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

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