This month we’re digging deep… deep into the East Valley that is! Come join us for libations and camaraderie at Fibber Magees in Chandler: 1989 West Elliot Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 on Tuesday Sept 25th at about 5:30 to about whenever. As usual, the club will spring for some appetizers and we’ll all enjoy the fellowship! Click the link below to add it to your Google Calendar!
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The first crew party held at the lake was a really great gathering! Lots of people, both members and potential members got together, shared their sailing experiences and a great meal.
The event also had a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Blind Buccaneers. We raised a little over $160 towards their trip. They are fundraising through the end of October. If you would like to support them but were not at the event, donations are eligible for an Arizona Tax Credit (see your tax adviser for more details!)
Much thanks goes to Sharon Bell, and Heather and Josh McClain for organizing the event!
By Sharon Bell
While several members were traveling or doing regular summer “stuff,” there was a great group of members who came for cheer, chat and Sailing Jeopardy! at the July monthly meeting.
Terry made special cocktails behind the bar and Mike Parker proved to be a fantastically funny host and narrator for the game. There were four easy targets…oh…I mean “contestants” who volunteered to answer expertly crafted questions in the true spirit of Jeopardy.
The contestants for the evening were Josh McClain, Kenneth Nahkala, Joel Hurley and a new member Alec Milstein!
Josh McClain had a buzzer that made off-putting noises and Mike liked to magnify the noises on the microphone. Sorry folks…you just needed to be there for the sound effects since we all know that what happens at meetings…stays at meetings.
Josh enjoyed hitting his buzzer (probably just to make noise but answered questions too) and stayed in the lead until the finish for a $50 gift card to take his beautiful wife and daughter out to dinner. Yup…Josh…that is the agreement I heard! Alec, Joel, and Kenneth crossed the finish line in a photo finish for $25 gift certificates for their courage and competitive spirit in true AYC style. Thanks again to Mike Parker for making this evening perfect.
Next month, we want to invite ALL of the new members for a social meet and greet to set the stage for a great year of sailing opportunities, friendship opportunities, and tons of laughter. Heather and I will be reaching out to a few of our members for pictures and spotlight information so we can get to know each other better. Stay tuned…it will be fun.
Question: Sailing Jeopardy
Answer: What’s a Fun Game to Play at the Next Monthly Meeting?
Got it? Sharon ” Alex Trebek” Bell is whipping up a bunch of head scratchers for you to answer just for fun at the meeting. Come ready to play.
The meeting is Tuesday, July 10, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
When Matt Reynolds introduced us to Extreme Sailing at a monthly meeting last year, more than a dozen AYC members took up the invitation to see the October races in San Diego.
In June, Matt will be back with a highlight reel of stories from the first event.
Watching from the shore is free, but a bunch of us from AYC paid for the upgrade to ride on the wild, foiling GC32 catamarans during racing. What a kick! I was hanging onto the tramp of the French-shouting Swiss entry Alinghi as the crew scrambled around me, ducking flying lines and trying to keep up with the radical speed of the race. I highly recommend it.
Second best: A Silver Pass that offers entry into the VIP viewing area just off the finish line with great food and open bar, television coverage, the skippers’ news conference, a technical tour of a GC32, and (if you’d like), a RIB ride during racing. The Silver Passes are $350 each and we’ll auction off a pair of them at the meeting to benefit AYC’s 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Come ready to bid!
The meeting is Tuesday, June 12, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
Consider this quote from one of the most experienced navigators in the world: “To a sailor, understanding weather is as important as boat preparation and knowing how to tack.”
The navigator is John Jourdane and the quote introduces the book, Modern Weather for Sailors. It also introduces our May monthly meeting speaker, that same guy and the book’s author, John Jourdane.
The meeting is Tuesday, May 8, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
You may remember John from his November 2013 visit, when he regaled the club with stories of his travels. He’s sailed over 300,000 miles, covering the distance between the West Coast and Hawaii 54 times, crossing the Atlantic Ocean 12 times, and sailing around the world three times, including two Whitbread Round the World Races.
How’s that for preparation for explaining (briefly) this complex subject: weather and how it affects sailors.
Daniel Forster will arrive at our April monthly meeting armed with a spectacular portfolio of sailing photos and a lifetime of sailing stories. Just to skim some off the top: He’s photographed the last 13 America’s Cups and 12 Olympic Games.
Now Daniel is one of the official photographers for the Rolex Yachting events, covering such regattas as the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta, St. Thomas, New York Yacht Club events, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco, Rolex Swan Cup, Rolex Middle Sea Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Daniel will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, April 10, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces restaurant (that’s apparently what they’re calling it now) at Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
And if not, why not?
One of the great benefits of knowing how to sail is access to gorgeous yachts in beautiful places. Clear green water, steady trade breeze, warm evenings with a piña colada. Mmmm. Oops, sorry, I drifted off there for a minute.
You’ve seen the tantalizing beauty shots in sailing magazines. At the next AYC monthly meeting, Tom White of The Moorings yacht charters will tap into your wanderlust and show you how to make the fantasy come true.
Tom will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, March 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces restaurant (that’s apparently what they’re calling it now) at Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
Hard. Very hard. And complicated.
Speaking to February’s AYC monthly meeting, Oracle Team USA tactician Andrew Campbell said that despite the level of competition, sailing is sailing, with tactics similar to the ones he started learning as a Sabot sailor in San Diego almost three decades ago. The rest? Sailing the America’s Cup boat in Bermuda required a level of fitness unmatched in sailing, pumping maximum heart rate through a 20-minute race, dashing in coordinated choreography across the platform, and keeping the boat flying with controls less sophisticated than a foiling moth.
The complexity of the boat was amazing, for instance offering the ability to fine-tune the shape of the wing by adjusting camber differently from top to bottom depending on wind conditions. The team collected immense amounts of data that they spent hours analyzing in order to improve speed and handling.
In the end, of course, it wasn’t enough, but Andrew believes that Oracle Team USA might have been able to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand if they’d been able to compete in wind conditions more suited to their boat. More wind or less wind, he says, would have moved ETNZ out of its sweet spot and moved Oracle into its design target, enabling the US team to overcome the excellent sailing and design of the Kiwis.
How about the next America’s Cup in Auckland? The planned design will be a huge challenge, he says, but the boats will be fast and more maneuverable, with less energy spent pumping oil through the hydraulic system and more spent sailing. Watch for the personable and able Andrew Campbell to be part of it all.
Five years ago, Olympic Laser sailor Andrew Campbell spoke to us at the Arizona Yacht Club. Now he’s been gracious enough to agree to a repeat visit, only this time he’s coming off an intense time as one of the tacticians for the Oracle Team USA America’s Cup campaign and one of the commentators for the television coverage of the event.
In 2016 he explained his America’s Cup role to Scuttlebutt, saying, “On the water I monitor multiple boats to make sure that we’re efficiently using our time. It doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that I’m also helping the mode choices for our boat, checking relatives against the other boat… and grinding our wingsheet, taking breaks while sprinting across the platform to the new helm to help steer through tacks and gybes.”
Andrew will be our monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, February 13, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
After earning a spot as a four-time All-American at Georgetown University, Andrew went on to compete in the Laser class at the 2008 Olympics. (He met his wife, Jacqueline Schmitz, at Georgetown, where they were both members of the sailing team. They now have twin girls.)
The Campbells are a sailing family. Andrew’s father, Bill Campbell, is a three-time America’s Cup sailor who was part of Bill Koch’s team that won the Cup in 1992. Bill is also a former Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club.
USA Today quoted Bill Campbell saying his son’s mantra during his sailing career has been, “Keep showing up.” He tells a story of Andrew driving home from high school in La Jolla, Calif., and stopping at Mission Bay Yacht Club, where he kept a Laser.
“He’d stop, put the boat in the water, go out, tack a hundred times, jibe a hundred times, put the boat away and come home. He did that all the time,” Bill Campbell said.
“You keep showing up; you keep practicing. By showing up all the time, you’re doing more than the other guys. You’re getting better, and hopefully the results will show that. His commitment to the sport and his commitment to doing that was always impressive to me.”
The Caddy Shack overflowed Tuesday night (1/9) to hear sailing legend Gary Jobson talk about his projects, the America’s Cup, and sailing in general. Punctuated with funny stories and lots of video, Gary’s presentation brought the audience to its feet for a closing standing ovation.
The next night Gary offered some of the same presentation to the New York Yacht Club, which has announced that it will challenge for the America’s Cup next time around. He told us he would urge them to commit to two challenges, since the recent pattern has been that the defender would successfully defend the first time and might be defeated the second. He said that NYYC had raised an impressive amount of money to mount the challenge and could be a serious contender.
Gary Jobson is certainly America’s most famous sailor.
He was inducted into the first class of the Sailing Hall of Fame and everything flows from there: college sailor of the year twice, tactician for Ted Turner’s winning America’s Cup campaign, winner of oodles of races, offshore and on, all of which vaulted him to his role as author, commentator, TV producer, speaker (over 2,600 lectures he says), President of US Sailing, and now VP of World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport (formerly called ISAF).
Gary will be our January monthly meeting speaker Tuesday, January 9, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
This will be Gary’s third visit to AYC and if you were at either of the first two, you know what an entertaining speaker he is—and how popular he is. Because of the expected large turnout, we’ve arranged with the Caddy Shack to reduce the menu options that night to three (hamburger & fries, chicken fillet sandwich & fries, and Greek salad) in order to make sure we can serve everyone who would like to eat.
Like more details on Gary’s amazing list of accomplishments? Click over to his website for a quick briefing.
Got 15 minutes to spare? Watch Gary’s ESPN story on Ted Turner’s 1979 Fastnet victory.
The “Daisy Spanker” gift was the hit of the night, a “sail” fashioned from some giant-sized women’s undies, first received by Donna Benson, then Buccaneer-claimed by Deb Heisler, and finally pirated by Gene Walentiny (who denied speculation about what he planned for them).
Sharon Bell confessed to gifting the Spanker and to cooking up the colorful description of the origin of the “sail,” reprinted below.
The event was the annual AYC gift exchange, emceed by Tom Errickson, and rich with the usual assortment of alcoholic beverage gifts, including a couple we’re still trying to figure out. Velvet Falernum anyone?
Then the meeting turned to the serious business of choosing the “winner” of the Blunder Bucket, a tradition almost as old as the Daisy Spanker. Two worthy nominations were submitted: George Tingom for leading the Governor’s Cup until he decided to round the wrong island and Paul Liszewski for toppling overboard Rolling in the Deep when racing. Paul’s crew had refused all inquiries about what happened, claiming some kind of crew-confidentiality agreement, but James Morphis was an eyewitness and embellished the nomination with great detail.
Still, it would be hard to deny George the honor for booting the Governor’s Cup, the crowd loudly applauded and he proudly accepted.
Here’s Sharon’s account of the origin of the “Daisy Spanker.”
Webster’s Dictionary “spanker”
- a fore-and-aft sail or a mast that is aftermost in a sailing vessel
- something outstandingly fine or large
The “Daisy” Spanker is a light air reaching sail, where the apparent wind has a significant effect to create angles less than 90 degrees. It is guaranteed to gain interest and pause your competition long enough for you to finish first in your fleet.
The idea for this sail was conceived by Robert “Black Heart” McDoogle in 1865. To many people, he was as cold as a well-diggers toe in January, but he loved his wife (Daisy) who was of voluptuous size and suffered an unfortunate tendency to pass gas after eating certain foods. One day after a particularly forceful series of emissions he had an idea, rushed on deck with Daisy’s bloomers and hoisted them off a loose line on the aft mast. Low and behold, the bloomers filled with wind and held tight while the ship lurched forward. Captain McDoogle named the new sail a “Daisy Spanker” in honor of his wife.
December’s monthly meeting brings the annual AYC gift exchange, a gift exchange with a twist. You might say twisted, even. The meeting is at 7 pm, Tuesday, December 12, 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 in which 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.
It all started with the legendary J/24.
Jeff Johnstone recounted to the AYC November monthly meeting how his father Rod chose the size of the J/24 40 years ago for one critical reason: he could build a 24 foot long by 7 foot wide boat in his garage. Anything bigger wouldn’t fit. When they rolled it out, it not only floated, but beat all comers with a family crew on board.
Since then, there have been over 14,000 boats with the famous J/ on the side, a record of success they could never have imagined back then. Jeff recalled the path from J/24 to J/121, the company’s latest offering, a 40-footer designed for comfortable ocean cruising and racing with a smaller-than-typical crew. Instead of six crew hiking, the J/121 has water ballast that Jeff says “you never have to feed.”
Jeff made a lightning fast trip to Arizona for the Tuesday night meeting, flying in Monday, working in his hotel room Tuesday morning, playing a round of golf at Rolling Hills in the afternoon and then taking the red-eye home in order to make it to a scheduled sailing session in Rhode Island Wednesday morning. AYC members showed their appreciation by filling the room at the Caddy Shack.
What kind of event brings out large numbers of boats? Jeff ran through the list of some of the most-attended regattas in the world, regattas that bring hundreds: the Fastnet, the Around-the-Island (the island of Wight), the Chicago-to-Mac, the Bridges race in San Francisco Bay and several others. How about a 600+ mile race in the Grenadines? Jeff says people buying the J/121 are looking for interesting races in interesting places and that doesn’t have to mean wet and cold!
Every performance sailor knows J/Boats, the premier company for fleets of fast boats that began with the legendary J/24 and continues today with a host of sailboats that start with the letter “J.”
On Tuesday, November 14, the president of J/Boats, Jeff Johnstone, will be our meeting speaker. He’ll trace the path of the company from the groundbreaking J/24 to the latest hull #1 of the new J/121 (which I know you’ll want to order immediately).
It was Jeff’s father Rod who started it all with $400 worth of fiberglass and wood plus some leftover rigging from brother Bob’s Soling. The result was Ragtime, which proved an amazing race winner and launched a series of J/24s that eventually sold an astonishing 5400 boats.
Since that beginning, the brand has produced 7,000 more J/Boats. A total of six of Rod and Bob’s sons keep the company in the family and sailing fast.
The meeting is Tuesday, November 14, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
The crazy-windy 2016 Chicago to Mac was tossing our J/130 around like a toy when the helmsman (no, not me) made a bit of a mistake—the huge, green spinnaker suddenly wrapping around the headstay, wind blasts threatening to rip the spinnaker to bits. Raining, dead dark, we call for Bill. Bill Gladstone. He pokes his head up from below and calmly goes to work, unflappable despite the roar of the flapping sail, asking for a couple jibes to unwrap the sail and minutes later we’re back on course, sail intact.
This was Bill’s 28th Chicago to Mac, so he’s seen a lot of nutty stuff on Lake Michigan and lots of other places. He takes it all in calmly, with a smile and a laugh that help explain how he’s been able to take teaching performance sailing and turn it into a lifetime vocation. His business is North U, which presents seminars each year around the country plus the Regatta Experience and clinics in Ontario, Captiva Island, Florida, and St. Thomas.
In October, Bill will offer AYC a short version of one of his workshops, spinning stories as he suggests tactics, rules, and trim. Expect to be as much entertained as informed.
The meeting is Tuesday, October 10, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
Bill’s racing experience covers the spectrum, including everything from dinghies to Maxies, ponds to oceans, and foredeck to helm. He has finished in the money at Key West Race Week, the SORC, Block Island Race Week, Chicago NOOD, Annapolis to Newport; Chicago to Mackinac, the Annapolis Fall Series, NYYC Race Week, and Queen’s Cup. Bill raced collegiately for Yale and was founder of the Chicago Sailing Club.
He’s been teaching sailing and racing for over forty years. Graduates of his seminars number in the thousands, including several dozen AYC members.
What is the future of sailing? I think we can agree the answer lies with the kids trimming the sails at an ASF Opti I class and their older brothers and sisters in Bics, Lasers, and anything else that sails to the wind.
What draws them to sailing when the competition is a fast-moving massive multi-player online game?
In August, we’ll find out what Colin Gibbs and Cedric Lorch think the answer is. We’ll hear from them and from dad Rob Gibbs and others who are putting together sailing programs for kids. This fall, the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) will launch a racing program for juniors, mostly in Bic O’Pens, and put them on the Tempe Town Lake race course at the same time as the adults. Can sailboat racing hold its own with the latest app?
The meeting is Tuesday, August 8, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
The 2017 Commodore’s Celebration was a night to remember, especially for Lori Reger, who received the AYC Sportsmanship Award recognition for her many contributions to the club over the years: as secretary, as monthly meeting greeter, as adopt-a-boat wrangler and a whole host of other things.
Paul Miachika will probably remember it too—the night he traded the Club Championship trophy for the Blunder Bucket! Paul ceded the Club Championship punch bowl to Mike Hester and John Mayall, this year’s champs. And Rob Gibbs offered a stirring nomination of Paul for a small trailering boo boo. Seems he didn’t tie down the front of his Laser to the trailer. That turned into a big deal when heading down the 101, he looked in the rear view mirror and saw the boat take flight, crashing on the port stern quarter and back flipping some 15 feet in the air. Fortunately nobody hurt, but Paul was suddenly in the market for a new boat.
Cindy Pillote presented the Linderman Most Improved Junior trophy to Colin Gibbs and the Heavy Lifting Award to his dad Rob. Bella Hutchinson accepted the High School Championship trophy; she crewed for Peter Blake in the competition. Miles Danner will receive the Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior Award when he comes home from vacation.
The experimental “Triple Crown” concept didn’t produce a winner this year, but Bruce Andress decided to dedicate it to longtime AYC member Jim Ney, who died recently.
Bruce will remember this as the night he handed over the Commodore’s chores and I’ll remember it as the night I formally took them on… again. Round three as Commodore. The new board, with several new faces, stood for applause.
The Commodore’s Celebration was held at The Yard in Tempe and proved to be an excellent location, especially when dressed up with Maryellen Ferring’s centerpieces and bright balloons.
Here are pictures I took (or were taken by others using my camera).
Sailing will go to the Extreme in October in San Diego, foiling cats rising out of the water in a wild show of speed. The city is the latest entry in the world tour of the Extreme Sailing Series, a collection of professional, sponsored teams racing a fleet of foiling GC32 catamarans, “flying” just in front of thousands of spectators.
In April, San Diego Extreme Series CEO Matt Reynolds will introduce AYC to the series and invite us to take it all in on October 19-21. The Race Village will be based at Harbor Island, and the racing action will take place close to shore as a kind of “stadium” racing venue. The series started in 2007 with racing catamarans, but last year switched to the GC32, the foiling boats. Here’s more about the boats.
They just raced in March at Muscat in Oman. Next up in April is Qingdao, China. Then it’s on to the Madeira Islands, Hamburg and Cardiff, and then San Diego and Los Cabos, Mexico
The meeting is Tuesday, April 11, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.
- Opening Day at Lake Pleasant September 24, 2018
- TTL Fall Racing Opens Hot September 18, 2018
- Are You Cat Curious? September 17, 2018
- AYC 4th Tuesday Happy Hour – Fibber Magees in Chandler September 17, 2018
- October San Carlos Cruise with the Tucson Sailing Club September 13, 2018