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Ruth Beals Race November 11 at Lake Pleasant

Ruth Beals Insho, AYC Founder (picture 2005 by Mike Ferring)After a record turnout in January, the all-woman Ruth Beals Cup Regatta will return to Lake Pleasant on Saturday, November 11, with the starting gun at 9:30 am. The race ran its first many years in C14s at Tempe Town Lake, but last year broke out with a race at Lake Pleasant in run-what-you-brung boats rated by PHRF handicap.

January’s race was won by Chrisann Tortora on Mike Hester’s Viper 640, leading some dozen competitors across the line.

Race documents and entry here.

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 TransLoch course from a start/finish, around Horse and Balance Rock and No-Name islands, back to the finish line. Then to Spinnaker Point for some wine and cheese.

John Mayall, Crisann Tortora, and Greg Jackson in 2010. Photo: Scott Jenkins

Weekend Two for Lake Pleasant Racing

Thank the Catalina 22s for putting on some good racing this weekend (10/7-8), topped off with an Octoberfest-style night at Spinnaker Point, dressed up with brats and a live Polka trio.

Here are the race results.

Bob Naylor enlisted the Polka band, which added a fun and slightly surreal tone to the usual post-race gathering.

Two accordions and a bass guitar and plenty of oom pah to accompany dinner. Photo: Mike Ferring

A nice turnout for a Saturday night dinner at Spinnaker Point. Brats and Polka. Photo: Mike Ferring

Joel Hurley Dominating Lasers at TTL

When Will Zornik heard that his young coworker Joel Hurley had raced in college, he recruited him for the Tempe Town Lake Laser fleet. Might have been a strategic mistake. Joel’s running away with the lead in the fall series on an adopt-a-boat.

With the wind blowing nicely on Sunday (10/1), the Lasers raced and raced and raced, running six races in all and exhausting themselves completely in 100° heat before shutting down at nearly 6 o’clock. The Portsmouth fleet fielded just two boats, with Mike Parker’s Capri 16.5 taking four races.

Here are the results.

Paul Miachika rounds the windward mark. Photo: Mike Ferring

Blustery Opening Weekend at Lake Pleasant

The Fall Series opening weekend was a blast—a blast of wind on both Saturday and Sunday!

Saturday (9/23) was the big day for participation, with 14 boats racing in the multi-hull races, zinging across the lake on double-digit reaches and big smiles. Overall, there are 41 entries for the fall, with more still trickling in, especially from the PHRF Spin fleet, which was on Race Committee, giving entrants an excuse to wait another couple weeks before they really have to sign up.

Unfortunately, the Santana 20s did not get the needed five boats to fleet, which means they’ll be folded into the spin fleet, creating a wide range of ratings for the spins. There are enough Santana 20s in the club, but several decided not to enter.

And the debut of the MarkSetBot, the robotic mark? “Awesome,” is how Paul Liszewski summed it up. “I had my doubts,” he said, “but it did an excellent job.” It was a day when normal, anchored marks went adrift (one getting beached on an island), but the robotic mark just treaded water at the end of the start line, not moving. Same on Sunday, when Roger Butterwick said that he too was a doubter, not believing the mark could remain motionless for hours, but he was convinced by the end of the day’s racing.

The “Munchies on the Hill” after racing also had a nice debut. Steve Nahkala brought a table of munchies and a cooler of beer to Spinnaker Point as we transition from Fleet Dinner to Fleet Nachos and Beer. Some 35 people came by, about the same as a dinner group. (But the Catalina 22 fleet is planning to offer a Fleet Dinner the next race Saturday, October 7.)

Here are the race results.

Mark Howell is the scorekeeping SuperSub while Dave Christensen is sight-seeing around Europe. It took Dave’s knack for reading chicken bones to sort out this weekend, especially the multi-hull fleet.

Tony Chapman calmly hikes as his Viper 640 decides whether to splash down. Tony spent the summer in heavy wind races in Lake Garda and The Gorge and honed his big wind skill. Left: Court Roberts and team applaud. Photo: Charles Landis

It’s True: The Race Mark is a Robot!

Tom Ohlin watches a test of the new MarkSetBot on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Mike Ferring

It’s a bit of a leap of faith, a broad jump really: The pin-end start mark on Lake Pleasant’s Opening Day (9/23) will be a robot.

The inventors call it MarkSetBot and AYC is one of six clubs in the nation beta-testing this new device (out of 40 clubs that said they’d like to do it). It’s an odd-looking contraption on the water, riding on two inflated catamaran hulls, propelled by an electric trolling motor, and guided by cell phone and GPS navigation. It skitters around on the water like a large play toy.

Lake Pleasant Lake Captain David Newland and I (Mike Ferring) have been working on this machine for several weeks now, finally getting to the point where we think it can work as the pin-end mark. Later it might become one of the other marks of the course. Tom Ohlin joined us as we ran the thing for over an hour on Wednesday (9/20) and it performed nicely.

The idea, of course, is to replace one of our regular marks with the robot so it can be placed remotely without relying on the Boston Whaler crew and without dangling 160+ feet of anchor rode below it. Because the RC wouldn’t need to move the Whaler into position and because nobody would need to lift and drop or drag all that rode, the course can be adjusted much faster and much more easily. Cool, huh?

The company reports that this last weekend (9/17) MarkSetBots made up the entire race course for the stadium race at Grosse Pointe (Michigan) Yacht Club run by Premiere Sailing League. There was a single RC boat with only one person on it. That person monitored for OCS and then acted as a judge boat motoring up the course. The course was changed in length and direction many times. At one point, there was a 90 degree wind shift and it took the MarkSetBots just 60 seconds to reposition. Wow.

The MarkSetBot is not without its, well, let’s call them “issues,” which means we’re moving cautiously and wondering whether this robot is  long-term for us. Just a few of the issues:

  • It’s big and unwieldy to launch and to store.
  • It needs to be assembled each time it’s used (and disassembled when we’re through with it).
  • It runs on a battery that needs to be charged.
  • It’s made up of lots of little bits that can be damaged, lost or wear out.
  • The cell phone interface is difficult to operate.
  • Operation requires training (and we have trouble getting people to take care of our boats).

So, that odd thing at the end of the start line? That’s your starting pin. Please don’t hit it.

The robot MarkSetBot at cruising speed during the Lake Pleasant test. Photo: Mike Ferring

Let the Season Begin!

After a summer of quiet Wednesday night races, it was great to see Tempe Town Lake teeming with boats Sunday (9/10) on the first day of TTL Racing and RC Training and the first day of ASF Opti classes.

The wind was a little light and the temperatures a bit, well, hot, but it was a fun day anyway. Vice Commodore and Laser sailor Mike Bernard led an effort to add gates to TTL racing and they were used for the first time this day.

Race results are here.

The Buccaneer fleet topped out at four entries for the season, which meant they were combined with the Portsmouth fleet and worked race committee.

Natalie Harper leads the Opti 1 class at Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

2017 Tall Cactus

Lake Pleasant served up ideal winds and perfect conditions for the 2017 Tall Cactus. Steve Kusic won the monohull category and Brett Johnston the multi-hull, and now get to wear fancy trophy belt buckles. Scores are posted on the results page, or click here.

Wendy Larsen and Dave Christensen, RC mavens. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester Wins Club Championship

John Mayall and Mike Hester, Club Champs. Photo: Mike Ferring

Mike Hester and John Mayall coped with shifting Tempe Town Lake wind better than 8 other competitors Saturday (5/13) to take the 2017 Club Championship trophy.

This is Mike’s and John’s third Club Championship. Three other club champions finished second-fourth: Martin Lorch, Paul Miachika, and Dave Haggart. Mike and John will be formally presented the trophy at the Commodore’s Celebration at The Yard in Tempe on Friday night, June 9.

TTL challenged all 9 teams with wind that ranged from light to puff-me-over, shifting from east to west, but usually blowing from the southeast, enough wind confusion that the race committee was constantly debating where to set the course.

All the top teams had a rough race or two, being called OCS and having to catch up or having to overcome a missed puff. Mike and John managed to work their way through the fleet on those bad starts to minimize the impact—and then were able to sprint out to the lead on other races, winning three. See the scores below. And here are three dozen pictures of the racing.

Congratulations to all 9 teams and thanks to the many people who pitched in to bring off the successful day. Race committee: PRO Mike Ferring, Mike Bernard, Lori Reger, Vanessa Wisbaum, Tony Chapman, and George Sheller. Chief Hospitality Officer Maryellen Ferring with Larry Green, Dave Henning, Ralph Vatalaro, and a couple others who will escape unnamed.

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


Club Championship Scores

Sailor Race 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
Hester 1 1 3 4 2 1 4 2 18
Lorch 2 2 2 5 1 3 5 4 24
Miachika 6 5 6 2 3 4 1 1 28
Haggart 5 3 5 1 7 2 2 3 28
Richards 4 4 8 3 4 5 3 DNS 10 41
Worrall 3 6 1 6 8 6 7 5 42
Heisler 9 7 4 7 5 7 6 7 52
Rahn 8 9 7 8 6 8 OCS 6 62
Liszewski 7 8 RET DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75

The class photo: The 9 fleet champs and crews who competed in the 2017 regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

 

 

2016-2017 Racing Season Results

With the final, windy weekend of the spring race series finished, congratulations to everyone who came out to play this year!

The Lake Pleasant Spring Series fleet champs are: Charlie Ellis, C22; Fred Rahn, Multi-Hull; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mike Hester, PHRF Sportboat; Scott Richards, Thistle; Carl Muelenbeck, TransLoch.

That means that the combined Fall and Spring results produce these fleet champs for the year: Bob Worrall, C22; Fred Rahn, Multi-Hull; Paul Liszewski, PHRF Spin; Martin Lorch, Santana 20; Mike Hester, PHRF Sportboat; Scott Richards, Thistle.

The Tempe Town Lake Spring Series fleet champs are: Emory Heisler, Buccaneer; Dave Haggart, C14; Paul Miachika, Laser; Colin Gibbs (yes, that Colin Gibbs), Portsmouth.

Producing these fleet champs for the year: Emory Heisler, Buccaneer; Dave Haggart, C14; Paul Miachika, Laser; Frederick Moor, Portsmouth.

And that means the following sailors are eligible for the Club Championship, which will be sailed Saturday (5/13) at Tempe Town Lake in C14 sailboats: Dave Haggart, Emory Heisler, Mike Hester, Paul Liszewski, Martin Lorch, Paul Miachika, Fred Rahn, Scott Richards and Bob Worrall.

The scores for the Spring series can be found on the results page or by clicking here: Tempe Town Lake Week 8And the combined  Fall 2016 & Spring 2017. Lake Pleasant Week 5. And the combined Fall 2016 & Spring 2017.

Lake Pleasant Week 4 Results

Odd weekend of racing at Lake Pleasant. Light wind Saturday, but just enough to get a couple good races in. Light start Sunday with a burst of nice wind, followed by light wind, followed by….

The scores for week 4 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

 

Paul Miachika Competes in Laser Midwinters West

AYC’s reigning Club Champion, Paul Miachika, took his Laser to the biggest West Coast race on March 24-26 and while he says the “young’uns” beat him, it was an excellent event.

Reports Paul, “85 Lasers (53 Radial and 32 Standard Rig) raced out of California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey, CA at the premier Spring Laser regatta on the West Coast. Great wind, great weather, top notch competition, excellent race committee, and on-shore hospitality made this a memorable event.”

Here are a couple shots from sailing photographer Tom Walker:

Paul Miachika at the 2017 Laser Midwinters West.

Paul mixes it up with a herd of Lasers at the Laser Midwinters West off Venice Beach, California

Lake Pleasant Week 3 Results

The weekend kicked off with some of the best wind of the year, chased Sunday morning with a nice breeze before the usual midday collapse when all the fleets decided to call it a day. Many thanks to the Multi-Hull fleet for race committee duty under difficult circumstances and the very first time they’ve taken it on.

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

Vipers racing at the 2017 Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tempe Town Lake Week 5

It was a light-wind Sunday for the fifth week of racing (and RC training) at Tempe Town Lake. Of course, inevitably, the wind filled in a bit as we pulled the boats out of the water.

The scores for week 5 of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here.

TTL Ferring 2-2017-Colin Gibbs-cover

Colin Gibbs on an O’Pen Bic. Photo: Mike Ferring

Week 4 of racing at Tempe Town Lake

The scores for week 4 at Tempe Town Lake at posted on the results page, or click here.

Lake Pleasant Week 2

The scores for week 2 of racing on Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

Rain, Strong Wind Mark Leukemia Cup-Birthday Regatta Action

Friday: Gorgeous. Saturday: Not so much. Sunday: Better, but who needs cold and rainy?

Tony Chapman pulls off a tight leeward rounding and heads upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

Tony Chapman pulls off a tight leeward rounding and heads upwind. Photo: Mike Ferring

When it was over, Jeff Grange had mowed down the Viper competition, his single “bad” race (a third) tossed out, leaving him with a total of 9 points in 9 scored races. Tim Carter and Tony Chapman fought an epic fight for second. Tim took a one-point lead on Friday and clung to it through Sunday.

Chris Winnard and Al Lehman Jr. dominated the PHRF Spin class on a Holder 20, also tossing a third to leave them with a perfect five points in five scored races. While Chris Smith was promoting SUP boards, his boat with guest crew took second place.

Bob Worrall took PHRF Non-Spin, Dave Scobie “Wrinkle Boat,” and Gordon Bagley won Multi-Hull. Gordon also gets the belt buckle for Multi-Hull and Jeff Grange gets buckled in Mono. Lots of sailors decided it was too wet, too windy, or overall much too crummy to sail, leaving all the fleets depleted.

The bright spot on the weekend came Friday, with good wind and partly cloudy skies. Friday’s Birthday Bash and Viper races were nearly perfect. The Bash Boats shot up to Balance Rock, looped over and around Horse, took Balance to port again and tacked south to the finish, with the first boats finishing in about 90 minutes. Rollin’ in the Deep did it fastest, notching both “line honors” and the corrected PHRF win.

Rain? Well, yes, and heavy wind. And as the races got started Saturday morning, a flash of lightning brought a radio call from the RC: Abandon. All the boats streaked for Pleasant Harbor Marina and an early lunch. By the 1 pm restart, heavy puffs blasted the course and later rain splattered everyone, reducing the number of boats deciding to race, but still permitting several races to complete.

We’ll learn soon how the real winner of the weekend came out: the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which was the beneficiary of the regatta’s fundraising.

Here are the results of the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta.

Here are pictures shot by Mike Ferring during Viper racing and the the Birthday Rum Party on Friday:

Birthday 2017-1

High wire act. Photo; Mike Ferring

 

Viper sails. Photo: Mike Ferring

Viper sails. Photo: Mike Ferring

Lake Pleasant Spring 2017 Week One Results

The day started with a nice, fresh breeze and then slowly dissolved into one of those placid Lake Pleasant drifters. It was the first day of the Lake Pleasant Spring Series, an experimental one-day weekend event that turned into an experimental two-hour weekend instead.

After waiting out the wind, the fleets decided to head in by 2 pm, hoping for better when the series resumes after a long month break (punctuated by the Leukemia Cup and Birthday Regatta).

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

 

Greg Woodcock's Santana 20 takes a puff. Photo: Charles Landis

Greg Woodcock’s Santana 20 takes a puff. Photo: Charles Landis

Vipers and J/80 crossing the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Vipers and J/80 crossing the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Leukemia Cup & Birthday Regatta Bash

Here’s what’s happening at the 2017 AYC Leukemia Cup Regatta “First in the Nation” and Birthday Regatta, with a completely new date, format and events. All the regatta information and registration is on www.aycregattas.com. This site is continually being updated. The regatta is Friday-Sunday, February 17-19.

Sportboats charge for the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Sportboats charge for the start line. Photo: Charles Landis

Here are the highlights:

A really big tent! The H2OMG event (hydroplane boat races the weekend after us) needed marks, a couple of boats and volunteers—which we have. We needed a really big tent—which they have. We’ve been working with H2OMG to combine resources and share/trade where possible.

Sponsors: Take a look at the sponsor page. All of those listed have contributed, assisted and provided goods or services to the regatta.

Portillo – Lunch on the Lake. New for 2017. On Saturday, 2/18, instead of soggy sandwiches and chips, Portillo’s will be delivering your pre-ordered lunch right on the lake. We will have a lunch break around midday. Sail up to the pontoon boat, grab your lunch and enjoy! A $20 lunch credit is included in the registration fee.

Pleasant Harbor Access – no more paying at the gate every day. Registration includes a three-day access pass to the Marina. Drive up, show your card and you’re in!

SUP – New for 2017 is a full day of SUP events, classes, demonstrations and racing on the “beach” by the North Ramp. Entry fee includes a one-day pass to enter Pleasant Harbor.

The Phoenix – New for 2017. AYC has chartered The Phoenix cruise boat for a private VIP cruise around the race course. Lake Pleasant Sailing Club is assisting with the operation of this event. To secure a seat for friends and family (and great photo ops) all you have to do is make a donation to the LLS (Details here.)

The Club Challenge – New for 2017. Created primarily for cruising boats, the Club Challenge is an AYC vs LPSC vs Tucson Sailing Club run around a challenging course. Two new trophies are awarded: One to the winning club (which they must defend in 2018) and one to the winning boat.

The Birthday Bash – Friday’s race open to all boats. This is a long course handicap race with a twist. For 2017 we will also be awarding a Line Honors trophy.

Regatta T-Shirts – New for 2017. This year, regatta T-shirts are printed on site. No ordering in advance, no running out of a certain size. You want it? They print it. The front of the shirt has the regatta poster; the back is fully customizable. Add your name, your boat’s name, a logo—all done on site in about five minutes.

The Trophies – Of course the second set of Triple Crown Rodeo Buckles will be awarded to a monohull and multi-hull boat. The “best on the water” during the regatta will walk away with one of these spectacular awards. The actual regatta trophies are secret. Let’s just say they follow the Embrace Your Inner Arizona theme.

The Auctionall items up for grabs are on listed here. If you have a product or service you would like to add to the auction, please contact us at info@aycregattas.com.

Accommodation – The Courtyard Marriott is offering a group discount rate at the hotel on I-17 and Happy Valley Road. Easy and quick access to the lake at a very comfortable hotel.

And there is so much more! Did we mention a carnival at Spinnaker Point? Yes, there will be that too!

Week One at Tempe Town Lake

The Spring Series at Tempe Town Lake kicked off with nice, strong wind and mild temperatures, just the ticket for breaking the drought of competitive sailing.

The scores for the first weekend of racing at Tempe Town Lake are posted on the results page, or click here.

Chrisann Tortora Wins 2017 Ruth Beals Cup

On a sunny, chilly Saturday, Chrisann Tortora sailed Mike Hester’s Viper 640 to victory and a grip on the shiny Ruth Beals Cup for 2017.

The Ruth Beals Cup is named for AYC’s founder and requires that a woman take the helm of the race boat, while permitting men in the crew. The race this year moved from its traditional Tempe Town Lake spot to Lake Pleasant and from C14 dinghies to PHRF boats, became a single long-distance race, and drew a very large entry of 20 boats, with 11 actually competing on January 28.

Here’s a video of some of the racing by Brian Willess (Multi Hull Nacra Inter20):