Featured Story

Island sailing, and helping one another

The weather was far from ideal last Sunday, but nonetheless, the Menantic Yacht Club ran its 7th series of Sunfish races on a day in which the rain greatly exceeded the wind. 

Turnout was not bad; 17 intrepid sailors participated. The rain wasn’t the problem, but lack of wind, blowing between zero and maybe 5 knots. Despite the rain, sailors were talking and joking with each other along the course, and with the light winds, no one flipped.

Jonathan Brush “sailed” over from his home on the Menantic Peninsula, in wind so non-existent that he was forced to paddle over. Remarkably, he arrived in time for the first race. After Sunday’s races, Jonathan sent out an email to the MYC asking what sailors do when there is no wind, which resulted in a few responses about special paddles that fit in a Sunfish for use in emergencies. Not surprisingly, there were also a number of smart aleck replies, my favorite of which was Charlie Modica’s referring to the paddles, “that’s only for an emergency? I use it all the time during the race.” Now we know.

Ruth Hakanson, who has sailed with the MYC for a number of years, was back for the first time this summer. Hopefully she has no more blue water sailing trips planned and can join us for the balance of the season. Newcomer Weston Friedman, a friend of Peter Beardsley, gave Peter a run for his money.

Peter sailed away on the day taking four 1st place finishes and 1st overall. Second place finishes were split between John Modica, Weston, Ruth and yours truly. However, Weston was consistent in his sailing and placed 2nd overall with 12 points. Rachel Beardsley placed 3rd overall with 20 points. 

Betsy Colby was back on Race Committee along with Matt Fox, Marian Thomsen and her friend Linda Goldstein. Four races were run. Between races three and four, all of the marks had to be repositioned because there was a major wind shift. Many thanks to all for a great job under trying conditions. Remember sailors, come up alongside the committee boat and give them your full name and bring a life jacket.

Betty Bishop captained the chase boat along with Rita Gates and Melanie Coronetz. At one point, they escorted a sailor who was suddenly taken ill to shore, where Melanie got off the boat and stayed with the sailor. Thank you for a terrific job in this emergency situation; you handled it perfectly.

We were lucky to have MYC member and cardiologist John Modica at the scene, who took one look at the sailor and said “call an ambulance right now.” Two Island police officers showed up within minutes, followed by the ambulance. Kudos to Phil Power and the other members of the Emergency Medical Services, and to the Police Department for their expert handling of this emergency.

The sense of community and caring that often seems missing these days was front and center in the seamless and efficient handling of this emergency by the chase boat crew, the other MYC members, the EMS and the Police Department. Many thanks to all; you did a superb job.

We are a 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:                                         Pts.    Place

Peter Beardsley                         4               1

Weston Friedman                     12             2

Rachel Beardsley                       20             3

Bob Harris                                    23             4

Will Lehr                                       27             5

Ruth Hakansen                          30             6

Denise Fenchel                          35             7

Charlie Modica                           36             8

Freddy Zorovich                        37             9

Richard Prieto                            37             10

Bill Martens                                 38             11

John Modica                               45             12

John Colby                                   45             13

Jonathan Brush                          52             14

Ellen Leonforte                          54             15

Jodi Sisley                                     55             16

George Zinger                            64             17