It's hard to believe that the sailing season is over, boats are filling up local boatyards, and the start of the frostbiting has begun. The instant wintry weather over this past weekend gave all of us a wakeup call to get out the warm gloves, hats, and coats. But for the hearty group of frostbiters it is not a sad, long and lonely time waiting around until next May when they can launch their boats for another sailing season. No, the frostbiters are gearing up for a terrific season of competitive sailing. So while others are bringing out the winter clothes to protect them from the cold elements, frostbiters are tuning their IC dinghies and looking around the house for their dry suits. Sunday, November 9 was the first day of sailing and seven skippers and crews were on the starting line. Race Committee and the competitors agreed that this past Sunday might have been the coldest first day of frostbiting in recent memory. Not sure how that bodes for the upcoming season because the last thing frostbiters want is a repeat of last year's frozen tundra that kept our impatient sailors housebound. We'll just have to wait and see what Mother Nature provides us, but rumor has it that we are in for another very cold winter. The temperature out on Kraus' Kastle registered just 46( by mid-afternoon, with the water temperature slightly higher at 50(. The wind was shifty, ranging from 10-14 knots, and small whitecaps were seen on the bay. One might wonder what it is about winter sailing that has these teams out on the water each Sunday afternoon. And just in case you think all the crazies live in the Port Washington -Manhasset area, please be aware that clubs all up and down Long Island Sound have active frostbiting fleets, many much larger than our local one. So rest assured that our peninsula is not populated by an overabundance of "nuts." We do have staying power in our fleet, though. Take for instance Bob Kirtland, who has been competitively skippering IC dinghies since early 1963 (on IC dinghy #109), and is still out racing every Sunday on his much newer dinghy, #707, with his crew, Mark Cornachio. While not disclosing Bob's age, we can say that he has almost grown grandchildren, and that he won the frostbiting season champs in 1970, 1978 and the Long Distance Ocean Race in 1993. Bob has the longest continuous tenure in frostbiting, and just edges out Ted Toombs, who bought his IC dinghy (#104) in 1964, just one year after Kirtland. Today Ted sails dinghy #514, with Matt Cornachio. Both these gentlemen are competitive sailors, placing high on the leader board week after week. In addition to Bob and Ted, the fleet has Pedro Lorson, who has been frostbiting for 31 years, starting when he was a young lad of about 10, and now has a family of his own. And there's Steve Moore, who comes out to race on many Sundays, and has been winter sailing since 1956.
It is not only the sailors who are out year after year; Race Committee members are a loyal group, too. Additions are welcomed each year, but the core group stays pretty much the same, headed by Winter Regatta Chair, Herb Schmidt. Last Sunday the committee consisted of: Herb Schmidt, Bill Brakman, Don Canfield, Reed Whittemore, Bill McCullum, and Andrea Watson on Kraus' Kastle, with crash boats manned by: Sue Miller, Ed du Moulin, Peter Bergen, Al Wofford, Ralph Heinzerling, Mike York, Steve Moore and Tom Smythe. Winners for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Yasu Kawahara, 2. Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, and 3. #707, Bob Kirtland/Mark Cornachio.
The public in invited to submit comments concerning the proposed Islander East Pipeline project, a natural gas pipeline that would extend from North Haven, CT, across Long Island Sound to a terminal on Long Island. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hosted a public hearing on November 5, but comments may be e-mailed to Islandereast.firstname.lastname@example.org or may be sent via mail to the Office of the General Counsel for Ocean Services. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The hearing was held to obtain information on issues the Department of Commerce will likely consider in deciding Islander East's appeal filed under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The company is appealing the state of Connecticut's objection to the proposed project, which stems from concerns about the potential effects on the natural resources on land and water uses of the state's coastal zone. Appeal documents are available online at: www.ogc.doc.gov/czma.htm. Further information is available in the December issue of Soundings.
Looking for an unusual holiday gift? Consider this extraordinary adventure - a non-stop race around Britain and Ireland on newly refitted 72 one design yachts. Scheduled to leave from Southampton next spring, berths are available for all who can meet the challenge. Full training is given during two five-day sessions plus a four-day race training session with your skipper and crew. Participants will receive a training pack, branded foul weather gear and crew clothing, race insurance, invitations to the farewell party, prize giving and a photo CD. Each yacht will be under the command of a skipper chosen after an extensive search from the many who applied. A professional mate will be on board, allowing 16 "ordinary" men and women per yacht to take part. For more information, go to: www.challengebusiness.com/rbc.
Take note: all of you reading this column can now cast your nomination for who you think should be awarded the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. Make your nomination before November 30, 2003 at
Some interesting sailing-related family outings are available during November and December. On Sunday, November 16, the Whaling Museum in Cold Spring Harbor is offering a Children's Workshop on scrimshaw. For more information, call 631-367-3418 or www.cshwhalingmuseum.org. The Essex YC in Essex, CT is sponsoring their Frostbite YC Fall Series from December 1-7. Call Chuck Poindexter at 203-245-4484 or www.fbyc.org. The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk CT is sponsoring two workshops: on December 6-7, there will be a Parent/Child Model Making Weekend, where participants will build a 2-foot model. And from December 6-28, there is a Toy Boat Workshop every Saturday and Sunday. For more information contact the Maritime Aquarium at 203-852-0700 or www.maritimeaquarium.org. From December 27- January 4, get ready for the New York National boat Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in NYC. Sponsored by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Call Michael Duffy at 212-984-7000 for more information or log onto www.discoverboating.com.