2006-02-02 / News

Frostbiters enjoy more warm sailing weather

For the second week in a row, 45-degree temperatures greeted the Sunday morning Shellback Dinghy frostbiters. The sailors usually rig their boats on lonely abandoned docks, but on this January Sunday they shared them with curious visitors, sea-gazing tourists, and even some wives. Last January, the racers were regularly chipping the ice out of the rubber inflatable racing committee boat before launching it.

Race Committee Dick Allphin and Doc Clarke set up the start/finish line just off of Conanicut Marine’s big breakwater float. The turning mark, a big orange ball, was clipped to a winter mooring stick 400 feet southeast of the marina to make the first leg to windward in very light southerlies. A strong current plus the light air kept the fleet close to the committee boat before the start as they tried to not drift behind the start line before the start.

In the four races held, three different skippers took first places. Gary Fischer won the first two races by wide margins. He started at the opposite end of the line from most of the fleet and simply sailed away as the rest of the fleet looked for patches of breeze to work their way up to the windward mark. The following two races were tightly contested and the lead changed often as one boat and then another got a wind puff or a better angle of breeze. Jack Hubbard and John Quinn each took a first place in the last two races.

Winston Knight left before the fourth race in order to make his paddle tennis court time. And back at the docks Gary Fischer pulled a Superman outfit change. He entered the Marina’s changing room in sailing gear and moments later came out spruced up in jacket and slacks for a theater performance in the city. Terry Jones revealed his invention of a dagger board with a propeller on the bottom and bicycle pedals on top. (He said he didn’t use it during the race.) The sailors then convened in the coffee shop to figure out the score and tell war stories.

The day’s results were: 1st, John Quinn, 10 points; 2nd, Jack Hubbard, 12 points; 3rd, John Horton, 12, (Jack won the tie with a first.); 4th, Gary Fischer, 18 points; 5th, Henry Siegal, 23 points;, 6th, Terry Jones, 24 points; 7th, Michael Brown, 25 points; 8th, Joe Logan, 27 points; 9th, Mike de Angeli, 34 points, 10th, Winston Knight, 36 points.

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