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[/caption]

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!

Crew Party with a Cause!!

The first crew party held at the lake was a really great gathering! Lots of people, both members and potential members got together, shared their sailing experiences and a great meal.

The event also had a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Blind Buccaneers. We raised a little over $160 towards their trip. They are fundraising through the end of October. If you would like to support them but were not at the event, donations are eligible for an Arizona Tax Credit (see your tax adviser for more details!)

Much thanks goes to Sharon Bell, and Heather and Josh McClain for organizing the event!

 

Crew Party at Scorpion September 8

By Heather McClain

This is the unofficial start of the sailing season in Phoenix! Need Crew? Want to crew on a boat?

Scorpion Bay Marina, Lake Pleasant

On Saturday, September 8, from 4-8 pm, we’ll toss a crew party at the end of E dock at Scorpion Bay Marina. The purpose of the event is to be a matchmaker between captains who need crew and crew who want to sail… and to just have a fun time with other sailors or those who are contemplating sailing.

  • Bring your boat! Show it off, brag, socialize, and go for a sail to test out crew/boat opportunities.
  • We have a few dock-friendly games such as corn hole, horseshoes, board games if you want.
  • Bring your own chairs! We have about eight already out there.
  • Arizona Yacht Club will serve hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone. Please bring a dish to share and BYOB. Can bring a bag of chips or get fancy. (Please connect with Heather McClain if you want to know more about what to bring, e.g. dessert vs side dish.)
  • We will have one electric grill and one electric smoker. No fires on the dock…oh my! You can have whatever grill/stove you want on your boat to add to cooking opportunities or not. Up to you.
  • Join the “Dockside Chat” with AYC Commodore Rob Gibbs.
  • There are a limited number of slips available for day use and/or overnight rental, please contact Sharon Bell if you are interested in that.
  • One boat owner has room on a boat for up to six people to sleep overnight.  And there may be other boat owners with available bunks. Just ask if you don’t want to (or can’t) drive home safely.
  • The rules of Scorpion Bay are to be respected as there are many boat owners out there. Good neighbor rules apply.

Here’s to a great (and safe) sailing season in Arizona!

AYC Happy Hour – 4 Peaks Brewing in Tempe

Happy Hour at 4 Peaks Brewing!

In conjunction with our effort to focus more on our members and the relationships that make our club strong, we had an AYC Happy Hour at 4 Peaks Brewing in Tempe last Tuesday. The Club sprung for some appetizers and there were about 25-30 people that showed up!

We’re going to continue this “Off Week Happy Hour” effort moving it to different parts of the Valley so different members can attend. How do you know when and where they are? The Club Calendar will be updated with the events and we are trying to utilize the Facebook Events Page more as well! We’ll also include them in the roughly weekly email update with what’s going on.

We’d love to have your help to organize one! These are the kinds of events that help make our club great, so if you are interested in helping put a Happy Hour together in your part of the Valley, email Cruising@ArizonaYachtClub.org.

AYC Fun Pilgrimage to Long Beach

Typical J/70 mark rounding! Crazy stuff with 28 boats. Photo: Tom Walker Photography

The mercury in Phoenix was banging on the 112 mark when a large delegation of AYC members headed for the beach: Long Beach. We came for temps in the mid-60s, wind in mid-teens, and competition in the stratosphere.

It was the annual evacuation to Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) and this year about 35 people from Arizona showed the AYC colors. David Newland, Maryellen and I brought our J/70 to play with the big guys, helped by Will Suto from San Diego. Mike and Sarah Hester, John Mayall, and Joel Hurley raced Mike’s Viper 640. Mike and Jo Grijalva raced Shockwave with their usual AYC pals.

And this year there were two AYC pickup crews racing the Long Beach Yacht Club charter Catalina 37s. John Riddell’s Crazy Train bunch were back this year, joining Rob Gibbs’ Cactus League crew in the 11-boat fleet. Both of these teams collect in frat-house-style rent-a-houses and add to the legend of LBRW. (Ask somebody from Cactus League about Gardyloo Traveling Road Show, the team from Seattle that keeps adding to its, mmmm, reputation.) Read more about Rob’s trip in the Commodore’s Corner.

With parties at LBYC and Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, sailing on three courses plus random legs, 136 registered boats, and some of the best sailors in the West, good wind and cool temps, LBRW will keep Arizona sailors coming back. It’s certainly not all the hardware we bring home.

The racing photos on this page are from Tom Walker Photography. If you like them, please buy them from him.

Sarah Hester shows the team how to hike. Photo: Tom Walker Photography

 

Rob Gibbs (on bow with Heather McClain) and his Cactus League team downwind on a Catalina 37. Dave Haggart at the wheel. Photo: Tom Walker Photography

 

Ferrings and David Newland on J/70 Melissa Kay (far right). Photo: Tom Walker Photography

 

John Mayall, Joel Hurley, and Mike Hester prepare the Viper for action at ABYC. Photo: Mike Ferring

Wednesday Beer Can Racing

Wednesday Beer Can Racing ~ Photo by Marc Danner

Wednesday night was the first of many hot nights out at Tempe Town Lake. The wind started to build out of the west with gusts of around 10kts.

Two boats started on the line with the one minute “call out” by the Ferrings. We were able to get in four races before they had to dash off for the Phoenix Mercury game!

This is great, low-pressure racing before next season. So if you just bought a boat or have one in the garage, come on out, hone your skills and have fun!

See you on the water next Wednesday. Here’s further information.

Marc Danner

Watching the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stop

By Bob Naylor

Volvo Ocean Race stop in Newport. Photo: Bob Naylor

My brother and I spent a weekend at the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Newport and had an absolute blast. It was a great, very memorable experience for us.

The weather was not cooperative! I haven’t been that cold and wet in a very long time; but, it worked in our favor to some extent. The rain, wind, fog, drizzle, and cold temperatures really reduced the crowds. Those who bundled up and braved the weather were a hardy, die-hard, lot—and a great deal of fun to be with.

Never had I enjoyed a hot bowl of clam chowder more than that Friday when I had seriously underestimated the weather and utterly failed to anticipate the misery of a wet and very windy New England day, exploring the Race Village exhibits in my favorite pair of Arizona shorts and a sailing-themed Hawaiian shirt.

Just to ensure hypothermia had every opportunity to set in, we then joined a small, rain sodden, crowd of sailing enthusiasts to watch the M32 catamaran races from the windy shore of Fort Adams. To give you some idea of the wind that day, the M32s raced with a reefed main and no headsail. It was WINDY.

I dressed more reasonably for the rest of the weekend, although I was still cold—and wet—much of the time. I twice ran into Daniel Forster at Fort Adams. You’ll remember he was our AYC guest speaker in April, sharing with us the best sailing photographs from his long long career photographing sailboats. He was set up along the sea wall at Fort Adams, properly dressed in heavy foul weather gear and taking photos on Friday of the M32 cat race and on Saturday of the in-port race. We had fun catching up, and he provided some good local tips for us as well. Very nice guy.

Saturday morning, windshield wipers slapping all the way, we drove to nearby Bristol, RI, and toured the Herreshoff Museum. That was a great couple of hours as well—lots of gorgeous wooden boats, sailboats and motor launches, designed by Nathaniel Herreshoff, who also designed all of the winning America’s Cup boats from about 1890 to 1930 or so. We could have easily spent the day there, but left after a few hours to return to the Race Village for the in-port race.

The in-port race on Saturday also had strong winds, though not as heavy as the day before. The Volvo Ocean 65s handled the heavy air much better than the catamarans did the day before.

Following a really cold and wet afternoon of watching a really great race, we made our way from the Race Village to the Newport Yacht Club, where my AYC membership card was welcomed, albeit suspiciously (Arizona, really?). We enjoyed drinks and dinner there in the company of some lively, fun, local Newport sailors, really a great bunch of folks who made us feel right at home.

My AYC membership card generated a lot of conversation. People seemed amazed to learn that we sail in the desert, and they are equally confused to find that we mostly stop sailing for the summer months, just as they’re launching for a few short months of sailing in Narragansett Bay (which looks like some awesome sailing, by the way).

To the amazement of all, the pea-soup fog and drizzle on Sunday dissipated about 40 minutes before the start of Leg 9. The gray skies, half-mile visibility, and the moaning of the fog horns gave way to sunshine and blue skies (the first we had seen all weekend!), and the start of the Leg-9 race was really great, with plenty of wind.

We were aboard a boat in the VIP spectator zone and had a wonderful view of the race.  It was great fun to be in the armada of spectator boats that chased the VO65s out as far as the sea buoy, where heavy swells forced most boats to head back in for the day.

Then came Monday and the drive to the airport. The sun was shining brightly, birds were singing, it was WARM and DRY with a lovely and slight spring breeze—an absolutely beautiful day. Nature is cruel that way.

June Monthly Meeting: Extreme Sailing!

Alinghi at speed. Photo: Mike Ferring

When Matt Reynolds introduced us to Extreme Sailing at a monthly meeting last year, more than a dozen AYC members took up the invitation to see the October races in San Diego.

In June, Matt will be back with a highlight reel of stories from the first event.

Watching from the shore is free, but a bunch of us from AYC paid for the upgrade to ride on the wild, foiling GC32 catamarans during racing. What a kick! I was hanging onto the tramp of the French-shouting Swiss entry Alinghi as the crew scrambled around me, ducking flying lines and trying to keep up with the radical speed of the race. I highly recommend it.

Eat well at the VIP Extreme Club. Two Silver Passes will be auctioned at the June AYC Monthly Meeting.

Second best: A Silver Pass that offers entry into the VIP viewing area just off the finish line with great food and open bar, television coverage, the skippers’ news conference, a technical tour of a GC32, and (if you’d like), a RIB ride during racing. The Silver Passes are $350 each and we’ll auction off a pair of them at the meeting to benefit AYC’s 2019 Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup. Come ready to bid!

The meeting is Tuesday, June 12, beginning at 7pm (but arrive early for dinner). Monthly meetings are held at Aces @ Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281-1205 (map) and both members and non-members are welcome to attend.

 

Against the backdrop of the city of San Diego, the Extreme Sailing series in October 2017. Photo: Mike Ferring

Extreme Sailing action near the finish in San Diego. This sort of close and wild action was typical. Photo: Mike Ferring

The GC32 catamarans fly on foils. Photo: Mike Ferring

Commodore’s Party Draws Nice Crowd

David Newland, the recipient of our award for Most Valuable Player. Photo: Mike Ferring

You have a new Board of Directors at the helm after the Commodore’s Celebration Saturday night (5/19). The changeover to the new crew went very well, with over 70 members turning out for the party at The Yard in Tempe.

The formal part of the event is the installation of the board and new Commodore Rob Gibbs and the awarding of trophies and offering thanks to the people who made last year work so well. This year’s US Sailing Sportsmanship Award recipient is David Newland, who did such amazing work to get our Lake Pleasant boats in shape and keeping them that way in his role as Lake Captain. Here’s a lot more description of what David did this last year.

After a vote of the jury, George Tingom will get to keep Ye Olde Blunder Bucket another few months and we hope he takes better care of it than he has lately. You see, part of the responsibility of receiving this coveted trophy is its care and feeding—keeping it prominently displayed on one’s mantle. After winning the prize in December, George instead kept it in his car! Nominated for this transgression—and then foolishly trying to defend doing it—won it again for George.

Ethan Wei accepts the trophy for Most Improved Junior. Photo: Mike Ferring

The Wayne Jason Tucker Award for Outstanding Junior went to Myles Danner. The Jerry Lindeman Award for Most Improved Junior went to Ethan Wei and Matthew Haggart. The Heavy Lifting Award for contribution to ASF went to Mike Parker, who took over the High School Sailing Team this year.

Photos by Mike Ferring and various others who picked up his camera when needed:

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Sails Into Sail Bags: Nice

When the sails get baggy, it’s time for Sail Bags. When the draft goes from 40% to 80%, it’s time to retire and recycle.

Maryellen Ferring put out the call to AYC members to look through their dusty piles of old sails and bring them to her—and lots of people responded. The picture shows them folded and boxed at the TabBand shipping department, ready to head off to Sail Bags in Maine to be recycled into various bags, purses, and cases.

In return, AYC will get a number of Sail Bags’ items to use for prizes, auction items, and giveaways. How many? It’s all based on what they find in those boxes. So, many thanks to the people who contributed… and isn’t it nice to have them out of the garage?

Big boxes full of old sails contributed by AYC members, headed off for recycling into Sail Bags. Photo: Maryellen Ferring

Scott Richards Scores Close Champ Win

Close starts for the 2018 Championship races. Click on the shots in the story to see bigger images. Photo: Mike Ferring

It all came down to the final race, the sixth of six. On a near-perfect sailing day at Lake Pleasant (if you’re not bothered by a few random puffs), Thistle champ Scott Richards held a single point lead over Laser winner Joel Hurley. Joel would have to beat Scott in this single race—and finish first or second to take the tie-breaker. If he could, he’d win the Club Championship.

This is the annual Arizona Yacht Club race that pits the person in each fleet with the best score for the combined fall and spring race series. Each year those fleet winners compete in one-design boats in a race of champions. This year, the boat was the Thistle.

About one minute before the start, Scott goes swimming. Photo: Mike Ferring

About one minute before the start of the final race, Scott Richards reached with his foot for the hiking strap. And missed. He was suddenly in the water, calling for sister Sharon to grab the tiller and head up so he could get back in the boat. Soaked and dazed, Scott still somehow managed a good start and joined five other Thistles in the race to the windward mark.

Scott Richards (green boat) rides a big puff to the windward mark. Joel Hurley (white boat left) has to tack to make it. Photo: Mike Ferring

Joel and crew Will Zornik sailed a better beat and was sliding up inside two others to round first—but then, a slight header, forcing a quick tack. Thirty feet away a burst of downdraft suddenly shot Scott ahead and around the mark in front of them.

Downwind, Joel kept looking for a way around. Lots of jibes and jockeying for position. He managed to slip in front of Scott, holding second in the race, trailing only Mike Hester. If he could hang on, he’d win it all. Then upwind: Scott chose the right and Joel the left. Right worked; left didn’t. By the finish Scott was a couple boats ahead and celebrating his first AYC Club Championship.

Leeward mark rounding on the final race. Joel rounds ahead of Scott, but chooses the wrong side for the final beat. Photo: Mike Ferring

This field included many of the club’s best sailors and they put on quite a show, with lots of lead changes and close tactics. Some of the best left frustrated. Seven-time champ Martin Lorch (sailing with former champ Trey Harlow) grumbled that he’d simply had a bad day.

Former champ Dave Haggart and wife Stacey started with a sixth and fifth, but then figured out the boat and scored a pair of bullets. Mike Parker and Tony Chapman struggled except they too won a race. Mike Hester and John Mayall, the reigning champs, sailed well, but a couple mid-pack finishes pulled them down to a close third overall at the end.

The workers: PRO Skip Kempff and his RC crew, including Tom Ohlin, Cedric Lorch, Tom Glover, David Newland, Maryellen and me. George Sheller had to miss the day, but he did the set-up and organization.

Special thanks to the Thistle fleet for providing their boats for the races!

 

Your 2018 AYC Club Champion Scott Richards and crew/sister Sharon Richards. Photo: Mike Ferring

Here are a few more shots Mike took:

The class photo (l to r): Trey Harlow, Joel Hurley, Martin Lorch, John Mayall, Will Zornik, Sharon Richards, Scott Richards, Mike Hester, Dave Haggart, Stacey Haggart, Tony Chapman, Mike Parker. Photo: Mike Ferring[/caption]