Classic Stern Steerers

The canvas was up and the runners were down again today. More than 30 ice yachts gathered on the Hudson River, almost certainly the last day of the season.

I set up my sketching stool in the midst of it all and tried to capture the scene in gouache. The Vixen, which gave me a ride last Sunday, is at the far right, and the gaff-rigged vessel at center is the Genevieve.

These are the classic stern steerers, restored by loving craftspeople who are reviving this popular sport that had its heyday more than a hundred years ago. The oldest iceboat out there today was from about 1870, and most were from around 1900.

This video, shot less than a week ago, captures the festive spirit. (Direct link to YouTube)

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