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September Meeting: North Sails One Design

Eric Doyle of North Sails

The AYC September monthly meeting will feature North Sails One Design sailor Eric Doyle, one of the top Star boat sailors in the world and an America’s Cup veteran. The meeting is at 7p on Tuesday, September 10. Location is being decided.

Eric started sailing as a kid on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, “Because it was so bloody hot you kind of had to be on the water in order to survive.” During college in Mobile, Alabama, he sailed Stars for the first time with the local fleet. “When I got out of college and was done racing small boats, I thought that the Star was just the coolest thing ever and started racing them.”

That led to an Olympic campaign ahead of the 1992 Games, and that in turn led to an important phone call.

“Vince Brun called me and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come work for North Sails in San Diego, there’s a great Star fleet out here. I think it’ll help your career.’ So I packed up, pulled my Star boat out here, and started working for him.”

In 1999, Eric won the Star World Championship and his first Gold Star. “129 boat fleet, that was a highlight for sure.” More recently, he and crew Payson Infelise won the 2018 North Americans. “We’re feeling pretty strong right now. So, hopefully we can continue rolling along.”

Since first starting at North in 1992, Eric has done some big boat sailing as well, including an America’s Cup campaign with Dennis Conner and two with Oracle. But in 2017 the opportunity came to return to the Star—and to San Diego. Now, as Class Leader for North Sails, he’s brought his Cup experience back to help improve one design sails. “It’s taken me two years to get the [Star] sails where they are now. We have made some nice improvements.”

Eric Doyle of North Sails competing in a Star.

AYC Sailors Splash at Mission Bay

In August, four AYC sailors packed their Lasers off to Mission Bay Yacht Club for one-design races in the Pacific. David Newland describes what happened.

By David Newland

David Newland on the big water of the Pacific. Photo: Lori Lorenz

When AYC hosted the Laser District race in March, five members from San Diego’s Mission Bay Yacht Club came to join the fun… and they’re not even in our District!

We talked about supporting each other’s future races, and I take those conversations seriously as traveling to different venues is a great opportunity to race, learn and meet new people in our sport.

I got with Mark Young, MBYC’s Laser Fleet Captain, soon after our event to review MBYC’s calendar. MBYC OD in August. Yup! No brainer. Ocean course, too. That was about the length of our conversation, so I shot out an interest-sparking email to the AYC Laser Fleet.

Rob Gibbs, Paul Miachika, Paul Wojtczak and I made the trek west, with only Paul Miachika having solid ocean experience (just this summer he attended the Masters US Nationals at Monterey Peninsula YC and the Masters PCC’s at Cascade Locks, Oregon).

Rob handled logistics by getting a triple-Laser trailer rigged and fueled up the RV. He, Paul Wojtczak and I made camp at Campland on the Bay in Mission Beach. Campland is a very clean and well managed facility, and even I held to their strict nighttime no-noise rules.

MBYC, founded in 1927, has prime real estate right on Mission Bay, including a nice stretch of beach and grass that made for easy launching for some 15 Lasers and a handful of multihulls. The Laser Fleet hosted a BBQ Friday night. And Saturday night we cleaned up for a full-spread Luau with a fabulous buffet, a live band and hula dancers! Both nights took place right on their private beach.

MBYC managed our racing well, knowing that some Laser racers are actually 2020 Olympic hopefuls. Rob was able to lock a third-place finish on race three, which put a nice smile on his face! Paul Miachika had some strong finishes as well but got held up by kelp on race seven.

Paul Wojtczak and I kept at it, trying to gain some ocean racing insight with each race. Or, maybe we were distracted by the dolphin and seals that liked messing around our course. We learned much about ocean racing but know we’re just scratching the surface.

Thank you, MBYC, for being gracious hosts! Did I mention this race was free? Thanks for that, too! What a solid and grounded group of sailors with a fantastic, good vibe YC! We’ll be back.

A cluster of Lasers at the Mission Bay One Design races. Photo: Lori Lorenz

Registration Open for Fall Racing

Click on the link to the AYC Racing Page for all the information, race documents and the registration button for the 2019 fall racing action.

Racing begins at Tempe Town Lake on Sunday, September 8, and at Lake Pleasant on Saturday, September 21. Plug your ears for the opening gun at Lake Pleasant: we’re firing the club cannon this year to kick off the new season and will follow it up with an Opening Day celebration later in the day.

Looking for crew or wanting to crew? Commodore Rob Gibbs is revising the crew list system this year, so watch for his update. In the meantime, ask around and mark your calendar for a crew party on Saturday afternoon and evening, September 7.

If you’d like to know more about this game we play, consider signing up for the Introduction to Sailboat Racing class. It will be Thursday evening, September 19, from 6:30-9 at the Eisendrath House. Here’s much more about it. By the way, it’s free.

Lori Reger reflecting on sailing a Sunfish on Tempe Town Lake. Photo: Mike Ferring

Bob Naylor has recruited enough Sunfish folks to create at TTL fleet for the fall. If you have a Sunfish under cover, knock the cobwebs off and bring it out to tangle with the other fish. Here’s background on the fleet.

The Ruth Beals Cup race for women at the helm has been moved to Saturday, October 12. Here’s more on that event.

All of the Arizona Sailing Foundation sailing classes are open for registration now. Click on the “education” link.