North Sails Designer Garth Reynolds Tuesday 7/12

North Sails Designer Garth ReynoldsNew Meeting Place Tuesday. We’ll meet at the Fiesta Inn in Tempe, 2100 S Priest Drive, just south of Broadway. Go to the main lobby and Maryellen Ferring  will guide you to the room.

We’ll have four dinner choices available, each for $13 including tax and tip: hamburger or club sandwich with choice of fries or fruit or a Cobb salad or Caesar salad with chicken. Cash bar with beer, wine, and soft drinks.

Why? The 19th Tee has changed operators and won’t be ready for us. We can return in August.

Our special speaker: North Sails designer Garth Reynolds, who will show us how to sail faster and higher.

Garth will explain how he sculpts a sail and how North tests it to know whether it will really be faster than the others out there. He’ll dissect the characteristics that make a sail fast and reveal what you can do to improve your boat’s sail shape. Result: go faster and point higher.

Garth brings us a rich background of engineering and sailing, including a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Florida, where he sailed on the school’s top-20-ranked sailing team. He’s been with North Sails for three years and right now he’s working to design sails for several Olympic teams for the 2012 London Olympics. He also actively races with several classes, including Snipe, 505, J/24, Melges 24, Viper 640, J/80, Thistle and Interclub.

Because of the location change, we’ll postpone the planned ice cream social and root beer floats.

Maryellen & Mike Ferring

 

July 2011 – Compass Points

Mid Summer Night’s Dream?  You bet!  Where do you want to be in July, in a boiling nightmare in Phoenix or……sweet dreams on Catalina Island?  Check out AYC summer fun going on from near to far and here to there. AYC fun is everywhere!

1) Commodore’s Corner – Help Wanted!  Inquire Within!!

2) What ARE you thinking? AYC- Survey results!

3) Renew!  Renew!  Renew!  It’s time to update your membership

4)  June Membership Meeting begs the question

5) More HOT Boats in AZ – J-80’s Blaze into AYC

6) ASU Sailors visit UoM Sailing Compound

7) For Sale!  Want Ads!

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Commodore’s Corner – July 2011

“Help Wanted!  Inquire Within!” 

Many wonderful ideas have been flowing in from you all in the past months since I became Commodore, and now YOU can provide the hands, heads and hearts to bring them to life. 

Here’s your chance to fill in some of that “free time” you have (ha, ha) by helping out the sport you love.  Volunteers are needed to both lead and support several Arizona Yacht Club special committees:  Here are just a few places where you and your special talents and interests can help improve your club.

Juniors: The junior program’s activity level has always been “parent driven”, and that activity has dropped off in recent years after “graduation” and relocation of several of those families.  If you have kids and want to see more Kid-Friendly sailing and social activities, this is the committee for you! 

Equipment: Got a special talent for “messing around with boats”?  Love the smell of curing epoxy and fiberglass?  Got a trailer-hitch and a little free time to haul a boat down to Phoenix Fiberglass?  Keeping up with all the little repairs and preventive maintenance on our AYC/ASF Fleet is a never ending job – opportunity! – for you if any part of this sounds like what you like to do in your spare time. 

Adopt-a-boat:  This one is pretty simple.  If you want to adopt a boat, we need to have someone to manage the adoption process.  This is a perfect position for someone that wants to sail at TTL, but doesn’t feel a big need to race.  Yes, you can manage your own adoption paperwork!  Like everything in AYC, it doesn’t happen on it’s own. 

History:  As we’ve “gone digital”, and simply by the passing of time, we’ve lost visibility of our history, and many have suggested that it would be wonderful to see that history at club meetings, and online.  This one calls for a little bit of the “librarian” in you for researching and organizing club’s history from the many cabinets and boxes of material, AND for some folks with high speed scanners to help get it into online form.

Marketing: From “brochure” design, to “working a booth” (or a boat) at local events, this is a great role for someone that loves to tell the story of AYC to others at events like Tempe Arts Fair, Lake Pleasant events, TTL events, REI “water sports day”, etc.  Help us get the word out about what a great club we have! 

You’ll keep hearing me say this, “Many hands make light work!” Please give me a call (602 679 0462) or drop me a quick email to let me know where you can help bring more life to the ideas that keep coming in about these types of activities and services in our club.

Emory Heisler
Commodore

Survey Results and Summer Guest Speaker Series Update

Almost 70 people responded to a survey we put together to figure out how members would like to receive word of meetings, events, and news about our club. Thanks for helping out!

Here are some headline results:

  • E-mails are the best way to get the word out. An overwhelming number of respondents said they wanted a club e-mail to tell them what’s happening.
  • The Yahoo list is a good supplement to the members-only e-mails, especially for nonmembers, of course. We now have about 390 people who receive the Yahoo e-mails. And the Yahoo respondents said they were happy with what they get from the list, even with the sometimes snarky debates that can pop up there.
  • Most people check the AYC website for information, though they’re not always happy with how it works or how it looks. Your comments are in the hands of Webmeister Rob Gibbs to guide him in tweaks. Already: The calendar includes more information, including start times of races.

Also: I’ve just gotten confirmation that Garth Reynolds will be able to make our next membership meeting, Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm.

Garth is a one-design sails expert at North Sails in San Diego. He plans to offer a program like the one he just gave to 85 people at the San Diego Yacht Club, with lots of give-and-take about how they tune sails to make them just that much faster than their (and your) competition.

Maryellen is also planning to make this an ice cream social, with root beer floats and sundaes. Try the float with a dash of Jack. Mmmm.

We’ll be starting precisely at 7pm at the 19th Tee in Tempe (1915 N Mill Ave).

And, get ready for a year of top-rated speaker entertainment, including multi-America’s Cup dude Peter Isler; the high-personality act of Peter Reggio, famed America’s Cup Principal Race Officer (PRO); and Laser Olympic Gold Medalist, twice Rolex yachtswoman-of-the-year and ISAF Sailor of the Year Anna Tunnacliffe. Anna is preparing for a match racing challenge at the 2012 Olympic games and is fresh off victories in England and Germany.

Cheers,

Mike Ferring – Rear Commodore

June is for Fun – AYC Family Night!

Maryellen Ferring plays Alex Trebeck in front of the AYC crowd at the June membership meeting. Ten teams vied for prizes by answering sailing questions. Photo: Mike Parker

Sailors ate limes to prevent scurvy, right? Michael Bernard won the AYC Laser fleet this year, right? Right. And if you got those right, you were cheering Tuesday night (6/14) when your team faced off against 9 others to score some prizes at the AYC membership meeting.

Maryellen and Mike Ferring brought the questions and some high-tech gear to simultaneously score 10 teams on 21 sailing questions—and mostly to have a good time on Family Fun Night. 

It was a close finish, with the “Spinnaker” team of David Rawstrom, Mike Parker, Tony Eanes, and Mary Kay Farrington Lorch squeaking out a two-point victory.

In the night’s other contest, Dominic and Marek Sycamore (ages 11 and 9) walked off with the biggest prizes and the biggest smiles after correctly identifying more Opti boat parts than the other kids in the room. Dominic clutched an iPod Shuffle and Marek an LED headlight. 

It was enough fun that the crowd of 65+ chattered into the evening against a video backdrop of Australian Skiffs committing mayhem in Sydney Harbor. 

Join us next month, July 12th, for a “new twist” on the Ice Cream Social!

          Mike Ferring – Rear Commodore 

J-80s Hot New Boats at Lake Pleasant

I really did consider my decision to go out to Lake Pleasant when the forecast was for 103 degress but the oppurtunity to sail on one of the new fleet of J80’s that have recently arrived in AZ was too tempting.  We rigged Mike Ferring’s new boat at the marina and motored out to a flat and calm lake.  We bobbed around for close to an hour but then the breeze filled in nicely and we had some great sailing.  Things got even better when Chris Smith (see photo) joined us for the maiden voyage in his similar boat and we did a little speed testing together.  The breeze remained strong all day and we even saw some whitecaps for a while.  It was hot but a lot of fun.  Congrats to Mike Ferring, Chris Smith and Peter Hartleb on their new boats.   Leaving the lake, the only remaining question I had was whether the spinnaker was HOT PINK or what.  Ask Chris what color it is next time you see him.

ASU Sailors visit U of Michigan Sailing “Compound”

By Phil Freedman

This week my daughter Carina Freedman sailed with the University of Michigan Sailing Team. They sail on Baseline Lake about thirty minutes from Ann Arbor Michigan.

The Michigan Sailing Team has quite a setup on their lake. Maybe forty boats with a hundred foot dock which comes out of the lake during the winter months. Michigan is ranked #3 in their conference and sails by the 20 – 20 rule. The 20 -20 rule is if it is blowing over 20 mph they do not sail if it goes under 20 degrees.

That Saturday we had lunch with Tom Ehman and his father Tom Ehman Sr. at Portage Lake Yacht Club on Portage Lake Michigan. Portage Lake is right next to Baseline Lake and is a wonderful family yacht club. Tom junior flew in from San Francisco to sail with father for the weekend. Tom Sr. bought the land for the Yacht Club and moved the YC to its present location in 1951.

Tom Ehman Sr. & Carina Freedman

Google Tom Ehman – you will see that he is the former head of the America’s Cup and is the current head of ORACLE in San Francisco defending the America’s Cup which will be sailed in San Francisco in 2013. Tom Sr. also started and created the 360 and 720 penalty turn rule in sailing, They are both good friends of mind. Tom junior took my French fries at lunch.

At lunch we discussed one main topic. Kids today just don’t want it that bad anymore. It’s simple: WANT IT MORE THAN THE OTHER GUY IN EVERY WAY. Beat your competition in hull preparation, sail knowledge, and sailing skills. Simply put: BEAT YOUR COMPETITION TIMES TEN and HAVE FUN asusailing.org

44th Marina Del Rey to San Diego Race

As you may be aware, the date for the 44th Marina Del Rey to San Diego Race this July 2-3rd is coming up real soon.

I wanted to take this opportunity to personally invite you to participate in this great event celebrating the birth of our Nation, which has for years been one of the premier events in our Marina Del Rey and in the coast of California offered by Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club and Southwestern Yacht Club.

Specially this year since the Marina Del Rey to Puerto Vallarta has been canceled, this would be a great opportunity for us all to enter this event, start in our own Marina, race down to a GREAT location within the safety of our borders and still be back in time for your own barbeque plans if you so desire.

As a further incentive, the first 20 entries will receive a free event T-Shirt, we are to have a great party at our club on the 1st of July (Friday) with Painkiller’s Rum with Chocolate covered Strawberries specials, a BBQ dinner to start the festivities and a breakfast to participants and their crews on the morning of the 2nd prior to the start of the skipper’s meeting.

So get organized, get the crew and boat ready and come party down with us and a relaxed cruise back as we celebrate the freedom that a race such as this brings.
For more information, visit us at our website SMWYC .org, call us at 310-827-7692 or contact me
Themis Z. Glatman at 818-425-8752.

June 2011 – Compass Points

Summer is upon us!  New Board of Directors, time to renew your membership, time to head for cooler climates for sailing, time to get the family out for FAMILY NIGHT and take the challenge!

1) Commodore’s Corner

2) June 14 Membership Meeting – FAMILY NIGHT!

3) Commodore’s Celebration Photos and Awards

4) Renew Your Membership Today!

5) Summer Cruising – Helpful Links for San Diego Info

6) 2011 AYC Club Champion – Martin Lorch!

7) On Sailing – A Story….and a Challenge

8 ) Fleet of the Month – Catalina 22

9) For Sale!  Want Ads!

CLICK HERE for the PDF Version

Commodore’s Corner June 2011

Ahoy Arizona Yacht Club!  So here I am, Commodore!  Whoa! You really can’t believe how surprising it is to me that I’m in this position.  Well, ok, yeah I suppose it’s pretty surprising to some of you too.

Experience?  OK, I ain’t got it….but fortunately, we have a great Board of Directors to help keep me out of trouble and help create a great year for us all.  We have past Commodores (Joe, Greg, Mike and Mike), former Commodores from other clubs (Roger, Philip), tried and true BoD mainstays of the past few years in Trey, Cindy and Tony, my good buddyJohn Mayall at the helm of the ASF and our lone “newbie” Brenda Shears that has no qualms about keeping me in my place.  THAT is some talent.  (Thank goodness!)

Talented as this bunch is, a ship the size of AYC needs a big crew too and that means we need YOUR help too.  So step up, “grab a line”, ask how you can help “trim” the sails on this vessel we call the Arizona Yacht Club.  Crew comes in all shapes and sizes and there are roles just right for everyone to make a difference, from racing, sailing classes, and equipment maintenance, to helping re-energize our juniors program, getting our “Golden Sailors” on board, and on and on.  “Many hands make light work!”

First on the agenda for the year is FAMILY NIGHT.  Come on out and bring the kids for a night of fun for everyone.

I look forward to seeing each and every one of you this year!

Fair winds!

      Emory

June Membership Meeting 6/14 – Family Night

Join us for Arizona Yacht Club Family Night at the June meeting.

Where: Rolling Hills 19th Hole – 1415 N. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281 • (480) 350-5275 (across from Salt River Project)
When: 6pm Social Hour, 7pm Program

Here’s the plan:
– Tuesday – June 14th – meeting starts promptly at 7:00 pm
– Everyone under 16 receives a T-Shirt
– Name the Opti Boat Part Game for those under 10 – no help from parents
– Join in the fun with a group game; each team of 4 or 5 people with at least one member under 16 as a participant
– We’ll test your sailing knowledge with interactive games with PRIZES for the top two teams….DON’T MISS IT!!!!

And then….enjoy some WILD sailing videos and then we’ll call it a night

Watch for details on Ice Cream Social Night in July.  Ever tried a root beer float with Jack Daniel’s?

MIKE FERRING – Rear Commodore

Commodore’s Celebration – Thank You Long-time AYC Members!

We had a great celebration with almost 60 attendees, and lots of fun watching photos of ASF students practicing capsize drills and making fun of each other in our semi-annual Blunder Bucket award selection process.

The Board and Members of AYC would like to take this moment to recognize our long time members, the people and families that have built the club we all have to share and celebrate!

THANK YOU AYC for “Paying it forward!” “Paying it back!” And “Staying the course!”

50+ Year AYC Members
Frank & Mary Lou Bigelow 52
Roger & Paula Hocken 51

40-49 Year AYC Members
Charles McCoy 49
Joe Aneta & “Punkie” Rowe 46
Donald Hubele 45
Donald DeFreze 44
John & Jackie Lugo 44
Bill Jennings 44
Thomas & Rose Marie Gilb 44
Jack & Harriet Haskell 40

30-39 Year AYC Members
Robert & Suzanne Frazier Jr. 37
Robert & Melanie Ball 37
Dennis & Linda Lynde 37
Anthony & Karen Zelenak 37
Jim & Katherine Swartz 37
Dan Schott 36
Al & Sandy Lehman 36
Ronald & Diane Campo 35
Joyce Alverson 34
Pat & Janet Guthrie 33
Jerry & Marty Booher 33
Tom & Carol Ohlin Sr 32
Wayne & Dotty Tucker 32

20-29 Year AYC Members
Arthur K. & Jean Carlson 29
Joseph & Linda Laux,Jr. 28
Patty Rosky 26
Charles & Deborah Fife 26
Frank & Margaret Putman 26
Michael & Teresa Easley 24
June H. Ginall 24
George & Carol Sheller 24
Tom Errickson 23
Mike Champlin 23
Ricky & Susan Gilchrist 23
Paul & Teresa L Pinter, Jr. 23
Al & Christina Lehman 22
Larry & Debra Green 22
Steve & Angela Nahkala 22
Michael Yarnell 22
Tia Renshaw 22
Dan & Sheila Rinder 21
Bill & Angela Hutchinson 20
J. Stephen & Lucy Howell 20
Jim & Paula Douglas 20

10-19 Year AYC Members
Raymond & Marjorie Gazzera 19
Jo & Dale Mogle 18
Robert & Joyce Worrall 18
Edward & Reiko Lynch Jr. 18
Rick Johnson 17
Thomas Coury 16
David Cummings 16
George & Barbara Tingom 16
Tom & Sheryl West 16
John & Kristine Wilcox 15
Patrick & Marsha Blumm 15
Peter & Lindamarie Schweizer 15
Skip & Christy Kempff 15
Roger Butterwick 14
George & Barbara Irwin 14
Darrell Carapetyan 14
Dennis Martinelli 14
Sheila Reed 14
Cyrus & Joan Zittle 14
David Cummings 14
Michael T & Tracy L Ewens 14
Jason & Brenda Rziha 14
Hartley & Lesley Gardner 14
10-13 Year AYC Members!
Steve Groce 13
Mark Mollison 13
Chris Robertson 13
James & Elaine Batz 13
Robert Nesbit 12
Larry & Kathleen Wheaton 12
Rusty & Jill Keagle 12
Todd Schiller 12
Mike & Maryellen Ferring 11
Brett Bigelow 11
Dale & Jean Zobel 11
Diana Johns 11
Steve & Jan Dolter 11
Mark & Jean Lasee 10
David & Carol Rawstrom 10
Kyle Clark 10
Travis & Jennifer Kenyon 10
Dave & Wendy Christensen 10
Ed Lindow 10
Ben Doane 10
Andrew Jody Dean 10
Steve Kusic 10

THANK YOU AYC for “Paying it forward!” “Paying it back!” And “Staying the course!”

San Diego Summer Cruising – Local Knowledge & Savings!

Flying the AYC Burgee south of the Coronado Bridge on a Catalina 270, rented from Seaforth Boat Rentals. I was sailing single handed on April 20th, a cloudy day with intermittent light rain or drizzle, and winds of 10-15 kts with some higher gusts. A beautiful day to practice sailing.
Lots of us will be heading to the Pacific Coast soon, with our boats or to charter theirs.  Either way it’s good to where the SAVINGS ARE if you are chartering, and where the DANGER IS in either case. 
 
Chartering?  Check out the affiliate member rates at Harbor Sailboats!  Arizona Yacht Club is the one and only affiliate club of Harbor Sailboats sailing club.  Get members-only rates by showing your Arizona Yacht Club membership card.  Click here for boats and rates. 
 
Need some San Diego Bay “local knowledge?”  This is a great link to the “Local Knowledge” pages of San Diego Waterfront’s Website that includes information like:
–         Hazards to Navigation
–         Submerged jetty and shoal locations
–         Anchorage and Mooring locations
–         Launch ramps
–         Fuel docks
–         Emergency Contacts!!!
 
Have a great time keeping COOL in San Diego, Long Beach or wherever you journeys take you!

  

MICHAEL PARKER – CRUISING CAPTAIN

 

AYC Club Champion – Martin Lorch!

Tingom / Lorch

Your 2011 AYC Club Champion is Martin Lorch, supported by able Capri expert George Tingom as crew!

Congratulations to all of the fleet champions.
Buccaneer – Matt Davis
Capri 14.2 – Mike Ferring
Catalina 22 – Martin Lorch
Laser – Mike Bernard
Merit 25 – Roger Butterwick
PHRF Non-Spin – Mike Ferring
PHRF – Dave Christensen
Portsmouth – Joe Motil
Thistle – Skip Kempff
Viper – Charles Kaye

On Sailing – A Story and a Challenge

I love sailing.  I’ve only been doing it for about 6 years now with varying frequency and intensity, but I noticed that as time progressed the ways that it enriches my life change.  This changing dynamic of how it fits into your life is part of why I think it becomes a lifelong passion for people.  Let me explain by sharing a few of my own personal experiences.

My first experience on a sailboat was with my boss at the time.  My buddy and I had worked for months on this big project and when we were done and all the Exec’s were happy, he invited us and our wives out on his Catalina 30 in San Diego.  We motorsailed with just the main up in the bay for a while then he looked at me and said “are you ready to go sailing?”  I was quite confused because I thought we were already sailing but said “sure” or something like that.  He reached down, turned off the diesel and had me unfurl the jib.  Things got quiet and all you could hear was the rush of the wind and water.  I was hooked.

When I got back I discovered the Arizona Yacht Club.  I started coming down to Tempe Town Lake and crewing for people like George Tingom and Peter Schweizer.  I discovered racing.  I grabbed a sunfish and gave that a try.  I ran into Emory Heisler and saw how much fun he was having and thought to myself “I want to hang out with those Buccaneer guys…they are having a great time!”  The most important thing any of us can do for new sailors is get them out on the water!  Give them the opportunity get wet, race, hang off the rail, flip the boat…whatever…just get them out there!

 

So then I got a Buccaneer 18.  I raced the heck out of it.  With crew, without crew…it didn’t  matter…I wanted to compete.  My daughter was too small to go with me at that point (this is important later) but I was out as often as I could get out.  I also took the Sailing Instructor course, but at the time for me, taking the course was more so I could learn more about sailing.  I was intent on winning and improving my skills.  And I did.  I won the Club Bucc Fleet in 2006.  Quite frankly I think it was because I showed up more than anyone else…but hey, that’s 50% of it, right!  I had a lot of friends help me learn along the way as well.  Mentors and friends that were always willing to answer questions like “how did you beat me in that race” or “why doesn’t my boat point as high” or “how do you replace the centerboard gasket?”  These are the kinds of friends a beginning boat owner needs to have so they don’t get frustrated and stonewalled.

It was about this point that the real estate market started to nose dive.  At that same time the ASF decided it needed a paid professional, so I took on the responsibilities at the ASF Director of Sailing Education.  This was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  People along the way had given me a lot, more than I even knew.  Now it was my turn to give back.  The surprising thing was that the people I encountered (and still encounter) all have a fresh enthusiasm for our sport and their enthusiasm invigorates me.  I got at least as much from spending time with them as I hope they got from me.  You don’t have to be a “qualified instructor” to give back either.  I’m sure you know someone who has expressed interest in learning to sail.  Take them on as crew.  Give them that chance.  Come out and help with a Start Sailing Right class or a High School Sailing class on the water some afternoon.  You don’t need to be certified…you just need to want to give back to your sport.

Then it was the Buccaneer North American Championship campaign.  18 months of prep and training with crew Patrick Edwards resulted in the B Fleet Trophy coming home to AZ yet again.  But when that was over, I decided that now my two kids were both big enough to be out on the water, but the Bucc wasn’t the right fit.  After much discussion with my loving wife, we decided to get a bigger boat.  Reluctantly, I traded my Championship steed to Mike Parker for a sporty, but decidedly more pigish, Santana.  What I enjoy about sailing now is not the thrill of victory or the intensity of competition.  It is time with my family and friends that would dare crew with a 6 and 3 year old on the boat (we almost named the boat “Stop It” after one weekend.)  It’s seeing my daughter drive the boat while my son sleeps in the v-berth.  My wife starting to “get it” when it comes to launching and dousing the enormous spinnaker.  Having my son come help me drive the boat.  These moments, and many others, are what I get out of sailing now.

The point here is that every step along the way, sailing has fulfilled me in ways I’m only just starting to understand.  And every step along the way the people I encountered are what made the difference.  I hope I have been that person for others.

And now here is the challenge.  This season, be that person for someone else.  Take on a greenhorn as crew for a season.  Sponsor a Fleet Tuning day to bring everyone’s level of competition up.  Come out on a Start Sailing Right afternoon and help out.  Volunteer to help with the Leukemia Cup.  Our club has hit a bit of a plateau in membership and event participation.  The only way to push through isif everyone takes the opportunity to be that person that makes a difference in someone else’s sailing experience.  Make this the first season that you make a conscious effort to give back to the sport and club that we all love so much.

(Thanks to Mike Ferring, Chrisann Tortora for Photos)

Photo of the Month!

Flying the AYC Burgee south of the Coronado Bridge on a Catalina 270, rented from Seaforth Boat Rentals. I was sailing single handed on April 20th, a cloudy day with intermittent light rain or drizzle, and winds of 10-15 kts with some higher gusts. A beautiful day to practice sailing. (Paul Eyssautier)

HEAT STROKE Series Registration – OPEN!

Click here to register for the Heat Stroke Series…it starts on the 29th of May! 

First horn is at 4pm!  Racing will be held almost every Sunday from now till September!

See the NOR for details!

TTL Summer Heat Stroke 2011 RC Duty
Race Date Fleet
1 29-May Lasers
2 5-Jun Portsmouth
3 12-Jun Bucs
4 26-Jun C14.2
5 10-Jul Lasers
6 17-Jul Portsmouth
7 24-Jul Bucs
8 31-Jul C14.2
9 7-Aug Lasers
10 14-Aug Portsmouth
11 21-Aug Buccs

Olympian Mark Reynolds Gives AYC a Perfect Day

PHILIP FREEDMAN

The Perfect Day with Mark Reynolds;

So here I am in the desert away from the ocean and yet I am spending more time around sailing than I have in the last ten years. Coaching the Arizona State Sailing Team and learning about sailing in the desert has been something very special for me, but when I heard Mark Reynolds was coming to speak to our yacht club the wheels of time stopped.  25 years ago I was racing against Mark trying to make the US Olympic Team, and now, here he was coming out here to visit us in the Arizona desert!

Mark Reynolds is simply the sailor’s sailor, as pure as it gets. Two Gold Medals, one Silver Medal and four trips to the Olympics.  He is definitely one of the “big boys” of sailing.

On Tuesday April 12th  my daughter Carina and I picked up Mark at the airport and brought him to the Tempe Town Lake marina where the ASU sailing team was waiting. The kids were thrilled – and a little nervous – to meet him. He spoke about his college sailing experiences and answered questions for almost an hour.

He explained the importance of having the boat ready to race including the sanding down to 600, polishing and finally the coating, and explained how hard the jib works and how it gets three times more wear than mainsail.

We took photos with everyone showed him the ASU campus and then were off to dinner with AYC Commodore Joe Motil and his wife. Over the course of dinner it became very clear how surprised Mark was at the active sailing community we have here. He said he had no idea this much sailing was going on in Arizona.

At the yacht club meeting Mark spoke for over an hour and you just knew that this was something very special. I have never watched everyone so on the edge of their seats at a club meeting. He talked about the Olympics, about working and sailing with his dad and Dennis Connor, Malin Burnham, Lowell North and many other stars of our sport.

It was especially interesting and exciting hearing how after being in eighth place after two days of racing in the 2000 Olympics he was still able to turn it around and win gold. Persistency wins!

Mark attributes much of his success to his sail design innovations and one of his loves is still sail making.  He also remains active in the Star Class working with the International Olympic Committee to keep the Star Class sailboat in the Olympics.

After his presentation Mark took questions and signed posters for the kids, and it was truly breathtaking to see one of the great stars of sailing right there in the room with us all at that moment.  Mark Reynolds at the Arizona Yacht Club.  Truly we do have an amazing club, and for me, with all of you and Mark together, it was simply a perfect day.