sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : Ice sailors - those who love a big freeze
Ice sailors - those who love a big freeze


'ice sailing - oops'    .

Not everyone is unhappy when the weather is freezing and the wind is high. While most of North America is rueing the cold weather and Britain is fighting the worst seas for hundreds of years, one group of people revels in horrible weather - ice sailors on the hard ice of the Navesink River in New Jersey, USA.

That's when ice boaters gather in Red Bank for winter sailing in vessels that glide across the hard surface. Wearing helmets, goggles and snowsuits, they ride the river at speeds topping 50 mph.

Ice sailing on the Navesink -  .. .  


Ice boating is a sport that requires endurance, dexterity and most of all, patience. Last February, there was no sailing on the Navesink. It simply didn’t get cold enough for the ice to solidify into a sturdy plate. Large boats have masts that tower 25 feet in the air. They seat one or two, with sharpened steel blades on the bottom called runners.

The past two winters have been bleak for Navesink ice men and women. The last time they had a good frozen foundation for sailing was February 2011, said Jeff Smith, skipper of the Emily M, a Yankee class ice boat named after his wife.

So, while many Jerseyans have been gritting their teeth through weeks of plunging temperatures, winter sailors are reveling in the extended cold snap.

The Navesink is right now capped with several inches of ice, enabling boaters to put their vessels on the river for the first time in three years. However, it still wasn't perfect. Last weekend the wind wasn’t strong enough to propel the crafts.

'Ice boating is very unpredictable,' said Smith, 70, of Atlantic Highlands, a professional photographer. 'You need good, solid, thick, relatively smooth ice with no snow or very little snow on it. You need wind and access to the ice. You have guys going out scouting and chopping holes in the ice to figure out how much ice we’ve got.'

Smith is a member of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club, a Red Bank group founded in 1880.

The ice boaters unwind in a clubhouse lined with photos of vintage vessels. Red Bank has a long legacy of cold sailing; the borough’s seal is an illustration of an ice boat.

Smith said that there are more than 100 members of the club. It was an all male club until last year. Smith’s wife, Emily, said female skippers have been sailing the frozen Navesink for decades even though they were excluded from the club.

'There’s not a lot of role modeling for women in this sport but you’ll find some women out there,' said Emily. 'When Jeff got interested, I got interested too. I already knew how to sail so it wasn’t too much of a leap.'

But ice sailors are an optimistic bunch who find it hard to give in. When the Navesink doesn’t freeze over, some sailors embark on pilgrimages seeking perfect ice.

Sometime at 50mph and above -  .. .  


'Last year, we took our antique stern-steerers to Lake Wallenpaupack in Pennsylvania,' said Nels Lybeck, 46, of Red Bank. 'It’s a tradition and it’s an exhilarating sport. You’re 6 inches off the surface of the ice and you can be doing over 100 miles an hour in the bigger boats on just wind power. With the exception of downhill bobsled and luge, it’s the fastest wind-propelled sport on the face of the earth.'

When the ice isn't thick it can be tricky. Boaters mark areas of thin ice with old Christmas trees. They wear ice picks around their necks in case they take a tumble and fall through a crack.

'People go in the water,' said Smith. 'Most of the time, your boat goes in the water but you don’t, but it does happen where you can be completely submerged. We say, ‘There’s no such thing as safe ice.’ '

Hardy folk indeed! Here's a sample from last weekend:


by Des Ryan


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=119337

9:54 PM Sun 16 Feb 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World







You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI
















Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters by Roads and Maritime Services,


The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends,


Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
















Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority,




World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali by World Cruising Club,




















Multihull Central: Record sales, Outremer blog, Regattas and much more
World ARC crews in Bali
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor
4th Multihull Solutions Whitsunday Rendezvous an outstanding success
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap
Evans Head volunteers rescue charter boat in dawn operation
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings
Shedding light on the life of former lighthouse keepers + Video
Southport Yacht Club celebrates opening of 68th season *Feature
Marine Auctions adds new recruits
2014 Auckland on Water Boat Show: Coming up at the end of September
The Boat Cookbook
Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise to test readiness
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall at St John’s
Round the World racer joins Southern Pacific Inflatables
New exhibition explores role of Royal Australian Navy in WWI
18 anti-piracy weapons for ships to fight pirates
World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali
Skysol Frame Large: A new shading solution for sunroofs
Governor’s Cup Yacht race - Great for cruisers and racers alike   
EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone   
Australian Maritime Safety Authority coordinates rescue of solo sailor   
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse   
Dinghy Safety - More to think about   
Southport Yacht Club’s annual Sail Past and Blessing of Fleet Ceremony   
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time   
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting   
New earlier date for ICA’s Cruising Prep Seminar proving popular   
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail   
Techno-Sciences chosen for AUS/NZ MEOSAR Infrastructure Deployment   
Marine Rescue crew saves cruiser in trouble in rough conditions   
2014 Mandurah Boat Show - Third largest boat show in Australia   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens   
World ARC participants tour Litchfield National Park   
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'   
Wanted youth circumnavigators on a 'Voyage of Imagination'   
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising   
Death by Dinghy   
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT