Green Fleet – What’s That?

Learn Sailing at Any Age!

The Green Fleet is for new or “Less Serious” racers!

 Are you new to sailing or sailboat racing?  Are you trying to build a new crew to campaign next year?  Are you crew that wants some experience before stepping up to the big leagues?  Do you like to go sail with friends but want a little less pressure?   Is the most important thing on your boat your snacks?

Then the green fleet is for you!  For those who don’t know me, I’m Rob Gibbs.  I’m a US Sailing Certified Small Boat Instructor, a dinghie racer, a father of 2 and a husband of 1, and a guy who, up to this point, went sailing with his buddies and left the family at home.  Now that the kids are bigger and the wife is willing, we’ve got a bigger boat and “have fun and learn something” attitude.

Together with Emory Heisler (at TTL) our goal with the Green Fleet is to lower the barriers to entry to the sport we have come to love.  What that means to you is up to you!  If you have kids and resisted racing with the family, no more excuses!  If you want the opportunity to get out and practice in a safe, monitored environment without the pressure of racing, here’s your chance!

We’ll get together on Sat mornings (if you want) and introduce/review sailing concepts like Points of Sail & Trim.  We’ll go over the Rules of the Road, how to start, what the course chart is here and what it might be somewhere else.  If you have specific questions or topics you want covered, let me know!

Also, if you are crew and would like to secure a spot on one of the boats, please let me know.  There are some open positions I know of right now and there might be more as the season goes on.

My email is  For more information, check out the Green Fleet Page or just come sail with us!

Welcome New Members!

A great new “class” of members have joined AYC in recent months, from High Schoolers to Power Boaters (are we on our way to creating a “Power Squadron?”).

Christina Andaloro joins us following a year with the Arizona Sailing Foundation High School Sailing Club. She is now a freshman in college, but started taking official lessons 6 years ago in Cape Cod MA. She looks forward to attaining instructor level certification and contributing to AYC through Club equipment maintenance, racing, and social activities.

Shawn Cook took the SSR class and loved it. He is a Mesa resident, is a Laser sailor, and has been spending a lot of time down at the lake. He is interested in Club equipment maintenance and assisting with racing activities.

Luke Marino is a Freshman at Washington High School and has been sailing for about 5 years – most recently through the High School Sailing Club and before that racing in Opti’s. In the last 2 High School championships his boat was 2nd place! His dad also sails. He is continuing to take sailing classes, is interested in racing and cruising, and looks forward to achieving instructor level certification.

Mary and Jeff Miller: The Millers split their time between Scottsdale and the White Mountains. Mary is a long-time real estate broker in Snowflake, and Jeff works in Phoenix for APS four days a week. They’ve had a decades-long interest in sailing, having owned a very small sailboat in 1979, but only recently got a little more serious about the sport by traveling to Marina del Rey with two of their adult children to obtain a Basic Keelboat Certification in May of this year. They’re looking forward to gaining more experience and knowledge as time/schedules allow — hopefully with retirement figured in there somewhere! — and appreciate the opportunity to be part of this club.

Cooper Miller: Cooper, 25, now has his ASA Basic Keelboat Certification and is looking forward to sailing involvement with AYC members, with a special interest in crewing for more experienced sailors. He recently graduated from the U of A in Mathematics with an emphasis in Probability and Statistics and is pursuing a new career even as he also splits his time between the White Mountains and Scottsdale, assisting with the family real estate business as a licensed agent. He’s a long-time snowboard instructor, as well, and welcomes any interested folks up to Sunrise Ski Park this winter! Cooper is also an avid mountain biker.

Jim Murphy, a Scottsdale resident, is interested in racing and in helping with AYC social events. Jim has been sailing “all his life.” And his son Garrison has taken the High School Sailing class.

Randy, Tara, and Elliot Odman: The Odmans have extensive boating experience, but are new to sailing, thanks to the interest of son Elliot. Elliot sails in the high school program and just purchased his first boat, a sunfish, this winter. They are Mesa residents and interested in helping with new member support and racing.

Richard, Noami, and Lincoln Strand: Dick, a retired Radiologist, has recently rejoined the AYC. His family consists of his wife Noami, a son Nick who lives in NYC; daughter Natalie, living in Santa Monica; and an eight-year-old son Lincoln. Dick shares the following: “A few friends and I are just finishing the restoration of a 40 ft 1949 Matthew’s wooden motor yacht, the Euphrates, and will be keeping her in Newport Beach. She is a beautiful old boat and should be capable of coastal cruising, Catalina Island etc. I am an occasional sailor and was a member of the Arizona Yacht Club many years ago. And speaking of reciprocity, in 1988, I went over to watch the America’s Cup Race. The evening of the final race, I went to the San Diego Yacht Club, and using my Arizona Yacht Club membership card, got in and attended the victory celebration. I ended up sitting with Dennis Conner’s mother!”


Brenda Shears
Roger Butterwick
AYC Membership Directors

Buccaneer Championships – Route 66 Odyssey

Dave Rawstrom, Rob Gibbs and Emory Heisler journeyed 30 hours straight-through from AZ to Chicago in a 2000 “Exploder” for Buccaneer 18 North American Championships in Kenosha, WI. Not to worry, Dave, Rob and Emory are still friends.

T-minus 5 days to BNAC: Thanks to Nickel’s Boats stackable trailer design we stack 4 Bucc’s on 2 trailers.  Thank you TTL passer by helpers for extra hands!

And they’re off! Yee Old Exploder is packed and trailers are stacked.  On to Route 66: Desert, pine trees, high desert plains and we are there.  Route 66.  Did we get some kicks?  No!  What did we get?

Painted Desert, nothing, storms, nothing, New Mexico.  More storms, more nothing, Texas.  Nothing, 200 foot tall cross, trailer flat, nothing, Oklahoma. Sunrise over the one tree in OK.

Oklahoma City, toll booths, nothing, toll booths, nothing,Missouri.  Fireworks Superstore, Adult Bookstores, tornado-flattened Joplin, nothing, Girls-Girls-Girls, nothing, St. Louis. Mississippi River, Illinois, corn, corn, corn, Chicago.  Hotel, toll booths, toll booths, KENOSHA! That’s it in a nutshell.


It was the first time for all of us to visit Kenosha Wisconsin, first time in Dave’s lifetime setting foot in the state and his 3rd time sailing on lake Michigan, loved the waves!

KYC and Kenosha downtown have great small town character, cool shops (especially for tuxedos), ice cream, good restaurants (mmm… german food) , a real 24 hour Diner, free museum with mammoths, electric trolley ride, and this year a destination regatta.

Burgee Exchange

Monday’s welcome dinner of Brats and Beer was followed by the fastest national membership meeting ever, and was paired with a separate crew party that improved crew morale and left a few sleeping it off in the parking lot.

Racing had everything you could ask for, good predictable winds, time between races for siesta, swimming, chicken toss, water gun battle royale, and competitive group races.

A typical mixture of great breeze, too much breeze, no breeze was combined with equally varied flat water, wind chop on 4 ft. swells, and lazy doldrum filled swells as well.

The RC/PRO had some challenges and reminded us about just how good we’ve got it in AYC racing.   The Buccaneer Class Association learned some lessons and the PRO and racers figured out the local traditions. RC will be fantastic next time we visit.

Kevin & Big Dave (aka Maltbie-Brown)

Surprise guests arrived Thursday,  Maltbie and Brown BNAC 1 winners.  They won BNAC #1 in a borrowed boat but sailed Dave Rawstrom’s boat for their visit this year.

Blind Squirrel party: John welcomed us pirates to his home, really! Blind Squirrel’s combine vodka, Coors light and mystery ingredients. Truly an effective tonic. Buccaneers celebrated with Food, fun, hot tub, and a slide that ejects into the bushes.  We have a buccaneer member who owns a real lighthouse, cool!!!

Ed & Shannon Montano

Our hosts Ed and Shannon are a serious “power couple,” hospitality, organization, mix-ology expertise, Puerto Rican sandals, and charm. Thanks for a incredibly fun visit to your home town.
And then, back to Route 66 and 35 more straight-through hours in the Exploder for Dave and Emory.  The return run took a slight detour through Kansas, accompanied by an eclectic mix of power ballads on the iPod.

After 65 hours on the road together, even better friends.

ARRRR!! (hold the “gh”)

Dave Rawstrom, #5205, “Red Fish, Blue Fish”
Emory Heisler, #5239, “Erin Morgan”

Kinnikinick – 2011 “Escape to Pine Mountain”

For more about 2011 Kinnikinick check out this story from the Tucson Sailing Club. They and Lake Pleasant Sailing Club joined this year’s AYC annual campout in the woods, the Kinnikinick weekend, and Peter Burgard snapped some pictures and wrote some words and published them in the club’s newsletter. Click HERE for the TSC Aug 2011 Windbreaker newsletter.

Kinnikinick Kampout 2011
Cruising Captain – Mike Parker

The 2011 “Escape to Pine Mountain” was a huge event for my family. It was our first scheduled opportunity to escape the heat, the traffic, and the playstation in the valley of the SUN. Not that the event as a whole was so huge, but getting my kids away from the TV was virtually miraculous. Many obstacles had to be overcome. Things like sudden onset of a ailment requiring proximity to a bathroom, to queasy carsick feelings of the back row passengers in a SUV crammed with six people, camping gear, chairs, outdoor games, and a midsized dog. All of it resolved with patience, no schedule, and the first potty stop at 6500 feet and 80 degree sunshine.

We arrived as scheduled – Saturday sometime. There where already some adventurous and practiced campers setup in the area with sailing burghy and race mark signalling their territory and that we where in the right place. Paper plates guiding the way to the fresh and clean porta-potties spaced out around some shady and pine needle covered tent spots. We picked up a mooring… i mean, a camp spot upwind of the potty, and the kids took off into the woods like oil dripped on water. No video games, music players, or fighting over computer time… it was just about heaven.

After unloading the gear and making lunch – amazing how the kids will wander back just as you are finishing food prep – we were joined by helpful (and hungry) kids from the already established camps. Tents setup, camp gear stowed, we set off to mingle with the others already playing horse shoes and relaxing in the cool shade around the fire pit.

Members of Lake Pleasant Sailing Club, Arizona Yacht Club, and Tucson Sailing club were all strewn about the gentle slope in all sizes of tents, camp trailers, and vans. Ahhh, such a heart warming – cool weather – sight!

A few hearty sailors who took a stack of Lasers to the lake for some afternoon sailing while most others took a nice nap. The winds must have been perfect, since one of the sailors related that he had never gone so fast in a laser before. It’s amazing what a “Fresh” breeze and no hills to funnel the wind can do for you. Later in the afternoon, while relaxing and getting to know some of our TSC and LPSC brethren, our attention was drawn to the table where piles of shish kebabs, pots of corn, and plates of veggies and sides where being dropped from campers all around. Dinner was imminent. And from the looks of things, it was going to be an amazing feast. Off to camp, we brought out offering, including another table to pile the overflowing food (and adult beverages).

And it was an amazing feast. Of course, my kids only ate the hot dogs and way too many sm’ores cooked over the sensible and warming campfire, but that is OK, more kabobs for me.

All – in – all, about 60 people made up the campout this year. Perhaps it was a light turnout for the annual event. But it was fun, and we got to meet some very friendly people who were there to have a good time in the peace and quiet – and coolness – of the not so distant forest. I have always had to move mountains to make it to the mountains, but once I get there, the people, the peace, and the separation of all things buzzing and chirping always make it worth the effort.

Fleet of the Month – Buccaneer 18


Buccaneer Fleet

Buccs Start at Lake Pleasant

ARRRRR!!!! The pirates of AYC! The Buccaneer 18 fleet is the only one-design fleet that gives you a three-sail boat (main, jib and spinnaker) and the option to sail with fleets at both Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant. The Buccs also make regular excursions to join other Buccs in San Diego (March, August), Long Beach (May, November) and elsewhere around the country.

There are over 20 Buccaneer 18s in Arizona, and half of those racing, so whether you’re a new recruit or “salty dog” we have lots of sailors to compete with at your level so you can improve your sailing and have a great time doing it.

To learn more about getting a Buccaneer 18 or crewing on one, contact one of the pirates listed below or see the National Bucc Site or the Yahoo! group. The AYC Buccaneer fleet is ready to offer lots of help for anyone who would like to join the raiding party.

Buccaneer Harken One-Design Deck Layout

Buccaneer Fleet Captain: Steve Brown
Western Region Buccaneer Class Rep: Emory Heisler

2011 Heat Stroke Final Scores

Here are the results of the 2011 Heat Stroke series scores, with throw-outs. Congratulations!

Oddly, participation dropped off as the mercury rose. By the time we reached the dreaded dog daze of August, there were just two or three boats on the race course and often as many people on race committee.

Congratulations to all the stalwarts who braved heat exhaustion to go sailing and to the fleet winners:

Emory Heisler, Buccaneer;
Mike & Maryellen Ferring, C14;
Mike Bernard, Laser;
Clay Poulson, Portsmouth (in whatever he happened to bring to the lake that day).

Fall Fleet Scramble Brings Consolidation, New Sport Boat and Green Fleets

When the gun sounds to start the AYC Lake Pleasant Fall Race Series on Saturday, September 24, there will be two new fleets on the starting line—and apparently two fleets consolidated into other fleets. Let me explain.

Tony Chapman and Viper headed for the shipping lanes.

Both the Viper 640s and the Merit 25s have been flirting with the magic five-boat minimum entries the last couple years. Fleets that get five entries become “active” fleets, eligible for scoring, participation in the club championship races and voting seats at the table for the fleet captains’ meetings.

While the Merits were once a 9-10-boat fleet, Captain Roger Butterwick says this next year they won’t be able to come up with five entries and will instead become part of the PHRF Spinnaker Fleet. The Vipers managed five entries last year, but Charles Kaye has sold his boat.

Now, for something new.

PHRF Sport Boat Fleet. What’s a “Sport Boat”? We’ve defined it as an asymmetrical spinnaker, monohull boat. The fleet became possible when three and possibly four J/80s promised to join the action. From PHRF Non-Spin come new J/80 competitors Peter Hartleb, Chris Smith and me, Mike Ferring. Chuck Moretti has owned a J/80 that’s been bobbing up and down in a slip at Pleasant Harbor Marina that will now have sisters to race with. Chuck has joined the club and hopes to make at least two races this fall before racing more regularly in the spring. Then there are the Vipers, Tony Chapman, Greg Jackson, Laurent Dion and maybe Mike Leal. And now that Spin champ Dave Christensen has sold his J/24, he says he’ll finally bring that Mini 650 out of the garage and onto the water.

Green Fleet. Rob Gibbs has decided to spearhead a revival of the former Challenger Fleet, but with a few twists. He’ll encourage new competitors, just as the Challenger Fleet did, but there will be even less emphasis on competition and more emphasis on having fun on the water. Coolers and kids encouraged. No protests. And—get this—no scoring.

Registration is now open for all fleets at both Lake Pleasant and Tempe Town Lake. TTL’s opening day is Sunday, September 11 and LP’s is Saturday, September 24. For questions about the Sport Boat fleet, contact Mike Ferring. For the Green Fleet, check with Rob Gibbs.


Start Your Engines! Fall Racing Sign-ups are Available NOW!

Okay…so “Start Your Engines” probably isn’t exactly appropriate here…but SERIOUSLY, all FALL Race documents are posted and registration is OPEN for the fall series at Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant.  Go to the RACING REGISTRATION PAGE to sign up!

Oh…if you want it, the paper form will be available soon, but there is now a “Send a Check” option when you sign up, so if you don’t like to input your financial details into the internet, sign up online and send us the cashola!

NOTICE of Members who have NOT Renewed for 2011-2012

SPECIAL NOTICE OF MEMBERS WHO HAVE NOT RENEWED FOR 2011-2012 Our records indicate the following members have not renewed for 2011-2012; please let us know if that is not the case. Otherwise, please renew as soon as possible (no later than August 31) in order to keep your membership active and be listed in the 2011-2012 AYC Roster.

If you need help accessing your online account, please Click Here to visit the Membership Services Page.

  • David  Allocco
  • Rey Bergelin
  • Brett  Bigelow
  • Patrick Blumm
  • David Chapin
  • Steven Cassingham
  • Chad Cornell
  • David  Cummings
  • Matt Davis
  • Steve Dolter
  • Jim Douglas
  • Sean Eanes
  • Michael Easley
  • Ken Esty
  • Paul  Farmer
  • Bill Feil
  • Kaniatariio Gilbert
  • Jack Haskell
  • Bob Hastings
  • Judi Hayes
  • John Hiett
  • Amber  Jacoby
  • Rick Johnson
  • Eric  Jones
  • Ruth LaBlonde
  • Rick Lake
  • Charley Laman
  • Michael Leon
  • Paula Lippert
  • Dennis Lynde
  • Arno Marcuse
  • Pamela Mayer
  • Gary  McCauley
  • Diane McDaniel
  • Jake McGuire
  • Jim  Murphy
  • Dave  Nowak
  • Don Palmer
  • Michael  Parker
  • Christopher Payne
  • Viviana  Pinilla
  • Elena Putman
  • David Rawstrom
  • John Riddell
  • Charles Rush
  • Jason Rziha
  • Luce Sahali
  • Todd  Schiller
  • Chris Smith
  • Jane Spicer
  • Eric Steidley
  • Steve  Swanson
  • Ann-Marie Tan
  • Steven Troxel
  • Roger Weissman

In addition we have not heard from the following Life Members; please let us know if you want to continue your active membership for 2011-2012:

  • Thomas Cunningham
  • Pat Guthrie

Registration Soon for Fall Racing

The AYC Fleet Captains have met to craft the documents for the fall racing season, so we’re getting close. Registration should open soon and the documents will be on the website even sooner.

The Fleet Captains decided to cancel the scheduled first race of the Tempe Town Lake season, which was planned for August 28, thinking that we should take a breather between the end of the Heat Stroke series and the beginning of the fall season.

If all this race stuff has you intrigued but you’ve never raced before, remember that the Arizona Sailing Foundation presents an Introduction to Sailboat Racing class to get you up to racing speed quickly. Registration for the class is open now.

And this fall we’ll have a new, low-pressure racing fleet, the Green Fleet, which will take starts, but skip one thing: scoring. No scoring.

With the addition of several J/80s to the club, we also have a new Sport Boat Fleet for monohull boats with asymmetrical spinnakers. Vipers and J/80s will be the main participants.

August Membership Meeting

Would you like to know how to launch your boat with the trailer still attached? Like some tips on how to attract the attention of law enforcement while boating?

Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff John Ramsay has seen it all in his 25 years of lake duty and he’ll bring a bag load stories, both comical and serious, when he joins us for the next AYC membership meeting, Tuesday, August 9, starting promptly at 7pm, back at our regular gathering spot, the place formerly known as the 19th Tee in Tempe.

Not only does Deputy Ramsay have vast experience with the craziness on our local lakes, but he also trains others to deal with it. He’s one of just 25 officers nationally to be certified to train lawmen on the water.

“Formerly known as”? Yes, the new owner of the restaurant has changed the name to “Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills.” We stopped by today to see how it was going and found they’re deep into remodeling, which is expected to be finished by Wednesday. Anyway, they say they’ll be ready for us this time.

September’s meeting: Some of the club’s longtime members talk about what it used to be like. We’ve produced a video with several of them telling stories and we expect to have some of them there to swear that it’s all true.

Also coming up: We have confirmation that Peter Isler will speak at our October meeting!

Trying to find it?  Here’s some help!

Caddy Shack Restaurant
Rolling Hills Golf Course
1415 North Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map)

August 2011 – Compass Points

Whoooo-Wee! It’s HOT!  Does that stop AZ sailors?  Nah!  We’re still at it all year round as evidenced by our Reverse Frost-biting (aka Heatstroke Series).

Send us your stories of travels and cool sailing to share with the Club next month!

1) Commodore’s Corner – Embrace the Imperfections

2) Too Hot to Sail?  It’s Kinnikinick Time!

3) Renew!  Renew!  Renew!  It’s time to update your membership

4)  Science and the Art of Sailing

5)  Cool Viper Sailing – High Sierra Regatta

6) Eight Bells:  Joe Rowe 

7) Heatstroke Series – Midsummer Standings

8) For Sale!  Want Ads!

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Commodore’s Corner – August 2011

Ahoy from Kenosha, WI and Buccaneer North American Championships (BNAC).  The new AYC “fiscal year” is heating up and I hope you are all enjoying some fun like we are and enjoying cooler climates during our “Heatstroke Season.” 

The AYC annual Kinnickinick Kampout is coming up this weekend, and many others are visiting locations like the High Sierra Regatta in Huntington Lake, CA, or are off to the places  like we are here on Lake Michigan for BNAC.

We’re hearing loud and clear here in Kenosha how folks in the north country squeeze all they can into those few summer months of nice weather because all too soon they will be ice boat sailing, while we get to enjoy sailing throughout the year.  Az may not be perfect, but what we have is pretty wonderful.

Likewise, the Arizona Yacht Club may not be perfect, but it doesn’t take much comparing to other clubs to know that what we have is pretty darn sweet.  In addition to our non-stop racing schedule and sailing education programs, we also have  some seriously entertaining and highly educational Monthly Membership Meetings.   Yeah, sounds pretty cool!

I hope see you at one of our many activities soon!

Emory Heisler
(From BNAC in Kenosha, WI)

Science and the Art of Sailing

Garth Reynolds of North Sails describing how sails are sewn together.

We dove deep into the science of sails when North Sails designer Garth Reynolds rolled out a presentation filled with charts, graphs, and colored aerodynamic displays at the AYC July membership meeting, Tuesday evening, July 12.

Garth ticked off a list of software approaches he uses to fashion sails for a host of serious and semi-serious competitors: Olympic sailors, Opti sailors, or weekend one-design racers. And maybe most interesting, he described how he works to correlate computer number flow with performance on the water. Using a following boat with cameras and data-gathering gear and integrating pictures from a masthead camera, he can massage sails to match the conditions and the competitor.

Garth described how he adjusted the sails for two young Opti sailors, twins with startlingly different sailing styles. They may have shared DNA, he said, but they used very different techniques to reach success. Result: different sails to suit each technique that brought them both to the head of the pack in a 200-boat competition.

Garth’s enthusiasm for sailing is infectious. He admits his father doesn’t quite believe his son’s good luck. “He always told me, don’t expect work to be fun. That’s why they call it work!” Yet, here’s Garth Reynolds, bubbling with the joy of discovering tiny tweaks to make a Finn sail better over tall waves so Olympian Zach Railey can take a gold medal next year.

“What were your takeaways?” I asked a few AYC people.

“Wrinkles aren’t bad,” said one. Garth had made it clear that getting the right shape may mean wrinkles, dragging reluctant fabric into rounded shapes.

“Pointing means constant fiddling,” said another. Garth had described how to push the boat higher and how a single knot of wind velocity can change the whole picture.

Lots of people reached for one of Garth’s business cards, intent on taking him up on his offer to review photos to coach them on sail shape. If you’d like to do that, his e-mail address is If you send a picture, be sure to include as much information as possible about conditions at the time, including wind speed, helm, trim, heel and so forth.

With the usual AYC monthly meeting place suddenly unavailable just days before the July meeting, Maryellen scrambled to find a replacement and landed a great one, the Fiesta Inn, just four miles from our usual 19th Tee meeting spot. The Fiesta Inn provided an excellent facility and good food at a great rate and nearly 70 people turned out for the meeting.

Next month: back at 19th Tee (probably under a new name) with the postponed ice cream social.

—Mike Ferring

Some of the audience for Garth Reynolds' session

Renew! Renew! Renew! 2011-12 Membership

Renew! Renew! Renew!  The AYC annual membership renewal season is well underway. Don’t wait till the last minute…CLICK HERE to register now, or if you need some help come on down to the July membership meeting  at Tempe Rolling Hills Golf Course (Tuesday, 7/12/11) and we’ll get you signed up there and then!

We have a newly designed membership card in the works, which will be personalized in a batch run – make sure you get your renewal in before the end of July so that you don’t miss out on the permanent annual card AND listing in the annual membership roster.

Prefer to use the good old US Mail and a pen or pencil? Drop an email to one of our “Ace” Membership Directors and they’ll get you a hardcopy form to fill out and you can mail in your check. Time’s a waistin! Renew your membership today!

Roger Butterwick – Membership Director
Brenda Shears – Membership Director