Menantic Yacht Club sets its summer 2017 racing schedule

The Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) is back for another season of Sunfish racing. The 2016 season ended with the MYC hosting a very successful Women’s North American Sunfish Championship regatta. The 2017 season may see the MYC racing against some other Sunfish clubs in the area. Stay tuned for developments. 

The MYC is a unique club with no dues, no clubhouse and open to everyone from novice to expert sailors. There are several world class sailors in the club as well as others of all levels, and in the tradition of the MYC, they will all lend a helping hand to anyone who joins us on a Sunday afternoon. On average, 50 or more sailors join in the fun during the season, and between 15 and 30 race on any given Sunday. Sailors of all ages show up. Some sailors come with a son or daughter and share a boat. Be sure to bring your life jacket for safety.

The 2017 regular Sunfish racing season will commence on Sunday, July 2 and will continue every Sunday through Labor Day weekend, the last race being on Sunday, September 3. The races start promptly at 2 p.m. in West Neck Harbor. Just show up prior to that time and give your full name and (if you have one) sail number to the Race Committee. We usually hold five races each Sunday, and the committee determines the course prior to each race.

Prior to the first race on July 2, Commodore Pete Bethge will hold a skippers meeting at his home — 1 East Brander Parkway — at 1 p.m. The season schedule will be reviewed, questions answered, new sailors introduced, old acquaintances renewed and maybe even a quick refresher seminar on Sunfish particulars.

Commodore Bethge has several Sunfish that can be borrowed on a first-to-reserve basis. To reserve a boat, call Commodore Bethge at (631) 749-1297 or Bob Harris at (631) 749-0524 after June 26.

Linda Gibbs and Tom McMahon will host a party starting at 6 p.m. after racing on July 2, during which awards will be given, including the Windels Memorial Trophy, awarded to the winner of the first race of the season. A number of sailors have offered to host other parties during the season, with names and dates to be announced at a later date. Those sailors with last name starting with A-M please bring an appetizer, and those with last name N-Z please bring a dessert.

A practice race will be held on Saturday, July 1, at 2 p.m. in West Neck Harbor. This was originally supposed to be for women only, but since we are an equal opportunity club, all are invited.

Watch out Steve and Melissa Shepstone, Charlie Modica and Jim Koehler! Rachael Setarek, age 13, will be joining the MYC in August, along with her dad, Peter Beardsley. Last year at age 12, Rachael beat our usual front runners in a race the one and only time she ever sailed with the MYC.

Melanie Coronetz, a long time MYC member has decided to retire from Sunfish racing. However, Melanie’s boat will continue racing with us, since Elizabeth Hewitt now owns it.

Will Lehr, another younger sailor, will be racing with us again this season in an MYC boat he’s borrowing for the summer. Jack and Chris Lane hopefully will be joining us. We’re hoping to see a lot of expert sailor and long-time MYC member Cole Colby, who has just completed his first year at Syracuse University. Cole, along with George Zinger, another MYC member, will be crewing on a Swan 42 with a crew out of the Shelter Island Yacht Cub in September at the NYYC Invitational in Newport. Congrats, Cole.

The MYC had been active since the 1930s, sailing Cape Cod Rockets. In 1966 Commodore Bethge reactivated the MYC and has been holding dingy races in West Neck Harbor ever since. Let’s keep up the tradition, join the camaraderie and some of the best fun you will ever have. See you on the water.

On a side note. I was visiting a good friend several weeks ago when some other friends of hers who had just bought a house on the Island stopped by and mentioned the yacht club. I immediately asked how they found out about the MYC. My good friend, who shall remain nameless said that they must be talking about the “real” yacht Club, the Shelter Island Yacht Club. Both her husband, Tom, and I looked at her and said “Whoa, we are a real yacht club.”

You know who you are, don’t forget it.