Ideal 18 Frostbite Series

In 2008, Black Rock Yacht Club established a competitive Frostbite Series using the Ideal 18 sailboat.  It brings big boat and dinghy sailors together in a competitive, yet extremely fun venue - keeping their skills sharp while other boats remain on the hard.  The Ideal 18 is a small keel boat perfect for these conditions.

The Frostbite Series typically starts in January and ends in March with a championship for the top boats.   The program is unique in that each 2-person sailing team will typically race on 4-5 days during the series allowing them to still enjoy winter activities (skiing, skating, etc) during the winter months. The racing occurs in or just outside Black Rock Harbor offering protection as needed.   The program is offered in conjunction with the Fayerweather Yacht Club (FYC).   BRYC invites all Ideal 18 club and private boat owners to participate.   After racing, warm food, drink, and camaraderie are always in order! 


2018 Frostbite

Calendar Race Schedule Notice of Race  
Sailing Instructions Entry Form Race Committee Instructions  

Results Archive

Past Winners 2015 Photos    


Remember - When sailing you always have to adapt to the conditions so if Plan A doesn't work there are always 25 other letters in the alphabet.


Frostbiting Rules to Live By

Rule #1: Cotton Kills 

Cotton fibers absorb water, are slow to dry, and quickly drain your body of heat when wet. Read labels and stay away from cotton blended fabrics unless they contain less than 15 percent cotton fibers.

Rule #2: Stay Dry 

Staying dry means more than just “Don’t Fall In.” Remember, in some racing boats your feet, lower legs, and hands get wet quickly from water entering the cockpit. Your body also gets wet from perspiration during strenuous activity, which can be just as dangerous if you fail to follow Rule #1.

Rule 3: Fashion Does Not Equal Function 
Your new jacket may be the latest in trend wear, have a designer label, show your sail number, and match your crew’s outfits, but is it made for the sport? Be careful when shopping, as many brand names carry several lines of clothing which might look similar, but cater to different sports or extremes of environments. For example, some kayaking dry tops, while similar to sailing dry tops, only stay dry when attached to a kayak spray skirt as opposed to being layered over pants. Ask your salesperson the difference between items. Remember: when you wipe out skiing, you don’t (usually) go for a swim. 

Rule #4: Wear a PFD (aka Lifejacket) 

If you do fall in while frostbiting, or if your boat capsizes, a lifejacket is critical to buoy you in icy, cold water. If you end up in the water and you have followed Rules #1, #2, and #3 but get knocked unconscious, you had better have followed Rule #4.

Proper frostbite attire works as a system composed of three layers:
Layer 1: Wicking (Long Underwear) 

Your body sweats to cool down via evaporation of moisture from your skin. The function of the wicking layer is to remove sweat from your skin and transfer it to your other clothing layers before it evaporates. This layer should be made of synthetic fibers, which do not absorb water, wick moisture away from your skin, and dry quickly.

Layer 2: Insulation (Fleece) 
This layer is your main defense against the cold. Remember, it is not the material itself that keeps you warm, but the layer of air trapped beneath it. Since bulky clothing generally interferes with sailing a small boat (and with swimming), it is better to rely on several thinner layers that you can add or remove as needed, rather than on a single thick layer. Wool fabrics are warm and stay warm when wet; however, keep in mind they are slower to dry and can get heavy when soaked. Synthetic fleece or poly pile fabrics are best; they stay warm when soaked and are quick to dry.

Layer 3: Shell (Spray Top/Bottom) 
The shell layer repels water and keeps the wind from depleting the warm air trapped in your insulation. The shell layer should be loose enough to allow adding additional layers of insulation and should allow for freedom of movement. Look at outerwear with watertight or waterproof gussets or seals at the neck, wrists, waist, and ankles. Ideally this layer should be a waterproof/ breathable material such as Gore-Tex. Remember that the older foul weather gear gets, the less waterproof it stays, and the more likely water will seep through zippers, gussets, seams and fabric. If the gussets and zippers are still good on an older shell, it may be worth re-treating the fabric and seams with Nikwax- or Seamseal-type products.