News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
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.







Cruising USA









World ARC crews in Bali by World Cruising Club,




Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida






The Boat Cookbook by BoatBooks,








World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali by World Cruising Club,










Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
























A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,






Boaters urged to attend anchoring meetings next week in Florida
New atlas provides thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean
Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys
World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin
Timeless Tonga - Charter sailing in a Polynesian paradise *Feature
A fine conclusion to the ARC Baltic 2014
Where in the world are our strongest corals?
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea
ARC Baltic fleet visit six countries and six capitals in six weeks
Helen Island, Palau -a beautiful and unique place
Barnacle Busting
From Penguins to Polar Bears
Cornell turns back from the North West Passage
Polar research: Six priorities for Antarctic science
Missing German tourists in the hands of Abu Sayyaf Group
NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel
Positive news for cruising boats in Greece
Bivalves' ability to clean chemicals from waterways
Are You Sailing with 'Weak Links' in your sailing rigging?
Week-long cruise turns into 16-year round-the-world voyage
World ARC fleet cruising the Coral Coast   
Yacht penalized for calling unannounced into Port Resolution   
Galley Guys on the Malty Seas   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Beset in Arctic Bay ice + Video   
Garcia Yachts Exploration 45 - Jimmy Cornell's newest adventure   
Sustainable Seafood - How to purchase with confidence   
Risks to penguin populations continues   
ARC Baltic fleet head from Helsinki to Stockholm   
Follow these tips when anchoring   
Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady   
North American Rally to the Caribbean - Get prepared to head south   
If all else fails read the instructions!!   
ARC Baltic fleet cruising and anchoring in the Finnish archipelago   
Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature   
Vanuatu Customs making life easier for visiting cruising yachts   
Baltic 4 Nations rally is now in full swing   
Tropical Storm Bertha expected to become a typhoon   
Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott   
Cruising lessons from ocean racers   
Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu   


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  

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 USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT