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Guest reporter for this week's column is Andrea Watson

Founding members of the Nautical Center. Left to right: Joel Stirling, Jim Moore, Ginger Martus, Fay Fraser, Joan Kent, Dan Kurshan, Ed duMoulin and Horace Hagedorn.

Due to the holiday deadline, the Dec. 20 frostbiting race results were unavailable at press time. Top sailors and their crew will be listed in next week's column.

Each year on the weekend surrounding the New Year, the Frostbiting Fleet hosts a New Year's Regatta. This year, the regatta will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 1, 2 and 3. This regatta has been held every year, weather permitting, since the first regatta, which was held on Jan. 2, 1932. As would be expected when sailing in the winter, the weather for this first regatta offered the sailors an interesting mix of rain, hail and snow. While the weather did not prevent the hearty sailors from completing three races on that cold Sunday morning, it did promote an after sailing meeting for the half-frozen sailors at the Knickerbocker YC, where all participants were offered very hot clam chowder to warm up. This first meeting has, over the years, turned into me Annual Frostbiting Meeting, part serious business and part fun, with an emphasis on the fun. This year the Annual Meeting will take place after the finish of the third day of racing on Jan. 3 at the Manhasset Bay YC.

A small group of Port Washington neighbors gathered at the library on Monday, Dec. 7, to attend the Nautical Center's annual holiday gathering. After enjoying refreshments and sailing-related conversation, Stretch Ryder, chairman of the center, spent a few moments discussing the center's history. In 1989, eight Port Washington residents interested in promoting sailing within our community, founded the Nautical Center. Joel Stirling, Jim Moore, Ginger Martus, Fay Fraser, Joan Kent, Dan Kurshan, Ed duMoulin and Horace Hagedorn developed the Nautical Center's Policy, which was adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Port Washington Public Library on May 17, 1989. The policy statement, written by these original members, describes the mission of the center, which is to serve as an archive and a forum of the history of boating and yachting. Primary source materials related to sailing, such as books, periodicals, memorabilia, maps, charts and artifacts, will be collected. Also provided will be access to maps, charts and cruising guides, primarily of the Northeast and the Atlantic Coast. In addition, the center will sponsor programs to promote nautical interest in our community.

Future Nautical Center programs were discussed. Possible topics include: fishing programs, ESPN movies, a Maritime Lecture Series, an Electronic Navigation Series, a sailmakers forum, America's Cup preview, weather fundamentals, and regional maritime museum visits. All Nautical Center meetings and programs are open to the public. If you have an interesting idea for future programs, or would like to join the group, please call Lee Frertitta at the library.

On Saturday, Dec. 26, at 5:30 p.m., ESPN will air a recap of the Whitbread Race and on Sunday, Dec. 27, at 2 p.m., ESPN2 will show the 1998 Bermuda Gold Cup.

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