Sunday, March 31, 2013

Great White North Race Report

West Vancouver Yacht Club hosted the 45th annual Southern Straits Classic yacht race, starting on Good Friday at 10am. Actually the big news was Thursday night when Kevin Welch's ICON was awarded the trophy for the overall winner of the 2012 edition. It is likely he will have to be willing to wax the Rumpus  topsides or mow the lawn in return for the pickledish since he was not there to receive the goods. The wind was light at the start and not quite enough to get the mighty Night Runner owned by Doug Fryer of AYC to lift her skirts and get underway. AYC member Stephanie Schwenk sailing aboard Bravo Zulu, that she sailed to Hawaii last summer, led out to the West and the race was on. After a lazy afternoon of swapping tacks and counting porpoises and killer whales (orcas) night fell and the moon rose out of the ocean like a burnt umber orange. Soon off to the North as spinnakers sprouted at Ballenas Islands the Aurora Borealis  put on a show, huge bands of light dominated the night sky and distracted the groggy crews. Phosphorescence spun off the hulls and marked the boats trails through the waters. In the morning the Night Runner was forced with the question of wreckers or checkers? Of course they gybed early going for the win and cutting the distance by taking a tight line in front of Howe Sound. Mr. Murphy was listening and served up a fine brew of contrasting breezes resulting in a foredeck fiasco that dropped the Night Runner from second to fifth in less than an hour. Glory will have to wait for another year. As the crews delivered the yachts South under the belt of Orion it was said: A yacht is a possession that is purchased in one's life, the experiences with other's aboard make up your life. (Or word's to that effect , two 80 mile deliveries and a 93 mile race in 72 hours fogs my cortex) For full details as well as the race tracker goto wvyc website.....
Now let's have some fun Tulip Regatta April 6/7!!!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Expansion and Club Access

With the Club Expansion underway(see photo below and keep in mind the hole is now bigger),  the question comes up repeatedly about access.  We will be able to use the upstairs and downstairs in the club house through about 90% of the project.   (The estimate is that the expansion will take about 4 months).  For tomorrow's Club Social, March 29 starting at 17:30 hrs, we will have only one upstairs access through the north door.  Parking will be limited throughout the expansion, so club members are encouraged to park across the street in the Port of Anacortes parking proximate to the club.  Although the upstairs ADA access ramp will not be available for the Club Social tomorrow afternoon, we should have an outside stairway built onto the existing deck ready for next week's Tulip Regatta.  Keep in mind that we are in a major expansion, so flexibility is requested.  Fred Abelman is our construction project manager.  If you are planning to use the club for an event,  please contact Fred (360 708 2286),  for future updates on access as he is in regular contact with the builder.

Steve Orsini

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I was crew on a delivery from San Diego to Ventura a few weeks ago. We started out under full sail then headed north – directly into what little wind there was. The rest of the trip was under power, 140 miles at about 5 knots. We had plenty of time to watch the horizon.

We all hoped to see whales but all we saw were balloons. Mostly heart shaped red balloons made of mylar. You see a spot on the horizon and wonder if it might be a crab, shrimp, or lobster pot. 15 miles offshore we didn’t expect many pots, but you never know. Getting closer, you might have to change course … for a balloon! How can you know what’s tied below?

I came away with new ideas about helium balloons. Let’s just say I’ll probably never give them as a gift. Even air filled latex balloons can escape into the sea where they can kill marine life.

Please visit to learn more.


Spring Racing Beat

The Smith Island Race featured everything a sailor could want, smooth water, downwind start, fine competitors everything except wind.... Nonetheless Walt cracked the whip aboard Syndicat over the heads of a determined crew and came away with victory. The Hassenpfeffers were not to be denied and held on for the bridesmaid position. Everyone else figured they'd rather go bowling or mow their lawn.
Easter Weekend features the Southern Straits Regatta hosted by West Vancouver Yacht Club. There are four courses, the lone AYC competitor this year will be Doug Fryers, custom cutter, the wood planked, Bob Perry designed Night Runner; some call the inspiration for Kevin Welch's ICON. You can follow along on the WVYC website as the tracker system will be in use. This race is notorious for big winds and big action as the Strait of Georgia can get lively on occasion.
Tulip Regatta! Hands are in the Air! New BBQ, Games with Stephanie n Stacia, Sailing with a real PRO, salmon on the grill, wind in your sails, great trophies and sponsor prizes. Why not come join the fun? From F-18 catamarans, vintage SC-27's and Puerto Rican 24's, the new kid on the block with our own Commodore on the helm the Viper 640's and of course the usual PHRF suspects. Come see what AYC does best and support the sponsors and our bar revenue!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ground Breaking Celebration This Sunday!

Come celebrate with us! 

After a long wait, much work and many hours donated by dedicated volunteers, the AYC Clubhouse expansion is about to become a reality! Join us as we pop a cork, break ground and honor all those who helped make this project happen. This Sunday, March 24th, 1PM at Anacortes Yacht Club.

For more information:
Contact: Steve Orsini
Phone: 360 202-7280

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Smith Island Race

Ahoy AYC racers! Saturday March 23rd the sailors of the AYC will set sail in the Ed Knowles Memorial Smith Island Race. I don't know if Ed had a daughter, but if he did I sure hope she shows up for the trophy presentation. If you were at the Foulweather Race/ Cruise you know what I'm talking about.
 What I do know about Ed is, he and his wife Janet were terrific sailors. The boats I remember were a Pearson 35 "THEARK" and later a Saturna 33 "OMEGA". Ed was a decorated USCG veteran and he and Janet knew and followed the rules, well at least they tried. I remember a certain raft up up, tied to a buoy, waiting for wind in Fidalgo Bay and Janet ringing that damn bell every minute until someone handed her a glass of wine to hold instead! Hey that's how I remember it. In any case speaking of light winds be aware that in the case of no breeze off the tanker dock the starting line is likely to move out west to the green and red buoys just West of the Guemes Ferry dock. Keep your VHF radio on and allow yourself a little extra time. Who can stop Team Bottles and the red menace? Esther is back on her feet and John Gunn knows that will be trouble. Syndicat is bringing a ringer from Seattle. Passepartout is rumored to be taking the lathe and civil war cannon ball collection off to save weight. Big Ed K is looking to find the gas pedal and spice it up. In the multihull div. Wild Bill continues to dominate...
In other racing news our PHRF handicapper and AYC member Scott Lindberg and most recent yacht owner has been kind enough to meet new racers at the club to measure sails. If you are interested in getting a PHRF rating call Scott and setup an appointment. Vince Townrow of the local UK sail loft has also been available to evaluate sails and make repairs as required. Swing by the loft and see him for recuts and and a quote.
Finally AYC is also hosting a high school regatta this weekend, it's team racing and it is a little different than yachts racing individually as special strategies and tactics apply. If you are interested in pitching in contact Fred Abelman.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tulip Time

The Anacortes Yacht Club has been hosting the Tulip Regatta since before Mylar sails were invented. This year the event will be held April 6th and 7th on the waters of Fidalgo Bay. This will likely be the last major regatta in what will soon be remembered as the "old" clubhouse as the new clubhouse soon will be taking shape. One design classes slated to appear include those pesky F-18's, the Puerto Rican San Juan 24's, the venemous Viper 640's, and the hardly a one design SC-27's. (at least they're colorful) PHRF classes will be split out at the discretion of our PRO all the way from Orcas Island, Dr. Chris White. We could also have a NFS class if we get 5 boats to sign up. What better way to avoid the crowds and chase away those winter blues? Excellent salmon prepared by our very own Thomas Childs, local brew at terrific prices, games created by two wacky blondes, artwork and trophies by Jennifer Bowman, raffles and sponsorship so we will have many winners. If you are a skipper looking for crew or a crew person looking for a ride get down to the club social hours on a Friday evening or put a post on the club's forum/Facebook. Of course you can swing by the new Northwest Rigging at 620 30th St. introduce yourself to the proprietor Andy Schwenk and he can usually hook you up. Buoy racing in the bay with classes for all levels of sailors and legendary AYC hospitality provided by the best in the business Walt Meagher. Come join the fun on the water or if you would like to volunteer drop Walt a line and he will either put a spatula in your hand or show you how to stack chairs!