About Massapoag Yacht club

2014 Commodore's Corner

Mark Stoughton

I've always said that we're a little club who swings above their weight.  We have not one, but several nationally or world ranked sailors in all four of our fleets. Visitors are always shocked at how good our sailors are. Roger Sharp, John Eckart, Jim Cavenaugh, Randy Rubenstein, Greg Kampf, Gary Werden and Kevin Buruchian, just to name just a few, would make any all star sailing team anywhere. We have members serving at the national level on of three of the four classes that sail at our club.  Bob Gaffney, is the President of the Day Sailor Class Association. Diane Kampf, is the Commodore and Past President of the Flying Scot Sailing Association.   Somebody around here is the regional representative for the International Sunfish Class Association. 

This year we hosted the Day Sailor National Championships, and won the Flying Scot fleet of the year award, for the third time in the last five years. We've won more Fleet of the Year awards in the past 5 years than the Patriots have appeared in Super Bowls. In those five years we've hosted the Day Sailor National Championships, the Flying Scot Wife-Husband regatta and the Flying Scot district championships.  Next year we are in the running for hosting the Sunfish Masters North American Championship.

In 2009 we won US Sailing's Club of the Year. That year we beat out some very heavy hitters, including the New York Yacht Club and the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Out of the three, we're the only club who hasn't hosted an Americas Cup challenge, but we’ll be there as soon as they allow a challenge using Flying Scots?

That’s not a bad showing for a club that limits its membership to 70 families.

Why do we have such a stellar record? It is because we have a close knit group of members, who time and time again step up and offer their own particular expertise to the club. I have been astonished at the number times members have taken things into their own hands to make us into a better club.  Sometimes an offhand comment turned into a construction project, like when Jim Cavenaugh built the stairs to the beach. Or when Harvey Davidson noticed that we could use some extra parking space, and spent every night for two weeks clearing brush. Or when Gene Nault and Dennis Dubuc spent days tracking down and fixing plumbing leaks.  Or when Diane does any of the thousands of things that she does every year. Or when Mary and Maury Waltuck put on the Winter Brunch. Or when Roger Sharp and John Eckart put on a sailing Seminar. Or when a whole lot of you showed up every weekend to dig out the ramp.  I could go on for days listing examples of your selflessness.  

I want to thank each and every one of you.

A club like ours can only exist because of each of you, our members, who time and time again do whatever it takes to make our little club what the Proper Course blog called "The best sailing club on the planet". 

June 2014

Here it is only June, and the lake already thinks that it's September.  Water levels are so low that rocks and other obstacles that show up only at the very end of the season are showing up now.  I know of at least one boat that has had a trip to the repair yard after an encounter with a rock that was in much shallower water than it is supposed to be.

Curt Braverman has called my attention to the conditions in the lake. Since his description is far more eloquent than any rehash that I could make, I'll simply quote him here:

"There may be rocks and old anchors/weights, radiators etc., now becoming hazards near all shores. Also, I spotted mushroom anchors standing upright and with long chains and painters, a boat may not be near it's anchor making even more hazards. The deepest areas are on the north side of the dock or up next to the dock on the south side. There is a mooring block very close to the large crash boat stern. Could cause a lot of damage. If anyone comes into contact with a submerged object, please drop some kind of mark and let us know so we can find it and make the appropriate assessment and action." 

So please be careful on the lake, and be sure to let us know if you find a rock that needs marking

See you on the water (After I fix my boat)

April 2014

The Polar Vortex has finally headed back north where it belongs, the ice is gone from the lake and spring is finally springing here at the lake.  That means that it is nearly time for another season of sailing. Hooray!

We all know what spring at the lake means...The Spring Work Party. It is April 13 this year, one short week away. I hope to see everyone there so we can make quick work of it and get to sailing.

We’ve just completed some tree work to clear out branches hanging over the dry sailing spots, and removed one tree which had come down with a serious case of trunk rot. It created an extra parking space as part of the bargain. 

We have a couple of big things planned at the club this year. This year, we are hosting the Day Sailer North American Championships. Day Sailer skippers, crews and families from across the nation will descend on our little club during the last week in June. We need volunteers to help out, so please contact Diane or Bob Gaffney if you can help out.

On September 21, we will be participating in Bart’s Bash, an attempt to set the Guinness world record for the most boats racing simultaneously. So far over 400 yacht clubs around the world have signed up to participate. The racing at all the clubs is going to start simultaneously at 11:00am Greenwich Time (That’s 7:00 Massapoag time, so put coffee into your water bottles!)  

We’ve also expanded the Sunfish and Laser racing this year to coincide with the Flying Scot season. To minimize the number of race duties required, we’re going to run the races from April 27 to May 21 on Sundays alongside the large boats. After the Small Boat Regatta on May 31, we will switch to Saturdays for the remainder of the season.

We have been working hard over the winter to improve everyone’s experience at the club.  First, we’ve made a few changes to the Sailing Instructions for the year.  We’ve changed the courses to use legs sailed rather than laps, so for instance the old W2 is now a W4 and a W2-½ is now a W5. An even numbered courses indicates a downwind finish while an odd number of legs indicates an upwind finish. This brings us into line with the designations used at most of the other yacht clubs on the east coast, and eliminates a lot of confusion.

We’ve also updated our Winter Storage policy to clarify the language and better define the storage areas and assignments, so please be sure to go through the membership packet thoroughly.

All in all I think that it’s going to be a good year. See you on the water!

January 2014

I’d like to start my first Commodore’s Corner by wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hoping that it is a good one for everyone.  Next I’d like to thank Mike Goldstein for his service as Commodore last year. His steady hand on the club’s tiller made last year a great success, and I can only hope that my hand is as steady. I’d also like to thank Gene Nault for his years of service on the board, and welcome Scott Rosa as our new Rear Commodore.  

Seeing that we’ve just endured the coldest weather that we’ve had around here in recent memory, and that the Winter Brunch is coming up, it’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start planning for the upcoming season.  Planning is already well under way for hosting the 2014 Day Sailor North American Championships in June.  By the time of our next Business Meeting in February, the summer racing and cruising schedules will be set, and before we know it, it will be time for the spring work party, and time to get back on the water. 

Contact Information

Massapoag Yacht Club58 Lakeview Street P.O.Box 18
Sharon, MA 02067

Lat: 42° 5' 52" N     Lon: 71° 10' 50" W

Email:  [email protected]