The forecast was for gale force winds and that had some of the Frozen Few thinking twice about frostbite sailing on New Year’s Day. But killing a tradition is not in character for members of the Edgewood Yacht Club.
A stalwart group of three sailors showed up by 10 a.m. and when several more pulled into the club parking lot Stuart Malone, race committee chair, declared there was a quorum. The Frozen Few, as they are known, race Sunday mornings. Between six and 12 boats take to the course. In addition to their regular race schedule they hold Columbus Day, New Year’s Day and “up from the ashes” races. The “up from the ashes” commemorates the first frostbite race following the fire that destroyed the clubhouse in a January storm in 2011.
The winds were gusty and sailors had to stay alert if they weren’t going to also take a dip.
When they got out to the course, Malone recorded a gust in excess of 36 knots.
Winds like that, he noted Wednesday, things start breaking. He called off the race and sent the sailors back to the dock.
And while they didn’t have to compete, noted George Shuster, “we were wet and tired.” That was all that was needed for the group to retire to the clubhouse to welcome the New Year with good cheer.