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Thanks to Chris Mayer for shooting and sharing the below videos of the New Englands on Sunday. Sure was some beautiful ice. Looks even smoother in video.
Lets see what this current weather does for us. Please please please report in on our email ice reporting system. As I and many have echoed ice MUST be rechecked especially after weather transitions like we are seeing today. In other words, let everyone know what you are seeing and check well and use caution. Members can submit reports via email to email@example.com If you are having trouble please reach out to me.
Sometimes it all just works. Paul and Bob checked the ice Thursday and gave us the green light, I actually made the right call for once and called it on for Saturday. We got there and the ice was perfect. Some healed drain holes and one healed crack but all with at least 2 inches of fresh ice. Don Brush showed up ready to run races. There was a nice 5 to 8 knot southerly. We had 18 eager racers, many of which were fresh to the scene. It all came together.
The challenging part about racing on Sunday was keeping the speed up between the puffs. Those who were able to connect the dots were able to separate from those who couldn’t. Chad and I were both using his new AP power sail he has developed with Mike Marshall at North Sails. It seems to transition really nicely from having plenty of juice to flattening out enough when the mast bends to be serviceable in the puffs. A really nice sail. We were both using 3/16″ insert runners. Chris Miller seems to have discovered some new gears while out West. He was consistently right there in the top three. He was using a OneD Speed sail I believe. Chad and I finished the day tied with Chris a close third.
Sunday brought warmer temps and a fair bit more wind. I went to set the windward mark with my less than stellar pit runners on but had to turn back as they had next to no grip on the surprisingly hard ice. So I moved my mast step forward a couple holes and stood the rig up to try to get some more weight on the front runner, as I was more worried about control than top end speed. I used the same 3/16″ insert runners but switched to my North ABSS sail.
The breeze was super shifty, but our stellar RC team of Don Brush, John Atkins and Bob Schumacher were up to the task and got in 4 more races in short order. The racing was fast with the breezing getting increasingly squirrelly at the top mark in on the shore. More than once I found my self just barely climbing up to it while others ripped over the top of me. Joe Meade found his wheels and was in the mix at the front all day. But Chad was the king of the day. With solid boat speed and doing a really good job dealing with the random shifts he closed the day with two straight wins to take the weekend. What is even more impressive is that he could barely walk let alone run because of multiple broken toes from his run in with a J70 trailer last week.
A huge thank you to Don, John and Bob for making the races happen. Also to Loretta Rehe for doing the scoring. I text her photos of the score sheet after each race and she compiles the scores from her home in Michigan. I had the final results in my email inbox before I even made it back to the launch site. Very cool.
Sorry to take so long getting this out. I’ve been pushing to get a couple projects out the door before leaving for the worlds. Also check out Dave Fortier’s report on the Chickie site.
Its looking like we will be headed to Madison WI for the worlds, despite a very rainy forecast. Then we will be back here to try again for the Doc Fellows and the Eastern Regionals.
Thanks again to all that made the weekend possible. It was awesome.
2017 New England Championship - January 14, 2017 Lake Champlain Gold fleet
Brian Langley was out on Quabag Pond this Sunday and sends in this inspirational video of his daughter Bella’s first solo sail. Three cheers to a brave young lady and her proud parents. We are all looking forward to seeing that pretty pink BDX ripping up the ice in the years to come.
Belle Sail Fast and Safe…
Just a few pictures to keep you occupied till the regatta write up is in. Perfect venue just south of the Champlain Bridge with a spectacular 360 degree view. The wind was fairly steady about 10-12 knts ( official number to come) but that’s my best guess. Smoothed over clean ice that was for the most part excellent.
Sorry pit only shots, no action. There were a couple people taking pictures so if your reading this please send them in to me.
2017 New England Championship – January 14, 2017