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Wild day on the water for the Menantic Yacht Club

The wind was blowing at around 9 knots, gusting to 15, and really fluky this past Sunday for the Menantic Yacht Club’s (MYC) next-to-last series of Sunfish races for the 2022 season.

One would think that there wouldn’t be much excitement other than good sailing in the lighter winds. However, there was more than some banging, one boat was broadsided and suffered a puncture wound, several sailors left early due to equipment failure, and the Pied Piper struck again.

With only one week to go in the season, the MYC is breaking attendance records, the long-range forecast for next week is looking good, and — knock wood — there have been no washouts. This week also brought two legends of Sunfish racing together, Commodore Pete and Joe Sullivan.

Joe is a long-time member of the Southold Yacht Club (SYC) who has sailed with the MYC for the past several years. Commodore Pete was honored when Joe informed him that he chose the MYC venue to be his “final race around the marks” before donating his boat to the SYC.

He will borrow his boat back from the SYC and compete in his 50th Sunfish Race around Shelter Island next year before retiring from sailing for good, or so he says. He’s still a young man at 87. Before actual racing started, John Modica’s boat was punctured when it was accidentally rammed.

With West Neck Harbor flowing into his boat and weighing him down, John gave his brother, Charlie, a chance to pull up in the standings. Charlie “claims” he had nothing to do with it. Also, before the first gun, Freddy Zorovich’s tiller extension came loose and fell overboard. In a gusty wind it’s hard to sail without a tiller extension, so Freddy sailed to shore. Joe found the tiller extension and returned it to the Committee Boat.

The competition for first place overall turned into a dogfight on Sunday. The top three contenders, Lee Montes, Peter Beardsley and Paul Zinger have been in a heated battle all summer. Sunday may have been the turning point.

Unfortunately, Paul had rudder problems in one race which took him out of contention. You’ll have to stay tuned to see who comes out on top between Lee and Peter.

As mentioned above, the Pied Piper struck again, and it happened during the last race  The Piper wasn’t me this week, but I did follow the Piper in the last race. I don’t know who led who off course, but I do know that it created a real mess.

When the Pipered half of the fleet realized their mistake and turned toward the right mark, they congregated with the boats sailing the correct course, creating a pile up. It did help a few sailors, though. Bill Martens placed first in that race, followed by Doug Rose and Charlie Sr. Doug drove up from Virginia Saturday night to sail with the MYC. And 3-year-old Rosie Modica, the youngest member of the MYC, was there to root Charlie on.

Unfortunately, some power boaters disrupted the fleet on Sunday with their large wakes. Also, one boater flying a “United We Stand” flag from his bow became abusive and was swearing up a storm after several racers politely asked him to move away from the middle of the race course.

Matt Fox didn’t make it out on Sunday but was replaced by Betty Bishop on one chase boat, with Mary Vetri and Susie Masse as crew. Rob Bethge captained the other chase boat, crewed by Melanie Coronetz.  Thanks, guys.       

Commodore Pete Bethge was the principal race officer on Sunday, assisted by Penny Zahn, Marian Thomsen and Sallie Bethge. The MYC’s regular score-keeper Betsy Colby couldn’t make it Sunday since she was taking her daughter, Marnie, to college. The Race Committee ran six races, mixing up the courses.  Thank you all for doing a superb job.

Next week may be Commodore Pete’s last time on the Committee Boat, although he will remain commodore, so here’s hoping for a great turnout on the race course and at the awards banquet at the Colbys’ afterwards.

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              Place   Pts.

Charlie Modica Jr.         1     25

Lee Montes                     2     25

Derek Webster                3     26

Peter Beardsley               4     27

Steve Shepstone             5     47

Paul Zinger                        6     58

John Modica                     7     61

Charlie Modica               8     63

Doug Rose                         9     71

Rachel Beardsley            10   75

Gene VanRynbach        11   80

Ruth Hankanson            12   81

George Zinger               13   84

Joe Sullivan                    14   85

Suzanne Hulme              15   86

Carla Murphy                  16   93

Peter Zahn                       17   95

John Koten                      18   96

Bob Harris                        19   96

Linda Gibbs                      20   101

Bill Martens                      21   102

Alicia Rojas                        22   110

Jonathan Brush               23   129

Ellen Leonforte               24   140

Jodi Sisley                           25   143

Tom McMahon               26   151

Denise Fenchel               27   153