Dunewood Yacht Club Ends Season with Record-breaking Regatta

by Ernie Fritz

Dunewood Yacht Club hosted their annual Labor Day Regatta, with a record-breaking number of boats.  

The race, got its start back in the 1970s as the Royal East Lonelyville Yacht Club (RELYC). Later it morphed into the First Royal Old Lonelyville Yacht Club (FROLYC) and begins with an often comedic, and sometimes confusing start in the water in front of the Dunewood Yacht Club. The course involves a full rounding of the uninhabited West Fire Island and the quickly disappearing Penny Island, then returns to the dock at Dunewood. It’s an open choice for each sailor whether to make the rounding east to west, or west to east. This choice is probably the biggest gamble that the racers make during the race, with the wrong decision often guaranteeing defeat.

This year, there were 39 Sunfish boats (a record) and it took all the resources of the community, led by Steve Rosenthal and Commodore Howard Epstein, to proverbially beg borrow, and steal just to get that many boats rigged and in the water.  The field of sailors consists of a wide range of abilities and ages which further adds to the eclecticism and the lighthearted spirit in which the FROLYC is run.

Following the race, a party was hosted at the Epstein house in Dunewood, followed by the awards presentation of the trophies which are traditionally homemade and unique trophies that are presented each year. This year’s theme was based on the host’s love for the Grateful Dead combined with his keen interest in stamp collecting.

Former head sailing Yacht Club instructor, Sanjay Day, of Dunewood, was the winner. Claire Rogers, of Lonelyville, landed the coveted position of 2024 commodore.