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Fierce competition in West Neck Creek

Last Sunday proved thrilling and exhausting for most members of the Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) during the running of its fourth series of Sunfish races in West Neck Creek.

The wind was blowing from the southwest between 12 and 14 knots with some dead spots and strong gusts all day. A few sailors went for that proverbial swim on a hot afternoon, and the competition was fierce.

The top contenders were the usual combatants, with Lee Montes cleaning up as usual. Lee placed first in four races and second in two races, for a total of 8 points for those of you rusty in math. Charlie Modica took the other two first-place finishes on Sunday, along with one second, and placed second overall, despite one lousy race where he placed 14th. Jake Siewert, coming off last week’s broken rudder in the first race, had a great day, placing third overall. Denise Fenchel had two second place finishes. Way to go, all.

The rivalry between Charlie and John Modica is as strong as ever this year, brotherly love notwithstanding. Only time will tell who outshines the other overall, but they seem to follow the same path, so to speak. Charlie flipped at the start of one race; John followed suit and flipped just before another race. Charlie had one bad race, and John was disqualified in a race in which he actually crossed the finish line first because he was over early. And so the saga continues.

I know I’ve said this before, but the entire fleet is sailing really well. Will Lehr joined us for the first time this season and didn’t miss a beat. I was impressed, especially when he told me the reason for his absence until now. Will was off placing seventh in the USA Fencing National Championships. All of Shelter Island should be proud of Will. Tom McMahon also had a good day. Linda Gibbs, Tom’s other half and sparring partner, celebrated a birthday on Saturday. Tom wasn’t giving any ground however, and beat her in three of the six races, although Linda did come out on top for the day. Happy birthday, Linda.

Betsy Colby, the MYC’s Principal Race Officer (PRO) for the season, enjoys having experienced sailors on board the committee boat to teach her some of the finer points. Paul Zinger did just that when he joined the committee boat on Sunday. Thank you, Jonathan Brush, both for joining the committee and for the use of your boat, again. Many thanks to all for a superb job. Remember sailors, come up alongside the committee and give them your full name and bring a life jacket.

Newcomer and experienced sailor Maurizio Borletti had a wonderful time despite not having sailed a Sunfish in years. Maurizio started to apologize for holding up the races because he thought he was slow to the finish, but it was explained that this does not matter in our fleet. What matters is that everyone has a safe and fun time. He did go over once, but righted his boat without any assistance and continued sailing. We look forward to seeing him again next week. Doug Rose’s daughters, Elsie and Caroline, helped out in the rigging area. They’re both experienced sailors who would make a great addition to the club — and we happen to know Doug has at least one extra Sunfish. You’re welcome back anytime. We would love to have more younger sailors join us. 

Freddy Zorovich was back on Sunday and mentioned that there was a lot of jostling and bumping on the start line. Jostling for position is expected, bumping is not, but it happens. The important thing to remember is that one wants clean air. If you get caught in the pack at the start, it may be over before it begins. Freddy, bring some of your Shelter Island Yacht Club buddies with you next time.

Betty Bishop captained the chase boat along with trusty crewmates Melanie Coronetz and Rita Gates. They made a great team. Melanie, who was a regular with the club for years, commented that “it was great to be out on the water and be part of the MYC once again.” Thank you, all.  There will be an after-race barbecue and memorial for Judy Hole on Sunday, hosted by Jonathan and Anita Brush. You know what to bring.

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 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: Pts Place
Lee Montes 8 1
Charlie Modica 25 2
Jake Siewert 26 3
Doug Rose 28 4
Denise Fenchel 33 5
John Modica 38 6
George Zinger 45 7
Will Lehr 53 8
Bill Martens 56 9
Linda Gibbs 59 10
Bob Harris 61 11
Tom McMahon 65 12
Ellen Leonforte 73 13
Dave Olsen 81 14
John Colby 81 15
Maurizio Borletti 101 16
Mary Vetri 109 17
Freddy Zorovich 112 18
Kate Duff 116 19
Christian Sanders 122 20