RED BANK: ROCKET HITS THE ROAD

nsib&yc rocket 022815 1 nsib&yc rocket 022815 2 It may have been damp and sweltering out, but a vessel built for gliding on ice went for a ride over the weekend.

Over asphalt, that is, not frozen water. Still, the Rocket, the 127-year-old ice yacht owned and lovingly restored by Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, traveled to Wooden Boat Magazine’s Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, Connecticut, where it captured the award for Best in Show among restored vessels.

Back in the frigid days of March, the Rocket, built in 1888, raced on its home Navesink for the first time in 80 years against the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

RED BANK: ROCKET & JACK FROST AWAIT WIND

nsib&yc 022815 1 nsib&yc 022815 2With more than a foot of ice beneath their runners, the world’s two premier ice yachts had everything they needed to race on the Navesink early Saturday – except for wind.

The Rocket, the 127-year-old prized possession of Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, was set to race the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. The two yachts met last year for their first matchup in decades. And if the wind comes up before 3 p.m. Saturday, or sometime Sunday, “there will be no goodbyes” as the two teams head out onto the ice, said Red Bank’s John Oakley.

The club cannot allow the general public to access the river via its property because of liability issues, but the best viewing of a race would be from Marine Park anyway, said Oakley. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

GIANTS ON ICE, AS ROCKET MEETS JACK FROST

rb rocket 030114The Rocket, above in foreground, with the Jack Frost.  (Photo by John Oakley of Fantastic Signs. Click to enlarge)

The New York Times has a story in Monday’s edition on a rare meeting between two giant iceboats – the Rocket and the Jack Frost – on the foot-thick ice of the Hudson River Saturday.

The Rocket, the prized possession of Red Bank’s North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club, weighs more than a ton, and requires ice a foot thick to support its weight. Ditto for the Jack Frost, which belongs to the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club. There is only one other vessel their size in the world, and it’s in a museum.

Ice that thick being rare, the two 120-plus-year-old behemoths, capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, rarely sail. And they had not raced head-to-head in a century, the Times reports.

But then right conditions arrived over the weekend, and the members of the NSIB&YC postponed an open-house event scheduled for Saturday and made a beeline to Barrytown, New York.

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RED BANK: ICE RETURNS TO THE NAVESINK

After a three-year absence, four-inch ice retuned to our beautiful Navesink River over the weekend, enabling members of the storied North Shrewsbury Ice Boat & Yacht Club to take at least the smallest of their racing toys out for a spin. Larger craft, along the lines of the Rocket, that were more typical in the early decades of the 134-year-old Red Bank club, will have to wait for ice in the eight-inch range.

The ice also enabled skaters and plain old pedestrians to take a stroll on the river and  check out the Fiddler, a lobster boat anchored at mid-river and now hemmed in by hard water.

Club members hope to host a regatta named for longtime club member John Darling next weekend, and the National Weather Service forecast looks favorable for the ice to remain. For word on its condition, call the club’s iceline at (732) 747-5665. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)