08/04/17 12:00pm
COURTESY PHOTO Helplessly hoping. The Menantic Yacht Club becalmed before a race on July 29.

Helplessly hoping. The Menantic Yacht Club becalmed before a race on July 29.

Saturday, July 29 brought small craft warnings with the wind gusting up to 32 knots around Shelter Island.

On Sunday morning the winds were still blowing around 10 knots. At 2 p.m., kickoff time for the fifth series of Sunfish races this year hosted by the Menantic Yacht Club (MYC), the wind was practically nonexistent — zero to 1 knot. Boats were drifting aimlessly, waiting for the Race Committee to make a decision about racing. Fortunately for those sailors who arrived late, the racing did not begin until almost 3 p.m. due to lack of wind. (more…)

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09/16/16 2:00pm
COURTESY PHOTO Melissa Shepstone practicing for this weekend’s Women’s North American Sunfish Championship to be held in Island waters.

Melissa Shepstone practicing for this weekend’s Women’s North American Sunfish Championship to be held in Island waters.

During the Menantic Yacht Club’s annual awards banquet in 2014, Jim Koehler mentioned that the MYC might have the opportunity to host the Women’s North American Sunfish Championship (WNA) races in 2016.

Those two years have passed quickly, and as Jim predicted, on September 17, the MYC will host the championship event. The winner of the regatta qualifies to sail in the 2017 Sunfish World Championship to be held in Brant Beach, New Jersey next summer, where men and women compete together. (more…)

08/08/13 2:58pm

COURTESY PHOTO | The Menantic Yacht Club Sunfish races in West Neck Harbor Sunday battled gusty, even “squirrelly” wind conditions.

The Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) held its fifth series of Sunfish races just past 2 p.m. on Sunday in West Neck Harbor.

The wind was considerably stronger this week than last week, blowing between 10 and 12 knots, gusting to 14 or 15 knots coming out of the west north west. One moment you were being blown over and the next you found oneself in a dead zone. One of my favorite words is “squirrelly” when describing certain wind conditions, but today I will use the word “fluky.” As far as I know, there were no equipment failures but several boats did flip.

I’m the reason the Race Committee started slightly late on Sunday. John and Charlie Modica volunteered to run Race Committee. However, I was able to find two other volunteers to actually run the races but I needed Charlie to set the marks. I informed them at 1 p.m. and John made a mad dash home to pick up two Sunfish rigs and then tow Charlie’s boat to the start line. John, who flipped twice while towing Charlie’s boat to the start line, finished first overall. He must be ecstatic about that. His best showing ever. On the other hand, Charlie only came in second. I have to wonder if he wishes he had remained on the committee boat. Their rivalry continues.

On a side note, last week I mentioned that John and Charlie would not be sailing this week because of committee boat duties and that as a result everyone would have a chance to improve their scores. I guess I can’t be trusted.

The Race Committee ran five races. The first four were once around a triangular course. The last race was twice around the same course.

Twenty-three sailors using 20 boats participated on Sunday. Not a bad turnout. As usual, Marnie Colby captained while her dad crewed. Last week John Woodward sailed solo and took second place overall. He usually sails with Oscar Champigneulle. This week he sailed with Oscar and Will Celiberti. They were having a great time horsing around, but as a result, performed poorly and even dropped out of the last race. Kids will be kids!

Linda Gibbs, coming off of a good week of sailing is just powering her way into the history books by having another good week. Fourth overall. Way to go! Yours truly, on the other hand, experienced the agony of defeat with which I am all too familiar after celebrating the ecstasy of winning last week.

Cole Colby is finally rigging his boat properly and as a result is performing much better than in past weeks. Rita Gates did well on Sunday and managed to stay afloat, not flip, in the strong winds. Paul and George Zinger were back as well as Lee Richstone. Bill Martens finally decide to rejoin the racing. He spent the last two weeks entertaining guests and family. Sunday’s change of pace probably felt good and he placed fifth overall, but, actually tied Linda in points earned. Cristina Morris and son, Sebastian, shared a boat with Cristina as captain.

Unfortunately, I heard from reliable sources that there was a verbal barrage between a couple of sailors. I can attest to the competitive spirit in the MYC, especially in the heat of battle, and I know Vince Lombardi’s mantra, “Winning is everything” is alive and well, but, we are a fun and friendly club so tone it down.

The Race Committee consisting of Vangalese Aposto, Judy Hole, Susie Massie and part timer Charlie Modica did a superb job. Many thanks. Remember sailors, before the start of racing each week, come up along side the committee boat and give them your full name and sail number.

There was no after-race party this week but next week Rita Gates and Ed Goble will host the party at 13 Ginny Drive, Rita’s home. Those sailors with last names beginning with A-M, please bring a side dish and those with last names beginning N-Z, a dessert. Betsy, please bring your key lime pie.

We are a friendly group on and off the water. Come join the MYC every Sunday in West Neck Harbor at 2:00 p.m. All sailors are welcome, novice to expert. Commodore Bethge has several boats available on a first to reserve basis. Call Bob Harris at 749-0524 to reserve your boat at least one day prior to racing. Remember to bring a life jacket. See you on the water.

1.    John Modica    10/5
2.    Charlie Modica    14/5
3.    Rich Smith    23/5
4.    Linda Gibbs    27/5
5.    Bill Martens    27/5
6.    Cole Colby    39/5
7.    Paul Zinger    44/5
8.    Tom McMahon    44/5
9.    Dave Olsen    48/5
10.    George Zinger    49/5
11.    Bob Harris    51/5
12.    John Woodward, Will Celiberti
and Oscar Champigneulle    55/4
13.    Cristina Morris and Sebastian    58/5
14.    Melanie Coronetz    67/5
15.    Rita Gates    80/5
16.    Mary Vetri    80/5
17.    Marnie and John Colby    83/5
18.    Steve Smith    86/4
19.    Betsy Colby    87/5
20.    Lee Richstone    95/3