About Massapoag Yacht club

Dubious Distinction Award - Previous Winners

"The Hat Rack Award"  This award is given to the person(s) deemed to have done the most to save the other members of the Club from having their own blunders recognized.  This handsome piece of questionably useful furniture is given in grateful appreciation that the previous recipient won’t receive it two times in a row...

2023 John Houstle

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for allowing his boat to leave the dock to go out and race without him. He sat on the dock getting ready with his boat nearby and the next thing he knew, his boat, along with his equipment bag, was sailing away all by itself. For this special feat, which was caught on camera by the person who rescued the boat only AFTER taking the picture, we award the Hat Rack for 2023 to John Houstle.

2022 Sterling Worrell 

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for his ability to counall het. On a beautiful September day, several boats were following this skipper around he course and most of us thought we were finishing. We all thought it was a W6 and this was the 6th leg. But when the lead boat rounded the leeward mark, we all figured we counted wrong. Well, it turns out that we counted just fine, We probably should all get the award, but awards often go to the leader, so for sailing 8 legs in a 6 leg course, and getting everyone to follow him, we award the Hat Rack for 2022 to terling Worrell.

2021 Harvey Davidson

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner who had launched his boat one Sunday and was preparing to go out and race. He noticed some water in the bilge and thought that was odd, but proceeded to bail the water. But the water just kept on coming back.  After a few minutes of bailing, he realized that he had done the dreaded deed – forgot to put in the plug! Maybe Randy Rubinstein was right to never leave his plug out of his boat all those years – he did not want the hat rack!!

2020 Greg Kampf

Greg and Diane were racing one Sunday afternoon and in second place, when suddenly, he lost track of the course.  He thought he was finishing, even though the lead boat had rounded the mark and headed upwind. When he realized his mistake, he went back to round the mark, hit the mark, and collided with another boat that had lost its tiller extension and could not steer clear. He did his spins, continued racing, going from 2nd to 8th place in less than one minute. There was not much conversation on the boat that day after that.

2019 John Eckart

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner who was sailing in the Single-Handed Regatta, coming in 1st or 2nd in every race. In the last race, he was catching up to the boat ahead of him and ALMOST caught him.  But after the finish, he sailed upwind to watch the others finish and to head back to the club.  We though that perhaps he did not want anyone else to finish, when he caught something else – THE PIN!  And the more he tried to get it off his rudder, the further upwind he dragged it. After dragging it about 200 feet, he finally shed it, moving the finish for all the other boats. For this special move, and maybe for every other time he has been nominated and did NOT “win”, we award the Hat Rack for 2019 to John Eckart.

2018 Don Bennett

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner who was the PRO for one of the early Wednesday night races who had some difficulty remembering the procedure for running a race.  While setting the course in a light Northerly he had the mark boat set the offset mark to the right side of the windward mark.  He was overheard saying “something doesn’t look quite right, but I’m not sure”.  After some guidance was provided, he did get a nice W6 course set up.  The fading wind hinted that the race would not be the planned 6 legs and he needed to shorten the course.  Ignoring all the silly protocols and requirements of the Racing Rules of Sailing, he elected to announce this by yelling as we sailed past the committee boat on the first downwind that we were only going to sail 5 legs.  This was only the second leg, so using simple math we all realized that we had do another upwind, downwind and upwind leg and the race continued…  On the next downwind, he decided that really only 4 legs were appropriate and as we neared the committee boat again he began yelling that we should just come over and finish right now.  Fortunately the wind was light and his voice was loud (and Gary wasn’t there), so we all complied and finished as directed.  To be fair, what he did worked, but for total disregard of all sailing rules, instructions, training, standard procedures and practices we awarded Don the Hat Rack for 2018.

2017 Seth Newton

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for some strange activities at the fall regatta.  This particular skipper sailed in to a mooring then wondered where his dinghy was.  He looked over, and there it was, right at HIS mooring where it belonged.  While he swam to his mooring to get his dinghy, he left this crew straddling between his boat and the boat already attached to the mooring he sailed to.  Luckily she managed stay dry or he may have had a real situation on his hands!

2016 Jeff Sprung 

Owes its admiration to this year’s earner for wondering why your boat was sinking.  This skipper launched his boat witho0ut incident early in the year.  But within a day or so it was evident that something was just not right.  The boat was sitting lower in the water each time we looked at it.  The boat was towed around with the transom port removed to empty the water out of the boat and then back to the dock to find that the plug was missing,  When the skipper was asked where the plug was, he said “Oh, it is supposed to have a plug?”   We think this skipper is going to buy a few EXTRA plugs for next season!>

2015 Mike Ganshirt 

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for strange happenings at this year’s fall regatta.  On a chilly, somewhat rainy day, either the skipper tried to get away  from the dock without his crew or the crew simply missed the boat.  In either case, he fell off the dock into the lake with his cell phone in his pocket – we think he dried out, but not so sure about the cell phone.  We think his skipper is still laughing.

2014 Don Bennett

First, there is apparently some kind of science experiment being grown on this person’s boat cover and we are hoping it is some kind of miracle cure.  And second, there was the regatta when this skipper and his crew were a bit out of control coming into the dock and there was a boom sticking out in their way.  Do they turn around and go back and try again to approach the dock more under control?  Heck no, they grab the other boat’s boom just as the crew on the other boat was trying to step off the boat onto the dock, almost knocking her off her boat into another boat.  With a bit of luck and a little bit of quick thinking no one was hurt and everyone laughed it off (especially this skipper).  But this type of behavior does not go unrewarded. 

2013 Mark Stoughton

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for having been nominated for multiple mishaps in the same day.  First, this individual launched his boat without the plug.  Once this was remedied, he tried to launch it without detaching it from the trailer.  The trailer, not to be outdone by the owner, somehow got itself detached from the ball on the hitch. Once he finally got the boat launched he could not figure out why the mainsail could not be raised all the way – he had left the outhaul on all the way the last time he sailed.

2012 Bob Gaffney

The club owes its admiration this year to this year’s earner for activity that happened off the water.   After  a certain event at the Club this year, we received a great story about the event from one of  our members.  When we thanked her the next day for the story, she looked as us in bewilderment and had no idea what we were talking about.  Turns out that her husband, who had won the Round Robin event, wrote the story and submitted it in her name so it would not look like he was bragging.  Unfortunately he left his wife in the dark so she was not there to support him in his attempt at being humble.

2011 Rick & Nikki Tattersfield

The club owes its admiration this year to some folks who wanted to show off their new boat.  They proudly rigged the boat and launched it and wanted to set out to sail it with their family.  Of course sailing the boat means getting OFF the dock and that is not always the easiest thing to do.  Actually, getting off the dock is easy, but landing in the boat is not.   So as the wife gave a shove off the dock, she landed in the water and completely missed the boat.  After getting a hand from a couple of Club members, she proceeded to go out for a sail soaking wet and not complaining about being cold.  But that is not the whole story.  Rumor has it that when she tried to land the boat back on the dock, she went into the drink once again.  While we may not be able to corroborate all the witnesses’ stories, we have no one refuting the stories either.  In the water twice in one day while remaining a good sport about it rates pretty high in anyone’s book!

2010 Ed Wojtaszek

The club owes its admiration this year to a skipper who decided to give his crew the helm when pushing off the windward side of the dock.  He pushed off just fine and jumped onto the boat - well almost - and landed in the drink desperately trying to get back onto the boat.  He tried again and again as his crew negotiated through the mooring filed trying not to get him killed.  He finally did make his way back onto the boat, but some of us stood puzzled while he struggled so hard - all the while having a ladder on the stern of the boat that he could have used to climb back aboard.  We have to give him credit for going out soaking wet and finishing both races.   Just a few weeks later, this same skipper took out his son and another crew member with a camera mounted at the top of the mast to film their escapades in 25 knot winds gusting to over 35

2009 Rich Hirsch

The club owes its admiration this year to a skipper who was preparing to race one particularly windy Sunday in late July.  He sailed successfully off his mooring but crashed right into a dark blue boat.  He got away from that one, only to crash into a dark red boat.  He then gave the red boat a parting slap with his boom as he jibed away.   He managed to go out after all that and sail 2 races without incident.  We didn’t see him when he sailed back to his mooring – we were too afraid to watch. 

2008 Scott Rosa

The club owes its admiration this year to a skipper who had hastened to bring his family to the Club to enjoy the 4th of July activities.  At the Club the family quickly launched their boat. As they all boarded to ready the boat for the fun races, one astute family member noticed that the boat was taking on water.  Quickly they determined that the all important plug was not in its proper place. Trying not to be noticed, they moved swiftly to return the boat to its dry position back on the trailer. But few acts like this go unnoticed at MYC, as verified by the pictorial evidence of the deed.

2007 Ron Alman

The club owes our admiration this year to a skipper who tried 3 times to earn the award this year.  First - As he attempted to board a dinghy one day to row his boat out, he managed to step in the wrong place on the dinghy and end up in the drink.  He lost his pride and his keys, the latter of which should still be floating  around the lake somewhere on a floating key ring. Second - On the first day of the Fall regatta, he had finished racing after a pretty windy day and on the way in, he managed to capsize and drop his bride in the drink, an achievement that we believe he has done this for the last 2 - 3 regattas.  Third – On the second day of the regatta, his crew had retired for the weekend and he was lucky enough to get another member to crew for him and gave her a special reward for her effort.  As they came in from the last race, there was no space at the dock and this skipper was coming in full speed with no place to go.  He was in water that was too shallow to navigate, under full sail, headed for the shore AND the Commodore.  The crew stepped out of the boat and held the boat from be driven into shore - so the skipper proceeded to cleat his mainsheet, knowing that his fearless crew could handle the situation!  We believe we have had members with two nominations in the same year, but we believe this is the first with 3 in the same year. 

2006 Harold & Myrna Levin

The club owes our admiration this year to a couple who came to the Club early on the last racing day of the season to remove their boat from the water.  The skipper directed as his crew backed their trailer down the boat ramp and into the water. At some point, they decided it would be too risky to pull the boat and chose to leave it at the dock, but, then realized they needed to hasten and get the car off the ramp before anyone witnessed their aborted effort. So the crew slid into the driver’s seat to pull the car forward. The front tires spun in the mud, but there was no forward motion.  So naturally, the skipper kicked out the crew and he tried—same results. No matter what they did, the front tires just kept spinning and sinking deeper and deeper into the mud. A fellow member witnessed this and attempted to dig out some of the mud to free the wheels—all to no avail. Despondent, a phone call was made to request a tow truck because it was apparent that there was no way to move the car forward.  However, desperately trying to save face and money, the skipper slid back into the car one more time. Voila! He suddenly realized that, although the front wheels were spinning, there was no way that the rear wheel could turn because all this time the parking brake was engaged. Even now, as he still uses various choice words whenever he discusses the event, and as he still questions why his wife applied the parking brake after she backed down the trailer, the HAT RACK AWARD is presented to this deserving couple.

2005 Harvey Davidson

The club owes its admiration to this year’s earner who before running a Club race, did not review the purpose of each of the signal flags and therefore left himself ill-prepared for his duty.  It was a Wednesday evening and the winds were light. Consequently, he had a difficult time setting a course.  However, it seemed obvious to him that a W1 course could be sailed by the big boats and be completed before dark.  As luck would have it, as soon as the race started, the winds strengthened.  It quickly became apparent that the 1st fleet could be finishing in record time before or, worse case, during the start of the 2nd fleet! (Picture that dilemma!)  He thought that the best thing to do would be to add some distance to the racecourse in order to get those big boats out of there.  With no time to spare, he changed the posting to a W2 course. Then as he watched the lead boat approach the finish line, he began frantically looking for the flag that would tell the racers that the course had been lengthened.  He asked himself, “Longer course, more distance—what flag would that be?  It’s not the L flag.”  “Could it be a D flag for adding distance to the course?”  Last we knew, he is still searching for that elusive Lengthen Course flag. Not finding it, he set the club record for running the shortest official race in Massapoag history—a 6 minute race, start to finish.

2004 Ron Alman

The Club owes its admiration to this year's recipient who had several nominations this year, but one was more remarkable than any of the others.  The recipient is an experienced racer and therefore knows all the race courses that are set at our yacht club.  Noteworthy is the fact that there is one course that requires racers to be able to count to two.  On one particular Sunday afternoon, our notorious skipper sailed the entire race single-handedly, clearly outpacing of all his competition for the two laps.  However, he either had not counted to two or, sadly, he did not remember both of those laps.  Because, unfortunately for him, as he sailed toward that leeward mark for the second time, intending to round it, each of his competitors sailed through the finish line one after the other, leaving him in sole possession of last place.

2003 Diane Kampf

The Club owes its admiration to this year's recipient who decided to take a dip in Lake Massapoag (her first ever in our fair lake) at a very strange moment.  At the time when all the boats were leaving the dock for the beginning of the day’s racing, she appeared to emphatically push the boat away from the dock – firmly and decidedly with both feet.  Then, probably because it was such a hot day, she quietly and ALMOST unobtrusively slipped into the cool refreshing lake, in perfect form, with very little splash.  As witnessed by others, the skipper had to hurdle over the centerboard, duck under the boom, and climb onto the bow to find out what she could possibly be doing.  She most likely would not have received this recognition had it not been for her hilarious explanation which she is beginning to believe herself.  She claims that it was the skipper’s fault that she took a dive because the skipper had pushed off the dock at the same time as she did and he caused her to fall in the water.  But we all know he was at the tiller, far from the dock. >

2002 Mike Jones

The Club owes its admiration to this year's earner who, while he had several nominations for this award, including taking down trees with his mast and practicing capsizing and having to be rescued by a Jet-ski!!!  But, the real extraordinary activity came while trying to launch his boat in the usual manner, untying the boat from the trailer, then rocking it in and out of the water until it would fall off the trailer.  This particular time, he rocked it off the trailer alright, and the boat fell into the water.  But, as he pulled the truck back up the ramp, he failed to realize that the boat was still attached to the trailer!  He was able to recover before totally destroying the bottom of his boat or the ramp, but we are sure that the end of the ramp had 4-5” of mud taken out that very day.

On another Sunday afternoon, while the temperature was 98 degrees, and some members were sitting above the beach too heat sick to sail, the revving sound of a truck motor announced our winner’s arrival.  He drove his boat, backwards, full tilt into the shallow August water until he hit his brakes so violently, we thought he'd hit a rut or rock.  Gunning the engine into forward, he left so violently, we were sure he'd damaged something – only to be amazed to see him repeat this back and forth procedure but even more dramatically than before.  Our mouths fell open as he hit the brakes so hard we were sure he'd hit the same obstruction.  We were ready to go and survey the damage when much to our surprise the engine roared in reverse toward the underwater monster it seemed determined to destroy.  "Oh my God," someone said.  "What is he doing?“  "Well," Tom Hanold quietly chimed in, "I guess he doesn't like his boat.“  We all nodded, knowing the end of what ever the problem was, must be near. At this point, Diane Kampf, who'd witnessed the destruction from the lower beach, walked over to him and asked what on earth he was doing.  "Oh, I do this every time;" he said, "this is how I launch."   The boat never left the trailer and the hatrack was dedicated to this year’s winner.

2001 Tim Ryan  

The Club owes its admiration to this year's earner who, as a new sailor, invited his buddy Charlie to teach him how to sail his Bandit.  As instructed, he stepped off the dock into the boat, and was dumped neatly right into the frigid water.  His buddy pulled him out, unknowingly cracking a few of his ribs in the bargain.  Undaunted, they set sail and after 45 minutes, noting that the boat was riding quite low in the water, returned to the dock to find the plug missing from the boat.  If that was not enough, they had to get this boat, quite filled with water, onto its trailer.  So, Charlie took off his pants and went in the water.  Just imagine Charlie, dripping wet, watching as the boat was pulled out of the water onto its trailer, falling right back off the trailer into the water.  The next logical step of course was to blame the boat, and so he ran out and bought a Day Sailer.

2000 Lenore Olsen  

The Club owes its admiration to this year's earner who skippered in the Women Skipper Races and, for reasons which will remain unknown to everyone who was not on her boat, who as her boat approached the end of the club dock directed her husband off the boat.  Then, she with all the skill of an experienced skipper perfectly timed her maneuver to increase the speed of her boat at the exact moment her husband was about jump off the boat, causing her husband to miss the dock and plunge into the waters of Lake Massapoag.  She then went on to convince him that he had misjudged his jump. 

1999 Jay McNeff

The Club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for for having sailed into the end of the dock under full sail, crashing into the life ring support. He nearly broke the life ring support completely off the dock, but, to be unnoticed, he carefully placed it back into place, upright, but without further repair. A few days later, the minister father of another member, using the unbeknown to him unattached life ring support to brace his 71-year old body as he was getting onto his daughter’s boat, lost his balance as the support fell off in his hand. Fortunately, he did not fall into the water.

1998 Peter Kovat

The Club owes its admiration to this year’s earner for finding his main sheet caught on a mooring on his way into the dock, finding himself being pulled in one direction by the mooring and in the other direction by the sails.  As he was about to fall out of the boat he “mentioned quietly” to his wife that he was in trouble and needed rescuing.  After she pulled him back into the boat, she realized she had injured herself and was bleeding.  Upon seeing this, this horrified skipper picked up a towel and proceeded to wipe the blood off his boat!!!

1997 Jim Cavanagh 

This year, one member of the Club who never makes a mistake is lucky enough to be recognized twice for this particular event.  During the regatta, he started a race and apparently felt his start was not as good as he would have liked.  He proceeded to sheer off the pin of the starting line, forcing everyone else to have to turn around and start the whole race over.  Many others qualified for this award this year, but the HAT  RACK AWARD was happily presented with much pleasure for the year 1997 to Jim.

1996 Morey Waltuck

This year, a member of the Club called his son to announce that he would be needing a new masthead fly and went on chatting with his son without further explanation  By the end of the conversation it was revealed that the boom was broken and that the skipper and his invited guests had gone for a swim.  Thanks to some other members at the Club, the entire group was rescued and no one was hurt  The HAT  RACK AWARD, is therefore presented with much pleasure for the year 1996 to Morey.

1995 Bruce Fitzpatrick

This year, we not only have witnesses, but we also have photographic evidence of this very special event.  Our winner crewed in the Flying Scot New England Districts, braving the winds and tide in the Atlantic Ocean off Rockport, MA.  Having sailed back into the dock after the last race, he fell off the bow of the boat into the water, and went for an unanticipated swim.  The HAT  RACK AWARD, along with an 8” X 10” enlargement of a photograph of the event, is presented with much pleasure for the year 1995 to Bruce.

Prior to 1995 – We are trying to retrieve these so we can post them, so if you know about one of them, let us know and we will post it here.

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]