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Menantic Yacht Club and a good breeze

For the past several weeks the wind has been relatively light for the Menantic Yacht Club Sunfish races. This past Sunday, the MYC finally had a good breeze for its fourth series of races.

The wind was shifty and gusting to maybe 10 knots, requiring some mark moves. There were some crashes and a number of people inadvertently went swimming. All 24 sailors had a terrific time.

Some sailors joined for the first time this summer, including, Kyle Hvidsten, Melissa Pumphrey, Kate Murphy and 13-year-old Anders Siewert. It’s great having a young sailor back in the fleet, and Anders performed well. Pete Bethge’s daughter Melissa Shepstone, and her husband Steve Shepstone joined the fleet for the first time this summer.

As I was approaching the leeward mark in one race, I looked over and saw a dripping wet Melissa, who said she had gone over twice. Throughout the day, Steve and his nephew Matt Zhan traded off between racing and chase boat duty.

During one race Paul Zinger yelled “starboard” to me. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I neglected to get out of his way and he had to sail around me. I felt terrible until I found out he placed 1st in that race, then the guilt disappeared. I did my 360 penalty turn by the way, as well as two other penalty turns during the day; I won’t mention where I placed, but let’s just say if I could throw out an entire weekend’s score, this would be the one.

Just after the end of one of the races, a racer who shall remain nameless accidentally T-boned John Colby’s boat, resulting in some minor damage to John’s boat. The nameless sailor felt absolutely terrible about the accident and has already been in touch with John about taking care of the repairs.

We all understand accidents happen, and the nameless sailor handled the matter in the true spirit of the MYC by apologizing and taking responsibility for any damage, as did John by graciously accepting the apology.

Paul placed 1st on the day followed by Peter Beardsley in 2nd and Rachel Beardsley in 3rd. Way to go.  Maybe you’ll catch Peter one day Rachel. John Modica placed 4th, but I can’t count high enough to see where his brother Charlie finished. Will Lehr had a great day, possibly his best, placing 8th.

On Saturday, the day before the races, Peter Beardsley held a sailing clinic attended by Kyle, Jonathan Brush, Alicia Rojas, Paul and George Zinger, Denise Fenchel, Jodie and Steve. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate.

Just as we gathered at the North Silver Beach Landing, Mother Nature graced us with a torrential deluge, so the only water practice we had that day was trying to outrun the rain to shelter on Marian Thomsen’s porch, where Peter lectured us on several topics. Thanks, Peter, we all walked away more knowledgeable. And thank you, Marian, for providing refuge from the storm to a group of drenched sailors.

Commodore and Sallie Bethge enjoying the day while the fleet is racing. (Credit: Betsy Colby)

Commodore Pete Bethge was the Principal Race Officer (PRO) on Sunday. Also aboard the committee boat were long-time score keeper Betsy Colby, Nancy Miller and Sallie Bethge. Not only were some of the mark roundings really crowded, but so was the finish at times, when six or seven boats crossed simultaneously.

Betsy is considering taking movies of the finish in order to ensure accuracy. The Race Committee ran six races mixing up the courses. Thank you all for doing a superb job.

Rob Bethge captained one chase boat with Steve, Matt and Augie Zahn as crew. Matt Fox captained the other chase boat, crewed by Rita Gates, Melanie Coronetz and Betty Bishop, all long-time MYC stalwarts. Thanks, guys.

Next week the LYCE and MYCE shore events will be held at 5 p.m., right after racing, followed by a dinner party hosted by Commodore and Sallie Bethge at the Red House. Last names starting with A-I bring appetizers, J-O bring Sides and P-Z desserts. Please RSVP to Commodore Bethge at 631-749-1292 or [email protected]

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, check in with the Race Committee, giving them your full name and sail number, be sure to bring your life jacket, and for the protection of the chase boat crew, be fully vaccinated.

Also, bring a signed waiver if sailing for the first time. Commodore Bethge has a fleet of loaner boats available on a first to reserve basis.  Call Bob Harris at 505-235-5844 (email: [email protected]) or Ellen Leonforte at 914-450-1450 (email: [email protected]) to reserve your boat or just to ask about our incredible club.

See you on the water.

Results:                          PTS    PLACE      

Paul Zinger                        13             1

Peter Beardsley               18             2

Rachel Beardsley            37             3

John Modica                     43             4

George Zinger                  45             5

Melissa Shepstone        47             6

Steve Shepstone             52             7

Will Lehr                             54             8

Charlie Modica               61             9

Melissa Pumphrey        63             10

Katie Murphy                   65             11

Denise Fenchel               67             12

Linda Gibbs                      71             13

Bob Harris                         73             14

Anders Siewert                77             15

Bill Martens                      81             16

Jonathan Brush               97             17

Kate Duff                            100          18

Jodi Sisley                           105          19

Alicia Rojas                        117          20

Tom McMahon               121          21

John Colby                         126          22

Ellen Leonforte               126          23

Kyle Hvidsten                  146          24