After 15 outings already in the books, the frostbite season comes to a close this Sunday, March 24. It’s worth looking back at where things stand and what makes these racers want to go out in the late Fall and Winter to sail and race.
When you talk about sailing, most people envision a sunny paradise, with umbrella drinks and white sand beaches on the horizon. That’s not what the Frozen Few are out for; they race in conditions that many wouldn’t dream of, and they keep coming back week after week for the fun, competitiveness and the camaraderie.
As is often the case, Jeff Lanphear currently stands as the Season leader – with a low score of 93 points. Perhaps, more impressive than that is he has sailed a total of 78 races, showing a resolve for winter temperatures that none can match. The next most races sailed (66) and presently in 4th place, is George Shuster, while second place is presently held by Jim Fraser and third by Dave Saunders.
For those who don’t know, the Frozen Few sail on Sundays from Edgewood Yacht Club using Sunfish, which are about as close to the water as one can get on a sailboat. It’s a wet ride, but if you’ve got the right equipment, it makes for a great day.
“With layers and the right gear, it’s great sailing in these conditions. The bright days in mid-winter are beautiful, and you have the bay to yourself,” says Chris Lee, one of the persistent racers. He continues, “It’s hard to stay out for hours on end when it’s freezing out, but it’s a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Of course a warm bowl of chili in the clubhouse after the race is a welcome sight.”
It’s not exactly a narrow field, as 17 racers have sailed at one time or another this season. We have had an active Junior presence – with Alex S joining for a total of 40 races so far. We have also seen URI sailor Mackenzie F, as well as High School sailors Greta S, Phoebe L and Henry L making their way out on the cool waters. Henry L was the winner of the season Opener Columbus Day Regatta as well as the Up from The Ashes Regatta held in January to commemorate the burning of the Edgewood Yacht Club clubhouse in 2011.
As always, a big thank you needs to go out to the race committee who helps make the whole series happen. Stuart, Ray and Dennis were indispensable. It is no small task getting out on the water every possible weekend in the winter to set courses and monitor races when ones fingers are frozen and nose is almost an icicle.