By Airwaves High School Reporter Paige Hoffman
Frostbiting: Are you up for the challenge? With about another month left of off-season before high school sailing gets started up in the Northeast, some of just can’t wait to get back on the water. Luckily for New England sailors, there are countless options for winter sailing for those of up that are up for it. Unfortunately, I have not able to try my hand at any frostbiting this year because I came down with pneumonia, but I was able to learn a lot about it by researching clubs in my area.Many college sailors in Boston haven’t even had an “offseason”, opting to brave the cold and sail at the Winthrop Frostbite Sailing Club. The club offers racing in Winthrop, Massachusetts, not far from the city. Racing is offered on Lasers, Rhodes 19s and Interclubs, with the Interclubs being generally the most popular with college sailors because they are double handed and most similar to the dinghies used in college and high school sailing. They are older and more primitive looking than a 420 or an FJ, with a Cat Rig rather than familiar Sloop Rig we are all used to.
It’s very easy to get involved with sailing at Winthrop Frostbite Sailing Club, you can simply show up any Sunday at 1pm between November and April and the staff at the club will help get you set up with a boat. If you’re feeling really committed, you can also sign up for a whole season.
There are lots of other options available for sailors interested in Frostbiting in New England. Barrington Yacht Club, in Barrington Yacht Club, offers sunfish sailing from 1pm to 3pm on Sundays. Best of all, they offer a major discount for high school and college sailors ($60 for a season pass, $8 for a daily pass).
Bristol Yacht Club in Bristol, Rhode Island, also offers a good deal for junior sailors, frostbiting and storage of boats, which is offered for Lasers and RS Aero class boats, is free! The club hosts races every Saturday. Last year, they sailed 15 Saturdays with an impressive 88 starts for the season.
The ultimate frostbiting club in New England might just be Frostbite Yacht Club in Essex Connecticut. They have perhaps the most diverse classes of boats available, with racing offered in 420s, Ideal 18s, JY15s, Etchells, Lasers and Scows. As long as the river at the venue is not frozen, racing is offered in both fall and spring series.
The common theme with all of these clubs is that if you are interested in frostbiting, they make it easy for you to get involved. If you feel like you might be up to trying it, why not? While your teammates are brushing the dust off this spring, you will jump right back into spring sailing without missing a beat from the extra practice. It’s an easy and fun way to get an edge over sailors who haven’t been on the water since the fall, and requires very little commitment, so there is still plenty of time for school and other winter sports.
Please tell us about your experiences frostbiting in the comments section below.
Lasers being launched at Bristol Yacht Club
About the Author:
Paige Hoffman, Northeast/High School Sailing Airwaves Reporter
Paige started sailing at age ten at Duxbury Bay Maritime School. By age twelve, she was competing in Optis and transitioned to 420 sailing when she was fourteen, becoming a member of the Duxbury High School sailing team as a freshman in high school and racing through club programs at Duxbury Bay Maritime school in the fall and summer seasons. In the summer, she works as a Junior Sailing Instructor at Duxbury Bay Maritime School, teaching younger sailors the fundamentals of sailing. In 2016, she helped her team win the Mass Bay League Team Race Championship and was named co-captain of her team for the 2017 spring season.