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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.

Pleasant Pleases Plenty

It was one of the best racing weekends any of us could remember: good wind and comfortable temperatures nearly the entire time, perfect enough that each fleet scored a record number of races over the two days. Credit the wind and the multi-hull committee team that turned races quickly.

Rain forecast for Sunday morning instead struck overnight, leaving the sky clear at race time. The biggest surprise of the morning came when the race committee and Lake Captain David Newland arrived to find the Pleasant Harbor Marina launch dock floating 100 feet offshore—with the committee boats still tied to it. The RC were ferried to the dock and headed out while the PHM crew went to work to attach the dock back to the land.

After a couple light-air races Sunday morning, the wind came up again and with it the smiles of race teams that knocked off a half dozen races before stopping.

Ace scorekeeper Dave Christensen needed to do a lot of number crunching, but he did it and you’ll find the results here and on the Results Page.

 

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. Photo: David Newland

That’s the Pleasant Harbor Marina launch dock floating offshore with the AYC RC boats still tied up. Photo: David Newland

Tony Chapman at full downwind chat. Photo: Scott Agan

The Ferrings’ J/70 Melissa Kay edges past the finish ball downwind. Photo: Scott Agan

Wind Whips TTL and Lasers Love It

Mike Bernard. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Hurricane Rosa brought a blast of wind to Tempe Town Lake Sunday afternoon (9/30), more or less straight out of the WNW and the Laser fleet got after it!

Several boats went over in the puffy, powerful wind and both safety boats were busy chasing the capsized craft. Laser sailors think that’s great sailing so they’re wet and smiling.

You’ll find results here and on our Results Page.

Here are some shots by Debbra Heisler and Ron Sands.

Lasers fly downwind. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Paul Miachika. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Scott Sharples. Photo: Ron Sands

 

Laser sunset. Photo: Ron Sands

 

Opening Day at Lake Pleasant

The Rawlings Race Team. If the kids look a little damp, it’s because they were splashing around in the lake minutes earlier. Photo: Mike Ferring

Opening Day for the Lake Pleasant Fall Series started with a bit of a whimper instead of a bang (weren’t you supposed to bring the wind?), but then picked up for Sunday’s action.

Scores are posted on the Racing Results page, or click here. 

Saturday’s wind allowed for only one or two races for all fleets, including a large contingent of multi-hulls out for the day. It concluded with a nice gathering at Spinnaker Point, a lush layout of charcuterie catered by Martin Lorch.

Here’s what PRO Martin told us about Sunday’s racing:

“We started the races promptly at 9:00am in 7 to 8 knots of wind from the north (about 345-350 magnetic). The three fleets racing completed the race rapidly. The second race was started right away at about 10am, and the wind began failing before they got to the windward mark. The boats came to a crawl for about thirty minutes.

“Then, the wind rotated around from the west, the east, back from the west and settled from the south (approx 165-170 mag) where it generally stayed at 7 to 11 knots. We moved the north mark to the west at the start of the second race and moved it back to its original position at the start of the third race. We adjusted the red start ball once because the committee boat had rotated and also because we needed to give the Outrage crew something to do!

“Thistles got their three races in by 11:30, the PHRF Spin fleet completed 5 races by 1:05pm.”

Scott Richards and Skip Kempff getting off the line in light air. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Paul Liszewski checking main trim as the team goes Rolling in the Deep. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Jim Tomes and his Bimare F18ht cat. Photo: Mike Ferring

TTL Fall Racing Opens Hot

Quite hot, actually, but with enough breeze to make the opening day at the lake a good contest.

There are some 37 entries at Tempe Town Lake for the fall series, including 10 C14s, 13 Lasers, seven Portsmouth, and six in the new Junior Fleet. The Juniors are sailing in Bics and Lasers under the guidance of Rob Gibbs.

Lasers were on race committee duty the first weekend, leaving the rest of the boats to duke it out. Mark Howell has again agreed to crunch the scores for TTL. Here they are.

Results of week one of Tempe Town Lake racing.

The next race Sunday will be September 30 with Portsmouth on race committee.

Some of the race action at Tempe Town Lake with the new Junior Fleet in the foreground. Photo: Marc Danner

Are You Cat Curious?

Hobie skims Lake Pleasant. Photo: Charles Landis

By Tony Knauss – TSC/Hobie Fleet 514

We have a few of our Hobie and Multihull skippers who are inviting the boatless and the cat-curious to crew for us at the AYC Fall Series season opener this Saturday, Sept 22, to see what it all about.

First-come-first-served, and just a few openings available, but nobody has committed, so those spots are all still open! Hobies are of course fairly athletic to sail and you won’t be spinning the blender for boat drinks. We will have all the harnesses/PFDs/wetsuits to get you geared up.

Sound like fun? Let me know!  abkrauss@cox.net

AYC 4th Tuesday Happy Hour – Fibber Magees in Chandler

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!

October San Carlos Cruise with the Tucson Sailing Club

Photo courtesy of the TSC

Our sister club in Tucson is hosting its annual San Carlos Cruise beginning October 22nd.

Ports of call will include San Pedro Bay, Las Cocinas anchorage, and of course San Carlos. For more information visit their website page about the cruise or contact Richard Sebastian, at iwmfg@comcast.net or phone 520-404-8370.

Fall Racing Kicks Off at Both Lakes

Racing at Tempe Town Lake begins at 3pm Sunday (September 16) and at Lake Pleasant the following weekend, Saturday at 12:30 pm and Sunday at 9 am, September 22 & 23.

Registration, race documents, and race committee assignments are here.

The fleet line-up looks very much like last year, except that the Santana 20 fleet will be back as a separate fleet rather than being combined with the PHRF Spin fleets, as they were last year.

If you haven’t raced before, if you’re a little rusty, or if you’d like to crew, we have options for you:

See you on the water!

Crew Party with a Cause!!

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!

 

Annual Crew Party Sat, 8 September!

Cruising on Lake Pleasant

One final reminder that this Saturday, 8 September from about 4 to around 8 (boat time you know…) at Scorpion Bay Marina YOUR Arizona Yacht Club will host its annual Crew Party dubbed “Sail Jam!” In conjunction with that we will be fundraising for the Blind Buccaneers and the Foundation for Blind Children with a 50/50 Raffle.

Quick Reminders:

  • Arizona Yacht Club will serve hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone. Please bring a dish to share and BYOB. Can bring a bag of chips or get fancy. (Please connect with Heather McClain if you want to know more about what to bring, e.g. dessert vs side dish.)
  • We have a few dock-friendly games such as corn hole, horseshoes, board games if you want.
  • Bring your own chairs! We have about eight already out there.
  • Bring your boat! Show it off, brag, socialize, and go for a sail to test out crew/boat opportunities.
  • The rules of Scorpion Bay are to be respected as there are many boat owners out there. Good neighbor rules apply.

We’re looking forward to a great turnout!

Next AYC Happy Hour – O.H.S.O. North Scottsdale!

Our Happy Hour events are generally scheduled on the 4th Tuesday of the month and move around the valley! This one is going to be in North Scottsdale at O.H.S.O Brewery and Distillery 28 Aug!

This is another Local First location that not only has their own brews, but distills their own spirits (and the Rum is SMOOTH!) The club will spring for some appetizers and you are welcome to pay for your own drinks and dinner if you would like. Hope to see you there!

Click here is more information on the venue!

AYC Campout Was Cool!

AYC Cool Camp Out!

As monsoon storms hit the valley over the weekend, making the 100 degree temps wet and muggy, many of our members gathered in the cool pines outside of Mormon Lake and above 7000 feet where the high temp was about 79 degrees!

There was a little bit of everything as far as accommodations goes; everything from Class A motor homes to tents and hammocks! There was some rain on Friday evening after everyone was in bed, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.

Saturday night Steve Nahkala brought the fire for the Saturday night cookout, and that was welcome after a hard day of hiking, biking, horseshoes, and cornhole!

Club Member Wendy Larsen

After dinner as the sun set there was more fire as we enjoyed evening bonfire (with the monsoon storms the fire hazards had been lowered to allow it.) Next year we’re going to try and coordinate with LPSC who had a camp out here at the same campground two weeks earlier! We hope to see everyone then!

Organizer Steve Nahkala brings the FIRE.

Crew Party at Scorpion September 8

By Heather McClain

This is the unofficial start of the sailing season in Phoenix! Need Crew? Want to crew on a boat?

Scorpion Bay Marina, Lake Pleasant

On Saturday, September 8, from 4-8 pm, we’ll toss a crew party at the end of E dock at Scorpion Bay Marina. The purpose of the event is to be a matchmaker between captains who need crew and crew who want to sail… and to just have a fun time with other sailors or those who are contemplating sailing.

  • Bring your boat! Show it off, brag, socialize, and go for a sail to test out crew/boat opportunities.
  • We have a few dock-friendly games such as corn hole, horseshoes, board games if you want.
  • Bring your own chairs! We have about eight already out there.
  • Arizona Yacht Club will serve hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone. Please bring a dish to share and BYOB. Can bring a bag of chips or get fancy. (Please connect with Heather McClain if you want to know more about what to bring, e.g. dessert vs side dish.)
  • We will have one electric grill and one electric smoker. No fires on the dock…oh my! You can have whatever grill/stove you want on your boat to add to cooking opportunities or not. Up to you.
  • Join the “Dockside Chat” with AYC Commodore Rob Gibbs.
  • There are a limited number of slips available for day use and/or overnight rental, please contact Sharon Bell if you are interested in that.
  • One boat owner has room on a boat for up to six people to sleep overnight.  And there may be other boat owners with available bunks. Just ask if you don’t want to (or can’t) drive home safely.
  • The rules of Scorpion Bay are to be respected as there are many boat owners out there. Good neighbor rules apply.

Here’s to a great (and safe) sailing season in Arizona!

Warm? How About a Weekend in the Pines?

Steve Nahkala works the barbeque.

As I write this, the temperature in Phoenix is flirting with 115 degrees and a weekend in the cool country of Northern Arizona sounds pretty nice.

The annual AYC Summer Campout (formerly the Kinnikinick campout) is Friday-Sunday, August 10-12 this year. No need to register; just show up in the cool pines.

Once again Steve Nahkala will be heading up the trip, which will be held at Dairy Springs Campground by Mormon Lake. Steve moved the gathering to this new spot a couple years ago and it’s more civilized than the traditional unimproved Kinnikinick site. People will begin to filter into the campsite Friday, ready to enjoy the beauty of the location and the fun gathering of AYCers and friends. The activities are as rustic as the surroundings, with “pasture golf” and horse shoes and Liar’s Dice.

Here’s much more information on the event, including map directions.