AYC’s 61st Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

Dave Perry Headlines AYC’s 61st Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup

By Mike Ferring

The Arizona Leukemia Cup Regatta is the first one of the year.

Dave Perry Headlines AYC’s 61st Birthday Regatta & Leukemia CupNational sailing and racing rules expert Dave Perry will be the headliner for the Arizona Yacht Club Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup at Lake Pleasant Arizona Friday-Sunday Feb. 8-10, 2019.

It’s Arizona’s big regatta, the 61st birthday of the yacht club, with an expected 75 boats competing in 8-10 classes.

On Friday night, Dave Perry will lead a free seminar loaded with racing tactics tips and humor to get the weekend off to a good start. On Saturday, he’ll prowl the race course on a powerboat with video camera, recording what sailors do right and what they could do better.

After an intense editing session at the end of the day, he’ll present the results so all the racers see the hits and misses during the day’s racing.

But that’s just part of the attraction. Every good regatta needs two things: close racing and great food and drink. The Birthday Regatta & Leukemia Cup has both. Lake Pleasant is an excellent venue for racing. And, after the racing, the party will convene at the top of the south hill overlooking the lake.

Dave Perry Headlines AYC’s 61st Birthday Regatta & Leukemia CupFriday night, Back in Thyme will bring the food while the Barley Hound bar in Prescott, Ariz., is mixing complimentary craft cocktails. And Tony Chapman and Kelly Beaver will offer their famous annual rum bar.

On Saturday night, one of Arizona’s finest catering companies, Arizona Taste, will serve a three-course dinner in regatta headquarters, a 40×70 tent, fully decorated for the occasion. Featured entrée is Chicken Piccata Medallions in a Caper Lemon Chardonnay Sauce, accompanied by Panzanella Salad, Market Vegetables, cookies, coffee, tea and water.  Adult beverages? — craft beer and a quality selection of wines.

Dave Perry Headlines AYC’s 61st Birthday Regatta & Leukemia CupThe event is the first Leukemia Cup Regatta of the year, the first of many that raise money to fight blood diseases through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Since the Arizona Yacht Club began this partnership with LLS nearly 20 years ago, the club has raised about $600,000 for the charity.

There could be as many as a dozen classes of racers during the regatta, led by sport boats such as the Viper 640, which draws sailors from the West Coast and other parts of the country. The Viper is a 23-foot racer that can plane at low wind speeds, meaning that it can rise up and fly downwind.

However, the regatta also draws a wide range of boats, including some better known for comfort than speed. The Catalina 22, for instance, is a family friendly boat that has a strong local following because of its roomy design and low purchase price. Thousands of the boats have been built since it was first introduced in the ‘70s, so good examples are easy to find.

The guest headliner, Dave Perry, is one of America’s best-known sailors and speakers, a perennial match-racing champion and rules expert who has spoken at hundreds of yacht clubs and racing events over the years. He’s a member of the US Sailing Appeals Committee and has advised America’s Cup campaigns and the U.S. Olympic team on rules. He’s written three books on sailing, including the go-to reference on racing rules, Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Much more regatta information and online entry are available at the club website, arizonayachtclub.org.

Further information: Regatta Organizer Mike Ferring, (602) 241-7123 or mike@ferrings.com


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