Another great season in the books for Shelter Island’s Menantic Yacht Club

This past Saturday the Menantic Yacht Club (MYC) held its annual meeting and for the first time in 58 years the club has a new commodore.

Commodore Pete Bethge retired to Florida with Sallie this past season and both of them are missed. The new leadership of the MYC is as follows: Commodore Bob Harris, Vice Commodore Steve Shepstone, Treasurer Melissa Shepstone, and Secretary Betsy Colby. Board of Governors include Peter Beardsley — who  in addition to racing, compiles our statistics and holds sailing clinics — Linda Gibbs, Bill Martens and Charlie Modica.

The Club that Commodore Pete created, and that Lee Montes says is one of the best Sunfish Clubs in the country, will not change; the camaraderie, the sailing and social events will stay the same with all sailors and non-sailors welcome.

The MYC  wound up its final series of sunfish races for the 2023 season this past Sunday in very light winds. The turnout was good, with 26 sailors participating.

Overall the MYC had a terrific year breaking one record after another. We had a record number of 64 sailors participating, a record number (27) of season qualifiers (50% of all races) and a record number (37) of racers during one race. And a record number of women participated (16). Two sailors, John and Charlie Modica sailed in all 47 races. Ellen Leonforte would have also but I asked her at the last minute on Sunday to do chase boat.


Racing on Sunday was competitive, but as always, everyone was having a great time. I could hear tons of good natured bantering going throughout the fleet, especially among the front runners. The first race, with very light to almost nonexistent wind, was just short of torture.

It took about 35 minutes, and the person who won that race not only surprised the fleet, but, himself as well. Congrats to Jonathan Brush for taking home his very first first-place finish in a spectacular fashion.

Paul Zinger really wanted to win the last race of the season and the Burty Trophy. The day started off badly, with Paul placing 22 and 16 respectively in the first two races. But then he aced the fourth race. Could he do it again? Yes, he succeeded. Congrats, Paul.

As far as season trophies go, the first and second place finishers came down to the wire. Lee Montes needed to race all five races on Sunday to even qualify for the season. He and Derek Webster were close in final numbers but Lee took home the honors. For those who have been following the saga of Charlie and John Modica, sorry, Charlie, John placed fifth for the season to Charlie’s seventh.

The brotherly rivalry is all in good fun; in fact, Charlie said that his and John’s participation in the MYC has allowed them quality time together.

Steve Shepstone, our new Vice Commodore, joined Race Chair Betsy Colby and her crew of Marian Thomsen and Nancy Miller on Sunday. Amy Cococcia and Debra Mintz  were AWOL, but did make the after-race party. Five races were run in 1-6 knot winds. Thank you for the superb job you’ve done all season.

On a side note, Betsy won a very prestigious award at the Shelter Island Yacht Club for her Race Committee duties and general volunteering. I understand that when presenting Betsy with the award, the SIYC Commodore said that the only reason she hadn’t spent more time at the SIYC is because she was volunteering at the Menantic Yacht Club. I presented Betsy with the Commodore’s Cup for indispensable service to the MYC. Congrats, Betsy.

The same professionalism that the Race Committee showed each week can also be said of the chase and mark boat captains and crews: Matt Fox, Betty Bishop, Dave Daly, Ben Gonzales, Melanie Coronetz, Rita Gates, Elsie Rose, Mike Donlon and all the sailors who volunteered when people went on vacation. Thank you, all, for a superb job this season.

Betsy and John Colby graciously hosted the very well-attended annual awards ceremony. Everyone enjoyed the cuisine and the camaraderie, as well as the excitement over who would take home what trophy. Peter, Betsy and I presented the following perpetual trophies:

Windels trophy for winner of the first race of the season: Lee Montes

Burty trophy for the winner of the very last race: Paul Zinger         

Season First Place trophy: Lee Montes

Season Second Place trophy: Derek Webster

Up the West Neck Creek Race trophy: Lee Montes

Most Enthusiastic trophy: Ellen Leonforte

Most Improved trophy: Alicia Rojas

Best Ladies Sailing trophy: Joan Butler

Good Shipmate trophy: Paul Zinger

Commodore’s Cup: Betsy Colby

Corinthian trophy: Doug Rose

Besides the above awards, Matt, Betty, Marian, Amy, Melanie, Dave, Ben, Debra, Tom McMahon, Rita, Ed Gobel and Jonathan Brush were all given awards for the jobs they did on Race Committee and chase boat, and for loaning their boats to the fleet. None of the records that were mentioned above would have happened without the incredible volunteer staff that shows up week after week as if it were a paying job, which it isn’t. Your dedication is awesome.

We are a very congenial club, open to all, with 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.  You can get more information about the MYC at the MYC website:, MYC Facebook page: Menantic Yacht Club, or from Bob Harris at [email protected].

Enjoy the Fall and see you on the water next year.

Day’s results             Pts    Place      

Derek Webster                   11           1

Lee Montes                          11           2

Melissa Pumphrey           34           3

Eric Langendhal                35           4

Rachel Beardsley              36           5

Eric Ryan                               37           6

Charlie Modica                  40           7

Paul Zinger                          43           8

John Modica                        44           9

Linda Gibbs                         54           10

Jonathan Brush                 58           11

Joan Butler                          60           12

Alicia Rojas                          63           13

Kate Duff                              69           14

Jodi Sisley                            69           15

Peter Due                              69           16

Mark Webber                      82           17

Denise Fenchel                  84           18

Bob Harris                            91           19

Tom McMahon                  96           20

Ruth Hakansen                  98           21

Ellen Leonforte                100        22

Mary Vetri                          110        23

Brett Mintz                        117        24

John Colby                         124        25

Isabelle Parra                      130        26

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