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With the temperatures in the single digits and no frostbiting on the bay, your reporters, Louise Haney, with the help of Andrea Watson, thought it might be fun to investigate ice boating activities, which have a long, but not recent, history on Manhasset Bay. From A Centennial History of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, written by George N. Graf, Jr., a timely article titled "Ice Boating and Regatta Activities in 1920: "Ice boating continued to be popular during the winter of 1919-1920 with James O'Brien in Snow Flake again leading the fleet. In fact, that winter an ice boating association was formed between the Manhasset Bay Ice Yacht Club, the Port Washington Ice Yacht Club and the Knickerbocker Ice Yacht Club." One Hundred Years of Knickerbocker History also mentions iceboaters. Because of the warm weather we have enjoyed over the past few years, our bay has not supported ice boating. But this sport is alive and doing well in the northern regions of NY, Connecticut and New England. Many readers may recall Warren Darress, a local iceboater, who has been a reliable source for this column over the years.

Ice boat sailing on the bay circa 1920 (Source: A Centennial History of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club).

The December 30, 1999 column of On the Bay mentioned the debate of on-board umpires on yachts competing in the America's Cup. An update: News from New Zealand reveals that the Prada Challenge (with one penalty inflected on opponents and six calls against it) is testing a system that would have an umpire radio on board, which would broadcast what the umpires are seeing and thinking about overlaps and rules calls. AmericaOne, with five penalty calls in its favor and two against, feels it is unnecessary. Team New Zealand is in favor of on-board umpires, not just radios, but both Prada and AmericaOne are opposed. The radio system, if implemented in the finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup, may be a good compromise.

Live coverage of the finals of the Louis Vuitton Cup can be seen on ESPN2.


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