As the frigid temperatures have sent the mercury plunging and many sitting in front of a fireplace, the winter fun begins again in the Hamptons as the Ice Yachting Tradition continues on Mecox Bay in Water Mill in Southampton.
Ice yachting is the sport of sailing and racing ice boats which are also called Ice Yachts. A winter sport practiced in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Norway, Sweden, the American Great Lakes and on Mecox Bay in the Hamptons.
A tradition of winter fun dates back to 1790 when ice yachting was in vogue on the Hudson River. It is rumor the Vanderbilt Family were avid sportsmen in the early days of the sport where wagers were set on the racing competition. The first record of ice yachting in the Hamptons was in 1836 with the Daniel Hildreth and Charles Howell with a speed of 1 mile a minute noted in Daniel’s Diary. Imagine 60 Miles an hour in 1836.
Ice Yachting on the frozen waters like Mill Pond and Mecox Bay in Water Mill has been a family tradition for over 150 years for the Halsey Family. The weather doesn’t always cooperate, but when the Jack Frost sets in for the winter and the conditions for ice shall prevail, the Ice Boat Club of Water Mill hits the ice.
Ice Yachting is a real sport and true Hampton Style. “The second someone gets something that goes fast, someone else gets something that goes fast, and they race,” says Tom Halsey who has participated in World Ice Boat Champship races. “Ice boating is fun, but it’s the competition that keeps you going.”