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Fine weather greets Menantic Yacht Club newcomers

The Menantic Yacht Club ran its ninth series of Sunfish races in near perfect conditions this past Sunday. Except for the start of one race when the wind died, it was pretty steady at around 8 knots gusting to maybe 10. A couple of cheering sections were out again this week and only two sailors flipped.

With only two weeks to go this season, only three sailors have a perfect attendance record, Paul Zinger and Charlie and John Modica. John Colby and Ellen Leonforte each missed just one race. Will they be able to sustain their attendance records?  Only time will tell.

Newcomers this week included Wyatt Rockefeller, Peter Neckles, Carolyn Keating, Derek Webster and Eugene Van Rynbach. They all had a really good time at our special racing venue and will be back for more of the same. Peter Beardsley’s brother, Eric, also joined the MYC for the first time this summer.

In the past I’ve lamented that the MYC doesn’t have enough young sailors in the fleet. That changed on Sunday when 3-year-old Rosie Modica, Charlie’s granddaughter, shared a boat with Charlie’s son, Charlie Jr. She only raced in one race, and was then transferred to her grandmother, Lisa. In that one race she placed ninth — not bad for a beginner. Way to go, Rosie. She then cheered for the entire Modica clan. Alicia Rojas was cheered on by 6-and-a-half-year-old son Nate and husband Rob. They might share a boat one day. Mary Vetri’s brother, Matt, cheered from the shore and helped load boats onto trailers after sailing.

Prior to racing, Bill Martens was anxiously waiting on the shore hoping his granddaughters, June and Bridget, who had borrowed his boat, would sail it back in time for him to race. No need to worry. They were expert sailors and had it back in plenty of time. Maybe Bill should take a lesson from them on how not to flip. He was one of the two flipees on Sunday, and, I might add, flipping is something he does not do very often.  

The scores don’t really tell the full story of the competition on Sunday. Paul Zinger, Peter Beardsley and Derek Webster each placed first in one race. Charlie Modica placed first in three races but only finished in third place. Peter took the honors on Sunday followed by Paul. In case you are wondering, it was Charlie Jr. not senior who placed third. Peter was Charlie Jr.’s sailing instructor in the SIYC program in what must seem like eons ago.

During one race, Linda Gibbs and I were in pretty good position right next to each other on the course when I questioned whether or not there was a pied piper leading sailors to the wrong mark. I looked at my course sheet and started sailing to what I thought was the right mark and everyone behind me, including Linda, followed suit thinking I knew where I was going.

First and last mistake. It turned out I was the pied piper and really blew it. As someone once said, “things happen.” 

Commodore Pete Bethge was the Principal Race Officer (PRO) on Sunday, with the usual suspects as crew: Betsy Colby, Marian Thomsen and Sallie Bethge. They ran six races, mixing up the courses. The last race was the longest, twice around the triangle. Thank you, all, for doing a superb job.

Matt Fox with Melanie Coronetz as crew set marks and performed chase boat duties along with Rob Bethge and Betty Bishop on the second chase boat. Rob went swimming helping one sailor.

Matt and Shelly Fox went all out and hosted an after-race fiesta featuring fajitas and tacos. MYC members brought all sorts of complementary sides. The food was so delicious it reminded me a little of New Mexico.

The easy camaraderie of the MYC members was on full display with conversation ranging from sailing to politics. Thanks so much for the wonderful time. The next party will be the awards banquet at Betsy and John Colby’s on September 4.

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          

Peter Beardsley               14             1

Paul Zinger                        19             2

Charlie Modica Jr.         23             3

Derek Webster                27             4

John Modica                     36             5

Rachel Beardsley            42             6

Bob Harris                         55             7

Linda Gibbs                      59             8

Eric Beardsley                  60             9

Charles Modica              61             10

Doug Rose                         69             11

George Zinger                  73             12

Jake Siewert                      78             13

Bill Martens                      81             14

Denise Fenchel               89             15

Ed Kaire                               102          16

Alicia Rojas                        106          17

Eugene van Rynbach   111          18

Ellen Leonforte               116          19

Jodi Sisley                           118          20

Kate Duff                            120          21

Tom McMahon               121          22

John Colby                         131          23

Mary Vetri                          136          24

Jonathan Brush               139          25

Caroline Keating            142          26

Wyatt Rockefeller          146          27

Peter Neckles                   174          28F