RIYC October 2019 Newsletter

Commodore’s Message – Blake Powell

Fall has arrived and it’s time to break out the heavy foul weather gear. I want to thank Past Commodore Gary for all of his time and effort the past few years which have left the Club in a great position and made for a smooth transition. The new Trustees are all in place and off to a running start. Committee assignments are posted on the web site https://ramislandyachtclub.org/about/ if you have questions about who to contact for anything.

There are a few points from the committee reports that are worth highlighting. The floats are scheduled to be hauled on October 19th. Please remove any boats and personal gear before then and come down to help. If you’ve never participated before you’ll be amazed at the well choreographed scene. Also, we’re replacing the worn, faded and broken deck chairs. See’s Matt’s note about how to order a new one with your boat name.

I’d like to give a shout-out to some RIYC sailors participating in regional events recently. RIYC was well represented at the Mystic Seaport 70th Annual Dyer Dhow Derby on October 5th with several members sailing. Congratulations to Charlie and Woody Bergandahl who took home first place. I hear Ann is already planning next year’s party. Also congratulations to Mo’ Grins who won the Lake Champlain Viper Open . For those who aren’t done sailing for the season, Stonington Harbor Yacht Club invites RIYC members to join them for their Fall (and later, Spring) Frostbiting Series in Ideal 18s. Members are welcome to use one of their Stonington-based boats. If you’re interested, contact Wayne Buchannan 860-434-1560.

Charlie and Woody

Please remember to send any and all Club related photographs to the newsletter editor, Stan White, along with a caption.

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

September concluded with our Annual Meeting and Party attended by 121 patrons who seemed to enjoy the cuisine by McQuades in addition to the nice weather‎ at sunset. Thank you to our Club’s Leadership for their devotion, direction and hard work; and thank you to all the volunteer efforts (seen and unseen) by our Membership…that’s what RIYC is about! In particular, thank you to the committee that set up and hosted the Annual Meeting and Party: Robin Leeds, Nip Tanner, Mary Fiorelli, Dennis Doherty, Joanna Miller de Zwart and Rose Powell who jumped in on the spot.
October started off with a Category F4 (First Fall Friday Frugal) that swept 89 patrons into party fashion. Appreciation goes to hosts and committee for getting the Frugal season off to a great start: Tom and Kathy Manning, ‎Bill and Adrianne Loweth, Jim and Carolyn Rymash, Larry and Jeri Comstock (hope no one was left out)…and extending best wishes and prayers to Art Miller who continues on the mend.
Our next Frugal isn’t far away (Nov. 1st!) and PLEASE NOTE that it is not the 8th as the calendar shows. Before that, however, coming to a Club near you on Saturday, October 19th is our Decommissioning Party, hosted by Pat and Mack Turner and a faithful crew. Then looking ahead to November we will have our inaugural Chili-n-Chowder Cook-off Party on Saturday the 16th, and we’re looking for members to sign up to each bring a crockpot of their own award-winning, family-secret recipe. Watch for a separate Sign-Up Genius invite for that!
Once again, a big thank you to all our volunteers and we look forward to raising a glass together at our next gathering!

Junior Sailing – Rob Warn and Rush Hambleton

First and foremost we need to thank Ann Berghendal for the tremendous amount of time and effort that she put into the program for the last few years she was on the board. This program does not just happen on its own and the amount of ‘unseen’ work that has to transpire is not trivial.  Thanks Ann!!

That being said, the program is still in good hands as we welcome Rush Hambleton to the board and the junior sailing program.  We are currently working with Ann for a smooth turnover as well as a look back at a successful summer to build on the successes and identify any areas for improvement.  As always we welcome any feedback from the membership.

Report from the Race Committee

Race Ashore – Rodney Denman

Rodney reported that he will be meeting with the volunteers that ran the party for the past 2 years. He will connect with Moise Solomon to prepare for the 75th anniversary. He will be setting up the first committee meeting in January/February. Contact Rodney if you would like to help out.

Race Afloat – Moise Solomon and John Watson

Moise reported that activity for the Race Afloat in in the fall doldrums.  Matt Curtiss has volunteered to get his PRO certification.  We need more volunteers to help with the race or sailing programs in general. Please contact Moise if you’re interested. Moise also stated that he would like to strive toward a clean regatta certification.  This would have implications for the party.  This coming year will be our 75th year for the regatta.

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

The locker door replacement project should finish within the next few weeks (only five doors remain) and improvement in the appearance of the south face of the club is remarkable.  With the exception of help ripping some stock to size, all door fabrication and painting has been done by Dan Spear in his home shop.  Likewise, the installation has been performed by the team of John Lathrop, Ed Dieckerhoff and Jim Rymash.  The sweat equity supplied by these gentlemen is substantial … and in keeping with the longstanding culture of our club.  Please extend them your most sincere thanks.
Fall morning at RIYC
There have been a few instances in which the club has been found with doors and windows open and with no one present.  With the approach of winter, please continue to enjoy the facilities but ensure that when leaving you check that all doors and windows are firmly closed and locked/latched.  If others are still present, please make sure someone acknowledges that they will be responsible for properly securing the club.

The House Committee needs new/additional/continuing volunteers.  Over the past year, we have established a work list that committee members have been pursuing and the plan is to meet and update the list with new projects for the coming year.  The work list also incorporates projects from the Beautification Committee.  Additionally, there is a House Committee watch-bill to ensure that, especially during the winter months, someone is responsible for routinely inspecting the building and grounds to promptly identify and correct problems before they can cause damage.  The person with the watch also ensures that trash and recycling is curbed for scheduled pickup … missing a scheduled pickup has proven to be a real problem.  If you would like to help out at the club for the next year, please email Fred Haberlandt.  If you are already on the list, please re-submit your name so we know you are still interested and able.

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.  

Reminder: We’re fortunate to have some wonderful artwork at the Club including the Lars Thorsen murals downstairs. The railing in front of the mural is to protect it from chairs bumping into it and causing damage. The railing isn’t to hang coats which could scratch or cause damage to the mural. Please use the coat racks near the front entrance. Thanks!

Strategic / Long Range Planning – John Watson, Fred Haberlandt and John Watson

The Committee is continuing the fine effort that was started several years ago. In the coming months recommendations will be presented to help insure that our facilities are well maintained for future generations.

Report from the Waterfront Committee – Matt Champney and Matt Lettrich

The waterfront committee thanks Jim McGuire, Danny Spear, Chuck Chorlton and Jim Rymash for help in inspecting the floats and main pier.  It was decided that three floats will have to be completely rebuilt this year. Several other floats need new planking and a few have excessive wear in the connecting hardware.

The main pier needs about 24 new planks and a couple new water hose valves.

We also wanted to thank Andy Giblin for volunteering to remove the teak benches on the main pier and Jr sailing dock and reinstall them next year. These benches were a great addition to the waterfront and enjoyed by many members.

We are planning to start the float and dock work shortly after hauling the floats.

The next big event for waterfront is hauling the floats on October 19.  We have confirmed the date with Ron Helbig and his crew.  We will be asking for all hands on deck from the membership.

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