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US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Course Here in January

Registration is now open for the US Sailing Level 1 Instructor course, to be taught here on two intensive weekends in January—the weekends of January 5&6 and 12&13.

US Sailing requires a minimum of 8 students in the course, a number we’ve failed to meet the last two times this course has been offered in Phoenix. So we really need your support this time.

Here’s the sales pitch: Not only does the course prepare you to teach sailing, but it also makes you a better sailor. Course instructor Ray Deppa has taught all of the US Sailing Instructor courses in Phoenix, and he’s a real pro, someone who will leave you knowing more about this game we play. But teaching sailing is actually the best part. Introducing new people to the sport is a lot of fun—seeing them begin to understand how a boat moves through the water by wind alone and seeing the joy they get from figuring it out.

Sign up four weeks or more before the class and it’s $325. If you pass the course and teach for the Arizona Sailing Foundation, ASF will reimburse half your tuition.

I just paged through some of the US Sailing material on the course. You’ll find some information here. And the registration begins here. There’s quite a bit of paperwork involved and you’ll need to be a member of US Sailing (a good thing anyway) and you’ll need to pass a first aid and CPR course (definitely a good thing anyway). The prerequisites are extensive. My advice: don’t let any of that discourage you. The other students and Instructor Ray Deppa will help you through it. If you want to pass, you’ll pass.

For questions on the course, check with George Tingom, who organizing the course and has been involved in every one we’ve held since 2003 (when I took it).

Phil Freedman Writes College Sailing Book

Phil Freedman's new book.

Phil Freedman swept into town like a summer monsoon a couple years ago, deciding to move here from San Diego to be with his daughter Carina, who had enrolled at Arizona State University. Phil is a big personality and a lifetime sailor, so it was no surprise that he grabbed hold of the ASU sailing team and suddenly transformed it into something much bigger than it had been. He bought boats, “branded” the team with signs and clothes, and recruited lots of kids, most of whom had never sailed before. Along the way, Emory Heisler recruited Phil to be Vice Commodore.

Unfortunately, simultaneously, Phil was fighting some serious health problems that seem to have only gotten worse since. He resigned from the AYC board and hasn’t been able to give the ASU sailing team as much help as he wanted.

But he wrote and published a book. It’s called College Sailing Made Easy, a banquet of thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and concepts to help field a college racing team. Illustrated with cartoons and drawings and punctuated with humor, it covers everything from sail trim to how to order T-shirts. And it concludes with pictures of Phil’s favorite time sailing—when he actually fielded and drove a 12-meter America’s Cup challenger in San Diego.

If you’d like a copy of the book, contact Phil at this email or it’s available at Amazon for $12.95.

High School Sailing Champs: Luke Marino and Jack Griffin

2012 High School Champions Jack Griffin and Luke Marino

Luke Marino and Jack Griffin slipped past last year’s champs to grab this year’s High School Sailing Championship, held at Tempe Town Lake Saturday, April 21.

After three light-air races in the morning, last year’s winning team of Alexia Lorch and Scott Soethe were just two points behind Luke and Jack. After a lunch break, the wind picked up and everyone headed out for one more deciding race. Luke and Jack won, sealing the championship.

Luke is a Washington High School student in Arizona’s Glendale district. And Jack is a student at Ward Traditional Academy in Tempe. They were awarded a perpetual trophy that they can display at their schools and were given individual trophies to keep.

The high school championship is run by the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) and was organized by George Tingom. The Principal Race Officer was Arizona State University student Gerald Byrnes.

While the championship isn’t limited to students who participate in ASF’s Tuesday after-school sailing class, both Luke and Jack are in the program. Three years ago, Jack also won the most improved junior sailor award as part of the ASF Opti Program.

Information on the ASF high school class is available here.

George is already planning the next championship and says that unless a special Tempe event forces a date change, the event will happen Saturday, April 15, 2013.


Roll Tack with Anna Tunnacliffe

Want to know how to roll-tack a Laser? Tony Eanes did. And when Anna Tunnacliffe visited the ASF high school program, Tony asked her to show the students how to do it.

In light air, Anna went through the steps below while the students watched and Mike Ferring snapped a sequence of pictures. Just do it this way!

To see a roll tack in video, try this. Anna’s roll tacks are faster and more powerful, but the mechanics are the same.

Step one: heel the boat to windward (All photos: Mike Ferring)

Step two: WAY to windward.

Step three: tack

Step four: when the boat is about to capsize, time to bring it back up

Step five: Plant it!

Step six: using all your strength and weight

Step seven: trim in sail and sail on (faster than when you entered the turn)

Arizona High School Sailing Championship

The Fourth Annual Arizona High School Sailing Championship is scheduled to be held on 21 April 2012 at Tempe Town Lake.

Last year Alexia Lorch won and her crew was Scott Soethe.  She is was junior at Xavier College Preparatory and Scott was a student at 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.

This year’s competition promises to be great.  For more information and to get your race documents visit this link:

ASF Boats Gleam After Work Day

Washing and polishing the ASF fleet. Photos: Bob Nesbit

The Arizona Sailing Foundation boats have a shiny look today after being washed, buffed, and tweaked during a Saturday (2/4) work party. It was all part of an effort to have the boats ready for the spring series of classes by the nonprofit AYC subsidiary, including Start Sailing Right and Sailing Skills Development for adults, high school classes, and two Opti classes for kids.

The 3+ hour work session included cleaning the storage area, washing all the boats and making sure all the rigging and sails are ready for the rough treatment they tend to get from beginning sailors. The work detail was organized by ASF president John Mayall and board members George Tingom and Greg Dean. Some of the others who jumped in to help included: Pat Blumm, the Davis family, Paul Eyssautier, Mike Ferring, Phil Freedman, Chalz Kirubi, Dick Krebill, Bob Nesbit, and Decker Williams. There were at least 3-4 others whose names we missed.

We thank everybody who lent a hand. Next: Let the classes begin!

Greg Dean pushes one of the clean boats into the final line-up at Tempe Town Lake.

Become a US Sailing Instructor

UPDATE 3/4/2012 – This course was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.  The ASF and AYC strive to provide world class instruction and part of that is the highest quality instructor cadre.  We will offer this class again soon, so please check back!


Here’s a great way to improve your sailing while helping kids and adults join this fabulous sport: Become a US Sailing-certified Level 1 Small Boat Instructor.  And….if you use your newly certified skills to teach ASF Classes the ASF will refund you 50% of the course fee.  Beat that!!!!

During an intensive few days, without leaving town, you can pick up the skills and certification you need. The next class is scheduled for the end of March, with five four-hour classroom sessions in the evening on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, March 20-22, plus Tuesday, March 27, and Thursday, March 29. The on-the-water sessions will take place all day Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25.

It’s a ton of fun to introduce people to sailing and the Arizona Sailing Foundation (our AYC educational subsidiary) could use your help. Longtime instructor George Tingom says, “12 or 13 years ago I thought someday I’d have some grandchildren and it would neat to teach them sailing. While waiting for grandchildren to grow I’ve had a lot of fun. You could too.”

You’ll sign up for the class through US Sailing. The charge is $330, less $20 if you sign up at least two weeks in advance. Here’s the link to sign up. (For certification you’ll also need to pass a first aid and CPR course and join US Sailing.)

If you teach ASF classes, the foundation will reimburse you for half your certification fees.

Questions? Of course you have questions. Email George Tingom or call him at 480.948.3814.

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

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

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… 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!

ASF-AYC Picnic 4-16-2011 Tempe Town Lake

Don’t miss it!  A full day of sailing activities at Tempe Town Lake!!

The day begins with AZ High School Sailing Championships from 10am-4pm.  Click on the RACING PAGE for NOR, SI and Sign up forms.

The final ON THE WATER session of Spring ASF Start Sailing Right runs from 1pm to 4pm.

And then ASF hosts a Spring Sailing Picnic on the “grassy knoll” from 4pm-7pm.

Bring your lawn chairs! Bring your boat! Or launch one of the AYC Sunfish or Lasers.

To RSVP and for more information contact John Mayall (480 290 8510) or Emory Heisler (602 679 0462).

Annual High School Sailing Championship

This year’s High School Sailing Championship will be held 16 April 2011 at Tempe Town Lake.  Click on the RACING PAGE for NOR, SI and Sign up forms.

Tempe Town Lake to add Paddleboarding to its Watersports

Hey everyone…not sure if you heard about this or not.  There was an article in the Arizona Republic not to long ago.

Anyway, for more information about classes, dates and times click here.

Please also remember that a sailboat under sail must GIVE WAY to a “human powered” craft…even if we’re racing!


Jr. & Sr. High School Sailing on Tempe Town Lake

We have eight students, but with ten 14.2’s and two 420’s we could have 24 students! We meet every Tuesday 2 ½ hours 4:00 – 6:30 PM.

Training to sail and race is taught by US Sailing certified instructors.  There is a safety boat on the water at all times.  Beginning students usually sail with an instructor on board the first few times.  The objective of the class is to have fun on the water.  More details on the AYC education page web site.

Once a year there is an Arizona High School double handed championship.  A perpetual trophy is to be displayed at the winner’s school until the next year.  Individual trophies are given to the skipper and crew.  Skippers must be 9-12 grade level; crew can be from Jr. High School.  This year the race will be in the east basin of Tempe Town Lake on Saturday April 16th.  And the boats will again be Capri 14.2’s.

The race NOI and SI will be available in Mar-11.  Pictures from last year below.

George Tingom hits YouTube!

AYC Junior Now ASU A-Team Sailor!

Submitted by Pat Blumm

Many Arizona Sailors know my daughter Maggie Blumm. She has been sailing our desert waters for nearly 15 years and is a product of the AYC Juniors and ASF programs, as well as having raced locally in both Buccs and her 420. Recently she was accepted to ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College.

She wanted to participate in ASU’s Sailing Team, but her schedule is very demanding. And when the Team hopped in cars to attend their first regatta of this season, Maggie’s college classes took precedence. She called home and asked if she could drive herself to Mission Bay to ‘try out’ for the team. I said let me drive you; so Friday night we departed on a beautiful full-moon drive to San Diego.

Saturday morning we showed up at the Mission Bay YC docks. Coach Philip Freeman assigned Mags to crew on one of the four FJ’s charted by ASU. Mags walked up to her assigned boat, grabbed the tiller and her crew member then shoved off into a moderate breeze.

Maggie’s starts were a bit anemic, but good golly she was passing one boat after another. Six boats passed one race, eight another; and these were all short w/l races! At a late afternoon shore break, I congratulated Mags on her passing skills, but reminded her it would be a whole lot easier if she better timed front row starts. I even threw in a minor incentive.

Next thing you know she wins the following two starts. Her dad’s wallet is a bit lighter and she is smiling – big time!!

Sunday morning Coach Freeman moved Maggie to ASU’s A-Team. To make a memorable adventure concise, Mags captured one third place amongst 13 teams, which included well funded PacTen teams. All in all, ASU scored a very impressive 4th in the San Diego State sponsored regatta.

The ASU Sailing Team is gelling, building sailing skills and confidence. Their next inter-collegiate regatta is this month in Santa Barbara. Go Sun Devils!

Maggie would not be where she is at without the support, skills and attitude she learned sailing with AYC and ASF. A special thanks to all AYC and ASF sailors who have assisted Maggie in fulfilling her dream of becoming the best sailor she can be.