This is the right time for crew to join AYC

If you crew, we’d like you to join the Arizona Yacht Club.

It’s not just for boat owners, but for crew as well and right now you can join for the initiation fee ($150) and half the annual dues ($62.50), because the AYC year is half over. (You’ll need to renew your membership for $125 next summer.) Click this link to sign up!

Why join? To support this great sport, to make sure we have the boats, marks, programs and events for you to enjoy! Don’t leave it to others—join in.

Peter Lehrach crews for me (Commodore Mike Ferring) on our J/80 and he’s not only become a member, but he’s been active on the AYC board of directors and organizes our highway cleaning program. Here’s what he has to say:


Peter Lehrach is the AYC Secretary and a new member of the club. He moved to the area in 2011 after competing in various boats and regattas in the East and South. Peter crews on Commodore Mike Ferring's J/80.

Peter Lehrach is the AYC Secretary and a new member of the club. He moved to the area in 2011 after competing in various boats and regattas in the East and South. Peter crews on Commodore Mike Ferring’s J/80.

The only boat I’ve ever owned was a Sunfish more than 30 years ago. Yet I love sailing; I love racing. And I’ve done a lot of it.

I’ve had the privilege of crewing on other people’s boats extensively on the East, West, and Gulf coasts and several lakes and rivers across America. I’ve also had international racing experiences in or to Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and England. I learned very early in my crewing career that if you have some skill, cheerfully volunteer to assist in maintenance, and (most importantly) reliably show up then further opportunities and referrals easily come your way. In many ways I had it dialed in perfectly: I got to do my favorite activity, at little personal expense, and I was appreciated by the boat owner. Our relationship was a benefit to both of us. Until recently however, I never joined a yacht club. In hindsight, that was wrong.

I rationalized that only boat owners need to be members. I thought my use of yacht club facilities (launches, showers, bars, restaurants, etc.), purchase of club-branded shirts, participation in racing, social, and educational events were all necessary for “my” boat owners to take advantage of their yacht club privileges and any personal benefit I received was a show of appreciation from the boat owners.

I now realize that while I had been giving and taking with the boat owner, my relationship with the yacht club had been one-way. I further realized that yacht clubs are the community that enables my favorite activity. You see, without a club there is no racing as it takes more than one boat to have a race. It takes more than one boat crew to have a social event. It takes several interested sailors to attract an educational speaker.

Because of the Arizona Yacht Club, we can get our feet wet in the desert even when there is snow and ice on boats elsewhere in the country. How many people can say that? The racing is well run and competitive, the race committee boats and marks are of high quality, and the opportunities to network and learn with likeminded sailors is unique for the area.

Chances are, if you are a long-time crew, you’ve thought about joining the AYC and then rationalized it away as I once did. For those who have since become members, thank you! If not, please reconsider: AYC needs your membership to strengthen our desert sailing community. Compared to other places I’ve sailed, AYC member financial obligations are downright cheap. The reciprocal privileges are fantastic. Participation on committees and helping with events are personal growth opportunities and will make you feel good. I know I do.

Thank you for considering my message and I’ll see you on the water,
Peter Lehrach AYC Secretary
AYC Member since 2012 (602.741.2016)

Lake Pleasant Sailing Club Sweetheart Cruise

Traditionally February is the month Mardi Gras, Presidential birthdays, and of course love. This year is no exception! On Saturday, February 9, Lake Pleasant Sailing Club (LPSC) members and AYC members are invited to sail Lake Pleasant for one of LPSC’s most popular events—the Sweethearts Cruise. However, because new cruise directors, Tim and Rhonda Brewer, are trying to change things up a bit, a couple of new features will be added to the day.

As usual, only females will be allowed to “man” the tiller or the wheel during the race. The gender  and number of crew members are completely up to the skipper, but crew is restricted to sail trim and serving duties. Skippers are invited to meet at the BBQ area of the Lake Pleasant Marina before the race to register their crew and to participate in the pre-race fashion show. Each skipper will earn a one-minute time credit for each piece of pink attire her crew is wearing—up to 10 minutes/boat.

In addition to a description of the cruising course, each skipper will be given a packet of activities that may be completed during the race for additional time credit. Be sure to have a working radio on your boat. As you can see, the Sweetheart Trophy is up for grabs this year!

As always, AYC members are invited to join this event—the more the merrier!

By Rhonda Brewer, LPSC

Active Catalina 22 Fleet and C22 Tuning Tips

One of the fleet's stalwarts, Bob Worrall.

One of the fleet’s stalwarts, Bob Worrall.

The Catalina 22 fleet was looking thin last summer, until Steve and Christina Campo jumped in, gave it CPR, and found a bunch of willing participants. Result? Ten entries for the Birthday Regatta and a fleet that’s looking anything but weak.

Stan Ferris produces a newsletter for the fleet and distributes it by email. The latest includes some great tuning tips from fleet captain Steve Campo, who’s generous with his advice (and still runs out front). Click here to see the newsletter.


Birthday Regatta Ends in Strong Breeze

Heavy wind capped the 2013 Birthday Regatta.

Heavy wind capped the 2013 Birthday Regatta.

Strong wind on the final day of the Birthday Regatta and Leukemia Cup weekend brought a nice conclusion to a successful event, and left everyone feeling good about the big changes this year.

Congratulations to the fleet winners (and everyone who came out to have fun): Matt Davis in Buccaneer; Steve Campo in Catalina 22; Scott Sharples in Laser; Norm Anderson in Merit 25; Stan Susman in Montgomery 17; Brett Johnston in Multi-Hull; Dianna Andress in PHRF Non-Spin; Mike Hester in PHRF Spin; Joe Barnett in Portsmouth; and James Sears in Viper.

The turnout was very good, with PHRF Spin entering 13 boats and Montgomery 17 and Viper entering 12 each.

This year brought a major revision in the weekend: the elimination of the big tent, replaced by Saturday dinner at the Grille at Pleasant Harbor Marina. The change meant something important to AYC: a profitable event! Thanks to Emory Heisler for innovating and organizing the event and to all the volunteers and participants for making it a success!

Final Results

Friday Results







Sign up for SCYA Mid Winter Regatta!

2013 SCYA MidwinterLogo

Arizona Yacht Club will be hosting the Southern California Yachting Association Midwinter Regatta during February 2013, at both Lake Pleasant and Tempe Town Lake.

Our club provides members a variety of ‘round the buoys racing opportunities, which we hope captures everyone’s level of commitment ,ranging from the 8 to 10 race day Spring and Fall Series, to the 5 race day “Saturday Only” Series at Lake Pleasant, to the two – three day events like the Birthday Regatta and Midwinter Regatta. Then, there is also the “long distance” Governor’s Cup and Tall Cactus Regattas. So if you would enjoy racing for a weekend or two, scored with others of the same persuasion, sign up for the Midwinter Regatta. SCYA has supplied us with neat sun visors for all the signed up skippers and some towels we are offering to the first three boats signed up in a single fleet. SCYA is also supplying trophies which will be awarded after the last day of racing.

For a flyer outlining detals Click Here.

Notice of Race




Gorgeous Conditions for Governor’s Cup

Emory Heisler aboard Chris Smith’s J/80 as the sun begins to set on Lake Pleasant. Photo: Chris Smith.

Temperatures in the mid-80s, wind mostly in the comfy 8-10. Pretty much perfect—and the sailors who spent the Governor’s Cup Saturday (11/24) sailing to and fro on Lake Pleasant were pretty much all smiles.

How do you sail 26.2 miles on Lake Pleasant? According to the diabolical plan of organizer Mike Parker, you do it by sailing north, south, east, and west in intersecting lines around obscure buoys, a floating porta-potty, and a couple islands. Surprisingly, the wind was willing to play along. William Fairchild brought his runner’s GPS along for the ride on Peter Hartleb’s J/80 and found that they logged just over 28 miles for the race, finding they didn’t need to do much upwind tacking that could have lengthened the race.

That pirate planner, Mike Parker. Photo: Fatima Chaoui.

In fact, the first finishers were back home before dark and didn’t need the nearly-full moon for navigation. Who won that gigantic Governor’s Cup Trophy? We’re waiting for word from the official scorekeeper and maybe some more conversation about which of those obscure buoys were intended to be rounding marks. All to be sorted out shortly, we hope.

From left: Keith Kintigh, new members Austin and Kirsten Clary, and Brenda Shears tense up for one of the mark roundings during the all-day Governor’s Cup Regatta. Photo: Fatima Chaoui.

Gathering for the morning start to the 26-mile race. Photo: Fatima Chaoui.

Gorgeous conditions during the 2012 Governor’s Cup, with good breeze and warm temperatures. Photo: Fatima Chaoui.

US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Course Here in January

Registration is now open for the US Sailing Level 1 Instructor course, to be taught here on two intensive weekends in January—the weekends of January 5&6 and 12&13.

US Sailing requires a minimum of 8 students in the course, a number we’ve failed to meet the last two times this course has been offered in Phoenix. So we really need your support this time.

Here’s the sales pitch: Not only does the course prepare you to teach sailing, but it also makes you a better sailor. Course instructor Ray Deppa has taught all of the US Sailing Instructor courses in Phoenix, and he’s a real pro, someone who will leave you knowing more about this game we play. But teaching sailing is actually the best part. Introducing new people to the sport is a lot of fun—seeing them begin to understand how a boat moves through the water by wind alone and seeing the joy they get from figuring it out.

Sign up four weeks or more before the class and it’s $325; after that it’s $345. If you pass the course and teach for the Arizona Sailing Foundation, ASF will reimburse half your tuition. (If you’re a high school or college student, check with George Tingom for possible higher reimbursement rate.)

I just paged through some of the US Sailing material on the course. You’ll find some information here. And the registration begins here. There’s quite a bit of paperwork involved and you’ll need to be a member of US Sailing (a good thing anyway) and you’ll need to pass a first aid and CPR course (definitely a good thing anyway). The prerequisites are extensive. My advice: don’t let any of that discourage you. The other students and Instructor Ray Deppa will help you through it. If you want to pass, you’ll pass.

For questions on the course, check with George Tingom, who’s organizing the course and has been involved in every one we’ve held since 2003 (when I took it).

AYC Powerboat Drivers Must Be Certified

The AYC Board of Directors has taken a step that the club has been contemplating for years: Requiring that any driver of an AYC or ASF powerboat have a nationally-recognized certification for safe powerboat operation. The requirement kicks in January 1, but we’ll try to follow it immediately.

Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock will come up with a list of certifications which will qualify and we’ll let you know what they are.

This step would not be possible without the enormous contribution of Rob Gibbs, who has conducted two courses for US Sailing powerboat certification, most recently just last month, when 10 people received certification. The people who took the course heaped huge compliments on Rob for his effort and for the quality of the teaching. Our continuing thanks, Rob, for all that you do for the club. And we thank the board of the Arizona Sailing Foundation and its president John Mayall for underwriting the cost of the materials for the powerboat course.

Rob will lead another class on December 14, 15, and 16 and there are still openings for that class (as of 12/1).

The AYC board recognizes that the new requirement won’t prevent accidents or mistreatment of equipment, but clearly it should help. It’s been a constant problem maintaining ASF and AYC boats in prime condition. Most important, we believe this step will reduce the chance of a powerboat injury, which no one wants to see.

Mike Ferring


Governor’s Cup Registration is OPEN
Click Here to get in on the fun!

Day’s Schedule:

Back when it all started.

9am Saturday — skippers meeting, Spinnaker Point
Mike Parker will have available copies of the course map.
11am Saturday is the start of the regatta just outside the Pleasant Harbor Marina South entrance.
Check in as soon as feasible to:
480-270-2443 text or voice, or else send an email to

Here’s the Full-Length Course:

(Click for Map)

Start between the dam pumps and the south Pleasant Harbor entrance, then follow this course, taking all marks to port:

  1. Coles Bay Buoy
  2. Balance Rock
  3. Horse Island
  4. Humbug Bay buoy
  5. Balance Rock
  6. 10-lane No-Wake
  7. Honeymoon Cove Floating Potty
  8. Castle Creek buoy
  9. Finish between no wake buoys in the Pleasant Harbor north launch ramp bay

And here’s the Half-Length Course for Portsmouth boats only: (Click for Map)

Start at between the dam pumps and the south Pleasant Harbor entrance and then:

  1. Castle Creek Bouy
  2. Balance Rock
  3. Horse Island
  4. Balance Rock
  5. 10-Lane No-Wake (any)
  6. Finish at North Ramp No Wake (any)

Lake Pleasant Sailing Club’s Busy November

The calendar year may be winding down, but the LPSC is gearing up for our busiest time of the year.

On November 10, the LPSC will be hosting the third annual Ladies Day at the Lake. This very popular event is a day-long, sailing or kayaking summit for women. It is designed to introduce women to and/or enhance their skills in recreational boating through both land-based seminars and on-the-water workshops.

November 16-18 will find several LPSC members enjoying a fun late fall weekend of sailing and friendship at Roosevelt Lake.

November will end with a L.A.S.T. Friday study session. This monthly event is the brainchild of our current Commodore, Debbie Huntsman. Although Debbie has relocated to New Orleans, she still attends these sailing-based study sessions in spirit.

Finally, LPSC members will celebrate the holidays with a party on December 8. Besides sharing food, drink, and conversation, members are invited to catch a shuttle ride compliments of John Bagwell, our vice-commodore, to the Tempe Parade of Lights. As always, AYC members are invited to join LPSC events and activities.

Rhonda Brewer, LPSC Newsletter Editor

Governor’s Cup Regatta Offers Long-Distance Fun

By Mike Parker, AYC Cruising Director

Does the little sailboat racer inside of you feel a bit cramped, congested, or perhaps confined?

Don’t race much, but want to have a “semi structured” event to cruise our fine Lake Pleasant—perhaps exploring new stretches of water?

Is that a trophy or what? Court Roberts hefts the Governor’s Trophy, won last year aboard his Melges 24. Photo: Mike Ferring

Leave our excellent “round the buoys” racing for a day and stretch your sea legs for 26.2 miles up, down, and around Lake Pleasant in the  Arizona Yacht Club 2012 Governors Cup Regatta.

Aside from the fame and fortune, you could become the proud caretaker for 12 glorious months of the largest trophy AYC has to offer.

This year’s regatta will be similar to last year’s, with a start off the south Pleasant Harbor Marina entrance buoy, crisscrossing the lake, and ending up at the north ramp No Wake zone.

Preliminary guidelines (really):

  • There will be strategic legs that round the floating pottys (just in case crew needs to go)
  • Uber close legs near the bar/restaurants on the water, with phone numbers on the map for pickup orders
  • Open water legs (as much as we have in Arizona) will be scheduled for the later parts of the race, just in case darkness falls before the end
  • Multiple classes with take-home trophies for top finishers
  • A special prize for the most “Holiday Inspired” boat and crew (and TLAPD is a Holiday)
  • Minimal entry fee and NO WHINING! — mostly because your Cruising Director wants to race too this year.

And this addition:

I have received some questions about the Governor’s Cup Regatta that I would like to share with those interested, along with my answers.

  1. Will there be a short course for small boats.
  2. YES, there will be a “Half Marathon” of 13.1 miles, same start – Portsmouth only
  3. Will there be a Single Handed class? If I have 5 boats that want to race single-hand that can fall into ONE rating system, I will make it happen. Fleets will be determined from registrations completed Tuesday, November 20.
  4. Will there be “Course Marks” distinguished from other navigation aids? The course marks are islands, floating potties, and navigation buoys. All are listed in order and GPS coordinates are included on the long race SI.
  5. For the buoys, your requirement is to round one buoy in the direct vicinity, along a line of buoys. You can round whatever one is more convenient, trying not to gain a DISTANCE advantage. I have tried to make the approaches to the buoy lines equidistant from the previous mark. Of course, not as sexy as 7 Vipers rounding one mark all together with the yelling and churning up the water, but you can watch that during the Fall and Spring  Series and the Birthday Regatta.
  6. YOU will be the Race Committee. Keep an eye on your fellows on the water, encourage and assist as needed.

I have received some questions about the Governor’s Cup Regatta that I would like to share with those interested, along with my answers.

1.       Will there be a short course for small boats

a.       YES, there will be a “Half Marathon” of 13.1 miles, same start – Portsmouth only

2.       Will there be a Single Handed class

a.       If I have 5 boats that want to race single handed that can fall into ONE rating system, I will make it happen.  Fleets will be determined from registrations completed Tuesday, November 20.

3.       Will there be “Course Marks” distinguished from other navigation aids?

a.       The course marks are Islands, Floating Potties, and navigation buoys.   All are listed in order and GPS coordinates are included on the long race SI.

b.      For the buoys, your requirement is to round one buoy in the direct vicinity, along a line of buoys.  You can round whatever one is more convenient, trying not to gain a DISTANCE advantage.  I have tried to make the approaches to the buoy lines equidistant from the previous mark.   Of course, not as sexy as 7 Vipers rounding one mark all together with the yelling and churning up the water, but you can watch that during the Fall and Spring  Series and the Birthday Regatta.

4.       YOU will be the Race Committee.  Keep an eye on your fellows on the water, encourage and assist as needed. 

Buccaneer 18s Sailing on Mill Avenue

So you’re strolling down Mill Avenue and happen to look up at one of the “Downtown Tempe” posters and what do you see? A Buccaneer 18!

The photo brings together an interesting group of AYC Bucc sailors in one shot.

The boat is my first Erin Morgan, #5060, on one of its early sails in 2003, skippered by David Rawstrom with me as crew and sailing with Pat Blumm’s sail #2900 because the sails that came with the boat had a few “problems” (i.e. holes).

Congratulations to AYC and the Bucc Fleet for being part of the Mill Avenue District campaign!

A Successful Trashy Sunday

AYC highway cleaning crew picking up 60 bags of litter from the side of Carefree Highway. Photos: Brenda Shears

On October 14, 15 AYC volunteers generously offered their time and effort to maintain our club’s commitment to the Adopt-a-Highway program. The weather was perfect as we filled 60 large blue trash bags with items that had been carelessly discarded by motorists driving along the Carefree Highway near Lake Pleasant. Afterward, we celebrated our achievement at the Wild Horse Saloon with a well-deserved lunch and good cheer. Thanks to all who participated!

The pick-up crew (l to r): Thom Dickerson, Pierce Cunningham, Emory Heisler, Lori Reger, Keith Kintigh, Jo Grijalva, Mike Grijalva, organizer Peter Lehrach, Tia Renshaw, Mike Yarnell, Renata Richards, Larry Green, Ken Guest, Paul Eyssautier, and (not pictured because she was behind the camera) Brenda Shears.

Lake Pleasant Opening Day Fiesta!

Our friends in the North are covering their boats for the long winter, but the Arizona Yacht Club has just fired off the cannon for Opening Day. Temperatures settled into the 90s, wind teased us, and the Catalina 22 fleet prepared a fiesta of fish and chicken tacos spiced with the salsa of a Mariachi band.

Many thanks to Christina and Steve Campo for the evening’s dinner and entertainment and to the entire Catalina 22 crew for an excellent weekend of racing.

Spinnaker Point dinner on Opening Day, with bright green tables and bright, brassy music.

Christina Campo and the Mariachi. Photo: Sheila Gordon

Steve and Christina Campo at the grill, prepping the tacos. Photo: Sheila Gordon

Los Mariachi setting the tone for dinner with a view.

A lot of AYC good times have been shared by this bunch: Peter Schweizer, George Tingom, Don DeFreze, and Bob Worrall. Photo: Sheila Gordon

Sailing Discovery Day at Tempe Town Lake

We’d like to invite everyone to the first Sailing Discovery Day at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday October 13 from 1pm to 5 pm. Stop by before you go to the Tempe Oktoberfest party!

Who should come: Anyone who’s interested in learning more about sailing, sailing in Arizona, our club, or fun people in Arizona.

We’ll have several types of boats there and with any luck there will be a comfortable breeze to take some rides and get your first sailing experience. We’ll also have information regarding classes and other ways to get involved in the sport of sailing!

Get to Know New Members

Mike & Dana Blumberg are from Milwaukee and met at Milwaukee Yacht Club; they’ve been married for 26+ years. Dana grew up sailing, starting on a Sunfish at her grandparent’s cottage in Michigan. She raced on Lightning’s with her family, sailing both locally and nationally. She was on the Huffer’s sailing team at UW-Madison, then served as an instructor for many years at a camp in Northern Wisconsin. Mike campaigned a Soling nationally for 9 years, crewed on an E-boat, Melges 24 and has raced Lasers for seven years. Together they’ve sailed many Chicago-Mac races on a Soverel 33, J/35, Mumm 36 and Nelson-Merek 43, cruised on Lake Michigan and in the BVI. They’re not fully settled in Arizona yet and expect it to take up to a year to do it. Mike is starting a new business selling equipment to manufacturing companies here in the Southwest. Right now Mike is in Green Valley and Dana is still in Milwaukee. We look forward to seeing more of them as their move progresses.

Sheila and Jeff Gordon. Sheila’s sailing experience began at the age of 18, sailing a sunfish on an inland lake in Michigan. At 25 she moved aboard a 1940 Atkin Eric double-ended cutter, where she lived for the next seven years. She and her partner cruised the Florida Keys and Bahamas extensively before selling the boat and building a log cabin in Michigan. There they captained and crewed on a Columbia 36 in Lake Huron, the North Channel and Georgian Bay until purchasing a Tartan 26, which they sailed from Au Gres, Michigan to Mackinac Island many times. Sheila raced only a little, but has been crewing with Larry Green on Lake Pleasant aboard Bonne Chance. Jeff is new to sailing and hopes to learn the basics and the jargon. They hope to spend part of their retirement on a boat in the Caribbean.

Marco Hidalgo is new to sailing. He took Start Sailing Right in the spring of 2012. He says he’s enjoyed meeting all of the friendly AYC members and learning about sailboats and racing. Marco is a competitor and was an avid racquetball player. He moved to Phoenix from Albuquerque where he was captain of the University of New Mexico’s Lobo Racquetball Team. He’s crewed here on a Buccaneer and a Viper and looks forward to more AYC sailing and the upcoming race series.

The Love Family, Jesus, Andrea, Isabel (age 8) and Ian (age 6), are new to sailing. Andrea grew up in Rhode Island and has been around and on boats for years but never took sailing lessons. She’s looking forward to lessons now that she lives in the desert. Since Jesus grew up along the Sea of Cortez and loves the water, he’s also eager to learn. Isabel can’t wait for her Opti I class to start in a few weeks. The Loves say they’re excited about getting involved with AYC, being active members, learning the ropes, and getting out on the water. If anyone needs a novice crew, the Loves are your team!

If you’re a new member and have not been introduced through Compass Points, please send a brief write-up about you (and your family) to

Brenda Shears and Thom Dickerson
Arizona Yacht Club Membership Directors

Help Clean the Highway for Fun and AYC Visibility

Watch for the AYC sign on Carefree Highway. Photo: Peter Lehrach

Peter Lehrach is looking for a half dozen volunteers to take a nice walk along highway 74 on a Sunday morning and join him for brunch. Please email him if you can help on Sunday, October 14.

Next time you drive Carefree Highway to Lake Pleasant, watch for the Arizona Yacht Club signs. This one is at mile marker 25. You’ll see another when you’re headed the other way.

A bunch of us earned that sign one warm June morning by filling lots of purple bags with nasty roadside trash. Credit Peter for pushing the “adopt a highway” idea, gathering the clean-up crew, collecting the vests, gloves, pokers, and bags, sitting through the required training exercise, filing the paperwork, following up (through a change of DOT offices), and celebrating the arrival of the sign in August.

Sailing Video Contest Supporting ASF

Hey everyone!

There have been some pretty cool videos floating around the web from club members—and now we’re going to have a contest!  From NOW until the end of the Spring Season, submit your video (send me the link and I’ll put it on our site – and you’ll get a chance to win some AYC swag in the form of shirts and hats.

How does this support ASF?  Get your GoPro sport camera and accessories (mounts, floaty back doors, batteries, etc.) from the AYC website and the partnership proceeds will be donated to the ASF. Click on the link below to go to the GoPro store right now and order.

Buy GoPro HERO Camera at

Or if you can’t see that image:
Official GoPro® Store

We’re Looking for People to Help on Race Committee

Do you like to help run races? Like to be on the water?

We could use your help.

We’re looking for a few good people either to step in to help fleets that are short of people or to serve on a regular basis and provide needed expertise and continuity to the committees. If you’d like to help out, please contact Fleet Captain Greg Woodcock.

It’s a great social time on race committee—a good time to get to know people in the club. If you’re new to racing, it’s a perfect spot to observe the process, to see what starting maneuvers work best, and to make connections that could put you on a crew.

People are needed for both Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant.