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Shivering their timbers
Graham M. Hall
February 17, 1975
Frostbite sailors, a steadily increasing tribe, take an occasional wintry bath, but they outrace the hibernators when summer arrives
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February 17, 1975

Shivering Their Timbers

Frostbite sailors, a steadily increasing tribe, take an occasional wintry bath, but they outrace the hibernators when summer arrives

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One college sailor from the Northeast tells of a regatta he sailed in at Chicago at Thanksgiving time. His crew was a freshman from St. Petersburg who had never seen snow before. In the middle of the race it began to snow big wet flakes, and the young Floridian was jumping up and down in the 10-foot boat trying to catch the flakes in his mouth and shouting, "Snow, snow, snow!" Later that same day people on horseback came by the harbor. "Look at those crazy people riding horses in the snow!" the crew said.

Everything is relative, apparently. One man's hobby is another's insanity. Which is one reason frostbite racing is not a rapidly growing sport. It seems to keep pace with the population, slowly spreading to new areas, but there is little mass appeal. Who would want to get into something named for the horrible effects of overexposure? But for the people in it, it is like a narcotic; they look forward to it, have to have it, and sometimes are miserable taking it.

But they always come back for more. And when Arthur Knapp and Jim Moore get together next year in Port Washington to celebrate another anniversary of frostbite racing, it will be to answer a need—for fresh air and a sunlit sea and sailing competition. These do not vanish merely because the weather turns cold.

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