Almost as many new members as existing members attended the GPYC’s Milfoil Regatta yesterday.
As we dedicate the regatta to building awareness for the need to protect Great Pond from unwelcome invasive species like Milfoil, we celebrate the proliferation of the GPYC — membership is enriched and growing like a weed!
We’re grateful to Lynn Matson for bringing Bill Shontell, who joined the club yesterday. Bill and his family are from Virginia and have had a camp on the lake’s west shore for the last seven years. He’s reintroducing himself to sailing, having had little opportunity to practice the sport after taking lessons 25 years ago. Welcome, Bill. It’s wonderful to meet you and have you join us. We look forward to giving you lots of opportunity to build your sailing skills.
Sally and Carl Beck brought their cousin Bob and his wife Susan Donnell who also joined the club yesterday. Bob has many years of sailing experience on the Cape Cod coast. He also impressed us with his adventurous and trusting spirit — volunteering to be the first to test out GPYC’s brand new credit / debit card reader to purchase his membership and burgee. The technology worked slick as a whistle and was super convenient. Thanks for helping us see how well it worked, Bob. It’s great to have you and Susan as part of the club.
Dick Greenan introduced Kay and Norbert Overfield, from Pennsylvania to the club. They made a remarkably valiant effort to be here, starting to sail out from their camp on the west side of Jamaica Point, but the windless morning made their progress so slow, they realized they’d get here too late, so they made their way back home and drove over to join the party and crew on another boat. We’re delighted that you made it, Kay and Norb; It’s a great pleasure to have you here!
Because the day started with so little wind, the Commodore motored to the stream to tow Dick Greenan’s Minuet back in time to join the regatta gathering at Tom’s Crossing, between Chute’s Island and Jamaica Point.
To give the wind a chance to pick up, we started the festivities with a cookout. Sheldon “Captain Weenie” Perkins fortified the club with his famous bacon dogs, while Lynn Matson, co-chairman of the Belgrade Lakes Association’s Milfoil Task Committee, filled us in on the status of the BLA’s Milfoil mitigation efforts.
With nothing left to do but sail — yet still no wind — we launched a cruising rally to start and end at the dock, doing our best with a course going out to North Cove to pay tribute to the milfoil mitigation site.
Sally Beck’s Precision 18, “Echo,” crewed by Sally’s husband Carl Beck and her cousin and new member, Bob Donnell, shot out to take an early lead while the Minuet and Lightning were still tied to the dock. Sally’s superior sailing skills find wind where no one else can, and she carried the Echo around the course, never once relinquishing the lead.
Ben Ford’s Lightning, “Dragonfly,” crewed by Lisa Perkins and new members Kay and Norbert Overfield, made a respectable effort to close the gap with a spinnaker deployed masterfully by Norb. Norb credits his skills with his years in the Navy crewing on destroyers and submarines where, he let us know, spinnakers were much easier to manage on the destroyers.
Dick Greenan’s Minuet, “Minuet,” crewed by Lynn Matson and new member Bill Shontell, finished in third place after deploying a makeshift spinnaker that Lynn fashioned out of his T-shirt.
The lesson from yesterday — even on the rare occasion that the wind is a no show on Great Pond, we’ll make it a good time. We just need the proliferation, the infestation — yes the invasion — of a new species we call GPYC members.
So come, join, bring your friends, bring your family. The more the merrier.