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Menantic Yacht Club finds ideal sailing

After last week’s horrendous, windless conditions, Sunday’s wind, blowing fairly steadily between 5 and 10 knots from the southwest, was ideal for the Menantic Yacht Club’s (MYC) third series of Sunfish races in West Neck Creek.

Only 14 sailors participated in the fun on Sunday. Several were worn out from sailing in the “The World’s Longest Sunfish Race, Around Shelter Island, NY” on Saturday. Eight MYC sailors from the MYC sailed on Saturday. Of those eight, only Ellen Leonforte, Kyle Hvidsten, Peter Beardsley, Paul Zinger, Lee Montes and yours truly sailed on Sunday. Charlie Modica, who participated in part of the Longest Race, had a valid excuse for missing Sunday’s races — his daughter had just given birth to a healthy baby boy. Congrats, Grandpa. As for the other no-shows, where were you?

Two newcomers joined the fleet on Sunday. Jane Wagner arrived with the expectation of just meeting people and not sailing because she had not eaten lunch. However, she joined the Race Committee, had a great time, stayed for the entire race and hopefully will be back. Greg Olsen, who lives in Colorado, also sailed with the fleet, and his friend, Meghan White, helped sailors launch their boats. Unfortunately, they will not be returning until next year. Something about work in Aspen.

Sunday’s sailing was extremely competitive, with the lead changing constantly between the top contenders in all five races. However, Lee Montes, fresh off Saturday’s race, cleaned up, placing first overall with just 5 points total. Paul Zinger placed second with 14 points. I placed third, but to be honest, if Peter Beardsley had not missed the first race, he more than likely would have been one of the top three. Thanks, Peter.

Everyone sailing on Sunday performed exceedingly well. Kudos to Mary Vetri, Jodi Sisley, Denise Fenchel and Jonathan Brush for out-performing themselves. Peter’s clinics have energized those attending and it definitely shows. Sailors are learning strategy, placement of your weight on the boat and other techniques to make the boat go faster and outmaneuver competitors. Way to go, all.

Doug Rose, who is also a member of the Shelter Island Yacht Club, has been sailing with the MYC for several weeks. Doug lives in Virginia and flies up every week to sail. He had a stupendous day on two fronts Saturday in the Longest Race. First, he placed first in doubles sailing with his 17-year-old daughter, Elsie. The second part of his day will take longer to explain.

Before joining the MYC this year, Doug bought a brand-new Sunfish. Part of the entry fee for the Longest Race was a raffle for a brand-new Sunfish, donated by the manufacturer to bring recognition to Sunfishers and this particular race. During the MYC skippers’ meeting several weeks ago, someone who knew that Doug had entered the Longest Race jokingly commented that now that Doug had bought a new boat, he would probably win the raffle.  Guess what? Doug now has two brand-new Sunfish. He also placed fourth on Sunday. Way to go, Doug.

Betsy Colby ran Race Committee along with her trusty crew consisting of Susie Massie and newcomer, Jane Wagner, using Jonathan Brush’s power boat. Jonathan was asked at the last minute and didn’t hesitate in offering his boat. The committee ran five races. Thank you all for a superb job. Remember sailors, come up alongside the Race Committee and give them your full name and wear a life jacket.

Betty Bishop, who is captaining the chase boat this season, went to Charlies’ house to borrow his inflatable, and as an added bonus met someone very famous. Thanks for the use of your boat Charlie, and thanks to Tom McMahon for offering the use of your boat. We couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for Jake Siewert, who arrived in a rush at the very last minute, too late to check in with the Race Committee, but just in time to start in the first race, and then suffered a broken rudder just before the end of the first race. Hopefully Jake will have it fixed in time for next week’s races. Chase boat Captain Betty and crew Rita Gates did a terrific job, towing Jake Siewert to shore. 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. All sailors, novice to expert, are welcome. Just show up in West Neck Harbor at 2 p.m. on any Sunday through Labor Day. Commodore Bethge has a fleet of loaner boats available on a first to reserve basis. Call Bob Harris at 631-749-0524 (email [email protected]) or Peter Beardsley at 917-696-8229 ([email protected]) to reserve your boat or just to ask about our incredible club.

See you on the water.

Results:              Place  Pts.

Lee Montes        5            1

Paul Zinger        14           2

Bob Harris         23           3

Doug Rose         24           4

Peter Beardsley               26             5

Denise Fenchel               30             6

Jonathan Brush               38             7

Ellen Leonforte               46             8

Mary Vetri        50             9

John Colby       50             10

Jodi Sisley         51             11

Dave Olsen      53             12

Greg Olson      57             13

Kyle Hvidsten 60             14