Cool Viper Sailing – High Sierra Regatta

by Tony Chapman

If you’ve never attended this Fresno Yacht Club event at Huntington Lake, in the Sierra Mountains of Central California, there are many reasons to add it to your “must-do regatta” list.  For those of us in Arizona the excuse is very simple – it’s a way to get out of the crazy heat. There are many more reasons to make the effort to attend if anyone wants to start a list. I decided to tow my new Viper 640 (see there as soon as it hit 100 degrees here in Arizona.

The lake itself, at an elevation of 7200 feet, is spectacular, surrounded by the tree covered mountains of the Sierra National Forest. This year it was even more spectacular as there was still snow on some of the surrounding peaks.  And as usual the wind gods provided great sailing conditions by turning on great breeze each day prior to the start of racing and then promptly turning it off when we were done. Is there anything better than sailing in great winds (there were plenty of times it was white-capping) on fresh and clear water? The temperature dropped to a very cool 34 degrees the first night and from our cabin sites overlooking the lake, the water looked so calm the next morning that I was convinced the lake had frozen over.

We enjoyed great dinner and drinking sessions each evening back at the cabins, where we got to know some of the newer members of our ever-growing Viper ranks. The social side of our fleet really does add to the positive experience for all involved.


Thanks to Tim Carter from Alamitos Bay YC, Long Beach, a few of us also managed to secure slips that were right by the starting line which made it very convenient to go racing each day.  This also helped when crew showed up late from partying too much the night before and we were already in sequence as the last of the boats left the dock.

Despite all the local distractions we managed to do three days of great racing. The Vipers looked really impressive against the other sport boats that attended and we were often passing both the J80 and Melges 20 early in the first downwind leg despite giving them a 5 minute earlier start. On the last day we sailed (more like “smoked”) through the Wylie Wabbit fleet on the final downwind leg and received many positive comments from them afterwards.  

Having seen Tim Carter truly trounce on the competition at Long Beach Race Week by just having better boat speed than everyone else I decided to make boat speed our priority for the regatta. It really paid-off as the final day saw us leading the fleet with a two-point advantage over Tim going into the last race. This resulted in us having one of the best tacking duels I have ever been involved in. Thanks Tim – it was a lot of fun. Thank you also to my crew of Dennis Martinelli and Luce Sahali for securing the first P1 trophy for #146. Other Arizona YC members that made the trip included Laurent Dion and Trey Harlow.

Results and more info on the event are available here. 

Hope to see more of you there next time we visit. It really should be put on your “must-do regatta” list.

Eight Bells: Joe Rowe

AYC has lost another of our “Founding Fathers”. Joe Rowe, an AYC member for over 40 years,  passed away July 9, 2011.

Here is his obituary, reprinted from the Arizona Republic Online:

Joseph Dallas Rowe A long-time Valley resident, passed away July 9, 2011. A man of action over words, a motivating role model and positive influence, Joe always gave family and friends first priority. In setting his “issue” up to succeed and excel academically and professionally, Joe postulated, “May you grow in the love that surrounds you and the knowledge that the circle of love extends to all who know you and beyond.” Joe was born the son of John AbramRowe and Floy Armstrong Rowe in Hollywood Hospital on January 29, 1929, his father’s 33rd birthday. Though confronted with the loss of his mother in childbirth and brother at the conclusion of WWII, Joe remained a positive soul. Step-siblings Charles Harris Flannery and Martha Flannery Betz introduced a breadth of family that brought Joe much happiness and sense of family pride. Outside of school, Joe spent his formative years fighting fires and working dude ranches while managing youthful diversions and adventures along the way. While a Marine Corp Reserve, Joe enrolled at Cal (UC Berkeley) in 1948 where he studied Economics and joined the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. Graduating in 1952, Joe entered the insurance industry as a property & casualty agent for US Fidelity & Deposit Company. About this time, Joe met Aneta “Punkie” Peabody whom he married on June 12, 1954.

They transferred to the greater Phoenix area immediately thereafter. In 1956, Joe joined the Valley National Company, where he specialized in meeting the insurance needs of contractors. Joe became an officer of VNCo in 1961 and entertained a lifelong career with the agency eventually holding executive positions of Secretary-Treasurer and CFO. During those years, Joe chaired the Central Arizona CPCU and sat on both the City of Phoenix and Maricopa County Citizen’s Bond Advisory Boards. Ever community-minded, Joe took on several philanthropic initiatives and among other positions became President of the Board of the Phoenix Center or the Blind and President of the Board of Planned Parenthood (formerly Family Services). He and Aneta were pillars of the United Church of Christ, Church of the Beatitude, where he served as congregation President. Joe sat on several boards including the UCC Insurance Advisory Board and headed up annual fund-raising for the Valley Of The Sun United Way. Joe and Aneta started their family in 1956, raising three children: Scott (Diane), Kathleen “Kappy” (Mark), and Michael (Nancy). He proudly enjoyed his three grandchildren Natalie, Will and Michael. Joe developed a keen interest in sailing and raced Thistles with sons Scott and Mike until the mid ’90s.

TTL Heatstroke Series – Week 7 Scores

Week 7 of the Tempe Town Lake 2011 Heat Stroke are posted here.


 Buccaneer 18 Fleet
    Sail   Boat                  Skipper
1  5239 Erin Morgan        Heisler,Emory
2  5231 Lazy Bones        Chapman,Tony
3  1235 Dang Gina          Brown,Stephen
4  524                            Pillote,Cynthia

 Capri14.2 Fleet
    Sail   Boat                   Skipper
1  4818  Sea Ya!              Ferring,Mike
2  3         Hot T/Iced T      Tingom,George
3  4650 Sec’nd Wind        Lake,Lisa
4  1438 Was BirdBath      Lorch,Alexia
5  4567                           Kennedy,Stephen
Laser Fleet
    Sail       Boat                     Skipper
1  177634                              Bernard,Mike
2  AYC1   AYC Adopt-a-Boat  Verplanke,Edwin
3  184560 Yak Meat               Sheller,George
4  20440                                Harlow,Trey
5  8           Skeeter                 Gibbs,Rob
6  88241   Merlin                     Willis,Dave
7  AYC2   AYC Adopt-a-Boat   Murphy,Garrison

 Portsmouth Fleet
      Sail      Boat                     Skipper           Type
1    15034                               Poulson,Clay   Fireball
2    7          AYC Adopt            Poulson,Clay   Sunfish
3    181      Waterdog               Motil,Joe         Megabyte
4    3310                                 Eanes,Sean     Prindle 16
5    AYC1  AYC AdopT             Reger,Lori       Sunfish
5    72        Fatboy                   Barnett,Joe      Megabyte


Scott Buckstaff National 29er Champ

Moments ago Scott Buckstaff was learning to sail in an Opti on Tempe Town Lake, tutored by parents Dan and Kathleen. Now living in Belvedere, California and sailing out of the San Francisco Yacht Club, he teamed with James Moody to win the 29er National Championship sailed last weekend at the Coronado Yacht Club in San Diego. Twenty-three boats competed in this hot-boat class and Scott smoked ’em all, finishing with 18 points to the runner-up’s 32!

Scores available here.

AYCers at Whidbey Island Race Week

AYCers Joe Hagen, Al Lehman Jr., and Steve Quant snagged a second place in a deep fleet of 13 boats in the Santa Cruz 27 Nationals, held at the Whidbey Island Race Week.

Steve says that Joe and boat partner John Ross put a lot of time, effort and money into getting their boat ready to roll, a Santa Cruz 27 named Gotcha.

Steve also adds, “They know how to race and party up there!”

Scores and more information here. You’ll find Gotcha in P4.

Upcoming Racing News

We’re a mere two months of 106-degree temps from the beginning of Lake Pleasant (LP) racing and one month from the scorching start of Tempe Town Lake (TTL) “fall” racing. Here’s a taste of what’s upcoming:
  1. AYC will have a meet-and-greet party for entrants and crew before the LP season begins. We’re thinking it would be a Friday after-work type gathering with beer and munchies to link entrants and crew—and just to have fun. More to follow.
  2. Rob Gibbs is resurrecting the Challenger Fleet for LP Fall, only he’s calling it the “Green” fleet. The Challenger Fleet was the creation of Patty Rosky and it helped introduce several sailors to the fun of sailboat racing. Now Rob has turned it Green and is turning down the pressure even more: now the starts are for fun, there’s no such thing as a protest, and they won’t even keep score. More information here.
  3. We will go ahead with a fall ASF Introduction to Sailboat Racing class. If you’d like to learn more about the game, from procedures to rules to tactics and if you’d like to get several hours of time on the water with oodles of starts, this is a good way to do it. More information here.
  4. Finally, here’s a short report on the results of a survey of race entrants and crew that I did in June. We found that roughly 25% of recent entrants and crew won’t be sailing this fall, which means we need to replace that many to maintain the entry level. We found that nearly everyone likes the racing. And we found that entrants and crew tend to connect this way: 1) because they know each other; 2) because someone refers them; 3) (and a distant last choice) because of the crew list. The survey also produced some good suggestions on how to improve the way crew and entrants connect.

If you’d like to see a more detailed copy of the results of the survey, e-mail me at

Meantime, of course, there’s the Heat Stroke Series for all of you not afraid of a little, mmmm, heat stroke.

North Sails Designer Garth Reynolds Tuesday 7/12

North Sails Designer Garth ReynoldsNew Meeting Place Tuesday. We’ll meet at the Fiesta Inn in Tempe, 2100 S Priest Drive, just south of Broadway. Go to the main lobby and Maryellen Ferring  will guide you to the room.

We’ll have four dinner choices available, each for $13 including tax and tip: hamburger or club sandwich with choice of fries or fruit or a Cobb salad or Caesar salad with chicken. Cash bar with beer, wine, and soft drinks.

Why? The 19th Tee has changed operators and won’t be ready for us. We can return in August.

Our special speaker: North Sails designer Garth Reynolds, who will show us how to sail faster and higher.

Garth will explain how he sculpts a sail and how North tests it to know whether it will really be faster than the others out there. He’ll dissect the characteristics that make a sail fast and reveal what you can do to improve your boat’s sail shape. Result: go faster and point higher.

Garth brings us a rich background of engineering and sailing, including a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Florida, where he sailed on the school’s top-20-ranked sailing team. He’s been with North Sails for three years and right now he’s working to design sails for several Olympic teams for the 2012 London Olympics. He also actively races with several classes, including Snipe, 505, J/24, Melges 24, Viper 640, J/80, Thistle and Interclub.

Because of the location change, we’ll postpone the planned ice cream social and root beer floats.

Maryellen & Mike Ferring


July 2011 – Compass Points

Mid Summer Night’s Dream?  You bet!  Where do you want to be in July, in a boiling nightmare in Phoenix or……sweet dreams on Catalina Island?  Check out AYC summer fun going on from near to far and here to there. AYC fun is everywhere!

1) Commodore’s Corner – Help Wanted!  Inquire Within!!

2) What ARE you thinking? AYC- Survey results!

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

4)  June Membership Meeting begs the question

5) More HOT Boats in AZ – J-80’s Blaze into AYC

6) ASU Sailors visit UoM Sailing Compound

7) For Sale!  Want Ads!

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Commodore’s Corner – July 2011

“Help Wanted!  Inquire Within!” 

Many wonderful ideas have been flowing in from you all in the past months since I became Commodore, and now YOU can provide the hands, heads and hearts to bring them to life. 

Here’s your chance to fill in some of that “free time” you have (ha, ha) by helping out the sport you love.  Volunteers are needed to both lead and support several Arizona Yacht Club special committees:  Here are just a few places where you and your special talents and interests can help improve your club.

Juniors: The junior program’s activity level has always been “parent driven”, and that activity has dropped off in recent years after “graduation” and relocation of several of those families.  If you have kids and want to see more Kid-Friendly sailing and social activities, this is the committee for you! 

Equipment: Got a special talent for “messing around with boats”?  Love the smell of curing epoxy and fiberglass?  Got a trailer-hitch and a little free time to haul a boat down to Phoenix Fiberglass?  Keeping up with all the little repairs and preventive maintenance on our AYC/ASF Fleet is a never ending job – opportunity! – for you if any part of this sounds like what you like to do in your spare time. 

Adopt-a-boat:  This one is pretty simple.  If you want to adopt a boat, we need to have someone to manage the adoption process.  This is a perfect position for someone that wants to sail at TTL, but doesn’t feel a big need to race.  Yes, you can manage your own adoption paperwork!  Like everything in AYC, it doesn’t happen on it’s own. 

History:  As we’ve “gone digital”, and simply by the passing of time, we’ve lost visibility of our history, and many have suggested that it would be wonderful to see that history at club meetings, and online.  This one calls for a little bit of the “librarian” in you for researching and organizing club’s history from the many cabinets and boxes of material, AND for some folks with high speed scanners to help get it into online form.

Marketing: From “brochure” design, to “working a booth” (or a boat) at local events, this is a great role for someone that loves to tell the story of AYC to others at events like Tempe Arts Fair, Lake Pleasant events, TTL events, REI “water sports day”, etc.  Help us get the word out about what a great club we have! 

You’ll keep hearing me say this, “Many hands make light work!” Please give me a call (602 679 0462) or drop me a quick email to let me know where you can help bring more life to the ideas that keep coming in about these types of activities and services in our club.

Emory Heisler

Survey Results and Summer Guest Speaker Series Update

Almost 70 people responded to a survey we put together to figure out how members would like to receive word of meetings, events, and news about our club. Thanks for helping out!

Here are some headline results:

  • E-mails are the best way to get the word out. An overwhelming number of respondents said they wanted a club e-mail to tell them what’s happening.
  • The Yahoo list is a good supplement to the members-only e-mails, especially for nonmembers, of course. We now have about 390 people who receive the Yahoo e-mails. And the Yahoo respondents said they were happy with what they get from the list, even with the sometimes snarky debates that can pop up there.
  • Most people check the AYC website for information, though they’re not always happy with how it works or how it looks. Your comments are in the hands of Webmeister Rob Gibbs to guide him in tweaks. Already: The calendar includes more information, including start times of races.

Also: I’ve just gotten confirmation that Garth Reynolds will be able to make our next membership meeting, Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm.

Garth is a one-design sails expert at North Sails in San Diego. He plans to offer a program like the one he just gave to 85 people at the San Diego Yacht Club, with lots of give-and-take about how they tune sails to make them just that much faster than their (and your) competition.

Maryellen is also planning to make this an ice cream social, with root beer floats and sundaes. Try the float with a dash of Jack. Mmmm.

We’ll be starting precisely at 7pm at the 19th Tee in Tempe (1915 N Mill Ave).

And, get ready for a year of top-rated speaker entertainment, including multi-America’s Cup dude Peter Isler; the high-personality act of Peter Reggio, famed America’s Cup Principal Race Officer (PRO); and Laser Olympic Gold Medalist, twice Rolex yachtswoman-of-the-year and ISAF Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnacliffe. Anna is preparing for a match racing challenge at the 2012 Olympic games and is fresh off victories in England and Germany.


Mike Ferring – Rear Commodore

June is for Fun – AYC Family Night!

Maryellen Ferring plays Alex Trebeck in front of the AYC crowd at the June membership meeting. Ten teams vied for prizes by answering sailing questions. Photo: Mike Parker

Sailors ate limes to prevent scurvy, right? Michael Bernard won the AYC Laser fleet this year, right? Right. And if you got those right, you were cheering Tuesday night (6/14) when your team faced off against 9 others to score some prizes at the AYC membership meeting.

Maryellen and Mike Ferring brought the questions and some high-tech gear to simultaneously score 10 teams on 21 sailing questions—and mostly to have a good time on Family Fun Night. 

It was a close finish, with the “Spinnaker” team of David Rawstrom, Mike Parker, Tony Eanes, and Mary Kay Farrington Lorch squeaking out a two-point victory.

In the night’s other contest, Dominic and Marek Sycamore (ages 11 and 9) walked off with the biggest prizes and the biggest smiles after correctly identifying more Opti boat parts than the other kids in the room. Dominic clutched an iPod Shuffle and Marek an LED headlight. 

It was enough fun that the crowd of 65+ chattered into the evening against a video backdrop of Australian Skiffs committing mayhem in Sydney Harbor. 

Join us next month, July 12th, for a “new twist” on the Ice Cream Social!

          Mike Ferring – Rear Commodore 

J-80s Hot New Boats at Lake Pleasant

I really did consider my decision to go out to Lake Pleasant when the forecast was for 103 degress but the oppurtunity to sail on one of the new fleet of J80’s that have recently arrived in AZ was too tempting.  We rigged Mike Ferring’s new boat at the marina and motored out to a flat and calm lake.  We bobbed around for close to an hour but then the breeze filled in nicely and we had some great sailing.  Things got even better when Chris Smith (see photo) joined us for the maiden voyage in his similar boat and we did a little speed testing together.  The breeze remained strong all day and we even saw some whitecaps for a while.  It was hot but a lot of fun.  Congrats to Mike Ferring, Chris Smith and Peter Hartleb on their new boats.   Leaving the lake, the only remaining question I had was whether the spinnaker was HOT PINK or what.  Ask Chris what color it is next time you see him.

ASU Sailors visit U of Michigan Sailing “Compound”

By Phil Freedman

This week my daughter Carina Freedman sailed with the University of Michigan Sailing Team. They sail on Baseline Lake about thirty minutes from Ann Arbor Michigan.

The Michigan Sailing Team has quite a setup on their lake. Maybe forty boats with a hundred foot dock which comes out of the lake during the winter months. Michigan is ranked #3 in their conference and sails by the 20 – 20 rule. The 20 -20 rule is if it is blowing over 20 mph they do not sail if it goes under 20 degrees.

That Saturday we had lunch with Tom Ehman and his father Tom Ehman Sr. at Portage Lake Yacht Club on Portage Lake Michigan. Portage Lake is right next to Baseline Lake and is a wonderful family yacht club. Tom junior flew in from San Francisco to sail with father for the weekend. Tom Sr. bought the land for the Yacht Club and moved the YC to its present location in 1951.

Tom Ehman Sr. & Carina Freedman

Google Tom Ehman – you will see that he is the former head of the America’s Cup and is the current head of ORACLE in San Francisco defending the America’s Cup which will be sailed in San Francisco in 2013. Tom Sr. also started and created the 360 and 720 penalty turn rule in sailing, They are both good friends of mind. Tom junior took my French fries at lunch.

At lunch we discussed one main topic. Kids today just don’t want it that bad anymore. It’s simple: WANT IT MORE THAN THE OTHER GUY IN EVERY WAY. Beat your competition in hull preparation, sail knowledge, and sailing skills. Simply put: BEAT YOUR COMPETITION TIMES TEN and HAVE FUN

SolarPower2Go – New AYC Website Sponsor!

I’m happy to announce that the AYC Website has a new sponsor:  SolarPower2Go!  They specialize in high performance, portable solar charging gear for your devices.  Their backpacks and computer bags come with embedded solar panels that charge a state of the art battery pack, able to charge your cell phone, iPod, GPS, DSI, Camera, iPad or even a laptop & more! These bags are tough, lightweight, waterproof and made from recycled materials.  Check them out at and watch for them in the Compass Points and on our website.

44th Marina Del Rey to San Diego Race

As you may be aware, the date for the 44th Marina Del Rey to San Diego Race this July 2-3rd is coming up real soon.

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally invite you to participate in this great event celebrating the birth of our Nation, which has for years been one of the premier events in our Marina Del Rey and in the coast of California offered by Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club and Southwestern Yacht Club.

Specially this year since the Marina Del Rey to Puerto Vallarta has been canceled, this would be a great opportunity for us all to enter this event, start in our own Marina, race down to a GREAT location within the safety of our borders and still be back in time for your own barbeque plans if you so desire.

As a further incentive, the first 20 entries will receive a free event T-Shirt, we are to have a great party at our club on the 1st of July (Friday) with Painkiller’s Rum with Chocolate covered Strawberries specials, a BBQ dinner to start the festivities and a breakfast to participants and their crews on the morning of the 2nd prior to the start of the skipper’s meeting.

So get organized, get the crew and boat ready and come party down with us and a relaxed cruise back as we celebrate the freedom that a race such as this brings.
For more information, visit us at our website SMWYC .org, call us at 310-827-7692 or contact me
Themis Z. Glatman at 818-425-8752.

June 2011 – Compass Points

Summer is upon us!  New Board of Directors, time to renew your membership, time to head for cooler climates for sailing, time to get the family out for FAMILY NIGHT and take the challenge!

1) Commodore’s Corner

2) June 14 Membership Meeting – FAMILY NIGHT!

3) Commodore’s Celebration Photos and Awards

4) Renew Your Membership Today!

5) Summer Cruising – Helpful Links for San Diego Info

6) 2011 AYC Club Champion – Martin Lorch!

7) On Sailing – A Story….and a Challenge

8 ) Fleet of the Month – Catalina 22

9) For Sale!  Want Ads!

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Commodore’s Corner June 2011

Ahoy Arizona Yacht Club!  So here I am, Commodore!  Whoa! You really can’t believe how surprising it is to me that I’m in this position.  Well, ok, yeah I suppose it’s pretty surprising to some of you too.

Experience?  OK, I ain’t got it….but fortunately, we have a great Board of Directors to help keep me out of trouble and help create a great year for us all.  We have past Commodores (Joe, Greg, Mike and Mike), former Commodores from other clubs (Roger, Philip), tried and true BoD mainstays of the past few years in Trey, Cindy and Tony, my good buddyJohn Mayall at the helm of the ASF and our lone “newbie” Brenda Shears that has no qualms about keeping me in my place.  THAT is some talent.  (Thank goodness!)

Talented as this bunch is, a ship the size of AYC needs a big crew too and that means we need YOUR help too.  So step up, “grab a line”, ask how you can help “trim” the sails on this vessel we call the Arizona Yacht Club.  Crew comes in all shapes and sizes and there are roles just right for everyone to make a difference, from racing, sailing classes, and equipment maintenance, to helping re-energize our juniors program, getting our “Golden Sailors” on board, and on and on.  “Many hands make light work!”

First on the agenda for the year is FAMILY NIGHT.  Come on out and bring the kids for a night of fun for everyone.

I look forward to seeing each and every one of you this year!

Fair winds!