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Harlem Yacht Club Weekly Update from Commodore Mark

June 24, 2014

Scuttlebutt[1][2] The term corresponds to the colloquial concept of a water cooler in an office setting, which at times becomes the focus of congregation and casual discussion. Water for immediate consumption on a sailing ship was conventionally stored in a scuttled butt: a butt (cask) which had been scuttled by making a hole in it so the water could be withdrawn. Since sailors exchanged gossip when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water, scuttlebutt became Navy slang for gossip or rumours.[2]

There you go, Staight Skinny from the Wikipedia’s mouth. So what, you ask is the ‘Straight Skinny”? Well it’s another Nautical term, one that tells the very opposite, the antithesis if you will, of Scuttlebutt. The latter is a compendium of rumor, gossip, and “I don’t believe he said that”. The former is the absolute, make no mistake about it, stone cold truth. Consider Scuttlebutt to be the precursor of Strait Skinny. As Scuttlebutt matures it turns into The Skinny, either by evolution or self fulfilling prophecy. Fully ripened, it is the indisputable Straight Skinny. Wasn’t reading about all this interesting? Now you know.

And just as with last week, I will keep you appraised as this particular cask of HYC Scuttlebutt evolves into the Straight Skinny over the next few days.

So here’s the morning line on this week. Again, racing dominates at the HYC. On Friday the 27th, they’ll be the second (really the first since the first was cancelled and the second became the first….sorta, I guess….I’m confused) rendition of the Twilight Series. Weather should be much nicer for Number Two. Windfinder is predicting light to moderate winds from the South (5kts with gusts to 8kts at 5pm; 8kts with gusts to 12kts at 8pm). Good enough for some spirited racing on all but Thai Hot and Deuce of Hearts. The usual cast of characters will be in attendance, although I hear Peter T is in Iceland, which will give Team Sojurn a chance to slide on by him in the ratings. Watch out for Anthony R in Still Crazy, always a contender with his suspiciously (ne’ freakishly) high PHRF rating (Big Tom gives him time). Steward Paul has promised some specials for the weekend and the band will play on after, as always

Keep in mind, Friday the 27th will also bring the annual Orchard Beach fireworks at dusk, http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/pelhambaypark/events/2014/06/27/new-york-salutes-america, so plan on arriving a bit early. The Grucci’s are doing it this year, and it should be good. You might want to just hang on your boat and watch, you should have a reasonable view from the mooring field at least of the high shots. Otherwise, you might want to climb on Bill Clancy’s roof. (Quietly though, the baby’s sleeping).

Saturday the 28th brings the Ben Bates shorthanded series. Contrary to what you might think this event has nothing to do with Tyrion Lannister or the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones, it is, rather, a sailboat race for undercrewed boats. Race organizer Dave Wilder supplies the following:

“The HYC Short-handed Races for the Ben Bates Trophy will be held on Saturday, June 28.

We’ve consolidated the event to one day this year, to make it more convenient to participate. We’ll have a Skippers Meeting at 9AM. The Single-handed Race will start at 10:30AM. We’ll have a break for lunch and for the intrepid skippers to rest up a bit, then they can be joined by fresh crew for the Double-handed Race, starting at 2PM.

This is a fun, low-key event that was well-attended last season, and we’re hoping that even more members and their spouses or friends will join in this year!”

What a brilliant sequencing of events! Pure genius. This is the perfect venue for all of you who got so angry at your crew during Friday’s Twilight race you threw them overboard. The weather is forecast to be a duplicate of Friday, at least in the afternoon for the duet part, so show up at the skipper’s meeting and have a good time.

Couple of other things to update you on. The board met in a special meeting last Saturday. We interviewed and elected four new members. First, there is new Active member Fadi Dahger, who is in the process of acquiring a J24. Next is Phyllis Amelio. Phyllis was approved as a Social member (you’ll probably recognize her, she’s been having dinner hear for years). Her husband works for the Yankees and has promised to introduce me to George Costanza. Bruce Burnett was approved as an Associate member as was Jonathan Schenk a long time friend of the McElwreaths. I know you’ll all extend a warm welcome to them. In addition. PC Erwin Eibert has returned to Active membership. Rumor has it he’s looking for a Mother Goose successor.

Looking forward, the 4th of July is coming. I’ll have more to say about this next week but for now, be informed that Entertainment Chair Walt Tyler has already sent you some info on the clubhouse picnic Friday so open it and read it already, it won’t get any more topical in your inbox. In addition, Fleet Captain Marcia Leeds is organizing a beach party/rendezvous Saturday and Sunday in Oyster Bay. She writes

“Please help me bring back a wonderful HYC tradition on July 5th. I even think that we will see some fireworks that evening. I remember one year seeing fireworks from different towns 360 degrees around our boat. We put music on, and danced on the deck while we watched the spectacular sights around us. Can’t promise that , but please consider joining us for a fun filled beach weekend with great friends and good food. All I need is your reservation by sea or land so I can order the food. The cost will be between $15 & $20 pp depending on the number we get to sign on. Email me with any questions.She needs you to contact her if you’re interested.”

Send Marcia an email, or give her a call if your down for this. Sounds like a good time.

So that’s it. I’ll be sending along updates as I get corrections in. Enjoy your club.

It’s Summertime.

Commodore Mark

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