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Memories and fun as Menantic Yacht Club meets

Mother Nature finally caught up with the Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) this past Sunday, and not in a good way. 

Usually wind is a sailor’s delight, among other things, but too much wind is just too much. The MYC had to cancel its races on Sunday because the wind was just too strong. At the time of cancellation it was blowing below 20 knots, but forecast to increase and gust upwards of possibly 30. For most sailors that strength of wind is doable, but not prudent on a Sunfish. I was second-guessing myself right up until 2 p.m., the MYC’s normal start time, when the wind was gusting pretty steadily in the upper 20s. In hindsight, I made the right call.

Dave Olsen showed up at the rigging area, having not read his email with the cancellation notice. Prudently, he decided not to sail. However, two of our more experienced sailors, Will Lehr and Peter Beardsley, went out for a short practice sail and enjoyed the strong winds. Will said it was pretty intense.

At one point a Hobie Cat appeared and a race was on. You cannot have two sailboats on the same body of water and not at least think about racing. Peter raced the Hobie toward Wades and claimed victory, even though there was no finish line. Most of the other fair weather sailors enjoyed a good book, ate a late lunch and/or enjoyed some wine while waiting for the party to begin.

Jonathan and Anita Brush hosted the party at their beautiful home on Menantic Peninsula. At the start of the gathering, there was a tribute and champagne toast to long-time MYC member Judy Hole, who passed a short time ago. Her sons Dan and Ben gave a heartfelt tribute, telling us how much the MYC had meant to Judy, especially since her late husband Sam passed several years ago.

Judy loved taking part in the weekly racing by joining either the chase boat or Race Committee. She would help out in any way required.

For whatever reason, Judy especially enjoyed hauling in the anchor, all 80 pounds of her straining on the line. Betsy Colby presented Dan with a picture of Judy hauling in that anchor. Marian Thomsen made Judy’s signature deviled eggs, which Betsy decorated with tiny little hand-painted Sunfish flags.

About 60 MYC members and associates showed up, eager to have a good time to make up for the lack of sailing. New friendships were made and everyone had a fantastic time during our second gathering of the season.  The Brushes were extremely gracious hosts.

The fare consisted of Commander Cody’s Chicken, another hallmark of Judy’s parties, as well as a bottomless supply of raw clams and oysters. Everyone brought a side dish or dessert and drinks flowed. And, of course, Betsy’s signature Key Lime pie was the icing on the cake, for me anyway.

Mary Vetri’s friends, Nana and Patrick, were heard speaking French with relative newcomer Maurizio Borletti and his wife, Grace. Julia McMahon, Tom’s niece and a rising first-year student at St. George’s University Medical School, was seen talking with Charlie Modica, the school’s chancellor, who hands out the diplomas every year, among other responsibilities.

Many thanks to Matt Fox and John Colby for delivering the tables and chairs and then returning them to Commodore Pete’s Red House.

Remember to come up alongside the Race Committee boat and give them your full name and wear a life jacket.

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. 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.