Canadian Training Technique

It seems our neighbors to the north have developed a new off-season training regimen….
Watch the video to see what they are up to. Cleary we all need to up our game here in the States.
The relevant part starts at 18:15 into the video and ends at 20:15.
When you hear ready set go, that is NEIYA member Bob Crinion on the face off…
You have to endure the Ads first…then you can advance to 18:15.

Only in Canada!!

CBC News: Nova Scotia – April 17, 2014

image CBC News: Nova Scotia – April 17, 2014CBC TV News, Weather and Sports from Halifax
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James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230

From The Maine-iacs…..

Posted on April 18, 2014 by Bill Bucholz on the CIBC site and blatantly stolen by Commodore T. of the NEIYA….

Dogs just need to be dogs. If there is a scent, it’s not possible for them to ignore it so they give chase. So it appears to be with iceboaters. We sniff ice and there’s just no way to sit still and ignore it. Even if there’s already been wonderful “end of season” sails with all the attendant drama of setting out planks, and wading through slush and self congratulations on how lucky we were to get this particular day. Just over the horizon is a tremendous plate of ice, the biggest in Maine, just waiting for a surface. Three to four feet of shore bonded ice on one of the most dramatically beautiful lakes in the east, with all due respect to Winnepesaukee and Champlain.
The web cam at Rockwood did not look encouraging mid week, nor did the wind forecast. But the temps suggested a firming up of the surface, and by noon Thursday the wind was called for 10-15 with gust to twenty. And that’s just what we got.
The Southeasterly blew right up the lake steady as a train all day. The surface was hard and smooth most of the day and we could cover the lake with abandon. We’d agree to sail to some distant point, island or remote cove and then just do it: miles and miles and miles. No pressure ridges, cracks or holes out in the main body. Some of the shallow points and narrow straights were open but out on the broads you could be sailing along, go below for a cup of coffee and come back up only to find more miles ahead.

Captains Gautin, Squibb, Bunting and Rindlaub. The surface looks like crap in the photo, as it did in the web cam, but the runners ran silent.

The launch called for carrying boats as the proper ramp was rotted out from a nearby stream but many hands made light work of it. The launch at Greenville was in much better shape but was in a deep lee.

A little house on a tiny island a long way from anywhere. The landscape designer needs a deep tip of the helmet.

There’s a half mile of ice between the mouth of this river and Mt. Kineo. The big question now is what to do about all that ice. Rain is forecast for tomorrow which will wet out the few snow drifts and help compact the slush. The slush itself is very thin, maybe a half inch, with fine hard ice just under. Do we keep an eye on it like the dog on a bone just because he’s programmed to? Do we listen to the fat lady and walk away? It will only take another couple of cold nights to provide a good surface. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want to bury the bone of this season, but who wants to continue chewing on it? Right down to the very marrow? Que sera sera.


Last week I asked the membership to share any and all memories of Rich Crucet.  Below are pictures and your thoughts.

Myself and a hardy contingent of seven NEIYA members attended Rich’s memorial dinner.  Most striking was the consistency of remembrances.  To sum up my own thoughts and the community’s , Rich was truly an altruistic person both off and on the ice.


In 2003 I was doing my first big regattas (Worlds and NA’s) at Plattsburgh, NY. I had only been sailing DNs for a year or two and one afternoon I was looking for a lighter helmet to replace the monstrous snowmobile helmet I had. A few people sent me to look for some guy named Bob Schumacher who had a few Jofa helmets to sell.

I was new and barely knew any faces or names but someone pointed me to a camper van and said he might be in there-

The door was open and I recall looking in and there was a group of guys crowded around a table full of beer and food. I can still recall the aroma…. Some guy with crazy dark hair and a shit-eating grin was telling stories and busting chops- and invited me in for a beer, a meal and, it turned out, to razz the new guy for awhile…. Had a few much-needed laughs!

That’s how I met Rich. Thanks for letting the new kid hang with the big boys that day. And for everything else.

Sail on, man.

James “T” Thieler
DN US 5224


Rich was clever and inventive, in addition to other fine qualities…

Ted Amaral

Editor’s note:  Look for parking brake photo in tribute album from Mallett’s Bay in Colchester, Vermont March 14, 2009. Also check out the vintage Lake Ronkonkoma ice creepers.


Rich first approached me when I went down to New England by myself to race in the NE’s at Lake Champlain almost ten years ago.

Rich saw me with the KC on the sail while setting up my boat and invited me to join him and others in his camper to have freshly baked blueberry bran muffins. That was my first impression of Rich Crucet.

How cool is that…

… almost ten years ago, he has always remembered my name since and has always approached me to say hello and chat at every event.

Rich was a great brother in our beloved sport. We will definitely miss him.


Bob Crinion
DN KC  4536


During the years I organized the NEIYA Swap Meet and Annual meeting I would always get a call from Rich to let me know how big a crowd he had rounded up from among his NY ice boating friends.  And who could say no to Rich with his excitement, passion and energy to make the annual trek to central Massachusetts.  He would bring a van load, no make that a boat load of people for a day of fun and camaraderie.  Our calls would inevitably turn to plans for winter sailing and always lasted for longer than either of us had anticipated.  Rich truly enjoyed people, commiserating with old friends and new friend alike.

His spirit, vitality and joy of life will be missed by his many ice boating buddies from across the Northeast.

Henry Capotosto
Former NEIYA Treasurer


I would like to add how generous he was – when we were at Gilbert Brook Marina, he offered to let me use his “facilities” and also was so gracious to let me try and use his push sled which I had a blast on.  It was the first time meeting him and we were instant friends.  He was that kind of guy.  He will be missed by many.

Kristen Buckley


Rich was an ice boat RACER and a true ice boat ENTHUSIAST!   He was always there to lend a hand, I will miss him.

Dave Fortier
DN US 4690


I met Rich for the first time this year while helping to scout Champlain ice for the DN North Americans.  My first impression was of this crazy looking guy, with a wonderful long island accent, in a ford dually with a camper and trailer.   Rich jumps out and starts talking about ice conditions.  Being new to the sport I quickly realized that ice boaters are a “different breed of cat”…. Having spent a day killing time with T, Oliver and Chad in Peru IL, I quickly came to the conclusion that their heads are wired differently than the rest of the general population and Rich was no exception.

Rich and the boys went out scouting ice sailing and pushing and upon returning was heard to say.

REALLY….. REALLY!!!!!  Like every time I use that sail the wind dies and I have to walk and push the boat in……”  (sadly shaking his head with a disgusted look in his eyes….).

Over the course of the days racing that weekend and the following I enjoyed some wonderful meals (soup and hot dogs cooked with a bernzomatic torch) and conservation in the camper with Rich and who ever stumbled in…

It was a pleasure listening to him describe his wife, their relationship and their adventures together.  “We’ve got the money, you never know when you are going to die and it will be all over.  My wife wants me to spend it, go enjoy and play and do the things that make you happy because it is over all too soon. ”

It has been an honor to know you Rich.

Louise Megan-Racine


I had a nice conversation with Rich this fall at the meeting/swap meet.  He told me about putting wheels on his DN and practicing race starts in the street in front of his house.  He would push the boat without a sail  down the street and jumping in simulating multiple starts to the bewilderment of his neighbors.  I saw him again up in Pittsburgh on Lake Champlain. He was a familiar, friendly face of enthusiasm for the sport of ice boating. My heart goes out to Rich’s family.

Kate Marrone

Thanks to all that shared their memories or just thought about their times with Rich on or off the ice over the past few days.

Rich sail fast on fair winds and shore to shore black ice,

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary

P.S. Please feel free to leave comments for all  below.

Very Sad News- A DNer Has Passed

Hello All-

We have some very sad news to report- Rich Crucet, one of the most likeable and enthusiastic iceboaters you could ever meet, passed away last Friday.

Rich was a big force in the Long Island group and always a fun presence at regattas- usually holding court, frequently busting chops, and always ready to pitch in and help out with everything from scouting ice to offering up a hot meal and/or a cold beer from the camper.

To say he will be missed is such an understatement…. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his entire family and circle of friends.

The Lake Ronkonkama Ice Boat and Yacht Club will be honoring Rich at their annual awards banquet. For anyone in the area that would like to participate, the Dinner will be held at “The Oar” in Patchogue, NY on Sunday April 13th from 5-8pm, at a fixed price of $37, cash bar available. If you are interested please RSVP to John Ziermann ASAP as he needs a head count . I know the NEIYA will be well-represented.

Sail on Rich- We’re thinking of you.

James “T” Thieler

Not Great News

Kate Morrone scouted Sunnapee from the state beach today- Figures ice to be about 10″ thick under an inch or two of crud…

She is going to give it a try in Sunday morning- Not a promising enough report to base an event on though-

Ya never know, maybe something further north could develop next week, if not even my eternal optimism will be waning….

Stay tuned!


James “T” Thieler12 Channing St.
Newport, RI. 02840

401 258 6230

Crys of Spring but not from that woman of a certain weight

Happy April Fools’ Day!  I started writing my weekly recap last night as I have tried to do over this challenging season.  My original intent, a grand Fools’ Day joke singing praises of some previously unsailed centrally located lake with hard snow ice tight to the shores with a prediction of moderate breezes.  Three things halted and changed my course.  The fear of a lynch mob armed with unused freshly sharpened runners from our tune up last fall.  The extraordinary efforts many of us have gone through to sail this season.  The thousands of scouting miles and even more getting to and back from those destinations.  The final deciding factor was the fear that one or more amongst us would load up and drive to this mock plate of ice.  I’ve driven 7+ hours to sail and turned around without rigging the boat and know that that’s nothing compared to some of this year’s exploits.

More on this years extraordinary scouting efforts to come in the next installment.

In all seriousness, the guys in Maine (CIBC) have been sailing this week on Megunticook in Camden and there are rumors that Sunnapee’s snows have melted and the surface could be sailable but as yet unconfirmed.  Kate, Ron now’s the time to raise your voices.  Can we still get in the NEs and our Spring Fling?  I have been accused of being overly optimistic so I will just say maybe and stay tuned.  If they are sailing in Maine, there is still hope.  Don’t move the gear to its summer resting place just yet.


Till #lastice2014

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary









Stand Down….

Looks like we get the weekend off- Local knowledge in Maine says to bag all events for the weekend…. Weather forecast getting even worse…

That said, next weekend may still work- A crack spotting squad is on a mission to find ice up there- maybe waaaay up there….

Stay tuned!

James “T” Thieler12 Channing St.
Newport, RI. 02840

401 258 6230

Plan A, Plan B

Well Folks, we were hoping that a New England Championship and get-together would be a possibility for Sebago this weekend but the weather doesn’t look good- Plan B is to try and squeeze in the Sebago Open in the early part of the day Saturday- Will press Fortier for details-

See the forecast below, shamelessly cut and pasted from the NOAA site with subtitles by me:

-Saturday- Increasing clouds, with a high near 47. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon.
(Warm enough to make the ice really soft but not enough breeze to power through it)

-Saturday Night- Rain before 4am, then freezing rain. Low around 31. Northeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
(Big Zamboni effect but not quite cold enough to lock the surface back in….)

-Sunday- Freezing rain before 10am, then rain between 10am and noon, then rain, possibly mixed with sleet after noon. High near 35. North wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
(No subtitle necessary)

So we postpone all NEIYA activity for now- some forecasts predicting a late spring, maybe still a chance to get everyone together up at Moosehead or someplace for one last blast! Don’t hang it up yet folks….

Stay tuned- and Think Ice! T

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230

Rumor Has It….

….That a certain lake that lies NW of Portland, Maine has been spared by the recent weather and is a good possibility for weekend regatta and festivities….

Stay tuned….

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230

One of the last…

This weekend brought more of the same and some surprises of a pleasant variety for a change. People traveling to race and scout ice on distant ice and a small lake in CT, Bantam, that will just not give up her ice.




As previously reported we had a great showing at the Canadian Championships with Commodore Thieler and Race Chairman Moore taking first and second.  Way to go guys!  Looking like T and Oliver figured out how to harness the wind off the turbines








Bantam in CT has kept her ice and maintained reasonable access with planks. The plate was sailed on both Saturday and Sunday in stiff breezes till the surface mushed over. A good turn out of NEIYA members including your secretary on Saturday and Bob Haag, Paul Zucco, Dave Burnham and Matt Brennan from NJ.   How about some pictures next time guys.  Always amazes me how the southern NE state of CT turns out so many ice boaters. Something in the water?

Doing my part by introducing a couple young guys to the sport. No they are not mine!



Paul Delnero has reported that Lake Attitash’s plate has broken in two and he has move onto some great sailing on Lake Massabesic Manchester NH. They had a good crowd and are likely sailing there today as I type this (lucky them). Let’s hope it survives the coming weather. Paul, where are the pictures? prying eyes what to see.

Some members have slipped off in the night and boarded a plane for the hard fast Ivanpah playa in NV and the America’s Land Sailing Cup.  Who can blame them. It’s warm, the wind usually blows stink, the weather is reasonably predictable and it’s right next to Las Vegas.

Good luck over the next four days of racing to Bob Schumacher, Greg Cornelius and Paul Gervais!  Show the dirt boat guys how we race in New England.

Photos and results pinched from Facebook land sailing page FB sign in required (sorry just the way it’s set up).

I have not been out in a number of years but highly recommend it to anyone looking to extend the thrills of their ice boating season or just for the hell of it.  If you love ice boating you will love sailing in the dirt.  The North American Land Sailing Association is holding a huge international event in mid July Info at

I am getting that super powerful feeling of Deja vu.  It’s the beginning of the week and all eyes are on yet another weather system plowing up the coast.  Barring disastrous impact the New England DN championships and the NEIYA “Spring Fling” will take place on a nice big plate of ice.  Run whatever you bring.  You know the drill, location TBD but lots of eyes are on Maine.

As T has already stated don’t put away your gear just yet and keep the car packed.  The NEIYA “Hell on Wheels” will be arriving at a nearby lake this weekend for racing and Spring Fling celebration of #lastice2014.

See you on the ice,

John Stanton
NEIYA Secretary


OK folks, the Fat Lady isn’t even warming up her throat yet!!

We are hoping to get the New England DN champs in, and with a little luck we can run it in conjunction with a full-on gathering of the ice-addicts of all stripes from the whole region- I’m having visions of a Winni-Frolic kind of a thing….

We’ve had a ton of great sailing this year and are hoping to get yet more under our belts before spring rears it’s ugly head and wrecks all the fun.

There is an interesting bit of weather on the way but with a little luck there will be some sail-able ice around once it’s gone by- Keep your eyes peeled for sailable ice- if you see something, say something!

Clear your calendar, cancel your dates, and keep the boats loaded and ready! Hope we can wind up the season on a high note-

Looking forward to seeing everyone- Stay tuned to this site for details.

Think Ice! T

James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840

401 258 6230

Canadian Champs Recap

Good recap of the weekends racing from our host John Curtis along with some pics and a video from some of the Queen’s university Sailing team members who were awesome enough to run the races. Got to love the new techniques.

Hi Andre,

It turned out that Saturday was the better day. Good lesson in trying to predict ice conditions.

We had 7 races. Final results were

1st James Thieler
2nd Oliver Moore
3rd Peter Van Rossem (1st Canadian)

I left the score sheets at home but the two US boats, fresh back from the Worlds in Estonia seemed to have an extra top end gear and they were very polished in the transitions at the start and whenever the wind died.

Saturday was looking grim at 8 am We had 5 cm of fresh snow, but the lake was quite wind blown so not much coverage out there. The temperature had gone down to -5 C overnight and frozen up all the remaining puddles on the ice left over from a rain on Wednesday.

We did 4 races on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. The ice got soft about 3 pm on Saturday so we decided to wait for Sunday to finish the regatta.

The wind on Saturday was 8-10 kts but the ice was a little soft so it was time to power up. The best combination for the day seemed to be an FO1 with inserts on the side and a Persian slipper in the front. Despite this, T seemed to make the flater ABSS go well and just squeaked ahead of Oliver in the overall results for the day despite Oliver having a slight edge in speed. It may have been different if Oliver had used the same set up for all the races. He started with snow runners in the first race but just did not have enough grip upwind.

Sunday was challenging with a north east wind that was quite light and eventually shifted to the North West and then later to the south west after racing finished.

Sunday saw the two US boats extend their lead but Peter VanRossem also had a second in race 6, beating Oliver by almost a full lap. Peter demonstrated his strategic prowess in Kingston Harbor by always going the right way and gave the US boats a run for their money in every race. With his new boat almost done, he will be a force to be reckoned with next season. Great to see the Kingston fleet pushing each other so hard.

Big thank you to all the volunteers who helped run the regatta and especially the Queen’s University Sailing Team who provided 6 people to help run races.

This event also spurred the Kingston fleet to improve their race marks and start line marks.

T and Oliver, please add anything you can think of. I will send a few pictures.





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