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Good turnout for Menantic Yacht Club races

COURTESY PHOTO  A wild and windy start of a race in West Neck Harbor for the Menantic Yacht club.
COURTESY PHOTO A wild and windy start of a race in West Neck Harbor for the Menantic Yacht club.

The Menantic Yacht Club(MYC) held it sixth series of Sunfish races August 5 in perfect weather conditions — windy, warm and dry.

According to one of the weather stations I monitor, the wind on the north side of the Island was averaging 18 knots. West Neck Harbor, being protected, saw lighter winds, ranging between 5 and 12 knots, but they were very fluky. There were a few flips and broken parts, but the sailing was stupendous. Naturally, the wind slowed down at the end of racing, prolonging our day on the water.

The Race Committee started with the longest race in its playbook, course T2, twice around a triangle. Races two, three, five and six were course F, the triangle plus the windward mark, the leeward mark with an upwind finish. Race four was course G, the triangle with the pin end of the start line as the leeward mark, back up the windward mark with a downwind finish.

The MYC has had a good turnout all season and Sunday was no exception, with 20 sailors participating. The only newcomer was Jay Rhames. Welcome back, Brant Davision and Bill Martens. Brant sails with the club occasionally and Bill had been in San Francisco helping out a family member for the last couple of weeks. Where were Dave Olsen and the Lane brothers?

The competition was intense, particularly between two sailors, Steve Shepstone and Peter Beardsley. They each took two first place finishes, but Peter prevailed in the end with a total of 16 points to Steve’s 17. Steve re-rigged his boat with a Jenns rig and a regular rig several weeks ago. He obviously has not perfected its use yet. One point is 1 point too many. Running third with one first place finish was Melissa Shepstone with a total of 24 points. John Modica also had 24 but no first place finishes so he placed fourth overall. Melissa had the misfortune of flipping. Had she not flipped she probably would have beaten Steve, her husband, for second place. Good job, everyone.

John and Charlie Modica always have an exciting time on the water with much good natured bantering, but the competition between them is as strong as ever. They were at it again on Sunday, with John not only besting Charlie, but, upon finishing one race he actually texted Charlie to find out where on the course he was. I think the fact that John was in the picture that was on the front page of the Reporter two weeks ago swelled his ego.

The Race Committee consisting of Commodore and Sallie Bethge and Debbie Davison did a superb job, as always. Betsy Colby, a mainstay on the committee boat, was under the weather and stayed home. Feel better, Betsy.

Thank you, Race Committee. Sailors, before the start of racing each week, please sail up alongside the committee boat and give them your full name and sail number. Also, remember to wear your life jacket.

The stake boat, captained by Billy Sulahian with Melanie Coronetz and Paul Bader as crew, was kept fairly busy moving marks and towing two sailors to shore. Will Lehr literally lost his rudder and needed a tow. Because he was using a club boat, he grabbed a new rudder on shore and only missed two races. The spare parts on shore can be used with the Commodore’s permission.

Another sailor needing a tow, Linda Gibbs, who had a terrific showing last week, suffered a shredded mainsheet and only completed two races. At the finish during race two, I was on starboard tack and Linda was on port tack.

We were right at the pin. She should have tacked away but I was able to go around her stern and squeeze between her stern and the pin to finish in front of her, so there was no need to protest. She also stalled out and lost several other places in line as penance.

Mary Vetri placed last overall but, she wasn’t really racing, or so she says. She decided to practice instead and never finished any race.

The $64,000 question about the “turtle caper case” from last week’s Reporter unfortunately has been answered. The new turtle signs have been stolen again, according to Melanie Coronetz.

We are a congenial club open to all, with no dues, no fees and no clubhouse.

The sailing is great, we have tremendous fun, and we often have after-race barbecues. All sailors, novice to expert, are welcome. Meet the fleet at 2 p.m. on Sunday in West Neck Harbor. Commodore Bethge has several Sunfish available on a first-to–reserve basis. Call him at (631) 749-1297 or Bob Harris at (631) 749-0524 at least one day prior to racing to reserve a boat, and please show up at 12:30 p.m. so your boat can be rigged in time for the 2 p.m. races.

See you on the water.

1.    Peter Beardsley 16
2.    Steve Shepstone 17
3.    Melissa Shepstone 24
4.    John Modica 24
5.    Brent Davision 32
6.    Jay Rhames 39
7.    Charlie Modica 40
8.    Peter Zahn 51
9.    Paul Zinger 58
10.    Bob Harris 60
11.    George Zinger 61
12.    Bill Martens 74
13.    Tom McMahon 85
14.    Denise Fencher 91
15.    John Colby 91
16.    Will Lehr 97
17.    Rachael Beardsley 104
18.    Matt Zahn 111
19.    Linda Gibbs 121
20.    Mary Vetri 130