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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 Richardson 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

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!

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!

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!

How Do We Break Down Barriers to Racing?

By Mike Ferring

An event that works well. Martin Lorch hefts the Governor’s Cup, flanked by crew James Morphis and Katie Yearly. At right: Event Organizer Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

In 2018, AYC membership is higher than ever, with 235 member families as of June 1. We have active series at two lakes, well-attended monthly meetings with interesting speakers, a nonprofit arm in ASF with sold-out adult classes and well-subscribed kids’ classes, and large entries in the Birthday Regatta, Governor’s Cup, Tall Cactus and Ruth Beals Cup. We have high-level equipment to run our races. Our club communication, event registration, and governance are all excellent.

Yet, it’s smart to look for ways to improve. Is our membership getting gray? If so, how do we recruit and engage younger members and their children? While registration for “event” races is very good and series entries are still strong, not as many boats are showing up on the race course. How do we get more out?

Commodore Rob Gibbs has set up four committees to create various initiatives to strengthen the club, including one aimed at building the racing program, which I think is the core of the club.

Below are some thoughts, a combination of my own and those of a group of hard-core racers we pulled together for an hour recently: George Sheller, Martin Lorch, Joel Hurley, Skip Kempff, and Scott Richards. If you’re looking for solid answers, this is not the place. These are mostly questions and perspectives rather than answers or prescriptions. Here we go.

Overview

The task of growing the sport of sailing in Arizona confronts some broad society problems in addition to our own local ones:

  • Sailing has always been a minor sport, especially away from the coasts.
  • Boat sales have been low for years.
  • Participation in sailboat racing is dropping nationally.
  • There is increased fragmentation of all leisure activity.
  • There is general reluctance to commit time to any single activity.
  • Natural life cycles bring people in and out of sailing: career, kids, retirement, travel, health and fluctuations in disposable income.

AYC can’t change any of these mega trends, but we know we need to adapt our programs to them if we can. Our subcommittee has identified some of the barriers we might be able to influence:

  • Time commitment required for series racing.
  • Availability of crew.
  • Availability of boats.
  • Knowledge of the sport and its rules and the ability for new people to join the action.
  • Quality of the sailing: wind, competition, too many fleets and choices

Time Commitment

We now have more racing than at any time in the club’s 60-year history. Sailing in every event (as some of us do) requires a considerable time commitment. It also spreads our available entrants and boats across more sailing choices.

Choice is good, right? Options are good, especially in an era when there’s so much competition for our time. But it also means we’ll probably have fewer boats at each event.

This is seen most clearly in the spring and fall race series. At Lake Pleasant, Catalina 22, Multi-hull, and JaM fleets are scoring (and racing) Saturday only. On Sunday morning this spring it was not unusual to have 2-3 Thistles, 2-3 Sport Boats, and a half dozen Spins on the water. If one of those fleets was on RC, the numbers dropped. At TTL, we saw 4-6 14.2s, 4-6 Lasers, and 2-3 Portsmouth… and one of those fleets was always on race committee.

Marc Danner and team (daughter Avery and son Myles) getting the non-spin fleet going again, leading the Jib and Main fleet (JaM, note his T-shirt). Photo: Jim Tomes

Do we need to increase throw outs so more people will participate? Or do throw outs simply mean “I don’t have to show up”? Is a season championship an outmoded concept? No one has proposed a good answer.

Members of our group noted that missing a weekend means giving up a good finishing position. You have to show up to place in nearly any of the fleets. Since it’s difficult to make all the races, do entrants simply give up and not bother to race other weekends as well? Instead of more throw-outs, is there a way to use the redress model and give missing racers an average of their other scores?

What is clear is that the one-day events (Beals, Governor’s, Tall Cactus) are working and appealing. They’re a small commitment, casual, and social. It’s a winning concept. But this caution: these events work partly because they’re unusual and special. Adding more would doubtless reduce the numbers for each.

Availability of Crew

We frequently hear skippers say they can’t find crew and we hear people who want to crew say they can’t find boats on which to sail. Clearly this is an issue we need to fix.

The group said we need to know more about the crew list people in order to decide whether to consider them. Possible answer: adding questions to the form and perhaps vetting all crew-list additions by phone to find out more about them and clarifying their commitment.

The key requirement for regular crew: to show up on time, every time, ready to race. Could we have a pool of people who would commit to sail on a given weekend and then make sure they get on boats? Would the new Go Sailing app help?

What about having a crew class where potential crew could learn the fundamentals? Or is the existing Introduction to Sailboat Racing class sufficient? (I think it should be.)

Availability of Boats

Paul Miachika silhouetted in Tempe Town Lake’s afternoon sun. Lasers are a popular one-design fleet. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sailors need boats and often new people don’t have boats, can’t afford boats, or aren’t ready to commit to a particular kind of boat. If they can’t crew, they drift away from the sport.

The adopt-a-boat program has been a boon, getting people onto boats who wouldn’t otherwise be able to sail and simultaneously strengthening the 14.2 fleet. But it has its limitations: people want to sail at times when the adopt-a-boat program isn’t operating. Is there a way to overcome this?

Is there a way to create a parallel keel-boat program? Would it be possible, for instance, to field a Tumbleweed Catalina 25 as a JaM entry with newbies onboard? Could we find a way to put a Catalina 22 or Santana 20 in play?

What about getting the juniors on board a keel boat for Lake Pleasant racing?

Why don’t people get their boats on the water? Many, including some board members, don’t do it. This might be a good target for a little market research.

Knowledge of the Sport

Are we doing enough to familiarize new people with the way the game is played? What additional classes or sailing opportunities could we provide to get people over the threshold and into the sport?

At one time, the club offered a “Challenger” fleet for new racers and put an experienced sailor on the boat for a while to help speed the orientation. It took a dedicated person to coordinate (Patty Rosky in that case), but it worked for a while.

Could we have a non-scored race weekend (or race day at TTL) where leaders of fleets could help people new to the fleet to compete better and to introduce new people to the different boats?

Quality of Competition

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that we can do to improve the wind. But what about the fleets?

Skip Kempff rightly says that the strength of the club depends on the strength of the fleets. How do we work to build them? Are there too many fleets for the number of competitors? Does this dilute the racing? How could we funnel boats into certain fleets to reduce fragmentation?

George Sheller would like to see us guide people into fewer types of one-design boats, perhaps C22, C14 and Laser. It’s unrealistic, he admits, to think that anyone would sell a PHRF boat to move into one of those fleets, but it might be possible to encourage newbies to go in that direction.

Thistle, Laser, and Santana 20 (and formerly Buccs) have been aggressive about finding boats for potential skippers, even lending them boats to try them out. How could we support this effort?

One stop-gap approach at Lake Pleasant would be to start more than one fleet at a time while scoring the fleets separately. For instance, one Sunday morning the Sport Boats started with the Spin fleet, which was more fun than sailing in a tiny fleet. However, Bob Worrall and I nearly came to blows on the VHF when I was PRO and wanted to start two JaM boats with the C22s. He wouldn’t hear of it. I think his viewpoint on this is short-sighted, but we’d need to get the Fleet Captains to agree if we go this way. (In contrast, Scott Richards and the Thistles welcomed the Fireballs into their start when there were three Fireballs racing.)

We also want to make sure there remains an avenue for those of us who enjoy higher-performance boats.

What can we do to support the fleets in attracting new members?

Summary

I hope this somewhat rambling essay can start the discussion. There are some specific steps we can take and others that will come from talking about it.

These include:

  • Continue to run and promote headline one-day events (Beals, Governor’s, and Tall Cactus)
  • Attack the issue of matching crew and skipper
  • Survey members to learn why they aren’t racing more often to discover answers
  • Look at providing boats for a few newbies
  • Consider combining fleets on starts
  • Funnel new members into existing one-design fleets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday night organizer George Sheller. Photo: Mike FerringWhat are you doing Wednesday night? How about coming out for some highly casual racing at Tempe Town Lake?

We start racing at 5:30 and go until sundown. We do a one minute sequence. I have a whistle and signal: 5 short blasts is “AP down,” followed by a 10 second gap, then one long as the start of the one-minute countdown. I try to give 3 shorts at 30 seconds, 2 at 20, 1 at 10 and then one long for the start. A single 360 turn clears penalties. We set short courses, so we’ve gotten up to seven races in. If the Ferrings are there, we use their automated starting gadget.

This started as a Laser thing, but others started coming out, which was great. We all start together.

This is not an official AYC event, so you’re on your own in terms of a boat, liability and fun. We start promptly at 5:30 pm and if you miss one or two races it’s no big deal since we don’t keep scores. This is good practice, with bragging rights and then (for those who want to) off to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks.

Have questions?  Email me.

See you out there,
George Sheller

Scott Richards Scores Close Champ Win

Close starts for the 2018 Championship races. Click on the shots in the story to see bigger images. Photo: Mike Ferring

It all came down to the final race, the sixth of six. On a near-perfect sailing day at Lake Pleasant (if you’re not bothered by a few random puffs), Thistle champ Scott Richards held a single point lead over Laser winner Joel Hurley. Joel would have to beat Scott in this single race—and finish first or second to take the tie-breaker. If he could, he’d win the Club Championship.

This is the annual Arizona Yacht Club race that pits the person in each fleet with the best score for the combined fall and spring race series. Each year those fleet winners compete in one-design boats in a race of champions. This year, the boat was the Thistle.

About one minute before the start, Scott goes swimming. Photo: Mike Ferring

About one minute before the start of the final race, Scott Richards reached with his foot for the hiking strap. And missed. He was suddenly in the water, calling for sister Sharon to grab the tiller and head up so he could get back in the boat. Soaked and dazed, Scott still somehow managed a good start and joined five other Thistles in the race to the windward mark.

Scott Richards (green boat) rides a big puff to the windward mark. Joel Hurley (white boat left) has to tack to make it. Photo: Mike Ferring

Joel and crew Will Zornik sailed a better beat and was sliding up inside two others to round first—but then, a slight header, forcing a quick tack. Thirty feet away a burst of downdraft suddenly shot Scott ahead and around the mark in front of them.

Downwind, Joel kept looking for a way around. Lots of jibes and jockeying for position. He managed to slip in front of Scott, holding second in the race, trailing only Mike Hester. If he could hang on, he’d win it all. Then upwind: Scott chose the right and Joel the left. Right worked; left didn’t. By the finish Scott was a couple boats ahead and celebrating his first AYC Club Championship.

Leeward mark rounding on the final race. Joel rounds ahead of Scott, but chooses the wrong side for the final beat. Photo: Mike Ferring

This field included many of the club’s best sailors and they put on quite a show, with lots of lead changes and close tactics. Some of the best left frustrated. Seven-time champ Martin Lorch (sailing with former champ Trey Harlow) grumbled that he’d simply had a bad day.

Former champ Dave Haggart and wife Stacey started with a sixth and fifth, but then figured out the boat and scored a pair of bullets. Mike Parker and Tony Chapman struggled except they too won a race. Mike Hester and John Mayall, the reigning champs, sailed well, but a couple mid-pack finishes pulled them down to a close third overall at the end.

The workers: PRO Skip Kempff and his RC crew, including Tom Ohlin, Cedric Lorch, Tom Glover, David Newland, Maryellen and me. George Sheller had to miss the day, but he did the set-up and organization.

Special thanks to the Thistle fleet for providing their boats for the races!

 

Your 2018 AYC Club Champion Scott Richards and crew/sister Sharon Richards. Photo: Mike Ferring

Here are a few more shots Mike took:

The class photo (l to r): Trey Harlow, Joel Hurley, Martin Lorch, John Mayall, Will Zornik, Sharon Richards, Scott Richards, Mike Hester, Dave Haggart, Stacey Haggart, Tony Chapman, Mike Parker. Photo: Mike Ferring

Watch the AYC Champ Race on a Party Boat

Watch six AYC fleet champs duke it out for the coveted Club Championship trophy. Defending champ (and Sport Boat fleet champ) Mike Hester goes up against a field of excellent sailors in a round-robin competition using Thistles.

2018 Club Championship entrants are: Thistle Fleet Champion, Scott Richards; Capri 14.2, Dave Haggart; Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; Laser, Joel Hurley; Multi-Hull, Brett Johnston; Portsmouth, Mike Parker; PHRF Spin, Martin Lorch; and Reigning Club Champion/PHRF Sport Boat, Mike Hester. Steve Grothe and Brett Johnston are not able to make the race, reducing the expected entry to six.

Champ Party Boat Signup

Fleet Captain George Sheller will take you around the course on a luxury pontoon boat and position you for best viewing at the start and rounding marks. Bring snacks and beverages and cheer on your favorite.

One of the Scorpion rental pontoon boats.

The races will be Saturday, May 12, beginning about 9 am and continuing until a champ has been selected. That could be as many as seven races, but often is five or six.

The party boat will leave Scorpion at about 1 pm to see as many races as remain at that time, including the choice of a champ. The boat is expected to be a 24-foot luxury pontoon boat with cushy seats.

George needs at least 12 people to sign up for the boat in order to cover the rental. The price per person is $25.

2017 Club Champs Mike Hester and John Mayall with the big cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Big Finish: TTL Spring Racing

Spring racing is over and we can congratulate the spring champs: Laser, Joel Hurley; C14, Dave Haggart; Portsmouth, Andy Oliver. For the combined fall-spring, the champs are C14, Dave Haggart; Laser, Joel Hurley; Portsmouth, Mike Parker.

The Laser Fleet championship ended in a knife fight between Joel Hurley and Paul Miachika, with gusting and shifting wind on Tempe Town Lake for Sunday’s Semi-Final weekend (4/29) and the final on May 6. For the April 29 race, the city’s wind-strength light was flashing most of the afternoon, signaling wind over 15 mph. Since the breeze was coming from the southwest, it funneled through the buildings on the south shore, making sailing very difficult.

The final scores for the Spring Series are available here. And here’s the fall-spring combined, determining the fleet champions for the year. Many thanks to score-cruncher Mark Howell for figuring them out.

Grim determination. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Joel Hurley heads for the finish, ready for a sudden wind shift. Photo: Mike Ferring

Fleet Captain Will Zornik. Photo: Mike Ferring

Paul Miachika after a surprise puff. Amazingly he lost only a few seconds on the rounding. Photo: Mike Ferring

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

Strong Lake Pleasant Spring Racing

Lake Pleasant threw us a mixture of light and pleasant for the final weekend of the AYC Spring Race Series. Twisty on Saturday. Midday wind switch Sunday followed by a nice breeze.

Winning fisherman for the day was Bob Naylor!

When it was all over, we can congratulate the Spring fleet winners: Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; Multi-Hull, Jim Tomes; PHRF Spin Paul Liszewski (by one point over Martin Lorch); Sport Boat, Mike Hester; Thistle, Scott Richards. The newly reconstituted PHRF Non-Spin Fleet didn’t get the expected turnout, but that didn’t stop Carl Muehlenbeck from besting Marc Danner and his all-kid crew to win the spring.

Here are all of the Spring results.

The combined fall-spring scores produced these Fleet Champions who will compete in the Club Championship race: Catalina 22, Steve Grothe; Multi-Hull, Brett Johnston; Spin, Martin Lorch; Sport Boat, Mike Hester; Thistle, Scott Richards.

Here are the Fall-Spring combined.

Okay, would this be a Blunder Bucket nomination? It’s sort of a reverse-blunder bucket or a Beneficent Bucket award winner. Bob Naylor was loading his C22 onto the trailer when he discovered the boat and trailer had snagged a nice bass! He was a little worried about not having a fishing license and was running late to see his daughter head off for her prom, so it was trailer catch and release and clearly prize-worthy.

Close leeward rounding with the Sport Boat fleet. Photo: Charles Landis

 

Skip Kempff rounds ahead of Scott Richards in the spring series. Photo: Charles Landis

Sport boats starting within inches of the committee boat. Photo: Charles Landis

Coming Down to the Last LP Weekend

One more weekend to go before the standings are set for the Spring Race Series.

The next-to-last started off with excellent-but-shifty—nice wind, but tricky, moving from the south to the west and various places in between. It kept the racers and race committee on their toes.

Sunday went soft. Light wind. Minimal racing.

Week 4 Results.

Blowing toward the north mark. Photos: Mike Ferring

A study in right of way, according to the RRS 2017-2020. Photos: Mike Ferring

Sean Brown and crew came in classy blue team shirts. Photos: Mike Ferring

Oops. Photos: Mike Ferring

Loads O’Wind for St. Patrick’s Lake Pleasant Weekend

Puffy, of course, but lots of wind to make it a great, fun weekend on Lake Pleasant. Hang on, here’s comes another one!

Results here.

The lake hasn’t disappointed us this spring, with lots of good wind to drive the spring racing series. The Catalina 22 Race Committee did a good job of adjusting to wind that swung wildly from south to west and then someplace else.

Craig Seaman’s Renegade scratches its way upwind. Photo: Lucas Newland

 

The new Melissa Kay, Ferrings’ J/70 downwind. Photo: Lucas Newland

 

Martin Lorch (near) and Marshall Williamson heading to the leeward mark. Photo: Lucas Newland

Brilliant Conditions for the Second Weekend at Lake Pleasant

Racing at Lake Pleasant rarely gets any better than the conditions this weekend (March 3-4) at Lake Pleasant. After a light start Saturday, the wind built to a breezy crescendo, one so strong that the Spin fleet decided to loop Horse Island for two races.

Sunday didn’t really bother to build much, starting with good wind (from the south!) and staying that way. Yes, Spins went for the long run again, enjoying a bright, breezy one.

Results here, or on the Results page.

Bright sun, big breeze for the weekend’s Lake Pleasant racing. Photo: Jim Tomes

 

Marc Danner and team (daughter Avery and son Myles) getting the non-spin fleet going again, leading the Jib and Main fleet (JaM, note his T-shirt). Photo: Jim Tomes

 

John Mayall, Joel Hurley, and (barely visible) Mike Hester fly downwind in Mike’s Viper 640. Photo: Jim Tomes

Celebrating 60 Years of AYC with a Big Weekend

Scott Agan aboard a Stray Cat. Photo: Mike Ferring

Up and down wind marked the 2018 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup: Sometimes flat-lined; other times spiked and screaming. Lake Pleasant showed lots of its faces for the weekend, the water decorated with some 65 boats for the occasion of the club’s 60th birthday.

Here are the results.

Congratulations to the 8 fleet winners: Bob Worrall (racking up nothing but bullets on his final scorecard) in PHRF Non-Spin (Jib & Main); Paul Miachika in Laser; Jerry Montgomery in Pocket Cruiser; Jim Tomes in Multi-Hull; Martin Lorch in PHRF Spin; Mike Hester (by one point over Al Lehman Jr. and Steve Quant) and Emory Heisler in Portsmouth. And Doug McMillan won Saturday’s Cruising race.

Huge thanks go to Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen and their crew of Race Committee and to Regatta Chairman Bruce Andress, ably assisted by Rob Gibbs (whose Desert Winds Sailboats sponsored and heavily donated to the Leukemia Cup auction) and loads of others, including the Tucson Sailing Club (breakfast), Tiller and Kites and Roxx Vodka (Friday night happy hour), Al and Sandy Lehman (for the what I think I heard was the 43rd time helping with the event) and a host of others. It takes village to put on this annual craziness.

Some of the action at the weekend’s big regatta. Photo: Joanne Aspinall

Saturday’s RC Boat Committee. Photo: Mike Ferring

PROs Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen. Photo: Mike Ferring

Artsy shot through the sail. Photo: Mike Ferring

Multis on the start Friday. Photo: Mike Ferring

And now the scores! Martin Lorch celebrates first place on Saturday’s races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Who gets the first piece of the 60th Birthday cake?! Photo: Mike Ferring

Rob Gibbs works the crowd for the Leukemia Cup auction. Event chairman Bruce Andress to his left. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sunday awards gathering at the end of the big weekend. Photo: Mike Ferring

Emory Heisler accepts the trophy from Bruce and Dave for winning the Portsmouth class. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Results Week 1

After a comfy-breezy Spring racing season start Saturday (1/27) that then turned into a becalmed Saturday, racing Sunday turned into a complete blowout. With wind hitting over 30mph, boats were scattered and multi-hulls capsized.

Mike Hester was seeing 15.5 kts under spinnaker on the run from Balance Rock, smiling a big smile until he tried to do a windward takedown. “Almost turtled the boat,” he says. “After we rounded the south mark and tacked, the boom broke at the gooseneck.”

Marc Danner was driving the Boston Whaler and went off to help. “We were assisting one of the Cats that turtled, but before that we had to give the Viper an anchor since they were drifting towards the rocks. They called us on the radio again as we were assisting the the Cat and told us the anchor wasn’t holding. We were dragging the Cat to No Name island so they could take down their sails.”

The Race Committee pontoon boat crew decided to pull up anchor and head off to help, ending the race. Marc says, “In that time we had three calls on the radio to assist other boats.”

Quite a race day!

Week 1 of racing at Lake Pleasant on the results page or click here.

Catalina 22s kick off the spring series on the mild Saturday racing. Photo: Lisa Schuff

Spring Racing Kicks Off

Cool temperature and a nice breeze greeted Lasers and Portsmouth sailors Sunday (1/21) at Tempe Town Lake, opening the spring racing season. Joel Hurley continued where he left off in the fall, winning two of three races, edging out Paul Miachika, who took the third. Mike Parker led Russ Hasty in Portsmouth.

Here are the race results (or check the results page).

It was always this close. Joel Hurley leading Paul Miachika. Photo; Mike Ferring

 

The Junior Performance Racing Class competed in their O’Pen Bics. Coach Rob Gibbs at right. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Intense! Russ Hasty in his Bucc. Photo: Mike Ferring