Antique ice yachts on the frozen Hudson River near Astor Point in Barrytown, New York, USA
© Mike Segar/REUTER
Sailing on thick ice
This photograph was taken in the winter of 2014 on the Hudson River in the US state of New York. That year, temperatures were so cold for so long that antique wooden ice yachts were taken out of storage and onto the river to sail down a 20-mile stretch of thick ice. It had been years since the Hudson River had frozen sufficiently for safe ice sailing, due to global warming.
But back in the 1850s, right up to the early 20th century, average winter temperatures were cooler and the Hudson River was the ice sailing capital of the world. Supported by metal blades (runners), like skates, an ice yacht encounters little forward resistance, gliding over the ice at thrilling speeds. In iceboating's heyday, wealthy yachtsmen raced over the frozen Hudson in front of thousands of spectators. In 1885, John Aspinwall Roosevelt, uncle to future US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, founded the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club, which still exists today. It maintains these beautiful antique wooden iceboats, and if the area is lucky enough to have another long, cold winter, they'll take to the ice again.