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Sep 22, 2022

Competition Heats Up at 2022 Monmouth Boat Club Women’s Championship

Mary Nicosia and Lee Davidson

After a two-year hiatus, the women’s championship at Monmouth Boat Club came back bigger and stronger than ever this year. Sixteen women participated in seven Flying Scots on Aug. 27. With three different winners in three different races, the competition was keen and the outcome undecided until the final leg of the last race. 

Three races took place in light, oscillating northerly breezes on the Navesink River. In Race 1, Olga Maryasis, of Sea Bright, with veteran crew Diane Mess, won the start and extended her lead all the way to the finish for a convincing victory. JJ Russo from Colt’s Neck with crew Kate Tolstaya and Gloria Chung, finished second, while Lee Davidson, of Fair Haven, and Mary Nicosia were third. Eileen Nociolo, of Fair Haven, and Kelly Busch crossed the line in fourth. 

JJ Russo, Gloria Chang and Maureen Lowery

Racing was closer in the second race. Despite strong challenges from several competitors, Davidson and Nicosia rounded the weather mark first and maintained their lead for the win. Finishing close behind were Nociolo and Busch, and the Russo team was third. 

Eileen Ewing, originator of the 2022 Monmouth Boat Club Women’s Championship, with Mary Nicosia and Lee Davidson

The final race offered the best competition of the day as four boats were in contention for the overall win. The Davidson and Nociolo teams continually changed positions for the lead and found themselves right next to one another several times on the course. Spectators and race committee members marveled at the proximity of the two boats and speculated on the race’s outcome. Davidson and Nicosia rounded the last mark first and were in good position for the win with 20 yards to go when a lull in the wind slowed their boat. Nociolo and Busch ultimately crossed the finish line first. 

“The light winds and the strong competitors made these races very challenging,” Davidson said. “The women who sailed this regatta for the first time are very impressive.”