|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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Anderson US 5193
|Hello All- Our neighbors to the North are going to take a shot at getting the Canadian Champs in this weekend- As there isn’t a race-able plate for the Easterns or New Englands this will be the place to be this weekend.
These guys have been great about heading south to sail with us so let’s return the favor and go race in their backyard!
Details to be posted on the IDNIYRA bulletin board today-
2013 DN Canadian Championship Regatta
Location: Kingston Yacht Club
Date: February 23-24, 2013
Launch site: Kingston Yacht Club
Directions: Exit Hwy 401 at Division Street, go south on Division, turn left at Union Street, right on Barrie Street, left on King and right on Maitland. Unload and ask where to park
Exist Hwy 401 at Sir John A at the 401and go south, left on King St. (at bottom near prison), right on Maitland. Unload and ask where to park.
Secondary / overflow launch site – TBD (possibly at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour)
Hot line number is: 613-532-6223 (Lana Butler)
Lodging / Accommodation: Kingston Holiday Inn
2 Princess Street, Kingston ON
55 Warne Crescent, Kingston, Ontario,
Regatta entry fee: 20.00 (US or CDN$) – cash only
This is a seven race regatta format. A minimum of 4 races is required to complete regatta. 3 laps around the marks constitute one race. If more than 4 races are completed, there will be a throw out of your highest score.
First Race scheduled for Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 12:00 hours
Sunday February 24, 2013, racing to resume at 10:00
Regatta is open to all experience levels. Novice skippers should consult the “right of way” rule as posted on NEIYA website at:
http://www.iceboat.org/elements/NEIYA_rules_no_club.jpg (if it does not open hit refresh)
Registration is at Kingston Yacht Club on February 22, 2013 from 6- 8 pm or on February 23, 2013 from 8:30 – 10:00am
Skippers meeting on at KYC 10:30 am on Feb 23, 2013 and on the ice, at 11:30am
First race at 12:00 noon on February 23, 2013
Proof of liability insurance ($300,000) will be needed at time of registration.
Sailing instructions to follow
NOTE: Sailing instructions may be amended at skippers meeting
Eastern Region Commodore Eben Whitcomb has informed me that the Eastern Regional championships will be canceled for this weekend, Feb 16-17 2013. We are still going to try to get both the Easterns and the New Englands in this season, so stay tuned and keep the reports coming.
I had hoped to try to get the New Enland Championships in this weekend but the forecasted weather event on Friday makes that look highly unlikely. However I am going to reserve the option to call a regatta on for sunday if we are able to find some sailable ice Saturday. So stay tuned and call in any reports.
And to wrap things up…. All of the New England competitors have made it home safe and sound. The drive isn’t that bad when you have three drivers and a good watch system….
The awards ceremony was back at the Willows On The River hotel restaurant (“The Skyline”) and the Toledo guys did a great job of emcee-ing the event and a great time was had by all! After a quick burger, a few laughs, and a strong cup of coffee we said our good-byes and hit the road. We certainly left on a high note!
We had a grab-bag of conditions through the week- warm and slushy, cold and light, frigid cold and high winds, and every kind of precipitation possible. And to top it all off we had thunder and lightning one night. Cool. Can’t say it was a dull week!
So put it on your list and start planning. In the meantime stay tuned for the next event!
Think Ice! MR T
James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840
I would not have believed iot if i hadnt seen it….. just enough breeze filled in to get the NA’s in the books! Seemed like all hope was lost and then suddenly there it was_ just enough to bend the rigs a bit and get us throgh the light snow and drifts-
Three races run (with a 180 shift before the third- committee did great job of course shuffling) and John Dennis won’em all! Must say I almost took one of ‘em). Ron Sherry was second, your author won the tie_break to take 3rd from steve orlebeke. Chad Atkins was 6th (lost the tie breaker to young Griffin Sherry)
Car bouncing on frost-heaved road… anyway Eric was 10th, Oliver at lucky 13. Eben was 8th in silver- not bad!
Chad at the wheel sipping coffee_ time for me to snooze for a while_ signing off from the proud highway- MR T
Just enough wind yesterday to sail one race that was later disallowed due to extreme flukiness….
Nothing so far today, not too optimistic- cold high pressure sitting overhead, much like Sweden last year…..
Will advise, until then have a look at the photos from yesterday-
Think Ice (and wind)
James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840
[Editor's note, sorry for the delay. Report was submitted earlier in the day]
|Hello All- Have to tell you about yesterday- The group moved to a sheet of ice further up the river. It was an upwind delivery in 20-plus kts in a balmy 5 degrees F. And there was snow blowing around. And there was a BIG ridge to cross.
The three of us delayed sailing north in order to make a run to the store for face masks and mittens. All we found was the lousiest sub shop on Earth. This put us behind the main group that sailed up. Bad idea, we should have gone with the gang. Safety in numbers. And I’m supposed to be a professional boat captain for crying out loud. We had to laugh when we made it back to the pits and ours were the only three boats left! That’s us, Moe, Larry, and Curly….
And yes, I did sail over the ridge but in my defense I never even saw the goddamn thing- goggles fogged up, snow blowing, very distracted by the rapidly crystallizing parts of my body. I was also trying to keep an eye out for Chad and Oliver. I was taking point then- another bad idea- why the hell wasn’t I behind Oliver? He’s young and therefore a fast healer. Chad is a father of two- wouldn’t be right to put him in the lead…. He has little iceboaters to raise plus he does most of the driving when we travel.
Good news is I wasn’t going fast enough to do too much damage- I was only tip-toe-ing along. That said when I bumped over the ridge I stopped and lifted my goggles. Turns out I missed a 3 foot tall vertical block of ice by about 2 feet. I NEVER EVEN SAW IT. In fact I went over just about the only passable part for about 50 yards either way. Just beyond that was a big stone jetty right in my path- I’d have plowed right into that. Blind luck, literally.
THAT is when I ruined my undergarments- my sexiest leopard-print thermals are toast. I did take a moment to thank the cosmos or whatever higher power for steering me around the hazards; I actually removed my mitts and rubbed my St. Christopher that I wear around my neck at all times. I’m not a religious man per se but a good luck charm is a good luck charm. I reckon the same cosmic power that steered me around the hazards might be the same one that steered me into a hay loft in Maryland in 1998 that just happened to have an old DN gathering dust in the corner…. That’s where it all started for me….
ANYWAY- we got away with it, learned (or should I say re-learned) a few lessons, and will proceed humbly and with caution in the future.
Thanks for reading- this missive brought to you by the incredibly strong coffee they stock this place with!
Think Ice and stay tuned- Ten-below-zero here so we will see if we sail- personally I hope not- it’s not human out there…..
James “T” Thieler
No sailing today- frigid temps, high winds, blowing snow…. AND rough ice- all of the ruts from the slush-fest a few days ago hardened in the cold and rendered the plate un-usable.
Good news is we have another plate just up the river- we sailed to it today, only a 1.5 mile trip but upwind in 20-30kts and 5 degree F temps made it interesting!
Annual meeting tonight, stay tuned….
No sailing today, way too windy- Will try again tomorrow.In the meantime, enjoy the photo of John Harper napping before (actually, at) the banquet last night and Oliver Moore sleeping it off in the van this morning. I don’t think he appreciated being photographed….
Also have a look at this local news story about the regatta- note Chad Atkins in the photo behind the talking heads- http://cbsloc.al/WSEg62
James “T” Thieler
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840
OK, Worlds are in the books- Now to the NA’s….
This regatta may be another challenge as we snow blowing sideways right now, the ice we sailed yesterday is very rutted from yesterday, more wind and FRIGID temps in forecast for next 2 days….. This hobby of ours can be a challenge BUT when it’s good it’s amazing!
Scouting parties are out right now looking for sailable ice but I have a feeling we are going to have a lay day. I’m sure a lot of us could use one!