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Menantic Yacht Club racing report

Thank you, Charlie Modica, for filling in for me last week — you did a yeoman’s job writing about the antics of the Menantic Yacht Club Sunfish races as I was off in the Catskills. Watch out Charlie, my priorities may go askew again and I have your number.

Two weeks ago I chose chase boat duty because of the strong winds. This past Sunday, Matt Fox, captain of one chase boat, sent me a message hinting that he needed chase boat crew, so I volunteered. It had nothing to do with the fact that the wind was predicted to howl at 18 to 26 knots, and, along with Ellen Leonforte, I’m one of the lightest sailors in the fleet.

It was the right decision on several fronts. There were a number of broken parts, MacGyver-style fixes, and flips requiring in-water rescues.

Susanne Hulme joined the fleet for the first time this season, broke her outhaul, beached her boat, somehow fixed it and only missed one race. Denise Fenchel broke her cunningham, just happened to have a pair of pliers on board and repaired the problem without missing any races. Will Lehr wasn’t so lucky, however.

During the last race, his goose neck broke and he needed a tow to shore. He also slipped off his boat, and not because he wanted to swim, right at the finish line when a heavy gust subsided and he had been hiking out. In the very strong winds I actually expected more sailors to flip, but only seven or eight did so and only four needed rescuing.

All continued racing, demonstrating the quality of the fleet’s sailing and boat handling. In fact, Susanne commented that she had not seen Ellen sailing in a while and was pleasantly surprised at her fortitude and “amazing improvement.”

Getting back to chase boat duty, I hit the water twice to help Alicia Rojas right her boat and we both commented we had to stop meeting like this. Actually, the swim felt really good on a hot humid day. Kudos for being out there in that wind, Alicia. Rob Bethge captained the second chase boat, along with Steve and Melissa Shepstone, who also took turns sailing.

Rob jumped overboard twice also, once to help George Zinger and then someone I didn’t recognize.

There were a number of new faces sailing on Sunday. This past Saturday the Shelter Island Yacht Club hosted a PHRF race including Viper 640’s. MYC member Peter Beardsley, who races both Vipers and Sunfish, invited the other Viper sailors to join the MYC racing on Sunday.

I’m sure they, along with all the regulars, had a great time, and more than likely asked directions to the Pharmacy for muscle relaxers after the intense racing. Where is the massage boat when you need it?

Some of the Viper racers were quite good on Sunfish also. The racing was competitive and three Viper racers finished in the top six places. Viper Jay Rhame beat Peter by 1 point to finish first on the day, followed by Viper Colin Santangelo, Lee Montes and Paul Zinger.

When Jay lost his hat during one race, I picked it up and frisbeed it back to him in a championship style throw witnessed by Lee Montes.

I saw a number of sailors do their penalty turns, including John Modica when he hit the windward mark, dragging it a short distance, which helped out all the sailors behind him. Charlie must have been feeling generous Sunday because he let his younger brother beat him again.

Commodore Pete Bethge was the principal race officer on Sunday. Also aboard the committee boat were Betsy Colby, Marian Thomsen and Sallie Bethge. The Race Committee ran six longer-than-usual races, mixing up the courses.

The wind was steady and no marks needed to be moved, freeing up the chase boats for rescues. Thank you all for doing a superb job.

Many thanks to Marian and Larry Thomsen for hosting the after-race party, which featured delicious food and much laughter. It was the perfect way to top off a full, hard day of sailing.

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

Jay Rhame                          14             1

Peter Beardsley               15             2

Colin Santangelo           21             3

Lee Montes                       23             4

Paul Zinger                        33             5

Cole Constantineau     34             6

Doug Rose                         49             7

John Modica                     51             8

Ryan Dempsey                62             9

Rich Prieto                         67             10

Charlie Modica               69             11

Rachel Beardsley            81             12

Will Lehr                             84             13

Ruth Hakansen               98             14

Denise Fenchel               99             15

Eric Ryan                            107          16

Melissa Shepstone        115          17

Tom Pickett                      124          18

Steve Shepstone             126          19

Gabe Pereira                     129          20

John Colby                         131          21

Ellen Leonforte               133          22

Susanne Hulme              134          23

Kate Duff                            134          24

Brian Johansen               141          25

Alicia Rojas                        147          26

Rachel Rhame                 162          27

George Zinger                  163          28

Allyson Schultz               180          29