Rivals meet at Frostebite Intergalactics

Published on December 18th, 2018

The friendly rivalry between the Sachem’s Head Frostbite Fleet (Guilford, CT) and Wickford Frostbite Association (North Kingstown, RI) has been held annually around Thanksgiving, since the early 1960s, alternating between the two host clubs.

The chosen weapon is the Sea Dog, a 9-foot fiberglass dinghy similar to an Interclub but for one person. Built in the 1960s by Skimmar of Connecticut, the bathtub shape, raked daggerboard and quirky handling characteristics put a premium on sailing ability.

Informally known as the Sea Dog Worlds, the tradition continued on Dec 8 at Wickford Yacht Club in Rhode Island where 36 Sea Dogs were on the start line, a result of renewed enthusiasm and fleet growth, including nine new boats.

Team Competition: A record of Sachem Head racers (19 in total) came to WYC this year, charged with confidence. It was a wonderful sight to see, the harbor filled with three dozen SDs chasing up and down the harbor in bright sun.

Having dominated most of the recent Worlds, WFA was ready and equally confident. In the team competition (sum of the top ten finishers from each fleet), Wickford prevailed, WFA scoring 650 to SH at 1052. Maybe local knowledge was a slight factor! Tables may turn next year, with Sachem Head as host!

Headline: But, the fun story was the top two finishers. After seven races, only three points separated SD Champion Brett Nazareth (experience, earning the low 25 points for first place) and Kyle Nannig (youth, earning the next highest 28 points for second place). Kyle won the first two races, sailing one of his Dad’s (Paul Nannig) SD’s. Paul and Kyle were one of two father / son racers. Harcourt Schultz and son Ike (at 12 yrs old) were the other Father/Son team.

Racing: The conditions were cold, low 30’s air temp, with bright and glorious sunshine. PRO Chuck Allen held mostly windward leeward and triangle courses. The skippers were warned to not be over the start line early and also to be careful on the north side of the course, given the strong ebbing current. Only one general recall but many racers strayed too far north going upwind and touched bottom (not fast).

The WNW wind challenged even the most experienced WFA frostbiter, with frequent 5-15 degree shifts and 12-14 knots with higher gusts and the occasional lull. Very challenging, but so much fun!

The long distance race into the inner harbor included rounding a mark set near the dock in the inner harbor behind Brown Street. Seeing three dozen Sea Dogs sail up and down the narrow inner channel was a sight appreciated by spectators.

Results: Wickford took the top five places (Brett Nazareth, Kyle Nannig, Alex Bowen, Neil McDermott, Peter Greene). Peter Green (one of the most experienced) is still very competitive as the results show, 5th. Neil sailed his yellow and green machine with consistency, placing 4th. Alex placed third, more youth. Cutter Smith of SH placed 6th, followed by Whitney Peterson of SH in 7th, and Harcourt Schultz of SH in 10th. Final results.

The SD Worlds are the final event of the season for the SH fleet. WFA Frostbite season continues every Sunday afternoon, early November through the end of April, come join the racing and the fun!

Source: Greg Phipps

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