Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jack Frost sweeps inaugural race for "Class 1 Ice Yacht Challenge Cup" in Red Bank


Rocket takes it to the limit!

 In what must have been some spirited racing, Jack Frost, of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, defeated Rocket, of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club, in three rounds to claim the Class One Ice Yacht Challenge Cup. The cup was recently donated for racing specifically between the biggest (Class One) ice yachts in the two clubs. 

Both boats are historic and restored. Rocket, originally constructed in 1888,  was said to have been built to race for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America against the Jack Frost and Icicle of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. It never was entered, though the Red Bank NJ-based club regularly faced off against Hudson River clubs with two other big yachts - Scud and Dreadnaught. Neither was able to defeat the Hudson River yachts. Jack Frost - the later version from 1892 - defeated the Jersey yachts several times in Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant races, the last between these big yachts occurring in 1902.
The Frost, maintained and sailed by Ricky, Danny and Kevin Lawrence, was rebuilt by members of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club in the early 1970s and relaunched on Orange Lake in 1973. She is just under 50 foot in length and carries around 750 sq ft of sail.
Rocket was rebuilt over a period of 10 years by members of The Red Bank club, an effort spearheaded by Bob Pulsch. She is 50 foot long and hoists 900 sq ft of sail. She was officially launched last March 2014 on the Hudson River at Barrytown. Her launching was covered by NBC Nightly news that day. 

If the ice holds out on the Shrewsbury, there may be more racing in the ensuing days. Congrats to the crew of the Frost for her victory. And kudos for the hospitality and generosity of the Red Bank Club.                                   (I'll add more details of the race as I find out more). 

Kevin, Danny and Rick Lawrence (center 3) with the Class 1 Cup,
outside the NSIBYC clubhouse, in Red Bank, NJ.
Bob Pulsch, Rocket builder, is on the right.

HRIYC commodore Brett Kolfrat &
 crew member Alex Innis on the right.

Line up of vintage ice yachts on the Shrewsbury River, Feb 28, 2015.
Jack Frost far right, Rocket, 2nd from right

Rocket, (c) Frost (r)

Rocket capsized while sailing in a stiff breeze on March 2.
Note Jack Frost behind, with a reef in its mainsail.
The sail was recently modified 
by Henry Bossett of NJ to add those reef points for high wind sailing. 
I understand the capsize happened during sailing outside the Cup races.

Hiking on a Red Bank Stern Steerer.

All photos courtesy of and copyright by David Disbrow. 

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