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Sign up for Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

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 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.

In other AYC/ASF news: The ASF High School team began Tuesday, January 15. The ASF kids’ sailing classes begin on Sunday, February 2. And the adult learn-to-sail class starts Saturday, February 24. Here’s the link to ASF.

 

 

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

Time: 5:30 – whenever…

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.

Scores to follow.

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

Dave Perry Headlines 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Dave Perry invites you to join him for the Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup at Lake Pleasant Arizona Friday-Sunday February 8-10, 2019.

This is Arizona’s big regatta, the 61st birthday of the yacht club, with an expected 75 boats competing in as many as 13 classes.

On Friday night, Dave will lead a free seminar loaded with racing tactics tips and humor to get your weekend off to a good start. On Saturday, he’ll prowl the race course on a powerboat with his video camera, recording what you do right and what you could do better. After an intense editing session at the end of the day, he’ll present the results so all the racers see the hits and misses during the day’s racing.

But Dave Perry is just part of the show. Every good regatta needs two things: close racing and great food and drink. The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup has both. Staged on beautiful Lake Pleasant northwest of Phoenix, this 10,000 acre lake is a gorgeous venue for racing. And after the racing, the party convenes at the top of the south hill overlooking the lake.

Friday night, Back in Thyme will bring the food while the Barley Hound bar in Prescott, Arizona, is mixing complementary craft cocktails. And Tony Chapman and Kelly Beaver promise to offer their famous annual rum bar.

Saturday night will be special. One of Arizona’s finest catering companies, Arizona Taste, will serve a three-course dinner in our regatta headquarters, a 40×70 tent, fully decorated for the occasion. Featured entrée is Chicken Piccata Medallions in a Caper Lemon Chardonnay Sauce, accompanied by Panzanella Salad, Market Vegetables, cookies, coffee, tea and water.  Adult beverages? Craft beer and a quality selection of wines.

Fence off February 8-10 on your calendar to meet Dave Perry at this memorable version of the Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

Here’s more on the regatta, including the race documents.

Dave Perry is one of America’s best-known sailors and speakers, a perennial match-racing champion and rules expert who’s spoken at hundreds of yacht clubs and racing events over the years. He’s a member of the US Sailing Appeals Committee and has advised America’s Cup campaigns and the U.S. Olympic team on rules. He’s written three books on sailing, including the go-to reference on racing rules, Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Score Another Nice Lake Pleasant Weekend

Make it three race weekends in a row of nice temperatures and good wind at Lake Pleasant.

Saturday (11/3) was delightful, with good breeze most of the day; Sunday (11/4) started with white caps and petered out to glass, but only as the final race of the day ended. The battle in the Santana 20 fleet continues to be the contest to watch, with Santana 20 newcomer Joel Hurley taking it to perennial champ Martin Lorch. So far, Joel is coming out ahead, but the scores are close.

The PHRF Spin fleet was the host race committee.

Scores here.

Yes, it’s that close. Left to right: Martin Lorch, Mike Parker, Joel Hurley. Photo: Charles Landis

 

Mike Hester’s Viper 640 steps out in front. As usual. Photo: Charles Landis

 

After Mike Ferring tries to port tack the fleet on a start, he tacks to starboard with just enough space to slip between Tony Chapman and the RC boat. Photo: Charles Landis

The Big Holiday Party

December’s membership meeting brings the annual AYC gift exchange, a gift exchange with a twist. You might say twisted, even. Dinner begins at 6pm with the gift exchange starting at 7 pm, Tuesday, December 11, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.

Here’s how the gift exchange works:

  • You bring a wrapped gift valued at about $20.
  • You pick a number from a hat to determine the order we select gifts.
  • We’ll have two people called to the front of the room at the same time.
  • Each person can choose to pick a wrapped gift from the pile or play pirate and take the gift from someone who’s already opened one.
  • Gifts can be “pirated” only twice before they’re safe from further theft.

Some of the gifts can be pretty weird, but if you’re looking for a prized gift suggestion: Liquor always seems to bring applause!

We’ve set a menu that evening to make it easy for everyone:

BBQ Pork and Chicken
Mac & Cheese
Cole Slaw
Cornbread
Non-Alcoholic drink included

$13 for Adults and $7 for kids

Just so we have a good idea of the numbers, please RSVP to Commodore Rob Gibbs. You need not pay in advance…

No Zip TTL: Zip for Wind

Somehow we ghosted around the TTL race course for a single race, just a breath of air when there was any at all. We call this sailboat racing. I was 10 feet from the finish when a delicate puff came from the right instead of the left and there I was moving… backwards.

These are not the days that put the fun and romance in sailing, are they?

Results for Sunday, October 28.

Glass for a lake as Mike Ferring and Dave Haggart struggle to finish. John Mayall and Dick Krebill had already crossed. Photo: Will Zornik

Cindy Pillote Wins Ruth Beals Cup

Cindy Pillote won the 2018 Ruth Beals Cup that included five boats piloted by kids from the Foundation for Blind Children and entered by Tiller & Kites. Here’s a first-person account of the race from the perspective of Mike Ferring, the main-sheet trimmer on Melissa Kay.

The wind turned light as we approached the start line for the 2018 Ruth Beals Cup, on port and with about a minute to go. You’ve been there, right? Creeping to the line, but this time close enough just to keep moving. To our left, Cindy Pillote at the helm of Bob Worrall’s Catalina 22 Spirit.

“We could take her up,” I say to Maryellen, who’s driving our J/70. “No,” she says. Women are nicer than men, she says. And so we tack off the line instead of trying to sail past Cindy. The wind to the left looks better anyway.

By the time we get to Horse Island, our first rounding mark, we have a half mile lead on the fleet. You can guess what happens next. Our wind stops. The wind line from the south brings everybody to us, led by Morgan Marquis with Victor Felice on an Andrews 26. Victor’s Tiller & Kites has entered five boats in the Ruth Beals Cup, sponsored by the Foundation for Blind Children and carrying visually impaired kids they’ve been working with to learn to sail.

The wind sputters and pops as we round Horse and then Balance Rock. We’re barely moving. We’d sailed upwind to the islands from the south part of the lake and now the wind was shifting and we’d be sailing upwind to Bobcat. Our spinnaker stays in the bag while most of the boats behind us entered as non-spin and gained a PHRF bump because of it.

Finally staring at Bobcat, we see nothing but hazard buoys all the way to shore. Time to get brave. We pick out two likely suspects and sail through them. Nothing crunches. Aboard the Olson 25 Stargazer, Brianna Voron and Sean Brown and maybe others later decide not to risk it and retire.

We ease past Bobcat and finally raise the spin, still barely turning 3-4 knots as the wind offers a last gasp for the day. It’s enough to begin to open the gap with Morgan and the Andrews and put us over the finish first. Line honors. Maryellen has sailed well and she’s delighted.

We pop some beers and lean back to relax after just under three hours of racing. Here comes Morgan. Then Cindy. The C22 is rated at 270 and the J/70 at 114. She’s been sailing nicely and wasn’t that far behind us rounding Balance Rock. Some 44 minutes after our finish Cindy and Bob cross the line. And correct over us for first place. We’re second. Morgan is third and Jessica Rawlings fourth. We’re still pleased with our day and happy for Cindy. I email Scorekeeper Dave Christensen, who did the scoring from Dallas. How much did she get us by? Less than three minutes, he says.

Now to the Scorpion Bay restaurant for the post-race lies.

Cindy Pillote approaches the start of the Ruth Beals Cup 2018 with Bob Worrall peeking around the headsail. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Delivers the Wind for Week 3

The wind returned for our third weekend of the Lake Pleasant fall race series. Excellent conditions for the sailors, but challenging for the race committee. It was warm and windy but very shifty, especially on Sunday when the race course kept moving and kept the committee and PRO Bob Worrall busy trying to anticipate the shifts.

The scores for week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or by clicking here.

One of the most entertaining contests puts seven-time club champion Martin Lorch up against Joel Hurley in the Santana 20 fleet. Both are excellent sailors and after the weekend, Martin was ahead in the series 32-34 before throw-outs. Joel and crew Grant Younger are new to the boat and are still figuring it out: witness the Saturday calamity, “skying” the main halyard when the knot didn’t hold.

Laser champion Joel Hurley joined the Santana 20 fleet this fall, giving perennial winner Martin Lorch some tight competition. Here Martin stays just ahead of Joel downwind. This photo by David Newland was taken on weekend two.

Look familiar? This photo by David Newland was taken on weekend three.

Rogue Tomato – October Happy Hour!

We’re going WEST with this month’s 4th Tuesday Happy Hour on Tuesday October 23rd. This month we’ll be at Rogue Tomato! 18561 N 59th Ave #122, Glendale, AZ 85308. Starts at 5:30(ish) and goes until 8:00(ish). As always AYC will spring for some appetizers and you are welcome to wash it down with whatever you like!

Crisp Fall Series at Tempe Town Lake

Scott Sharples upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

The rain stopped, the sky cleared, the air turned crisp. Nice day on Tempe Town Lake.

The Laser turnout this fall has been spectacular, with lots of new racers joining the fleet, many in adopt-a-boats. As a result, there’s the experienced bunch at the head of the group and the less experience group fighting their own entertaining race farther back. Fun.

Sunday (10/14) was that kind of day, with the C14 fleet on race committee, with the Juniors sailing a shorter course, and the Opti classes adding to the entertainment of sails on Tempe Town Lake.

Here are the day’s results.

Here are some shots from me, Mike Ferring:

Amazing lighting on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Ruth Beals Race October 27 at Lake Pleasant

Ruth Beals Insho, AYC Founder (picture 2005 by Mike Ferring)The all-woman Ruth Beals Cup Regatta will return to Lake Pleasant on Saturday, October 27, with the starting gun at 9:30 am. It’s for women at the helm in run-what-you-brung boats rated by PHRF handicap.

Race documents here. Registration is closed.

The race is named for the founder of AYC, Ruth Beals, and offers a chance for the women of the club to compete against other women. Men are allowed to crew, but not to get too close to the tiller.

There will be a single long-distance race, following the familiar course from a start/finish in the south portion of the lake, around Horse and Balance Rock and No-Name island (also called Bobcat), back to a finish line in mid-lake. It’s more or less the same course we’ve used for the Governor’s Cup and the Tall Cactus Regatta.

After the racing, there will be a gathering at Scorpion Bay’s restaurant deck with AYC-offered nibbles and cash bar.

Ellen Wesley is the defending champion, teaming up with Victor Felice in a J/24 to win in light air one year ago. Maryellen Ferring finished second in her J/80 and Ryane Griffis was third in an Etchells.

This year, Victor has entered five (yup, five) boats that will include crew from the Foundation for Blind Children.

Ellen Wesley won the Ruth Beals Cup despite the two characters flanking her.