September 2006

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Traveling Pirates – AZ Buccaneer 18 Fleet

By Emory Heisler

Buccaneer Fleet Captain, AYC

"Pirates" you say? Arrrr! Aye there be pirates in the Arizona Yacht Club (AYC), home to one of the largest fleets of Buccaneer 18 sailboats in the country.

And, these pirates will trailer all over the U.S. of A. to race their speedy craft and to share their love of sailing and maybe a wee dram o’ rum with their fellow sailing ne’er do wells.

The AYC Buccaneer 18 Fleet sent four of its finest sailors to the Buccaneer North American Championships Aug. 7-11. Tony Chapman and First Mate Chris Robertson, Wade McDaniel and family, and "Dave the Barbarian" Rawstrom voyaged to the Waukegan Yacht Club north of Chicago on Lake Michigan. 

The Arizona Buccaneers joined 37 other pirate captains and crew for a week of One Design fleet racing and all the accompanying revelry that goes with such an event.

Chapman and Robertson faired best of the group in terms of "hardware," bringing home the B-Fleet Championship. Ever-enterprising Rawstrom flew to Chicago and brought back two "new-to-Arizona" Buccaneers, bringing the AZ Fleet up to 21 Buccs.

Meanwhile, Capt. McDaniel turned in the highest A-Fleet AZ finish at 11th overall.

Then, as quick as you can say, "Shiver me timbers!" this merry band was on its way from Chicago to San Diego!  The AZ Buccaneer 18 Fleet followed up their National Championship adventure the weekend of Aug. 19-20 with a nine-boat one-design weekend at Mission Bay Yacht Club. 

Six Arizona Buccaneer skippers and crew, plus two boats from California and one from Reno convened for five races on Mission Bay.  

The scurvy dogs that braved the voyage to Nationals proved their mettle again in San Diego as Wade McDaniel, Dave Rawstrom, and Tony Chapman finished on top of the Mission Bay One Design Weekend in 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.

 Where will these pirates be seen next?  Watch Tempe Town Lake and Lake Pleasant for the sails with the "Crossed Sabers", or scissors as some call them, as the Arizona Yacht Club fall season gets underway this September.  

And if you be thinkin’ of becomin' a pirate, check out for more information about sailing in and around Arizona and about that fun thirsty band of pirates in the Buccaneer 18 fleet.  Arrrrr!