A windy and happy start for Menantic Yacht Club

The long-range weather forecast for last Sunday called for cloudy to partly sunny conditions with a wind blowing between 10 and 20 knots. Sailors love the wind and Mother Nature did not disappoint.

How to say that? The biggest and heaviest sailors were in heaven and we lightweights struggled in the strong wind, some of us taking Advil before the race, a lot afterwards I’m sure. Everyone had a blast and the Menantic Yacht Club’s (MYC) first round of Sunfish races of the 2021 season was extremely successful.

Before the start, a skippers’ meeting was held at the Maison Rouge. Sadly, Commodore and Sallie Bethge were unable to attend and hope to join the club in the coming weeks. For me, it was great to see all the old ones; it was as if last year’s loss had never happened. Everyone introduced themselves and got to know each other.

A total of 25 seasoned sailors took part on Sunday, including seven newcomers. Peter Beardsley introduced Rich Prieto and Kate Duff. Kate took advantage of the day to train and will start running with us next week. Charlie Modica brought a few of his friends from the Shelter Island Yacht Club, Peter Dinkel and Jeff Bresnahan. Doug Rose, who came from Virginia and plans to race with the MYC for most of the summer, used his new boat, having sold his old boat to Cindy Homer. Another newcomer, Ellen Jaffe, attended the skippers meeting and plans to race with us later in the season. Mia Brandt, a friend of Susanne Hulme, and Freddy Zorovich also sailed with us for the first time. Welcome all newcomers, please come back and bring your friends.

Due to the harsh conditions, a few sailors were forced to give up prematurely, there were several parts broken and a number of sailors tipped over. Paul Zinger suffered a broken traveler but continued to sail. He didn’t complain about the broken traveler, only that his arms were really sore from holding the pole; Fortunately, it happened in the last race. Mary Vetri needed a tow to shore when her sail crashed after her halyard broke. I give it the credit for being even there in such strong gusts. George Zinger, Steve Shepstone, Peter Dinkel and Brant Davison did an about-face. Brant passed 30 seconds before the start, and luckily for him, a general recall sounded.

Many thanks to Ellen Leonforte for taking responsibility for the boats on loan for the season. She also helped a struggling sailor before the stake boat could get there. We are looking for volunteers for the stake boat until Billy Sulahian can join us.

The sail was very competitive and without a few mistakes and a helping hand it is quite possible that the rankings would have been different. Peter Beardsley helped set up a Jens rig on a few boats and was late for the start of the first race causing him to take a DNS which affected his daily ranking. Lee Montes sailed to the wrong mark in a few races he was leading, costing him a few points and causing him to miss out on first place by six points. However, that being said, Doug Wefer, who has sailed with MYC in the past, had a great day. Congratulations to all.

Melissa Shepstone led the race committee along with Betsy Colby, the MYC’s longtime scoring keeper. Marion Thompson and Mary Ellen Wefer were also part of the race committee. Betsy will lead the race committee for the remainder of the season. Thank you all for a great job. Remember the sailors, join the race committee and give them your full name and wear a life jacket.

Due to a last minute problem, I found myself captain of the stake boat, on loan from Charlie Modica, along with Deb Davison and Diana Keegan. I traded places with Kevin Keegan for a race and left slightly bloody after slipping off my boat. Deb jumped overboard three times to help the right boats, but we weren’t as busy as expected. Overall, the quality and capabilities of the sailors at MYC are improving, although a number of us are looking forward to Peter Beardsley’s sailing course.

Betsy presented the awards in a brief ceremony after the race. Doug Wefer won both the Windell’s Perpetual Trophy for winning the first race of the season and the first place trophy of the day. Second place went to Lee Montes and Paul Zinger came third. Have a good trip, everyone.

There will be a post-race party at Linda Gibbs and Tom McMahon’s on Sunday July 4th. Bring a side dish or a dessert. Please RSVP to Linda or to me.

We are a very nice club, open to all, without membership fees, without fees and without clubhouse. The navigation is excellent, the camaraderie is superb and we have a blast. All sailors, novices to experts, are welcome. Simply show up at West Neck Harbor at 2 p.m. every Sunday until Labor Day. Commodore Bethge has a fleet of loaner boats available on a first-to-book basis.

Call Bob Harris at 631-749-0524 (email [email protected]) or Peter Beardsley at 917-696-8229 ([email protected]) to book your boat or simply to find out about our incredible club.

See you on the water.

About Ethel Partin

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