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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!

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

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Avalon, Catalina Island, California

 

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!

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

Top Leukemia Cup Fundraisers

Lymphoma & Leukemia Society staffer Naomi Martinez told the AYC monthly meeting bunch Tuesday (3/12) that we’d raised just under $20,000 for LLS during February’s Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Regatta.

The top individual fundraisers were Tony Chapman and Debbra and Emory Heisler, each presented with a Leukemia Cup fundraising burgee to fly. Mike and Erika Parker were the third biggest fundraisers.

In addition to the money raised by individuals, the big auction items bumped the total, including The Moorings BVI charter and the Arizona River Runners Grand Canyon rafting trip.

Emory Heisler and Tony Chapman show off burgees from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, honoring their fundraising during February’s regatta. 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

Saving a Person Overboard

If you’ve been following the investigation into the loss of a sailor in the Chicago-Mac race last year, you know that there were several key takeaways to prevent loss of life.

Here’s an excellent, brief description of the benefits of the LifeSling system and the necessity for practicing your MOB maneuvers, written for UK Sails by Adam Loory.

Fortunately, we never face conditions like the Chicago-Mac race in our inland lakes, but lots of members also sail in oceans, where dealing with crew overboard can mean life or death.

Practicing a crew overboard recovery using a LifeSling.

AYC Hosts District Laser Championship

Arizona Yacht Club will host the 2019 Laser District 23 Championship Regatta on March 16 and 17. The event will be held on Lake Pleasant, launching from the 10-lane ramp and ramadas.

The U.S is divided into 26 Laser Districts, with District 23 encompassing Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Interest in District Championship Regattas can be wide ranging—we’ve heard from areas from San Diego to Portland, Oregon and even from the Dominican Republic.

Race documents, registration and scoring will be handled on the Regatta Network.

As a part of the International Laser Class Association format, the regatta will include an open race that will include all entrants and then four categories of competitors by age group: Apprentice Master (ages 35-44), Master (45-54), Grand Master (55-64), and Great Grand Master (65+).

We’ve created a unique trophy, a framed plaque with glass front, featuring an oil painting commissioned specifically for the event by Faye Crowe, a Colorado Architect. The painting shows three racing Lasers blazing across the water.

Wendy Larsen will be the Principal Race Officer and we’re looking for club members who would help put on the event. Contact me for more information.

George Sheller, Great Grand Master
AYC Racing Fleet Captain
Laser 184560

This original painting by artist Faye Crowe was commissioned by George Sheller to serve as the graphic for the District 23 Championship Regatta

 

 

Ripping Weekend for Lake Pleasant Racing

Apparently enough to keep people on shore, because one of the best race weekends of the year had limited participation, especially Sunday morning when four Thistles, two Santana 20s and two Sportboats limited the racing. Once the Thistles had turned in their traditional three races, the race committee pulled the marks and the day was finished.

Saturday it blew even stronger and brought out more boats: some Catalina 22s, five Sportboats, and a tangle of Thistles.

Results here.

Thanks to the PHRF spin fleet for putting on some excellent races!

Martin Lorch crosses the finish. Photo: Charles Landis

 

On a chilly Sunday morning, finishing first… in a T-shirt! Photo: Charles Landis

The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup Army of Volunteers

By Mike & Maryellen Ferring, Event Chairs

You’ve seen the pictures and the brief regatta write-up, right? Now here’s some of the backstory.

Dave Perry taunts the crowd at the Friday night Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup seminar. Photo: Mike Ferring

We started working on the regatta one year ago, locking in Dave Perry as the featured attraction. I think you’ll agree that Dave was magnificent: funny, teasing, and loaded with sailing tips. How he quieted a tent of 220-plus people for 90 minutes Saturday night was astonishing.

Maryellen went after donations and discounts. The four big auction items: The Moorings BVI charter vacation (Maryellen and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society); San Diego trip with Harbor Sailboats and Hilton Del Mar (Maryellen) and Bob Naylor added a $200 certificate from West Marine; Napa trip (Brooke Miller secured the Silverado Resort, Maryellen added B Cellars winery and the girl and the fig restaurant); Arizona River Runners Grand Canyon rafting trip (Marc Danner). Those four items raised about $9,000.

And Maryellen solicited a raft of smaller items to sell to support the regatta and a bunch of people came through, from Bill Gladstone of NorthU, Mary Kay Farrington Lorch for Vincent’s, Stacey Haggart for a hotel stay and Friday night cocktails from The Barley Hound. Lots of AYC members donated sails that we sent to Sea Bags of Maine to be converted into bags that became trophies and thank-you gifts. (If you received one, congratulations, and you may know that the big bags sell for $130 and the smaller ones for $70.)

Mike got this email at 1:07 pm Friday. Yikes. The team quickly came up with Plan B: burgers and dogs on the grill.

In November, Bob Naylor volunteered big-time help and over the last few months was a key player. He was our Pleasant Harbor liaison, working on such things as tent location and camping. He connected with Lake Pleasant Sailing Club, giving presentations at meetings and helping line up their Sunday breakfast. He set up and tore down the outside generator light and barricades, and helped throughout. When the food truck broke down on the way to the lake, he and crew buddy Rick Sipe manned the grill to churn out burgers and hot dogs.

We got a huge boost from Candace Voorhees at Arizona Taste catering, who offered a 50% in-kind donation for catering the Saturday night dinner. The dinner was fabulous. Party People provided a discount on the tent and Dave Shaw was a brilliant partner on getting the facilities set.

PRO Skip Kempff leads the skippers meeting Friday. Photo: Mike Ferring

Meanwhile, Tony Chapman was recruiting out-of-state Vipers and working out their logistics. Rob Gibbs created an entire fleet, the Etchells, by putting together a charter package with John Riddell. Emory Heisler hustled up a Bucc fleet. Their efforts helped replace the pocket cruisers, who’d turned out in numbers the last few years but didn’t make it this year.

Skip Kempff agreed to be Principal Race Officer and recruited a fine band of troops, led by fellow Thistler Scott Richards. Others on the team were Bob Labine, Tom Dickerson, Lori Reger, Jim Moye, Freeman Halle, Dale Buchanan, Toby Olvera, Elizabeth Olvera, Jose Vicente, Jeff Freeman, and Cathy Freeman.

That’s Mark Howell under the red cap, scoring hundreds of races over the three days. Mark was the regatta’s unsung hero. Photo: Mike Ferring

AYC Stalwart Scorekeeper Dave Christensen was traveling during the regatta, so Mark Howell stepped into the breech. You may have spotted a lone figure at the ramada just outside the tent overlooking the lake, surrounded by electronic gizmos, intently converting pictures sent from the RC boat into race results. That was Mark. He’ll be awarded the Croix de Pleasant for valor under fire.

By all accounts, the race officials did an excellent job coordinating the 70 boats on the water, running some 44 races on Saturday alone.

David Newland made sure the AYC boats were ready for action, gassing them and cleaning them. Then David launched his personal powerboat that we used as a photo platform for AYC pictures and Dave Perry’s videos.

Some of the crew that put it all together on site: (l-r) Brooke Miller, Jonni Biaggini, Maryellen Ferring, and Kara Newland. Photo: Mike Ferring

This mob runs on food, so we needed to provide the groceries. Saturday morning breakfast was led by Tucson Sailing Club’s Glenn Brostedt, who not only cooked but decided not to sail in order to spend hours cleaning up. Sunday morning the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club organized the continental breakfast. Carolyn Cronin bought the goodies and then dashed off to see her first grandson born as others served the bagels. A platoon of Sea Scouts greeted you for Sunday lunch, offering brats and chips. When they weren’t cooking, they were helping straighten up the trailer and tent. Sack’s Sandwiches made 42 Saturday sandwiches for racers and RC and had them ready at 6:45 am, the earliest in the day they’d ever prepared an order. Grand Canyon Brewing delivered two huge kegs of craft beer for your drinking pleasure (thanks to Brooke for setting that up too).

You were met at registration by familiar faces, Al and Sandy Lehman, who have been doing that job for, what, decades we guess. They held it all together from their motorhome base 50 feet away.

Now this thank-you list gets a little murky because many of you jumped in to help where needed and there’s no way we could have a complete list of helpers. We know our friend Jonni Biaggini flew in from California and was a big help. Others we noticed and can remember included Scott Matreyek, Theresa and Kevin Baker, Kara Newland, Bob Whyte, Becky Houston, Ray and Mary Jo Chapman, and… well you know who you are and thank you.

And thanks to everyone who came to sail and party in the desert!

Birthday Regatta Crew Positions Available!!

Hey…wanna come out and sail with us? Download the GoSailing App! There are still crew spots available for all 3 days, or just one or two…

Lake Pleasant Spring Series Breezes Off

Lake Pleasant greeted our spring series with a sigh on Saturday, just enough wind to sail a race before wheezing to a finish. Sunday was far better—ideal conditions through the morning before going slack. Welcome to spring.

Results here.

Rolling in the Deep stretches out downwind. Photo: Marc Danner

Just a fun afternoon on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Marc Danner

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