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My First – THE FIRST – Governors Cup 1994

 By Dennis Lynde

Well, this is from quite a while ago, but I was asked to recall a former Governors cup that I had participated in and my first was THE FIRST.

In 1994 I was working for The Sailboat Shop and had the pleasure of selling a new Hunter 26, which he named Wit’s End, to Cliff McCrumb, a Phoenix police officer, and real nice guy.  He and his wife were going to go cruising, but his dad is a long time sailor also and had owned a few sailboats.

Hunter had just come out with their new 26, which was a real departure from previous Hunters, and had a lot of freeboard, a centerboard, full batten main and working jib. You really could not put a large headsail on this boat, since the shrouds were all led to the outside of the deck and hull which prohibited an overlapping jib. This was really a cruiser with a lot of space below, an open transom and a large cockpit.

Cliff decided he would like to try his hand at racing, which he’d never done, so I volunteered to crew for him, and along with a friend of his, Tom Comtois, we decided to enter this new race.  This was the First AYC Governor’s Cup.

Back then, the new dam at Lake Pleasant had just been completed the year before, and none of us were real familiar with the new lake, and it was in the process of still filling, so this sounded like a real fun challenge and a cool way to learn the new lake.

In 1994 the race was held on January 1st, pretty cold at night, but beautiful during the day. Cliff rented a slip at the then new marina and launched before I got there. When I arrived, like any good racing sailor, I asked him if he had cleaned out the cruising gear for the race, and could I get him a cart to take everything off the boat. He said don’t bother, we would race it like it was equipped, and we did. Sleeping bags, BBQ’s, two anchors, batteries, dinnerware, cushions, heaters, etc, etc, and with all the lockers full to the brim. I couldn’t touch a thing.

With “Wit’s End” being a new boat, Cliff only had 2 sails, a working jib, and full batten mainsail (if you don’t have one, get one). The full batten main was a new toy for mono hulls back then. Anyway, we entered the non-spinnaker class, which was a 2 lap 25 mile race of the lake. There was also a 4 lap 50 mile course for the spinnaker boats. Thank goodness we did not enter that class.

Starting out there was a good size fleet, and I don’t remember if we had 2 starts or just one combined fleet start, but there was very little wind and not much to come for quite a while. We settled into drifting mode, I was on the helm, trying not to pinch in a boat that had a lot of freeboard and a small headsail, but lo and behold, because of the small headsail, which was easier to fill in light to no wind, and the full batten main, we were out pointing all the boats that had a large headsail up and a standard main.

This kept up the whole first leg of the race, with this sail and wind combination being just right. And with even with all the gear on board, during a lull we had plenty of momentum to carry us through.

It took us the better part of a day just to get to the far end of the lake and find the first mark, which was a small buoy with flashing yellow highway emergency lights, not very bright, and prone to slipping off to one side of the buoy. Well, we found the marks at the far end of the lake, rounded them alright and tried to make compass references on the chart (remember, no GPS back then).

We finally finished the first lap in the light, and then it got interesting. It was not a full moon, and it got dark at the back of the lake real quickly. We fumbled our way through the course in the black of night, with absolutely no lights at that end of the lake. Luckily we had a wide assortment of flashlights with us, (remember the full lockers) and were only scared 4 or 5 times when we would shine them down on the water and see rocks ghosting by  a short distance away. Also luckily we had all brought winter gloves and jackets, and Cliff pulled a propane heater out and set it in the cockpit next to our feet.  Cruising Boat, remember?

We rounded the last mark and headed for the finish line at the other end of the lake at about 11:30pm and THEN the wind kicked in. We had a broad reach in about 15 knots of wind for the rest of the race and made it back down the lake in about 45 minutes, just screaming along.  We had lost sight and sound of all the other boats and had no idea of where any of the competition was. We finished about 12:19, and motored to the dock.

Cliff asked if we were hungry, pulled out his BBQ and proceeded to make pork chops, green beans and warm bread and coffee for the crew. Something warm to eat at 1:00 really hit the spot. Cruising boat, remember?

You can imagine our surprise the next day when we were awarded 1st place in our class. We thought it was pretty amazing, and even though it got cold that night, we had a great time, never ran aground and really enjoyed ourselves. If I remember correctly, some of the spinnaker boats were finishing the next morning after a 4 lap journey.

EDITORS NOTE:  Have a story from “back in the day” that you’d like to share?  Please contact Emory Heisler or Rob Gibbs by email at CompassPoints@ArizonaYachtClub.org

Cole’s Wash Raft Up

The annual New Year’s Day cruise to Cole’s Wash buoy for lunch is ON! Join us New Year’s day – about lunch time for a raft up at the buoy to share company and good eats. Bring lunch for yourself, and some to share.

If you don’t know where Cole’s Wash is, here’s a map.

I’ll bring the cookies!
Wendy Larsen-Christensen

Bucc’s Eat Turkey in Long Beach…AND on Catalina Island


Heisler, Vaillancourt, Rawstrom - LB Turkeys 2010

Heisler, Vaillancourt, Rawstrom - LB Turkeys 2010


Three hearty Buccaneer 18 teams skipped the AYC Gov’s Cup to join in the “umpteenth” Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Turkey Regatta to sample the legendary sailing inside the Long Beach sea wall, and to get some early turkey dinner.  The sailing and the turkey more than lived up to their reputations!

Day 1 started out with some steady rain and good 10-15mph winds but only two Buccs on the line.  Sacramento road warrior Carole Vaillancourt and skipper Ryan Scofield on “Wind Me Up” faced off with Emory Heisler and his brother Tim in “Erin Mogan” for the first race, a 2 lap W-L course.  Ryan and Carole lead easily at the first W mark and stayed there down to the gates as Emory and Tim sailed without the chute.  A problem at the gate for Ryan and Carole though let Emory and Tim sneak ahead by the 2nd W mark.  However without the spinny they couldn’t hold their position which gave Ryan and Carole an easy 30 second win.


Turkey Day Pirate Mayhem


Before race 2 could start Emory and Tim headed for warmth and turkey as the rain continued and the early signs of hypothermia started for Tim.  That left race 2 as a one-boat bullet for Ryan and Carole, but by the time Race 3 began Dave Rawstrom and crew Bailey Marra in “Red Fish Blue Fish” had found the course to put some competition back in the sailing.

Dave and Bailey sailed neck and neck with Ryan and Carole upwind until a blown tack by Ryan and Carole at the layline sent them from two boat lengths ahead to two boat lengths behind Dave and Bailey at the weather mark.  Ryan and Carole once again sailed their spinnaker against a team not ready to set the chute in the heavy conditions allowing them to pass Dave and Bailey for another easy win and 3 bullets for the day.

It was time for TURKEY!  Back in the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club the 3 Bucc teams and Dave’s family were joined by EX-AYCer Dennis Martinelli who was also in town for Turkey and some hard core Laser sailing too.  Of course the ABYC lived up to their reputation “with all the trimmings” and classic Yacht Club hospitality followed by a well deserved evening of recovery (except for Dennis and Emory that found their way to a bar showing the UFC fight!  Imagine that???!!!).

Stormy Long Beach Turkey Regatta 2010Sunday dawned with “freight train” winds blowing chunks of palm trees down the street.  Fortunately they “died down” to 20-25mph by race time.  Seeing these conditions both Dave and Emory lost their crews to the Farmers Market and teamed up on Emory’s “Erin Morgan” to keep at least two boats racing…or so they thought.

With the wind blowing a steady 20 with gusts to 25 Carole let Ryan know that she felt it was to windy, and that left the “well balasted” Emory and Dave to blast and plane around the course.  Ryan was appropriately jealous and Dave and Emory had some “profound revelations” during their 2 races “against the wind.” Details?   Sorry!  Sworn to secrecy!

After the scores were totaled, Ryan and Carole’s three Day-1 wins were just enough to win the Bucc class – AND a nice pair of frozen Turkeys (larger classes even had Cornish Game Hens for 3RD place LOL!)

AND THEN…..Emory and Tim jumped on a Catalina 30 Monday morning and cruised to Catalina and back (Tuesday) in beautiful 15-20 mph winds and calm seas.  “It was like sailing with training wheels”, said Emory, compared to the two Winnie the Pooh days in Long Beach.  But THAT is a different Turkey Day Regatta story.

Next year we hope to see more Buccs and other AYC sailors on the line for a great event at a great venue…..with some great Turkeys!

Next West Coast Race….SD NOOD, March 18-20.  See you there!

ARRRR!   Ryan Scofield – “Wind Me Up”, Emory Heisler – “Erin Morgan”

Governor’s Cup – Finished Before Dark!

The wind was great yesterday for the 14 boats that participated in the Governor’s Cup.  The wind speed was 9-10 steady most of the day with gusts up to about 20 in certain parts of the lake at different times.  Of course the Reynolds 33 Catamaran took line honors (we saw them finishing when we were just starting our second “lake lap”) but hat’s off to Chuck Robinson who completed the course in his US1 and Gary Oberbeck who completed the course in his SUNFISH!  The trophy will be awarded at the December Membership Meeting (along with Ye Blunder Bucket!)

Here are some of the better photos I got.  If you have a picture you want to submit, use our new Photo Upload Page. If you have multiples, it would be great if you could use a hosting site like www.Flickr.com or www.Picasaweb.com to post them and send a link to Web@ArizonaYachtClub.org.

Governor’s Cup Course…

The Governor's Cu

Register for the 2010 Governor’s Cup here!

Mike Parker has given us the final course for the Governor’s Cup 26.2mi Marathon:

Start between Marina South entrance buoy and R/C boat
Castle Creek Buoy
Balance Rock I
Horse I
South Barker I
Humbug Buoy
South around shoal
Coles Bay Buoy
Balance Rock
10-Lane County launch No-Wake (any)
North ramp No-Wake (any)
Horse I
Balance Rock I
10-Lane County launch No-Wake (any)
Honeymoon Cove
Finish between Honeymoon Suites (porta-potty) and shore.
Official Course Charts will be distributed at the Skipper’s Meeting but here is the Google Earth view of the course.

Governor’s Cup – 20 November

The AYC Governor’s Cup has been revived!  Traditionally a long distance point to point race on Lake Roosevelt, it’s moved to Lake Pleasant and is a 26.2 mi “marathon” course with creative scoring.  Read the NOR’s and SI’s carefully! Click below to sign up today!  Sign up before Nov 12th for Early Bird pricing.