2017 NY Downstate Sunfish Regional Report- by Lee Montes- NY Region USSCA Representative
Moriches Yacht Club rolled out the red carpet to host the 2017 NY Downstate Sunfish Regionals. People started arriving early on Friday to set up tents and drop off their boats for what was going to prove to be a challenging and fun regatta. The forecast for the weekend looked light and hot for day one. 2010-2016 ISCA President and former Sunfish World Champion, Paul-Jon Patin, figured out the light shifty winds and strong Ebbing tide to take an early lead only to get an 8th on the last race of day one.
Coming out of Sunfish Retirement, hometown favorite, Christine Coffill took the last race and the first race of the second day, to get into a virtual tie for the regatta. Five-time Longest Sunfish Race Around Shelter Island winner, John Condon, sailed extremely well to second after day one, three points behind PJ. The Koehler sisters, Marguerite and Katie, showed uncanny sister rivalry by ending day one with 26 points each for 5th and 6th, respectively.
After a hot and trying day on the water, the pool was opened for the sailors to enjoy. Shortly afterwards a seafood raw bar was opened with shrimp cocktail, little neck clams on the half shell and fresh oysters. The membership of MYC joined the sailors in celebrating the event. A delicious dinner with Jerk Lime Chicken, local Roasted Corn on the cob with flavored spices, burgers, salads and baked beans were enjoyed with fellow sailors and friends. Desserts of ice pops and homemade chocolate chip cookies complimented the fresh watermelon. A reggae band played until sunset during cocktail hour and dinner. Corn hole was being played on the lawn, too. MYC set up an outdoor movie night on a huge screen for kids and families. The party made for a lot of full stomachs and smiles. The shuckers worked all dinner and even the hungriest of sailors could not eat all the seafood. This was a great party that all enjoyed.
The next day started in a postponement with no wind. The southerly that was developing was not in the forecast, but Race Committee Chairman Dave Hulse sent us out and got the races started when the breeze was consistently on the course. Christine battled to her second win. The forecast then came true when the wind shifted to the ENE and along came the velocity. Everyone was hiking and several sailors shifted among the score board. SANJL ace and former Boston University sailor, Simon Bertocci was pushing to pass John for second place.
Junior NA Champion, Billy Sesack’s (12th) good Sunday was not enough to catch Griffin Sisk, who finished 11th. Nick Patin was the Top Junior and finished 7th overall, including a 2nd the last race. He was in first place leading his dad, PJ, around the leeward mark and described how his dad overtook him. “I rounded the leeward mark in front of my dad, and then he did some magic move and all of a sudden he was ahead of me,” Nick explained shaking his head in disbelief. This rivalry is sure to heat up in the upcoming years.
Anne Patin, four-time Women’s NA Champion, Nick and PJ sometimes were all in the top group together at the windward mark and they both are proud to be able to sail and now compete with Nick. Having a great day with a 2,4,4 was Professional Sailing Coach, Larry Suter who jumped a few spots and captured 5th overall. When the wind picked up, MYC’s Kenny Mockridge showed the speed he was searching for all weekend by scoring a second (he sailed in to change his mainsheet after he was called OCS, only to sail back out to find out that was the last race).
MYC’s Kiley Castellano, University of Rhode Island incoming freshman and Katlyn Lindahl showed why MYC is such a cool Sunfish Club.the night before they rigged both their boats and put lights and Glow Stick Bracelets on the spars and went out for an early evening-night sail. It was good to see them race, and great to see them have some fun in the Sunfish. The McKeons of MYC had three members race, Daniel, Aden and Connor. New racer Suzanne Hulme of Westhampton Yacht Squadron continues to improve and have fun, “I just love coming out and sailing with everyone. I find it very exciting to see how everyone sails.”