Isolation Tips from Around-the-World Sailor Jerome Rand

Remember Jerome? Our speaker for the October meeting? He’s the guy who spent 271 days circumnavigating the globe on a 32-foot boat built in 1975. Maximum adventure, maximum isolation.

Now that many of us are self-isolating to keep from getting that nasty virus, Jerome figured he might be able to help. He produced a short YouTube video describing some of the techniques he used to keep from going nuts. Click on the picture/video below..

Incidentally, Jerome’s book is now published and is available on Amazon: The book is called, Sailing Into Oblivion.

 

How the Lakes Are Responding to Coronavirus

AYC activities for April have been canceled or postponed. Here’s the announcement from Commodore Rob Gibbs. We can still go sailing at those places (please do), but not as an organized group.

Here’s more detail on the Lake Pleasant restrictions. Here’s Tempe’s link to latest city cononavirus news.

At Lake Pleasant, the two marinas have also limited activities. Both made announcements in mid-March, but those announcements remain the latest rules and information available.

Here’s the letter from Pleasant Harbor Marina. The marina is limiting access to the office, closing the RV resort clubhouse, pool, and media room and limiting hours for showers and laundry. Restrooms remain open.

Scorpion Bay manager Cris McSparen reported Wednesday (3/12) that they have closed the restaurant, but will continue to-go orders at the marina store, which is open. Scorpion will continue services at the fuel dock and boat rentals for groups of 10 or fewer.

 

 

Passing: 50-Year Member Don DeFreze

Don DeFreze from a frame grab of a video made in 2012.

One of the earliest and most colorful members of the Arizona Yacht Club, Don DeFreze, passed away November 26 and on January 25, some of his buddies from AYC came out to remember him and to tell stories about this entertaining character.

In an interview we did in 2012, Don explained how AYC members wanted to build a dock and offered to make him an honorary member if he let them use his welding shop to do the work.

“So being young and naive and wanting to belong to such a prestigious organization as the Arizona Yacht Club, I agreed,” he said with a straight face.

Apparently the work parties to build the dock and a makeshift committee boat were a little nuts.

Founding member Dave Shapiro wrote in his history of the club, “That crazy guy nearly killed your author one day when he was dragging a telephone pole about the work yard (speed: at least 20 mph) with an ancient Chevrolet pickup and tow chain.”

But then the kicker. They never made him an honorary member. “I didn’t belong until 1967,” he said, “when I finally paid my $25 dues so I could race my own boat!”

One of the times when he was launching that boat he committed the biggest Ye Blunder Bucket blunder of all time—launching the boat and the tow car at the same time. And it was his mother’s car! Hear him tell the story on that 2012 interview.

Don loved to dance and told us how he entertained the ladies well into his last years, probably wearing his ubiquitous blue denim work shirt with the “Don” patch over the pocket.

His daughters arranged the celebration of life on Saturday, January 25 at 1pm at the Royal Order of Moose Lodges in Peoria. They say, “We know our father was a ‘character’ and we know this is the way he would want to be remembered!”

Clay Poulson at Fireball Worlds

Clay Poulson. Photo: Mike Ferring

Fireball sailor Clay Poulson travels the world for his import business and manages to race Fireballs all over the world as well. This warm August he’s racing at the North American and World Championships at Pointe Claire Yacht Club of Montreal.

Clay finished 29th out of 40 entries in the North American Championship and 33rd (and first from the U.S.) out of 42 entries in the World Championship.

Results here.

Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff of the Royal Thames Yacht Club won first place.

Rounding on the trap at the Fireball Worlds in Montreal.

A mass start for the 2019 Fireball Worlds in Montreal.

AYC Sailors at Viper Worlds

Action at the Viper Worlds off Long Beach. Photo: Sharon Green

AYC sailors were two of the 41 entries in the Viper 640 World and North American Championships this last week (8/20-24) at Los Alamitos Yacht Club in Long Beach. Mike Hester finished 32nd and Tony Chapman 34th and Mike is looking for a recommendation for a good fiberglass repair place, saying his boat was broadsided during the start to the last race.

Tony’s boat was crewed by Edward “Buttons” Padin and former AYCer Lucinn Sahali, who’s now living in the Monterey area. Mike’s boat was crewed by John Mayall and Ruta Bandziulis.

The Viper website reported, “Marcus Eagan, Andrew Eagan, and Jackson Benvenutti (Mandeville, LA) [won] both the Goslings 2019 Viper 640 World Championship and the 2019 Viper 640 North Americans. Hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA), the four-day Championship consisted of 13 races in atypical Long Beach conditions – light, 8-10 knots except for the final race on Day 2 and the last two on the final day when winds were mid to high teens. It was a regatta where sailors were faced with a wide range of conditions and those atop the podium had to be capable of dealing with them all.”

Full results here.

Ace sailing photographer Sharon Green (ultimatesailing.com) shot some of the action and collected random shots of some of the sailors, including Mr. Chapman.

Tony Chapman, photographed at the Viper Worlds in Long Beach. Photo: Sharon Green

AYC Sailors Splash at Mission Bay

In August, four AYC sailors packed their Lasers off to Mission Bay Yacht Club for one-design races in the Pacific. David Newland describes what happened.

By David Newland

David Newland on the big water of the Pacific. Photo: Lori Lorenz

When AYC hosted the Laser District race in March, five members from San Diego’s Mission Bay Yacht Club came to join the fun… and they’re not even in our District!

We talked about supporting each other’s future races, and I take those conversations seriously as traveling to different venues is a great opportunity to race, learn and meet new people in our sport.

I got with Mark Young, MBYC’s Laser Fleet Captain, soon after our event to review MBYC’s calendar. MBYC OD in August. Yup! No brainer. Ocean course, too. That was about the length of our conversation, so I shot out an interest-sparking email to the AYC Laser Fleet.

Rob Gibbs, Paul Miachika, Paul Wojtczak and I made the trek west, with only Paul Miachika having solid ocean experience (just this summer he attended the Masters US Nationals at Monterey Peninsula YC and the Masters PCC’s at Cascade Locks, Oregon).

Rob handled logistics by getting a triple-Laser trailer rigged and fueled up the RV. He, Paul Wojtczak and I made camp at Campland on the Bay in Mission Beach. Campland is a very clean and well managed facility, and even I held to their strict nighttime no-noise rules.

MBYC, founded in 1927, has prime real estate right on Mission Bay, including a nice stretch of beach and grass that made for easy launching for some 15 Lasers and a handful of multihulls. The Laser Fleet hosted a BBQ Friday night. And Saturday night we cleaned up for a full-spread Luau with a fabulous buffet, a live band and hula dancers! Both nights took place right on their private beach.

MBYC managed our racing well, knowing that some Laser racers are actually 2020 Olympic hopefuls. Rob was able to lock a third-place finish on race three, which put a nice smile on his face! Paul Miachika had some strong finishes as well but got held up by kelp on race seven.

Paul Wojtczak and I kept at it, trying to gain some ocean racing insight with each race. Or, maybe we were distracted by the dolphin and seals that liked messing around our course. We learned much about ocean racing but know we’re just scratching the surface.

Thank you, MBYC, for being gracious hosts! Did I mention this race was free? Thanks for that, too! What a solid and grounded group of sailors with a fantastic, good vibe YC! We’ll be back.

A cluster of Lasers at the Mission Bay One Design races. Photo: Lori Lorenz

Monsoon Rain Didn’t Dampen Campers’ Spirits

A little late afternoon monsoon both Friday and Saturday didn’t keep the Annual AYC Campout from being tons of fun!

With a high temp of 80 and tucked in a stand of pine trees, Dairy Springs Campground was as hospitable a venue as you’d find to escape the Phoenix summer heat. The shelters included tents, trucks, and RVs. Kids brought their bikes and BB guns.

Breakfast was everything from low tech dutch oven to high tech butane stove cooking. The best part is always the BYO Meat cookout though! This year the grill saw beef steaks, brats, a ton of marinated chicken, a few pieces of salmon, baked ziti and meatballs, and even a cast iron skillet with Spanish rice! Desert was root beer floats, banana smores, pecan pie, and a few other things I’m sure I was too full to eat! Put it on your calendar for next year!

 

[slideshow_deploy id=’20221’]

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.

Sign Up for Tall Cactus Fun Regatta

Start with a social gathering at Spinnaker Point from 10-noon, launch your boat, start at 2pm, dash around a couple islands and various marks and finish.

That’s this year’s Tall Cactus Regatta, our fun pretty-much-end-of-the-season regatta, Saturday, April 27. Register now on the Racing page, where you’ll also find the chart and the documents.

Principal Race Officer Rob Gibbs has answered one important question before you ask: Yes, you do have to sail around Horse and Balance Rock islands in addition to the drop marks at those locations.

A chunk of the Tall Cactus race chart showing the route around the northern islands of Lake Pleasant.

Updating the AYC Bylaws

Every three-to-four years we’ve been updating the AYC Bylaws to clarify, simplify, and update the document that governs how the club is run. Time to to it again.

On your election ballot this year are various non-controversial changes to the bylaws, including these changes:

  1. Eliminate the provision requiring publishing the names of people who have not paid renewal dues by mid-August. Time to stop “shaming.”
  2. Conduct elections by electronic ballot. We’ve actually been doing this for several years. We retain your right to vote by appearing at the election counting spot in person.
  3. Establish a method for certifying election results and setting a time for the new board to take office.
  4. Simplify the wording of rules for Board of Directors meetings and allow email votes on routine matters.
  5. Clarify and simplify the composition and responsibility of the Rules Committee. No actual change compared to how this has been handled forever.
  6. Simplify the section on appointed committees.
  7. Considerably simplify the process for amending or changing the bylaws.

Here’s a copy of the mark-up version of the changes for your review.

The changes were proposed by Junior Staff Commodore Mike Ferring. Commodore Rob Gibbs convened a review committee composed of himself, Emory Heisler, John Mayall, Mike Yarnell, Mike Ferring and Will Zornik, which agreed to the final version. The AYC Board then approved the changes and voted to put them on the ballot.

Changes to the AYC Bylaws are on the ballot this year.

Like to Learn About a Blokart?

Yes, Blokart. A sailing cart. No water required. A variation on a sailboat or an iceboat for speeded-crazed people like, well, you.

The Lake Pleasant Sailing Club (LPSC) has invited Charlie Quiroz of Musselman Honda Circuit kart racing track in Tucson to explain this nutty concept at the club’s meeting Tuesday, April 16, at 7pm, at Rolling Hills, the same place AYC meets. AYC members are invited to join in.

Here’s more about a Blowkart. And below is a typical video.

A basic Blowkart thrill machine.

 

Women’s Sailing Gathering March 23

By Debbie Huntsman

Gathering of women for the Lake Pontchartrain Knot Tea Party.

Are you a woman interested in literally sailing into your future? Or perhaps you already know how to get across an ocean using the wind? Or maybe you’re just curious about sailing in the desert? The knot tie tea party is for all of you.

I’m the national Women’s Sailing Association president and will be the lead knot teacher at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, March 23, from 3-5 pm. This will be the first monthly National Women’s Sailing Association’s Learn About Sailing Things (L.A.S.T.) workshop for women sailors in the greater Phoenix area.

At the Knot Tie Tea Party you’ll socialize, drink tea (or a beverage you choose), learn to tie a few useful nautical knots or show others how it’s done if you are so skilled, and watch the sun as it lowers over the lake and we decide what to learn next about sailing.

The L.A.S.T. group will gather at the blue-topped shuttle shelter in the public parking lot at Pleasant Harbor. Turn right after you enter the facility and the lot is on your right. There’s a $6 fee to enter the park.

Our friends at Tumbleweed Sailing will provide refreshments…tea and crumpets. Bring your favorite tea cup.

If you’re able to join us, please RSVP to me by this email.

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

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.

 

 

Merry Christmas AYC

A big, festive crowd turned out for the December AYC Christmas/Holiday party (12/11), with over 50 gifts tossed into the Buccaneer Gift Exchange. Commodore Santa Rob Gibbs presided over the madness, and as usual, the favorite gift of choice was a bottle of something containing alcohol.

Cindy Pillote hands over her mother’s handmade quilt to high bidders Emory and Debbra Heisler. The proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Photo: Mike Ferring

Since we’re getting a jump on the Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup auction, Maryellen Ferring auctioned off a handmade quilt created by Cindy Pillote’s mother, with the proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Debbra and Emory Heisler were the high bidders at $1,000. People also bought a couple dozen Birthday Regatta souvenir technical shirts and various other silent auction items.

Rob also presented the giant Governor’s Cup trophy to Joel Hurley and crew Grant Younger and quickly declared Ye Blunder Bucket voting over by choosing George Tingom as the winner for not showing up or returning the Bucket for this round of voting. Remember your other Blunder nominations for the next round at the Commodore’s Celebration in May.

Tony Chapman opens a gift of a racing board game. Tony didn’t keep it long since it was quickly “pirated.” Photo: Mike Ferring

Santa Rob awards the huge Governor’s Cup trophy to Joel Hurley and Grant Younger. Photo: Mike Ferring

Angela Hutchinson reveals one of the more than 50 gifts of the night. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Souvenir Shirt

The 2019 Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup shirt front with the AYC logo.

When you sign up for the February 8-10 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup, be sure to outfit the crew in souvenir technical shirts. In fact, you don’t have to wait until you sign up (since we know that’ll be at the last minute). We’ll have the shirts available at the Christmas gift exchange on Tuesday night (12/11).

The graphic on the back of the shirt was drawn by Bob Downer, a cleat hitch around that Arizona landmark, the saguaro cactus. The shirt itself is a comfortable wicking technical shirt that usually sells for much more than the $20 you’ll spend for this beauty.

The 2019 Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup souvenir technical shirt with graphic drawn by Bob Downer.

Bid or Buy Now for Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Silent Auction Items

Some three dozen items will be in the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup silent auction, but you won’t have to wait until February to snag one of them.

All of the auction items are available right now at the “Buy Now” price. Simply email Maryellen Ferring (who gathered them all with some nice help) and tell her what you’d like. In addition, she’ll be bringing some of the items to the monthly meetings in December and January so you can see them and either bid on them or grab them for the “Buy Now” price. The December meeting is December 11 at the usual spot, Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend. Arrive early enough to bid.

Here’s the list of items.

Proceeds from the auction will help defray the cost of the regatta and some will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Much more information on the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup here.

A collage of a few of the 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup silent auction items.

Five Decades in the Making, Adopt-A-Boat Gave Me Opportunity

AYC Lake Pleasant Lake Captain and J/70 crew David Newland this Sunday (11/11) did a foolishly brave thing: after never before sailing one, he adopted a Laser and went sailing at Tempe Town Lake in heavy, puffy wind. Crazy maybe, but he decided to, mmm, take the plunge.

Race results for the day

By David Newland

AYC Lake Captain David Newland at more familiar controls: the Boston Whaler. Photo: Mike Ferring

Overweight and out of shape, I decided to sign up for Bowline Cross Fit. I felt very intimidated when I arrived and saw Hurley crunching 100 sit-ups, Bernard bobbing and weaving the double-end boxing bag and Gibbs speed-skipping the gym rope.

Wait, did I say Bowline Cross Fit? I meant Laser racing.

In the late 70s, I spent many weekends motoring around Marina del Rey in my little Whaler. I liked to idle down and spectate when the kids were racing Lasers in the harbor. It looked like a ton of fun and I was quite envious. Getting hooked up with them never materialized.

Well, five decades and 120 pounds later (maybe 130), I got my chance! The weather forecast was on point this past weekend, so I reached out to Grant Younger to get signed up for an Adopt-a-Boat. He helped me pick out my weapon of choice and Joel Hurley helped me rig it (and de-rig and re-rig the items I thought I knew how to do without any instruction whatsoever).

OK, so far so good. Winds were blowing 20. KPH. Felt like MPH to me (And sometimes was –ed.). I got the Laser launched and was overly confident with the stability of this 2×4. Maryellen Ferring was helping with the bow line and just as she said, “don’t step on the…,” I stepped on the foredeck, and was immediately in the water. Note to self: That’s the wrong way to board a Laser.

What transpired during the next three hours was quite the combination of emotions. Mostly fun. Lots of laughs out loud to which the spectators on the shore and in manually-powered craft (to which I gave right-of-way) probably thought I left my medication at home.

Frustration. Mostly because I was envisioning my younger self in MDR. I just can’t duck the boom as efficiently as I probably could have 40 years ago! Surprisingly, I did fine. I still have all my teeth and no concussion symptoms yet.

Anxiety. That moment when you (okay, I) lose the tiller and the main sheet at the same time, knowing that capsizing is imminent. Thanks, Joel, for retrieving my hat. Did you see my Oakleys?

Let me digress for a moment. The wind was blowing. I faltered. Joel, from his cockpit, was able to maneuver his boat to help start my righting process, fixed some issue with my main sheet, located my hat, and then sailed off.

I survived. Quite well actually. I wasn’t a worthy racer, but I knew going in that racing wasn’t going to be my priority. It was getting my feet wet (and every other body part) with the Laser Fleet at TTL. What a great group of sailors. And thanks to Adopt-a-Boat for the opportunity.

Thank you Race Committee, as well as Toyota Motor Company for making a fantastic waterproof key fob, and to Bayer, maker of Aleve.

Oh: my disembarking. Yup. Cannonball! No more Laser foredeck for me.

You know it’s windy when the Laser sailors start swimming. This shot was taken a few years ago, but it could have been snapped Sunday. Photo: Mark Howell

A Big Ask…

YOUR Arizona Yacht Club is a great club with a host of vibrant social and sailing activities. From Racing to Cruising to just hanging out, it is a group that I’ve really enjoyed being a part of for over 13 years now. It didn’t get that way by the work of just one or two people, and it won’t continue to grow through the work of just one or two people (or even 10-15 people).

The BIG ASK of YOUR Club is that you find one thing we do that you are interested in, one thing that you would be willing to help out with and say YES! Give back to your friends and YOUR Club. YOUR Board of Directors has some focus areas we are working on that are important to the longevity of the club. We can’t do all of the work it is going to take to accomplish these goals alone. YOUR Club has events that need organizing and support. Just find one way this year to participate a little more.

YOUR Club is more than a membership card. YOUR Club is built on the relationships between its members. Relationships are what keep us coming back year after year. Relationships are also give and take. In order to continue to succeed and grow as a club, YOUR Arizona Yacht Club needs you to give a little back. The more you give, the more you will receive in return because you have helped sustain us into the future!

Thanks in advance for supporting YOUR Arizona Yacht Club!

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!