By Bill Robinson, ECYC Commodore

Essex Corinthian Yacht Club (ECYC) hosted the 2nd Annual Eastern Connecticut Women’s Invitational Regatta on Sunday, May 19 in Essex.  Sailed in Ideal 18s offered up for charter by ECYC and neighboring Essex Yacht Club, ten crews representing eight yacht clubs battled it out in classic Connecticut River spring conditions. Shifty winds and an ever-present ebb tide challenged the locals and visitors alike, with virtually every boat scoring a top 3 finish amongst the 6 races run by Primary Race Official Brenda Miller-Black.


Classic Connecticut River spring conditions challenged locals and visitors alike. © Dan Rennie


But it was the Niantic Bay Yacht Club skippered by Theresa Colantuolo with her crew NBYC Commodore Pam Manthous that notched the most consistent line of the day, winning the regatta in impressive fashion with 7 total points. Noroton Yacht Club’s duo of Katie Morgan and Nicole Casey showed that their win in 2023’s inaugural event was no fluke, consistently notching top 3 finishes en route to an 11-point day and 2nd place finish.

From left to right are Noroton Yacht Club’s Nicole Casey and Katie Morgan (2nd place), Niantic Bay Yacht Club’s Commodore Pam Manthous and Theresa Colantuolo (1st place), Cindy Gibbs and Jane Reilly from Essex Corinthian Yacht Club (3rd). © Dan Rennie

Local favorites Cindy Gibbs and Jane Reilly represented host ECYC with a hard-fought 3rd place finish (14 points). Jane would probably tell you her favorite race of the day was the one her daughter Tijae Pelletier and crew Katie Snyder, also representing ECYC, won race 4. Rounding out the formidable top 4 was the Indian Harbor Yacht Club crew of Lauren Toretta and Lili Tarbell, just shy of the podium with 18 points. Competitors from Pettipaug Yacht Club, North Cove Yacht Club, Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, and Frostbite Yacht Club also participated.

The race committee welcomed the competitors back to the ECYC clubhouse for a lively post-race BBQ and awards ceremony, where talk of building and expanding upon the initial success of this new regatta was a consistent theme. All agreed that a 3rd annual in 2025 was in order and multiple toasts were made to the RC volunteers and the competitors from up and down Long Island Sound. ■

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