifejacket before they can enroll. The class earns you a U.S. Sailing certification, although you don’t have to be certified to sail on any Arizona waters.

For Arizona Yacht Club members who demonstrate sailing skills and interest, a small fleet of boats is available on race days through an “Adopt-A-Boat” program where members can borrow a boat for the day. Races are regularly held at Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant.

Heisler says Labor Day marks the end of sailing season in most parts of the country, but it marks the beginning of prime season in Arizona.  September to December are the fall season, and February to April are the spring season, but he says Arizona waters are good to sail year-round as long as there’s wind.

Club members also participate in social gatherings, including camping trips and dinners.  “It’s like belonging to a golf league. It gives you a scheduled reason to sail once or twice a month,” Heisler says. “It’s a lifelong adventure.”

Details: Arizona Yacht Club,

Fleet of the Month – Capri 14.2

What a fleet! The AYC roster shows about fifteen of these stable little “double-hander” boats owned by AYC members and ten more ASF 14.2s to draw upon for the Tempe Town Lake racing. Theoretically we could have twenty-five 14.2s on the water at one time, without a doubt the largest one design fleet in the Arizona Yacht Club.

You can build plenty of sailing skill on a 14.2 as you can see by 14.2 sailors represented on the AYC championship Trophy.  The 14.2 Fleet  has produced the overall Champion three times (Martinelli-once and Hester twice). And if you count the dual representation Martin Lorch of the Catalina 22 fleet has won two of the four times he has won with the boat sailed being the 14.2. Several times 14.2 members also have been crew on the Club Champioship team.

The boat is easy to sail – has plenty of head room clearance to the height of the boom. And it is somewhat forgiving on skipper + crew weight. The hull is 14 feet two inches long. The mast is almost 21 feet and light enough for one person to easily rig from a trailer towing position. This sturdy boat weighs in close to 300 pounds. It is inexpensive to maintain (only Dacron racing sails allowed for instance) and fairly roomy and comfortable to sail. Also the 14.2 is nice for lazy day sailing for two or three folks.

Our local 14.2 fleet has sent several boats to the 14.2 Nationals held each year on the middle weekend of September at the beautiful Mission Bay Yacht Club. It’s a welcome relief to those of us who get away. We Zonies have never won the gold fleet, but we have had lots of trophies come home to AZ. In the Silver fleet there have been first, second and third place trophies to AYC, and AYC 14.2 sailors have broght home Gold Fleet awards for all but first.

With the AYC Adopt-a-Boat program making 14.2s available to qualified AYC members on TTL race days (entry fees apply) why not give our fleet a try?

For more information Contact George Tingom (480 948 3814).  He doubles as the 14.2 Fleet Captain and also as US Sailing level one certified instructor for High School students on Tuesday afternoons.

Oops. This will be a good story for October’s meeting!

Rambler Turtled

Did you see the astonishing story of the super maxi Rambler 100 losing its keel bulb and turtling in the Fastnet race? This super-high-end sailboat was trying to grab the all-time monohull course record in the race, but wound up turtled instead. And one of the 21 crew members aboard was our October speaker, Peter Isler, who was the boat’s navigator.

Sail World reported that Rambler 100 project manager Mick Harvey said, “We were beating into big seas, launching Rambler off the top of full size waves. I was down below with navigator Peter Isler when we heard the sickening sound of the keel breaking off. It was instantaneous; there was no time to react. The boat turned turtle, just like a dinghy capsizing. Isler issued a Mayday and we got out of there as quickly as we could.”

The magazine reported that five of the crew members had to tread water “for several hours,” but only one of those suffered from hypothermia.

October Meeting: Peter Isler

Peter Isler

Fresh from flipping in the Fastnet, one of sailing’s biggest names will be our speaker at the AYC membership meeting, Tuesday, October 11, beginning at 7pm. AYC meetings are held at the newly-named Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 N Mill Ave, Tempe.

Peter was the navigator aboard Rambler 100 when it lost its canting keel and rolled over, sending its crew into the icy water. All were rescued.

Before the Fastnet turtle, Peter was better known for being a five-time America’s Cup contender, including a two-time winner on Stars & Stripes. Sailing fans will recognize his face and voice from his television commentary of the America’s Cup on ESPN and Versus.

He’s in demand as a sailing, business and motivational speaker. And he’s written several books, including his latest, Peter Isler’s Little Blue Book of Sailing Secrets, which was excerpted in the latest Sailing World magazine. You’ll find more on Peter’s background on his website.

This should be one of the most-attended meetings of the year, so arrive early!

Next Up: LP Opening Day

Thistles at Lake Pleasant. Photo: Chris Smith

While sailors in the north are pulling their boats and wrapping them in plastic to survive a frozen winter, the Arizona Yacht Club is about to fire the gun on Opening Day: Saturday, September 24, at 12:30 pm. Catalina 22s are on race committee and Martin Lorch will be Chief Chef for Saturday night’s dinner. Menu: Rotisserie chicken, rice with peas, corn and onions, green salad, dessert.

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. Your registration will need to be in by the sound of the first gun Saturday.

 The fleets are shaping up this way: Catalina 22, PHRF Spinnaker, Thistle, Green and PHRF Sportboat. It appears there will be a Portsmouth fleet. PHRF Non-Spin is looking very iffy right now. Merit 25s expect to race in PHRF Spin.
Rob Gibbs’ new Green Fleet has attracted lots of interest and shapes up as a great way for people to sample racing or simply get out on the water with other sailors in a low-pressure environment. (More information on the Green Fleet here.)
The racers’ party was a big success. Mostly it was important for this reason: people who came to get crew positions seem to have gotten them. They’ll be on boats.
Here’s a hot tip for one very experienced crew person: Laurent Dion is still looking for someone to race with him on his Viper 640. Email Laurent with your interest.
If racing sounds like fun but you don’t know how to get started, consider the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class which begins soon. Here’s where you’ll find more information and a button to take you to registration.
We had a nice turnout for the practice races on Saturday (9/17). Now for the real thing!

New Portable Race Committee Station at TTL

The C14 TTL Race Committee using the new whatchamacallit. Inventor David Rawstrom stands at the left.

Version H, of the Portable Race Committee Station is what David Rawstrom calls it. The mad inventor and fabricator has created all of the Tempe Town Lake race committee “boxes” over the years, graduating from boards and PVC poles at the turn of the century through various versions.

This is the most elaborate version yet, built of a box from the long-discarded LP committee boat, a very tall flag pole, various bits of hardware, conjured with toil and trouble and eye of newt.

The new horn is loud. The new flag pole flies flags higher. There’s a VHF radio for communicating with the safety boat. And Martin Lorch tell us it drives much better on smooth-running wheels.
Thanks, Captain Rawstrom!!!

Racers’ Party September 9, 5-7 pm

Merit 25s downwind. Photo: Chris Smith

The Racers’ Party is on! Join the crowd in a private room at McCormick & Schmick’s, 2575 E. Camelback Rd. from 5-7 pm, Friday, September 9.

This is a purely social, informal gathering of race entrants and crew—and people who are interested in becoming entrants or crew. It’s a cash bar and some AYC-provided munchies. You’re also welcome to order something off the menu.

The restaurant is at the Esplanade (across from the Biltmore Fashion Square mall). You can use valet parking or park in the giant parking garage behind the restaurant. Parking in the garage is free; simply bring your ticket to be stamped.

Questions? Check with Mike or Maryellen Ferring or Mike Parker.

“Experienced” Members Tell Tales at September Meeting

Join us Tuesday 9/13!  Some of AYC’s most experienced, longtime members will be in the spotlight for September’s membership meeting, Tuesday, September 13 at 7pm at the newly-named Caddy Shack @  Rolling Hills (same place as always but with a new name), 1415 N Mill Ave., Tempe.

The club has been big and active nearly all of its 53 years and you’ll enjoy tapping into the stories from those earlier days, including some decidedly Blunder Bucket-worthy events.

Longtime AYC members

Professional photographer Tim George records longtime AYC members reminiscing about earlier days of the club. Photo: Mike Ferring

In March we gathered seven of the club’s veterans around a picnic table and asked them to reminisce. We recorded the conversation on HDTV video and I’ve now edited the digits down to about 11 minutes of the choicest nuggets. We’ll play the recording and then let the crowd try to deny it all.

This is a great opportunity for newer members to tap into the history of the club, to learn about what came before and to appreciate what these people did to keep sailing vibrant in the middle of the desert.

September 2011 – Compass Points

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Get yer boat ready!  Get yer crew figer’d out!  It’s TIME…for AYC 2011-12 Racing Season Opening Day. New to racing? Check out the “Racer’s Meet and Greet” party 9/9/2011, or join the new “Green Fleet” for a good excuse to sail without pressure to WIN!

1) Commodore’s Corner – Let the Games Begin!

2) Dating Game-Sept. 9th! Get Your Crew for 2011-12

3) 2011-12 Opening Day – Get Your Game On!

4) New to Racing?  Check Out the Green Fleet!

5) Welcome New Members! 

6) Kinninikinick Kampout with AYC, TSC and LSC! 

7) Get Your Sailing Kicks on Route 66 – BNAC 2011

8) Fleet of the Month – Buccaneer 18

9) 2011 Heatstroke Series Final Scores

10) For Sale! Want Ads!

Commodore’s Corner – September 2011

September is here and we hope the last days of super hot weather have passed by for 2011. And that makes it time to look forward to 2011 FALL SERIES!

Racing for many of us isn’t as much about the big pressure to win as it is about having a scheduled time to get out and spend some times with some of our best friends doing one of our favorite things.

If you’ve ever thought, “I’m not ready to race.”, check out the “Green Fleet” to find out more about ways to get out on the water on a regular basis, to join in the fun but to set aside some of the the “intensity” Green Fleets will be forming at BOTH Lake Pleasant or Tempe Town Lake.

And for the more competitive among us, or those of us that want to be, we also will have Introduction to Racing Class this month to help move you up the finishing place ladder.

Need crew? Want to crew? Check out the “Racer’s Party” next Friday 9/9.

The power boats start winterizing after Labor Day…we start SAILING!  This is OUR TIME of year!

Emory Heisler

p.s. How about those new membership cards, eh? Tap Brenda Shears, Roger Butterwick and Mike Ferring on the shoulder to say “Thanks!” for the nice work they did organizing and creating our new AYC Membership Cards!

Racing Party – Get New Crew! Find a Ride!

Come out and show how you operate BETWEEN THE SHEETS!

Join us UP-town and meet the racing gang at McKormick and Schmicks on Camelback Rd. AYC will have run of a little side room and be free to mingle with the landlubbers as needed over the rest of the place.

We will have PRIZES and FOOD, and I may let you have a bite of my nachos (if you are nice).

Who’s invited?
– Rookie crew who want to find a ride,
– Seasoned salts who want to shop their wares to the highest bidder
– Maniacal Malevolent Skippers looking to fill a hole in their motley crew
– Peeps looking to see what all this racing thing is about (read = Green Fleet)
– Sailors looking to promote our fine sport among the land-locked masses.
– YOU!!

Prize #1 Best Crew Resume!
Prize #2 Best Skipper Presentation – (hope to have a projector and computer)
Prize #3 Most inspiring story of “worst for first” (crew or skipper)
Prize #4 Most representatives of ANY fleet (my discretion)

Even if you are set for boat and crew – git yer keel out here and Party like a Pirate! There is a AMC Movie Theatre next door, shopping across the street. Make a night of it with your buddies, significant other, or both!!

Also sounds like a good time for a: FLEET MEETING –
Buccaneers, PHRF, SPIN, Catalina 22, Thistles, Merits, Portsmouth, – YOU COULD BE A WINNER

 Google Map of Location – 2575 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Michael Parker
Cruising Captain (aka AYC Party Manager!), complaint line = 602.273.1341)

Opening Day 2011 – Order Your Shirts Now!

OPENING DAY T-SHIRTS! ORDER IN ADVANCE or BE LEFT OUT!   Get your sporty, stylish and slightly plagiarised tee shirt proclaiming your support of this Eco-Friendly sport. $15 per shirt – $17 for XXL – PRE ORDER BEFORE SEPT 9 – or no shirt for U…a small qty will be there for purchase. Do not need to pre-pay – just email size, mens or womans style, and qty of each BEFORE 9/10/2011.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
GET READY!!!!  The approch of Opening Day brings a bunch of excellent memories over the past 9 years I have been privileged to attend. The butterflies start gathering early as the high temps start to descend ever closer to the double digits ( and always 10 degrees cooler on the water).

Never one to be leading the fleet, so that pressure is not a factor. The excitement of competition, building teamwork, and hanging out with my sailing buddies who understand the want to be around the water, fiberglass, and squeezing every erg of power out of a panel of strings covered with saran wrap, it is what feeds our other soul.

September 24 and 25, 2011 will be the 53rd opening day of your little sailing club in the desert. As always, there will be people painting, sanding, drilling, and pounding out in the parking lot at dawn. There will be the sound of new sails crinkling in the breeze as they are hanked on the first time, the smell of new fiberglass (some from repairs and some from fresh from the mold boats), and bright sunlight reflected from freshly washed and waxed 40 year old hulls. As the start time approaches, some yahoo thinking it would be funny, pulls the string on the only cannon allowed in the fleet – and the race to the launch ramp begins.

Then the parade to the starting line, with some returning to the dock to pickup the jib sheets left on the back seat and to throw Dave Rawstrom a tow line so he can start the first race on time today. The sound of the first horn signalling the start of our proud tradition begins the quest – not to win it all – for most – but rather to meet some more lowly goals for the season.
#1 NO fiberglass damage
#2 No DFLs (depending on your upbringing – “Dead Freaking Last” for me)
#3 My crew will someday want to sail with me again

Now for the High Level Details:
– 9AM: the USCGA will be available for COURTESY inspections with a sticker for passing (better them than to get AzGFD courtesy inspection that gives you a signed certificate for NOT passing).
– 10AM: FIRE THE CANNONS! Official opening of 2011-12 season
– 5pm: Dinner will be following racing. It is always a great food, beautiful scenery, and good friends. Race recaps from the Race Committee and race strategy from those skippers who where successful, and those not so much.
– 6pm: Prizes awarded during dinner for some random and completely arbitrary reason that I don’t even know yet.

REGISTER NOW on the web now and set your calendar those sailing days enjoying the great outdoors, or spend them mowing the lawn, painting the bathroom, or heaven forbid – sleeping in till noon….

Michael Parker
AYC Cruising Captain