Sailing News RSS feed for this section

How to Get More Women Sailing

The poster for the inspirational movie “Maiden”

Have you seen the movie Maiden? It’s currently showing at the Harken’s theater at Fashion Square and it’s a truly inspirational and entertaining documentary tracing the 1989-1990 all-women’s campaign in the Whitbread Around-the-World race.

A boatload of women challenged the men in this grueling event, not only finishing the race, but coming in second in their division.

How do we get more girls and women into sailing? Here are two efforts to do that.

The first is simple. Fill out a survey, whether you’re a man or woman. Here’s the link. The survey is being conducted by the World Sailing Trust and it aims to determine how both men and women are introduced to the sport.

As they put it, “Its aim is to allow us to understand more about the realities of women and girls in sailing: what attracts them, what puts them off, why they drop out, the perceived and real barriers to participation that they might face and how this varies across countries, ages, classes and competition and different elements of the sport – racing vs recreational vs officials and, how we can increase women and girls’ participation.”

The second is Debbie Huntsman’s National Women’s Sailing Association, which joining with Tumble Weed Sailing to put on a WOWZR regatta November 1-3 (the weekend after AYC’s Ruth Beals Cup Regatta). Their event includes seminars and coaching culminating in racing.

More Bright AYC History: Arizona Highways 1962

Lido 14s racing in 1962. Click to see a bigger view.

Arizona Highways magazine in the 1960s was at the height of its fame: a lavish, glossy publication that was the state’s answer to Life magazine, with splendid color photographs shot with large format film cameras. In September of 1962, Arizona Highways chose to feature the nascent Arizona Yacht Club and Arizona sailing on the cover and in an extensive inside article.

Lori Reger found a copy of the magazine among our dusty treasures and then tracked down a digital copy in the Arizona Highways archives. Here it is as a slimmed-down PDF with the sailing section extracted.

Besides the high-production photographs, there are a few hundred words of description by writer Bill Dawn, most of them steam heated. If the copy had been acting, we’d say it was chewing the scenery. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Regattas are held every other week from September to May and the rock bound Arizonan dumps the desert sand from his boots and trades them for the crepe soled shoes of the sailor. The heat of the desert is exchanged for the heat of competition, the quiet air of the city for the cooling breeze that drifts above the water. The week’s tensions of profession or trade are quickly absorbed, becoming lost in the relaxed atmosphere and easy laughter of the week-end sailors.”

There’s also some actual description of Arizona sailing, when AYC racing was being done mostly in Lido 14s at Canyon Lake and sometimes at Saguaro and Roosevelt. Lake Pleasant then was much smaller and hard to reach.

They wrote, “Much is being done to improve Lake Pleasant, on the Agua Fria River. Heretofore the trip was a rugged one, the road very bad, the ‘natural launching ramp’ bumpy and steep, and the level of the lake uncertain. The brave one who made the trip, towing his sailboat through the heat and dust over the rough road could be certain of a wonderful sail on a beautiful, uncrowded waterway, surrounded here, not by steep walls, but by gentle, rolling hills and the same strange spectacle of desert landscape surrounding a body of water.”

There’s also a description of a Phoenix sailor who did very well in what they called the “Trans-Pac.”

“Owned and skippered by A. B. “Bob” Robbs, Jr., Phoenix, Arizona businessman, ‘Nam Sang’ completed the grueling 2,225 mile run from Los Angeles to Honolulu in 10 days, 16 hours, 26 minutes and 25 seconds. She finished at night amid the glare of searchlights playing back and forth across the Basin. The victory, bringing Robbs and his exhausted but exhilarated crew the Class A and overall fleet handicap championships, came over a fleet of 41 entrants.”

Arizona sailing making history 57 years ago.

“Nam Sang” in the Transpac from Arizona Highways magazine.

Gearing Up for the Fall!

Viper 640 on Lake Pleasant

I know you are hiding from the heat of the Summers in Arizona, but just as we have some of our hottest days, we want to get you thinking about this year’s sailing season!

First off…if you don’t own a boat, the AYC offers the Adopt-A-Boat Program at Tempe Town Lake so members can use an Arizona Sailing Foundation Capri 14.2 or Laser to race. Up at Lake Pleasant, Tiller and Kites now has an ocean of RACING boats to charter for the racing series! Whether you and your friends want to get on one of their many J24s and race in Spin or Non-Spin fleet, or you want to each charter a Coronado 15 and make up your own fleet, the choice is yours! Of course you will have to prove your skill during a check out sail…wait, what? You don’t know how to sail?

NO PROBLEM! The Arizona Sailing Foundation has announced it’s fall Learn to Sail Schedule. Adults learn in the Capri 14.2 and Kids start out in the Optimist on Tempe Town Lake. More advanced Juniors can continue to build their skills in the Opti, O’Pen Bic, or even Laser in our “MORE Junior Sailing” program.

Done that already or (heaven forbid) dinghies just not your thing? The Sailboat Shop at Lake Pleasant’s Scorpion Bay Marina and Go Sail Arizona at Pleasant Harbor Marina both offer ASA approved courses in keelboats. Tillers and Kites is an International Yacht Training School offering certification from dinghies all the way up through running spinnaker on a keelboat. And for combination of online-learning with on-the-water practical skill building check out Southwest Sailing and their NauticEd sailing education program.

We know everyone has a busy schedule, but plan now to make sailing one of the “big rocks” in your calendar that you plan everything else around!

John Mayall & Crew Joyce on Tempe Town Lake

Plan for the Summer Campout

The AYC Summer Campout will be August 2-4 this year, again at Dairy Springs campground, but this year as a joint venture with the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club.

You can just show up and grab a spot, but organizers Matt and Andi Baker can also reserve a spot for you. Email Andi to let them know you’re coming. And you can also reserve a spot on the parks website.

Here’s lots of information about this traditional summer getaway.

Read about the event and see pictures from two years ago at Dairy Springs.

Steve Nahkala tends the fire at an AYC summer campout. Photo: Mike Ferring

July Meeting: Yacht Delivery for Fun and Adventure

By Debbie Heisler

Note: New location for the monthly meeting. Information below.

Debbie and Emory Heisler in full-foul on one of their deliveries.

Have you ever dreamed of sailing across big blue oceans? What about being in total command of your own vessel for a vacation to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, or other areas of the world? Or getting paid to drive a charter boat for someone as a captain or just being crew? It’s all possible with a little planning and a sense of adventure.

Emory and I will share photos and stories of all the “fun” we had during our Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Atlantic Coast to Caribbean (and back and back and back again) sailboat delivery and sailing adventures. Newport, RI. City Island, NY. Chesapeake Bay. The Bahamas. Florida. Puerto Rico. BVIs. Bermuda… and back. Together we sailed over 5000 nm in six months on other people’s boats. Emory will also share his experience and guidance about the USCG Captain’s licensing process. It’s sure to be both fun and informative.

The meeting is Tuesday, July 9, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are now held at R.T. O’Sullivans at the corner of Hayden and Thomas. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Debbie’s favorite boat during their trips along the East Coast, a Vagabond 47 ketch.

“Dog Watch” at R.T. O’Sullivans

AYC Members got their first “taste” of our new Regular Meeting Venue, R.T. O’Sullivans in Scottsdale on Thursday night. Around 40 members and potential members showed up for fun, food, and camaraderie. The feedback was very positive! We’re looking forward to having our first Membership Meeting there next week on the 9th of July!

Members and Friends gather to partake of the Fellowship

 

Many of the usual “Pirates” approved of the new location!

Lots of positive feedback about the food!

Like to Play Host to an AYC Happy Hour?

By Heather McClain, Cruising Captain

AYC Volunteers needed—Easiest and most fun volunteer gig EVER!

AYC has been holding monthly Happy Hour gatherings (or “Dog Watch”) at various bars and restaurants around the Valley, either on Tuesday or Thursday from about 5:30p to, well, until people leave. The Dogs have been in different areas and different days to make it easy for members and nonmembers to find one they can attend nearby. The attendance varies from a handful to 20+.

So, how would you like to host one?

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Select one of the available dates for the Happy Hour you’ll host (see below).
  • Pick your favorite local bar/restaurant.
  • Show up at the right place and the right time, and buy up to $100 of appetizers (not beverages/alcohol) for AYC members and potential AYC members who attend.
  • Collect the contact info of the potential AYC members at happy hour (name, email, phone number).
  • Submit by email the contact info to Heather McClain and the receipt for reimbursement to Treasurer Tony Chapman.

Interested? Here are the available dates:

Thurs 8/22/19, Thurs 10/24/19, Tues 1/28/20, Thurs 2/27/20, Tues 3/24/20, Thurs 4/23/20, Tues 5/26/20, Thurs 6/25/20.

You want to host a Happy Hour but don’t know when? Contact me! We’ll work it out.

Happy Hour at 4 Peaks Brewing in Tempe.

Catalina Flotilla – 19 July

Avalon Harbor

The Second Annual Officially Unofficial Flotilla to Catalina Island will be July 19th this year. Last year we had some great fun meeting up with some of the more traveled of our membership in Descanso Bay before being given a great spot in Avalon Harbor. Some of the best wind I’ve EVER had going to and from Catalina to Long Beach.

The closest location to depart from is Long Beach but the other options that are a single day would be Marina Del Rae, Huntington Beach, or even Dana Point. For those more adventurous, the trip from San Diego is an overnight sail. You can trailer your boat over and launch in several different locations in any of those harbors, but if you are so inclined to charter, there are several different places to charter from but here are some of the more popular and known ones: Marina Sailing, Harbor Yacht Club, and Sail Newport Beach.

For those who haven’t ever taken to the ocean, the sail to Catalina Island is a GREAT way to get a feel for what it’s like to sail in open water. It is truly one of the easiest sails to begin your blue water sailing resume with. For those who are blue water veterans, it is a great weekend getaway from the Arizona heat and a welcome return to friendly waters.

A flotilla is a very loose thing…so if you are going to be on the island for any reason during that time you should let us know! If you are sailing over, we can look out for one another and schedule a call in to ensure everyone is all good.

If you think you are going or if you might go but would like more information please take a moment to fill our this form and we’ll get all your questions answered!

Flotilla Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Avalon, Catalina Island, California

 

Sailing Made to Scale

Here’s a problem we don’t often have on full-size boats. Photo: Mike Ferring

Is a Mallard on starboard an obstruction? Good thing the ducks on Estrella South Lake know how to paddle out of the way of fast-closing serious racers, close-hauled and chasing toward the windward mark.

The wind was light on this Saturday morning when a dozen SeaWind radio-controlled boats lined up for the start at a regatta presented by the West Valley R/C Mariners. In spite of the light stuff, the boats moved quite well on a w/l course roughly 40 yards long.

Multi-time AYC Club Champion Al Lehman Jr. is a recent convert to RC racing. Surprise: he’s good at it. Photo: Mike Ferring

On the shore, the dozen sailors and a couple race officers shuffled to keep pace with the boats and expertly trim sails and steer from a distance—a job made especially difficult with shifting wisps of breeze. No one spoke (or shouted at his crew). It felt like a tense championship tennis match.

Four of those sailors were AYC members: Al Lehman and Al Junior, Dave Nowak, and Dean Johnson (who recently joined AYC and races an Andrews Governor’s Cup 21 in PHRF Spin).

Dean says he’s been RC racing a decade or more and he’s an RC winner. Al Jr told us he picked up the hobby about 1½ years ago and loves it. As you probably know, Al is a champion sailor in full-size boats and has adapted quickly to RC. He said he finished third in the national championships in Sacramento last year.

Al and Al Jr are attracted to how easy it is to go sailing with RC: it’s cheap, takes no time to rig, and you can sail in the nearest pond. “Under $100 for sails,” Al Jr smiles. Try that with your big boat.

They explain that the one-meter SeaWind is just one of a number of RC boats being raced and point to the DragonFlite 95 as an easy-entry, up-and-coming class. Here’s more.

At the end of the day, Al Jr had won the regatta with Dean Johnson in second.

Jed Korthals reported to the racers that, “In race ten the windward mark mysteriously moved closer to the offset mark. It turns out that a fairly large turtle, with its foot caught on a fish hook and line, had entangled the windward mark. We were able to reel it in, free the turtle from its trapped leg, and reset the mark. Everyone, especially the turtle, seemed happy.”

Photos by Mike Ferring:

May Meeting – Pretty as a Picture

We had so many photos from the Tall Cactus and so many people asking for them we’re doing a GIVEAWAY at the May Monthly Meeting of a gift card to Canvas Prints so you can take whatever photo you’ve seen on the website or floating around Facebook and turn it into something real!

Our Tall Cactus Photographer, Krisitin Lisson and our very own unofficial Club Photographer, Mike Ferring have agreed to, at no charge, give the winner any photo they want at full resolution so you can make it a keepsake forever.

We’ll have a slideshow of the full set of photos from Tall Cactus running at the meeting so come and enjoy seeing yourself and your friends on the water!

Oh, and the By-Laws require me to also mention that we are doing the official BoD Election Ballot Counting at the meeting as well. No spoilers, but there are some clear winners emerging!

June Meeting: Bring a Joke

Look Scallywag, it’s a gathering of AYC pirates!

By Debbie Heisler, Rear Commodore

With summer vacations, family events and Arizona heat taking us to places like Croatia, Catalina, Yellowstone, and Greece, our June meeting is traditionally smaller in attendance.

For those of you traveling to more remote locations like Buckeye or Apache Junction we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday evening. Come early for dinner as we will host a “Get to Know” your Maties, Scallywags, Swashbucklers, and maybe a Rapscallion, Picaroon or two “Social Gathering.”

The meeting is Tuesday, June 11, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at The Grill @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

Whichever sailing name you choose to use, these are your club members. Please join us for what is sure to be a fun gathering. Yes, you will be asked to interact with Buckos you don’t know, or think you do! Together we’ll all discover things we never knew (maybe never wanted to know) about each other. It will all be in good fun.

PS: Bring what you think is your best sailing/pirate/boat joke and we’ll make time for you to share it.

Joel Hurley Wins Club Championship

2019 AYC Club Champion Joel Hurley. Photo: Mike Ferring

Consistency did it. In six races, Joel Hurley scored no lower than third, turning 3-2-2-2-1-2 into the 2019 Club Championship.

Mike Hester kept it close right to the end, with three firsts and a second, but was dragged down by a first-race sixth place and fourth-race fourth. All the scores are shown below.

The game was played Saturday, May 4, in Lasers at Lake Pleasant. Five fleet champions and reigning Club Champ Scott Richards turned out for the event. In fact, the field included four former Club Champions (Hester, Haggart, Richards and Kempff). Three other fleet champions declined the invitation, saying they weren’t ready to race in a Laser.

Conditions were generally good for the regatta, with light to moderate wind and mild temperatures. This annual race-off to determine a Club Champion is contested in one-design boats and this time the Laser fleet provided the boats and most of the race committee (Bernard, Hasty, Newland, Sheller, Younger, Zornik). Mike Parker was PRO and Fleet Captain George Sheller was the organizer. LP Lake Captain David Newland provided his personal powerboat as the mark/safety boat. Maryellen Ferring brought the post-race eats.

 

Here are shots of the action by Mike Ferring:

On Again – Off Again for the Final TTL Day

Junior’s Starting and 14.2s dialing up! (Photo Credit: Paul Wojtczak)

The final race day at TTL saw a mix of knock down wind to “drifting with purpose” wind. Juniors got in 6 races while the C14.2’s got 4 and the Portsmouth fleet complete 3 rounds of the marks.

Congratulations to our TTL season winners:

Portsmouth: Clay Poulson
C14.2: Dave Haggart
Laser: Joel Hurley
Junior Fleet: Colin Gibbs

See all the race results and the final combined scores on the Results Page.

Join Nevada Sailors on Stars & Stripes

The Nevada Yacht Club is organizing a group trip to San Diego to sail in a “race” between two America’s Cup boats and they’re inviting you to come with them.

They’re hoping to get enough people to match race Il Moro against Stars & Stripes, two of the boats that competed for the America’s Cup and are now being used as tourist attractions.

Here’s a little more information about their trip.

The non-member price for sailing with the group is $150/person.

Here’s a link to the Stars & Stripes site.

Stars & Stripes in tourist service in San Diego.

Women’s Sailing Education Programs

By Debbie Huntsman

A whole lotta luffin’ at the LAST meeting. Graphic: Debbie Huntsman

National Women’s Sailing Association presents: L.A.S.T. (Learn About Sailing Things)

Join the new monthly program at Lake Pleasant. Designed to serve as sailing education for women in a social setting, we will address a wide variety of subjects tailored to the group. (We want you to tell us what you want to learn about sailing!) You must sign up at the National Women’s Sailing Association site monthly to assure your spot.

April 28, 3-5 pm 
Step Aboard
Learn about the boat, how things work, basic crew duties and steps to take before leaving the dock. Attendees should bring a life jacket (we have a few loaners) and dress for sailing with non-skid, non-marking, closed toed shoes.

May TBD
Rules of the Road for Sailors
Understanding navigation rules is essential knowledge for all sailors. We will learn the basics then open the book to see the more complex.

June TBD
What’s in Your Sailing Purse? 
Things to bring, their purpose and use and things to leave home or in your vehicle.

We will learn about sailing things, socialize and enjoy refreshments courtesy of Tumbleweed Sailing.

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.

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

 

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

Friday – Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day!

YES! REALLY! This Friday the 17th of May as a kickoff to National Safe Boating Week! Sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council as part of the 2019 National Safe Boating Campaign, they are sponsoring a Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day to raise awareness and draw attention to boating safety and PFD use.

Wear your PFD to work on Friday, take a pic and send it to Commodore@ArizonaYachtClub.org and we’ll include you in an article on Monday!