The First Annual Regatta of the Frostbite YC took place in 1932 at the Knickerbocker YC and as described by William Taylor, the yachting correspondent for the New York Herald, the day had everything a good Frostbite regatta ought to have: it rained, it hailed and it snowed. He continued, "the idea of Frostbite Regatta, of course, is to prove that some people are crazier than others and those who are craziest sail races in 11-foot open boats in the middle of snowstorms - and enjoy it." This years Annual Frostbite Regatta, the 71st, was held on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Scheduled as a two-day event this year, the first day, Sunday, Dec. 30 was cancelled due to extremely high wind conditions. Tuesday, Jan. 1 was a beautiful day on the water, with the sun high in a cloudless sky. With air temperatures hovering around 25 degrees, and the water registering at 32 degrees, the wind was from the NW at 10 knots, with higher winds toward mid afternoon. For those who are warm weather sailors, these conditions appear to satisfy the "frostbite" tradition, but there was no rain, hail or snow to replicate the first regatta so long ago. It was actually a terrific day for the 15 teams of racers who competed in six races throughout the afternoon.
The day began with the Past Commodore's Race, which is always held on New Year's Day. Nine boats were on the starting line at 10 am to compete in this traditional race. Rich du Moulin, sailing with Ted Himler came out on top, with Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry coming in second. The Frostbite Regatta commenced immediately after the conclusion of the Past Commodore's Race. The Race Committee ran six races off Kraus' Kastle for 15 IC Dinghy teams, and six Penguin teams. The winners in the IC Dinghy fleet (15 boats): 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, MBYC (15 points), 2. #43, Steve Benjamin/Adam Walsh, Larchmont YC, (17 points), 3. Paul-Jon Patin/Anne Patin, Larchmont YC, (19 points), 4. Mike Funch/Vaughan Read, MBYC, 5. Ralf Steitz/Margaret Fraser, MBYC and 6. Rich du Moulin/Ted Himler, Larchmont YC/MBYC. Total points were included for the top three contenders to show how close the racing was between these three excellent dinghy sailors. The Penguin fleet winners (6 boats): 1. #9666, Neil Litman/Cathy Litman, Pennington, NJ, 2. #9681, Malcolm Hendry/Karynne Reichel, Centerport YC, and 3. Bud Dailey/Susan Dailey, YRA-LIS.
The Annual Meeting of the Frostbite YC took place in the Grill Room at MBYC after the conclusion of sailing. Paul-Jon Patin, Commodore of the Frostbite YC, opened the meeting and requested 8 bells in honor of those sailors who have passed away during the past year. Next on the agenda was the traditional Wassail Bowl and Commodore Patin offered a toast to all frostbiters. Then the fun began. All enjoyed reports from Secretary Steve Benjamin, Treasurer Steve Moore for Bob Mitchell, and Chief Measurer John Browning. Steve Moore was in top form this year, entertaining the group with hilarious Special Awards - an example of their serious nature follows: The Sand and Gravel Trophy. This trophy, resurrected from long ago, was originally named the Resolute Sand and Gravel Trophy, for the Resolute Class that was active on Manhasset Bay many years ago. It was awarded to the skipper of the yacht that got closer to the bottom than the 4'7" (the draft of a Resolute). Past frostbiters winners include great sailing names: Howard Seymour, Jim Moore, Don Browning, John Browning (who took his daddy's boat for a daysail around Hart Island and identified the precise location of a very solid boulder and dramatically reshaped the leading edge of the keel). So it is fitting that the recipient of the Sand and Gravel Trophy be awarded to a Ms. Stephanie Baas for her efforts one day in early December, 2001. It seems Stephanie rigged and launched her IC dinghy on the north side of the dock. With winds from the north, she had an option of leaving the dock on starboard tack, heading toward open water, or port tack, which would head her toward the beach. Inexplicably, she chose port and soon ran aground. "So it is altogether fitting that Stephanie (Baas) Browning be awarded the Sand and Gravel Trophy ... and is to be accorded all the rights and privileges accruing thereto forever.
On a more serious note, new officers were elected to the board of the Frostbite YC for the Year 2002: Commodore: Teresa Bouchard Hendry; Vice Commodore: Philip "Fee" Mitropoulos; Rear Commodore: Bob Black; Fleet Captain: Dan Coughlin; Harbor Master: Mimi Berry; Dock Captain: Steve Benjamin; Secretary: Ralf Steitz; Treasurer: Bob Mitchell; and Measurer: John Browning. Frostbite YC Perpetual Awards reported next week.
Sunday, Jan. 6, was a sunny, but very cold day on the water. There was very little wind, which makes for a bone-chilling day for the racers. For those readers unfamiliar with winter sailing, higher winds necessitate skipper and crew hiking hard to keep the boat from capsizing, which is always a nice idea, considering the water temperature this time of year. Besides keeping the boat upright, hiking keeps the sailors warm. But the wind would not cooperate last Sunday, and the sailors who raced were "frostbiters" in the true sense of the word. The results for Sunday, January 6: 1. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, 2. #707, Bob Kirtland/David Cornachio, and 3. #511, Stef Baas/ Dana Schnipper.
The 2002 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, held on Dec. 27 through Dec. 30 in Miami, Florida, was the largest Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in US SAILING history. Three hundred eighty-three participants came from Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Holland, Peru, Canada and the U. S. The U.S. had entries from as far away as Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois and California. Competitors sailed in Optimists, Lasers, Radial Lasers, and Club 420's. Fifty-five boats were in the 420 fleet and
65 laser radials competed. No entries were from New York. Maybe some junior sailors from our area can change that for next year?
On Sunday, Jan. 27, at 3:30 on ESPN2, Gary Jobson will host a show on Leg #3 of the Volvo Ocean Race. It should be an interesting segment considering the protest by two of the competitors, Team SEB and Team News Corp, who claimed their standing in Leg Three was prejudiced by the Race Committee failing to take action against Team Tyco - the winner of Leg #3 - for not complying with the Sydney - Hobart Sailing Instructions.