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Shelter Island’s Menantic Yacht Club is setting sail into 2024

The Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) is back for another season of fun Sunfish racing and camaraderie.

Our membership has increased over the years, with an average of 25 sailors participating every weekend. There will be one major change this year as the MYC’s long-time Commodore Pete Bethge has retired; he and Sallie are now enjoying life full-time in Florida. The MYC leadership now consists of yours truly as commodore, Steve Shepstone as vice commodore, Melissa Shepstone as treasurer, and Betsy Colby as secretary.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable winter and spring. I know some of our sailors, including Peter Beardsley, Alicia Rojas and Lee Montes, did their share of frostbiting over the winter.

On a sad note, Dave Olsen, a long-time, much-loved member of the MYC passed in December. Dave was a top notch sailor who was more interested in giving a helping hand to anyone in need, on or off the race course, than in finishing first. Dave hand-made a number of the MYC’s most beautiful trophies; some of his handmade trophies reside at the Shelter Island Yacht Club as well.

Dave, with his green helmet and helping hand, will be missed by the entire Shelter Island sailing community, and especially by the MYC.

On Sunday June 23, Vice-Commodore Steve Shepstone will hold a Race Committee “Tune-Up Practice” at 1 p.m. at his home at 5 Wheeler Road. He will review RC duties, including safety procedures, sailing instructions, mark placements and communications. Review will be both on shore and on water. Volunteers and sailors are  invited and should attend. RSVP to Steve Shepstone ([email protected]). You will learn about the finer points of conducting sailboat races. Steve is a judge with US Sailing.

Charlie Modica has a special treat in store for everyone this summer — stay tuned.

Betty Bishop and Matt Fox will captain the stake and mark boats, and hopefully our dedicated crew of volunteers will return: Debra Mintz, Amy Cococcia, Dave Daly, Ben Gonzales, Melanie Coronetz, Rita Gates, Ed Goble Elsie Rose, Mike Donlon, Susan Donlon, and all the others who volunteer from time-to-time.

And, of course, Betsy Colby will be race PRO, hopefully assisted by Marion Thomsen, Ed Hydeman and others. Non-sailors from the Shelter Island community are also invited to volunteer. Charlie, as usual, will loan the MYC his inflatable for use as the stake boat, and Jonathan Brush’s powerboat will be used by the Race Committee. Tom NcMahon’s BW will be used also.

Prior to the first race on Sunday, June 30, there will be a skippers’ meeting at our “clubhouse” at Commodore Pete’s Landing, i.e., the North Silver Beach Town landing, starting at 12:30 p.m., with the first horn going off at 2 p.m.

We will all have a chance to catch up with each other after a long winter, and to answer any questions about the upcoming season. If you have not already returned your waivers and membership forms, please bring them. They will also be available at the meeting.

The MYC was started in 1933, continued until the early 1950’s, and then had a hiatus until Commodore Pete reactivated it in 1968. Back in the day, Commodore Pete sailed Cape Cod Rockets; later he switched to Sunfish, which we sail today. In the words of Commodore Pete: “Menantic Yacht Club has a wonderful history of being a welcoming club. We are very proud of our two “C’s — camaraderie and Corinthian sailing.”

The MYC is a family-oriented club, and we would love to have some younger sailors join us. In previous years we have had families sailing together and as teams sharing the same boat.

We are a very congenial club, open to all. We may not have a clubhouse, but 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 on any Sunday starting on June 30 and going through September 1 the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

Check in with the Race Committee giving them your full name and sail number, and be sure to bring your life jacket. Non-sailors are also welcome to assist with the Race Committee and stake boats. You can get more information about the MYC from our Facebook page: Menantic Yacht Club, or from Bob Harris at [email protected]. Steve and Melissa Shepstone have a fleet of loaner boats available on a first to reserve basis. Contact Ellen Leonforte at 914-450-1450 or at [email protected] to reserve your boat.

The MYC is a Shelter Island tradition. Let’s keep up the tradition, so please join us this summer for some of the best fun you will ever have.

See you on the water.

On a another note: congratulations to Peter Beardsley, Lee Montes, Paul Zinge, Rich Prieto and others on their participation in the Sunfish North American Championships this past weekend. Peter and Lee qualified for the Worlds. No small feat against 105 other competitors.