Remember when you were young and you just could not wait for the holidays and for a new year? Now as adults, besides wondering how fast the year went, we have much to look forward to with the beginning of a new year. And if you are sailors, the new year always means a chance to frostbite on New Years Day. What better way to celebrate than to be out on Manhasset Bay doing what you love.
Those of us who are not sailors are questioning why anyone with any brains would want to be out racing in small dinghies in winter conditions, knowing that their boat is not very forgiving (sailor speak for the boat could easily capsize). Well, so surprise, there is a group of hearty racers who just love the cold weather and the excitement of racing in inclement conditions.
A little history of New Year’s Day frostbiting: The first annual Regatta of the Frostbite Yacht Club took place on Jan. 2, 1932 at the Knickerbocker Yacht Club. The day had everything a good Frostbite regatta ought to have. It rained, it hailed, it snowed. Grog and chowder were served all day. Source: Manhasset Bay Yacht Club Red Book.
The 86th Annual New Year’s Frostbite Regatta, held on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club (MBYC), did not have rain, hail and snow. But it did have really good wind—sometimes a bit too much wind. On Saturday, the races were called early as the wind was building and already two boats had capsized. (All crew were accounted for and actually got on land before all the other boats—so all was good.) On Sunday, the winds were again quite good but not so high that it was dangerous to be out on the water. The Race Committee, headed by PRO and MBYC Past Commodore, got the races off quickly and by mid-afternoon, 12 races were completed by the end of the regatta for both the IC Dinghy fleet and those racing in Ideal 18s.
It was great to see the high participation from our friends across the Sound from Larchmont Yacht Club (LYC). They have a very active IC Dinghy Frostbite Fleet, and it showed in the scores. Larchmont teams won the top three boats in the IC Dinghy Fleet and the Past Commodores Race.
Overall results for the IC Dinghy class: (Skipper/Crew, Yacht Club affiliation) 1. Simon Strauss/Anne Patin, LYC, 2. Paul Jon Patin/Felicity Ryan, LYC, 3. Steve Benjamin/Brooks Daley, 4. Bob Monroe/Francesca Monroe, Noroton YC, 5. Pedro Lorson/Mimi Lorson Berry, MBYC.
The overall results for the Ideal 18 Fleet: 1. Peter Beardsley/Simon Karstoft and Rachel Simon, LYC, 2. Stephanie Baas/George Huntington, MBYC, and 3. Matt Temares/Pam Washington (shared skipper and crew position), LYC.
The Past Commodores Race for the Robert W. Fraser Trophy: 1. Paul Jon Patin/Felicity Ryan, LYC, 2. Simon Strauss/Ann Patin, LYC, and 3. Steve Benjamin/Brooks Daley, LYC.
Full results are available at www.manhassetbayyc.org. All photos can been seen at www.sailingpress.com.
Next week, look for complete coverage of the awards and the Frostbite Annual Meeting, along with those very funny “special awards” for mishaps over the past season.
There are a few upcoming presentations that sailors would want to know about. For those who do not frostbite, winter is a difficult season. It is not fun to be away from your boat that has been put to bed in a local shipyard for the season. But do not fear, there are some good presentations that will keep you in the “racing mode.”
The Education Committee of North Shore Yacht Club is presenting a discussion on Heavy Weather Sailing on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. by Past Commodore Yehuda Rosenstock.
The event will be a multimedia occasion featuring Rosenstock’s solid input and leadership interspersed with video clips. In preparation, we have been reviewing videos from the Fastnet race and others that have taught the lessons that we all need to be aware of. It is time to start thinking about the water and boating safety under tough conditions. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-237-5644.
The Nautical Advisory Council of the Port Washington Public Library has a three part series that is very good. It is a three-month series of multimedia presentations about Long Island Sound, arguably Long Island’s greatest natural resource, and an essential part of what makes Long Island a unique and favored place to live.
The series will focus on three topics: Environmental Issues (Jan. 26), Nautical History (Feb. 23) and Recreation (March 30). In the first of three presentations, on Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Sarah Deonarine, executive director of the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, will join Eric Swenson, executive director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, to discuss the health of the ecosystem. In October, the westernmost sections were given an “F” on a report card issued by the Save the Sound organization. Find out what this grade is based on, as well as what dangers threaten Manhasset Bay and Hempstead Harbor and what is being done to protect these invaluable natural resources. Free and open to the public.
Local yacht clubs will have upcoming presentations in addition to the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound—more on that soon. Happy New Year everyone!