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WEATHER OR NOT: Microburst at Arizona YC's Pleasant Harbor Marina badly damages fleet

Sunday, July 16, 2017

PHOENIX, AZ – Victor Felice, our good friend and former Vice Commodore of the Arizona Yacht Club, reports that the Pleasant Harbor Marina at Lake Pleasant, about 25 miles north of Phoenix (AYC's main sailing venue), was decimated last evening by a microburst with winds up to 70 knots. This was a repeat of a similar storm Friday evening that did some but not nearly as much damage. 


Victor says most of docks are broken, untethered or worse, with electric, water and sewage lines severed. Needless to say the Pleasant Harbor Marina is closed for the time being. Because the Marina is situated in deep water – 170 feet plus – the long chains that tether the docks to the reservoir bottom can't help but allow a fair bit of movement in a storm like this, adding to the damage.


In the dry storage yard, Victor says nine racing yachts and more cruisers were knocked helter-skelter – photo below. Sadly, DOG YEAR, the Mini-Transat 650 owned by Dave Christensen and Wendy Larsen (AYC, Phoenix), was severely damaged.


Fortunately for Victor, owner of the Phoenix-based Tillers and Kites Sailing School, all three of his boats at the Marina – two on the water and one on the hard – survived unscathed.


We'll ask our SI weather guru, Mark Michaelsen, to turn his attention away from Chicago-Mac and next week's GovCup to help us better understand both storms. Tuesday we will have Mark as a guest on our weekly Facebook Live show "Tuesdays with TFE"  on SI's FB page (@sailingillustratedblog) at 1100 PDT / 1400 EDT.


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