RIYC November 2019 Newsletter

Commodore’s Message – Blake Powell

Given the temperatures lately I think we can officially call it winter but don’t worry, the Committee Chairs are busy planning entertainment and work parties to get us through the winter doldrums.

Thanks to all who showed up to decommission the club house and docks. For those who couldn’t make it, you can watch virtually on our web site thanks to Rush Hambleton and Tony Federici. The video didn’t catch any slackers!

The J.M.W. Turner watercolors are being displayed at the Mystic Seaport Museum through February.  The Museum has offered to host a private evening tour of this rare exhibit for RIYC members.  We are planning the event for mid January and will forward detail as they become finalized. We hope to have more events similar to this throughout the winter.

Have a great Thanksgiving and hope to see everyone at the Holiday Party!

Report from the Entertainment Committee – Rodney Denman, Denise Kennedy and Jane Spear

‘Tis the season to be thankful…and our committee is grateful to so many who are making our events and parties come alive (please note in advance…our Dec. 14th Holiday Cocktail Party, which will be catered, still needs more volunteers!). Our De-commissioning Party, attended by nearly 80 patrons enjoying a wonderful menu, was hosted by Pat and Mac Turner and supported by Kevin and Carol Fiftal, Carol and Peter King, Michele and Ed O’Donnell, Ed Purcell and Grace Smith, and Pat and Tod Schaefer.‎  November’s Frugal welcomed 71 party-goers, hosted by Bill and Adrianne Loweth and crewed by Tom and Kathy Manning, Jackie and Greg Stoltz, Fred and Eleanor Fischer, Barb and Stan White, and Valerie Grimm.
Then our first Chili and Chowder Cookoff took place on November 16th with 54 attendees, hosted by Denise and David Kennedy with recipes entered by Lorna Conahan, Sue Lettrich, Denise Kennedy, Laurel Butler, Amy Leger, Janet Youtt, Stephen Johnson, Shelley Young, and Adrianne Loweth with Kevin Fiftal crafting some complementary appetizers (we’re sorry that Linda McRae couldn’t make it–best wishes for shoulder recovery)…and patrons voted Laurel’s chicken corn chowder and Janet’s buffalo chicken chili as topping the charts! What a delicious night and great event everyone!
In addition to thanking all the people in this article again, thank you also to the House Committee for ‘heating things up’, the Kegmeisters for ‎’tapping natural resources’ and others providing unseen but valuable support that make our events what they are.
Before you know it we’ll be holding our Holiday Cocktail Party‎ on December 14th, which will be catered with a lighter menu (as mentioned earlier, please let us know if you can help crew the party!). A busy, crazy time of year is upon us all, and with that comes our Committee’s gratitude to our Club’s membership and leadership. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Junior Sailing – Rob Warn and Rush Hambleton

Rush Hambleton and Rob Warn have given a verbal offer to a new instructor and are reaching out to last year’s staff to check their interest.  They are reviewing notes from last year and firming up dates for next year, as well as finalizing chase boat decommissioning.

Report from the Race Committee

Race Ashore – Rodney Denman

As we quickly approach the holidays, current Race Ashore Committee members will be notified in December of our first call to meet later in January to begin planning. If you have not been part of the committee before or helped out in the past and would be able to volunteer some time on Race Day (the Saturday date for which is in the works of being determined), please let me know (rodneydenman@gmail.com). Thank you and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Race Afloat – Moise Solomon and John Watson

Race plans are already under way for next summer, and they include a couple of opportunities for folks that are new to sailing.

ECSA rules and specifications for race management include the requirement for a certified P.R.O. (Principal Race Official). Local demand for qualified PRO’s is increasing, and it can be challenging to secure their services to cover all the races we and other clubs hold each summer. Fortunately for RIYC, our own Matt Curtiss is stepping up to become a qualified PRO. That’s a significant investment of time and skill. Thank you Matt!

Next year’s Ram Island Race is tentatively planned for August 29th, based on tides and other scheduled races.

On that note – even if you are not an avid racer or sailor, we could use a few more volunteers to help out with races on the committee boat, on the course, or ashore. It’s a great chance to get out on the water and support race planning and conduct. Rookies, retirees, and power boaters – are you interested? Contact Matt at mcurtiss@gmail.com

There are a number of frostbiting opportunities available in Stonington and Essex. Mystic Seaport also conducts several races over the course of the year. Let Moise know if you want more information by emailing him at moise.solomon@gmail.com

The trustees are encouraging RIYC to become a “Green” sailing organization. There is even a national certification process for this. One initiative includes reducing the amount of paper produced for race bulletins and instructions. Most of these are already distributed electronically, and can be printed by individual skippers if needed.

In the next issue, we’d like to highlight adult and junior race experiences in out-of-region events. Please send us your stories, ideas or experiences.

In response to member requests, the trustees and Race Afloat are encouraging more recreational on-water activities, including introduction to sailing for adults.

Look for details in upcoming issues. In the meantime, send your ideas and requests to John at watsojk@comcast.net

More is on the horizon…

Report from the House Committee – Matt Lettrich, Frank Bohlen and Fred Haberlandt

Fred Haberlandt and Frank Bohlen provided the schematic for the parking lot and asked for an estimate from Keith Nielson from Docko for permitting and specifications. The project will then be put out to bid.

The project will involve removing the existing parking surface.  We expect to raise the surface 4-6 inches.  There are no concerns from the town engineer as long as we don’t cause water ponding.

Timing:  Fall is the recommended time to do this but it will impact hauling floats so we need to coordinate. Spring might be preferred by the club, depending on duration of time needed for the work.

For $20, you can embroider a director’s chair with a boat name of your choice.  The name you submit will be in tight white stitching on a royal blue canvas chair back.  North Star Designs of Stonington will match the new font to the old, but after about 17 characters & spaces, a smaller font size may be needed.  In the interest of full disclosure, there will be no back side removable cover on this flight, so the name in reverse will be visible from behind. Contact Matt Lettrich (matt@lettrich.net) with order details, your contact info., and payment to RIYC before the end of the year. Orders will be processed in the order they are received. The intention is to replace all of the club’s existing director’s chair canvas before next season.  

Report from the Waterfront Committee – Matt Champney and Matt Lettrich

Float hauling was successfully completed and the dock building/repair crew is hard at work getting ready for next season.

Lost and Found – John and Maryann Read

With the recent cold snap we discovered Maryann’s dress coat is nowhere to be found.  Black wool dress coat approximately hip length size XL or so. Last time we can remember she wore it was to the Annual Meeting party.  She left it on a canvas deck chair inside the club while we enjoyed the party and dinner.  Has anyone found it or discovered they took the wrong coat?

Cruise News – Stan White

Planning for the 2020 cruises are underway! Set aside some time on the water for the second half of June and the first half of September.

Reach out to Stan White (swhite151@gmail.com) if you have any suggestions for a 3 day (or more!) cruise.


We have added a new topic for the newsletter where Members may post, for one newsletter, an item they wish to sell. The item must be marine-related and the information to be sent to the RIYC Secretary must include:

  • Member Name
  • Member contact information
  • Detailed description and condition of the item wishing to be sold
  • Desired selling price


“Ayah” 1980 Dyer 29 Hardtop. Great condition, lots of recent upgrades. Have bought a larger boat. Asking $60k. At Masons Island Marina. Please contact Dave Nickerson for listing and full details. 781-910-9736 dave@nickersons.org