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President’s Day Cup – A First!

Hi Everyone,

Quaboag Pond sure does surprise us with ice sometimes…it hit 70 in Antarctica this week, no ice in almost all of Europe, flooding wet ice in Sweden, and nothing to the North of us.

And it was VERY good ice. I loved Bob’s statement, "When it’s the only ice, it’s a 10!" I also really appreciated Bob reporting on the ice Friday and re-confirming Saturday that conditions were good. We had ICE. We had wind!

Since T our race chair is still across the pond, I volunteered to run a regatta. Since both very experienced and brand new racers had a great time on Lake Winnepesaukee a few weeks ago, I wanted to keep the momentum and interest going. There was some back and forth on what to call this regatta and, ultimately, I said, "We will call it the President’s Day Regatta." Done.

We are challenged by Quaboag given it’s not the biggest pond out there, but I asked Eben to set the windmark and was glad when the wind shifted slightly to the right so we could get a bit longer course by moving the leeward mark a bit to the left… A smaller course made for more tacking, but that’s good practice too.

Running my first ice boating regatta for NEIYA, let’s say I got to feel…well…..very Presidential. The skipper meeting started on time, 11 skippers signed up to race, I announced racing would start at 10:30 am, and the flag dropped at 10:29.

My boat is out of commission and so are my ribs (long story), so I really enjoyed observing the racers’ style and techniques. Jeff Kent got faster and faster with each race stretching out his lead every leg and in every race. Three races, three bullets. He makes it look so easy!

Most of the tangling was between Bill (who sticks his leg out at the leeward mark rounding!?), Eben (who does the same!?), Matt Knowles (you should have stayed cause the wind came back), and Rick Bishop who much prefers bigger breeze. Scott Valentine was duking it out with returning racer Jack Ericcson…and a big sorry to Randy Rice who could not find the pond so he missed the first three races. Based on his other scores he would have been tops on the leader board…Lastly, congratulations to Ed Demerest in "Splinter DN/1914"…It’s an older boat and Ed is really getting good with his starts and seems to really enjoy this new thing called racing. Maybe he will find something at the next swap meet…

Jeff had his drone up for the 4th race and hopefully he will share some video of the racing…

We completed 7 races including a 45 minute break for lunch. I am not a tyrant…

Here are the scores.. And T is coming back tomorrow so I will graciously hand back the reigns of power. To all, thank you for letting me feel presidential yesterday.

Think more ice,

Karen Binder DN 5630

President’s Cup
Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Total Score With 1 Drop Place
3535 Jeff Kent 1 1 1 DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 51 39 8
1914 Ed Demerest 8 10 10 DNF (11) DNF (11) DNF (11) DNF (11) 72 61 11
5606 Matt Knowles 3 2 3 3 DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 42 35 7
3314 Bill Bucholz 2 5 6 1 3 1 1 19 13 1
3869 Jack Ericson 6 7 9 6 4 4 5 41 32 5
3947 Scott Valentine 5 8 7 2 6 5 4 37 29 4
4316 Randall Rice DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 4 2 3 2 47 35 6
4775 Eben Whitcomb 4 4 4 7 1 2 3 25 18 2
5023 John Stanton 7 9 8 DNF (11) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) 71 59 10
5540 Rick Bishop DNS (12) 3 2 5 5 6 6 33 21 3
5573 Neal Fowler DNS (12) 6 5 8 7 7 7 52 40 9
??? Spencer DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNS (12) DNF (11) DNF (11) DNF (11)

Bob S. stated that the cruisers would all be mindful of the racing and that was really really appreciated. Thank you!

Quaboag Feb 16 Recap – Come Back Tomorrow…

There was racing but not the Doc Fellows we will be seeking a more suitable venue for that venerable event. Thanks to Karen Binder for taking on the race committee responsibilities. More on the races later.

Before I go on, as many will only be reading this to know if there will be sailing at Quaboag tomorrow. The answer is yes. Show up, have fun and report back.

I have been to Quaboag on a number of occasions but never noticed that it is literally just down the street from Podunk. I have sailed in some out of the way Podunk lakes and this really is not. Quaboag is an easy 15 minutes off of the Mass Pike or Interstate 84 near Sturbridge MA.

A good crowd of sailors, some arriving early and others trickling in later in the afternoon descended on Quaboag Pond in Brookfield, MA. We had about 30 boats mostly DNs but a number of Whizes or is it just Whiz like fish? Also a handful of J14s and an assortment of other crafts.

The ice was smooth and remained relatively hard throughout the day. The wind was 10mph with some decent gusts that made for some lively sailing. as the day. The wind died down a for a little while but cam back up.

All looks good for another day tomorrow. If you are just coming for the first time mind the open leads to the left of the ramp and set up on the beach to the right. As always inquire about current conditions before you set out and sail slow and heads up till you understand where the issues are.

I will be sitting tomorrow out but see you on the ice somewhere else soon,


P.S. if you took pictures today or tomorrow send them my way so they can be shared.

Heading Home…

With the Euro Champs called off (dangerous ice, no time, no breeze…) we loaded up and hit the road south. Drove all day through Sweden, picked up a ferry in SW Sweden which will take us overnight to Germany. Saves a lot of driving.

Cool ferry- This bad boy is LARGE….

Here is nearly empty parking deck

One of the hallways

Some boat data

Cheesy decal in shop

Screen grab from my plotter app…

Half of the restauran

Sailors Returning to Quaboag & Doc Fellow Called On For Sunday…

Quaboag Pond Super smooth Surface – 2-15-20 Credit Mike Acebo

Seven boats sailed Quaboag today on a very smooth surface. There are a few open leads as well as some other hazards, some are marked. The area is not that large but should be plenty of space for cruising and racing.

Quaboag Pond, Brookfield, MA

We will be running the Doc Fellows with the Skipper’s meeting at 9:30.

Whether you come to race or cruise, come early or late, be sure to check with those who know the existing hazards and sail heads up till you understand where they are.

This has been a tough season and we don’t know how many more opportunities we will have, so load ’em up and see you tomorrow.

Sail Fast,





Valentine’s Weekend Ice Status We Know What We Know But…

Sailor’s Valentine from Capt. Jared Wentworth Tracy (1797-1864) to his wife, Mary Hussey Tracy (1809-1891) of Nantucket. Created 1839-1840. Credit Nantucket Historical Association.


Apologies this was supposed to go out last night but your technically inclined Commodore was having issues.

Most of us know what the weather has brought us over the past week and that does not bode well for sailable ice. “I know what I know” but confirmed with our best boots on the ground in VT, ME and NH. and it was a unanimous no sailing. The same reports are coming out of the Montreal area. There is either too much snow or a very undesirable crud like surface keeping us from our beloved ice. Pretty much everything south of there is in various stages of returning to its summer liquid state.

There is one glimmer of hope for the long weekend. Quaboag Pond in Brookfield, MA is going to be checked today or tomorrow after the cold comes through. Maybe just maybe we can sail during this long weekend. Our ace checker Bob S will be confirming Quaboag’s condition and reporting back.

Patience rules the day and since this is Valentine’s Day, I’m sharing how other sailors be they grounded or during long voyages spent their time. Hint, they spent time, thinking about and creating hand crafted Valentines for their loved ones at home. A lesson for us all as the season progresses and we travel further and further from home in search of ice or whales.

From the Nantucket Historical Association
This sailor’s valentine was a gift from Capt. Jared Wentworth Tracy (1797-1864) to his wife, Mary Hussey Tracy (1809-1891). The anchor symbolized Capt. Tracy’s intention to return home and “anchor” at his wife’s side. Tracy was captain of the schooner Harmony of Nantucket on a whaling voyage to the Indian Ocean in 1838-39. The Harmony wrecked on a reef near Caldeira Island in the Mozambique Channel (now Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique) on February 8, 1839. Tracy is reputed to have made this sailor’s valentine while stranded after the wreck. He returned to Nantucket by way of St. Helena in fall 1839. He subsequently retired from the sea and in 1840 set himself up as a shoe maker on island.

Think Thaw and Refreeze,


P.S. Mike Acebo has published pictures from the New England Championships to the cloud on Dropbox. I am sure many of you can use an updated screen saver at work and home If you have a chance thank Mike!

P.P.S. Thanks to all those who supplied the human on available ice. We can not do it without you!

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