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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!

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

 

Getting the ASF Fleet Ready for Spring

Polished and tuned, washed and ready. A work party of 15-20 AYCers turned out Saturday (1/5) to get the Arizona Sailing Foundation (ASF) boats ready for the coming season of lessons and Adopt-a-Boat (AaB) action.

Fleet Captain George Sheller checks out the inventory of Laser spars. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Lasers got the most work, wet-sanding the bottoms and fixing various problems. Adopt-a-Boat coordinator Grant Younger reports, “The boats look GREAT! We have almost all of them ready to go. We’re just waiting for some epoxy to dry and a few parts to come in.”

Lake Captain Emory Heisler had already done a huge job of getting the storage trailer cleaned and inventoried and the safety boats tuned and properly equipped.

Eight Catalina 14.2s were scrubbed and set for the High School team, which begins sailing Tuesday, January 15. Two other 14.2s will be added soon.

Both the 14.2s and the Lasers are available for AaB adoption when the Tempe Town Lake racing and RC training season begins Sunday (1/13).

Vice Commodore Marc Danner and sailors Myles and Avery smooth out a Laser hull. Photo: Mike Ferring

Cleaning and tweaking the fleet of adopt-a-boat ASF Lasers. Foreground: Larry Green and Maryellen Ferring. Photo: Mike Ferring

 

Joel Hurley Takes the Big Governor’s Cup

Hand Joel Hurley the big cup.

Some 35 boats were on the water for the 2018 Governor’s Cup, including a great turnout of mult-hulls. Photo: Mike Ferring

That crafty ol’ Lake Pleasant did what it likes to do on our long races: scramble the results. After a nice breeze sent boats on a good run upwind to Horse Island on the first leg of the 2018 Governor’s Cup, the lake went into its shifty thing, going dead, then patchy from the south.

Some 35 boats were on the start line on a beautiful, cool Saturday morning (12/1), ready to try to take home the huge Governor’s Cup trophy or at least have a good time trying.

When the boats arrived at Horse Island, an interesting thing happened. For this race, PRO Wendy Larsen had decided to set inflated marks on the north side of Horse and Balance Rock and use them as rounding marks. While most of the competitors read this to mean that you rounded the islands and the marks, that smarty pants Mike Hester read it to mean you were free to round only the marks—and instead of taking the slow route around the leeward side of Horse, Mike stayed on the breezy side. Game, set, match.

Joel Hurley said, “I’m just following Hester” and took the quick road too—and others followed, either because they’d figured it out on their own or decided to follow the leader. A close reading of the race documents backed up Mike and the rest of the smarty pack. Joel’s Santana 20 finished the race just four minutes behind Mike’s Viper and once the huge handicap difference was applied, Joel had won.

Special credit goes to the next finishers: second place Dick Krebill in his Capri 14.2 Tomato Sloop and a corrected two seconds later, Bob Worrall in the C22 Spirit!

The results of the Governor’s Cup are posted on the results page, or click here.

Now this is the spirit of the Governor’s Cup: party time! Photo: Mike Ferring

Final Fall Weekend at Lake Pleasant

And it was a pretty one. A mixture of nice wind and light wind then no wind at all on the last race Sunday morning. A shortened course. Drifting. Zero-point-zero on the GPS. But overall, mark this fall as a good one on Lake Pleasant.

Congratulations to the fleet winners! The most competitive fleet was Santana 20, where Joel Hurley brought his new boat to the game and managed to beat perennial champ Martin Lorch. Paul Liszewski finished the final weekend with five bullets and a second to lock down the PHRF Spin win. Mike Hester dominated the PHRF Sport Boat fleet. Bob Worrall beat the Rawlings family boat. Skip Kempff won Thistle, Marc Danner won Jib & Main, and Fred Rahn took multi-hull.

Results for week 5 of racing at Lake Pleasant are posted on the results page, or click here.

4th Tuesday “Dog Watch” – O.H.S.O Arcadia – 27 Nov

We got such good feedback from the folks that went to the O.H.S.O. in North Scottsdale, we decided to give the one in Arcadia a call…turns out everyone was well behaved before and they’d be glad to host us!

27 November
O.H.S.O Arcadia
4900 East Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85018

5:30 until whenever…

All are invited!

Also…why a ” Dog Watch?” Traditionally it is the watch on a ship from 1600-1800 then again from 1800-2000. Since that’s when our gathering is…that’s what we’re going to call it! (It was split, so that seamen didn’t have the same watch at the same time every day.)

 

Now: Rent a Laser Any Day at Tempe Town Lake

Yes, finally. If you’d like to sail at Tempe Town Lake and don’t have a boat, you can now rent a Laser Radial from Northshore WaterSports.

Northshore is the place that rents kayaks and SUP boards from a storefront in the apartment building facing the drive at the Tempe Town Lake marina. You can call them at 480.967.5900.

The Arizona Sailing Foundation arranged to sell Northshore the Laser for just $1. In exchange, Northshore will offer the boat at discounted rates to AYC members and ASF students, past and present. Show them your membership card or The Little Red Book and the Laser is yours for just $10/hour.

Northshore is open seven days a week, 9a-7p Sunday-Friday, and 10a-5p Saturday. They store the boat, insure and maintain it.

Until now, there’s been no place to rent a boat at TTL and while the AYC Adopt-a-Boat program is a great member benefit, it limits boat use to racing Sunday afternoons. For years AYC members have been asking for a way to use a boat at other times, but the club has been prevented by insurance, lack of safety boat, and access to the storage yard. This new program clears all that away.

Paul Miachika silhouetted in Tempe Town Lake’s afternoon sun. Lasers are a popular one-design fleet. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Big Holiday Party

December’s membership meeting brings the annual AYC gift exchange, a gift exchange with a twist. You might say twisted, even. Dinner begins at 6pm with the gift exchange starting at 7 pm, Tuesday, December 11, at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe.

Here’s how the gift exchange works:

  • You bring a wrapped gift valued at about $20.
  • You pick a number from a hat to determine the order we select gifts.
  • We’ll have two people called to the front of the room at the same time.
  • Each person can choose to pick a wrapped gift from the pile or play pirate and take the gift from someone who’s already opened one.
  • Gifts can be “pirated” only twice before they’re safe from further theft.

Some of the gifts can be pretty weird, but if you’re looking for a prized gift suggestion: Liquor always seems to bring applause!

We’ve set a menu that evening to make it easy for everyone:

BBQ Pork and Chicken
Mac & Cheese
Cole Slaw
Cornbread
Non-Alcoholic drink included

$13 for Adults and $7 for kids

Just so we have a good idea of the numbers, please RSVP to Commodore Rob Gibbs. You need not pay in advance…

Extremely Fun Extreme Series San Diego

Furious action aboard SAP Extreme. Raising and lowering the foiling dagger boards is tough work. Photo: Mike Ferring

Close racing? Oman Air won the four-day San Diego Extreme Series event (10/18-22) by finishing ahead of Alinghi in the 21st and final race. Yes, the 21st race. That’s close.

Several AYC members made the trip to San Diego to watch, including Martin, Mary Kay, and Cedric Lorch, Scott Agan, Jonathan Magick, Maryellen and me. Scott got a ride on a race boat during a race. Maryellen and I went out on one of the boats during a light-air morning test and got to act as crew (I even got a turn on the tiller). All of us got RIB rides, buzzing around the course chasing the racers. Some of my pictures below.

The races are run right off Shelter Island toward the city front, “stadium-style” racing designed to offer maximum view from shore. With seven of the 32-foot foiling catamarans competing, it’s quite a sight, especially during tight mark roundings.

Here’s a link to an account of the results.

And here are those pictures:

Making sharp turns on mark roundings on a foiling cat can be wild. Photo: Mike Ferring

AYC 4th Tuesday Happy Hour – Fibber Magees in Chandler

This month we’re digging deep… deep into the East Valley that is! Come join us for libations and camaraderie at Fibber Magees in Chandler: 1989 West Elliot Road, Chandler, AZ 85224 on Tuesday Sept 25th at about 5:30 to about whenever. As usual, the club will spring for some appetizers and we’ll all enjoy the fellowship! Click the link below to add it to your Google Calendar!

October San Carlos Cruise with the Tucson Sailing Club

Photo courtesy of the TSC

Our sister club in Tucson is hosting its annual San Carlos Cruise beginning October 22nd.

Ports of call will include San Pedro Bay, Las Cocinas anchorage, and of course San Carlos. For more information visit their website page about the cruise or contact Richard Sebastian, at iwmfg@comcast.net or phone 520-404-8370.