|Hello All-Spring has sprung I think and iceboating might just be done for the season- Unless of course some of the truly hard-core have found a sailable ice cube still floating in Moosehead or up in Nova Scotia somewhere….
This being the case I thought I’d share some pics and stories from the model boat show at Woods Hole- all remotely iceboat-related…. Fun show, there were more ship models to gawk over than you can shake a stick at and a few racing in the pond as well- check it out when it comes back in 2015!
First of all NEIYA sailor Don Stearns was there with his giant model of the frigate United States- very impressive- his being dressed as the captain really set him apart! Great to see him and the boat. He suggests a Moosehead the Hard Way for next season….
Ed Thieler (father of yours truly and a veteran of several high-speed laps around South Watuppa Pond a few winters back) had a few of his Chesapeake Bay workboat models on display- NEIYA members Katie Bradford and Eben Whitcomb were enthralled!
Katie Bradford knows pretty much everyone in the world. You know the type…. One of her friends that she caught up with on Sunday just happens to be one of the main people in charge of building and maintaining the ALVIN submersible. His name is Bob and he rounded up our little group and took us on a quick tour of the boat- they are just finishing up a re-fit that includes a new titanium pressure sphere…. Very cool! Neat to see the robotic arms and all that up close- note the boxing glove on the far one in the pic. Note also that both arms are different- one is big and brutal and the other is smaller and has greater dexterity. And they are all able to be jettisoned in case they get tangled in a line or jammed on something. Guess they got the idea from studying lobsters all the time!
Then it was off to the machine shops where they build parts and gizmos in-house.
This shop would make even Jeff Kent and Steve Duhamel envious…. Lathes, presses, benders, milling machines, CNC milling machines, a big water-jet cutter, and to top it all off a 3D printing machine that makes molds and parts in 3 dimensions. I can’t even describe this thing. Too freaking cool.
Did you know they make their own special non-compressible foam floatation? They use good-ol’ WEST system epoxy mixed with a special uncompressible filler.
Even with all these resources they still outsource some stuff- some of the hull panels and / or the orange sail on the ALVIN were made by Guck Inc., of Bristol RI where NEIYA member Chad Atkins builds and repairs everything imaginable. Wonder if he was involved with these panels?
All in all a good way to spend a day- Enjoy the pics and I’ll look forward to seeingeveryone in the fall or maybe sooner
James “T” Thieler
|While most of us (with a few notable exceptions) are packing up the iceboats and wiping the dust off our soft-water craft a few hearty souls are headed to Lake Baikal in Russia for the DN Pearl Cup.The American contingient includes sailors from Michigan, NJ, and of course that hotbed of DN activity, North Carolina.
This promises to be an adventure and you can follow along on the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club website- Check the site for updates- so far they’ve been pretty interesting and there should be more to come!
Go to http://www.iceboat.org/ and click on “DN Baikal Pearl Cup In Siberia” to see the reports as the come in-
Think Ice and wish them luck-
James “T” Thieler
Maine State Champs are in the books- Five races done- fast and furious!1
New England Champs on tap for tomorrow on Damariscotta!
Ice is bumpy but hard and quick- Come on and race tomorrow- Launch from Damariscotta Lake Farm Inn in Jefferson, ME.
|ALRIGHT GANG, LOAD ‘EM UP!!!
We have a busy weekend ahead- Dave Fortier et al give us a good report on Dammy so we are going for it! NE’s on Saturday, Maine States Sunday is the plan-
Ice is sailable- Not clean mirror glassy but good for March. Forecast ain’t bad either- breeze both days, cold nights.
Skipper’s meeting at 9AM- first start to follow- Kristin Buckley has agreed to keep score!
Launch area is right across from Damariscotta Farm B&B and Restaurant.
Dining! Sailing! Food! Friends! Fun! Sailing! Get your collective asses up there. This may be it.
Check hotline for details-
THINK ICE DAMMIT! T
|OK folks, so the Easterns aren’t gonna happen BUT-
Fortier is doing a final check of Damariscotta today and the forecast (clear, cold nights and breeze during the days) is giving us hope that we can get the Maine State Champs in on Saturday and the New England Champs on Sunday.
This is a cunning plan- Let us all rally and wind this season up on a high note!
Stay tuned to this site for details-
THINK ICE! T
James “T” Thieler
Unfortunately the reports coming from our ice scouters are all negative and it looks like we aren’t going to have a venue for a regatta this weekend. The Burlington guys checked Mallets Bay today and it is a mogul field.
It has been a tough year. Hopefully next year will be better.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our band of ice scouters. They always do a great job feeding us info and are remarkably patient with us. Thanks again.
Till next time,
|Just a heads-up folks…. We have received reports of sailable ice up at Mallet’s Bay…. Sources up there tell us the current ice and future forecast might just allow for the DN Eastern Champs to be run- Possibly the NE’s after that…..
Final call to be made later in the week- in the meantime get your gear ready to rally for what may be the last blast of the season!
I’m starting to feel like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day. The weekly conversation with Eben about finding a sight for a regatta is getting very repetitive. It seems like every week this winter there has been some sort of mid week snow event threatening the Northeast making it impossible for us to know where there will be sailable ice come the weekend.
This week it is winter storm "whatever stupid name cable cable news farted out" is primed to potentially kill whatever ice there is in the New England area. There maybe ice this weekend. But we sure don’t know where it will be with anywhere enough certainty to in good consciousness tell you guys to meet us there.
We are still trying to get both the Easterns and the New Englands in. We will do the best we can and thank you all for your patience.
Your truly frustrated NEIYA regatta chairman,
|Here’s how….. Hello Folks- In the tradition of making the winner tell us all how he did it Eric Anderson sends in this blow-by-blow account- It was a close and fun one! Eric was going a lot faster than the rest of the fleet so take note- Read and learn….. T.
Runners 3/16 inserts 90° edge with 18 inches of .008” flat Steering runner was a 26” snow plate, 90° edge 11” of .008” flat. Runners sharp and stoned to 600 grit
Plank was placed 2” aft of max forward, Mast step position was mid range , CSI (Jeff Kent) 4.1 mast.
On Saturday I used a North ABSS sail (Medium flat) all day and on Sunday I used a North F01 (Full sail) both days the sail was about 2 inches below max hoist.
On Sat when we got out to the race course, there was a lot of snow on the ice and both hard bumps and soft drifts. It was fairly slow ice. Wind was around 8 knots to start off the racing. It decreased to 3-5 knots as the day went on
Before the first race I sailed both the F-O1 and the ABSS sails and decided that I was getting the boat up to speed and the mast to bend with the ABSS so it seemed like a better sail. I chose the shorter steering runner so I could sail around the drifts easier and tack faster.
I sailed up the course about 2/3 of the way up on port tack before the race and the course was definitely bumpy. I felt like I needed a fair amount of power upwind and downwind The snow drifts were fairly soft so the plan was to avoid them if possible, but not worry too much if you had to go through one.
I drew Start position # 8 for the first race. I got a good start and punched out quickly to the left side of the course. I Tacked about ¾ of the way up to the layline, and when I converged with the boats on the other tack I had a good lead. It seemed that the left side of the course was favored, (more wind) so I went to that side of the course upwind and downwind, and held on the win that race.
The next 2 races I started going right. Since the left was favorable, I tacked away both times as soon as possible after the start. Both times I was able to minimize the left side advantage and round the weather mark in 3rd In both races I was able to get the lead back by tacking to starboard at the leeward mark when the lead boats banged the right corner.
As the day progressed, and the wind got lighter, I was considering changing to the F-01 sail, but I was going fast so I elected not to change.
The 4th race, I started going right and tacked out again as fast as possible. They had shortened the course to about ½ mile in the lower wind. I rounded in third behind T. Thieler and John Curtis with Oliver a ways behind. This time T covered me going upwind and I got close a couple of times but could not pass him. Oliver gained on us both going down wind (he had switched to the F-01 which was faster in the dying breeze ~4-5 knots) Oliver passed me downwind on the second lap going deeper and faster and I rounded in 4th. John Curtis was leading at the time but sailed to the right corner and T, Oliver and I tacked to the left. At the last windward mark I was right up with Oliver with T about 100 yards ahead and John was way behind . I gibed away from T and Oliver on the last downwind leg. It was not the favored side, but I figured that Oliver had boatspeed on me and T was too far away to catch so the only move was the Hail Mary. I was hoping that John was far enough back that it wouldn’t cost me to try the other side of the course. I finished in 3rd still, but T and Oliver were way ahead at the finish. It was worth a shot. T just beat Oliver over the line.
We quit after the 4th race and got some great chili and beer at the Kingston Yacht Club- yum….
Sunday morning it was below freezing and the crud on top had stiffened up nicely. I decided the F-01 would be the better sail for the high drag ice. I sailed out on plates, but switched back to inserts as they felt pretty good.
Race 5 Wind was more from the west, and the right side of the course seemed less bumpy sailing around before the start. Wind was around 5 knots and it was sticky ice. I started the third race in the third spot, between T in first and Jacek M. in 5th Jacek ran really high and I had to steer up as we were running to avoid him. I was kind of getting squeezed out , but Jacek fell down trying to get in the boat and I was able to get over the top. T rolled over the top of me and I chased him for the next 3 laps. The fast move was to gibe at the windward mark as soon as you were up to speed. T covered me well, I got close a few times, but never caught him. John Curtis finished third.
Race 6 I started from the 2 spot on the unfavored tack. I got a good start and tacked off immediately to get back to the right side. I rounded in second behind T and he covered me well with good speed. On the last beat I tacked early, but couldn’t make the mark, T extended a bit. Oliver was close enough behind me that I couldn’t try another Hail Mary and split gibes with T. T beat me over the line for the victory.
Going into the last race T and I were tied for points, but he would have won the tiebreaker. To win I had to beat T and finish no worse than second. I started from the 2 spot again. Again I tacked back to port as soon as possible and had the boat going well. Oliver had punched out in front of T. The wind was up a bit and I tacked back to starboard first and took a risk on the layline call. I got a nice lift as I tacked and laid the mark cleanly. Oliver rounded in second with T third. I was able to hold them both off. In the last lap T split gibes (tried a Hail Mary) I was very tempted to cover, but I would have lost Oliver, and maybe John Curtis, so it seemed like it was more risky to cover then to let him go. In the end I won that race and overall regatta by a point.
T and I had a great duel the whole weekend, with Oliver and John C fighting it out for third. It really helps that we have a good group in New England to tune and train against, T, Chad Atkins, Eben Whitcomb, Oliver Moore and I all train with each other which is a big plus.
I would like to thank the whole gang who planned and hosted the Regatta, Kingston is a great spot. I am awed to have my name on the same trophy as John Keck and Ron Sherry, and am looking forward to defending it next year. It was a great time meeting a lot of new people, and seeing people I had not talked to in years.
If you have any other questions, email me at email@example.com
Eric Anderson US 5193