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A busy end to a fine season for the Menantic Yacht Club

The Menantic Yacht Club had a busy schedule this past Sunday. Not only was it the last series of Sunfish races for the season, but we managed to get in the Up West Neck Creek Race (see story below) and the LYCE and MYCE (Ladies’ Yacht Club Event and Men’s Yacht Club Event) shore events. By the end of the day everyone was tired and a little saddened that a glorious season had come to an end. 

Mother Nature, or, I should say global warming, caused disruptions this summer. Two series of races were canceled because of extremely heavy wind, and on the other extreme, several race days saw wind that was light to non-existent, slowing down even the fastest sailors. Weather challenges notwithstanding, the enthusiasm of the club members never waned. 

Despite heavy winds on Sunday, only two sailors flipped. Linda Gibbs flipped before the start of racing, as did newcomer Peter Semmelhack, who actually didn’t start any of the races but plans to be back next year. All the other sailors have learned that flipping isn’t fun when it’s cold, and most have improved to the point they avoid flipping altogether, including Jodi Sisley.

The season saw 53 different sailors participate overall, with 18 qualifying for the season. Qualifiers needed to sail at least half of the races. The competition was stiff during the season, and as it turned out, the first seven overall places were not determined until the last race was complete on Sunday. Twenty-three sailors participated this past Sunday to finish out the season. Erik Langendal and Melissa Pumphrey, who have sailed with the club in past seasons, joined us for the first time this season.

Peter Beardsley, who had been a contender for 1st place overall and needed just one more race to qualify for the season, ended up not qualifying because he chose to race his Viper on Sunday. That left Paul Zinger and Lee Montes fighting for 1st and 2nd place overall, with Lee eventually coming out on top. He took four 1st place finishes, while Melissa Pumphrey squeaked in to win the last race of the season and the Burty trophy as a result. Fighting for 3rd, 4th and 5th places overall for the season were John Modica, yours truly and Charlie Modica, in that order. Charlie, who had been improving all season, beat John by two points and me by 14 on Sunday. Was it enough to put him into 3rd overall for the season?  The winner between the two brothers was John by a nose, or a bow, followed by Charlie, with Jake Siewert in 5th, yours truly in 6th and Denise Fenchel a very close 7th.

Saturday, before the LYCE MYCE competition held on Sunday, Rob Bethge prepared for Sunday’s LYCE MYCE competition, by setting up the golf putting area under the watchful eye of Commodore Pete Bethge. On Sunday there were still a few hazards such as tree roots, clumps of grass and twigs. It’s a good thing Rob has a day job. Ellen Leonforte actually made a hole-in-one while holding a coffee cup. Other shore events included throwing rings, bouncing frisbees off a tree, throwing bean bags into the cockpit of a Sunfish and counting coins. Yours truly placed 1st. Tom McMahon, who usually excels at the MYCE took 2nd, prompting his son Leo to ask “he only placed 2nd in the only thing he excels at?”

Commodore Pete ran the races along with Betsy Colby, Sallie Bethge and Marian Thomsen. The committee ran four long races and the Up West Neck Creek Race. Thank you, all, for a superb job.

Matt Fox captained the chase boat along with Dave Olsen and Susie Masse. They were kept busy, even towing one of the sailors during the UWNCR. Thank you, all.

Betsy and John Colby hosted the annual awards ceremony. Everyone enjoyed the cuisine and the camaraderie, as well as the excitement over who would take home what trophy.  During the banquet Betsy presented the following perpetual trophies:

Commodore’s trophy: Ellen Leonforte, Corinthian trophy: Charlie Modica, Windels trophy for winner of the first race of the season: Doug Wefer, Burty trophy for the winner of the very last race: Melissa Pumphrey, Season First Place trophy: Lee Montes, Season Second Place trophy: Paul Zinger, Up the West Neck Creek Race trophy: Lee Montes, Most Enthusiastic trophy: John Modica, Youth trophy: Will Lehr, LYCE trophy: Ellen Leonforte, MYCE trophy: Bob Harris, Most Improved trophy: Jodi Sisley, Best Ladies Sailing trophy: Denise Fenchel, Good Shipmate trophy: Marian Thomsen, True Grit trophy: Mary Vetri, Tail End trophy: Kate Duff.

Commodore Pete also presented awards to the following sailors for performing outstanding service to the club during the year:  Marian Thomsen, Peter and Rachel Beardsley, Linda Gibbs, Tom McMahon, Betty Bishop, Matt Fox, Ellen Leonforte, Steve Shepstone, Betsy Colby, Jonathan Brush, Bob Harris, Rita Gates, and Melanie Coronetz,

See you on the water next year.

Up The Creek race ties bow on season

Sunday, Sept. 5, the Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) finally ran its annual Up the West Neck Creek Race. The MYC had been trying unsuccessfully to run this race for the past three weeks, due to lack of wind. Sunday saw plenty of wind and a really fun race. 

Up the Creek is an annual tradition started decades ago. It’s basically a simple race. After daily racing is complete and everyone is tired, the Race Committee has the chase boat drop a mark somewhere up West Neck Creek. One can round the mark in either direction and head back toward the Silver Beach Lagoon where the finish line is set up. 

On Sunday, after racing four long regular season races in heavy wind, the Race Committee gave instructions on the Up the Creek. After the starting, the first mark to round would be the windward mark with a starboard rounding, then a long downwind run to Daniel Lord Road where a mark was set.

After rounding that mark in either direction, the finish would be upwind ending in front of Bill Martens’ home. Of the 23 sailors who participated in the day’s regular racing, only 20 participated in the Up the Creek.

Most of the fleet approached the mark set at Daniel Lord Road at the same time. One could round the mark in either direction, creating a logjam and slight havoc. There was no bumping that I heard, but it was a crowded area. After rounding the mark, the real fun began.

With the wind blowing directly at the fleet, countless tacks were required to reach the finish line. There were a few groundings and some near misses as boats tacked in a congested area in a narrow channel.

During the course of racing, one sailor was seen being towed by the chase boat. Tom McMahon decided he had nothing to lose when Dave Olsen on the chase boat asked if he wanted a short tow. Tom really didn’t gain much, but was allowed to finish. There is only one trophy awarded for this race and the front runners were way in the lead.

Being fairly far back, I didn’t see the lead sailors finish, but was informed it was a photo finish, with Lee Montes beating Paul Zinger and Charlie Modica. Way to go and congrats to all.

Results, in order of finish: Lee Montes, Paul Zinger, Charlie Modica, Denise Fenchel, Eric Langendal, Melissa Pumphrey, Cole Colby, Will Lehr, Jake Siewert, Linda Gibbs, John Modica, Bob Harris, Rachel Beardsley, Ellen Leonforte, John Colby, Jonathan Brush, Kate Duff, Tom McMahon, Jodi Sisley, Mary Vetri.