June Membership Meeting 6/14 – Family Night

Join us for Arizona Yacht Club Family Night at the June meeting.

Where: Rolling Hills 19th Hole – 1415 N. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281 • (480) 350-5275 (across from Salt River Project)
When: 6pm Social Hour, 7pm Program

Here’s the plan:
– Tuesday – June 14th – meeting starts promptly at 7:00 pm
– Everyone under 16 receives a T-Shirt
– Name the Opti Boat Part Game for those under 10 – no help from parents
– Join in the fun with a group game; each team of 4 or 5 people with at least one member under 16 as a participant
– We’ll test your sailing knowledge with interactive games with PRIZES for the top two teams….DON’T MISS IT!!!!

And then….enjoy some WILD sailing videos and then we’ll call it a night

Watch for details on Ice Cream Social Night in July.  Ever tried a root beer float with Jack Daniel’s?

MIKE FERRING – Rear Commodore

Commodore’s Celebration – Thank You Long-time AYC Members!

We had a great celebration with almost 60 attendees, and lots of fun watching photos of ASF students practicing capsize drills and making fun of each other in our semi-annual Blunder Bucket award selection process.

The Board and Members of AYC would like to take this moment to recognize our long time members, the people and families that have built the club we all have to share and celebrate!

THANK YOU AYC for “Paying it forward!” “Paying it back!” And “Staying the course!”

50+ Year AYC Members
Frank & Mary Lou Bigelow 52
Roger & Paula Hocken 51

40-49 Year AYC Members
Charles McCoy 49
Joe Aneta & “Punkie” Rowe 46
Donald Hubele 45
Donald DeFreze 44
John & Jackie Lugo 44
Bill Jennings 44
Thomas & Rose Marie Gilb 44
Jack & Harriet Haskell 40

30-39 Year AYC Members
Robert & Suzanne Frazier Jr. 37
Robert & Melanie Ball 37
Dennis & Linda Lynde 37
Anthony & Karen Zelenak 37
Jim & Katherine Swartz 37
Dan Schott 36
Al & Sandy Lehman 36
Ronald & Diane Campo 35
Joyce Alverson 34
Pat & Janet Guthrie 33
Jerry & Marty Booher 33
Tom & Carol Ohlin Sr 32
Wayne & Dotty Tucker 32

20-29 Year AYC Members
Arthur K. & Jean Carlson 29
Joseph & Linda Laux,Jr. 28
Patty Rosky 26
Charles & Deborah Fife 26
Frank & Margaret Putman 26
Michael & Teresa Easley 24
June H. Ginall 24
George & Carol Sheller 24
Tom Errickson 23
Mike Champlin 23
Ricky & Susan Gilchrist 23
Paul & Teresa L Pinter, Jr. 23
Al & Christina Lehman 22
Larry & Debra Green 22
Steve & Angela Nahkala 22
Michael Yarnell 22
Tia Renshaw 22
Dan & Sheila Rinder 21
Bill & Angela Hutchinson 20
J. Stephen & Lucy Howell 20
Jim & Paula Douglas 20

10-19 Year AYC Members
Raymond & Marjorie Gazzera 19
Jo & Dale Mogle 18
Robert & Joyce Worrall 18
Edward & Reiko Lynch Jr. 18
Rick Johnson 17
Thomas Coury 16
David Cummings 16
George & Barbara Tingom 16
Tom & Sheryl West 16
John & Kristine Wilcox 15
Patrick & Marsha Blumm 15
Peter & Lindamarie Schweizer 15
Skip & Christy Kempff 15
Roger Butterwick 14
George & Barbara Irwin 14
Darrell Carapetyan 14
Dennis Martinelli 14
Sheila Reed 14
Cyrus & Joan Zittle 14
David Cummings 14
Michael T & Tracy L Ewens 14
Jason & Brenda Rziha 14
Hartley & Lesley Gardner 14
10-13 Year AYC Members!
Steve Groce 13
Mark Mollison 13
Chris Robertson 13
James & Elaine Batz 13
Robert Nesbit 12
Larry & Kathleen Wheaton 12
Rusty & Jill Keagle 12
Todd Schiller 12
Mike & Maryellen Ferring 11
Brett Bigelow 11
Dale & Jean Zobel 11
Diana Johns 11
Steve & Jan Dolter 11
Mark & Jean Lasee 10
David & Carol Rawstrom 10
Kyle Clark 10
Travis & Jennifer Kenyon 10
Dave & Wendy Christensen 10
Ed Lindow 10
Ben Doane 10
Andrew Jody Dean 10
Steve Kusic 10

THANK YOU AYC for “Paying it forward!” “Paying it back!” And “Staying the course!”

Time to Renew Your Membership!

It’s that time again, June 1, 2011 is the first day of annual Membership Renewal period.

Don’t wait till the last minute…CLICK HERE to register now, or if you need some help come on down to the June membership meeting and we’ll get you signed up there and then!

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

San Diego Summer Cruising – Local Knowledge & Savings!

Flying the AYC Burgee south of the Coronado Bridge on a Catalina 270, rented from Seaforth Boat Rentals. I was sailing single handed on April 20th, a cloudy day with intermittent light rain or drizzle, and winds of 10-15 kts with some higher gusts. A beautiful day to practice sailing.
Lots of us will be heading to the Pacific Coast soon, with our boats or to charter theirs.  Either way it’s good to where the SAVINGS ARE if you are chartering, and where the DANGER IS in either case. 
Chartering?  Check out the affiliate member rates at Harbor Sailboats!  Arizona Yacht Club is the one and only affiliate club of Harbor Sailboats sailing club.  Get members-only rates by showing your Arizona Yacht Club membership card.  Click here for boats and rates. 
Need some San Diego Bay “local knowledge?”  This is a great link to the “Local Knowledge” pages of San Diego Waterfront’s Website that includes information like:
–         Hazards to Navigation
–         Submerged jetty and shoal locations
–         Anchorage and Mooring locations
–         Launch ramps
–         Fuel docks
–         Emergency Contacts!!!
Have a great time keeping COOL in San Diego, Long Beach or wherever you journeys take you!




AYC Club Champion – Martin Lorch!

Tingom / Lorch

Your 2011 AYC Club Champion is Martin Lorch, supported by able Capri expert George Tingom as crew!

Congratulations to all of the fleet champions.
Buccaneer – Matt Davis
Capri 14.2 – Mike Ferring
Catalina 22 – Martin Lorch
Laser – Mike Bernard
Merit 25 – Roger Butterwick
PHRF Non-Spin – Mike Ferring
PHRF – Dave Christensen
Portsmouth – Joe Motil
Thistle – Skip Kempff
Viper – Charles Kaye

On Sailing – A Story and a Challenge

I love sailing.  I’ve only been doing it for about 6 years now with varying frequency and intensity, but I noticed that as time progressed the ways that it enriches my life change.  This changing dynamic of how it fits into your life is part of why I think it becomes a lifelong passion for people.  Let me explain by sharing a few of my own personal experiences.

My first experience on a sailboat was with my boss at the time.  My buddy and I had worked for months on this big project and when we were done and all the Exec’s were happy, he invited us and our wives out on his Catalina 30 in San Diego.  We motorsailed with just the main up in the bay for a while then he looked at me and said “are you ready to go sailing?”  I was quite confused because I thought we were already sailing but said “sure” or something like that.  He reached down, turned off the diesel and had me unfurl the jib.  Things got quiet and all you could hear was the rush of the wind and water.  I was hooked.

When I got back I discovered the Arizona Yacht Club.  I started coming down to Tempe Town Lake and crewing for people like George Tingom and Peter Schweizer.  I discovered racing.  I grabbed a sunfish and gave that a try.  I ran into Emory Heisler and saw how much fun he was having and thought to myself “I want to hang out with those Buccaneer guys…they are having a great time!”  The most important thing any of us can do for new sailors is get them out on the water!  Give them the opportunity get wet, race, hang off the rail, flip the boat…whatever…just get them out there!


So then I got a Buccaneer 18.  I raced the heck out of it.  With crew, without crew…it didn’t  matter…I wanted to compete.  My daughter was too small to go with me at that point (this is important later) but I was out as often as I could get out.  I also took the Sailing Instructor course, but at the time for me, taking the course was more so I could learn more about sailing.  I was intent on winning and improving my skills.  And I did.  I won the Club Bucc Fleet in 2006.  Quite frankly I think it was because I showed up more than anyone else…but hey, that’s 50% of it, right!  I had a lot of friends help me learn along the way as well.  Mentors and friends that were always willing to answer questions like “how did you beat me in that race” or “why doesn’t my boat point as high” or “how do you replace the centerboard gasket?”  These are the kinds of friends a beginning boat owner needs to have so they don’t get frustrated and stonewalled.

It was about this point that the real estate market started to nose dive.  At that same time the ASF decided it needed a paid professional, so I took on the responsibilities at the ASF Director of Sailing Education.  This was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  People along the way had given me a lot, more than I even knew.  Now it was my turn to give back.  The surprising thing was that the people I encountered (and still encounter) all have a fresh enthusiasm for our sport and their enthusiasm invigorates me.  I got at least as much from spending time with them as I hope they got from me.  You don’t have to be a “qualified instructor” to give back either.  I’m sure you know someone who has expressed interest in learning to sail.  Take them on as crew.  Give them that chance.  Come out and help with a Start Sailing Right class or a High School Sailing class on the water some afternoon.  You don’t need to be certified…you just need to want to give back to your sport.

Then it was the Buccaneer North American Championship campaign.  18 months of prep and training with crew Patrick Edwards resulted in the B Fleet Trophy coming home to AZ yet again.  But when that was over, I decided that now my two kids were both big enough to be out on the water, but the Bucc wasn’t the right fit.  After much discussion with my loving wife, we decided to get a bigger boat.  Reluctantly, I traded my Championship steed to Mike Parker for a sporty, but decidedly more pigish, Santana.  What I enjoy about sailing now is not the thrill of victory or the intensity of competition.  It is time with my family and friends that would dare crew with a 6 and 3 year old on the boat (we almost named the boat “Stop It” after one weekend.)  It’s seeing my daughter drive the boat while my son sleeps in the v-berth.  My wife starting to “get it” when it comes to launching and dousing the enormous spinnaker.  Having my son come help me drive the boat.  These moments, and many others, are what I get out of sailing now.

The point here is that every step along the way, sailing has fulfilled me in ways I’m only just starting to understand.  And every step along the way the people I encountered are what made the difference.  I hope I have been that person for others.

And now here is the challenge.  This season, be that person for someone else.  Take on a greenhorn as crew for a season.  Sponsor a Fleet Tuning day to bring everyone’s level of competition up.  Come out on a Start Sailing Right afternoon and help out.  Volunteer to help with the Leukemia Cup.  Our club has hit a bit of a plateau in membership and event participation.  The only way to push through isif everyone takes the opportunity to be that person that makes a difference in someone else’s sailing experience.  Make this the first season that you make a conscious effort to give back to the sport and club that we all love so much.

(Thanks to Mike Ferring, Chrisann Tortora for Photos)

Photo of the Month!

Flying the AYC Burgee south of the Coronado Bridge on a Catalina 270, rented from Seaforth Boat Rentals. I was sailing single handed on April 20th, a cloudy day with intermittent light rain or drizzle, and winds of 10-15 kts with some higher gusts. A beautiful day to practice sailing. (Paul Eyssautier)

HEAT STROKE Series Registration – OPEN!

Click here to register for the Heat Stroke Series…it starts on the 29th of May! 

First horn is at 4pm!  Racing will be held almost every Sunday from now till September!

See the NOR for details!

TTL Summer Heat Stroke 2011 RC Duty
Race Date Fleet
1 29-May Lasers
2 5-Jun Portsmouth
3 12-Jun Bucs
4 26-Jun C14.2
5 10-Jul Lasers
6 17-Jul Portsmouth
7 24-Jul Bucs
8 31-Jul C14.2
9 7-Aug Lasers
10 14-Aug Portsmouth
11 21-Aug Buccs

Olympian Mark Reynolds Gives AYC a Perfect Day


The Perfect Day with Mark Reynolds;

So here I am in the desert away from the ocean and yet I am spending more time around sailing than I have in the last ten years. Coaching the Arizona State Sailing Team and learning about sailing in the desert has been something very special for me, but when I heard Mark Reynolds was coming to speak to our yacht club the wheels of time stopped.  25 years ago I was racing against Mark trying to make the US Olympic Team, and now, here he was coming out here to visit us in the Arizona desert!

Mark Reynolds is simply the sailor’s sailor, as pure as it gets. Two Gold Medals, one Silver Medal and four trips to the Olympics.  He is definitely one of the “big boys” of sailing.

On Tuesday April 12th  my daughter Carina and I picked up Mark at the airport and brought him to the Tempe Town Lake marina where the ASU sailing team was waiting. The kids were thrilled – and a little nervous – to meet him. He spoke about his college sailing experiences and answered questions for almost an hour.

He explained the importance of having the boat ready to race including the sanding down to 600, polishing and finally the coating, and explained how hard the jib works and how it gets three times more wear than mainsail.

We took photos with everyone showed him the ASU campus and then were off to dinner with AYC Commodore Joe Motil and his wife. Over the course of dinner it became very clear how surprised Mark was at the active sailing community we have here. He said he had no idea this much sailing was going on in Arizona.

At the yacht club meeting Mark spoke for over an hour and you just knew that this was something very special. I have never watched everyone so on the edge of their seats at a club meeting. He talked about the Olympics, about working and sailing with his dad and Dennis Connor, Malin Burnham, Lowell North and many other stars of our sport.

It was especially interesting and exciting hearing how after being in eighth place after two days of racing in the 2000 Olympics he was still able to turn it around and win gold. Persistency wins!

Mark attributes much of his success to his sail design innovations and one of his loves is still sail making.  He also remains active in the Star Class working with the International Olympic Committee to keep the Star Class sailboat in the Olympics.

After his presentation Mark took questions and signed posters for the kids, and it was truly breathtaking to see one of the great stars of sailing right there in the room with us all at that moment.  Mark Reynolds at the Arizona Yacht Club.  Truly we do have an amazing club, and for me, with all of you and Mark together, it was simply a perfect day.

Welcome New Members

Please welcome our newest members: Chad Cornell, Patrick Byrnes, Philip Freedman, Viviana Pinilla and Charley Laman, to the club.  

 Chad has been sailing his whole life and wants to get out on the water.  He’s interested in racing and in helping with club social events.

 Pat Byrnes is the father of fellow club member and ASU sailor Gerald Byrnes. According to Patrick: “With a good chunk of my childhood spent on South Padre Island, TX, I grew up around power boaters, anglers, and beachcombers with a rare few trips on a sloop named “Traipsing.” An attempt to become a sailor in college many years ago came to grief on congealed committee boat french fries at the Frozen Butt Regatta in Galveston Bay, so it wasn’t until we moved to New Mexico that we bought our first boat.  Since then, Carol Anne, Gerald, and I have done a bit of cruising and racing here and there from Texas to California.  I’ve also served in office in the Rio Grande and New Mexico sailing clubs, helped teach some “Boating Basics” safety classes, and done regatta planning and committee boat work as a race officer.  We’re interested in exploring new horizons and would love to try out different boats and pick up some new skills.  Our son Gerald no doubt is better known in the club than Carol Anne and I and has been having fun taking his ASU team to California a few times a year and helping with the high school program at TTL.  He started sailing when he was nine and didn’t take long to graduate to sailing with other racers and cruisers at Elephant Butte Lake in southern NM.”

 Viviana took the start sailing right class this Spring.  She’s interested in club equipment maintenance, selling club merchandise and helping the club with social events.  She wants to get out and sail!

 Philip Freedman started sailing at the age of 6 off of Balboa Island in Southern California where chocolate dipped frozen bananas are the mainstay. He has raced and taught sailing for over 50 years winning many events.  After being a finalist in the 1988 US Olympic Trails in Star Boats he started and was CEO and skipper of the 1992 America’s Cup Team Betsy Ross. His syndicate broke America’s Cup tradition and history by being the 1st America’s Cup team to name women onboard an America’s Cup boat.  He is the former owner of the America’s Cup 12 meter AMERICA 2 US-42. While he owned the 12 meter America 2, his boat was renamed GERONIMO and was the winning boat in the sailing movie classic WIND starring Jennifer Grey, Matthew Modine, and Cliff Robertson in which he served as technical adviser.  He is currently retired from USAirways and is the racing coach at Arizona State University in Tempe Arizona.


No May Membership Meeting – VOTE COUNTING

Remeber that May is Commodore’s Celebration on May 14, and that the normal 2nd Tuesday General Membership meeting will not be held.

Instead, on Tuesday May 10, 2011 at 6pm the AYC 2011-2012 Election Ballots will be counted and for our new Board of Directors.

Formal induction of the new Board will be performed at the Commodore’s Celebration.


Eight Bells – Farewell Frank Bigelow

Frank Bigelow - AYC Commodore 1989-90


Frank Bigelow

  • BORN: October 9, 1931
  • DIED: March 30, 2011
  • Frank was one of our few AYC “Honorary Life Members”, an AYC member since 1959, AYC Commodore 1989-90, the man who was “Mr. AYC” to many of the club’s long time members. 

    He passed away with his family at his bedside Wednesday March 30, 2011 due to complications from pneumonia.

    CELEBRATION OF LIFE:  Many long-time members of the Arizona Yacht Club joined with Frank’s friends and family for a Celebration of Frank’s life, attendees included Don Defreze, Tia Renshaw and Mike Yarnell , Joe Laux Jr., Tony and Phyllis Siros, Patty Rosky, Dave and Debbie Nowak, Steve and Angela Nahkala, Don and Faye Hueble, Al Lehman, Wayne and Dottie Tucker, Dennis Lynde, and in spirit, Frank Bigelow.

    Bigelow Celebration1

     Tom Ohlin, also an Honorary Life Member, recalls Frank for us……”Frank’s dedication to the AYC over the last 50 years has been immeasurable. He was a friend and teacher to all that knew him. His Saturday night socials at his camper at the old Lake Pleasant ramp 2 were legendary.

    Each Saturday night after much discussion of the day’s races, and the arrival of darkness, we would break out the dice cup and a pen light to pursue the game of Liar’s Dice; in the darkness (the guards thought we were crazy). Quite often on slow/large games Frank would take a cat nap between turns. One such night when the cup got around to Frank, he was abruptly woken and given the dice cup and pen light, which he immediately grabbed and began stirring his drink with it!

    Bigelow Celebration2Another time, I was discussing with Frank the problems I had had sailing a sabot off the Rocky Point beaches. We always started into the wind (east or west) and by the time we were ready to head back to camp, the wind would reverse and we would have to beat back. Frank’s solution to the problem; “sail downwind first, you might get two downwind legs”.


    Frank’s long time sailing partner Don DeFreze shares another tale…

    Frank and I raced against each other on Interlakes, but later we partnered on a larger boat. The advantage of the partnership is that the costs are now discounted by half, and that arrangement worked well over the years except on one occasion.

    For some reason Frank could not make it out to the lake one weekend and so I picked up a “green crew”. During a race I grounded on a shoal. Rather than try to explain to the young man how to raise the keel I jumped in the cabin and started cranking. The boat turned and then the rudder grounded and came unhinged. I watched as it disappeared into the murky water.

    Later I explained what happed to Frank and he said, “YOU lost YOUR rudder?” I gulped. A rudder is not a dime store item. The next week I hired a diver and took him to the spot and asked him to find the rudder, and he did.

    I called Frank and said “I’ll sell you half of my rudder if you will spilt the diver’s fee with me.” It was a done deal.


    Frank has received about every honor the AYC can bestow, and we still owe him more.

    Frank; may you sail into a red sunset with the wind at your back.

    AZ High School Sailing Championship & ASF Picnic

    The third double handed (two person) sailing championship was held in the east basin of Tempe Town Lake on Saturday April 16th 2011.  Parents and friends cheered on their favorite sailors from the blue shade umbrellas on the north shore (just below the east basin condo development).

    Alexia Lorch won with crew Scott Soethe.  Alexia is a junior at Xavier College Preparatory and Scott attends Brophy College Preparatory.  A perpetual trophy to display at the school of the skipper for half the time until next years race (the other half of the time to be displayed at the school of the crew) was presented after the races.  Individual trophies were presented for the winners to keep.

    Four boats sailed with eight students on board.  The last two years had six boats racing in the championship.  We hope to have more than six in 2012.  Two races were held in the morning with very light wind.  A one hour lunch break was taken before three twice around races in freshening afternoon breeze (6-8 MPH).  Three different boats scored first place finishes.  There was a chance for a lead change in the last race, but Alexia and Scott managed to hold off the competition in variable strength wind that was changing direction frequently. 

    FYI for next year….the race is NOT LIMITED TO ASF HS SAILING CLASS STUDENTS, however we’re pleased to note that this year’s winner was a student in 2010.

    Information about High School Sailing Classes is available at https://www.arizonayachtclub.org/Education/hsclass.shtml

    There are decorative blue shade umbrellas on the north shore (just below the east basin condo development) where many parents and siblings cheered.

    As of now, unless some special Tempe event forces a date change, the 2012 championship will be held on Saturday April 22nd 2012.

    AFTER THE RACING…..it was time to PIG OUT!   The Arizona Sailing Foundation and Arizona Yacht Club joined together for a very nice Spring Picnic.  High School Sailing Championship participants, Start Sailing Right spring class students and a menagerie of AYC members, families and friends enjoyed an afternoon of sun and sailing on the “Grassy Knoll”. 

    Many thanks to ASF Board President John Mayall and his picnic team: Rick Lake, “Pig Master”, Dave Christensen, “Grill Master”, and Lisa Lake, Wendy Larsen and a host of other helping hands!  Congratulations to ASF for ending the spring season in excellent fashion!

    AYC Club Championship Notice of RACE!

    Congratulations to all of the winning fleet champions and our defending Club Champion.

    Attached is the NOR for the upcoming AYC Club Championship race weekend. The course chart and SIs will be either sent in the next days or handed out at the skippers meeting.

    The goal is to sail windward leeward races lasting about 15 – 20 minutes and then exchange boats ASAP and start the next race. The goal is to complete the event on Saturday if at all possible much like we did in 2009. You can expect sailing to continue until 5 or 6 if wind conditions permit and to leave Sunday for yourselves

    The plan therefore is to have a skippers meeting at 10:30 then launch and be ready to start at noon or a little earlier if the area is clear. Round robin starting order will be drawn after the skipper’s meeting on Saturday….

    2011 Championship NOR

    ROAD TRIP! Buccaneer 18 Summer Events

    Bucc West Region Fleet 30 (CO) and Fleet 79 (AZ) have announced their Summer Regatta Schedules:

    05/21-22, Rocky Mountain Shootout & Hornblower Regatta – Cherry Creek (Denver)

    05/28&29, Memorial Day Regatta, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC), Long Beach, CA

    06/11-12, Reunion Regatta – Union Reservoir (Longmont, CO)

    06/24,25,&26, Long Beach Race Week, Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), Long Beach, CA

    06/24,25,&26, Summer One Design, Coronado Yacht Club(CYC) , Coronado, CA

    07/02, Firecracker – Union Reservoir (Longmont, CO)

    07/16-17, Aspen Yacht Club Annual Regatta (Reudi Reservoir, Basalt, CO)

    08/01to08/05, Bucc 18 National Championship, Kenosha Yacht Club, Kenosha, WI

    08/20&21, One Design, Mission Bay Yacht Club(MBYC), San Diego, CA

    09/17-18, Colorado Governor’s Cup – Cherry Creek (Denver)

    09/23,24,&25, Sailing Anarchy Sport Boat Regatta, CYC, Coronado, CA

    10/1, Oktoberfest Regatta – Union Reservoir (Longmont, CO)

    10/15&16, Fall One Design, CYC, Coronado, CA

    11/19&29, Turkey Day Regatta, ABYC, Long Beach, A

    Can you say ROAD TRIP!