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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jessie B. off the Poughkeepsie waterfront


I love this shot of the Poughkeepsie waterfront - circa 1890. It is a not-so-common photo of an ice yacht with the Poughkeepsie Railroad bridge in the background, along with the Poughkeepsie Waterfront.  The Vassar Brewery is one of the white buildings beyond the steamboat.
This is also one of the only pictures I've found of the Jessie BJessie B. was owned by Charles Lumb  and named after his daughter Jessie.  She sailed in 4 races for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America, always sailing with the Poughkeepsie Ice Yacht Club: February 1884; Feb. 14 1885;  Feb. 18, 1885 &   Feb. 14, 1887. In that 1887 race Jessie B. was 12th of 12 yachts entered. I find no entries of the boat in any of the club books, and Pennant race summaries do not note who sailed her.

Photo courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District; from their Main & Market Collection.  



Here is one other picture that captures the RR Bridge in the background. 


                                       Circa 1900?   Courtesy of Rick Lawrence 


Another great photo from the Poughkeepsie Library collection:   


Ice yachts off Roosevelt's Point, Feb. 1881   
Icicle (John A. Roosevelt)     Uncle Jake     Virginia (H.A. Gildersleeve)     Gypsie (James Winslow)     Fairy (E. Harrison Sanford)     Avalanche (No5)  (E. Harrison Sanford)     Viva  (J.C. Barron)


I have had a copy of this which I had printed up at the FDR library about 20 years ago. 
That photo was labeled as above.     The PPL photo had different boat names, but I believe the above is accurate. 


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Race of the Ice Yachts - Hurrah for the race! Hurrah!


Photo courtesy of the Poughkeepsie Public Library; from their Main & Market Collection. 


135 years ago this month... 

Ho!  For the Yachts! Hoho!
The ice is smooth,
The breeze is fair,
The day is bright,
Crisp is the air;
Ho for the Yachts! Hoho! 

Hurrah for the race! Hurrah!
Eager they come to win the prize,
Flitting about like butterflies;
Gliding along to try their speed --
Going about (take heed, take heed)
So quickly that each one must need 
A cool head in the willer,
A strong hand on the tiller: 
For perils and dangers
Surround these swift rangers--
Hurrah for the race! Hurrah! 

Read on here for the rest of this cheery poem from March of 1883. 
Who will win?? Scud? Icicle? Aeolus? Jack Frost?.....



Saturday, February 24, 2018

Orange Lake through the years....

As this season seems to be done, here are a few images over the past 100 years of sailing on Orange Lake.

Ice Yachts Gale & North Wind, on Orange Lake circa 1930s.
Thanks to Ray Chipault for sharing this image.
  

Here is Gale on the Lake  December 12, 1937 


Circa 1900

February 1939 - regatta at Orange Lkae

Captain Drake - still racing in 1944

Races - 1940


Launch day crew - 1973 - rebuilt Jack Frost is put on ice for first time.

Jack Frost 1973

Big gathering of antique stern steerers, circa 1973.

Races circa 1968.

(most pictures here are from the Ruge Archives, courtesy of the Ruge collection at the Hudson River Maritime Museum)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

NEW!! aerial footage of Orange Lake Sailing

Jordy Matthews just uploaded footage he shot at Orange Lake on 2/17/18: Jordy grew up round iceboating and now shoots video via his drone.  Nice work Jordy!    (updated 3/22/18)
More Orange Lake drone views


Drone video captured by Jake Clapp, on Feb. 17, 2018.  Would like to have seen video of when his dad & he did a fly by with Rocket hiking on 2 runners.... quite awesome...
Orange Lake drone video

Monday, February 19, 2018

Boats off the ice - Great day of sailing Saturday

All of the old ice yachts are off the ice at Orange Lake as of Monday. Sunday's snow, Monday's rain & the upcoming heat wave this week led to wise removal of the largest fleet of boats out since 2014.

Last week's rain and subsequent warm up worked out beautifully to polish the lake's surface for this past weekend. Saturday's morning temps in the 20s made for hard ice and we just had to wait for the wind. It arrived about 1:00 and the lake was then full of "white wings" till the first flurries of snow blew in around 5pm.
The Grande Dame of the Shrewsbury - Rocket - flew around the lake, eventually flying its windward runner on several occasions.  There were multiple races between the "A" boats of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club and the fleet yachts of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club.  Skipper Danny Lawrence and sailing master Eric Lawrence took lead boat honors in multiple races aboard Whirlwind. Georgie II proved to be the quickest yacht of the Shrewsbury boats.
Steady and sometimes gusty breezes had the entire fleet of stern steerers ( and assorted bow steering boats) out for a glorious afternoon.

That could well be the end of the season, but late February cold in the past has led to March sailing.

(following pictures courtesy of Jack Norton)

"A" boat races... lead boat hiking as it heads upwind. 

Rides for friends and spectators. Marge gets a ride with Reid on Vixen.


Georgie II - she's a fast yacht - and has been sailing for over 100 years...

Largest ice yacht of the Shrewsbury Club - Rocket.

Always good food - grilling burgers & dogs;  clams are often part of the menu.  Thanks to Rick Lawrence for sandwiches and the Jersey crew for lots more. No one went hungry...

Two Orange Lake veterans - Peter Zendt - scooter sailor from Bayport L.I. (now sailing a J-14) and Johnny Vargo. John tore up the ice here at Orange Lake 50 years ago.  Past commodore of the HRIYC; follow his publication - Boating on the Hudson  Rumor has it there will be an ice boating feature in next issue.










Saturday, February 10, 2018

Rocket has Landed...


The largest ice yacht  of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club was set up on Orange Lake Saturday. It is hoped that ice will be ready next Saturday for sailing.
Rocket was originally built in 1888 to race against the Jack Frost & Icicle of the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club for the Ice Yacht Challenge Pennant of America. She never made it up to the Hudson in those days. Fast forward 100 years: members of the NSIYBC raise money and rebuild her over a 10 year period. She is launched on the Hudson River in 2014. This is her second trip to Orange Lake
(see blog banner photo of Rocket & Jack Frost from 2015). Great summary of Rocket re-build can be found on John Sperr's website.
Rocket is 50' in length and carries  900sq ft of sail!   It was a warm 40 degrees as a group of 2 dozen Red Bank sailors and HRIYC members helped set up or just watched and gave opinions....

sorting out and securing diamond stays

Starboard runner bolted into it's chock

Mast is wheeled out, ready to be stepped onto backbone
Clever Gin-Pole assist to step the mast

mast is set down on mast step, with one hand on the drill and one on the base....

repurposed sail boat mast is stepped just forward of Rocket's mast step.
The drill turns a cable system that lifts mast up into place.
attaching boom to mast

setting cockpit onto backbone

sails to be bent on next week.

Surface of the lake is covered with crusty ice. Upcoming rain should saturate that and smooth out surface nicely. Awaiting cold to firm up the surface...hoping all unfolds for next Saturday...

circa 1900?

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday



photo by Jack Norton
Arrived at the Lake around 10 as the last puffs of wind carried a handful of boats around the Lake. By the time we got our gear on the ice the wind evaporated. Reid pushed Vixen out and ghosted along for a bit. We went out to help push him back to the pits and lo and behold, a breeze came up and we all sailed back together. It was that kind of day - the teasing breezes.  Everyone realized it and by noon all the boats dropped sails and packed up. Cyclone held out...hoping... pushed the boat a bit - sucked into a brief breeze that dies as soon as we were 4 boat lengths along... then a few snow flakes arrived around 1:30 and with that a front brought in enough wind that 3 of us got out for 20 minutes for some nice runs across the lake.  By 2pm  it was done for the day and off to Super Bowl festivities.
Kudos to Rick & Jane Lawrence for being giving and cheerful hosts to all the sailors.


A sublime Sunday sail on Vixen....



Neat history confirmed with Rick over food & drink after sailing... His house on a point at the south end of Orange Lake was the site of the clubhouse of the Orange Lake Ice Yacht Club, founded in 1888.. The big boats of the OLIYC launched from this same spot we sail from today.

To be continued, next weekend.  snow coming mid-week?? 
Waiting for the wind...
 a gallery of name plates..







Ymir was built by George Buckhout, and sailed with the HRIYC in the early 1900s. some where after it was brought to NJ.

Icicle was class D champ in the 1939 & 1940 Eastern Ice Yacht Association races. 
and check out this cool shot of same yacht Icicle from  exactly 80 years ago in  Newark NJ magazine photo shoot...



Ruth has a long history of sailing at Red Bank. She came up and sailed at Orange Lake in the 50s or 60s, then renamed as "Red Jack". It has been on the Disbrow family for several generations.

XLNC is from the Long Branch (NJ) Ice Yacht Club.


new name plate for Boreas



Veteran skipper and ice yachting master Reid Beilenberg at the helm of John A. Roosevelt's ice yacht Vixen.
Finding the one pocket of wind on the lake when all sails were still...





Some photos from Saturday. Thanks to Jack Norton for sharing his pictures:

Arrow class bow-steerer.

A few of the A-Boats racing.

Genevieve