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Menantic Yacht Club: Fine weather, better sailing

Unlike last week’s washout, Sunday brought another nice day for the Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) Sunfish races. 

Rumor had it that Commodore Bethge’s daughter and son-in-law, Melissa and Steve Shepstone, both world-class sailors, would make an appearance for just the second time this summer, and they did. They both would have preferred last week’s heavy air compared to this week’s 7- to 11-knot blow, but being on the water is what counts. Steve discovered an improved fleet and stiff competition, resulting in his placing third overall.

Twenty-one sailors participated in the eighth series of Sunfish races on Sunday, including, to quote Linda Gibbs, who really didn’t want to be quoted, “a gaggle of nine elite women, three of whom were wearing hot pink MYC shirts.”

Evidently the memo about hot pink didn’t make it around the entire fleet. I look forward to the day when women outnumber men in the MYC.

The sailing was competitive, in a manner of speaking. The boat end of the start line was favored, and that was where Lee Montes started every race. He was so far out in front of everyone else that he was described as sailing by himself. Lee took home five firsts and a second to finish in first place overall, with a total of seven points. If you compete in both of the last series of races you will qualify for the season, Lee, and possibly place first for the season. Just a reminder.

Several other sailors, including Peter Beardsley, Steve and Paul Zinger, used years of experience and sailing strategy dueling with each other for second, third and fourth places. Good thing it was only boats and not pistols. Normally one wouldn’t use the term “sticks like velcro” in describing anything to do with sailing. However, that is the term Peter used to describe how close he and Steve sailed to each other on Sunday.

During one race, Peter and Steve were approaching the pin end of the finish line when Steve out-maneuvered Peter, who wound up not only fouling Steve but hitting the pin just as the bow of Steve’s boat crossed the finish line.

At that moment, with the bow over the line and Steve’s finish recorded for all of history, he fell out of his boat, which was also recorded.

Peter, on the other hand, had to do a 360 penalty turn, costing him a few places in that race. There were a lot of close finishes during the day. Overall, Peter beat Steve by 3 points to place second on the day. Paul was a close fourth.

Denise Fenchel showed her skills, beating both Rachel Beardsley and Linda Gibbs, Rachel by only 1 point and Linda by an unimaginable 5 points. Way to go Denise! Kyle Hvidsten, a beginner who has been finishing last by a wide margin, is narrowing that margin considerably.

George Zinger, along with Betsy Colby and Marian Thomsen, ran Race Committee. Six races were run and there was only one over early. We’re all happy George is back and feeling his oats. Thanks all for a superb job!

Remember sailors, come up alongside the committee boat prior to racing and give them your sail number and full name. Don’t forget your life preserver and face mask, and be sure to maintain proper distancing and follow the MYC’s COVID-19 protocols on the water and on land.

Billy Sulahian captained the chase boat along with Joni Campbell, Judy Hole and Noah Therrien. They had an enjoyable, but busy afternoon. Unfortunately, Jodi Sisley has a tendency of flipping, and has maintained a near-perfect record this year. Billy had to render assistance by jumping overboard during her first flip, but Jodi righted her boat by herself on the second flip. As with former MYC regular Melanie Coronetz, who always came in last until she didn’t, you will all of a sudden get the hang of it and stop flipping, Jodi. In the meantime, we applaud your persistence. Thank you, all.

We are a very congenial club, open to all, with no dues, no fees and no clubhouse. The sailing is great, the camaraderie is superb, and we just have tremendous fun. Normally, all sailors, novice to expert, are welcome, but, due to COVID-19, for the time being the club is only allowing experienced Sunfishers who are physically capable of righting their own boats so as to avoid unnecessary contact with the chase boat crew.

Contact Peter Beardsley if you want to reserve a loaner boat for the Sunday races, on a first to reserve basis, at 917-696-8229, or email [email protected] Unfortunately, this season reservations are available for experienced Sunfishers only.

See you on the water.


Name                              Pts        Place

Lee Montes                          7                1

Peter Beardsley                   16              2

Steve Shepstone                19              3

Paul Zinger                            24              4

Ruth Hakenson                   37              5

Melissa Shepstone             40             6

John Modica                        42              7

Joe Sullivan                           49             8

Denise Fenchel                    59              9

Rachel Beardsley                60             10

Linda Gibbs                          64             11

Bill Martens                          74              12

Susanne Hulme                   78              13

Dave Olsen                           84             14

Will Lehr                                87              15

Ellen Leonforte                   88             16

Tom  McMahon                  95              17

Jonathan Brush                    110             18

Mary Vetri                            112             19

Jodi Sisley                              119             20

Kyle Hvidsten                           125            21