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Sailing Made to Scale

Here’s a problem we don’t often have on full-size boats. Photo: Mike Ferring

Is a Mallard on starboard an obstruction? Good thing the ducks on Estrella South Lake know how to paddle out of the way of fast-closing serious racers, close-hauled and chasing toward the windward mark.

The wind was light on this Saturday morning when a dozen SeaWind radio-controlled boats lined up for the start at a regatta presented by the West Valley R/C Mariners. In spite of the light stuff, the boats moved quite well on a w/l course roughly 40 yards long.

Multi-time AYC Club Champion Al Lehman Jr. is a recent convert to RC racing. Surprise: he’s good at it. Photo: Mike Ferring

On the shore, the dozen sailors and a couple race officers shuffled to keep pace with the boats and expertly trim sails and steer from a distance—a job made especially difficult with shifting wisps of breeze. No one spoke (or shouted at his crew). It felt like a tense championship tennis match.

Four of those sailors were AYC members: Al Lehman and Al Junior, Dave Nowak, and Dean Johnson (who recently joined AYC and races an Andrews Governor’s Cup 21 in PHRF Spin).

Dean says he’s been RC racing a decade or more and he’s an RC winner. Al Jr told us he picked up the hobby about 1½ years ago and loves it. As you probably know, Al is a champion sailor in full-size boats and has adapted quickly to RC. He said he finished third in the national championships in Sacramento last year.

Al and Al Jr are attracted to how easy it is to go sailing with RC: it’s cheap, takes no time to rig, and you can sail in the nearest pond. “Under $100 for sails,” Al Jr smiles. Try that with your big boat.

They explain that the one-meter SeaWind is just one of a number of RC boats being raced and point to the DragonFlite 95 as an easy-entry, up-and-coming class. Here’s more.

At the end of the day, Al Jr had won the regatta with Dean Johnson in second.

Jed Korthals reported to the racers that, “In race ten the windward mark mysteriously moved closer to the offset mark. It turns out that a fairly large turtle, with its foot caught on a fish hook and line, had entangled the windward mark. We were able to reel it in, free the turtle from its trapped leg, and reset the mark. Everyone, especially the turtle, seemed happy.”

Photos by Mike Ferring:

Help ASF with Each Amazon Purchase

Do you shop at Amazon? The huge online merchant will give .5% (one-half percent) of the money from each of your purchases to our Arizona Sailing Foundation. As of mid-June 2019, the “Amazon Smile” program has donated $333 to ASF.

Your purchases cost the same. Amazon Prime still applies, if you’ve bought that service. ASF just gets a cut of all your dollars.

It’s simple. Instead of buying from amazon.com, you buy from smile.amazon.com. Sign up to have your purchases credited to ASF. That’s it. Takes less than a minute.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead. Route .5% of your money to ASF.

If you buy from Amazon, begin buying from smile.amazon.com instead in order to route .5% of your money to ASF.

Your Commodore’s Party!

The Commodore’s Party is so named because the Commodore puts it on, but it is about you…the membership of the club. More than most, our club is our members. It is the friendships we build and the memories we make. The Commodore’s Party is a celebration of what makes our club as great as it is…YOU!

Here are some pictures:

Isabella Hutchinson, last year’s High School Champion relinquishes the perpetual trophy to her brother Reese, this year’s Champion.

After everyone toweled off and changed after enjoying the pool, the program started with awards given by the Arizona Sailing Foundation. Mike Parker, the Sailing Foundation President, awarded the following:

  • Heavy Lifting Award – Larry Green
  • High School Championship Trophy – Reese Hutchinson
  • Wayne Jason Tucker Outstanding Junior Award – William Steenken
  • Jerry Linderman Most Improved Junior Award – Ethan Wei

Colin Gibbs earned the top spot for the Junior Racing Fleet and got is name on the new Perpetual Trophy for the AYC Junior Champion.

Then the AYC Racing Awards followed. For the first time, there was a full fledged Junior Racing Fleet at Tempe Town Lake. The club has been gifted (by Rob and Kim -ed.) a perpetual trophy to award to the AYC Junior Champion. This year that Champion was Colin Gibbs.

And the most coveted racing trophy in the club, the AYC Club Champion Trophy, was won by Joel Hurley. Joel won the Laser Fleet championship at TTL and the Santana 20 Fleet championship at Lake Pleasant before taking the Championship Race on a Laser.

Joel Hurley wins the Club Championship Trophy. Next year Joel will volunteer to head up the Opti classes at Tempe Town Lake.

Every year we get to honor one individual for excellence in supporting and promoting the sport of sailing in our club. That honor is the AYC US Sailing Sportsmanship Award. This year’s winner, Emory Heisler, is a long time Club Member, past Commodore, US Sailing and ASA Instructor and all around great sailor.

Emory Heisler accepting the AYC US Sailing Sportsmanship Award

Dave Haggart gets the Blunder Bucket!

And finally, after three heated rounds of debate over who earned the coveted Blunder Bucket, this Spring’s honor goes to Dave Haggart who tried to launch his truck while retrieving his 14.2 at Tempe Town Lake, only to save it from the depths with the help of his son and a group of bystanders.

The last order of business was to thank this year’s Board of Directors and install the newcomers to the group. It’s been a great year and for those who are leaving their posts, the club thanks you very much for your service.

The members of the 2019-2020 Board of Directors:

  • Commodore: Rob Gibbs
  • Vice Commodore: Marc Danner
  • Rear Commodore: Deb Heisler
  • Racing Fleet Captain: Scott Richards
  • Cruising Fleet Captain: Heather McClain
  • Sr. Membership Director: Skip Kempff
  • Jr. Membership Director: Dave Henning
  • Sr. Staff Commodore: Mike Ferring
  • Jr. Staff Commodore: Bill Hutchinson
  • Secretary: Paul Wojcztak
  • Treasurer: Tony Chapman

Thank you for making your club one of the best in the country. We’ll see you on the water!