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Here Come the Champions

As this is written, there’s one more Sunday of racing at Tempe Town Lake, but you can be pretty sure who some of the fleet champs will be at both lakes. Scores have not been posted for the last weekend at Lake Pleasant yet, but we can identify at least some of those champs too.

Congratulations to: Skip Kempff, Thistle; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Mike Ferring, PHRF Sport Boat; Joel Hurley, Santana 20. We’re waiting for confirmation on Catalina 22 and Multi-Hull winners. Dave Haggart will likely take C14 and Joel Hurley Laser. Portsmouth is still undecided. Those same names are expected to race in the Club Championship in Lasers at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, May 4. Colin Gibbs is leading the Junior Fleet at TTL, but isn’t eligible for the Club Championship.

The racing conditions at TTL on Sunday, April 7, were excellent, with comfortable temperatures and good wind. Here are some shots from Mike Ferring:

2019-2020 Season Calendar – Winter is Coming!

Hi everyone…

We’re really excited about the 2019-2020 racing calendar! We have maintained the traditional Fall and Spring racing series, but have added 4 Saturdays across December and January at Lake Pleasant. We’re calling it “The Winter Series.” By default, it does not count towards the Championship, but your fleet can choose it by submitting Fleet Rules that define how you are choosing your Champion.

Why did we do this? MORE SAILING! Use this as an opportunity to try out a different fleet or boat; try out new crew; bring some kids along; work on your boat handling skills with your crew; See if you can try that one tactic that you thought was to risky to try in a race that counted for the Championship. GO HAVE FUN SAILING!

If you have questions please see your Fleet Captain, or you can always email or call me: Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org.

LP Was Feeling Calm

So calm that on Saturday (3/30), “racing” became a drifting test. For example, the one time the C22 fleet started, it smashed through the fleet’s two-hour maximum time limit and the race needed to be abandoned (the breeze that tricked the RC from not shortening disappeared as quickly as it came).

On Sunday, the morning breeze looked good. Until it didn’t. But a few races went off.

Here are the scores.

Joel Hurley and Grant Younger winning the Santana 20 fleet. Drone photo: Mike Ferring

Extremely close downwind finish for C22 that ultimately didn’t score: the race went on too long. Photo: Mike Ferring

Sport Boat race committee. Drone photo: Mike Ferring

 

The Mystery of the Missing Bean Pot!

Have you seen the Bean Pot Trophy?

This elusive trophy is needed for the Tall Cactus Regatta! This is the only known photograph of this legendary trophy.

As the story goes, it was given between our club and the Tuscon Sailing Club originally as part of the great “Tall Cactus Regatta.” If you have seen it, please contact Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org right away!

TTL Racing March 24

Light wind punctuated with some nice breeze offered a pretty good afternoon of racing for the Laser, Junior and C14 fleets March 24. The Portsmouth crew presented RC and Clay Poulson’s smorgasbord of Sunday afternoon treats. It’s Clay’s signature: bringing a charcuterie spread and other goodies to keep the RC smiling. Nice idea, right?

With just two weekends remaining in the spring series, the standings are firming up.

Here are the scores from Mark Howell.

Emily helps Grandfather George Tingom point the C14. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Scenic Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Debbra Heisler

Buildings rising on the north edge of Tempe Town Lake to challenge our ability to judge the shifts. Photo: Debbra Heisler

George Sheller’s Account of the North American Laser District 23 Championship

By George Sheller, AYC Fleet Captain and Regatta Chairman

The Arizona Yacht Club hosted the North America Laser District 23 Championship on March 16-17 at Lake Pleasant in Arizona northwest of Phoenix. There were 13 registrants, 9 from Arizona and four from San Diego.

The day started with a one-hour postponement due to high winds (gusts to 30+ mph) and two-foot waves with whitecaps. Five races were run on Saturday, the first two in winds gusting to 15 mph or so. The last race was in light wind. This made for a complete range of sailing skills, including boat capsizes and righting!

Day two began with winds in the 10 to 15 mph range but after a huge wind shift and time to re-set the marks and line, the last race was in near 0 to 3 mph wind. Therefore, only 2 races were run. Typical Lake Pleasant racing.

Saturday evening the exhausted but happy sailors, some wives, the committee crew and a few friends enjoyed a meal and drinks at a ramada overlooking the lake with light winds and 70-degree weather. We believe all enjoyed the venue and the racing. We look forward to hosting the event again in two years.

Click for the official Overall Results and the Master’s Results. View more pictures on this post.

Most of the Laser District competitors pose with their pal Saguaro.

Laser District Rumble at Lake Pleasant

The sailing weather was ideal for the Laser District Regatta at Lake Pleasant, March 16&17. Lots of wind under sunny sky with comfortable temperature. Even the water temperature wasn’t too bad, according to the Laser sailors who tried it out.

Ten boats competed, including four entries from Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego, running long w/l courses at the south end of the lake. After two days of racing, the California Laser racers dominated the Master’s category (aka older guys), taking four of the top five spots. Overall, AYC’s Joel Hurley took second on a tie-breaker to MBYC’s Dave Leuck.

This event was a George Sheller production: George has wanted to stage a district event for over a year and pulled it off this time, with lots of help, including from PRO Wendy Larsen, boat driver Mike Grijalva, and a troop of Sea Scouts. Kara Newland gets credit for the BBQ dinner Saturday night.

Read George’s account of the event.

Here are the overall results. And the Master’s Results.

The Laser starts were typically very close, with various general recall and OCS flags. Photo: Mike Ferring

Local Laser ace Joel Hurley finished second in the Laser Districts. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tight windward mark rounding. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Bernard deep in thought during a pause between races. Photo: Mike Ferring

Trying to stay in the front row in the bunched start. Photo: Mike Ferring

Paul Miachika downwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

David Newland figuring out this Laser stuff. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Scores

Lake Pleasant threw a variety pack of wind at us the weekend of March 9-10: you know, the no-wind, lots of wind, shifty wind, and (thank you) nice wind. Just to see if we were paying attention.

The scores for Week 3 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

Paul Liszewski and the Rolling in the Deep team widened their lead in the PHRF Spin fleet. Mike Hester hammered the rest of us in the Sport Boat fleet. And Skip Kempff stayed out in front in the Thistle fleet.

Club Champion Scott Richards has decided to move from Thistle to Santana 20, joining the fight between Joel Hurley and Martin Lorch that Joel is so far winning. Scott brought his “new” Santana out for the first time Saturday to break her in and begin to tune her with the expected result: watching the other two from third place. This could be interesting.

End of the day fireworks light up Larry Green’s Bonne Chance. Photo: Mark Trainor

Laser Light Show at TTL

Will Zornik heads upwind inches ahead of Joel Hurley in the closely-contested Laser fleet. Photo: Mike Ferring

The 19-boat Laser fleet continues to be the headline entertainment at Tempe Town Lake after four rounds of the spring series.

Joel Hurley is leading the pack, with an 8-point lead over Will Zornik after 15 races. Rob Gibbs is in third with Mike Bernard close behind in fourth.

Newcomer Dersen Eddowes and Ryan Zornik are chasing Colin Gibbs in the Junior Fleet, the two tied just five points behind Colin after 11 races.

Here are the scores.

With favorable wind Sunday (3/3), the Lasers didn’t want to stop racing and got in seven before the 5:30 deadline.

Things are not nearly as close in Portsmouth, where the scores are based on who shows up that day. Sunday it was Clay Poulson in his Fireball, but Cindy Pillote continues to lead the series.

Look confusing? A typical scrum before the start for the Lasers at TTL. Photo: Mike Ferring

A serene afternoon at TTL, with Lasers in a knife fight. Photo: Mike Ferring

The lake sparkles for the Laser light show. Photo: Mike Ferring

Regatta Extra: Dave Perry Critiques Your Sailing

Dave Perry spent Birthday Regatta Saturday, February 9, buzzing around Lake Pleasant on David Newland’s powerboat, shooting video of your sailing with simultaneous commentary. Scary, right? Well, yes, and fun. And highly educational.

The video is on Google Drive, so it’s best to view it on Chrome. I encountered a limit to the number I could view until I downloaded the vGet browser extension. That seems to work.

Click here to go to the video.

Here’s a log of the clips:

Dave Perry watching as Vipers approach the start line during the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Fun Shots

3 – Introduction

6 – Lotta people

68 – Kids

64 – Dogs

11 – Fred!

12 – Full chute

69 – AZ pride!

23 – RC at work

Starts

4 – Viper

7 – Santana

9 – PHRF

16 – PHRF non-spin

17 – Laser

18 – Laser

22 – Catalina

24 – Etchells

71 – PHRF

76 – Santana

92 – Viper

Dave Perry holds his small video camera, shooting the action and offering commentary. Photo: Mike Ferring

Upwind Trim & Tacks

5 – Viper

10 – PHRF

13 – Buccaneer

15 – Buccaneer

20 – Laser

25 – Etchells

29 – Viper

30 – Viper

32 – Viper

34 – Viper

40 – Santana

41 – Santana

42 – Santana

61 – 63 – Multihulls

73 – PHRF

Upwind Tactics

8 – Santana

14 – Buccaneer

19 – Laser

31 – Viper

33 – Viper

38 – Viper

43 – Santana

72 – PHRF

Windward Mark

26 – Etchells

35 – Viper

79 – Buccaneer

80 – Etchells

83 – Santana

85 – Rule 18.3, Tacking in the Zone

86 – Rule 18.3, Tacking in the Zone

David Newland chases around the race course to capture Dave Perry’s video. Photo: Mike Ferring

Downwind Trim & Gybes

28 – Catalina

36 – Viper

44 – Laser

87 – Viper

Downwind Tactics

39 – Santana

50 – PHRF

89 – Viper

Leeward Mark

37 – Vipers

45 – Laser

46 – Laser / PHRF

47 – 52 – PHRF

53 – Gaggle of boats

54 – Catalina

55 – Viper

57 – 58 PHRF non-spin

65 – Buccaneer

66 – Buccaneer

Finish – 70

Vipers in action at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rock ‘n Roll: Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup 2019

Close it up. The 61st birthday of the Arizona Yacht Club finished with a flourish, a Sunday morning of good racing in a chill wind, climaxing three days of celebration and the biggest regatta of the AYC calendar year.

Mark the numbers: 70 boats racing in 10 fleets. Over 220 for dinner Saturday night. The highlights: Resurrection of the tent on the hill. A fun, raucous evening with racing expert Dave Perry. Lots of racing.

The winners: Dave Spira, Buccaneer; Bob Worrall, Catalina 22; Ralph Vatalaro, Cruising (on a scoring revision); Dave Haggart, Etchells; Charles Landis, Jib and Main; Scott Sharples, Laser; Victor Felice, PHRF Spin; Brian Willess, Multi-Hull; Joel Hurley, Santana 20; Mike Hester, Viper.

Here are all the scores.

And here are the people who made it happen.

Below are gobs of pictures of the event and a drone video. Nearly all pictures by Mike Ferring

 

Joel Hurley managed to manhandle the Santana 20 fleet, including perennial champ Martin Lorch. Photo: Mike Ferring

Rockin’ On: Saturday at the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Overcast, chilly, but… enough wind much of the day Saturday, the second day of the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. In fact, it was enough for PRO Skip Kempff and the race committee to launch 44 races.

How did they do? The answers came Saturday night when racing expert Dave Perry showed the hits and misses (well, okay, nobody actually hit anybody). Crew work, spin sets, sail trim, mark roundings… how did you let him roll you! Dave entertained the capacity crowd for 90 minutes with video shot from David Newland’s powerboat as we chased around the course grabbing starts, roundings, and finishes.

Here are the day’s results, tabulated by Scorekeeper Mark Howell.

The regatta concludes Sunday.

Dave Perry entertains and educates Saturday night at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Vipers sail into the windward mark at the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Photo: Mike Ferring

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Off to Rockin’ Start

The wind was light for the first afternoon of racing at the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup, but blew enough to get a couple races in. Vipers, Etchells and Multi-Hulls opened the action Friday, with another half dozen fleets scheduled to join Saturday.

Here are the first day’s results.

The only glitch of the day came when the Back in Thyme food truck broke down on the way to the lake, scuttling plans for dinner. The BR&LC crew leapt into action and grilled burgers and hot dogs to fill the gap.

Then came the headliner of the weekend, sailing rock star Dave Perry, who delivered an entertaining seminar that went deep into the evening. Dave talked about tactics at the start and at roundings to a tent full of about 90 people, then answered questions for another half hour to about 35 die-hards.

More to come Saturday!

Crowded at the mark. Vipers slip through the scrum. Photo: Mike Ferring

Dinner on the lawn. The Friday night dinner by the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup tent. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Party

Click here to go to all the information about the February 8-10 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

International racing expert and speaker Dave Perry will headline the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup.

The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup is nearly here and we have 69 boats racing and more than 220 people coming to the Saturday night dinner.

The event is headlined this year by sailing expert Dave Perry, who will present two seminars—one on Friday night and then a clinic Saturday night. Get racing tips Friday night and then see how well you followed his advice when he offers video of the day’s racing Saturday night.

In addition to great racing, the regatta this year will feature (we pledge) the best Saturday night dinner in AYC Birthday history, catered by Arizona Taste. All in all, it’s an event not to be missed.

 

 

TTL Kicks Off in Light Air

Joel Hurley completing a roll tack. Photo: Mike Ferring

The spring Tempe Town Lake racing series began with light air and close competition among the Laser sailors. The fleet is chock full of experienced sailors and a mid-pack of guys new to the boat, making it competitive both at the front and the back.

Some 19 Laser sailors signed up for the series, the same number as the fall, but with some different people. Fall series winner Scott Sharples has not signed up for spring, for instance.

Here are the results.

On the line at speed. Laser start. Photo: Mike Ferring


Mike Hester, the picture of concentration. Photo: Mike Ferring


Cool. Junior competition. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Scott Sharples Wins Laser TTL Fall Season

A light wind shot for the final day of the TTL fall series 2018. Photo: Sarah Sheller

And it finished with a mixture of wind and some very close racing.

Here are the results of the final week and the fall series.

Scott Sharples edged out Joel Hurley by one point to win the closely-fought Laser fleet. The Laser fleet was stronger than ever this fall, with some 19 boats registered and perhaps a dozen racing each Sunday, bringing contests up and down the entry list. Paul Miachika finished third.

Dave Haggart continued to dominate the 14.2 fleet, but Mike Ferring finished the series strongly, edging John Mayall by just two points for second place.

Colin Gibbs won the Junior fleet and Cindy Pillote took the Portsmouth fleet.

George Sheller carried some extra crew on the fall series final day: granddaughter Erika Sheller. Photo: Sarah Sheller

Joel Hurley Takes the Big Governor’s Cup

Hand Joel Hurley the big cup.

Some 35 boats were on the water for the 2018 Governor’s Cup, including a great turnout of mult-hulls. Photo: Mike Ferring

That crafty ol’ Lake Pleasant did what it likes to do on our long races: scramble the results. After a nice breeze sent boats on a good run upwind to Horse Island on the first leg of the 2018 Governor’s Cup, the lake went into its shifty thing, going dead, then patchy from the south.

Some 35 boats were on the start line on a beautiful, cool Saturday morning (12/1), ready to try to take home the huge Governor’s Cup trophy or at least have a good time trying.

When the boats arrived at Horse Island, an interesting thing happened. For this race, PRO Wendy Larsen had decided to set inflated marks on the north side of Horse and Balance Rock and use them as rounding marks. While most of the competitors read this to mean that you rounded the islands and the marks, that smarty pants Mike Hester read it to mean you were free to round only the marks—and instead of taking the slow route around the leeward side of Horse, Mike stayed on the breezy side. Game, set, match.

Joel Hurley said, “I’m just following Hester” and took the quick road too—and others followed, either because they’d figured it out on their own or decided to follow the leader. A close reading of the race documents backed up Mike and the rest of the smarty pack. Joel’s Santana 20 finished the race just four minutes behind Mike’s Viper and once the huge handicap difference was applied, Joel had won.

Special credit goes to the next finishers: second place Dick Krebill in his Capri 14.2 Tomato Sloop and a corrected two seconds later, Bob Worrall in the C22 Spirit!

The results of the Governor’s Cup are posted on the results page, or click here.

Now this is the spirit of the Governor’s Cup: party time! Photo: Mike Ferring

Nearly Breathless TTL Sunday

There was an excellent turnout of Lasers Sunday (11/25) at Tempe Town Lake, but little wind to move them around. The victory went to the one who could manage to be in the puffs or who could roll tack without, ahem, breaking any rules.

Here are the results.

A drone view of the Laser pack slowly moving to the mark. This could be a rule 18 lesson shot. Photo: Mike Ferring

Reaching and gasping for air downwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

A different point of view. Overhead of Cindy Pillote and Ron Simzyk at the dock. Photo: Mike Ferring

David Newland’s beginning to get the hang of this Laser thing. Photo: Mike Ferring

Scott Sharples eyes the finish line and waits for breeze. Photo: Mike Ferring

Good day to be on race committee. The 14.2 team on a comfortable, sunny day with little wind. Photo: Mike Ferring

One-man band Clay Poulson stretches to set the pole while not letting go of the tiller. Photo: Mike Ferring

Will Zornik in the Laser mix. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

 

Final Fall Weekend at Lake Pleasant

And it was a pretty one. A mixture of nice wind and light wind then no wind at all on the last race Sunday morning. A shortened course. Drifting. Zero-point-zero on the GPS. But overall, mark this fall as a good one on Lake Pleasant.

Congratulations to the fleet winners! The most competitive fleet was Santana 20, where Joel Hurley brought his new boat to the game and managed to beat perennial champ Martin Lorch. Paul Liszewski finished the final weekend with five bullets and a second to lock down the PHRF Spin win. Mike Hester dominated the PHRF Sport Boat fleet. Bob Worrall beat the Rawlings family boat. Skip Kempff won Thistle, Marc Danner won Jib & Main, and Fred Rahn took multi-hull.

Results for week 5 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

Sign Up for the Dec 1 Governor’s Cup Regatta

Almost as big as he is: In 2017, Martin Lorch hefted the Governor’s Cup, flanked by crew James Morphis and Katie Yearly. At right: 2017 Event Organizer Tom Errickson. Photo: Mike Ferring

This one’s for the BIG prize. This one’s for the Governor’s Cup. And, okay, this one’s really mostly for fun.

The Governor’s Cup regatta will be Saturday, December 1, with all boats starting at 9:30 am from a start line at the south end of Lake Pleasant. Finishing times will be adjusted for PHRF handicap and the winning skipper will walk off with that big trophy.

Entries are now closed. Here’s the list of entries.

Here’s the link to the the race documents.

After starting in the south of the lake, boats will round drop marks on the north sides of Horse and Balance Rock Islands, then round another drop mark on the south near Bobcat Island (no rounding of the island this time), and finish outside Jackass Cove.

A post-race raft-up party will happen in Jackass Cove. Bring fenders. AYC will provide some appetizers.

Just to add to the giggles, there’s a handicap adjustment for any boat with a child under 12 onboard, a boat flying an AYC burgee, a boat towing a floaty-something that would hold a person, and a boat with a pet onboard. Just to be clear: The pet must be living. If you have them all, you’ll get a six-second handicap adjustment.

There will be multi-hull and monohull fleets. Awards will be given to the top-finishing multi-hull and the top-finishing monohull. The Governor’s Cup will go to the top-finishing boat in the fleet with the most entrants.

Heather McClain is the Race Organizer and Wendy Larsen is the PRO.

The start of the 2016 Governor’s Cup race. Photo: Michele Korszeniewski