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First Annual Officially Unofficial Catalina Flotilla!

Avalon from Mooring #38

Last weekend AYC Sponsored a Flotilla to Catalina Island, and what a great time it was! The sailing between Long Beach and Catalina was some of the best wind I’ve ever had both ways. On our way out the we had the sails up as we rounded the Carnival Cruise Ship Terminal and sailed out of the Long Beach Harbor entrance. On our boat we had 5 kids and 3 adults. We sailed until we dropped to 4kts and saw that mooring balls were becoming scarce. We motor-sailed the rest of the way.

We spent the first night (Friday) in Descanto Bay, just north of Avalon and open to the ocean. We caught up with our flotilla members Jim and Marilyn Nelson on their Hylas 46 Liberte. We had dinner ashore at Charlie’s Steak and Seafood which was amazing fresh caught fish! Being in Descanto Bay, the dinghy ride was about 10+ minutes one way and it was moderately rough night out in the open ocean, but being outside in the sun all day, sleep was found pretty easily by all!

Jim and Marilyn Nelson’s Hylas 46 – Liberte at Descanto Bay

The next day (Saturday) we cooked breakfast on the boat and planned our day ashore at the beach. Liberte chose to head up to Isthmus Cove at Two Harbors so we bed them a fond farewell. We dinghied into Avalon and got set up on the beach. The kids swam and played in the water and on this massive inflatable fun platform Avalon has set up there. At about 10am we got invited by the Avalon Harbor department to move into Avalon Harbor so My daughter and went over and moved the boat to its new mooring. Later, we had dinner at the Catalina Cantina. Now that we were in Avalon Harbor, the water was much calmer and we had a better evening’s rest.

Our Ship’s Compliment – 3 Gibbs’ and 5 Moreno’s!

The next morning, we cooked breakfast on the boat and made one last trip to shore for ice. We left Avalon, right at 9am, which is checkout time, and motored out of Avalon for about an hour. The wind came up early and we set sail. The USCG was broadcasting a Small Craft Advisory for 3pm with winds 20-30 MPH. We reefed when we started to see 7kts of Speed over Ground and then saw 7kts again under reef within about a half mile of LA Light (AKA Angle’s Gate).

Next year we are planning to arrange this in conjunction with the Tuscon Sailing Club who’s trip was the week before! Maybe even expand it by a day to catch a night in Two Harbors!

Catalina Flotilla July 20th!

Catalina Flotilla

Kim OlsonGibbs sailing to Catalina!

We’ve got a great group ready to go to Catalina next weekend!

The general plan is:

  • Arrive Thursday the 19th late in the afternoon. Provision the boats.
  • Depart Friday the 20th at a respectable, yet, not early time and head for the port that has room for us! (We’ll be checking the Live Avalon Mooring Updates!)
  • Enjoy Dinner Ashore on Friday Night!
  • Saturday the 21st…open! Move harbors? Go for a day-sail? Explore the island? Visit other AZ Boats in the harbor? Dinner Ashore!
  • Sunday the 22nd we’ll leave our mooring by the required time (usually about 9am). Depending on the forecast, we may find a cove and anchor for a while or head back.
  • Depart the morning of Monday the 23rd for home.

There is still time! Get yourself a charter (or trailer your boat over) and join us! If you do, let me know you’re going to be in the area by emailing Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org or hailing our boat “Avalon” (Yes, that is the boat’s name) on 16 when you are underway!

 

Catalina Flotilla – UPDATE

Hi everyone!

We’ve seen quite a bit of interest for our Officially Unofficial Flotilla to Catalina the weekend of July 20th! People that are looking for crew, people that want to go but would like some crew, even people that might be interested in getting certified while heading over. In order to facilitate all of this, we’ve created a free sign up form. If you are even considering going, please fill it out and we’ll try to do some matchmaking and see that everyone that wants to go gets to go!

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Catalina Sign-up

Avalon harbor on Catalina Island, a great charter destination. Photo: Ralph Vatalaro

Officially Unofficial Flotilla to Catalina

By Rob Gibbs

It’s heating up in AZ and soon we’ll all start hiding in the comfort of our air-conditioned homes, offices, and cars. What a better way to escape the heat than to go sailing on the waters of the Pacific… and Catalina Island is a great destination.

The weekend of July 21-22 will be AYC’s Officially Unofficial Flotilla to Catalina! We’ll keep it really simple. Just show up in Avalon sometime that weekend. Need a boat? There are several options from Marina Sailing and Harbor Island YC and others. Or just ferry over on the Catalina Flyer to hang out with the group.

Your flotilla host will be Rob Gibbs, AYC’s Vice Commodore. Not been on a charter before? No problem! We’ll make an effort to prepare anyone who has questions about chartering. Never been to Avalon? Going with a flotilla is a great way to enjoy a new cruising grounds and get tips from people that have been before. Been to Avalon a bunch? Great! Come give us all the inside info!

If you’re interested or want more information, please email RobDaSailor@gmail.com.

Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island.

Cruising to Avalon is great for the entire family, including the kids and the dog.

Court Roberts Wins 2018 Tall Cactus

It’s a bit of a gamble with a pursuit race. With some 41 boats entered in this year’s Tall Cactus, which ones would benefit from a light wind start and which ones would gain as the wind came up?

By the time they’d all gone around Horse, Balance Rock, and Bobcat Islands and crossed the finish at Scorpion Bay Marina, Sport Boats had passed everyone who started before them and finished 1-2-3. It was Court Roberts’ team (with Tony Chapman driving, Bob Whyte trimming) in the lead, followed closely by Mike Hester (with Joel Hurley), and not so closely by Mike Ferring (with Maryellen Ferring, Ray Chapman, and Gail Palmer).

Then all that was left to do was to party on the deck at Scorpion’s Grill on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Many thanks to Regatta Chairman Tom Errickson and to his helpers, including Tom Ohlin and Andy Oliver and several others.

Race winner Court Roberts chats with Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

These two have seen some AYC history! Tom Ohilin on the left and Bob Worrall on the right. Photo: Mike Ferring

This is what it looked like as the 2018 Tall Cactus Regatta began. The wind filled in nicely later, giving later starters an advantage. Photo: Mike Ferring

Post-regatta party on the scenic deck of Scorpion Bay Marina. Photo: Mike Ferring

Chase the Tall Cactus

Ready to chase the Tall Cactus? The race is Saturday, April 28, with the first boats starting at 9 am. This is a pursuit race, in the style of the Governor’s Cup, which attracted over 50 boats in December. Okay, it’s a carbon copy, except that this time everybody will find all the islands and the finish line. Or they should.

Start Times by Name rev2

The course takes you from a start line in the middle of the lake (exact position will vary depending on wind strength), north to take Horse and Balance Rock islands to port, then heading south to leave Bobcat Island to port and then finishing at Scorpion Bay Marina, where we’ll celebrate with club-provided nibbles and a cash bar. (Be sure to tip well; apparently some of you didn’t in December.)

Now, what was that about “Bobcat Island”? It’s the chunk of land that we’ve been calling “No Name Island” up to now, but Event Chairman Tom Errickson has learned it’s actually and officially called Bobcat Island. How to recognize it? It’s very hard to see until you’re right on top of it, since it blends into the hills behind. After rounding Balance Rock, if you set a course for about 150°, you’ll be pointing in the right direction. Aim to the right of the cell phone towers on the hill. You’ll need to clear the point at Two Cow Cove, near where the Sheriff’s station sits, and then head a little to the right.

The GPS coordinates are (approximately) 33°51′17″ N 112°16′50″ W or, in decimals, 33.854853 N 112.281728 W.

After Bobcat, go to Scorpion Bay Marina, round to the north of all the breakwaters and sail toward the shore. You’ll spot the finish line. Finish and then tie up and join us for adult beverages. Here’s a satellite picture of Scorpion showing the finish line.

Here are pictures showing Bobcat. The pictures were taken in early March, with high lake level.

That little island with a tuft of vegetation is Bobcat Island. Picture was taken from the Discovery Center looking north. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Bobcat Island is hard to see, even when you’re close. It blends in with the background. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

As you begin to round Bobcat, it emerges from the background. Photo: Mike Ferring

Martin Lorch Lugs Off Governor’s Cup

Martin Lorch.

Martin Lorch and crew managed to out-race 50 other boats to take the gigantic Governor’s Cup at Lake Pleasant Saturday (12/2).

The wind was fairly typical for the lake, with moderate northerly wind until close to noon when it shut down completely, rising again as a light wind from the south an hour later. It’s a pattern that favored the early-starting boats in the pursuit race and George Tingom made it pay off for him, sailing solo in his Capri 14.2. George had a big lead in the race but made a fateful error when he rounded the wrong “unnamed island.”  George contends that the race chart was too vague, so he didn’t know which small island to round. As far as we know he was the only one to make this mistake, but it’s always most difficult to know which way to go when you’re leading the race!

Jim Tomes was the fastest and first multi-hull entrant to finish, capturing that fleet’s award. First multi-hull non-spin was Chris Picknally. First monohull non-spin was Richard Krebill in a Capri 14.2. Tony Krauss was the first of four Hobie 16s to finish.

In addition to the big trophy, winners in three divisions (spin, non-spin, multi-hull) won sailing bags donated by SLO Sail and Canvas, makers of sails, boat covers and other canvas products.

The race ended at the Scorpion Bay Marina Grill with a post-race party.

Thanks to Race Organizer Tom Errickson and his volunteers, Tom Ohlin senior and junior and Bill Cunningham. Dave Christensen consulted his well-worn chicken bones to come up with the handicap ratings and start times for the pursuit race.

Here is a picture of the handwritten finishing order at Scorpion.

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

Event Chairman Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Governor’s Cup winners aboard the Santana 20. Martin Lorch, Katie Yearley (behind the sail), and James Morphis. Photo: Mike Ferring

A happy member of Brandon and Jessica Rawlings’ crew. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rear Commodore Sharon Bell. Photo: Mike Ferring

Boat buddies. Kevin Edwards and Rick Johnson. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Shazam team poses in the team shirts. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tom Errickson to the rescue. Photo: Bill Cunningham

Rolling in the Deep slips along behind the islands as the morning wind disappears. Photo: Bill Cunningham

2016 Governor’s Cup & Triple Crown

triplecrown

The 2016 Governor’s Cup Regatta will take place on December 3rd at Lake Pleasant and this year introduces something new, different and exciting.

Here’s the scoop. There are two categories: A pursuit race much as we’ve done it the last several years and a straight-up PHRF race.

The Pursuit Race is an informal twice-around-the lake long distance sailing event starting at 10 am. The winner takes home the traditional really big trophy. Info and registration here. Registration is $10.

The Other Race is a full blown PHRF twice-around-the-lake race. Two sections will be scored, Monohull boats (starting slower-rated boats at 10:30 and faster-rated ones at 10:35) and Multi Hull (starting at 11). Registration is $25.

The 2016 Governor’s Cup is also the first of three regattas that comprise the AYC TRIPLE CROWN. The new Triple Crown combines our three non-series regattas: The Governor’s Cup, the Leukemia Cup-Birthday Regatta and the Tall Cactus. Further information and registration for all of these regattas will now happen at a new AYC website, www.aycregattas.com.

The new site is intended to help promote these three events outside of Arizona, throughout the Southwest and Pacific Coast.

None of the things the club does can happen without the dedication and commitment of members and volunteers. Thank you to all involved.

Tony Krauss Takes Multi, Emory Heisler & Tony Chapman Mono in the Tall Cactus

On a windy, puffy, shifty day, Tony Krauss of Tucson sailed a Hobie 16 to the multi-hull win and Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman took the mono-hull in an 18-foot Buccaneer—and it wasn’t even close.

Here’s a drone video of the event, produced by Duane Darling.
And here’s some on-board video of Chris Smith fighting his Laser in heavy wind.

This was the spring pursuit race, where all boats start based on their PHRF rating, with the boats with the biggest PHRF number heading off at 11am and then boats with lower numbers trickling off the line after them. If the PHRF ratings are right, if the conditions match the handicap, and if everyone sails skillfully, all boats finish at the same time.

Emory and Tony started at 11:27, put up the ‘chute and started passing boats. By the second lap of the course (dam-> Horse-> Balance-> Vegetation island-> and do it again), they were well in front and completed the 14-mile race in under 2½ hours. But Tony Krauss was even faster, finishing in just over two hours.

Crossing the finish second in mono was Steve Kusic and the Merit 25 Runaway team. In third was Mike Ferring and the J/80 Melissa Kay crew. Charles Landis aboard Circuitous finished fourth.

Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman aboard the winning Bucc. Photo: Tom Errickson

Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman aboard the winning Bucc. Photo: Tom Errickson

 

Chris Reinhard and crew at the Tall Cactus Regatta. Photo: Tom Errickson

Chris Reinhard and crew at the Tall Cactus Regatta. Photo: Tom Errickson

Why (and How) You Should Race Your Cruising Boat

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard's O'Day. Photo: Chris Smith

A good day to be pushed downwind on a non-spin. Peter Burgard’s O’Day. Photo: Chris Smith

Sometimes it seems as if cruisers and racers are different breeds. One values comfort and a cocktail at anchor while the other wants screeching heel angles and screaming mark roundings. But some of us think both things are a kick and would like to see more cruisers try racing. But how? And (of course) why?

Sail magazine is offering excellent information on sailboat racing for cruisers, including an explanation of “why” that boils down to:

  1. It’s fun.
  2. It makes you a better sailor.

Scuttlebutt‘s Craig Leweck says he tells people that, “To race is only to ‘sail with a purpose.’ Much like most forms of exercise, you begin with a plan to test yourself, and racing is not so much a competition as it is an opportunity to assess one’s sailing skills.”

Sail magazine takes it from there, quoting renowned naval architect and yachtsman Uffa Fox, saying “Once you race every fault is pointed out in the way other boats sail away from you, and when you do anything well this too is revealed as you start sailing away from the rest of the fleet.”

Here’s a link to that excellent Sail magazine introduction to racing for cruisers.

AYC offers several entry-level races for cruisers who want to try out racing. There are “pursuit” races (see the Sail article for an explanation), typically the Governor’s Cup and the Tall Cactus. Boats start in reverse order of their PHRF rating (yes, see Sail article) so the start is simple and uncrowded. Then it’s just a matter of sailing the course as fast as you can.

What do you say?

A featured picture from Sail magazine. They stress that the most important thing in racing is to have fun. Photo: Cate Brown

A featured picture from Sail magazine. They stress that the most important thing in racing is to have fun. Photo: Cate Brown

Court Roberts Wins Blustery Tall Cactus

The 2015 Tall Cactus Regatta was one to remember for the 19 boats that raced in breezy and blustery conditions. Knockdowns and round-ups were the conversation at the post-race get-together.

Court Roberts, sailing his Melges 24 was first to finish the 14 nm course in just over 2 1/2 hours. The pursuit race with slower boats starting before faster boats brought a very close finish, with the second-place Catalina 22 of Scott Battle only seconds ahead of the third-place J/80 of Chris Smith.

—Tom Errickson, Event Chairman

The winning Melges 24 of Court Roberts. Photo: Tom Errickson

The winning Melges 24 of Court Roberts. Photo: Tom Errickson

LPSC Cinco de Mayo Raft-up

The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club has decided to invite AYC members to the club’s annual Cinco de Mayo Raft-up on Saturday, May 2. (Normally this big LPSC flotilla is restricted to its members.)

The event is in Two Cow Cove (see map) and boats will start gathering around 1 pm. You can monitor the traffic on VHF channel 68. Here’s a flyer with further information.

LPSC offers a word of warning: Lake Pleasant party boaters are shooting for a world record raft-up of 1000+ boats tied together in Humbug! Traffic at launch ramps and parking lots could be intense.

LPSC-Cinco-de-Mayo-Raft

Tall Cactus Regatta April 25

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor's Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor’s Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

Here are this event’s entries and start times.

How about a fun run around Lake Pleasant?

That’s the format for the Tall Cactus regatta this year. A straight duplicate of the Governor’s Cup Regatta. If you enjoyed that one, you should like this one too.

Registration is now closed for this event. Here’s a link to the NOR/SI.

This is a “pursuit” race, where boats start based on PHRF rating, with the slower boats beginning first at 11 am and faster boats starting throughout the next hour or so. The start line is near the dam, at the mouth of Pleasant Harbor Marina. Boats will charge up the lake, around Horse and Balance Rock and then back south around the “island with vegetation” in the vicinity of the 10-lane boat ramp, taking all islands to port. Here’s nice, big color map of the lake for reference.

After making the loop twice, the first boat across the finish line at the “no wake” buoys near the north launch ramp will be the overall winner. Boats should keep track of their own finishing positions.

Then, adjourn to the bar for (included in your entry) appetizers and (not included) beverages. Entry is just $10. Questions? Check with event organizer Tom Errickson.

The Tall Cactus course.

The Tall Cactus course, just like the Governor’s Cup course in December.

Catamarans Walk on the Monohulls at Governor’s Cup 2014

Last to start, first to finish! Brett Johnston won the 2014 Arizona Governor’s Cup Regatta sailing his Nacra Inter 20 Catamaran. Brett and his crew Crew (that’s really his son’s name) picked their way through 32 entrants in light and shifty zephyrs for this year’s regatta. Brett had the last start time, one hour and five minutes after the first boat to start in the pursuit race.

Brett gets to keep the gigantic Governor’s Cup trophy (see picture) for the next year. He’ll accept the trophy at Tuesday’s monthly meeting.

In fact, all the entered catamarans dusted the monos, making the best of the light air and finishing about four hours after they started. Best finishing mono was Court Roberts in his Melges 24, working his way into the cat fight.

The event organizer was Cruising Captain Tom Errickson, who opted for a simple format this year: A pursuit race where the slowest boats start first and the fastest start last. Start near the dam, sail around Horse and Balance Rock islands, then the unnamed island at the south end of the lake (an island that’s the only one in that area with vegetation), do most of it again (Horse, Balance, No-Name), and finish at the no-wake buoys at the north ramp.

After the race, everybody was invited to the Pleasant Harbor Marina Grill for a no-host bar and some munchies. Entry fee is $10, member or nonmember, and everyone is invited.

Tom notes with a wink that this Governor’s Cup had Jan Brewer on the race committee boat. Yeah, really. But this Jan Brewer might bear only a passing resemblance to the one occupying the Governor’s office.

Yeah! Brett and Crew Johnston won the Governor's Cup and get to keep it for the next year.

Yeah! Brett and Crew Johnston won the Governor’s Cup and get to keep it for the next year.

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor's Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

Crowd shot! The mob aboard Melissa Kay for the Governor’s Cup. From left: Dave Haggart, Bob Whyte, Ryan Hanks, Becky Houston, Stacey Haggart, and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Perfect Day for 2014 Tall Cactus

Tall-Cactus-Steve-Brown

Jamie Hamza and Steve Brown toast a win on Steve’s winning Viper 640. Behind the camera: Chrisann Tortora

Lots of wind and sun made the 2014 Tall Cactus regatta nearly perfect—sprinting from Pleasant Harbor Marina, around the Cole’s Bay marker, Balance Rock, and to the no-wake buoys at the North Ramp entrance. Less than two hours for winner Steve Brown and his Viper 640. Just a few minutes later Scott Battle crossed the line in 4th, putting his Catalina 22 first in the non-spin division.

It began with a staggered start, the C22s at 11 am, the Vipers and Dave Christensen’s Mini 650 some 40 minutes later and the rest arrayed in between. Spotty wind at the start spread the fleets until things began to even out later in the north leg, a downwind number.

And it all wrapped up over shishkabobs at Spinnaker Point, with living trophies presented by event organizer Ralph Vatalaro—appropriately, small cactus plants that one day may grow to mighty Tall Cactus.

The J/80s make nice. Left: Maryellen and Mike Ferring, Brian Dye, Bob White and Becky Houston; Right: Chris Smith, Peter Lehrach, Mike Grijalva, and Greg Jackson. Photo: Chris Smith

The J/80s make nice. Left: (l to r) Maryellen Ferring, Brian Dye, Bob White, Becky Houston and Mike Ferring; Right (l to r): Peter Lehrach, Greg Jackson, Mike Grijalva, and Chris Smith. Photo: Chris Smith

 

Cruising Captain and event organizer Ralph Vatalaro presents a prickly prize to Scott Battle (right) and crew Doug McMillan.

Cruising Captain and event organizer Ralph Vatalaro presents a prickly prize to Scott Battle (right) and crew Doug McMillan. Photo: Chrisann Tortora

Sun, Breeze and Grog for April 12 Tall Cactus

Sign Up Now

The Tall Cactus Regatta returns to Lake Pleasant on April 12. Sign up by clicking on the button above. Note: This is a new registration system, so let us know what you think of it. You’ll pay through the PayPal system, but you’ll have the option of paying as a PayPal guest using any credit card.

Tall_Cactus_GraphicFor this annual event, we’re looking forward to a casual sunny cruise around the islands and coves of Lake Pleasant, finishing up at Pleasant Harbor.

After the finish, we’ll gather at Spinnaker point to celebrate our success at navigating Lake Pleasant’s treacherous waters with a tot of grog and other refreshments at a barbeque.

We would like to extend a hearty invitation to our friends in the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club and other sailing groups to join us in this annual floating fiesta.

Details:

  • Saturday, April 12, 9 am skippers meeting, 11 am start. The starting sequence will be based upon the PHRF rating of your boat, with the highest numbers starting first.
  • Cost: $25 per entry. Each entry comes with one dinner. Each additional dinner is $10. Kids under 16 eat free.

Here is the chart for the windier day, which it appears we’ll have: About 12 miles

Starting times for currently registered boats:

PHRF Type Start
270 Catalina 22
11:00:00
249 Capri 16 11:04:12
246 Tanzer 22 11:08:48
216 Laguna 26 11:10:48
219 Merit 22 11:14:12
174 Santana 23 11:23:12
126 J/80 11:32:48
111 Viper 640 11:35:48
90 Open 6.50m
11:36:00

 

—Ralph Vatalaro (with Michael Parker)

Join the “TransLoch” Cruising Race

You’ve heard of the TransPac. Now there’s a shorter race called the TransLoch. It “trans” Lake Pleasant and it’s custom created for cruisers, right down to the fun-friendly PHRF adjustments.

DreamCatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

DreamCatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

It will be Saturday, January 18, starting at 10:45 am, run in conjunction with the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Here’s the description of the course.

The TransLoch Cruising course shall be from the start line, around the North side of Horse Island, then around the North side of Balance Rock, then around the South side of the small unnamed island at the south end of Lake Pleasant near the dam Overlook Visitors Center (33*51.07 N, 112*16.57 W) then to the finish line. Round all marks to port.

The TransLoch Cruising Class shall be limited to boats that are fully equipped to cruise, including a full interior with galley and head, minimum  of two anchors, Dacron or Nylon sails only and operational motor.
Finish order will be determined using Southern California PHRF handicap.
Handicap adjustments will be allowed as follows:

  1. Towing a dinghy – 10
  2. Cooking on BBQ – 6
  3. Children under 6 years of age or a dog – 2 each

Sailing instructions and advice will be available on VHF Channel 68
Starts will be broadcast on VHF with countdown.

Here’s a map with the information. Here’s more information on the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

Enter here:

Sign Up Now

Brilliant New Year’s Sailing Day

If the rest of 2014 goes like day one, it should be a great year.

LPSC's Rhonda Brewer posing football trivia questions on the radio. Photo: Janet Cohen

LPSC’s Rhonda Brewer posing football trivia questions on the radio. Photo: Janet Cohen

A dozen or so boats from AYC and the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club gathered in sunny, 70-degree temperature and fair wind to show what it’s like to live in Arizona.

Rhonda Brewer posed football questions on VHF radio while the fleet milled around celebrating the day and then convened at the Waterfront Grill for $5 hamburgers and $2 beer.

The New Year's Day Crew: Becky Houston, Ralph Vatalaro, Mike Ferring and Maryellen Ferring. And behind the camera: Bob Whyte

The New Year’s Day Crew: Becky Houston, Ralph Vatalaro, Mike Ferring and Maryellen Ferring. And behind the camera: Bob Whyte

On our boat, Cruising Captain Ralph Vatalaro, former Rear Commodore Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Maryellen and I hoisted the spin and sped around Horse Island while Maryellen popped a couple bottles of celebratory champagne. A very nice way to start a new year.

The Ferrings' J/80 and Tom Errickson's colorful Erickson 26 on New Year's Day. Photo: Janet Cohen

The Ferrings’ J/80 and Tom Errickson’s colorful Ericson 26 on New Year’s Day. Photo: Janet Cohen

DreamCatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

Dreamcatcher against the blue Arizona sky. Photo: Janet Cohen

A fun, family cruise. Photo: Bob Whyte

A fun, family cruise. Photo: Bob Whyte

New Year’s Sailing

We go sailing sometimes just because we can. On New Year’s Day we can. Without chipping through the ice.

Mike's J/80 warming up for a Saturday race. Photo: Peter Hartleb

Mike’s J/80 warming up for a Saturday race. Photo: Peter Hartleb

On Wednesday (1/1/2014!) we’ll join the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club for a casual sail on Lake Pleasant and then convene at the Pleasant Harbor Marina Waterfront Grille (their spelling) to watch football, eat, and consume adult beverages.

We’ll gather at the dam at 2pm and then head north, maybe making it around Horse Island if the the wind is better than the forecast (70 degrees but very light wind). Rhonda Brewer of LPSC has come up with some football trivia questions that she’ll loft to the fleet on VHF channel 68. Keep track of them on paper and Rhonda will offer the answers when we get back to the Grill (my spelling).

Rhonda suggests wearing your name badge so we get to know each other better. For AYC people, that would mean your membership card.

 

Register for the Governor’s Cup Distance Race

Court Roberts shows off the gigantic Governor's Cup trophy. Photo: Mike Ferring

Court Roberts shows off the gigantic Governor’s Cup trophy. Photo: Mike Ferring

Registration is open for the Governor’s Cup long distance race, scheduled for Saturday, December 14. The race courses are now posted here.

There’s no charge for entry. All you have to do is fill out this simple form. Then, it’s 26 miles across Lake Pleasant—a feat accomplished by zig-zagging from end to end and back again. Here’s the one-page Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions.

While it’s a race, it’s also just a nice day on the water. And it could extend into the evening in light air, with the moon nearly full to offer some aid to navigation.

The winner of the race gets his or her name engraved on that gigantic trophy and gets to show it off for the next year. The rest of us get a nice day zig-zagging.

We’ll all start together at 10 am at a start line near the dam at the south end of the lake. You’re on your honor to round the correct rounding marks and islands and to report your time at finish to scorer Dave Christensen. Dave will crunch the PHRF handicaps and determine the finishing order.

You may also sail just half the distance and be scored for half distance. Click the box on the entry form. There’s no giant trophy for this option, but you’ll have bragging rights until next year.

Organizer Ralph Vatalaro plans to make sure everyone knows exactly where those rounding marks are this time and he’ll issue a route in a couple weeks. Email Ralph with questions.