Like to Host an AYC Happy Hour?

By Deb Heisler, Rear Commodore

We are continuing our AYC-hosted Happy Hours each month at various locations around the valley. An evening of food, stories and a brew or two are a fun way to engage with fellow sailors and potential new members. Feel free to invite people you think are interested in sailing.

The Happy Hours are rotated around the Valley and held on Tuesday or Thursday evenings so members and guests can find one that works best for them. If you’re interested in hosting contact me and specify which date you’d like from the available dates:

Thursday 2/27/20, Tuesday 3/24/20, Thursday 4/23/20, Tuesday 6/23/20, Thursday 7/23/20, Tuesday 8/25/20, Thursday 9/24/20, Tuesday 10/27/20

Hosting duties:

  • Select one of the available dates and let me know.
  • Pick your favorite local bar/restaurant and reserve the date/time. Attendance ranges from 5 to 15 people.
  • Submit the date/time/location to AYC Rear Commodore for publication to website, Facebook and the AYC calendar.
  • Show up with an AYC table sign and buy up to $100 of appetizers (no beverages/alcohol) for those in attendance.
  • Collect the contact information of any guest (name, email, phone number) and submit along with receipts to AYC Rear Commodore.

And remember we can adjust the dates to help accommodate your availability to host.

Spring Racing Action Now

Spring racing kicked off Sunday (1/12) at Tempe Town Lake and begins Saturday (1/18) at Lake Pleasant. Sign up now and get the race documents on the racing page.

The Tempe Town Lake kickoff was a wheeze-off, with wind so light it was nothing at all. In spite of that, the fleets managed to get two races in. We knew we were moving by watching light posts on the south shore. Meanwhile, the Portsmouth race committee snacked from Clay Poulson’s shoreside charcuterie.

The day before, 8-10 boats turned out for a practice run at Lake Pleasant. The wind was light there, too, with moments of moderation, but it was a good way to shake off the rust and make sure all the lines still worked (what do you mean the spin halyard is wrapped around the forestay?).

Wendy Larsen volunteered as the day’s PRO (Principle Race Officer) and attracted a good group of people for a morning race committee clinic where she explained the basics of running races at Lake Pleasant before bringing them out for the afternoon’s practice.

Nice form at the Lake Pleasant practice day. Photo: Sabrina Bryant

AYC Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup: February 7-9

By Bob Naylor

Note: Deadline for entry is Friday, January 24. After that, there’s a stiff late fee.

Celebrate the improbability of a yacht club thriving in the middle of the Arizona desert for 62-years! Happy Birthday, AYC! Register and race in the Birthday Regatta – top finishers in each class will be recognized with awards. These classes are expected:

  • Three-day racing: Multi-Hull, Viper 640
  • Two-day racing: Buccaneer 18, Catalina 22, Laser, PHRF non-spin (jib & main), PHRF Spin, PHRF Sport Boat, Santana 20, and Sunfish
  • One-day event: Cruising – PHRF distance race

Sail with us, over 200 sailors and “shore crew,” and 70+ boats. Sail under blue skies in front of the Black Mountains near Castle Hot Springs, Buzzard Neck and Humbug Bay. Celebrate with us under the stars, between the saguaro and ocotillo, with the burros and coyotes on Lake Pleasant, just 45 minutes northwest of Phoenix.

Our Keynote Speaker this year is award-winning nautical photographer Onne van der Wal. He will be on the water during the day taking photographs that will be shown during the dinner Saturday night. More about Onne van der Wal here.

Finally…this event doesn’t happen without help from a small army of Volunteers! This year you can sign up for what you’d like to do online using Sign-Up Genius. Check out the different needs and volunteer on this page.

To read more and sign up for the Birthday Regatta visit the Birthday Regatta webpage.

Water in Arizona – Past, Present & Future

By Deb Heisler, Rear Commodore

It’s something we don’t often think about, but our very existence in Arizona relies on the mighty Colorado, Lake Powell, Lake Mead, and the reservoirs of Roosevelt Lake, the Salt and Verde rivers. Where does all this water come from? Where does it go? Who were the visionaries behind our water systems? Attend the January monthly meeting to get the answers and learn about the state’s water history and its pioneers.

Sandra Hurlbut

Our speaker is Sandra Hurlbut from Arizona Project WET. She’ll inform and enlighten us about all things water, so bring your questions and curiosities and let’s discover something new.

Our first meeting in 2020 will be on Tuesday, January 14th at Dave & Buster’s, Tempe Marketplace. Please arrive early for dinner as our program begins at 7:00 pm. Guests are welcome.

Use this map link to the location, near Lucille’s Smokehouse on the north side of Tempe Marketplace. Park on either side of Lucille’s. To locate our meeting room, ask the host at the front desk or make your way to our private meeting room in the back of the gaming area.

Read Project WET Blog posts written by Sandra.

Sandra Hurlbut is an Educator Coordinator with Arizona Project WET, a program within the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) and the University of Arizona. She’s responsible for the Aqua STEM educational outreach program.

Sandra has been involved with environmental and natural resource issues since the early 1980s and has been with the University of Arizona since 2014. She has a passion for water conservation and is a skilled educator and facilitator. Her experience includes positions within academia, medical research, private industry, and state government. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology – Chemistry from Elmira College, a Master’s degree in Energy & Environmental Studies from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the McCormack Institute at the University of Massachusetts – Boston.

TTL Fall Series Winners

Gary Oberbeck. Photo: Mike Ferring

How dld the first Tempe Town Lake race series go for the new Sunfish class? Quite well, thank you, and congratulate longtime Sunfish fan Gary Oberbeck for a fall series home run. Gary not only won the fleet, but he did it with a perfect score: 16 points in 16 scored races. All bullets.

Bob Naylor formed the class for fall to have a place for him to race his wife’s Sunfish (true). Jeff Bryant was convinced: he sold a perfectly good Laser and picked up a Sunfish and used it to finish second in the series. Tim Mitchell was third and Bob Naylor fourth.

When perennial C14 champ Dave Haggart was injured in a bike crash, Dick Krebill broke a leg, and John Mayall decided to skip some races, it opened the door for Maryellen and me, Mike Ferring, to win the class. Dave and Amy Henning finished second and John and Joyce Mayall third.

The hotly-contested Laser fleet win went to Paul Miachika, topping a 17-boat entry. Joel Hurley finished second, Mike Bernard third, and Chuck Norris fourth.

Colin Gibbs continued to dominate the junior fleet, followed by Myles Danner and Ryan Zornik. Clay Poulson managed to schedule his extensive international travel so that he could make it to TTL most weekends and handily won against light competition in the Portsmouth fleet in his Fireball.

Spring racing begins January 12.

One-man band Clay Poulson stretches to set the pole while not letting go of the tiller. Photo: Mike Ferring

Annual Holiday Celebration and Pirate Gift Exchange

 

Gene Walentiny demanded a pirate audit. Photo by Deb Heisler

By Deb Heisler and Marc Danner

This year the annual holiday party and pirate gift exchange was a great success with over 70 people attending.  As usual, there was lots of laughter, moans of defeat, and a few people who had to keep picking a new gift again and again, and again.  Like Gene Walentiny who got so tired he actually called for an audit. Sorry Gene, pick again!

Dave & Buster’s created a warm and welcoming venue with holiday decor, delicious food and the opportunity for the kids to get their game on.

The evening started with the welcoming of new member Jeff Coulter, and a  Birthday Regatta update by Bob Naylor. Next up, and on behalf of fellow sailor, Steve Campo,  his wife Christina shared Steve’s battle with Diffused Large B Cell Lymphoma, a few of the struggles they faced,  and how they overcame it.  Steve is on his way to recovery but due to the effects of treatment was unable to attend.  She also expressed their appreciation for all of the support they received from AYC members.

Click here for a short video of the evening created by Deb Heisler

Commodore Rob Gibbs congratulates the youngest Blunder Bucket winner in AYC history, Myles Danner. Photo by Marc Danner

Prior to beginning the gift opening and pirating of the loot, Commodore Gibbs opened up nominations for the Blunder Bucket. Rob started by nominating previous winner Dave Haggart for never taking the award home. Throughout the night the nominations continued: Tony Chapman nominated Mike Hester for the largest fiberglass repair bill, Rob nominated David Newland and Matt Baker for sailing in heavy winds at Lake Pleasant and David at Tempe Town Lake during Wednesday Beer can races. During the Buccaneer 18 North American Championships, David decided to take the Bucc out when the races were postponed and turtled it. In the end, Myles Danner (11 years old) walked away with the Blunder Bucket for turtling his laser during the Governor’s Cup and losing his father’s rudder to the bottom of Lake Pleasant.  

The Governor’s Cup will be awarded to our winner, Court Roberts at the January meeting so we hope to see you there.

On behalf of the AYC Board, I want to thank each of you for engaging in this years events. Whether you were racing, planning, volunteering or simply showing up. It all matters and makes our club what it is. We race. We gather. We sail. We have fun! May your holidays be filled with love, laughter, and shared memories.

Photo By Deb Heisler

Congratulate the LP Fall Series Winners

Lake Pleasant called up the biggest wind of the season for AYC’s final day of the fall series, enough wind to break boats and send lots of sailors back to shore. By late morning racing was over and the final standings locked down.

Paul Liszewski checking main trim as the team goes Rolling in the Deep. Photo: Mike Ferring

Congratulations to the fleet winners: Bob Worrall, Catalina 22; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Mike Hester, PHRF Sport Boat; Scott Richards, Santana 20; and Jason Rziha, Thistle.

Paul Liszewski’s party boat, Rolling in the Deep, won with a net score of 22 in 20 races, after the 20% throwouts, another dominating performance over a much improved Marshall Williamson in second and Charles Landis in third. Bowman Jeff Coulter said Dean Johnson’s Andrews 21 had a shot at third until the Sunday winds locked the spin pole to the mast, collapsing their final two races.

Sport Boat Champ Mike Hester won the fall in a tiebreaker. Photo from February by Mike Ferring

Mike Hester went into the final weekend with a huge lead in PHRF Sport Boat, but his weekend ended with a bang—a collision before the start of the first race Saturday. This time the starboard side of his boat was battered and shrouds frazzled. It was the port side of his Viper 640 Nectar Sled that splintered in a crash at the Viper Worlds just three months before.

Mark Trainor and Court Roberts had been sharing the tiller on Court’s Melges 24 until the final two-and-half weekends of racing, when Club Champ Joel Hurley stepped off his Santana 20 and began driving the Melges—aggressively and very well, of course. With Mike Hester on the trailer for the final weekend, the Court/Mark/Joel boat tied him for the series win, just losing in a tiebreaker.

Former Club Champ Scott Richards’ win in Santana 20 was his swan song before heading to a great job in Massachusetts. Past S20 winners Joel Hurley and Martin Lorch gave Scott a departing advantage by taking a couple weekends off.

Take a breath. After a two-month pause and maybe some “winter” racing, the spring series begins January 18.

Sign Up for the November 23 Governor’s Cup Regatta

The Governor’s Cup regatta will be Saturday, November 23, with the first boats starting at 12:30 pm from a start line at the south end of Lake Pleasant.

This is a pursuit race, so your handicap determines the time you start and your start time will be posted on the AYC website the day before the race, November 22nd. 

Awards will be given for the top-finishing multi-hull and the top-finishing monohull boats. The Governor’s Cup (a perpetual trophy) will be awarded to the top-finishing boat in the fleet with the most entrants. In addition to the prize for winning there will be other prizes available for boats that finish the race. Awards will be presented at the December AYC meeting. A brunch will be served starting at 10:00 am at Spinnaker Point as a pre-race social. The regatta costs $10.00 and you can sign up now using this link.  

Almost as big as he is: Martin Lorch hefts the Governor’s Cup after winning in 2017, flanked by crew James Morphis and Katie Yearly. At right: that year’s Event Organizer Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lazy, Crazy Daze of Autumn

The pictures tell the story. Surprisingly patient sailors waiting for a breath of air on Tempe Town Lake (11/10). Kick back, enjoy the sun. Don’t move or you’ll yank the laminar flow from the drooping sails.

 

Emory Heisler tries out a Sunfish in the reclining position. It was that kind of day. Photo: Mike Ferring

Seven Sunfish were out, decorating the water with colorful reflections. Longtime Sunfish sailor Gary Oberbeck showed the others the way around the lake, as he has all fall (you know he’s doing well when his 20% discards included first-place finishes).

Paul Miachika and Will Zornik headed the Lasers, with Paul winning two races and Will one. The Bic kids showed more sense than the adults: they went in early.

 

Concentration on a light-air day. The kids had it figured out. Photo: Mike Ferring

The C14 fleet was on race committee, a large gathering of them, including but probably missing several, Ron and Lynn Simzyk, John and Joyce Mayall, Mike and Maryellen Ferring, and David Henning.

The Sunfish lit the lake with color. Photo: Mike Ferring

Will Zornik focuses downwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

Clay Poulson watches for flow. Photo: Mike Ferring

Paul Miachika managed to be out front on two out of three races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Gary Oberbeck shows the other Sunfish the way around the course. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lori Reger loves to cruise around TTL watching the races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Week 4 with Tucson Sailing Club Joint Gathering

By Marshall Williamson, Spin Fleet Captain 

The Lake Pleasant Fall Series experienced “No” to light winds on Saturday (11/2) and the usual stronger winds early Sunday, but diminishing by late morning. The C22s were sailing Saturday, while Santana 20s, Sportboats, and Thistles were out both days, getting in two finishes Saturday and four on Sunday.

Tucson Sailing Club: Photo by Marshall Williamson

Many thanks to the large number of spin fleet folks who came out for RC both days: Paul Liszewski, Steve Nahkala, and Bob Brie did a great job handling PRO duties. Cindy Williamson Creech spent all day Saturday photographing those on the water, seeking a full spinnaker, which was a rarity.  

The post-racing “social” at Spinnaker Point was a big hit, and drew a record crowd! Sponsored by AYC and Tucson Sailing Club, specialty burgers, zesty chicken, and cold beverages were enjoyed by all. Special thanks to the J/24 Jim Bird crew; Eric Whiteman and friend Sarah who brought a large pot of delicious vegan gumbo. Tom Creech contributed a tasty “Indiana corn salad” which rounded out dinner.

 

 

Buccaneer 18 Championship Had It All!

By Rob Gibbs

From high winds to no wind, from recycling to composting, and from DC to Alaska, the 2019 running of the Buccaneer North American Championship had it all! The regatta was held at Lake Pleasant, Arizona from 22-26 October. We had teams from Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alaska and of course the home teams from Arizona. The food was magnificent, the camaraderie was jovial, and the competition fierce!

Kudos and Thanks!

Regattas don’t happen without a lot of effort and volunteers. All of the competitors gave much thanks to the Race Committee that consisted of PRO Wendy Larsen, Scorer Dave Christensen, Mark Boat Driver Mike Grijalva, Committee Members Jo Grijalva, Dale Buccanan, Chuck Landis, Bob Naylor, and Lori Reger. We also had Shore Crew! Deb Heisler helped organize the on-site food, which was a homemade TACO EXTRAVAGANZA on Wednesday night, and catered-in Mexican food on Friday night, as well as continental breakfast every morning and a sandwich and snack line.

Green Team Leader Deb Heisler and all the “Landfill Trash” that we produced in five days!

Clean Regatta

This event met all the criteria set by Sailors for the Sea to qualify for the Silver Level Clean Regatta Certification. This is no small feat. There were 13 Best Practices that we chose to comply with, some easy like giving out practical gear as regatta trophies. Others were more difficult, like composting and doing “paperless” regatta management. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Rear Commodore Deb Heisler for her efforts to earn this certification.

Racing Recap

The Tuesday practice afternoon was fluky even by Lake Pleasant standards, with the wind shifting from south to west from the 10 Lane Boat Ramp. Mostly, the practice day is just to make sure you put the boat together correctly and shake out the cobwebs a bit, so everyone had fun with it.

Wednesday morning race day came and it was all game faces. The Skipper’s Meeting came with just a few questions, and then it was go time. Four races, all in pretty good breeze, came and went, and a trend in the scores began to appear, but the real story was the forecast for Thursday.

With no wind forecast less than 20kts all day and gusts into the 40s forecast for Thursday, it was an easy, however disappointing, decision to cancel for the day. Several out-of-town groups found their way to local breweries as everyone sought shelter from the relentless wind. That night gusts were recorded over 50kts, which made Friday a tenuous decision for the Regatta Management Team. With racing set to start at 9, sustained winds in the high teens and gusts in the low 20’s, with 4 foot, wind-driven waves demanded yet another postponement.

Racing was then set to start at 10, and while the forecast had wind dissipating, those who jumped out on the water found out very quickly that mother nature had not been informed of the forecast. Now on the water, postponement with more signals ashore was decided as people took shelter at the north and south ramps and the Pleasant Harbor courtesy docks. Finally, at 11:30, after taking multiple readings on the water and reviewing several more forecasts, racing would start at 12:30.

The wind did dissipate some and the wind driven waves were in the 1-2 foot range by 12:30. The first race of the day tested skippers and crew as it was at the top end of the range for racing the Bucc 18. Everyone stayed upright and we got four solid races in as the wind continued to relent into the afternoon and overnight.

Saturday was the final day, and it started early with good breeze, but it wouldn’t be Lake Pleasant without a bit of a drifter, and the third and final race of the day ended on just that. A course that was shortened at the south mark.

Results

Joel Hurley and Tony Chapman – Bucc 18 Champs!

The Bucc Fleet has a strong history of honoring not only the winning skipper, but also the crew. On a two-person boat, the skipper and crew relationship is very important and can make or break the team. In fact, some of the owners were actually crewing their boats. The Bucc 18 Fleet Champion Trophy has both skipper and crew listed on it. In honor of one of Arizona Yacht Club’s winningest Bucc crew and one of the best sailors, either at the helm or as crew, that I’ve ever known. The Bucc 18 fleet commissioned the Crew Trophy in Honor of Dennis Martinelli. Finally, the B-Fleet trophy was created in order to encourage sailors to come out and improve their skills. But once you’ve won it, you are banished from the B’s! For all the scores, you can visit the scores page here.

  • The B-Fleet Trophy was awarded to Tom Gage and crew Sue Goodglick from Big Lake Sailing Club Alaska
  • In third place overall from Denver Sailing Association, Dave Spira with AYC crew Vanessa Wisbaum
  • In second place overall, from Potomac River Sailing Association, Jeff Neurauter with crew Heather Howard
  • Finally, in first place overall, from the Arizona Yacht Club, Joel Hurley with crew Antony Chapman. Joel and Tony had a total of 12 points over 11 races.

Additionally, we have some other awards: The Centurion award goes to the highest-finishing boat with a combined crew age over 100, which went to Dave Spira and Vanessa Wisbaum. The Oldest Boat award went to Jim Irwin for his early copy of the now revered Nickels Bucc. And the Sportsmanship award went to AYC’s own Dave Newland. His was the only boat to have a failure, which caused him to be the only capsize. It happened on Thursday morning, right after the second postponement. He didn’t let that bother him, though. He went in, fixed the boat, toweled off, and he and his crew Matt Baker got right back after it.

Thanks to Chuck Landis, Deb Heisler, Dave Spira, and Wendy Larsen for the photo gallery!

The whole BNAC 2019 Gang!

Governor’s Cup Camping Weekend

By Heather McClain ~ Cruising Captain

To our campers and glampers, AYC is having a camping weekend the same weekend as Governor’s Cup, November 22nd to 24th.

It will be located on the 10-lane boat ramp side of the lake. Reserve your spot now! We will have games of cornhole, washers, and disc golf. During the day there are tons of hiking trails to explore and we will have paddle boards (and kayaks if we can get our hands on them!) if you want to try out a new sport. There’s even a free Archery 101 class on Saturday morning. At night we will have live music around the campfire and s’mores.  And we will have THE GLOVE (those who attended the August campout know what I’m talking about)!

Click here to reserve your spot at Lake Pleasant Regional Park.  We are attempting to camp close to one another, as the campground is quite large.  If you want to camp near fellow AYC members, stay at the Desert Tortoise campground on Den Loop or Bajada Loop, campsites 133 to 162. Currently there are 11 spots left for the weekend. Please contact Cruising Captain Heather McClain with any questions. (cruising@arizonayachtclub.org) See you there!

Sail Like a Girl & Win – November Meeting

By Deb Heisler, Rear Commodore

Haley King Lhamon

Eight women, a 32-foot Melges, good manners, humor and determination were the mix that led the Sail Like a Girl team to victory in the 2018 Race to Alaska (R2AK). Co-Skipper Haley King Lhamon was part of this history-making, all-woman crew and is joining us at the November AYC monthly meeting.

Here’s a nice video profile from Cruising Club of America.

The meeting is Tuesday, November 12, at Dave & Buster’s, Tempe Marketplace (map). It’s near Lucille’s, Smokehouse. Please arrive early for dinner as our program begins at 7:00 pm. Guests are welcome.

The R2AK is a 750-mile boat race that must be completed with no motor and no outside support. Sixty percent of the teams finish. Each team has to navigate its way from Port Townsend, through the tides of the Inside Passage and finish in Ketchikan, Alaska. First place grabs the first-place prize of $10,000 nailed to a block of wood. Second place gets a set of steak knives.

With limited experience and a few novice sailors, the Sail Like a Girl team never imagined they would win this mettle-testing, endurance race, especially after colliding with a large log in the middle of the night. They just wanted to finish.

This is a race of extremes: cold water, squalls, currents that run up to 15 knots, and unyielding rain. The women’s Melges was outfitted with two stern-mounted “bikes” that turned propellers to move the boat when the wind died. And die, it did. The team ended up biking about half the time and finishing under pedal power.

Haley has been involved in racing since age eight. Listed among her other memorable races are co-skippering her J/35 Grace E on a nonstop, screaming broad reach to win Division II and the J/35 fleet in the 2002 Chicago-Mac Race and skippering a Snipe on the US team in the Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship in Uruguay in way too much wind, against Olympians.

Residing with her family on Bainbridge Island, Haley is past Commodore of the Port Madison Yacht Club. As the Sailing Coordinator at Bainbridge Island Parks & Recreation, she stays busy organizing classes and instructing. And as a volunteer, she coaches the Bainbridge Island High School Sailing Team and serves on the youth committee and board of The Sailing Foundation. Haley has a habit of saying yes because she doesn’t want to miss out on anything! I’m so glad she said yes to Arizona Yacht Club.

For a longer description of the race and biography of Haley, click here.

Sail Like a Girl Team at the finish bell.

Sail Like a Girl team aboard their Melges 32 Photo by: Richard Horst

Parking Lot – Speedway – Parking Lot – Lake Pleasant Weekend

By Marc Danner

Santana 20 Fleet on RC Saturday. Photo: Marc Danner

This past weekend the wind forecast looked promising and perfect weather.

The race committee boat on Saturday consisted of Martin Lorch, Greg Woodcock, Brian Hackman, Michael Parker, Josh and Vanessa. Marc, Myles, and Avery Danner joined Cedric Lorch on the Boston Whaler, working furiously to keep up with the shifting winds.

The fleet captains agreed to postpone the races due to the lack of wind. As the fleets sat in the boat parking lot enjoying the weather and conversation, around 1 pm the wind started to build out of the west, which prompted the start of racing for each fleet. The last two races were a north/south course and overall the day ended strong with decent wind.

Rolling in the Deep and red Solo cups! Photo: Marc Danner

Sunday’s races started with 10 kts of wind, which prompted an early start for the Thistle fleet. The race committee Sunday consisted of Greg Woodcock, Brian Hackman, and Marc and Myles Danner. Joel Hurley and Grant Younger provided support on the runabout.

Each fleet was able to get in three races, but unfortunately the last race was shortened, ending at the south mark. Each fleet decided to call it a day as the wind was reading 0 kts on the committee boat. 

In between races, the fleets continued to enjoy each other’s company. Rolling in the Deep played music and drank from their red solo cups! Overall, the weekend was a success. A big thanks to the Santana fleet for an awesome weekend!

Here are the race results.

Spin Fleet downwind. Photo: Marc Danner

Sport Boats downwind. Photo: Marc Danner

Ferrings pulling out their new spinnaker. Photo: Marc Danner

Myles and Avery Danner deflating the marks. Photo by Marc Danner

Annual Pirate Gift Exchange – RSVP for December Meeting

By Deb Heisler, Rear Commodore

On Tuesday, December 10, we will once again celebrate the year’s end with our AYC Annual Pirate Gift Exchange.  

Besides gifts and thievery, the Governor’s Cup Trophy will be presented and we’ll hear your Blunder Bucket nominations prior to casting votes for the lucky recipient of this semiannual award. 

Your RSVP and per-person fee includes hosting our meeting at Dave & Buster’s along with a banquet of delicious food. AYC is subsidizing the dinner to bring the cost down to $20 for adults. You must pay for dinner to attend.

As usual, the laughter and great company are complimentary!

RSVP here by Wed, December 4th

Price: Adult $20 per person, including tax and tip (regular buffet price is $27.99)

           Children – $13, which includes a $15 Powercard for game play

           Non-Members – $27.99 per person: includes tax and tip

Time: Dinner  6pm – Program begins at 7pm

Location:  Dave & Buster’s, Tempe Marketplace (map).  It’s near Lucille’s Smokehouse.

Heartland Banquet Menu:

  • Assorted smoked meats: pulled pork, chicken, chopped brisket & sliced Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage
  • Roasted Cotija Corn Bake
  • Roasted Tomato & Cucumber Salad
  • BBQ Baked Beans
  • Baked Mac & Cheese
  • Cornbread
  • Hawaiian Rolls
  • An array of regional BBQ Sauces from across the USA
  • Unlimited coffee, soda and tea

Pirating Process:

  • Bring a wrapped gift valued at around $20
  • Pick a number when offered (only if you’ve brought a gift of course)
  • When your number is announced you have two options: 
    • Pick an unwrapped gift or
    • Pirate a gift that someone else has already opened
  • After initial opening, a gift can only be pillaged two times

“A good sailor knows everything is always changing.” – Luanne Rice

Another Light Wind TTL Weekend

By Bob Naylor – Sunfish Fleet Captain  

Wind conditions for Sunday’s races (10/13) were less than favorable on an otherwise beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Sailors relied on their light-air tactics for much of the day while contending with periods of no wind, very light wind, 180-degree wind shifts, and the occasional, and all-too-brief, periods of 7 kt winds, which moved the fleets along nicely. The Lasers and C-14s eked out three races, and the Juniors and Portsmouth fleets each ran two races. At times, entire fleets drifted slowly backwards, and at other times, the wind was up enough that boats closed to the marks at speed.

No shortage of Safety Boat crew, ready for any contingency! (l-r):Tarah Garcia, Gary Oberbeck, John Edmonds, Jeff Bryant (coxswain), Bob and Robin Naylor. Photo by Rajesh Jha

The new Sunfish Fleet took its first ever turn on race committee, supporting a decent turnout of 20 boats across four fleets.  Eleven Lasers were on the line, with Rob Gibbs, Joel Hurley, and George Sheller each taking first place wins in three heats, and otherwise finishing somewhere in the top three in most races. David Newland and Paul Miachika also each notched 3rd place finishes.

Five Capri 14.2s faced-off in three races, with Team Ferring scoring a pair of first place finishes, and Team Henning taking the honors in the last race.  And it’s always fun to watch the Juniors race. Colin Gibbs, Ethan Wei, and Ryan Zornik campaigned their Bics for two races, with Colin and Ryan each taking a first place win.  

The Portsmouth Fleet was thin with just one boat on the lake. Craig Taylor raced his Butterfly against himself for two races, handily winning both heats against tough competition!

All in all, a decent Sunday afternoon on Tempe Town Lake despite the weak winds.

Move along folks. Nothing to see here. NO air. Photo by Rajesh Jha

C 14.2s heading to windward. Photo by Rajesh Jha

Brooke Miller Wins the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup

By Scott Richards

Brooke Miller won the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup. Jeff Coulter crew. Photo: Scott Richards

On a breathtakingly beautiful fall day at Lake Pleasant, a group of eight highly competitive women would have made our AYC founder proud. The Ruth Beals Cup is a regatta that mandates a woman at the helm of every boat and is considered by most as the Woman’s Club Championship. The skies were clear, and the wind gods were smiling, giving the ladies a perfect sailing breeze out of the north at 7 to 10 knots before the start. We had boats of all types and sizes registered ranging from the “sporty” J/70 and Melges 24 to the more “sophisticated” Impulse 26, Santana 20, Olson 25, Catalina 25, Merit 25, and a B-25.

The warning gun went off precisely at 9:30am as the women started into their pre-start routines and strategizing. As the time ran down, we could see a very competitive start emerging. During the last 10 seconds before the start we heard several “very direct conversations” (we don’t yell on a sailboat) between various boats to try to gain an advantage. Although, if I wasn’t mistaken, those were all male voices I heard, while I noticed that the women remained very calm at the helm of their boats. Anyway, the J/70, with Maryellen Ferring at the helm, and the Melges 24, with Stacy Loula steering took the early lead at the start.

Stacey Loula pilots the Melges 24 (foreground) and Maryellen Ferring the J/70 in very light wind. Photo: Greg Woodcock

The speed difference between all the boats became very apparent about halfway up the first leg as the ladies had their sights on Horse Island. The wind had diminished slightly to 5-6 knots as the Melges 24 and J/70 sprinted away from the fleet. But wait, this race has only begun, and everyone knew the real racing would begin while rounding the two northern islands.

As expected, the wind lightened considerably on the north side of the islands and the Impulse 26, with Elaine Charteris on the tiller, surged into the lead after navigating a most efficient path around Horse Island. This left the sporty boats wondering what happen as they had a good view of Elaine’s transom. While the J/70 and Melges 24 were struggling a bit navigating the treacherous island winds, the Santana 20, with Brooke Miller driving, slowly started to sneak up behind the leaders. As exciting as it was, the Melges 24 team regained their composure and with the help of a nice shaft of wind made the turn south in the lead.

“Luminosity that encircled the boat,” writes Scott Richards. Photo: Skip Kempff

As you can imagine, the rescue boat was primed and positioned to catch the anticipated great pictures of all the boats popping their chutes while making the turn south to No Name (Bobcat) Island. You could feel the anticipation in the air, and we could tell that the J/70 team was itching to get their asymmetric flying after having some challenges on the east-west leg. And pop it did – I think I heard several oohs and ahhs as the J/70 introduced a bright turquoise front sail that seemed to generate a luminosity that encircled the boat as it climbed the mast and filled with air. Cameras were flashing from all angles as Maryellen proudly made her way through the left-hand turn.

Moments after that, the Melges 24 rounded the island and was in clear water as she jibed and her asymmetric went immediately into a prolonged hourglass. The turquoise sail was flying strong as the J/70 pushed her bow into the lead for the first time. Unfortunately, the J/70 got a little too close to the island and fell into a huge hole, giving the Melges, Impulse, and Santana some time to regroup. A couple more boats rounded the islands, not too far behind, which included the Olson 25, skippered by Lulu Baydoun, and the Catalina 25, with Pam Neff on the helm.

The downwind leg consisted of the “haves” and “have nots.” The boats that took the eastern-center course were the haves and the western shore boats were the have-nots. The J/70 and the Santana 20 took the eastern option while the Impulse 26 and the Melges 24 decided to go west. East was right and west was wrong. The J/70 made a brilliant move eastwardly and rolled the Melges 24 that was literally appearing to be standing still along the western shoreline. Commentary after the race, with the eventual winner, suggested that the Santana 20 chose the eastern route after Brooke recalled a previous conversation with Maryellen that said, “when the wind diminishes go east my lady.” That turned out to be most valuable information.

The boats finally made it to the yellow mark in front of Bobcat Island with the J/70 with a big lead, followed by the Melges 24, Santana 20 and the Impulse 26. At this point the south breeze was starting to fill in, but it was still fighting with the morning northerly. The J/70 did well coming up to the finish until she was about 300 yards away and the wind died. This allowed the three boats coming up from the south mark to make some time gains as the prevailing south breeze started to take hold.

All and all it was a fantastic day on the lake and we were all impressed and proud of the all the fine women skippers. All the boats finished, and it seemed like everyone had a great day. I would like to give a special shout out to the Merit 25, with Ellie Carrol on the tiller with her the kids as crew and to the B-25, with Elizabeth Allard at the helm. They really made the race committee’s day when they cheered loudly as they crossed the finish line to close out the regatta.

Unfortunately, the 2018 Ruth Beals Cup winner, Cindy Pillote, could not attend this year due to an injury so we were guaranteed a new champion. A big congratulations to the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup winner, Brooke Miller with crew Jeff Coulter (driving my boat… Woohoo!). Maryellen Ferring came in second for the second year in a row and sailed a great race. Rounding out the top three was Elaine Charteris in third place.

Editor’s Note: Big thanks to the race committee of Scott Richards, Skip Kempff and Greg Woodcock.

 

Maryellen Ferring rounds the Bobcat mark in no wind in the 2019 Ruth Beals Cup. Photo: Greg Woodcock

Elaine Charteris aboard Shazam with Marshall Williamson. Photo: Scott Richards

Elizabeth Allard at the helm of the B-25, sparkling on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Skip Kempff

Stacey Loula and the Melges 24 team at the start. Photo: Skip Kempff

The Amazing Jerome Rand

Jerome Rand heels to port, remembering being slapped around by rough seas. Photo: Mike Ferring

Jerome Rand got a standing ovation when he finished speaking at the AYC October monthly meeting and I don’t recall that ever happening before. But then, it was quite the story he told.

The tale really needs to begin with his 2012 trek along the Appalachian Trail, beginning to end, which he described as being even more intense than sailing around the world—constantly having to look down and concentrate for 10-12 hours a day to avoid stumbling.

After that adventure, Jerome immediately began planning for the next one, that trip around the world.

He went back to work at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the British Virgin Islands and began scheming and saving. He decided to buy a Westsail 32 full-keel boat, choosing it for its history of strength and reliability. He would sail single-handed and nonstop in this 1974 boat. He had no sponsors or backers, just his own savings and his amazing drive to explore his limits.

Jerome Rand speaks to the October monthly meeting. Photo: Mike Ferring

The trip took 271 days, punctuated by the terror of being knocked down, suffering hours with bare pole in a cyclone, hanging on through pitching seas in the Southern Ocean, shivering uncontrollably during weeks of freezing cold, and running out of food after making it around Cape Horn. There was the proof: pictures of a skinny sailor, down from 190 pounds to maybe 140. Fortunately, his father negotiated a food drop at the Falkland Islands that saw him through to the Caribbean.

It was his biggest mistake, he says, confusing the term “serving” on the freeze-dry package for “meal,” which it definitely wasn’t. It left him dreaming of thick, juicy hamburgers. In fact, real food and the human voice were the things he missed most about being a civilian on hard ground.

There were offsets for the risk and the suffering. Jerome showed a video of a blazing sunset panorama framed by a rich rainbow. He lay on the bow pulpit of the boat for hours watching dolphin escorts. At the meeting, he played video of huge whales swimming alongside and, yes, under his little boat, feeling as if they could toss the boat aside with the flick of a tail.

Throughout the trip, Jerome was able to shoot 170 character digital updates to his family that his mother then posted to Facebook. (They were the PG version of his trip since he didn’t want to scare Mom.) Now he’s able to bring the story to the rest of us in talks, a feature story in Sail magazine, and a book he’s hoping to publish. Judging by the reaction at AYC, this next journey should be a rewarding one.

Excellent turnout for solo circumnavigator Jerome Rand. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Jerome Rand entertains the AYC bunch with stories and pictures of his trip around the world. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Jerome met some AYCers when he was Watersports Director at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI. From left: Chuck Sears, Joe Motil, Maryellen Ferring, Bonnie Motil, Chris Smith, Bob Whyte, Mike Ferring and Jerome. Photo: Martin Lorch

 

LP Fall Week Two Proves Flukey

And how unusual is that?

On Saturday we gave some serious thought to giving up when the wind failed to show until well into the afternoon, but when it arrived we enjoyed some good racing, bouncing west-east on windward-leeward courses.

Sunday arrived with with strong north wind and let us get enough races in before going slack… and heading home.

Mike Hester on his Viper picked up where he left off in the spring, by leading the Sport Boats despite some stiff competition from Court Roberts and the Melges 24 team. Mike tested his new fiberglass repair Saturday by slamming into Laurent Dion’s Viper, but apparently avoided a return to the shop.

Yes, Joel Hurley was a clear first in Santana 20 and Rollin’ in the Deep kept rolling in Spin while Marshall Williamson in Shazam has shown huge improvement from past seasons (maybe it’s that new sail). You’ll find all the results here.

Photo above of spins headed to the start line was taken by Joel Hurley.

 

TTL Race Weekend #3

By Clay Poulson, Portsmouth Fleet Captain

Juniors downwind. Photo: Deb Heisler

Week three of the 2019 Tempe Town Lake race series turned out to be a dandy. The racing dinghy fleets were greeted with fairly steady westerlies ranging up to the mid teens. A bit up and down but generally, we had great wind for TTL.

The good winds attracted lots of sailors and with nearly 30 boats on the water representing five different fleets, the sailing was just great.

In action were Lasers, Sunfish, C14s, and the Juniors. Plus a gaggle of ASU students showed up with their FJs and asked if they could sail.

“Of course! All are welcome… you just have to show up.”

Those ASU boats did show up to sail. They had three boats and more then six sailors so they traded teams each race. We never knew who any of them were but they got in five good starts and five good races. Great to see you guys!

Starting and racing with them were the C14s. Whether old guy experience or a faster boat, the C-14s came around the course faster then those college kids’ FJs.

The first four races the C14s had match racing with the Ferrings and Scott Richards duking it out. The Ferrings took three of the races, a few by a wide margin, though the Richards team did squeak out one good win. Dave Henning showed up to make the fourth and fifth heats.

The Sunfish also got in five heats. Gary Oberbeck was the fastest boat all afternoon with a string of bullets. Jeff Bryant took most of the seconds, with Bob Naylor once sneaking into the back-up position. Tim Mitchell battled into the tough winds all day and had a line full of well earned thirds.

We also saw three Open Bics and one Radial Laser in the Junior class. The Bics looked awesome with their sporty lines and the kids hiking out with all their weight. Colin Gibbs and Myles Danner fought neck and neck, each earning two bullets and two seconds. Likewise Michael Haggart on the Laser and Ethan Wei traded positions with two threes and two fours apiece.

All great racing, though the big class this weekend at TTL was the Lasers with 13 boats on the line. I must say it was almost a clinic as club and class champion Joel Hurley ran away with four straight wins. Paul Miachika had a good consistent day with two seconds and two thirds. Scott Sharples had a single second and a third. Chuck Norris had a nice consistent day getting a second and Mike Bernard took the other third.

We did see very impressive sailing by the leading Laser and the committee did hear words of advice from our sailing champion which I will pass on to the other sailors.

After winning one race Joel, speaking half to the committee half to no one, said, “Those other guys don’t know how to change gears. I get away from them in the light stuff. They don’t loosen everything up… they just keep it all tight.”

A few words of honest advice for all dinghy racers out there: you need to learn to change gears.

Great sailing weekend at TTL!

Results of the racing. Revision for DNS scores due.

Maryellen and Mike Ferring wait for a start. Photo: Deb Heisler