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Laser District Rumble at Lake Pleasant

The sailing weather was ideal for the Laser District Regatta at Lake Pleasant, March 16&17. Lots of wind under sunny sky with comfortable temperature. Even the water temperature wasn’t too bad, according to the Laser sailors who tried it out.

Ten boats competed, including three entries from California, running long w/l courses at the south end of the lake.

This event was a George Sheller production: George has wanted to stage a district event for over a year and pulled it off this time, with lots of help, including from PRO Wendy Larsen, boat driver Mike Grijalva, and a troop of Sea Scouts. Kara Newland gets credit for the BBQ dinner Saturday night.

Results shortly.

The Laser starts were typically very close, with various general recall and OCS flags. Photo: Mike Ferring

Local Laser ace Joel Hurley finished second in the Laser Districts. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tight windward mark rounding. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Bernard deep in thought during a pause between races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Trying to stay in the front row in the bunched start. Photo: Mike Ferring

Paul Miachika downwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

David Newland figuring out this Laser stuff. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Scores

Lake Pleasant threw a variety pack of wind at us the weekend of March 9-10: you know, the no-wind, lots of wind, shifty wind, and (thank you) nice wind. Just to see if we were paying attention.

The scores for Week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

Paul Liszewski and the Rolling in the Deep team widened their lead in the PHRF Spin fleet. Mike Hester hammered the rest of us in the Sport Boat fleet. And Skip Kempff stayed out in front in the Thistle fleet.

Club Champion Scott Richards has decided to move from Thistle to Santana 20, joining the fight between Joel Hurley and Martin Lorch that Joel is so far winning. Scott brought his “new” Santana out for the first time Saturday to break her in and begin to tune her with the expected result: watching the other two from third place. This could be interesting.

End of the day fireworks light up Larry Green’s Bonne Chance. Photo: Mark Trainor

Laser Light Show at TTL

Will Zornik heads upwind inches ahead of Joel Hurley in the closely-contested Laser fleet. Photo: Mike Ferring

The 19-boat Laser fleet continues to be the headline entertainment at Tempe Town Lake after four rounds of the spring series.

Joel Hurley is leading the pack, with an 8-point lead over Will Zornik after 15 races. Rob Gibbs is in third with Mike Bernard close behind in fourth.

Newcomer Dersen Eddowes and Ryan Zornik are chasing Colin Gibbs in the Junior Fleet, the two tied just five points behind Colin after 11 races.

Here are the scores.

With favorable wind Sunday (3/3), the Lasers didn’t want to stop racing and got in seven before the 5:30 deadline.

Things are not nearly as close in Portsmouth, where the scores are based on who shows up that day. Sunday it was Clay Poulson in his Fireball, but Cindy Pillote continues to lead the series.

Look confusing? A typical scrum before the start for the Lasers at TTL. Photo: Mike Ferring

A serene afternoon at TTL, with Lasers in a knife fight. Photo: Mike Ferring

The lake sparkles for the Laser light show. Photo: Mike Ferring

Regatta Extra: Dave Perry Critiques Your Sailing

Dave Perry spent Birthday Regatta Saturday, February 9, buzzing around Lake Pleasant on David Newland’s powerboat, shooting video of your sailing with simultaneous commentary. Scary, right? Well, yes, and fun. And highly educational.

The video is on Google Drive, so it’s best to view it on Chrome. I encountered a limit to the number I could view until I downloaded the vGet browser extension. That seems to work.

Click here to go to the video.

Here’s a log of the clips:

Dave Perry watching as Vipers approach the start line during the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Fun Shots

3 – Introduction

6 – Lotta people

68 – Kids

64 – Dogs

11 – Fred!

12 – Full chute

69 – AZ pride!

23 – RC at work

Starts

4 – Viper

7 – Santana

9 – PHRF

16 – PHRF non-spin

17 – Laser

18 – Laser

22 – Catalina

24 – Etchells

71 – PHRF

76 – Santana

92 – Viper

Dave Perry holds his small video camera, shooting the action and offering commentary. Photo: Mike Ferring

Upwind Trim & Tacks

5 – Viper

10 – PHRF

13 – Buccaneer

15 – Buccaneer

20 – Laser

25 – Etchells

29 – Viper

30 – Viper

32 – Viper

34 – Viper

40 – Santana

41 – Santana

42 – Santana

61 – 63 – Multihulls

73 – PHRF

Upwind Tactics

8 – Santana

14 – Buccaneer

19 – Laser

31 – Viper

33 – Viper

38 – Viper

43 – Santana

72 – PHRF

Windward Mark

26 – Etchells

35 – Viper

79 – Buccaneer

80 – Etchells

83 – Santana

85 – Rule 18.3, Tacking in the Zone

86 – Rule 18.3, Tacking in the Zone

David Newland chases around the race course to capture Dave Perry’s video. Photo: Mike Ferring

Downwind Trim & Gybes

28 – Catalina

36 – Viper

44 – Laser

87 – Viper

Downwind Tactics

39 – Santana

50 – PHRF

89 – Viper

Leeward Mark

37 – Vipers

45 – Laser

46 – Laser / PHRF

47 – 52 – PHRF

53 – Gaggle of boats

54 – Catalina

55 – Viper

57 – 58 PHRF non-spin

65 – Buccaneer

66 – Buccaneer

Finish – 70

Vipers in action at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

4th Tuesday Dog Watch – CB LIVE at Desert Ridge – 26 Feb


Come out for Happy Hour with the AYC at a new venue in North Phoenix!

CB Live will have acoustic guitarist Mike Maleckar (Mal) covering bands from his nearly 800 song list, which varies from Frank Sinatra to Taylor Swift, 2Pac to Hank Williams. As always the club will spring for some munchies.

Starts around 5:30 and goes until you go home (or they kick us out!)

21001 N. Tatum Blvd, Phoenix AZ 85050

 

Rock ‘n Roll: Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup 2019

Close it up. The 61st birthday of the Arizona Yacht Club finished with a flourish, a Sunday morning of good racing in a chill wind, climaxing three days of celebration and the biggest regatta of the AYC calendar year.

Mark the numbers: 70 boats racing in 10 fleets. Over 220 for dinner Saturday night. The highlights: Resurrection of the tent on the hill. A fun, raucous evening with racing expert Dave Perry. Lots of racing.

The winners: Dave Spira, Buccaneer; Bob Worrall, Catalina 22; Ralph Vatalaro, Cruising (on a scoring revision); Dave Haggart, Etchells; Charles Landis, Jib and Main; Scott Sharples, Laser; Victor Felice, PHRF Spin; Brian Willess, Multi-Hull; Joel Hurley, Santana 20; Mike Hester, Viper.

Here are all the scores.

And here are the people who made it happen.

Below are gobs of pictures of the event and a drone video. Nearly all pictures by Mike Ferring

 

Joel Hurley managed to manhandle the Santana 20 fleet, including perennial champ Martin Lorch. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rockin’ On: Saturday at the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Overcast, chilly, but… enough wind much of the day Saturday, the second day of the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. In fact, it was enough for PRO Skip Kempff and the race committee to launch 44 races.

How did they do? The answers came Saturday night when racing expert Dave Perry showed the hits and misses (well, okay, nobody actually hit anybody). Crew work, spin sets, sail trim, mark roundings… how did you let him roll you! Dave entertained the capacity crowd for 90 minutes with video shot from David Newland’s powerboat as we chased around the course grabbing starts, roundings, and finishes.

Here are the day’s results, tabulated by Scorekeeper Mark Howell.

The regatta concludes Sunday.

Dave Perry entertains and educates Saturday night at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Vipers sail into the windward mark at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Off to Rockin’ Start

The wind was light for the first afternoon of racing at the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup, but blew enough to get a couple races in. Vipers, Etchells and Multi-Hulls opened the action Friday, with another half dozen fleets scheduled to join Saturday.

Here are the first day’s results.

The only glitch of the day came when the Back in Thyme food truck broke down on the way to the lake, scuttling plans for dinner. The BR&LC crew leapt into action and grilled burgers and hot dogs to fill the gap.

Then came the headliner of the weekend, sailing rock star Dave Perry, who delivered an entertaining seminar that went deep into the evening. Dave talked about tactics at the start and at roundings to a tent full of about 90 people, then answered questions for another half hour to about 35 die-hards.

More to come Saturday!

Crowded at the mark. Vipers slip through the scrum. Photo: Mike Ferring

Dinner on the lawn. The Friday night dinner by the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup tent. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

February Meeting: John Jourdane

Whitbread Round the World Race On “Fisher & Paykel, New Zealand” 

With John Jourdane  

John Jourdane – Photo Sailing World

Experience one of the most grueling yacht races on earth. 33,000 miles and nine months of sailing through storms, blizzards and icebergs.  Climb aboard 82-foot “Fisher & Paykel, New Zealand” with author and world-famous sailor-navigator, John Jourdane, who will recount his around the world race through a video of his experience.

The meeting is Tuesday, February 12, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at The Grill @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

 

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Party

Click here to go to all the information about the February 8-10 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

International racing expert and speaker Dave Perry will headline the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup is nearly here and we have 69 boats racing and more than 220 people coming to the Saturday night dinner.

The event is headlined this year by sailing expert Dave Perry, who will present two seminars—one on Friday night and then a clinic Saturday night. Get racing tips Friday night and then see how well you followed his advice when he offers video of the day’s racing Saturday night.

In addition to great racing, the regatta this year will feature (we pledge) the best Saturday night dinner in AYC Birthday history, catered by Arizona Taste. All in all, it’s an event not to be missed.

 

 

4th Tuesday “Dog Watch” – O.H.S.O Paradise Valley – 22 January

 

OHSO continues to be a great location for our monthly “Dog Watch” events.  This month we will be at the OHSO Paradise Valley. Address: 10810 N Tatum Blvd #126, Phoenix, AZ 85028. Day: Tuesday, January 22. Time: 5:30 to… whenever…

What is this? A casual gathering of members and nonmembers just for the fun of it. It gathers maybe a dozen or so sailors who would just like to hang out, chat, and enjoy an adult beverage.

TTL Kicks Off in Light Air

Joel Hurley completing a roll tack. Photo: Mike Ferring

The spring Tempe Town Lake racing series began with light air and close competition among the Laser sailors. The fleet is chock full of experienced sailors and a mid-pack of guys new to the boat, making it competitive both at the front and the back.

Some 19 Laser sailors signed up for the series, the same number as the fall, but with some different people. Fall series winner Scott Sharples has not signed up for spring, for instance.

Here are the results.

On the line at speed. Laser start. Photo: Mike Ferring


Mike Hester, the picture of concentration. Photo: Mike Ferring


Cool. Junior competition. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Scott Sharples Wins Laser TTL Fall Season

A light wind shot for the final day of the TTL fall series 2018. Photo: Sarah Sheller

And it finished with a mixture of wind and some very close racing.

Here are the results of the final week and the fall series.

Scott Sharples edged out Joel Hurley by one point to win the closely-fought Laser fleet. The Laser fleet was stronger than ever this fall, with some 19 boats registered and perhaps a dozen racing each Sunday, bringing contests up and down the entry list. Paul Miachika finished third.

Dave Haggart continued to dominate the 14.2 fleet, but Mike Ferring finished the series strongly, edging John Mayall by just two points for second place.

Colin Gibbs won the Junior fleet and Cindy Pillote took the Portsmouth fleet.

George Sheller carried some extra crew on the fall series final day: granddaughter Erika Sheller. Photo: Sarah Sheller

Merry Christmas AYC

A big, festive crowd turned out for the December AYC Christmas/Holiday party (12/11), with over 50 gifts tossed into the Buccaneer Gift Exchange. Commodore Santa Rob Gibbs presided over the madness, and as usual, the favorite gift of choice was a bottle of something containing alcohol.

Cindy Pillote hands over her mother’s handmade quilt to high bidders Emory and Debbra Heisler. The proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Photo: Mike Ferring

Since we’re getting a jump on the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup auction, Maryellen Ferring auctioned off a handmade quilt created by Cindy Pillote’s mother, with the proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Debbra and Emory Heisler were the high bidders at $1,000. People also bought a couple dozen Birthday Regatta souvenir technical shirts and various other silent auction items.

Rob also presented the giant Governor’s Cup trophy to Joel Hurley and crew Grant Younger and quickly declared Ye Blunder Bucket voting over by choosing George Tingom as the winner for not showing up or returning the Bucket for this round of voting. Remember your other Blunder nominations for the next round at the Commodore’s Celebration in May.

Tony Chapman opens a gift of a racing board game. Tony didn’t keep it long since it was quickly “pirated.” Photo: Mike Ferring

Santa Rob awards the huge Governor’s Cup trophy to Joel Hurley and Grant Younger. Photo: Mike Ferring

Angela Hutchinson reveals one of the more than 50 gifts of the night. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Joel Hurley Takes the Big Governor’s Cup

Hand Joel Hurley the big cup.

Some 35 boats were on the water for the 2018 Governor’s Cup, including a great turnout of mult-hulls. Photo: Mike Ferring

That crafty ol’ Lake Pleasant did what it likes to do on our long races: scramble the results. After a nice breeze sent boats on a good run upwind to Horse Island on the first leg of the 2018 Governor’s Cup, the lake went into its shifty thing, going dead, then patchy from the south.

Some 35 boats were on the start line on a beautiful, cool Saturday morning (12/1), ready to try to take home the huge Governor’s Cup trophy or at least have a good time trying.

When the boats arrived at Horse Island, an interesting thing happened. For this race, PRO Wendy Larsen had decided to set inflated marks on the north side of Horse and Balance Rock and use them as rounding marks. While most of the competitors read this to mean that you rounded the islands and the marks, that smarty pants Mike Hester read it to mean you were free to round only the marks—and instead of taking the slow route around the leeward side of Horse, Mike stayed on the breezy side. Game, set, match.

Joel Hurley said, “I’m just following Hester” and took the quick road too—and others followed, either because they’d figured it out on their own or decided to follow the leader. A close reading of the race documents backed up Mike and the rest of the smarty pack. Joel’s Santana 20 finished the race just four minutes behind Mike’s Viper and once the huge handicap difference was applied, Joel had won.

Special credit goes to the next finishers: second place Dick Krebill in his Capri 14.2 Tomato Sloop and a corrected two seconds later, Bob Worrall in the C22 Spirit!

The results of the Governor’s Cup are posted on the results page, or click here.

Now this is the spirit of the Governor’s Cup: party time! Photo: Mike Ferring

Nearly Breathless TTL Sunday

There was an excellent turnout of Lasers Sunday (11/25) at Tempe Town Lake, but little wind to move them around. The victory went to the one who could manage to be in the puffs or who could roll tack without, ahem, breaking any rules.

Here are the results.

A drone view of the Laser pack slowly moving to the mark. This could be a rule 18 lesson shot. Photo: Mike Ferring

Reaching and gasping for air downwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

A different point of view. Overhead of Cindy Pillote and Ron Simzyk at the dock. Photo: Mike Ferring

David Newland’s beginning to get the hang of this Laser thing. Photo: Mike Ferring

Scott Sharples eyes the finish line and waits for breeze. Photo: Mike Ferring

Good day to be on race committee. The 14.2 team on a comfortable, sunny day with little wind. Photo: Mike Ferring

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

Will Zornik in the Laser mix. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

 

Final Fall Weekend at Lake Pleasant

And it was a pretty one. A mixture of nice wind and light wind then no wind at all on the last race Sunday morning. A shortened course. Drifting. Zero-point-zero on the GPS. But overall, mark this fall as a good one on Lake Pleasant.

Congratulations to the fleet winners! The most competitive fleet was Santana 20, where Joel Hurley brought his new boat to the game and managed to beat perennial champ Martin Lorch. Paul Liszewski finished the final weekend with five bullets and a second to lock down the PHRF Spin win. Mike Hester dominated the PHRF Sport Boat fleet. Bob Worrall beat the Rawlings family boat. Skip Kempff won Thistle, Marc Danner won Jib & Main, and Fred Rahn took multi-hull.

Results for week 5 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

4th Tuesday “Dog Watch” – O.H.S.O Arcadia – 27 Nov

We got such good feedback from the folks that went to the O.H.S.O. in North Scottsdale, we decided to give the one in Arcadia a call…turns out everyone was well behaved before and they’d be glad to host us!

27 November
O.H.S.O Arcadia
4900 East Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018

5:30 until whenever…

All are invited!

Also…why a ” Dog Watch?” Traditionally it is the watch on a ship from 1600-1800 then again from 1800-2000. Since that’s when our gathering is…that’s what we’re going to call it! (It was split, so that seamen didn’t have the same watch at the same time every day.)

 

Sign Up for the Dec 1 Governor’s Cup Regatta

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

This one’s for the BIG prize. This one’s for the Governor’s Cup. And, okay, this one’s really mostly for fun.

The Governor’s Cup regatta will be Saturday, December 1, with all boats starting at 9:30 am from a start line at the south end of Lake Pleasant. Finishing times will be adjusted for PHRF handicap and the winning skipper will walk off with that big trophy.

Entries are now closed. Here’s the list of entries.

Here’s the link to the the race documents.

After starting in the south of the lake, boats will round drop marks on the north sides of Horse and Balance Rock Islands, then round another drop mark on the south near Bobcat Island (no rounding of the island this time), and finish outside Jackass Cove.

A post-race raft-up party will happen in Jackass Cove. Bring fenders. AYC will provide some appetizers.

Just to add to the giggles, there’s a handicap adjustment for any boat with a child under 12 onboard, a boat flying an AYC burgee, a boat towing a floaty-something that would hold a person, and a boat with a pet onboard. Just to be clear: The pet must be living. If you have them all, you’ll get a six-second handicap adjustment.

There will be multi-hull and monohull fleets. Awards will be given to the top-finishing multi-hull and the top-finishing monohull. The Governor’s Cup will go to the top-finishing boat in the fleet with the most entrants.

Heather McClain is the Race Organizer and Wendy Larsen is the PRO.

The start of the 2016 Governor’s Cup race. Photo: Michele Korszeniewski

Five Decades in the Making, Adopt-A-Boat Gave Me Opportunity

AYC Lake Pleasant Lake Captain and J/70 crew David Newland this Sunday (11/11) did a foolishly brave thing: after never before sailing one, he adopted a Laser and went sailing at Tempe Town Lake in heavy, puffy wind. Crazy maybe, but he decided to, mmm, take the plunge.

Race results for the day

By David Newland

AYC Lake Captain David Newland at more familiar controls: the Boston Whaler. Photo: Mike Ferring

Overweight and out of shape, I decided to sign up for Bowline Cross Fit. I felt very intimidated when I arrived and saw Hurley crunching 100 sit-ups, Bernard bobbing and weaving the double-end boxing bag and Gibbs speed-skipping the gym rope.

Wait, did I say Bowline Cross Fit? I meant Laser racing.

In the late 70s, I spent many weekends motoring around Marina del Rey in my little Whaler. I liked to idle down and spectate when the kids were racing Lasers in the harbor. It looked like a ton of fun and I was quite envious. Getting hooked up with them never materialized.

Well, five decades and 120 pounds later (maybe 130), I got my chance! The weather forecast was on point this past weekend, so I reached out to Grant Younger to get signed up for an Adopt-a-Boat. He helped me pick out my weapon of choice and Joel Hurley helped me rig it (and de-rig and re-rig the items I thought I knew how to do without any instruction whatsoever).

OK, so far so good. Winds were blowing 20. KPH. Felt like MPH to me (And sometimes was –ed.). I got the Laser launched and was overly confident with the stability of this 2×4. Maryellen Ferring was helping with the bow line and just as she said, “don’t step on the…,” I stepped on the foredeck, and was immediately in the water. Note to self: That’s the wrong way to board a Laser.

What transpired during the next three hours was quite the combination of emotions. Mostly fun. Lots of laughs out loud to which the spectators on the shore and in manually-powered craft (to which I gave right-of-way) probably thought I left my medication at home.

Frustration. Mostly because I was envisioning my younger self in MDR. I just can’t duck the boom as efficiently as I probably could have 40 years ago! Surprisingly, I did fine. I still have all my teeth and no concussion symptoms yet.

Anxiety. That moment when you (okay, I) lose the tiller and the main sheet at the same time, knowing that capsizing is imminent. Thanks, Joel, for retrieving my hat. Did you see my Oakleys?

Let me digress for a moment. The wind was blowing. I faltered. Joel, from his cockpit, was able to maneuver his boat to help start my righting process, fixed some issue with my main sheet, located my hat, and then sailed off.

I survived. Quite well actually. I wasn’t a worthy racer, but I knew going in that racing wasn’t going to be my priority. It was getting my feet wet (and every other body part) with the Laser Fleet at TTL. What a great group of sailors. And thanks to Adopt-a-Boat for the opportunity.

Thank you Race Committee, as well as Toyota Motor Company for making a fantastic waterproof key fob, and to Bayer, maker of Aleve.

Oh: my disembarking. Yup. Cannonball! No more Laser foredeck for me.

You know it’s windy when the Laser sailors start swimming. This shot was taken a few years ago, but it could have been snapped Sunday. Photo: Mark Howell